The affordable and practical subcompact such as Suzuki Swift will always find its niche in the markets across the globe, regardless of the fact we’re living in the age of crossovers. While superminis come with certain advantages, they also tend to exhibit some flaws. Lack of reliability in many segments can be one of them, and this time we’ll be talking about the most common Suzuki Swift automatic transmission problems.
Although Suzuki Swift’s automatic transmissions have proven to be more reliable than its manual gearboxes, that doesn’t mean they’re faultless. Potential problems with Suzuki Swift’s automatic transmission are numerous and include unresponsive gears, transmission slippage, shaking and shuddering, noise when in neutral, etc. However, more than one issue will rarely manifest itself in a single unit.
Buying a used vehicle rarely comes without risks, but buying one of the most affordable cars on the market can be especially dicey. Automatic transmission issues might not be Suzuki Swift’s most immediate reasons for concern, but from a prospective buyer’s standpoint, it never hurts to be aware of them. Read on and find out all about the Suzuki Swift’s automatic transmission woes.
Types of Automatic Transmission in Suzuki Swifts
Considering how the supermini has been available on the global markets since 2004, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it also featured more than a few different types of engines and transmissions. Even a few different automatic transmissions at that.
The first and second-generation Suzuki Swifts were offered with a 4-speed automatic transmission sourced from Aisin. A contingent of second-gen models also came with Jatco-sourced CVT gearboxes.
Meanwhile, things became slightly more complicated with the onset of the third-gen models in 2017. Jatco-built continuously variable transmissions remained, but the Aisin 4-speeds got upgraded to 6-speeds. Finally, the third-gen Suzuki Swift is also available with 5-speed automated-manual transmissions co-developed by Aisin and Magneti Marelli.
Most Common Suzuki Swift Automatic Transmission Problems
Further below, we’ll list the most common automatic transmission problems faced by Suzuki Swifts over the years.
Unresponsive gears and failure to shift into a specific gear
There are many variations of what’s essentially a similar problem with shifting gears. If you feel that your automatic transmission skips one particular gear or doesn’t want to shift into it, the most likely culprit is a faulty transmission solenoid. The solenoid controls the flow of fluid through the transmission and thus effectively controls the transmission shifts. If the solenoid fails, the transmission might exhibit hesitation, refuse to downshift or shift into a specific gear, etc.
Besides a faulty solenoid, unresponsive transmission can also be a sign of a faulty transmission speed sensor. If the sensor can’t determine the correct speed of the vehicle, then the transmission might refuse to shift into the right gear, thinking the vehicle is moving at an incorrect speed. Although neither of the fixes is easy to perform due to automatic transmission’s general complexity, they aren’t too expensive either.
Transmission stuck in a specific gear
If your Suzuki Swift refuses to shift out of or past specific gear, but you still have the access to all the gears by switching to manual more, then the problem can stem from a few different places, including the bad wiring, one of the transmission sensors, or even the transmission control module.
Damaged wiring can cause all kinds of issues around the car, and transmission problems aren’t excluded – especially if the problem appears to happen at random intervals. A problem with the transmission speed sensor or the transmission range sensor can also cause the Swift’s automatic transmission to get stuck into one specific gear. The same goes for the transmission control module that collects the data from the sensors and decides which gear is supposed to be engaged and when.
Slippage is one of the most common Suzuki Swift automatic transmission problems. If your transmission can’t transfer the engine power to the wheels in an effective manner, the rpm jump won’t be followed by an increase in speed. At least not initially. This discrepancy is known as transmission slippage. The most common culprit of a slipping transmission is a lack of transmission fluid or fluid that’s ripe for replacement. If this easy fix doesn’t solve the issue of slipping, then the problem might lie in a faulty solenoid or a torque converter.
A faulty solenoid will fail to let a proper amount of transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the intended gear. Once that happens, the transmission might hesitate, slip, or exhibit other, more serious problems. A torque converter does the same job for an automatic transmission as a clutch does for a manual transmission. If it’s failing, the transmission will start to slip. The slipping will get more and more severe as the torque converter gets more and more worn out until it fails completely. Since it’s a complex undertaking and the torque converter itself tends to be more expensive than many smaller transmission parts, replacing one can set you back north of $1,000.
The car doesn’t want to start
Although typical culprits in such cases are the empty battery or a faulty starter, a faulty transmission can also cause a starting failure. In rare instances such as this one, the only culprit is a transmission inhibitor switch, otherwise known as a neutral safety switch. It stops the car with an automatic transmission from starting if the shifter isn’t either in neutral or park. However, the problem with starting the car arises from the manner in which the neutral safety switch operates.
Once the neutral safety switch determines that the shifter is in the proper position, it allows the ignition switch to send the signal to the starter motor. If the shifter isn’t in the correct position (e.g. drive or reverse), the engine can’t be cranked at all due to the lack of electric current from the ignition. The same might happen if the neutral safety switch is faulty. However, the faulty neutral safety switch can also allow the car to start with the shifter in any position, which can be downright dangerous. Luckily, the transmission inhibitor switch isn’t expensive and doesn’t require too much elbow grease to get replaced.
Suzuki Swifts are competent quirky city cars that won’t break the bank but will still offer everything an average commuter needs. Even though the automatic transmission-equipped Swifts are regarded as more reliable than their counterparts with manual gearboxes, they still exhibit a problem or two. Suzuki Swift automatic transmission problems are typically related to one of the less expensive components, such as sensors or solenoids. This makes most automatic transmission repairs in Suzuki Swifts relatively inexpensive compared to the average automatic transmission repair costs. However, every transmission gives out at some point, and in spite of its relatively high reliability, Swift’s automatic transmissions might not last throughout the car’s ownership.
How reliable is Suzuki Swift’s automatic transmission?
Suzuki Swift’s automatic transmissions are relatively reliable and generally don’t exhibit as many problems as their manual transmission counterparts. They will give out if not cared for properly, however, and some problems might arise regardless of how careful you are.
How much does it cost to repair Suzuki Swift’s automatic transmission?
The cost of the Suzuki Swift automatic transmission repair varies due to numerous factors. The actual type of transmission, cost of parts, cost of labor depending on your location, and the actual problem are only some of them. Typically, the replacement of one of the numerous sensors costs less than $100 plus labor. The neutral safety switch can be replaced for around $150, and the transmission control module can be bought for some $200. A full transmission rebuild, should it be necessary, could set you back a few thousand, though.
How much does more Suzuki Swift with an automatic transmission cost than Suzuki Swift with a manual gearbox?
Cars equipped with automatic transmissions are always more expensive than those equipped with manual transmissions. The price discrepancy depends on numerous factors, but when new, automatics typically command $1,000 higher price tags than manuals. This discrepancy isn’t as pronounced in used cars.
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