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5 Suzuki Swift Common Problems

Common Suzuki Swift Engine Problems

5 Suzuki Swift Common Problems

Suzuki Swift is a quirky supermini known for its affordable price point, ease of use, and fun driving dynamics in urban landscapes. Although the Japanese versions were available earlier, the global iteration of the Swift made its debut in 2004. Since then, the city car has been a success, both critically and commercially. However, no car – especially an affordable one – is without faults. This time we’re focusing on Suzuki Swift’s common problems.

Typical Suzuki Swift problems are related to the mini car’s build quality. Although it’s to be expected from a cheap car, interior plastics still leave a lot to be desired. Atop of that, there are certain issues with its suspension, and the problem is only exacerbated by the lack of noise insulation. Although the engines have mostly been solid over the years, there are some concerns about Swift’s transmissions.

Being so cheap, to begin with, there’s a high chance a used Suzuki Swift was never properly cared for. Considering that, buying a used one can be riskier than buying a more expensive car. There are plenty of things to look at if you’re in the market for one of them, but this time we’ll focus on the most common problems that a typical Suzuki Swift might face.

What to Look At When Buying a Used Suzuki Swift?

Suzuki Swift side view
Photo by: Pixabay

Before we move on to the Suzuki Swift’s most common problems, let’s look at some details one should pay attention to when buying a used mini car.

As previously mentioned, there’s a high probability that the Swift you’re looking at hasn’t been as well maintained as it should have been due to its affordable nature. Owners of affordable cars often decide that it’s best to buy another one after the warranty expires rather than care for it properly and retain it for longer.

With that in mind, the first thing you want to do is inspect its exterior. Although the Swift’s cheap to work on, any damage will add up to the final bill – if you’re planning on getting it back into mint condition, that is. Look at its large headlights, windscreen, and any sign of rust or dents and scratches. It’s a similar story with the interior. Don’t expect Swift’s cheap plastics and cloth to stand the test of time, but you still don’t want broken-off pieces all across the cabin.

It would also be prudent to have a mechanic who knows his way around Suzuki cars with you. They can help you with the more technical side of things and should be able to identify any potential mechanical issues.

Suzuki Swift’s Common Problems

Now, let’s move on to the most common problems one should typically expect in a Suzuki Swift.

Suspension problems

weak suspension is one of Suzuki Swift common problems
Photo by: Unsplash

Being a cheap option, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Suzuki Swift doesn’t sport the most advanced suspension setup. A conventional MacPherson strut up front and a twist-beam with shocks and coil springs at the back keep the cost down but don’t provide much protection from potholes and other uneven surfaces.

Aside from being somewhat uncomfortable, the dated suspension design tends to wear down relatively easily. Bushings and bearings are typically the first to give out, but leaving the problem unresolved for a while can have further consequences. A rattling noise from suspension means that it’s time for a checkup. Otherwise, you’re risking a shock absorber or even a control arm failure, in which case your car’s steering will become unbalanced, and your tire wear will follow suit.

Use of cheap materials

cheap interior
Photo by: Pixabay

Continuing with the theme of cheap parts and materials, the Suzuki Swift uses them all over the cabin. Although that’s to be expected from an affordable B-segment Japanese import, the interior doesn’t manage to stand the test of time in most cases. Aside from torn cloth and possibly broken plastic pieces, many Swifts experience rattling noises in the dashboard that can hardly ever be completely nullified. Not to mention the cabin noise due to lack of proper noise insulation.

The few somewhat advanced features the Suzuki Swift possesses can also become problematic over time. Electric windows are prone to failure due to an inadequate bolt that’s supposed to be holding them in place. Even if they don’t fail, they can develop a sort of an operating lag over time due to a sensitive mechanism. Even the Swift’s handbrake is of sub-par quality as there’s a well-documented issue with its calibration. There’s no need to mention squeaking doors and cabin vibrations that typically accompany cheap mini cars.

Excessive oil consumption

car oil
Photo by: Pixabay

Excessive oil consumption isn’t an isolated issue limited to Suzuki Swifts. Numerous vehicles burn through more oil than they should, and in some instances, manufacturers consider it under optimal engine operation. In fact, some manufacturers will tell you that a quart of oil burned per every 1,000 miles or so is acceptable (one liter per around 1,500 kilometers). If your car is burning that much oil, however, know that something’s probably wrong with it.

In the case of Suzuki Swifts, excessive oil consumption typically translates to engine damage, more specifically, worn-out piston rings. When the piston rings wear out, oil is free to enter the combustion chamber, where it gets burnt. In such cases, a bluish-white smoke is typically visible coming from the exhaust. This isn’t a cheap fix and often exceeds the value of a cheap used city car such as a Suzuki Swift.

Transmission problems

Photo by: Pixabay

Suzuki Swift transmission problems are numerous and arguably the most serious of the bunch. One of the Swift’s clutch woes is a reluctance to shift into certain gears, such as the reverse or downshifting from third into second gear. This problem is only present within Swifts with a manual gearbox and can represent a sign of things to come. Typically, a problem such as this will only get worse over time, and a complete clutch replacement shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Issues with clutch slipping are also well-documented in Suzuki Swifts. Inability to seamlessly shift into gear or hesitation to do so is typically a sign of a worn-down clutch, or dual-mass flywheel, to be more precise. Likewise, things can only go downhill from here, and although flywheel replacement is somewhat cheaper than a complete transmission rebuild, the cost is still quite high – especially compared to the value of the car itself.

Suzuki Swift 1.3 L diesel engine problems

engine bay
Photo by: Envato Elements

While most Suzuki Swift petrol engines are quite reliable, its only diesel offering can’t boast the same reliability. The 1.3 L Multijet diesel from Fiat is a fine engine in its own right but comes with a number of potentially expensive problems. We’ve already mentioned the clutch, but fuel injectors, EGR valves, and timing chain are also sensitive and can put you into lots of trouble.

These problems are typical for diesel engines and aren’t anything out of the ordinary. High-pressure fuel injection can fail due to contaminated fuel or simply buckle under pressure. The EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve is known to clog and choke the engine in the process while timing chain issues can potentially be the most dangerous. A clunking or knocking noise from the engine compartment might be a sign of a timing chain going out of sync and shouldn’t be ignored. Otherwise, a catastrophic engine failure might spell the end of your Suzuki Swift as the extent of repairs might exceed its value by that point.

Final Thoughts

The Suzuki Swift is a fun mini car whose fuel efficiency and size make it a perfect choice for crowded urban areas. However, the above-mentioned Suzuki Swift’s common problems can make it a somewhat tough sell too. While most owners who properly maintain their Swifts feel at ease relying on them, affordable cars such as this rarely remain trouble-free for too long. Ultimately, it comes down to the value they provide, and at Swift’s price point, you are getting plenty, to be honest.


How reliable are Suzuki Swifts?

Suzuki Swifts are relatively reliable cars. Most of their engines are reliable and cheap to maintain, but poor build quality can be annoying. Then again, no car in that same price point boasts a much higher-quality build.

Are Suzuki Swifts expensive to maintain?

No, like most affordable Japanese cars, Suzuki Swifts are relatively cheap to maintain.

How much does a Suzuki Swift service cost?

A full Suzuki Swift service should come around $250, but the exact estimate depends on the market and the vehicle’s age.

Are Suzuki Swifts cheap to insure?

The cost of insurance, as you know, depends on many factors. However, being affordable and small in size, Suzuki Swifts are typically among the cheapest cars to insure.