Kizashi second thoughts.. buyer's remorse.

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KiZoo
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:06 pm

KuroNekko wrote:Given the looks of your Kizashi, it looks like it was well-cared for and even has a history of a CVT fluid change at 55K. At the current mileage, I'd change it again. The problem with the CVT was largely that Suzuki treated the transmission as "service-free". The reality was that it needed new fluid at traditional intervals like older cars with ATF. Change the fluid and if you really want that CVT to last another 100K, look into the mod that Old Tech is talking about.

I have a manual transmission Kizashi and while it lacks the AWD I don't need, it's like a bulletproof vehicle with no major mechanical vulnerabilities. 2 seconds faster to 60 MPH than an AWD model as bonus. :drive:
I just ordered 6 quarts of Castrol TransMax CVT fluid, a pan gasket for the Jatco trans and a filter cartridge. I plan to change the trans fluid, drop pan and install new filter every 35-40k from here on in. It looks like oldtech's mod requires the trans out. Not that savvy here sadly.

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old tech
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:51 pm
Location: n/w pennsysvania

Castrol is a good replacement fluid but it is red in color. I never use it for the simple reason as it can be mistaken for other types and I never wanted to be wrongly accused of someones trans failing . I use Gulf brand. On the filter in the pan, if replacing it, always make sure it looks identical in depth. If you are getting one from the parts store, Ill bet its the shallow one for the 2010 and 11. Originals are metal high quality screens and I use brake clean and compressed air to clean and reuse . If you feel you need to change it, a 2012 Altima pick up screen will work just fine. When removing the pan , do this gently so you can check the contents in the pan. Chrome peelings at the rear of the pan is what you hope not to see. If in question, post a pic here. However, the trans can be saved at that point cheaply. If a Kizashi club member brought just the trans unit to me at this point, I would convert primary to long pin for only $150. Its running it till it has symptoms or stops that is much more costly. You can find a picture in my past posts. The grey silt on magnets is normal wear. Pan gasket is very reuseable too. Some aftermarket ones are poor quality. Watch not to over tighten pan bolts, they will pull threads pretty easily. A longer bolt fixes this the first time.The JF011E except for this one trouble spot, is a very durable unit if kept clean. Keep this car cared for and you will be happy. It seems the sport versions with side sails and tail are on their way back up in value.
KiZoo
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:06 pm

old tech wrote:Castrol is a good replacement fluid but it is red in color. I never use it for the simple reason as it can be mistaken for other types and I never wanted to be wrongly accused of someones trans failing . I use Gulf brand. On the filter in the pan, if replacing it, always make sure it looks identical in depth. If you are getting one from the parts store, Ill bet its the shallow one for the 2010 and 11. Originals are metal high quality screens and I use brake clean and compressed air to clean and reuse . If you feel you need to change it, a 2012 Altima pick up screen will work just fine. When removing the pan , do this gently so you can check the contents in the pan. Chrome peelings at the rear of the pan is what you hope not to see. If in question, post a pic here. However, the trans can be saved at that point cheaply. If a Kizashi club member brought just the trans unit to me at this point, I would convert primary to long pin for only $150. Its running it till it has symptoms or stops that is much more costly. You can find a picture in my past posts. The grey silt on magnets is normal wear. Pan gasket is very reuseable too. Some aftermarket ones are poor quality. Watch not to over tighten pan bolts, they will pull threads pretty easily. A longer bolt fixes this the first time.The JF011E except for this one trouble spot, is a very durable unit if kept clean. Keep this car cared for and you will be happy. It seems the sport versions with side sails and tail are on their way back up in value.
Thanks for the tips!
I got the Castrol TransMax CVT.. apparently black in color!?
I didn't order an internal filter/screen..yet. wasn't sure what to get. I ordered a paper cartridge filter for the cooler?
From what I've seen, I'll need to unbolt / remove the air box to get at this underneath..?
I wish I would have done more research before deciding to buy this car. I do love it, but I'm walking on glass..kinda expecting the trans to fail on me. That's just me. While I do have experience servicing my own cars, I don't have the experience to pull this transmission and replace shafts etc.

I'm hoping a solid maintenance routine will prolong its life. I certainly don't have several thousand dollars to throw at replacing this Jatco trans.

Here's the filter cartridge, pan gasket and oil I ordered:







I also ordered replacement rear shocks. Drivers side is blown out. Wasn't able to source anything really "good" quality.

I'm happy to have found these boards. I thank you for your expert advice. Gonna need all the help I can get.

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KiZoo
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:06 pm

Probably leaning toward selling my Kizashi..

I need a car to last for the long haul. I don't have funds to do major repairs. We bought this car with back owed Unemployment from being furloughed from my job 8 months ago due to covid 19. I don't make enough money to have a play toy and just need a solid and reliable car to use daily. The 6 grand I paid for it was all the money we had in the world.

Thanks to everyone for their kind comments and helpful tips

This car, while a beauty, just does not inspire confidence and I just can't afford to keep it knowing what I've learned about the transmissions.

Right now, the plan is to sell it and get back most of what I paid and keep looking. Pretty sad about this.

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NickL
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:46 pm

Very sad to hear that.

As I mentioned, I don't believe that CVT is so much prone to failure, but I know the feeling when you don't trust your car and are affraid what can happen on a long run.

If You had an opportunitty to buy Kizzy with manual transmission, it would have been another story.

However, there are much more important things in life than a car. I really hope that these crazy times with Korona will soon be well behind us so that everyone can go back to their normal lives as it was before.

Hopefully in the future You'll buy another Kizzy, next time with a nice, reliable, boombproof stick shift. :)
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KuroNekko
Posts: 4754
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:08 pm
Location: California, USA

KiZoo wrote:Probably leaning toward selling my Kizashi..

I need a car to last for the long haul. I don't have funds to do major repairs. We bought this car with back owed Unemployment from being furloughed from my job 8 months ago due to covid 19. I don't make enough money to have a play toy and just need a solid and reliable car to use daily. The 6 grand I paid for it was all the money we had in the world.

Thanks to everyone for their kind comments and helpful tips

This car, while a beauty, just does not inspire confidence and I just can't afford to keep it knowing what I've learned about the transmissions.

Right now, the plan is to sell it and get back most of what I paid and keep looking. Pretty sad about this.

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I can't really fault you for your worries though I think you're a little too concerned, especially given your car looks to have been well cared for. However, if your intention is to have a car that will last many years while running on the cheap, then yeah, the Kizashi isn't the best. Aside from the CVT issues, another concern with the Kizashi is readily available replacement parts. Given the brand left the US market several years ago, parts and service is hard to come by. While it sounds like you like to work on your own car, it's undeniable that readily available parts are crucial for keeping machines up and running with minimal downtime. Fortunately, the Kizashi largely runs on maintenance and these parts aren't vehicle-specific. However, the CVT is the weakest link without a doubt.
I'm no engineer or mechanic but I think the most reliable cars are ones without turbochargers, CVTs, or a bunch of unnecessary sensors, electronics, and gimmicky features. Having a popular model also helps with finding replacement parts quickly and affordably.
Best of luck on your quest.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
KiZoo
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:06 pm

Uggghh..

Finding out now my dealer probably won't help me and if I try to sell this car, I will stand to lose about $3k!

I usually as rule of thumb and my character, will do a lot of research before spending this kind of money.. this time I did not. Now I'm in to this $6400.00 including TTL.. may as well have been a million dollars. I never see this much money at one instance.
This was all the money we had in this world. I can't do payments it had to be cash. We live a fairly meager existence and don't have a lot. Not complaining, just saying.

I'm so sorry to vent here guys, but no one else, including my wife (who doesn't drive) fully gets it.
I was so happy and proud to have a nice car for a change.
I've been limping junk vehicles most all of my adult life and I'm pushing 60yrs old. Good fortune kind of escapes me and I'm fine living simple. All that stuff aside, so far as I can tell, the CVT is still operating as it should...(?)

**I do hear a high pitch wind-up kind of "turbo" sound while depressing the accelerator in any gear including while in park or neutral. I don't know if that's just engine sound or something else. Uggghh

I'm really trying hard not to overthink this. I just really need this car to hold together in reliable fashion. Now, I just don't know what to do..


I certainly cannot take a 3k hit on this deal. The resale value for these AWD cars is just plain crapola!

- James


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KlutzNinja
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:58 am

I’m sorry to hear about your situation.
Regarding that sound you hear when you use the gas pedal, I think I hear it, too (I have a FWD CVT model); I’ve heard it since I got my car at 51k miles, thought it was weird, but have accepted it. It wasn’t a noise my previous car ever made, but my Kizashi has always behaved fine despite it. Can’t speak for if others have heard this sound. Sometimes there’s a weird sound when I’m coming to a stop, too. Also figured it’s normal and got used to it.
Not to speak on oldtech’s behalf or put him in an odd position, but since he seemed to literally invent how to prolong the Kizashi, he could service your car if you took it to him in Pennsylvania (if I recall right). I’m pretty sure he’s serviced Kizashis of other members here, or at least offered to. The drive may not be the best for you (you’re based in WI, right?), but in the long-term his fix could save you the stress and grief this potential CVT issue is causing.
Good luck.
old tech
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:51 pm
Location: n/w pennsysvania

At this point, this is what I recommend. Drain fluid( using drain plug) into clean container. reinstall plug. remove pan bolts starting from rear and leaving 1 or 2 front bolts so you can slowly drain remaining fluid from the pan . Lower pan and post here a picture of contents in pan floor so I can advise. Yours just might be in great shape. Dont buy anything except fluid. Sorry to bum you out in earlier post . My intent was to give confidence that these cars are being cared for with know how and needed part availability on this site.
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LPSISRL
Posts: 970
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:49 pm
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia

If I were you, I'd never eat $3K I didn't have to. And I don't think you have to. Do as @old tech says and give him a peek. (post it here so we call can learn?) If he doesn't see the metal in the pan, you're going to be fine. If the fluid was changed at 55K, the previous owner was on the ball and it may have been changed again. Just change it again now and follow up every 40k. As far as I remember, most folks on the forum who had a CVT failure had plenty of warning from it. You sound like you know what's going on with your vehicles and the Kizashi is no exception. Get to know her. I think you just need to get it opened up, ensure that there's no metal in it, change the fluid and get on with enjoying it. After a few weeks, you'll no longer think about the failure possibility. Cross that road when you get to it.
2011 Kizashi SLS CVT (silver)
2005 Honda Odyssey
Priors:
2009 Suzuki SX4 Cross AWD 5-speed Tech package (vapor metallic blue)
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