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Suzuki Vitara And A Toyota Truck: 1988 Toyota And A 2001 Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara And A Toyota Truck: 1988 Toyota And A 2001 Suzuki Vitara

Question: Suzuki Vitara Hard Start

Hi Vince, I posed this question to you a while back but didn’t get a response; I assumed you’re pretty busy these days setting up.

The question involves my wife’s 2001 Suzuki Vitara 2 door which has developed a starting problem. It started out as an occasion intermittent problem, but now has developed solid. When the car is cold, it starts and runs fine. You can run all day if you like. But if you let the car sit and idle for a time it will stall, or if you shut it off, in either case the car won’t start. Let it sit for about 20 minutes it starts up fine.

I’ve taken it to the dealer and I think he has turned out to be a parts changer. He told my wife that the catalytic converter was bad. He said it was cherry red and a wonder that the car didn’t catch fire. I tried finding the problem with the vehicle myself and never was there an odor or any indications of excessive heat that I noticed. There was no ECM diagnostic either.

After the converter change out the car promptly did the same thing. It is now back at the dealership. He now says that he called the regional center and needs to replace the O2 sensor. Again no ECM codes? How can that be? And can the O2 sensor cause it to not start? I’ve never seen that in any other vehicles I’ve owned. He is waiting for a part to come in, I assume the O2 sensor, and I seriously doubt that it will cure the problem. I’ve read a few Blogs on the 2004 and the fuel regulator, and I changed that out with no help. Any insight?




Busy is not the word John, too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. But I’ll get it all done eventually, not to worry.

I think the red hot catalytic converter is a big clue. The only reason a catalytic convert gets red hot is when too much fuel is going through the engine. Simply replacing the converter without fixing the fuel problem will only burn out the new converter.

I would want to hook up a fuel pressure gauge to see what the fuel pump is doing. I would also want to make sure there aren’t any injectors hanging open. And you’re right, a bad O2 sensor will not keep it from starting.

Question: Old Reliable Needs New Paint

Hi Vincent: I have a 1988 Toyota truck which I don’t use every day, but only to do some shopping since I live in the country. My truck has been out and now it needs paint. Unfortunately the truck is red and I have already checked the price and it’s expensive to paint it. I was going to paint the camper but now it needs a lot more than that. Since I don’t have $2,000.00 to do it. Can you suggest me a site or where can I get info to paint it myself? I don’t want to use a can spray. Is there a place where I can buy something bigger than a can spray? I appreciate your feedback.

Thank you very much.


Anna Marie Menendez


Painting a vehicle is a pretty ambitious project. To do a decent job you’ll need to get some special equipment, most of which can be rented at a good rental supply house.

I found three books that will tell you what you need to know; how to paint and the equipment you will need.

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