My father has a 2008 Suzuki SX4 1.6 manual petrol with 65,000 miles, which, to date, has been problem-free and is serviced by myself.
To give you some idea of my father’s driving style, in the 35,000 miles he’s put on it, I’ve changed the brake discs once and the pads twice. I also put in a clutch at approximately 45,000 miles due to it biting at the top and feeling stiff. It was showing signs of wear in that the grooves on the friction disc were not visible in some places, but the clutch hadn’t given up completely. It would be unfair to say this early change was all down to my father’s driving style as I have no idea who owned the car previously, but he is a retired builder and mechanical sympathy is not part of his vocabulary!
The current problem is that the vehicle revs at an alarming rate just as my father brings it to a stop, with the brakes on and the clutch depressed. It’s happened twice to date and the first time I told him it must be his fault given how worn his brake pedal rubber was on the right-hand side. We assumed his foot had slipped off the brake pedal as the rubber pad was worn through to the metal on the right.
He went to Suzuki for a new pedal pad and they kindly fitted it for free, however the problem reoccurred last week and he’s now saying he’s lost confidence in the car. Personally I think it’s still operator error but haven’t had a chance to look at any wear pattern on the new brake pedal pad. However, I can say that his previous Rover 45 suffered pedal pad wear on the clutch and brake, on the outside edges of each pad. The clutch pad on the Suzuki is also worn on the left side, suggesting he isn’t pressing either pedal squarely with the ball of his foot. In the meantime, I’ve told him to get Suzuki to scan the ECU for fault codes in case a sensor is showing an intermittent fault.
My first question is whether you have heard of a driver pressing the brake and touching accelerator as the brake is depressed? Second, is there a device I could purchase to plug into the 16-pin port that would record data such as time, date, accelerator position, brake pedal pressure and injector pulse? This would then give me a clue what the sensors are reading when the problem occurs.
I’m a bit unwilling to ask him to take me out for a drive to check the position of his feet as he won’t behave naturally in such circumstances. However, I’ve driven his car plenty of times with no problem, although Suzukis do seem to have a particularly sensitive accelerator compared to other cars. Mark Thompson DATA recording devices such as the Sykes-pickavant 30670100 are available – look here http://
bit.ly/1uz1sn7 – but cost in the region of £130. Alternatively, you could consider rigging up one of the cheaper dashcams on the market – such as the Maplin M220 720p, which is currently £49.99 – to record the driver’s foot movements. This could make your father more aware of his actions while driving, eliminating the problem.
Reading various reviews of the SX4, other owners have commented that the brake and accelerator pedal are too close, causing such problems. Or it is possible that the vehicle has a management issue linked to the throttle body or pedal control, and this may well show up in the dealer’s investigation.