High revving

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

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.

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