Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

Hello, my first post though I have lurked a while on this excellent forum!

I am searching for a replacement for my Mk1 Focus (terminally rusty). Pondering all sorts of options - this is actually the first time I'll be buying a car (lived in London and Manchester for years so hired or borrowed my partner's car when I needed to drive) and I inherited the Focus from my father. The Suzuki Vitara has caught my attention as a practical, not too blingy, vehicle from a manufacturer with a good reputation for reliability, plus there are three independent Suzuki dealers in my area so I could take my pick for servicing.

I'd like to take a look at the base spec (SZ4) 1.6 petrol, as this is enough for my needs, and I really don't like a lot of tech cluttering up the dashboard. I have found one well within budget -15 reg, only 12,000 miles but with only 2 service stamps, the second one carried out by Kwikfit two and a half years ago at 6639 miles. Not sure what to make of this - the car has obviously only been doing 3k miles a year (MOT history bears this out) so my concern would be a combination of short journeys and infrequent service intervals not being very good for the engine, or would this be not too much of an issue at this mileage? Seller is a Nissan franchised dealer.

Should I cross this one of my list or is it worth pursuing? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Tina

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - bathtub tom

If it's in a city and low mileage, I'd suspect short journeys, which aren't good for a car. The service regimen could also be a problem if it's only had short journeys.

Why do you want something like a Vitara if you're city based, wouldn't a small hatchback be more appropriate?

I'm sure SLO will be along with good advice.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - sammy1

Go for it if that's what you want. You can dwell for ever on this and that about a car. Low mileage is a bonus and it is old wives tails about short journeys etc. Suzuki are good cars. Use the service history as a bargaining chip to lower the price. Dealer will warranty it for you.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

Sammy1 - yes, great suggestion to use service history as a bargaining chip.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - elekie&a/c doctor
Can’t see any problem with this car . Probably a good buy as a first car . Suzuki have always been reliable . I would drive it before you decide. I suspect the Focus is a better driving car .
Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

elekie&a/c doctor - The Focus is absolutely a nice drive (engine still good, gearbox as precise as the day it was bought, super car for Yorkshire's twisty roads) and my next car will have to measure up in some way. My Dad chose it and he knew a thing or two about cars - he taught me to drive, practical real-world driving.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - badbusdriver

Why do you want something like a Vitara if you're city based, wouldn't a small hatchback be more appropriate?

Ignoring for a moment the fact that it is an SUV/crossover, the Vitara is a small hatchback. It isn't a big car, its footprint is midway between a Fiesta and a Focus, (slightly closer to the Fiesta actually). Also, as far as i can tell by reading the post, the OP used to be based in cities, past tense. No mention of current situation, though my own opinion is that due to its compact size, the Vitara would be perfectly at home in a city.

However, it sounds like the previous owner/owners were not too fussy about looking after the car, especially with the last service (and i think it could have still been under warranty at the time) being done at a Kwikfit. Couldn't really say for sure without inspecting the car, but i think i'd give this one a miss.

If you let us know where you are and what sort of budget you are working to, we could have a look at what is available locally, including alternatives.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - badbusdriver

it is old wives tails about short journeys etc.

No it isn't.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - gordonbennet

So long as the car drives well, sounds well and you inspect it well the service history itself wouldn't worry me unduly, but i'd like to see the receipts for those two services present in the file and not just rely on stamps in the book for proof.

Given its done approx 6000 miles between oil changes it's probably not suffered in any way in its short life, but i'd have a poke nose underneath to check for rust, given that low mileage it may not have seen much spring summer rainfall to wash off winter salt residue, so take a torch and have a butchers.

To put the mileage in perspective, just over two years ago we bought a 2008 Forester XT with a genuine 27k miles on the clock, it hasn't missed a beat since and uses the standard amount of engine all fast Subarus do which means it needs no top ups between refills.

Edited by gordonbennet on 21/06/2020 at 21:06

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - dan86

The 1.6 engine is a rock solid engine with a good track record of reliability, it will be no ball of fire but it likes to be revved and if driven carefully will deliver decent enough MPG. Our 10 year old Suzuki sx4 1.6 has never missed a beat and returns nearly 45 MPG.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

The 1.6 engine is a rock solid engine with a good track record of reliability, it will be no ball of fire but it likes to be revved and if driven carefully will deliver decent enough MPG. Our 10 year old Suzuki sx4 1.6 has never missed a beat and returns nearly 45 MPG.

Saw an SX4 parked round the corner yesterday, looked a pretty decent car. Perhaps would be worth keeping an eye out for a nice one. Good to know about the MPG.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

badbusdriver - yes, the Vitara is smaller in width and only 1mm longer than the Focus (according to Parkers) No, you're right, seems very odd not to keep up the proper service intervals in a car still under warranty. I was looking at it because the available Vitaras in my immediate area in the higher SZ-T spec which has kit I don't really want - Sat-Nav, parking cameras etc.

Budget - I could spend up to £10kish but would have to feel I could get 10 years out of the car or it at least would be worth something in four or five years time if I wanted to change. Hard to beat the Focus in vfm terms - cost £9.3k new in 2005 and repair costs have been reasonable. Am buying for cash - nothing like spending your own money to concentrate the mind! I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

bathtub tom -

Well, yes, even with my limited knowledge, the mileage and lack of servicing raised questions in my mind.

I haven't lived in a city since 2010, now live in Harrogate. I work part time on a riding yard. It's at the end of a lane which gets extremely muddy and is prone to flooding in winter plus the yard's drive is badly potholed (like craters!). That said, not every client or staff member drives an SUV - some turn up in a variety of ancient or small vehicles e.g. Vauxhall Agila, Smart for Two, Yaris, Ka (original verson - almost as rusty as my Focus), Kia Piccanto. etc. . I am not after a Chelsea tractor or, how do some put it? - an ego panzer, just the right car for my needs. Which might not be the Vitara, granted! I looked at Suzuki because I have always liked the look of the Swift (but has quite low ground clearance) and the Vitara seemed a reasonable proposition.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - daveyjp

As you aren't far away, if you want a Suzuki have a look at Colin Appleyards.

https://www.colinappleyard.com/

No association, but a couple of colleagues have bought from them. Family owned and been around for almost 50 years.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - elekie&a/c doctor
2 services at 12000 miles sounds ok to me , when you consider most modern cars don’t get their first service until around 15000 miles .
Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - Avant

Sounds OK to me too, particularly as good ground clearance will be an advantage in your case. You're right to raie the issue of low mileage - but it's not too extreme, and if you can get a warranty from the dealer thrown in, that should take care of any major problems.

And Suzukis have a very good reputation for reliability.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - SLO76
Wouldn’t be too concerned, these are tough, simple wee cars and there’s not really much to go wrong. If it’s in good order and priced right it wouldn’t put me off.
Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - madf

I would buy it.

Just check underneath for corrosion at the rear..

Bargain hard.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - 72 dudes

@ TinaS

If you have any lingering doubts, then there is an SZ4 for sale at Batchelors of Ripon under £10k.

It's done a sensible mileage and is a 67 plate..

Batchelors have also been there years (I grew up in Harrogate)

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - thunderbird

Why is when potential buyers of BMW's or VAG cars that have been on extended servicing are told to buy Japanese because the 2 year oil change intervals are too long even on low mileage cars.

Now those same people are telling the OP its fine to buy this car and not to worry.

Do I sniff duel standards.

Our Fabia recently had its second service (its on annual not flexible) and its only done just over 12,000 miles. If I was either broke or simply unwilling to spend I would still go to Asda and buy 5 litres of their VAG spec oil and do a change for £15 (with oil to spare) to keep it nice and fresh.

Its been said on here many times that cars that only cover regular short trips need oil changing as frequently or even more frequently than those doing mostly long trips. Some on here do 6 month changes (a bit OTT).

My advice to the OP is to find one that has been properly maintained preferably from a main dealer.

If the deal is too good to be true it probably is.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - Andrew-T

Its been said on here many times that cars that only cover regular short trips need oil changing as frequently or even more frequently than those doing mostly long trips. Some on here do 6 month changes (a bit OTT).

There are one or two others on here (no names, ...) who happily follow very extended oil change intervals. I have a mild suspicion that some owners of this-century cars prefer not to risk that policy in case something expensive goes wrong, while with older cars that might not have been such a worry.

As regards the OP's Vitara, I would go for it unless the low-mileage has marked the price up too far. We don't know whether it has been a short-trip car, but that seems likely. There must be alternatives around.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - concrete

Seems like a choice has to be made. The low mileage and service record do conflict and cause concern. However if you get the car at a good price it helps. My daughter had a couple of Suzuki's as early cars and was very happy with them. If you do low mileage then change the oil and filter every 6 months or so. I would also give it an Italian tune up. Take it for an extended run including a good blast on a motorway, this used to work to clear rubbish from the engine parts. Then have it serviced. And repeat the process. Cars really benefit from being used daily.

Regarding the extended service regime. My Skoda Superb 1.9Tdi 130 PD (55 plate) was on this regime. I was covering between 25 and 30K miles per annum and the cars computer used to request a service about every 18-19K so about every 8-9 months. The engine never missed a beat and in over 200k miles it used less than 4 litres of top up oil and return about 50mpg. Couldn't recommend it for low mileage users, but horses for courses.

Cheers Concrete

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - Andrew-T

Cars really benefit from being used daily. ...

... but not just for short trips. They benefit more from longer journeys once a week.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - sammy1

but not just for short trips. They benefit more from longer journeys once a week.

I don't think the car has any feelings whether it is 1mile or 100miles or once a day once a week or once a month, it is a tool to be used by the owner as they feel fit. I don't think many owners feel any "guilt" about how they use their car.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - paul 1963

I may be wrong but I think most Suzuki cars need a oil change yearly or 9000 miles rather than 10000 due to the fact as already pointed out they like to rev. My Swift certainly did ..

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

I may be wrong but I think most Suzuki cars need a oil change yearly or 9000 miles rather than 10000 due to the fact as already pointed out they like to rev. My Swift certainly did ..

That's what I thought, hence my question.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - Andrew-T

but not just for short trips. They benefit more from longer journeys once a week.

I don't think the car has any feelings whether it is 1mile or 100miles or once a day once a week or once a month, it is a tool to be used by the owner as they feel fit. I don't think many owners feel any "guilt" about how they use their car.

I can't see any point in your remark - I'm not suggesting 'guilt' or 'feelings'. The benefit is that the engine oil gets properly warm and stays cleaner as a result if journeys are long enough.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - John F

It is indeed an old wife tale about damage to cold engines from short journeys. It might have been relevant for the hefty cast iron lumps of sixty years ago but a modern small engine warms up very quickly. The temperature gauge is at 90 after only about 2 miles on our little 1.2litre Peugeot.

The same goes for the annual oil change dogma. If its oil has done less than 6,000 miles it will still be perfectly OK, but don't tell the vendor! As suggested, use the lack of 'service' as a bargaining chip.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - Andrew-T

It might have been relevant for the hefty cast iron lumps of sixty years ago but a modern small engine warms up very quickly. The temperature gauge is at 90 after only about 2 miles on our little 1.2litre Peugeot.

Which raises a question: the cooling circuit (where the temp sensor is) will certainly warm up quickly with a well-placed thermostat, but how long is it before the contents of the sump have been round the engine ? I would guess rather longer.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - catsdad

If the price is right and it’s in good condition I wouldn’t worry about the service history on the Vitara.

i must admit to being conflicted on the wider issue. My previous Civic was serviced on schedule and doing 12k a year that equated to annually on Honda 12.5k service interval. This year the a Golf is on a fixed 10k annual regime and I will probably get it done at that interval while it’s under warranty by managing the miles through use of our second car. Having said that I never run my main car unless it’s far enough to warm it through.

So the second car takes all the abuse of short journeys. Typically a couple of miles a day with one or two longer shopping trips a month.

According to received wisdom then my main car should run for years and the second car should suffer issues. Not so. The Civic began to suffer the relatively common oil use problem at six years old while none of our our second cars has had any low miles issues. Most remarkable was our 99 Astra that ran faultlessly on annual oil changes for the 16 years and 40k miles we had it.

Despite all that I will continue to run the main car protectively and let the second car take the strain of low use. It feels the right thing to do especially with regards to their relative monetary value but have I been indoctrinated?

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - thunderbird

The temperature gauge is at 90 after only about 2 miles on our little 1.2litre Peugeot.

Temperature gauges where fitted are little more than warning lights in modern cars. The "normal" reading is not just the displayed temperature, its a range from about 60 degrees to just short of destruction.

Found out about this from the Fabia. It has a "normal" temp gauge which always reads 90 after warm up and in the digital display between the instruments two of the options are oil or water temp. On the Fabia when the gauge reaches 90 degrees the digital display will have only just come to life (it starts at 55 degrees) and slowly reaches 90 after a period of driving. I did a bit of a test, I stopped the car when the normal gauge had just reached 90, opened the bonnet and felt both the top and bottom hose, stone cold. Drove until the digital gauge read 90, stooped the car and felt the top and bottom hoses, the top was hot and the bottom was warm. Posted about it on the Skoda forum and my thoughts were confirmed. One sad soul had even monitored it with a ODB app on his phone and the app readings were the same as the digital gauge.

The same goes for the annual oil change dogma. If its oil has done less than 6,000 miles it will still be perfectly OK, but don't tell the vendor! As suggested, use the lack of 'service' as a bargaining chip.

If you really want the car do indeed use the lack of servicing as a bargaining chip but why o why do people neglect oil changes. 5 litres of Ford spec oil for our old Focus was £15 from Asda last year and it only took minutes to change it. Oil leads a hard life especially at start up when cold and on a low mileage car I would assume its mostly short trips from cold unless proven otherwise. If the car had indeed done all its miles in a small number of 200 mile runs I could possibly be convinced long intervals were fine (just like variable servicing for high mileage users) but its the OP's choice and if she does go ahead I hope it does not bite in her the a*** when there are plenty of properly maintained cars at his budget available.

Edited by thunderbird on 23/06/2020 at 09:40

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - John F

The temperature gauge is at 90 after only about 2 miles on our little 1.2litre Peugeot.

Temperature gauges where fitted are little more than warning lights in modern cars. The "normal" reading is not just the displayed temperature, its a range from about 60 degrees to just short of destruction.

I cannot make sense of that sentence. The reading is 90C, which is not a 'range'.

...... I stopped the car when the normal gauge had just reached 90, opened the bonnet and felt both the top and bottom hose, stone cold.

As expected, and proved that the thermostat, which stops cold water circulating around a still cool engine, was working well.

The same goes for the annual oil change dogma. If its oil has done less than 6,000 miles it will still be perfectly OK, but don't tell the vendor! As suggested, use the lack of 'service' as a bargaining chip.

If you really want the car do indeed use the lack of servicing as a bargaining chip but why o why do people neglect oil changes.

I never 'neglect oil changes' and would never advocate doing so. The oil in my TR7 is changed usually well before 6000 miles. As it only does a few hundred miles a year it is usually several years between oil changes. The engine is 40yrs old and works perfectly. Oil doesn't 'go off' in an almost airtight sump. Oil is indeed cheap, but why have the hassle?

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - concrete

Cars really benefit from being used daily. ...

... but not just for short trips. They benefit more from longer journeys once a week.

I fully realise this Andrew. I didn't wish to be too proscriptive in my reply. I refuse to drive my car any less than a trip to our local town for supplies. This is about a 15 mile round trip on a decent road. If I need to use it for shorter journeys, when SWMBO wants a lift, I take an extended route to warm the car up and recharge the battery. Pedantic I know. I still maintain regular daily use is good for cars and other machinery. They are designed to be used for this purpose. With regard to the Suzuki, the same applies. If the OP has a decent daily commute and other trips to make then the car will benefit.

Cheers Concrete

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - thunderbird

The temperature gauge is at 90 after only about 2 miles on our little 1.2litre Peugeot.

Temperature gauges where fitted are little more than warning lights in modern cars. The "normal" reading is not just the displayed temperature, its a range from about 60 degrees to just short of destruction.

I cannot make sense of that sentence. The reading is 90C, which is not a 'range'.

Some gauges show a range e.g. cold, normal, hot, others do it by colours such as blue, orange, red. What I was saying was 90 degrees s not an absolute figure, it shows its in the "normal" range.

...... I stopped the car when the normal gauge had just reached 90, opened the bonnet and felt both the top and bottom hose, stone cold.

As expected, and proved that the thermostat, which stops cold water circulating around a still cool engine, was working well.

Was not testing the stat, was simply seeing if when the normal gausge showed 90 and the digital gauge was showing 60 which was correct. Since the top hose was cold the stat was still closed thus the water was not anywhere near 90 degrees, stats open below the normal operating temp but only by a few degrees.

The same goes for the annual oil change dogma. If its oil has done less than 6,000 miles it will still be perfectly OK, but don't tell the vendor! As suggested, use the lack of 'service' as a bargaining chip.

If you really want the car do indeed use the lack of servicing as a bargaining chip but why o why do people neglect oil changes.

I never 'neglect oil changes' and would never advocate doing so. The oil in my TR7 is changed usually well before 6000 miles. As it only does a few hundred miles a year it is usually several years between oil changes. The engine is 40yrs old and works perfectly. Oil doesn't 'go off' in an almost airtight sump. Oil is indeed cheap, but why have the hassle?

Sumps cannot be airtight, if they were there would be pressurisation issues which would do serious damage as well as blowing out the dipstick for starters. That is why engines have breathing systems. In olden times they were pretty much open to the atmosphere via gauze filters, nowadays they vent via the emissions system to ensure any oil fumes are burnt off. Your 40 year old TR7 will be of the former variety thus certainly nowhere near airtight.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - badbusdriver

Hi Tina, here are a couple of other cars of a similar nature to the Vitara, near Harrogate, you may want to consider,

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20200303795...1

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20190901174...1

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20191209519...1

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20200305806...1

The first car here, the Kia Soul, imo this is somewhat of a bargain. Not a big seller in the UK and soon to be electric only, but if you are happy with the looks (i like them!) this could be an especially shrewd buy. Kia's come as standard with a 7 year warranty and as this example is from a Kia dealer and has full history, that is going to have as much as 5 years warranty remaining. More than a lot of cars start with when new!.

The 2nd car, the Ssangyong Tivoli, is a pretty good little thing too. possibly not as common as they deserve to be, a result of Ssangyong still being quite a small player in the UK. Definately worthy of consideration though. New Ssangyong's come with a 7 year, 150k miles warranty, but i'm not sure when this was introduced or how long the previous warranty was (i think it might have been 5 years though).

Next one is the Vitara's (slightly) bigger and less trendy brother, the SX4 S Cross. having looked at these in relation to other threads, i was already aware that they seem to offer great value, especially in a low spec with the 1.0 turbo engine like this one. Around the same width but 12.5cm longer than the Vitara (most of which is in the boot), so it is a little more practical.

Last option is the Vauxhall Mokka X. I'm not really a fan, but reading reviews suggest owners like theme well enough. This is the base 1.6 petrol so shouldn't be much to go wrong and servicing would probably be cheaper than the others here.

badbusdriver - yes, the Vitara is smaller in width and only 1mm longer than the Focus (according to Parkers)

When i spoke of the comparison in size between the Vitara and Focus (and Fiesta), i was talking of the current models. I'm assuming you are talking about your MK1 Focus because the current model is 20cm longer and 5cm wider than the Vitara!.

Edited by badbusdriver on 23/06/2020 at 18:26

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

badbusdriver, really kind of you to seek out these alternatives.

Kia Soul - one caught my eye a few days ago, was following until the driver made a very neat right turn. I like the looks too , rather extrovert and very un-Kia like - am I brave enough to drive around in a tomato coloured mini-jeep? Would have to check out what the wheel arches are lined with – from the pic, looks like a sort of fabric (like my Focus, terrible mud trap). Ground clearance is actually very slightly lower then the Focus but maybe I’m getting too hung up on that issue. Looks a very good buy, though and know someone whose son works for a Kia dealership, she could fill me in on servicing costs etc.

Ssangyong Tivoli - i rather like this. Three dealerships in my area so could take a look to get a general idea.

Vauxhall Mokka - I'm not a fan, either, just looks cobbled together. Was once offered one as an upgrade at a car rental desk, took the Clio instead. Same road tax as my old car and pretty much the same mpg so why go there?

SX4 SCross - quite appealing, a modern small engine and a longer wheelbase, slightly odd-looking in a not too bad way

badbusdriver - yes, the Vitara is smaller in width and only 1mm longer than the Focus (according to Parkers)

When i spoke of the comparison in size between the Vitara and Focus (and Fiesta), i was talking of the current models. I'm assuming you are talking about your MK1 Focus because the current model is 20cm longer and 5cm wider than the Vitara!.

Sorry, you're quite right.

Unfortunately though, all you lovely people are going to be slightly annoyed with me because I very quickly realised the Vitara wasn't the car for me - it is undoubtedly a great little value for money vehicle with many positives – climbed a steep hill, pulled away well at junctions, didn’t thump over rough tarmac or speed bumps, easy to park, great all round visibility, clung to the road going tight round a roundabout but I felt weary after 20 minutes driving – the seat base is too long and dug into the back of my knees, I started to notice road and wind noise quite quickly (maybe different tyres would help) – the car is hardly an aerodynamic shape! Would not enjoy a long motorway journey in it. All credit to Batchelors, the car felt freshly serviced, nice sharp brakes and I still respect it as a vehicle for its general toughness and practicality - if I lived in a rural location I might well buy one. Just not a fit for me. Well, that's what test drives are for.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - John F

Sumps cannot be airtight,...... In olden times they were pretty much open to the atmosphere via gauze filters, nowadays they vent via the emissions system to ensure any oil fumes are burnt off. Your 40 year old TR7 will be of the former variety thus certainly nowhere near airtight.

The TR7's sump ventilation is more modern than you think. The breather pipe from the cam cover feeds into the air intake between the carburettors and the inlet manifold. While not 'airtight' there is virtually no ingress of outside air through the air filter when parked.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

If you do low mileage then change the oil and filter every 6 months or so. I would also give it an Italian tune up. Take it for an extended run including a good blast on a motorway, this used to work to clear rubbish from the engine parts. Then have it serviced. And repeat the process. Cars really benefit from being used daily.

I love that term, "Italian tune up" (think I learnt it from this forum!) That must be why my partner said his old Seat Leon 1.9tdi used to feel punchier after I'd been driving it - but then he seems to have a personal goal of getting into 5th gear as soon as possible, regardless of what the revs are saying....I loved that car, really prefer diesels over petrols

All good advice, I am not a high mileage user, but do try to give the car a once a month longer run at a steady speed and my regular short trips are minimum 7 miles out, longer scenic route on way back. Wouldn't now take my old Focus on a m'way, though, a bit too fragile.

My Skoda Superb 1.9Tdi 130 PD (55 plate) was on this regime. I was covering between 25 and 30K miles per annum and the cars computer used to request a service about every 18-19K so about every 8-9 months.

Crikey, that's some mileage and one tough car! Hmm, there's a thought... later reg Skoda Yeti? Though 1.2 tsi petrol sounds a bit wee for the car?

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - concrete

Crikey, that's some mileage and one tough car! Hmm, there's a thought... later reg Skoda Yeti? Though 1.2 tsi petrol sounds a bit wee for the car?

Hi Tina. The 1.9Tdi PD 130 VAG diesel is the stuff of legend. Literally a 'superb' engine. Nearly every taxi where we used to live was using this engine and they would do starship mileages. They used to buy up old VW, Skoda etc just for the engines so they would have spare engines available. My car with over 210k miles was sold, and a guy came all the way from Southend to collect it. I had a bit of a bidding war for it because they are sought after by people who are prepared to do their own mechanical work. They went out of production about 2005/6 when Euro5 engine emission standard came in. Good luck with your 'new' car.

Cheers Concrete

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

@ TinaS

If you have any lingering doubts, then there is an SZ4 for sale at Batchelors of Ripon under £10k.

It's done a sensible mileage and is a 67 plate..

Batchelors have also been there years (I grew up in Harrogate)

Well, thank you 72 dudes for finding that. I rang Batchelors this morning and by 3.30 pm was test driving that very car! They were very nice, gave me a mask, gloves and the key in exchange for my driving licence and passport. I had half an hour with the car on my own, plenty of time to try it out including a short motorway stretch. The car felt very sound, just a few minor cosmetic blemishes, very well presented.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - 72 dudes

@ TinaS

If you have any lingering doubts, then there is an SZ4 for sale at Batchelors of Ripon under £10k.

It's done a sensible mileage and is a 67 plate..

Batchelors have also been there years (I grew up in Harrogate)

Well, thank you 72 dudes for finding that. I rang Batchelors this morning and by 3.30 pm was test driving that very car! They were very nice, gave me a mask, gloves and the key in exchange for my driving licence and passport. I had half an hour with the car on my own, plenty of time to try it out including a short motorway stretch. The car felt very sound, just a few minor cosmetic blemishes, very well presented.

Glad to help! Do come back and let us know what you decide to buy.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

Glad to help! Do come back and let us know what you decide to buy.

Sorry to resuscitate this thread, but 72dudes did invite me to come back and say what I decided to buy!

Well, none of the above discussed vehicles. The more I thought about it, the more I realised a priority was an enjoyable drive and comfort on longer journeys. And since petrol engines won’t be around for an awful lot longer, figured this might be the last one I’d own so I wanted to make an interesting choice.

I did rather fall in love with a Fiat Panda Cross, (test driven after the Vitara) - loved the Twinair engine and the high driving position, great charm and character. Small boot, though, and the rear seats don’t fold any where near flat. Was contemplating the 2wd Trekking version (nearest one I could find was Liverpool at a very dodgy dealership which had been investigated for money laundering!) or even the standard 4x4, having checked out the maintenance requirements with my nearest independant specialist Fiat garage. Perfect car for exploring the Yorkshire Dales.

I scratched an itch and tried a Mazda CX-3 with the 2.0l petrol engine. Had only popped into the dealers to take a look and the salesman shoved me into one saying “take as long as you like”. Ahem, almost four hours (I did put some petrol in). Lovely, lovely car to drive (oh, that gearbox!) but rather too much over budget, couldn’t really justify spending an extra £2k or so. And maybe not all that robust, definitely more crossover than SUV.

My dearly beloved kept trying to put me off the Panda (don’t think he fancied having it parked on the drive to tell the truth) saying would I really feel safe on the motorway in one? And new job, will eventually mean a couple of days away most weeks so I won’t always be able to borrow his car when needed. He thought I should buy a Leon (as I used to love driving his old one, a 1.9 tdi). Couldn’t find one I fancied in my price range, not sure about the 1.4 tsi engine anyway and with my poor old Focus getting increasingly decrepit had to get a move on. So I tried a Honda Civic. Drove two on consecutive days – first was over priced (not a Honda dealership), had very hard leather seats and a panoramic roof - a no-no, not mentioned in the descripton, giving me the perfect escape from the clutches of the salesman (seriously, does anyone really agree to an extra £1,000 for paint protection, alloy wheels cover and a warranty of dubious worth?). A good test drive, though, on familiar roads, didn’t have a problem with the rear view, my main concern. Crossed over into Lancashire to look at a very similar one, at a small independent family run dealership. Ex-motability, five years old, 10.5k miles (OK, lots of question marks there!) but it drove so well, everything worked, immaculately presented, full Honda service history (all invoices present). No sat nav, thank you, a decent audio system instead. I’m going to sound crazy but I had a good feeling about the car and I’d swear that my dear Dad was standing behind me giving me a pat on the shoulder saying “go on love, don’t walk away from this one”. Have taken a bit of a chance, as the dealer is retiring but I got a good price as the 12 month warranty is not with him.

So there you go – I didn’t buy an SUV, the car has a slightly techie dash (digital speedo, reversing camera), I have a ’64 reg rather than a newer car but I have a great engine, a six-speed box, huge boot and I’m really enjoying the car – good to drive whether through town (econ button on) or on the open road (econ button off). I’m cossetting it with Shell V-power as I have a vague idea it might help given the car’s likely previous short journey usage – sounds extravagant but my mpg is creeping up and I'm now tending to take a longer but faster route via the bypass. And when that lane to the yard floods, I can always park in the new housing estate which, I think, has made the flooding worse and wade through on foot (have to anyway when I bring horses in). And the yard owner has finally mended his cratered drive, thank goodness.

Thanks to everyone for taking the trouble to respond – this is a great forum!

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - 72 dudes

Thanks for coming back to update us.

Good choice, I think the Civic will serve you well, providing it has had oil changes in accordance with Honda's servicing schedule.

The low mileage and ex Motability status suggest it has done lots of short journeys where the engine and exhaust have not warmed up sufficiently, so regular servicing during its life would have been vital.

If it hasn't been done in the last year, I'd get it done, let the oil warm up properly and give it some beans down the nearest bypass - these engines love to rev!

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - gordonbennet

Well played TinaS.

Now then, get that Civic to a competent indy mechanic you trust and get them to fully service the brakes, strip clean and lube up, and lube the rear parking brake mechanism where it enters the rear calipers...he'll know what you mean...these cars are prone to caliper seizing issues and if its been serviced at the main dealer the chances of this having been done previously are non existant, and i agree with an early service regime too.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - SLO76
I often recommend the Civic as a used buy, I really don’t think you can go far wrong with a well looked after example. They’re tough, good on fuel, utterly reliable and quite spacious. That they’re an easy sell when you’re done with it is only icing on the cake. A good car, well bought. I hope it serves you as well as any of the Civics I’ve owned or sold. I’ve yet to have a single failure on one.
Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - badbusdriver

Glad to hear you've found a car you are happy with Tina, and i'm sure following 72 dudes and GB's advice, it will last well and be reliable.

Re the Panda, you probably had a lucky escape, the Twinair isn't particularly reliable. Don't get me wrong, i really see what the appeal is and completely agree!. While the previous generation Panda 4x4 was only available with the very reliable (though very slow!) n/a 1.2 petrol, the current version, sadly, is only available with either the Twinair or the 1.2 turbo diesel, neither of which are that reliable.

Had you not already gone for the Civic, i'd have suggested looking at the Suzuki Ignis which has a similar vibe to the Panda 4x4 (small, tall, chunky looks) but more reliable (and a bigger boot).

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - TinaS

Gentlemen, sorry to pop this thread up again but I just wanted to thank you for your responses.

72 Dudes – the supplying dealer had the car serviced before I collected it – I checked the oil and it’s clean but I will probably get it serviced again in six months’ time, the car is after all now having a different pattern of use – including brisk trips via the bypass!

gordon bennet - I had the brakes serviced by my trusted garage last week – I had to wait a month for a slot as they are so busy post-Lockdown with delayed MOTs and servicing (the Lookers and Evans Halshaw branches in Harrogate have both closed down so rather a lot of extra work is coming their way). Good advice – I had thought the brakes felt a bit soft, now they have appreciably more bite. The garages’s advice to me – if doing low mileage, service brakes annually and “brake harder!” I got them to check the condition of the tyres (still on the originals) as well, all fine. They are a truly excellent garage, they never smile at my daft questions, are very reasonably priced and won’t lead you up the garden path with unnecessary work.

Badbusdriver – Fiat Pandas…. well, I did briefly join the Fiat Forum and ask for opinions on the merits of the Twinair v. the 1.2 – the concensus was that the correct servicing/oil was critical to the longevity of the Twinair and the 1.2 engine is pretty indestructible. The main thing putting me off was rust – even newish Pandas seemed to have a fair bit of rust on the exhaust and popping up on the calipers, saw one (’15 reg) which had been stood a while and the calipers were very rusty. Fine if you are a dedicated owner and can do much of your own maintenance (crawling about underneath with a pot of Dinitrol or the like is beyond my capabilities). Suzuki Ignis – great looking little car, did catch my eye but in the end the sheer value for money and comfort on the motorway of the Civic won me over. Really a head over heart decision.

SLO76 – thank you for your encouraging words and it’s good to know that I will still have a saleable car when I feel like a change. When I finally delivered my poor old Focus to the scrapyard, the nice lady in the office asked what I was replacing it with: “Good choice,” she said, “we don’t see many of those. And when they do come in, we have Chinese buyers for the engines, for refurbishment. They’re not like us, they don’t throw things away so readily.”

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - mss1tw

It's always nice to have an update, we appreciate it. Hope the new car gives you years of easy use.

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - gordonbennet

Indeed, this is a worrying trend :-) that's two posters recently have updated their threads, hope it's catching.

Well done TinaS, and your indy garage sounds like they know their onions.

Edited by gordonbennet on 27/09/2020 at 21:53

Suzuki Vitara - Part Serivce History low mileage - 72 dudes

Excellent news Tina, thanks for the update and enjoy the Civic!

 

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