Louise Limb – contributor
At first it was just a vague feeling that all wasn’t completely well. I mean, I’ve grown accustomed to the regular foibles; to never leaving my keys in the car just in case it decides to lock itself when I’m not looking, or to ensuring, conversely, that nothing prevents the doors from locking, as the slightest piece of paper or fold of waterproof coat slipping over the threshold of the rear door will result in a big fat nothing in response to me earnestly zapping it with my key. I discovered that one after weeks of bafflement at the non compliance of the hardware (the Grand) in refusing to obey the control of the little button on the key fob, and felt a warm glow of achievement when I cleared the base of the door frame of carrier bags and other detritus and it all clicked and clunked, the hazards flashing a friendly, reassuring orange. I could always put the key in the locks and turn them, but why should I? If I wanted that I’d have an old Land Rover and all the bits of old twine that would inevitably accompany its door closing rituals.
I hardly notice now that the rear windscreen wiper doesn’t wipe the whole window or that the sleeve around my gearstick has become completely adrift, leaving a yawning abyss – I bet there’s a whole packet’s worth of little chewing gum pieces down there, since I’m so hopeless at easing them out of the packet and into my mouth one-handed. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m not likely to be caught texting while driving as I couldn’t do it even if I was misguided enough to want to.
No, it’s the vibration. Faint to begin with, and more noticeable on slow right-hand corners and at low revs, there’s now a unpleasant diesel sensation up to 2000 revs of being in permanent engagement with a cattle grid. Once over 2500 revs excitement mounts as a different sort of vibration kicks in, more like something roughly mechanical working its way up through the seat and out through the steering wheel. I imagine taking off in the Tardis to be roughly similar and it feels as if the propshaft is being tortured. In other words, it’s getting to feel just like the old Vitaras!
The guys are going to look at it while tutting over its MoT in a couple of weeks. Steve down at the main dealer took the GV out and came back scratching his head. “There’s definitely something there but I’m not sure what,” he said, and wrote down, ‘engine drumming at low revs, check all usual suspects including engine mounts’. Best get the flexible friend ready…
Model: Suzuki Grand Vitara
Spec: 2.0 Td
Recent costs: Car tax £235, MoT due – more on that next month…
Arrived: Oct ’08