Suzuki Grand Vitara cars with 1.6-liter M16A and 2-liter J20A engines are deservedly considered one of the most reliable and durable. Minor troubles, such as a broken thermostat and some other problems in the cooling system, are easily fixed. How to change the thermostat for a Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.6- and 2.0 liter, which one is better to install, and we will find out all the details of the replacement right now.
Why does the Grand Vitara (Escudo) engine overheat? Symptoms
Faulty thermostat on Suzuki Grand Vitara (Escudo) manifests itself first of all in instability of engine working temperature. Having noticed deviations from usual operation of cooling system, it is desirable to check it as soon as possible, otherwise you can get on tough repair. Firstly, overheating of the engine negatively influences its service life, secondly, power decreases, thirdly, petrol consumption increases.
The normal engine working temperature for the Vitara is 89-97 degrees. The work on not warmed up engine also does not bring anything good. Especially in winter, as the engine can experience oil starvation, and this leads to increased wear of the connecting rod and piston group, block head and crankshaft main bearings.
If the engine overheats, there may be several reasons:
- The thermostat valve is jammed and does not let the antifreeze through the main radiator in a large circle. Worse, when the thermostat has caught the wedge in the intermediate position, then the malfunction is more difficult to detect.
- Low antifreeze level. It is easy to check, and you must make sure the fluid does not leak and have no other problems (e.g. penetration of antifreeze into lubrication system) and only then fill it up to the level.
- Airlock. Quite often. It occurs when the engine overheats or the cooling system gets depressurized, as well as when the antifreeze is replaced incorrectly. How to remove air plug from Suzuki Grand Vitara system we dealt with here.
- The pump does not create the necessary pressure. Nominal pressure in the system is about 100 bar.
- Antifreeze is worn out and not performing its function. Old antifreeze does more harm than good, so cloudy, oily and dirty coolant change as soon as possible with a possible system flush.
However, it is the thermostat that is most often the subject of the complaint.
How to check thermostat on Suzuki Grand Vitara/Escudo
First, let’s find out the basic operating parameters of the thermostat. For both the 1.6 and 2-liter engines, they are the same:
- the thermostat’s opening temperature is 80-84 degrees;
- temperature of full opening 95-97 degrees;
- full stroke of the valve stem not less than 8 mm at 95 degrees.
It is possible to check the thermostat for proper functioning without removing it from the car. In the case when the engine is constantly overheating, the valve may be jammed in the closed position and not allow the fluid to pass through the large circle. Conversely, if the engine can’t get up to operating temperature (which is about 90 degrees), the valve is jammed in the open position.
To check, warm up the engine until the antifreeze temperature indicator reaches the red zone. Open the hood, if the lower radiator socket is cold or barely warm – the thermostat must be replaced. If the thermostat is evenly heated on the cold engine, it is jammed in the open position and also needs to be replaced.
The removed thermostat is tested in a water bath heated to operating temperature. When heated, the valve should gradually open and should open fully by the advertised temperature. The valve should then close on its own as it cools down.
Which thermostat is better for Suzuki Grand Vitara, price
There are several types of thermostats on the market. Not by brand-manufacturer, but by valve actuation temperature. The standard thermostat on the Vitara, as we have already found out, opens at 82 degrees on average. Nevertheless, for some conditions this temperature may be too low, the engine may not have time to warm up.
For such cases, there are “warmer” thermostats with a valve actuation temperature of 86, 88 or 90 degrees. It should be taken into account that already at 103 degrees the first radiator fan switches on, and at 106 degrees – the second one.
The problem with a cold engine is not only that with unheated oil it wears out many times faster, but that the heater doesn’t warm up catastrophically for a long time.
That’s why many people prefer not original, but “warmer” thermostats. And there are plenty of them on sale. Here are just a few examples:
- Thermostat GATES TH35682G1, 82 degrees;
- CALORSTAT by Vernet TH6737.82J, temperature 88 degrees;
- EPS catalog number 1.880.679, 82 degrees;
- Nipparts, part number J1538004, 82 degrees;
- MotoRad, item 241-88, 88 degrees;
- Stellox 2340096SX, 86 degrees;
- Gates TH12283G2, 83 degrees;
- Wahler 410183.88D, 88 degrees;
- Suzuki, original, 1760085821;
- Blue Print, item ADK89210;
- Fenox TS104;
- Behr Hella TX 71 82D, 82 degrees.
The most expensive thermostats do not mean the best. When choosing a thermostat, it is advisable to give preference not only to a trusted brand, but also to look at the package – in the package should be a seal, which is subject to mandatory replacement, but separately it is extremely difficult to find.
How to change thermostat of Suzuki Grand Vitara
The thermostat is changed in about 15 minutes, if we have a standard set of tools, a container for draining the antifreeze, and a new thermostat at hand. If you have all this, proceed to replacement. First, let’s change the thermostat on the 1.6-liter engine M16A:
- Open the tank lid, unscrew the drain plug on the radiator and drain the antifreeze into a container.
- Disconnect inlet hose 1 and outlet hose 2 of the heater from the thermostat housing.
- Unscrew cover4 from housing 3, carefully remove the thermostat.
- Install the new thermostat 1 according to the marks 3 on the thermostat and 4 on housing 3, aligning the marks.
The thermostat on the 2L J20A engine is replaced in the same way. The details are shown in the photo below.
After installing the thermostat, a new cover gasket and seal, fill the antifreeze in two or three steps with warming up the engine after each, to avoid aeration of the cooling system.