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Suzuki Jimny: Wading depth – Am I an asshole or is Suzuki taking advantage?

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  • AnonymousInactive

    I would love some candid feedback on the current situation with my brand new Suzuki Jimny

    The Suzuki Jimny has been around for 40 years with very little upgrades to its simplistic design. This is part of the Jimny’s winning strategy, don’t fix something that is not broken. According to the official marketing collateral, the Suzuki is built to: “Go Anywhere at Any Time”, “It will bend over front and backwards for you in any given situation” and, “Jimny’s simply don’t crack!” I know what you are thinking, this sounds flipping amazing so how could this be a mistake?

    Well, it turns out that despite the beautiful customer-centric philosophy published on their website, Suzuki will go to great length not to honor their warranty agreement. You see, according to the head of marketing and product planning, “40% of Suzuki Jimny’s are bought by women in the city because they are cheap” and even though the Suzuki is marketed as a tuff, go anywhere 4×4, as soon as you drive through water, your warranty won’t cover any defects as per the below official response:

    “Please note that the exact wading depth of any OEM vehicle will not be specified due to entry speed, entry angle which could influence the depth of the water, however on page 6-5 in your owners Manuel it stipulates:
    The water is too deep if it covers your wheel hubs, axles, or exhaust tailpipe. Know the depth of the water before you attempt to drive through it.
    We do consider the matter addressed where management has rendered their input”
    Fact is: The manual does not stipulate but rather provide the above information as a driving tip!

    So why did I buy a Suzuki Jimny?
    In December I was channel hopping and my eye caught a 4×4 competition on the television program, Ignition. This was the Bridgestone 4×4 club challenge and on the episode, I watched, the Suzuki Jimny’s were kicking ass and taking names. I started doing research on the Jimny by looking at a ton of YouTube videos, analysing specification sheets and exploring feedback and perceptions on social media. Analysts were consistent across the board, the Suzuki is not a great fun car to drive every day and it does not even have an NCAP rating, but man it is one hell of a 4×4 off-road vehicle…

    I received my brand new Jimny on Wednesday the 3rd of January and immediately started making arrangements to explore its 4×4 capability. Because I was new to the vehicle, I decided to drive an easy, controlled 4×4 track at in Krugersdorp on Saturday the 6th of Jan. The second obstacle is a shallow (or what I thought was shallow) water obstacle, after walking the obstacle and measuring that the deepest point is not deeper than 500mm I navigated the obstacle. Unfortunately, my vehicle started taking on water at the bottom of the doors and the next day my clutch became difficult to depress.

    On Tuesday the 9th of Jan I took the vehicle back to Suzuki only to be told that they must replace the clutch and that neither this nor the damp water smell in the brand-new cabin will be repaired under warranty because I drove through deep water. When I requested a definition of “deep water” because I could not find a wading depth anywhere, I was told that Suzuki does not publish the Jimny’s wading depth but there is a driving tip in your owner’s manual that mentions that water is too deep if it is higher than the axle or exhaust – This would have been awesome to know before I bought the vehicle or when I asked the salesperson what a snorkel for the Jimny would cost, boy what a naïve question in retrospect…

    Suzuki confirmed that they had to re-align the doors to get rid of the rattles and squeaks I initially complained about. In my opinion, the misaligned doors were responsible for the water leak.

    According to my research, your clutch is supposed to be a sealed unit that should not have to be replaced on a vehicle with 300km on the clock even if you drive through a bit of water.

    So, am I the asshole or is Suzuki taking advantage?

  • John Maritz
    John Maritz
    John Maritz on

    Hi Wynand
    Unfortunately Suzuki is correct with their statement. The deeper the water (above axle height/wheel nuts) the higher the risk of mechanical damage on ANY 4X4. You can invest in extended diff and transfer case breathers etc. for protection, but the mudier the water the greater the eventual risk will be to damage seals etc. This will hold true for any 4×4 during a water crossing.



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