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From Gordon Mitchell (Alford, Lines) Life with Suzi... My Cappuccino has just had her 36,000 service, with her three year birthday in August '97. Here's a few of my experiences ... Most expensive warranty job, the air conditioning condenser had the lower shroud coming off, the alloy appearing to have broken away from the adhesive bond. Replaced without quibble, but I understand these cost a lot of money not to mention the re-gassing of the system - have a good look at yours! Last time I used the air-con on a really hot day the cooler matrix iced up, eventually choking off the vent flow. Shortly after switching the air-con off, I was sprayed with water from the dash vents. Something to get checked when the hot weather returns. The rear brake disks corroded badly - again a warranty replacement, so many of these failed, the dealers had them on back-order. Odd scraping noises from the rear gave this problem away. This failure affected the pads and I was not amused to find the cost was around double that of typical pad sets. I note that Ferodo list replacements.

I bought Suzi from my son, he loved it dearly but had acquired a family.. .I'd rather have Suzi! Early on he found the front moulding had broken at the air intake centre bracket. Our dealer insisted it must have been the result of a kerbing despite no evidence of a scrape elsewhere on the moulding. They charged over £200 to repair and repaint When it later failed again, I took it to a local bodyshop in East Lincolnshire who fusion-welded the plastic and repainted it saying it had previously been bodged with adhesive. He also repaired the damage caused to the fuel filler by a nocturnal vampire who had levered open the flap and dented the rear wing. Total cost was less than three quarters of the first repair.

Originally the wheels had been balanced with the usual clip-on weights, and the resulting electrolytic corrosion beneath the steel clips has marked the wheels. I now have the proper adhesive weights on the inside, but would be interested to hear of any ideas for removing the nasty corroded patches. Tyres -I replaced the Potenzas at around 21000 miles not seeing the point of 'S' rated tyres on a relatively slow car. Tyre dealers gave me a spiel about how it would invalidate the insurance were I to fit anything other than those recommended and the Suzuki technical helpline yielded a lady parrot who recited a mantra to the effect that they only endorsed what was originally fitted. However, I found a tyre specialist who agreed that the originals were OTT and said that he thought the wheels were common to other models, so tyres would be sourced to meet the highest performance requirement. I came away with a much cheaper set of (Dutch) Vredestein Sprint+ T65's, and over 16000 miles in all weathers I have noticed no difference in handling and shall certainly fit them again. As regards warranty, I cannot see any transmission or other problem that could be caused by fitting another make of tyre of the same size and basic tread style. I am curious about this habit of manufacturers specifying only certain makes of tyres, and suspect that such endorsements might affect the price of a supply contract for the assembly plant. My BMW motorcycle has a sticker insisting on certain types of Michelin, Continental or Metzeler tyres but I and many other owners have opted for Bridgestone Battlax instead which has improved the handling and braking.

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