1991 Suzuki Sidekick - Starting Problem - Please Advise (1 Viewer)

Sep 6, 2004
This is my Caribbean truck so I do not have all my tools or diagnostic equipment available to me here.

Recently this truck has developed a very strange starting problem. I am thinking maybe it is the ignition switch or a cable somewhere is not making a great connection or it has some serious electrical gremlins surfacing. I do not think it is the starter (starts strong when it starts) or the battery (no voltimeter here, i don't want to pay 40-80usd for one so i have to wait for the gf to bring it down with her). I have owned this piece of crap for about a year and this problem has more recently surfaced.

When I turn the key it does one of the following:
  • starts right away or doesn't (usually will start when it is cold or has been sitting out of the sun, maybe of no connection)
  • sits for about 30 secs up to 2 mins with the key turned then cranks or doesn't (works the most often)
  • doesn't crank but sometimes if i let the key in the ignition slide back towards me a little (we are talking mm's here) but still in the cranking spectrum it will start
  • sometimes i can turn the key from off to start 50 times and it won't crank but on 51 it will (you get the idea) (this sounds like the starter though)
  • sometimes it will crank without the clutch in, sometimes it wont

also cheap fixes if you think you know the problem would be awesome

this is a beater and i do not mind rigging it

Also it usually runs pretty strong but sometimes it will just lose all power (even on completely flat terrain). I am thinking fuel so I am going to start with a new filter and pray its not the pump/injectors/relay, gas down here is terrible.

thanks for the help!
Last edited:


Forge Specialties
Jan 26, 2006
Since you're trying to keep it cheap, you should either buy(if it's not too pricey), or rig up a test light. When the key is turned to the start position, see if you are getting power to the little wire that goes to starter solenoid.
Another quick test to try and nail down the starter/ignition switch dilema is to just take a screwdriver and touch the two connections on the solenoid together. If it cranks, then it's probably your switch. If not, then it's probably time for a new starter.
Jul 12, 2007
Gilbert, AZ
These are notrious for needing a starter relay. Just a simple Bosch relay should solve your problem. Never seen this on a Suzuki, but you may also want to check your ignition switch.
Jan 7, 2010
Id vote for the ignition switch before a relay fix. If your on the cheap then wire in a put start button and bypass the ignition switch. Try spraying a bunch of wd40 into the ignition switch and work the switch and ckey tumblers around and see what happens.

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