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Old 06-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
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2003 tracker disconnect battery or not for 4 wheel towing

Just bought an 03 Chevy Tracker 4x4 for a 4 wheel down toad. The odometer is electronic and I see from other posts that it will still count miles. First trip with it is next week and I'm thinking of installing a battery disconnect switch. I will simply kill power while towing and activate it for the 200 mile tranny startup procedure.

I know that I will lose computer memory. Some mechanics advise to keep the computer activated during repairs for example because some autos "learn" and adjust for optimal engine performance characteristics.

My questions are:

1 will this stop the odometer from running?
2 are there any concerns with disconnecting the power and computer regularly?
3 could I actually see a decay in mpg die to the likely "learning" feature?
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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Don't know where you saw that, but we towed a 2003 Tracker 4-door 4WD over 50k miles and it never recorded a mile on the odometer. Never needed to remove a fuse or disconect the batetry either. Put the transfer case in neutral, tranny in park and key in Acc and go.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #3
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Only the Older Mechanical Odometers record mileage when being towed. The Electronic ones don't!
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:22 AM   #4
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Great news! I will confirm next weekend. Looking forward to going 4 wheels down.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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One other item. Just bought the tracker. I notice what feels like a driveline vibration at around 60mph. U joints and tire balance are fine an the dealer hasn't figured it out yet. There is a tsb on the 1999 version that sounds like it might be related although I can't get access to the full tsb. Driveline vibration TSB - Chevy: 619174

Have other tracker owners noticed this problem?
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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May not be anything wrong. The Tracker/Suzuki is not noted for smoothness - the whole engine is often termed "buzzy" because of its vibration.

There is an cross-brace under the hood (pop it open - it's right on top) that is designed to stiffen the front end and reduce NVH. Maybe it is loose or bent or? Not likely, but something to check.

From there I would be looking at the supports for the drive shafts where they go in/out of the transfer case.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
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Gary, could be the air pressure in the tires. I noticed the air pressure on the label in the door recommends 28 psi, which is low and no doubt to make the ride smoother.

The OP should specify if its a V6 or Inline 4 as well. I have an 03 ZR2 which we have towed everywhere an never had an issue. We dont pull fuses just follow the instruction in the OW Manual. One issue had was the badyear Wrangler tires. They did cause a lilttle vibe and we replaced them with Kumho's which really ride nice.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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Thanks. This is the 2.0 4cyl. I agree on the "buzzy" nature. That's ok because it isn't our primary rig. I got it because it seems to be the lightest modern 4WD tow rig that is affordable for 4-down with no special procedures other than a quick 200 mile startup. Others don't have the vibration, but I wonder if it is unique to the 4 cyl setup. The tires are brand new, but cheapies that the dealer installed. Supposedly in balance; don't see any bent rims and the wheel bearings check out as well.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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I'v towed my '04 Tracker / Vitara for many miles over the past 6 years eith absolutely no problem of any kind. I usually run it through the routine at rest stops but not always. And it has definitely been towed faster than 55...alot.

There is a trick to the battery drain...there is a spot in the ignition key lock between the ACC and Off. Go too far and the radio lights up...or back the other way and the steering locks. With the key in that position there is no power drain.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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We have a 03 Suzuki XL-7. Basically a longer Tracker. Been towed 140,000 and driven an additional 85,000. Towed miles don't register. 1 click on key unlocks the steering wheel.Great tow.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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We had a 2000 4 cylinder 4WD Tracker and it tended to vibrate a bit at certain speeds and load conditions. Swapped it for the 2003 with a V6 and much smoother.

28 psi is plenty for the tires on the Tracker. It's a light vehicle.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback. I got it back with new brakes, the tranny fluid replaced and tires rebalanced no charge. Still a bit of a vibration; appears to be a rig characteristic. Wheel bearings, u joints and drive axles all checked out fine.

Just got the road master falcon all terrain and base plates installed; looking forward to a test tow this weekend.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:35 PM   #13
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Our1999 2dr 4X4 std tracker also developed a bit of "thump". Turned out to be a slight distortion of some well worn tires.
With a std, the primary transmission is placed in 2nd, the transfer case in neutral, and key at ACC

Bud
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:15 PM   #14
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Got a chance to tow it today 4 down, road master falcon 2 all-terrain. Sure tows like a dream! We used to dolly a ford focus. It's nice to have shaved 600 pounds off of the tow weight - I noticed a difference on hills.
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