If you know, you know – that’s what every passionate Suzuki owner will tell you, and you’ll be left wondering why they’re driving something you don’t really understand. But one thing is for sure, Suzuki makes some interesting cars, including capable small off-roaders like the Jimny.
Today we’re taking a look at Suzuki’s highly popular K15B engine and all of its problems.
Doing your own research is really important if you want to purchase a new or a used car. Cars come in a variety of different configurations, and knowing more about certain problems that a car can have is crucial. This is why we are here to help you out with your trouble and see what really bothers this engine and how serious these problems are.
So, what are we going to cover? First, we are going to learn the specs of the Suzuki K15B engine and see more about the common Suzuki K15B engine problems. Lastly, we are going to see which models have this engine. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Basic Suzuki K15B Engine Specifications
The Suzuki K15B is an engine that was introduced by Suzuki in 2018. This engine is part of the K-Series engines that are produced by Suzuki and is also the biggest displacement engine that Suzuki offers.
Yes, that’s right, Suzuki does not make big displacement engines. They tend to create small and efficient engines that are used in small cars and SUVs, like the Suzuki Jimny. But more on that, we will cover later on when we will discuss the applications of this engine.
When it comes to the design, the K15B is a pretty basic engine with no weird engineering that you can find in other engines. It was meant to be cheap and reliable.
The block of the engine is all aluminum with cast iron cylinder liners. This makes it very easy to rebuild, just replace the liners and you basically have a new engine.
The head design is also pretty basic, it implements a DOHC layout. So, what does this mean? Well, this means that there is a double overhead camshaft design. There are two camshafts, one for the intake and one for the exhaust. For every cylinder, there are a total of 4 valves.
What is good though is that the engine features hydraulic lifters and also uses variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshaft. This improves the efficiency of the engine and also makes it produce more power.
When it comes to the ignition and injection, the engine features the standard modern coil-on-plug design. The fuel injection is port injection. Which makes it very simple and cheap to maintain.
There is also a hybrid version of the same engine that implements an integrated starter generator and a dual battery. This generator is able to grab some of the lost energy from braking and reuse it later on.
But here are the full specs of this engine.
- Configuration: Straight-4
- Displacement: 1.5L
- Bore: 74 mm
- Stroke: 85 mm
- Block & Head Material: Aluminum
- Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
- Fuel Injection: MPI
- Variable Valve Timing: Yes
- Horsepower: 102 – 105 hp
- Torque: 130 – 138 N-m (96 – 102 lb-ft)
Common Suzuki K15B Engine Problems
Common problems with the Suzuki K15B engine include:
- High Oil Consumption
- Timing Chain Stretches
- Sensitive Injectors
- Feels Underpowered
- Short Longevity
Now that we are familiar with the most common problems with the Suzuki K15B engine, we can move on and learn more about these problems in detail.
Why do we need to? Well, every problem happens for a reason and you need to understand the causes and the circumstances when these problems appear. On top of that, you need to know the symptoms that these problems create in order to become an expert. So, further discuss and learn more about these interesting parts.
1. High Oil Consumption
Whether this is a manufacturing problem, we don’t know. The important thing is that some of these engines can be serious oil consumers.
So, how can you tell if an engine consumes more oil than needed? Well, there are a few ways you can do this.
One of the tell-tale signs that the car consumes engine oil is the burning smell that is present. When a car burns oil, the exhaust smells different compared to when it runs normally.
Most people know how gasoline smells when it burns. So, if the smell does not resemble something normal, the car could be burning oil.
Also, there are some cases when the car is releasing massive amounts of blue-ish exhaust fumes. And this is a more intuitive symptom, we must admit. Because whenever the car burns oil, it starts releasing bluish smoke.
A better way to further inspect the problem is to remove a spark plug. Remove all the spark plugs and if the electrodes are all black with a ton of soot, then this means that the car is burning oil.
So, these are usually the most common signs. Also, check the rear trunk. If the previous owner carries a jug of oil, it probably means that he often tops off the engine oil.
2. Timing Chain Stretches
Another very serious problem with this engine reportedly is the timing chain. The timing chain on these engines stretches somewhere at 100,000 miles (ca. 160,934 km) to 150,000 miles (ca. 241,402 km).
For those who don’t know, the timing chain is a special chain that drives the engine. It makes the top and bottom of the engine work together, and this allows the car to move.
If the timing chain does not have perfect timing, this could lead to the case when you have engine damage.
The valves and pistons will collide, and you will have to rebuild the cylinder head because the valves will be bent.
That’s why it is really important to watch out for rattling noises that are often present when the chain stretches.
The rattling sounds are a giveaway of this condition. But you should not ignore them since the chain is stretched and loose. If the chain jumps, as we noted, you have engine damage.
What is also worth noting is that this service is somewhat expensive because it requires great expertise and knowledge in order to be performed the correct way.
3. Sensitive Injectors
The injectors of the Suzuki K15B are also reportedly sensitive to bad fuel, and they tend to clog up frequently.
This is strange since this is a port injection system. Usually, these old-school fuel injection systems are on the more reliable side of the spectrum compared to modern direct injection.
Luckily, replacing these injectors is not expensive at all. You can get them for a really affordable price and swap them all in half an hour or so if you know what you are doing.
Now let’s move on to the next Suzuki K15B engine problems.
4. Feels Underpowered
This next common problem with the Suzuki K15B is not really a problem. The thing is that the engine is very underpowered.
So, what does this mean? Well, this means that it is naturally aspirated and does not create a ton of power.
This would annoy a ton of people who are used to driving high-horsepower vehicles that react instantly.
That’s why we think that if you are looking for something powerful that will blow you away with its performance, the K15B is not the thing you are looking for.
Look for a turbocharged engine that is designed to deliver a ton of power at low RPM.
Now let’s move on to the next Suzuki K15B engine problems.
5. Short Longevity
And last but not least is the short longevity of this engine. These engines usually do not last for a very long time.
On average, the most that you will squeeze is between 150,000 and 200,000 km. At higher mileages, these engines will become serious oil burners, and keeping them alive can be a struggle.
So, the only way would be to rebuild the engine or replace it with a new unit. This can be expensive, but not as expensive as other car brands. Still, Suzuki is an entry-level vehicle that is meant to be cheap and affordable.
Which Models Have The Suzuki K15B Engine?
- Suzuki Sierra
- Suzuki Jimny
- Suzuki Ertiga
- Suzuki Ciaz
- Suzuki XL6/XL7
- Suzuki Vitara Brezza
- Suzuki S-Cross
What Are The Common Suzuki K15B Engine Problems?
Common problems with this engine include oil consumption, problems with the injectors, and timing chain stretching. Since this engine is pretty new, it still does not have a proven reliability record. Usually, problems appear on higher miles, well above 100,000 km.
Is The Suzuki K15B Engine Reliable?
Yes, the K15B is a decent engine, it has some issues but nothing too serious. The most concerning concern is probably the oil consumption that often appears as the engine’s mileage is rising. This is why we would advise that you stay away from high-mileage engines because they can be very risky to purchase.