3rd Jun 2008, 15:33

I have a 96 Isuzu Rodeo with 160,000 miles. I purchased it at 75,000 five years ago. In that time I have replaced the starter, alternator and thermostat. That does not include normal maintaining. Now the back windows do not roll up, motors have died, and the cables that run the windows are broken. All this is really understandable for a car this old.

Two major issues that I encountered. The alternator had to be new; something was wrong with all three re-built alternators I purchased. Apparently Isuzu grounds the internal electrics off the alternator, and that is not usual and the rebuilds do not anticipate this.

Also the housing on the throttle cable in the engine melted one day. Not because the engine over heated; just one day melted. Anyway, it caused the throttle to stick. Very scary; if it were not for having a standard, the car would be totaled, and I would be dead or injured. First time it happened I was on the high-way. Simple fix though, just wipe the gunk off.

Yes it burns oil, and yes it has a check engine light, but it has served me well. I am looking to replace the car now. Between the windows brakes shocks (all normal wear) and the MPG, I might as well replace it for a new car. Think I will buy a Honda Civic; 32MPG is a lot better than 18MPG.

10th Jun 2008, 15:23

I own a 1997 Honda Passport 2WD, 3.2 engine. I have had it since new and it currently has 220,000 miles on it. I have no intention of selling or trading this car for the foreseeable future. I have changed oil every 3-4 thousand miles. I am experiencing the "ticking" noise in the engine like others. It may tick for months and then run quietly for months. I've had to clean the EGR system. I have done 4 brake jobs and 3 tune ups. I've replaced the throttle cable. I've replaced the battery, alternator and starter. I've changed the valve cover gaskets. I've changed the shocks twice.

I'm sure too many of you who post here think this is a huge list but you've got to consider that this car is 11 years old and has well over 200,000 miles on it.

Nothing any of the complainers on this forum can say will ever get me to agree that this is a poorly made vehicle. If that were the case I would not be driving it today.

I contend that the problems listed in this forum are the result of poor ownership. Poor maintenance, poor driving habits, being completely care free and clueless until something serious goes wrong are all examples of bad results stemming from bad behavior, not bad vehicles.

Turn signals work, A/C blows cold after all these years, transmission doesn't slip, all power windows still go up and down, never had key stuck in the ignition, sunroof doesn't leak, transmission shifts fine, stereo plays, cruise control works, all guages work.

I love my Honda Passport/Isuzu Rodeo!!!

14th Jun 2008, 17:25

The Isuzu Rodeo has some common problems that many of you have attested to. If you can bear these and/or are reasonably capable at auto repair, then it is well worth the $$ for this vehicle. The problems are generally easy to fix. These are the ones that have occurred to my 2002 Rodeo after 120,000 miles:

ABS sensor on rear differential. Causes ABS light to illuminate on dash, defeats ABS. Simple to fix, costs $50 - $100 for the part.

Transmission mode switch. Causes hard shifting, indicator not in sync with gear selector on floor. Can be regreased (dielectric grease) and repaired. Medium difficulty.

Cable that runs from shifter to steering column out of adjustment. Causes key stuck in ignition. Adjustment is fairly easy.

EGR valve needing to be cleaned out. Causes excessive oil consumption. Simple repair.

Transmission leak from accumulator piston due to o-ring leak. Easy fix for a transmission specialist, not costly.

Wheel bearing. Causes loud road noise when cornering, wobble type of noise. Difficult fix, costly.

Other than that, there are the normal wear and tear items. Another major issue is rust. You get what you pay for with the Rodeo. It is not going to be as reliable as a Nissan or Toyota.

Searching the Rodeo forums should yield more info:


14th Jun 2008, 17:58

One more comment. I forgot the CD-changer stuck CD problem.. This one is a pain to deal with, but it is not all that hard to do yourself. Here is what I have found to work:

You first have to remove the CD changer. Remove the 2 screws at the bottom of the bezel and remove the bezel (4 clips hold it in so it may need a tug), then remove the 4 screws that hold in the CD changer. Once the CD changer is removed and the cables are removed from the back of the unit (antenna and main electrical connector), you can remove the small screws that hold the top metal cover on the unit. Once the cover is removed, you can remove the CDs (lifting up the top of the CD holder, which is spring loaded) or slide them further into the player so that they are no longer stuck. With my unit, I found that there are little pieces of fabric tape (fabric on one side, tape on the other) that are used to keep the CDs from getting scratched when inserted, and these pieces of tape start to peel off and eventually cause the CDs to become stuck when loading. I removed the tape that was peeling and the unit works normally again. You can test the fix by connecting the main electrical connector in the back of the unit and see if the CDs load and eject properly. If there is still a problem, with the top cover of the unit open, you should be able to see what is causing the problem.

This is truly a pain, and I have had to do this on several occasions (maybe every 6 months or so). Sometimes it is impossible to tell what caused the stuck CD, and I just remove the stuck CD and all is working again.

2nd Jul 2008, 18:25

To the second to last poster before my comment: thanks for all the fixing advice.

I have a '99 Rodeo LS with auto trans. Have had these problems others mentioned:

- Jammed CD player (6 CD changer)

- Rear wipers don't work period

- Front wipers don't work in intermittent

- Transmission jerks.

I had the transmission rebuilt for $2300 a couple of weeks ago at 80,000 miles. The mechanics said they found metal in the pan and showed me a spring that was worn down. But I still have the problem on occasion. I had them try to check it. They refilled the fluid, drove it around, couldn't detect the problem. They are waiting for me to come by when it's happening so they can feel it. Unfortunately or fortunately the jerking is relatively rare, so it's hard to reproduce, but with so many Rodeo/Passport owners having this problem, it's obviously a common issue with the truck. Apparently if it's the transmission computer switch, then that's a much cheaper fix. I don't know if I'll bother fixing it as I want to get rid of the car ASAP.

For the CD player, I might try to fix it in the meantime.

The wipers - anyone know what's going on here?

I had a Honda that went 120,000 miles with no major or minor issues so I expect very good reliability with regular maintenance. The Rodeo had been good for about 8 years (bought it new) but now at 80,000 miles, it's just annoying me. 80,000 miles doesn't seem like much. I'm now thinking of going to buy a Honda/Acura soon. I wonder how much I can sell the Rodeo for. At least it looks very clean, no dings, chips, or crashes. No obvious mechanical difficulties.