23rd Feb 2009, 10:42

I am having this same problem. 2001 with 70K and frame is rusted out. Can this person who wrote this, please e-mail me.


17th Apr 2009, 21:48


Last year I got a manual transmission 2001 Isuzu rodeo. The ride was okay except an odd chain rattling type noise when I would start to accelerate. About a week ago or so it started jerking sometimes when I would take off and hesitate to shift. I arranged to get a day off at work to get it looked at, but the day before I was going to take it in, I ended up having it towed home. It wouldn't go past 1st gear. Next thing I know, it wouldn't go at all.

I took it to a fix it shop. They said it showed no signs of leaking any fluid, and there was plenty of it... but for only 2800-3800 I needed a new transmission. So not worth it! Stay away from the Rodeo's!!! They are crap! With little warning or time to take it in, I now have a car that I still owe $4000 on. Oh.. but wait, the bank I am financed through said they could add the repairs to my loan... if only it wasn't an interest rate that's about as high as it could get... boy did I get screwed! Hope everyone else has better luck!

23rd Jul 2009, 12:47

Me and my wife bought a 2001 Rodeo 4 years ago with 48,500 miles on it. Last Oct/Nov 2008 I had to bring it to my mechanic. Wouldn't pass inspection due to bad front wheel bearing and exhaust leak that the dealer caused after they had to change the motor, due to the motor burning oil as a factory fault, the dealer told me.

So anyways, he puts it on the lift to check the bearing, and I noticed the frame was completely rotted on the driver's side in the rear. The rear stabilizer bar hanging by a thread of rot. Called my insurance company and asked them what to do about it; they said it was my problem, because it wasn't in an accident. The car's been sitting for the last 9 months now and I'm still paying on it. Owe 3.000.00 more.

But go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/ and report your frame rot, for there is an investigation ongoing on it right now, so the more we report this problem, the sooner they can rectify it. Thanks.

10th Aug 2009, 13:39

I just bought a 2002 Rodeo from a couple of dealers 'curbstoning' their vehicles. Thinking I was going to get a great deal bidding them down to $3200, which was still 3K under the bluebook value, I began to notice some problems over the next few days. After a heavy rain I noticed a roof leak occur. The morning after the rain, a foul mold smell in the interior appeared. Apparently this is not the first time the leak has happened.

Next, the interior dashboard lights were out. After doing some research I found many owners to have this problem, and it usually comes down to replacing the bulbs. Which means you have to tear down the dashboard to get to them. Heavy off-road driving can blow out bulbs, just assuming.

The 5 speed manual shifter on the Rodeo has problems getting into reverse gear, as I usually have to force it hard.

And finally I went to a local dealer to get a set of keys made, and out of total disbelief, the service people there could not make a set of keys for me that would work. What a joke...

My Rodeo otherwise runs like a champ. So I guess there are a few items you have to tolerate if your buying a cheap vehicle.


18th Aug 2009, 18:58

Bought 2001 Rodeo in 2005 with 43,000 miles.

Currently at 168,000 miles.

Frame rusted badly at rear suspension lower control arm mounts.

Pennsylvania winters?? Planning to trade for a minivan before the inspection runs out...

Camshaft ticking noise, smell of antifreeze with no noticeable source... have replaced plastic lower intake manifold gaskets 6 times due to backfires while starting blowing them out.

Replaced starter contact tabs ($40 fix! great way to cure THAT problem!)

A/C condenser fan seized, no more A/C.

Exhaust flex pipe rotted in half... local muffler shop fixed that up for less than $200.

Fuel level sending unit is bad... the list goes on.

I have a '92 Mercury Grand Marquis with over 360,000 miles on it. I replaced the ball joints once, and it needs an alignment.

That's it. Rodeo - 2001 - 168,000 miles... laundry list of issues.

Mercury - 1992 - 360,000+ miles... Ball joints.

It just doesn't add up. Maybe we bought a flood vehicle that had been title-washed??

10th Dec 2009, 12:20

I've had my 95 Passport 4WD 3.2 for about 3 years. I bought it for $3000 at 80k miles and now have about 120k. I've put about $3000 into brakes, exhaust, starter, etc, which I don't thinks is excessive for a vehicle with this mileage. It starts on first crank and has very good acceleration for a heavy 4WD vehicle. Off road it's a beast: not sure you could find a place outside the Rockies that you couldn't reach with this truck.

My only current issue is a transmission that's slow to upshift. A relative has a late 90s Trooper with a similar problem. If you slightly back off the gas once you get to about 3000 rpm, it will usually prompt the shift. Slightly annoying, and hurts mileage a bit, but hey, I've got 120k miles on it.

Oil is changed religiously at 3000 miles (Pennzoil High Mileage) and original owner did likewise according to records.

Bottom line: this is a workhorse truck, not a luxury SUV. If you take care of it, you should do fine.

10th Dec 2009, 15:45

'98 Rodeo, 148,000 bought at 65,000 miles in '02. I bought mine for most of the same reasons as everyone else, I like the body style, relatively comfortable interior, and price.

I replaced the shocks soon after purchasing, much improved ride, brakes after about two years.

All was well and then the key... it just wouldn't come out... fixed that. I do 95% of the maintenance & repairs myself, and nothing too bad or major until whirlllll... clunk SLAM (bang?). $2200 (which after reading the other accounts seems to be the standard rodeo transmission charge) and three trips to the tranny shop later shifts better, but not correct. Going into drive gear at speed, it up-shifts, pauses, downshifts and revs, then shifts up again and drives fine. Have to turn the key and wait for the fuel pump to shut down and then the car will start. Keeping my fingers crossed that it keeps going.

I like the no car payment thing, but no more Isuzu, never ever, why?? Because I almost cry when a set of tires is equal to the blue book value of the car. Good luck to the rest of you all.

17th Jan 2010, 18:46

Okay, I too have had problems with my 2001 Rodeo, however I love this SUV. Back a couple of years ago, after driving 20 minutes or so, if you turned the car off, it would not restart until the car cooled off; took about 2 hours.

Towed it into the dealer, and they said nothing was wrong, and suggested I get a lube job. Said that nothing came up in the computer scan.

We picked it up, drove it around for about 1/2 hour, drove up to service bay door and turned it off. The service writer became enraged when it would not start. Told him that it was his problem as he told us nothing was wrong with the car. The problem was fixed. We picked up on July 3rd in the rain.

Later in the day, I went to go to the store and smelled gas. They never attached the clamp on a fuel hose, and it came off and was leaking all over the driveway. Had to threaten them over the phone to pick it up. Told them I did not want a car leaking gas on the 4th of July. They towed in and everything was fine. Very poor service!!!

I also have the problem with the CD player, and even though the car was still under warranty, was told they could no longer get a replacement. Had to purchase a new radio.

Now I have a new problem the ABS is always on. Not the light, the actual system. Every time I stop, even if going less the 5mph at the complete stop, the ABS on the front goes off. Anyone else have this problem? Trouble now is I no longer have the warranty.