My 2001 ISUZU Rodeo has had many problems since Day1. I bought the car brand-new, because I didn't want to inherit old problems. Initially the car had a faulty catalytic converter, then it blew a fuse. In the same year they had to replace the fuel gage (or sensor... it went haywire). In the 3 years to follow, I had to replace an alternator, battery, repair a transmission. I have a cracked engine manifold, and a faulty EGR thing due to some carbon build up, that nobody can fix.
Most recently my check engine light, just goes on/off. Nothing apparently wrong... no overheating...just the occassion high idling.
Most recently my car has started to stall, maybe once a month or so. Only 6 weeks left to pay this puppy off. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will last that long.
It still gets me from point A to point B, so I can't complain... just do your research before you next purchase.
I purchased a 2001 Isuzu Rodeo used with 24,000 miles. The car drives fine, however, the engine light comes on quite often and the fuel sending unit is not working properly. It is sending the wrong signal to the computer. To turn the engine light off you need to park the car and open the gas cap for about 10 to 15 minutes and the engine light will turn off. Make sure the gas tank is always half tank and make sure the guy at the gas station applies at least three to four clicking turns to the gas cap. The tail light don't work properly either. Just hit it a few times they will come on. The housing that holds the light bulb is factory faulty. I hope this helps.
I have a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo LS. I am the second owner, I bought it in 2003 with 34,500 miles. It now has 133,850 miles. It has been a great reliable vehicle. The gas economy is not the best, but it is, after all, a 4WD SUV. On long trips I can get around 23 MPG. But getting this heavy SUV off of the starting line can get you about 17 MPG in the city. I just changed the timing belt at 130,000 and the mechanic said the old one still looked pretty good.
My only 2 problems with my Rodeo are:
Jumping into first gear (auto-trans) from a dead stop while accelerating. This problem has occurred twice since I have owned it. Once at 37,000 and recently at 132,000. Both times it was the transmission accelerator cover. The gasket needs replacing (an $85 cost). First time was covered under warranty.
The second is the front end shimmy at 65 MPH. I can't seem to get this one under control. But the fact it hasn't had a wheel alignment in 60,000 might have something to do with it.
Other than that, my Rodeo has taken me everywhere and always brought me home, for the last 3 years.
2001 Isuzu Rodeo. My wife and I purchased it new from a dealer in Sioux City, IA. I won't go there, but it was the worst experience we have ever had. The fuel sensor was changed twice, The gas gauge went crazy once, the pcv valve was changed twice, we check the gas and fill up with oil, the back window wiper works half the time and the center counsel lock broke after 2 months of owning the thing. It's been in the shop 9 times because it gets less than 8 miles to a gallon. I've called Isuzu Motors 3 times and spoke with the Regional Manager regarding the problems we have had with this hunk of junk. He assured me he would contact me when he was in town visiting the dealership. It's a good thing I wasn't holding my breath because he never called me to meet him at the dealership. We spent $28,000 on this vehicle and it was the worse purchase ever. Oh yeah, I just had to add 2 quarts of oil to the engine. NEVER buy an Isuzu!
Funny thing is, I've owned 2 1st Generation Isuzu Rodeo's - a '91 & '97 - loved them both, and you'll have to pry the '97 out of my cold-dead hands. Currently has 170k carefree miles, original transmission, original engine, with only tune-ups and has lead a very rough life.
But, you couldn't give me a 2nd generation Rodeo, won't have nothing to do with them.
Main issue is, they took an already incredible engine, the 3.2L SOHC engine on the 93-97 Rodeo's and rebored/made a snidge bigger for the 98+ Rodeo's, turning it into a 3.2L DOHC engine - then there lies the problem you are all seeing.
In the 1st generation Rodeo & Passports, this 3.2L V6 engine is a VERY stout engine, one of the best on the roads, AND in fact, is very RARE to have headgasket issues - BUT, if you failed to correctly maintain your coolant system and ever allow them to overheat, they will blow. But, that doesn't make them any different than any other all aluminum engine.
If you have a severe ticking issue in a Rodeo, it's because you haven't changed the oil enough, are running too thick or too thin of an oil, and/or have a cheap filter on the truck. However, light tapping is VERY common for ANY hydraulic lifter set-up, I've even heard Nissan's tap too.
PCV is a $5-10/part that is supposed to be changed just as often as you'd change your air filter, EGR valves on these engines are VERY easy to clean and should be done yourself, dealer will charge you over $300 for a new EGR valve that you don't need - all you need to do is take it off every 20-40k miles and clean it out with air intake cleaner and a little bit of patience.
If you are not keeping the above two items cleaned/maintained, the 98+ Rodeo's/Passports will burn oil rapidly because they are not breathing correctly.
Also, I do NOT recommend running 5w-30 oil in these oil burning engines, you need to run something thicker, i.e a high-mileage 10w-30 (won't burn off as fast) oil or even Rotella synthetic 5w-40. This is the best oil by far for this engine, it loves it, and can be used year round, even in very cold climates.
You need to change your oil every 4k AT MOST and stay FAR FAR away from the dealerships unless you're under warranty; find yourselves good import mechanics.
One thing about Isuzu's - if you take care of them, they'll take care of you!
I bought a 2001 Isuzu Rodeo in September of 2006 with 60,000 miles. I too have had a lot of the problems that I have read about in the reviews.
It all started with my check engine light coming on. I took it back to the dealership and they told me that it was because my gas cap was not on tight enough. Since then I have made sure that it is on secure and the problem has not returned.
The next problem that I had with it was that my rear power windows stopped working. I took it to the dealership and they had to replace the power windows motor unit. That took care of the problem and luckily the warranty covered it.
As of now, I am having a problem with my transmission. As other people have commented, the rodeo jerks when shifting into first and second gear and when shifting down into second and first gear. I took it to a transmission shop and they had found nothing wrong with it because of course, it would not do it when they were test driving it! So they changed the fluid for me in hopes that that would stop the problem. But of course, it still continues to do it about 3x a month at least. Does anyone know for sure what causes this?
I also have a problem with the vehicle vibrating between 65 and 80mph. I too have not found out why.
Other than this I really do love my rodeo. I feel comfortable driving it and it is the perfect size for me. I just wish that I could get the transmission problem taken care of.