18th Feb 2009, 10:28

Okay. I'm back. I've owned my '99 Rodeo now for just over a month. The panic-stricken freak-out stage, thank God, is finally over. I've owned enough Isuzus to know that they are a creature to be taken with a grain of salt. I don't know what I was thinking writing the earlier blog about the oily goop in the radiator fluid and all that crap. I suppose it's just that, sad as it is, this truck is the newest vehicle I've ever owned, and perhaps a bit of the buyer's remorse had set in. The thing DOES have issues. Actually, it turns out it needs a motor rebuild or a new motor. BUT, again, I know these animals. I can get away with changing the forth spark plug (the one that keeps getting fouled with oil) every 3 or 4 months, adding a bottle of Lucas Stop-Leak to my oil every oil change, and adding a quart of heavy duty oil every few hundred miles.

Granted, the first month was a little HORRIBLE:

1st week, she blew a tire (obviously not the truck's fault but a sign of things to come, perhaps)

2nd week, she blew the serpentine belt (the 1st of THREE)

3rd week, she was chewing up the 2nd belt

Same week, I put a new tensioner and belt on her and discovered the motor issue... wanted to puke.

4th week, she ate her third belt and did a number on her 4th.

THIS WEEK - YAY - I took her back to the dealership I bought her from with every intention of lighting the guy on fire... and burst into tears instead. What can I say. I AM a girl, after all. I forget this sometimes... but it WORKED!!! The guy ordered me yet ANOTHER belt and did a little investigating. Turns out some idiot put the main pulley from an OLD Rodeo on her that required a belt that was half as wide as the one my truck runs. Hence, the cause (hopefully) of the belt chewing issue.

She still has a bad motor. I'm not happy about that. BUT, I can deal with the half-assed quick-fix til I can afford to give her a transplant.

Truth is, either your are an Isuzu-Girl (or Man) or you are not an Isuzu-Girl (or Man). I do LOVE ISUZUS. I've had 4 already since I was 18 (25 now) and I know this one won't be my last. I just hope week 6 and onward are less stressful. I don't really want to light anybody on fire OR burst into tears again any time soon.

If you're having problems with your Isuzu and you're reading this, maybe it'll give you some comfort in knowing that SOMETIMES it's really not as bad as it seems.


8th Apr 2009, 21:47

OK, I've got 1999 Isuzu Rodeo LS 4 wheel drive and having same problems as many of you:

Wiper problems

Gas gage problems

Instrument panel lights

Other strange things with lights flashing when using turn signal

And just tonight, couldn't get gear shift (automatic) out of park.

What are we to do? paddln@yahoo.com

8th Jun 2009, 14:00

We bought a 2001 Isuzu Rodeo new in 2000. Until now the only problem we had with it was the EGR valve getting stuck. This happened numerous times. One day it started making a noise like a rod was knocking. We checked the oil and it had totally disappeared. No oil in it at all! It is parked daily in our garage and there is no sign of oil ever dripping and it was not smoking and burning oil. We have had regular maintenance on it since day one. We always changed the oil at 5,000 miles, even though the owners manual recommends 7,500. So now we are wondering if we should replace the engine or buy something else.

8th Sep 2009, 11:01

I just found this page - very interesting.

I bought my 99 Rodeo LS, 3.2 V6 2 WD automatic in 2003 with 48,000 miles on it. Now I have 185,000 (mostly SF bay area freeway). The only problem I've had (knock on wood) is now the tranny is acting up a little. Hard shift between 2nd and 3rd every once in awhile. If I let it sit for a few days it acts fine for the day I do drive it, but the next day it does that hard shift thing. Then it's like every other day or so. Other than this I have had no problems what-so-ever. Guess I'm one of the lucky ones.

Anybody else have this type of problem? I've had the tranny flushed once, that sorta helped. Guess I'll do it again.

2nd Oct 2009, 01:27

1998 Rodeo;

OK, like others I bought myself a used Rodeo before finding this forum, so now I'm in deep.

My Rodeo was fond of oil and drank about a litre per 700-1000 kms. I am planning on taking it on a little 4k kms road trip, and 2 weeks ago it really started to smoke. So what to do, since it is paid off I decided to have the engine rebuilt.

It comes back tomorrow, does anyone have experience with doing a rebuild? I am curious to know if the rebuild will solve the oil consumption issues. Also if anyone has any good break-in advice for the rebuilt motor, I would love to hear from you.


28th Oct 2009, 23:58

I own a 1999 Rodeo LS 3.2L V6 engine with auto trans, I bought this vehicle new and now have 88K miles on it (it has been used daily, just mostly short trips). The biggest maintenance issues I've dealt with are an ABS module (replaced under warranty), rear engine oil seal leak (minor oil drip, but had it fixed), gas gauge (replaced in fuel tank module myself) and shifter solenoid (replaced myself). Over a ten year period I don't consider the repairs excessive and in fact would say it is an extremely reliable car (never left me stranded). My advice to owners, keep up on the maintenance and enjoy the vehicle as long as you can.

18th Nov 2009, 15:15

I have a 96 Isuzu Rodeo with the 3.2 V-6 and have had the same issues as what I've been reading about on this forum. I am what you would call a shade tree mechanic.

As far as fuel consumption and oil consumption, this is my theory on it. When you drive a tank, you're going to get tank-like mileage. Also when you have a vehicle that is aerodynamically challenged, you're not going to get good mileage. And when you have a 4x4 that doesn't have lock-out hubs, everything under the front end is turning, even when not in 4-wheel drive. I get about 16-18 mpgs and that's all I expect to get. Not too bad considering weight, aerodynamics, mileage (over 240,000 and counting).

I had a brand new KIA Sportage that got worse mileage than that, and it was a four banger that wouldn't get out of its own way. So I guess what I'm trying to say is Isuzu didn't make too bad of vehicles. At least it's not asking for the government to bail it out and still go bankrupt. Thanks for reading.

BTW, if and when it does start to go all wrong, I will weld up the spider gears in the back, turn the torsion bars and beat the snot out of it in the woods, over rocks, and through the mud.