8th Dec 2009, 17:08

I had a 98 Rodeo that I purchased on craigslist for $4000 in Aug of 2005. The girl that I purchased it from stated that the engine was just rebuilt and all known Isuzu problems had been addressed and the engine came with a transferable warranty. I believed her, shelled out the money and happily drove home. About 3 weeks later, the engine developed a loud knocking noise, I immediately called the mechanic and he said 'I told that girl the warranty would NOT transfer'.

So I was 8 months pregnant and without a vehicle. I took it to a guy who supposedly knew Rodeos and he would rebuild it for $1600.00 with another used engine. 8 WEEKS later, I picked the Rodeo up... NICE. He wrote me a receipt that stated 12 mo / 12k mile warranty, I now felt secure. 2 weeks later it threw a rod, he did not even touch my motor, just filled her up with 20w5000 oil to cover the knock. I took him to court and LOST... Who paid who??

I towed it to a reputable mechanic, had a new engine put in from a 99 rolled Rodeo and stuck a for sale sign in it.

Now to present day 12/2/09 I purchase a 2001 rodeo off of craigslist with a seized engine 3.2 L. I called Isuzu and demanded a tech speak with me, luckily I got this old man on the phone who lived, breathed RODEO. He explained that these engines use oil and that the main problems are the piston rings and EGR valves. He stated that you need to upgrade the piston rings in the engine and have your EGR valve cleaned every 15k to avoid it sticking and dumping oil into your valves... (hope I explained that right).

All in all, I guess if you know what you're up against from the beginning, you can take steps to PREVENT the Rodeo from screwing you.

As I am having this engine rebuilt, I am taking this into consideration.

Good luck to us ALL! By the way, I mainly bought the Rodeo to fix and sell, no way am I keeping it.

20th Dec 2009, 14:37

I love my 1998 Isuzu Rodeo. It does have a few problems but it is remarkably resilient. If you have a Rodeo then head on over to planetisuzoo.com and talk to the folks who know all things Isuzu. There is a guy over there, Jerry Lemond, who is a fantastic source of parts and knowledge.

I bought Rodeo in 2008 from a guy who worked at a local engine rebuilder. He had just rebuilt the thing and was heading off to school. I got a great deal, but he did a not so great job rebuilding it (did it himself on his time). The top half is great, but the bottom has issues. Still runs, but I hold my breath.

10th Jan 2010, 18:59

So I just bought a 1999 Rodeo with 105+ miles on it. My husband replaced the fuel pump because he thought the ring was bad, and it still leaks gas when filled up.

Has anyone had any problems like this?

14th Feb 2010, 16:20

2003 Isuzu Axiom - Engine making a whining noise. Dip stick shows it's not below the "add" mark. I going to try adding some oil like some of the previous posts.

16th Feb 2010, 08:40

I have read all the posts from 1997 to date, and my Rodeo has over 200k miles. Bought it from a dealer about 6 months ago.

I have had most of all the problems, with the exception of the oil loss (knock on wood). I think what makes it so frustrating is that the fixes are not simple, and if they seem simple.. just wait, it will soon be very complex.

Now, my tranny is slipping, don't like the fact that it is encased and I can't check the levels.

My CE light is on (won't go off, and every time I run it and fix the problem, another comes on).

This morning my ABS light came on. Heard whistling noises, and so I think I have to replace wheel bearings? Great. What will it be next week?

5th May 2010, 08:08

I've read through this entire thread, and will quickly state that we have had most of these problems with our 99 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4WD. We bought it at the end of a lease with 40k on it, and it's now at 110k. Luckily we got a great warranty with it, which saved us thousands of dollars in repairs. That warranty is over though.

My current problem is the ABS. The ABS light came on the other day. There seems to be no issue with the brakes when it's on. However, the ABS light will occasionally go off. When it goes off, the brakes act like the ABS is kicking in when using them. The ABS will "kick in" no matter what when braking (when the ABS light is OFF). The brakes seem to be working normal when the ABS light is ON.

Right now it seems that the ABS light is on 90% of the time, and off 10% of the time.

Does anyone have an idea of what could be going on here?


9th May 2010, 23:24

I have a 1997 Rodeo that I just bought. I heard a decent knock and stopped the truck, checked the oil and started it again. Knock is gone. Oil is dirty. Can anyone give me some advice on if I should resell the truck or keep it? It has 120k on it. Please email me at jason1221@q.com. Thanks for your help.

15th May 2010, 02:04

Put 20W 50 oil in it and keep the truck. I have a 1999 as well, and it runs great. The check engine light came on, and I cleaned the EGR tube and valve, and no more problems.

Good luck.

24th May 2010, 10:39

I have a 99 LS V6 Rodeo also, and it consumes a quart of oil every 500 miles. I am going to start using 15W-40 or 20W-50 to see if that helps. I'm gonna keep this SUV till it just dies, as it has been paid off now for many years.

21st Jul 2010, 20:48

I rebuilt an engine for a 98 Honda Passport (Isuzu Rodeo with Honda emblems for those of you who don't know) about 6 months ago. The engine ran perfect for approx. 5,000 miles, then it spun the #1 and #2 rod bearings, broke the #1 rod and locked up.

This is the first engine that I built, that has ever came back. I have been rebuilding engines for 25 years and could not see how I could have done something that would run for 5,000 miles and then come apart.

This 3.2L Isuzu engine obviously has some issues with oil starvation to the rods. The older engines used to starve the lifters and tick while idling. They resolved this issue with the shim over bucket lifters in the newer engine.

After researching this rod bearing issue, I noticed this is a common problem with this engine. So far I suspect the problem may be in the casting of the crank. The oil passages should be drilled and polished by a machine shop.

9th Sep 2010, 19:48

We purchased our 99 Isuzu Rodeo LS new, and it has been a great truck. Over the past 11 years, besides the normal maintenance items (oil, tires, brakes, etc.), we have replaced the A/C, fuel sending unit, starter, and shocks. I’m not complaining at all, prorated over the years it was under $15 per month for big ticket items. Not bad for a truck this age.

It still looks relatively good in style when compared to newer SUVs its size and class on the road today. It has also been towing our boat back and forth to the lake the last 3 years… I wish the boat was as reliable as our Rodeo.

We plan on keeping it for a few more years, because having a ZERO car payment is nice.

Sincerely wish Isuzu were still selling passenger vehicles, as it would be a natural choice for a new SUV, considering the reliability we have had with our 99 Rodeo.