26th May 2008, 20:51
I have a 2001 Trooper with 86,500 miles and the truck is incredible. It is smooth on the highway, the engine has good pickup on the highway and the gas is OK, 320 miles on a 23 gallon tank. It is big and boxy but a much better deal than 4-Runner or Pathfinder.
16th Sep 2008, 10:50
I bought a demo 2002 Trooper in November of 2002, with about 7500 miles on it. I needed the height of the vehicle to transport tall items, and very few others matched the interior room available with the rear seats folded forward.
I started out using regular petroleum-based oil, changing oil and filter every 3500-4000 until I reached 20,000 miles, then switched to full synthetic. I now only change oil & filter twice a year, with no engine noise noticeable. I noticed that my fuel mileage got better using the full synthetic oil due to lessened internal friction (I am guessing).
It has been very consistent in the 17-mpg range in town, and 20+ on highway trips. I did experience a head gasket leak at about 30,000 miles which caused an oil leak, but the dealer fixed it under warranty. I am very pleased with my Trooper, and it is too bad that Isuzu decided to pull their passenger vehicles and light trucks out of the U.S. market--I plan to drive this thing as long as it will run and parts are still available.
21st Jan 2009, 21:22
I am the original poster of this 2002 Trooper review. I now have 90K miles, and it's been smooth sailing with no issues beyond new tires & the 90K service.
I guess the only thing I've experienced is spark knock with 87 octane gas, but I've been told a good tune up & resetting of the timing should take care of that problem.
As a Trooper owner, I am concerned however that spare parts will become tougher to get now that Isuzu has packed up shop on consumer vehicles in the US (whoops, looks like I was wrong about a new Trooper being released by Isuzu a while ago in my 1st review). Since the nearest Isuzu service dealer is over 100 miles from my home, I'd like to stock up on Isuzu rotors & pads while I can still get the Isuzu brand parts, but I have no idea how long they will keep on the shelf. Any ideas on the shelf life of brake pads & rotors from anyone that actually reads these reviews?
I wish I could switch to synthetic oil, but I can't take the chance now that I have close to 90K on the engine, and I don't feel like having leaks through the head gaskets & main seals. Oh well, I still can't ask for a better performing vehicle, and I hope every Trooper owner has experienced the same luck that I've had with it.
24th Jan 2009, 04:05
To the owner of the 2002 Trooper, parts aren't too much of an issue. Check the oil every 2 days or maybe every other fill up if you are on a long trip.
Also, don't use the TOD in the snow. Use either 2WD or 4WD high. The TOD can react to slippery conditions when you don't want it. It's best saved for off road or dirt roads.
Troopers can be great vehicles but have weird problems. The cable for the tow hitch can short out the dash and blow other fuses. You have to buy iridium spark plugs or it may not run right. The transmission may just need a filter when people are shelling out $$ for a rebuilt transmission.
I would by a 1998-2002 model for about $2-3000. No more. I loved mine but learned a lot of tough $$ lessons along the way. Any knocking sound on a Trooper) (or any 3.5L) is not good. Rod bearings perhaps.
The 3.2L is a better engine just slow as a pig. It still burns oil but is more reliable and easier to work on. The 3.5L has the individual coil over each spark plug. If Isuzu ever put the new Chevy 4.3 inline six that would be a real winner.
1st Feb 2009, 19:47
In response to the last comment, it's a spark ping from 87 octane gas & not an engine knock like you would hear from a dying Chevy or Ford engine.
The 3.5 motor in the Trooper is so much better than the 3.2 motor that was in my Rodeo that blew up with a rocker arm problem, head gasket problem, oil consumption problem, etc. The manual and service advisers at Isuzu (the few that are actually left) recommend changing your transmission fluid every 20-25K miles. Also, my Trooper just doesn't use oil like you're recommending to check every other fill up. I change oil every 2500 - 3000 miles with an Isuzu branded oil filter, and I never have any low oil issues. I may be neurotic when it comes to maintenance, but my Trooper is in perfect working condition (knock on wood).
Thank you for the tip on the 4wd & the iridium spark plugs. I was going to be lazy & have a local Toyota dealer put in new spark plugs, but maybe I'll make the 100 mile drive to the Isuzu dealer to have it done the right way.
14th Dec 2009, 21:27
I am the original poster of this review, & I'm now at 102K miles.
I've changed my oil every 2500-3000 miles, and have kept up with every maintenance reminder you can think of on my Trooper.
Well, I'm now experiencing valve lifters sticking, and the same ticking sound I used to get in my Rodeo in the mornings when it was extremely cold outside. So much for proper maintenance & constant oil changes with synthetic blend oil!!!
I should have ponied up the extra $$$ for a Toyota 4Runner that wouldn't be giving me major engine issues. Anyone interested in purchasing a Trooper that's had the oil changed every 2500-3K miles that has developed a valve lifter sticking issue?