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Common Isuzu Rodeo Faults: Reliability, Problems And Solutions!

What do you get when you cross a truck with a midsize SUV? You get the Isuzu Rodeo, one of Japan’s best-selling sport utility vehicles. The Rodeo’s big grille, big alloy wheels and thick bumpers look right at home next to a fleet of light trucks. But not everything is rosy, read here the common failures of the Isuzu Rodeo.

It has the necessary features to honor its robust style. The 2004 Rodeo has a towing capacity of 4,500 kg and optional all-wheel drive for off-road trips. Its cabin, while not the most elegant in its class, offers comfortable seating for up to five passengers.

How good is the Isuzu Rodeo?

Early models received poor crash test scores and offered minimal safety equipment. The second generation of the Isuzu Rodeo was much better.

The 2004 model scored an above-average 4.2 out of 5.0 for reliability, with an even more impressive 5-star rating in US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) side crash tests.

The annual repair and maintenance cost for the Isuzu Rodeo is approximately $374. With regular maintenance, you can put over 100,000 miles on your Rodeo with little to no problems.

The most commonly replaced Rodeo parts are the battery cables, heater cores, throttle position sensors, parking brake components, and windshield washer fluid.

The fuel economy rating for the 2004 Isuzu Rodeo depends on the engine and transmission option, but with its 3.2L engine and 4-speed automatic transmission, the 2004 Rodeo 2WD generally consumes less gas. It has a combined 18 MPG city/highway driving.

The main common failures of the Isuzu Rodeo

If you are looking for a family car that will serve you for your trips and outdoor activities, you will find it in the Isuzu Rodeo. The price of a used Rodeo depends on its mileage, condition, and options.

The 2004 Isuzu Rodeo has depreciated significantly from its original price of around $20,000. But now the Rodeo has a positive depreciation rate of almost 0%. Low initial costs and stable depreciation make the Isuzu Rodeo an affordable SUV.

The Isuzu Rodeo is not spared from flaws . Some models have their share of problems. We have compiled here a list of the most common failures of the Isuzu Rodeo.

1- Engine failures

Engine failure is the most common problem with the Isuzu Rodeo, affecting nearly every model year. The 2002 car in particular has received the most user complaints. The Rodeo’s 3.2-liter V6 engine is notorious for consuming large amounts of motor oil.

Lack of oil lubrication can cause permanent engine damage . One user has reported that he heard knocking sounds while the engine was running. When his SUV was taken in for repair, the mechanic discovered a hole in the engine caused by an unlubricated piston.

Lack of engine oil can also lead to overheating. The engine can shut down in the intense heat, disabling important safety features such as airbags, power steering, and electric braking. According to the NHTSA in the US, mechanical failures are directly and indirectly responsible for a large number of traffic accidents.

Despite the high frequency of this problem, Isuzu has not issued an engine recall on the Rodeo . This means that you will have to assume the cost of possible repairs. Be sure to ask the dealer about the vehicle’s engine history to avoid costly repairs in the future.

2- Corrosion in the rear suspension components

The rear lower suspension arm mount on some 1998 thru 2002 Rodeo models can corrode after prolonged exposure to road de-icing agents.  Excessive corrosion can cause the left or right lower suspension rod bracket to come loose from the frame of your SUV . This can impair the handling of your vehicle and lead to a collision.

Rear undercarriage is the second most reported problem for Isuzu Rodeos. Users have reported steering issues when driving at low and medium speeds due to corroded suspension components. If left untreated, corrosion of the suspension links can spread to your Rodeo’s suspension system and frame.

This issue prompted Isuzu to recall affected Rodeo models in 2010. Dealers were instructed to inspect the rear lower suspension bar mount area for signs of corrosion and apply appropriate remedies. Mild cases were treated with an anti-corrosion compound.

If the connection between the rear lower suspension rod bracket and the vehicle frame was damaged due to corrosion, a reinforcement bracket was installed. If the corrosion could not be remedied by the first two solutions, a repurchase offer would be made to the owner.

Isuzu offered to cover all inspection and repair costs for affected models less than ten years old. Older models would need to be taken to an Isuzu service center or Honda dealer within 12 months of notification to the owner.

Unfortunately, the 2010 recall has expired . If you are interested in buying a used Isuzu Rodeo, you may want to consider the possible costs of repairing your rear lower control arm mount and frame due to rust damage. The cost of labor to repair rusted parts ranges from $60 to $2,000, depending on the severity of the damage.

3- Problems with the airbag of the Isuzu Rodeo 2000

The Japanese automaker has issued a warning for certain 2000 model year Isuzu Rodeos due to faulty airbag modules. According to the call, passenger-side airbag modules in certain sport utility vehicles were manufactured and shipped without check valve pins.

Air bag modules without check valve pins do not inflate sufficiently in an accident , increasing the rate of injury or death to occupants seated on the passenger side.

There are only a total of 15 vehicles affected by this recall, but that’s no reason to neglect maintaining your used 2000 Isuzu Rodeo. If you suspect there is a problem with your Rodeo’s air bag module, you should take it to an authorized dealer for inspection. Once the problem is identified, they will replace the airbag module free of charge.

In summary

Overall, the Isuzu Rodeo remains an impressive sport utility vehicle due to its high durability and passenger/cargo utility. If you are going to buy a second-hand vehicle, remember the common faults of the Isuzu Rodeo and ask the seller for the maintenance and repair history of the SUV to avoid unexpected breakdowns.

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