Isuzu Rodeo Engine Blown out of Nowhere? Now What?

dani808dani808 Member Posts: 2
edited July 2014 in Isuzu
We bought a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport in 2006 with 40,000 miles on it, one owner. We bought it in Denver, and shipped it to Hawaii in early 2009. Never had any trouble with it, not one thing. Always kept on the maintenance schedule only put 20,000 miles on it in almost 4 years.

Today, drove it to work, hear some scraping and knocking in the engine out of nowhere, drove it straight to a shop, 2 hours later they tell us that the engine is blown, no check engine lite came on, no oil light, and it wasn't running strange prior everything was fine. He said it took 3 quarts of oil to register on the dip stick and there is no evidence of a leak. ( I can say we park it in the same place and never saw any leak) It was due for an oil change in 50 more miles.

Not knowing much about cars, does anyone know if there is a common issue that would cause this to happen? The mechanic said that the place who did the oil change must not have put oil in it and suggested I sent it to Isuzu. He also said the car is now worthless and it would cost $7000 parts and labor for a new engine. Is this true?? We have no more extended warranty. Do we really now owe money on a totally worthless car??? What kills me is there was no warning. I mean wouldn't you notice something??



  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    When was the last time you had work done on your Rodeo? Is it possible someone forgot to replace the oil after draining it?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Member Posts: 263
    My guess is sludge. Also, our 2001 Rodeo had a 10 year, 100k mile powertrain warranty. The engine was replaced 2 years ago at 80k miles, but we were able to document it was properly maintained.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Member Posts: 867
    Isuzu engines tend to use some oil between changes. What was your change interval? If you did not check the oil level between changes you really have no way of knowing if it used the oil or if the last change was not filled completely. I think many 'experts' recommend checking you oil every fill-up or at least on a regular basis, perhap 500-1000 miles. So, if it took 3 quarts to register it was at least 4 quarts low. It only holds a little over 5 quarts.

    I have a 2000 Trooper. I need to add probably 1/2 quart every 1000-1500 miles. But if something happened (clogged PCV valve) it could cause increased consumption. If you checked the oil occasionally, you might have noticed that. Sorry, but it sounds as if this is an expensive lesson.

    Sorry for your problem

  • dani808dani808 Member Posts: 2
    Well we change every 5 months or 5 thousands miles regularly and that has always been fine. Sometimes I go with the miles rather than the time especially since we travel (we are in the military and sometimes the car sits for a while). This last time we had it changed the end of January. We were out of town for 3 months where my brother started the card and drove it around a but but not a lot. We were just getting ready to hit the 5000 mile time to change the oil when this happened. I have to admit we did not check the oil in between at this time because we were gone a lot.

    We just found out that because we are not the orignal owners the power train warranty will not cover this. The engine is definatly gone and they can't tell me why just that the oil was gone and there is no leak. I personally believe that when I took it in for the oil change in January, they never did it. That seems to be the only way this could have happened.

    So once your engine is blown that is it right? I mean the car is only worth $6000. We owe that much. Is there anyway to get this fixed without spending more than the car is worth. If we parted out the car could we recover at least enough to pay it off? It is a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo Sport in perfect condition other than the engine. I feel like just letting the bank take it at this point and sacrifice me credit. I have to get another car now and I can't afford 2 car payments.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Member Posts: 263
    I do not have access to our warranty booklet, but I have not heard of a warranty that is not transferable. A non-transferable warranty does nothing for resale value. Check your booklet or the Isuzu internet site, it used to have the warranties posted for each year. If you are correct though, call Isuzu customer relations and ask to speak to a supervisor (and maybe his). As a last resort, find a low mileage used engine ( (?)) and have someone repair the truck. I paid $2000 for a used Taurus SHO v8 in 2002.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Member Posts: 867
    Up through 2002 the original warranty on powertrain was 120 month / 120,000 Miles. Transferred it dropped to 60 month 50,000 IIRC. More info here:

    Powertrain warranty is show to only transfer to a family member.
  • wabenzibxwabenzibx Member Posts: 1
    I have noticed that a lot of these quick oil change stations recycle old oil from prior oil changes. Since the oil going in your motor is not 100% oil, but mixed with gas and anti-freeze/water, when it reaches operating temperature the engine burns off the non oil elementsin the oil and what you are left is probably a quart or 2 of oil which is not enough for the engine to run properly, hence the blown motor. It has happened to my 2000 Montero. I now make sure the oil is poured into the car from cans and not the hose. open your eyes guys, these quick stations cannot make enough profit if they gave you the correct oil and filter for the price they charge. Just my 2 cents.
  • brokenrinkerbrokenrinker Member Posts: 2
    Sorry about your bad luck. My 01 uses almost a quart per 1000 miles. The dealer says that according to Isuzu that's "normal" oil consumption.

    If I was in your shoes I'd be looking for a salvage motor. It's a 3.2 correct? You should be able to use a motor out of any 2nd generation rodeo and be back in business.
  • cwhite4475cwhite4475 Member Posts: 1
    Same thing just happened to my sisters 2001 Isuzu Rodeo. She has done her due diligince in changing the oil every 3000 miles, etc. Changed the oil February 25th & a week ago the vehicle starts making a ticking noise. Stopped at Sears, low on oil - go back to Walmart (who did the oil change) and they added 4 quarts of oil. Don't know where the oil went.... drove home, had a mechanic pick it up and do diagnostics on - Engine Gone.... This is ridiculous. No oil on the bottom side of the engine visible & no gaskets blown.... Salvage motor is about $2300.00 not installed.
  • cinderel1acinderel1a Member Posts: 1
    Same thing happened to my 02 rodeo. I was in the middle of the desert of new mexico and heard a knocking sound and so we pulled over and then it wouldn't start. The mechanic there was completely incompetent and said it was my anti theft device, my timing belt, my catalytic converter and my spark plugs, I ended up having to tow to California and it needs a new engine. I had just had an oil change the week before we left on our trip and it registered like I had been driving it with no oil. I am still looking for a used engine for it.
  • rtittortitto Member Posts: 3
    Exactly same thing happened to my 1999 Rodeo 133K miles on it, suddenly started making knocking sound and stopped and i ended up towing the car to mechanic, where they said engine is dead, on of the piston broke and it is making noise. To replace engine it costs around $4000 for 100k used engine. Car worth itself is $2500. is it worth to invest $4000 ?

    I noticed one thing this time my old changes signal came 200 miles before... but i ran one or two time after oil change signal came.

    Is there a way to repair the engine with out replacing it? Or is it worth to spend on this car?

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