Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Isuzu Axiom Brake Problems

tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
Concerned about your brakes? Discuss it here.


  • Bought an 04 Axiom in April of 2005. Again, one of the last few that were sold. I've taken it to an Isuzu Certified Service Center 4 times now for the same problem.

    While coming to a stop and slowing down, the vehicle shakes loudly and the brakes pulsate.
    I've had the tires rotated, balanced and aligned, the rotors turned, the brake pads replaced with higher end ones, the rear brakes tightened and adjusted.
    Still the same problem occurs 80% of the time. Example: you slow down while heading towards a red light. The vibrations seem to come from the front of the vehicle but, the technician who drove with me says it's the back brakes that need adjustment.

    The service department tells me that attempting a LEMON LAW scenario would be useless since the issue is not 'safety' related.

    Needless to say I'm very upset. Anyone else have this issue or anything similar?
  • jpaisanjpaisan Posts: 2
    Yep, got the same problem too!

    I have a 02 2WD with 65K. This vibration started at about 55K.

    Like yourself, I replaced the pads, shoes, turned rotors and drums. It works for a while and then it returns.

    I describe the vibration pretty much the same way. When decelerating from 20MPH, the high frequency vibration/groan is present. Very similar to when applying braked pressure to wet brakes and they don't grab right at first. Right?

    I don't feel anything in the pedal, which would be indicative of warped/distorted or unparallel braking surfaces on the rotors.

    I feel that vibration is coming from the front as well. I have yet to have a "technician" look at it.

    The vibration almost feels like to me that the pads are glazed and are just chattering on the rotor surfaces. Sometimes lifting quickly and re applying makes in go away. I tried washing the brakes, thinking it was brake dust, but it returned in a couple of days.

    I'll continue to look for more answers. Sorry you too have to deal with this.

  • Interesting,
    I'm sure it's a manufacturer flaw of some kind.
    Had the rear drums resurfaced this morning. $180 fee, though the vehicle is just a little over 1 year old.
    Of course everything is running fine today but, who knows how soon the problem will show up again.
    In case it does happen again I may consider replacing the drums. I love this SUV but the vibrations are much too annoying to ignore.
    Keep me up to date with your problem, J, I'd like to know if you can get it resolved.

  • jpaisanjpaisan Posts: 2
    Will do Patrik.

    Please keep track on how long it takes to reappear, if it does. It is most annoying, I agree.

    Talk soon,
  • socalstevesocalsteve Posts: 34
    >>>The service department tells me that attempting a LEMON
    >>>LAW scenario would be useless since the issue is
    >>>not 'safety' related.

    Whether it's safety related has nothing to do with it. I'd do some research on the Lemon Law.
  • entact1entact1 Posts: 7
    I had the same problem with a frontal vibration from braking. The dealer had to resurface all 4 rotors, front and back. This has fixed the problem and it never returned.
  • rcopa1rcopa1 Posts: 24
    Same here. Had brakes resurfaced by dealer about 2 years ago and pulsing/vibration cleared, no problems since.
  • mitikdmitikd Posts: 6
    I've had brake pulsating problem as well around 50K miles. I just replaced (not resurfaced!) front rotors and replaced a pads. I think that rotors are so thin (they called them "disposable", in order to reduce the weight of truck (to improve fuel economy, etc.) that it doesn't make sence to resurface them. Brake pulsating never been a problem after repair.
  • rcopa1rcopa1 Posts: 24
    Had the same problem with my 2002. Front resurfaced/back adjusted (2WD Drum) - dealer. Problem never returned. Its been about 2 years now.
  • We own a 2002 Axiom. From the beginning we had the warped rotor syndrome. At 30,000 miles we had all of the rotors replaced by the dealer at the tune of $375.00. It was fine for a while but has since returned at 45,000 miles. While the vehicle was in for state inspection, they noted that the pads were close to spent. Turns out that the pads were never replaced during the rotor replacement. I do believe that the pads are the culprit. I have always felt that it required too much pedal pressure to stop this vehicle and an iordinate amount of travel before stoppping. I have a 1999 Trooper that has no problem at all with stopping pressure or distance. Does anyone else feel that the pads are too hard? From what a mechanic has told me, most of the rotors out there today are poor steel composition and are marginal at best.
  • There are other pads besides oem.
    I have never purchased from them but they carry City Pro, Akebono, Hawk, EBC, OEQ, and OEM Japan. Tire Rack carries Akebono, Satisfied Pro, and Hawk.

    Tire Rack also carries Powers Slot Rotors.

    Have you had any problems getting parts for your 2002 Axiom?

  • I have been having the same brake grinding vibration since I purchased it new back in 2002. It only happened once in awhile then. Now it happens everyday. I brought it to the dealer and two other shops but they could not solve the problem. I replaced the front rotors and pads (ceramic) but I haven't done anything with the drums in the back. Does anyone have drums in the back or just all disks? I'm guessing the problem is in the back.

    As far as parts...this site has alot.

  • Sorry to hear about your brake headache.

    The first thing to say about drums is that periodically you need to pull off the drum and dump out (in a bag for proper disposal) the accumulated brake dust. Otherwise your pads are just gliding on the powder and won't stop well particularly if water gets inside during rain and snow.

    With discs years ago we used to take a coarse grit piece of sandpaper and scuff up the rotors. Then with a very clean rag we would wipe off the filings and residual grit. It wasn't as pretty as latheing the rotors, but you did not have to replace too thinned out rotors every few years.

    Roughing up the surface would get rid of the glaze and oxide of stop and go driving, and I wonder if you could do the same to the inside of your drums.

    I think a lot of the vibration and moaning is a combination of glazed rotors/drums and pads, and the oem pads have a very high affinity for moisture retention even in just humid weather.

    Thanks for the parts referral. I should have made my question more specific. I mean't to ask is anyone having trouble getting repair parts like master cylinders, alternators, body parts, etc. I've seen some posts where people say they have to wait a month or more for replacement transmissions. If I were in that circumstance, I would prefer to have the original tranny rebuilt by a tranny shop. At least you know what your starting off with. But maybe those folks were not even offered that as an option.

    I was also wondering about access to maintenance parts like oem filters, gaskets, etc.

    Thanks for any info you can share.
  • I haven't experienced any delays in ordering parts thus far. I have replaced the front rotors, disks, front shocks, belt. This past weekend I decided to give the drum job a try. Not as bad as I thought. Took me about 2 hours (wanted to make sure everything was right). I could do it again in less than an hour. There was a significant amount of dust and the shoes were extremely glazed. All of my squeaking and vibrations are gone. I believe the transmission was used in a couple of the Acura cars so I wouldn't think there would be a serious delay. As far as maintenance parts...I take my car to one of the 30-minute deals. Air filter bought at Walmart. There is a dealership that is pretty good about pricing and stocking items. I bought my EGR valve from them. Free shipping.

    sorry for the delay in response.

  • Thank you for your reply. I've been hoping someone would give me some feedback about parts availability for a while. I do appreciate you taking the time to answer. Sorry for the delay in my response. I've been offlines for a while.

    I know some of the axiom problems are a nuisance and frustrating, but if a person were to look at some of the other SUV's in this website, they'd see we're all doing pretty well considering everything. My concern was availability because of Isuzu's semi-comatose non-commercial vehicle status, but your post has helped to allay some of my concern. Thanks, it is appreciated.
  • momohmomoh Posts: 1
    On 2 different occasions prior to today, I've taken my 04 axiom to the dealership svc. dept. where they couldn't "duplicate my concern". Today (finally) my car decided to act up while I was at the shop.

    I was told by the technician "This is a common problem with most Axioms & Rodeos & we see this often". I asked if this was covered under warranty if this is a common issue and he advised it wasn't because it isn't a safety issue according to Isuzu.

    After several hours at the shop, I was told that Wagner R/Shoes (and only Wagner shoes) & resurfaced drums would solve the problem. I'm not Car Savvy so I called my father and he's told me that a car that is fairly new with less than 30,000 miles, the R/shoes should be replaced AFTER the F/pads. He feels that it is a manufacturer defect and that Isuzu should fix this since it is potentially a safety hazard. Any opinions on this?
  • I happened upon this site by accident and decided to register so I could let you know exactly what the problem is concerning your pulsating brakes.

    For those of you who just want the facts and do want to read about my experience here it is. Your rotors are warped and need to be replaced. Cutting or resurfacing the rotors will help alleviate the problem for a little while but will not get rid of the problem.

    I brought my Axiom brand new in the summer of 2002. I had front brake problems after about 15,000 miles. The ABS sensor lights went bad twice and had to be replaced. I also experienced the squealing sound as well. I had the front pads replaced and the rotors turned twice. In 2005 at 49,000 miles was when it was last done. A week after it was done I went back to the dealership and told them that the work they had just performed had not solved the problem. They told me, "Well we've done everything we can. What else do you want us to do?" The problem never went away and I just dealt with it. Today I took my car into a different Isuzu authorized service center to have my brakes replaced. I told them the problem I was having when coming to a slow stop. They resurfaced my rotors and replaced the pads again. They told me that if I wanted to completely get rid of the problem what I needed to do was replace the rotors because they were warped and had hot spots. They said this was the only way to get rid of the problem period! Upon having my service record pulled from the dealership who did the last warranty work back in 2005,
    I noticed that the tech who worked on my car stated my rotors were warped back then but they never made mention of this fact.
    Isuzu knows there is a problem with the rotors on these Axioms and they are just praying owners like you and myself will just go away. They really don't care and don't want to make it right.
  • I respectfully disagree with rchaynes posting #18, and this problem is much more difficult to resolve than simply resurfacing rotors, or replacing rotors (which I have also done myself personally), or adjusting the, or replacing brake pads. I have done all of those tasks more than once and still have recurrences of the noise problem. I have posted this and more under the maintenance section, but will repost again here for the benefit of those with brake problems:


    From June 9, 2009:

    As my prior postings have detailed, I have struggled for a couple of years now, or the last 50,000 miles, whichever you like, with noisy brake problems and rotor problems.

    I solved half of the problem last summer, when my friend and I replaced the original OEM rotors (which had warped for the 2nd time) with some drilled and slotted high temp rotors that I bought from to fit my vehicle. That cured any issue with rotors getting too hot and warping.

    However, it did not get rid of the squalling noise that the brakes make, especially when you first apply the brakes the first time, or on any downhill braking situation, and at other times at random.

    So, tired of the problem, I took it back to a good mechanic, who took the front and rear brakes apart, cleaned them, readjusted the rear brakes and lubbed the backing plate for the brake shoes (which oddly at 94000 miles did not need replacing yet), and then deglazed the front pads (which are only about 8 months old). They also used some special product made by B& J that reduces pad noise. (I do not have the name of the product).

    I can say that the past few days have been wonderful. No more brake noise. I suspect that the problem all along was that the rear brakes were not doing what they should have been and the front brakes were doing most of the work, which led to excessive heat, rotor warping and pulsation, noise and glazed front pads.

    I would also speculate that since this is a somewhat heavy vehicle (4700 lbs) that others are having the same problem and do not know what it takes to get it fixed. The racing rotors were a big help, but ultimately a cleaning and adjustment was also needed to fully resolve the problem.

    Hope that helps.


    From June 30th:

    I spoke too soon. The problem has come back again 2 weeks later, at least in part. The brakes still squall (I think that is the right descriptor) when you first apply them, until the rotors get wiped clean. After that, they can squall again under certain circumstances. While the cleaning and adjusting helped a great deal, the problem is anything but gone.

    Someone suggested that I rebuild the calipers. I bought the parts; have the instructions; it looks easy enough, but I am squeamish about doing it. Anyone else noticing this annoying problem? Any ideas?


    Keep in mind that I have brake pads that are less than a year old and racing rotors that are high temp, drilled and slotted from and are not warped!
  • My brake noise problems continued. But, when chatting with a counter clerk at the local Carquest parts store, he suggested I get rid of the Advanced (formerly Discount Auto) Parts aftermarket brake pads that I was using (which were making lots of dust on my front wheels) and get Akebono pads, which have built in anti-squeal plates.

    The Akebono pads, he told me, were a better match for the drilled and slotted (dare I say warp-proof) rotors which I bought from, that I installed about 18 months ago now.

    The new pads are great. With only one week to go on so for, the noise problem is gone. But, the real proof will be if I can go 4 or 5 weeks without the squalling noise coming back. It seemed to be humidity related, and pad-related.

    Beware - the manufacture date of an 02 Axiom is critical. Mine was built in April 2002 and uses the same pads as the 03 Axiom, but not the same pads as the early 02 Axiom, which is why I got the wrong EBC pads when I ordered online.

    Here is a picture of the Akebono Proact pads I am using. Expensive ($70/set) but well worth it. They are low dust, low noise ceramic pads.

    Akebono Pads Brochure PDF

    So, if this works, the final solution set for the Axiom brakes noise problem is to get warp-proof drilled and slotted racing rotors and high quality pads like the Akebono, and replace the useless OEM parts. Also, beware of the cheap aftermarket pads and rotors. If your rotors are warped - buy new ones and replace them - don't waste money getting them resurfaced - they will simply warp again a few weeks later.">link title
  • Was just at the Isuzu dealer and the service guy said there was a problem with the inner pads absorbing moisture and causing problems like high wear and rotor warping. Could be one of the issues and I bet buying premium pads is a solution.

  • My front brakes are better now with the new premium Akebono pads and the drilled, slotted racing rotors installed about 18 mos ago. But, even so, I still get some noise regularly, and YES, it does seem to be related to humidity. It happens usually the first couple of times I brake. The problem takes about a month to occur after new pads are installed, so don't let a dealer tell you that new pads will solve it. It just comes back.

    So, even with the new pads, the problem was not fixed, but it is improved about 75%. My guess is that there is a common problem with the Axiom brakes, which would probably warrant a safety recall. If the brakes are getting moist, I have to wonder if there is reduced braking power during that first braking event.

    Still, for those who want to REDUCE this problem - drilled and slotted rotors do not warp and the premium Akebono pads I used help, and do not generate dust.
  • isu2isu2 Posts: 8
    which drilled and slotted did you get, where can i buy same
  • I bought them from Summit They are EBC brand part no. GD 7200. They are worth every penny and do not warp. Plus, with air tools, they are not that hard to install.

    As for the pads, I tried to buy EBC pads at first one online place, then another, and was shipped the wrong part. It was a big hassle. I even got into an email squabble with the owner of EBC in the UK, who was NOT helpful. So, EBC makes good products, but has dreadful customer service, IMHO.

    In any case, you will also want new pads. I recommend highly the AKEBONO pads that I got locally. They were around $80, but worth it. No dust issues, and only the occasional squalling sound when it is real humid. Much better overall braking.

    BEWARE: 2002 Isuzu Axioms made after Nov. 2001 utilize a different brake pad design with an projecting tab on each side, versus an inset notch. Some pads sold online to fit a 2002 Isuzu Axiom have an inset notch on each side instead, which is the opposite configuration and only fit an “early” 2002 Isuzu Axiom made BEFORE NOV. 2001, but of course, will not fit any of the later year 02 Axioms. I think this is referred to in the auto parts world as a “split model year” for the part in question.

    Therefore, it is best to get pads locally, if possible, or CALL IN YOUR ORDER with Summit Racing, and be SURE TO GIVE THEM THE MANUFACTURE DATE off the car door, if you have an 02 Axiom, so you get the right pads.

    Hope that helps.

    Let me know if you need the Akebono pads part number.
  • I have owned an Isuzu Axion since 2002 and have nothing but headaches.

    1. Brakes that won't stop properly in snow/ice conditions (like my other cars).
    2. Transmission that gets stuck in lower gears when cold
    3. Transmission that jerks like a 1930s vehicle when shifting
    4. Check engine light that is always ON for 3 years stating a replacement of Oxygen (O2) sensors when they are clearly not the problem because "check engine" returns after replacing the O2 sensors.
    5. A fuel efficiency scam by Isuzu when actual is barely 15 mpg.
    6. An engine that begins to sound like a truck diesel engine after 50K miles.

  • My Axiom is an 03, owned new. about 60k on it now. Never had any brake noises, and the only problems in all these years, besides needing a new battery and a set of tires, and now it looks like I have a wet right front shock that may need changing, was a bank 2 #1 o2sensor failed, almost 2 years ago and was checked at advance auto parts with their OBD2 tester. I put in a new one and that is it. check light then went out. Now the car sat for many months this winter and the rotors have gotten rusty, this happens with most all cars these days., the rotors on all new cars, prob made in china are poor from what i am hearing from many auto mechanics. They are made thinnner to save weight, and thus are not meant to be turned. the labor cost at 100 bucks an hour is more money than to put on new ones. Leaving them in the wet snow of winter does not help but I knew the brakes were getting low so was going to replace them. The brakes are ceramic so I bought new f and r ceramic pads and rotors. perhaps some of these people having brake jobs done and getting noisy brake sounds are not using the OEM ceramic, or actual Isuzu OEM brakes. I did use original replacement Isuzu pads for my 2000 rodeo, never even touched the rotors except for a light sanding, and they have been perfect, now with 90K on the car and prob 30k on the pads.
    Is it hard to change the f and r rotors and pads on the axiom? mine is 4wheel drive so the rear parking brake I understand is inside the rotor. Does that present a problem in changing out the rotor and disk pads? I looked and saw that the front shock for a rodeo is the same as the Axioms standard non electronic shocks though mine are the electronic ones, hoping I can just substitute. I am sure the OEM electronic adjusting ones are pretty expensive. I think I will change the tranny oil soon for preventive maintenance. I change the oil and filter my self with semi synthetic oil every4- 5k, miles and i get 23mpg on a trip and 19-20 overall. I try to use the top tier Shell gas when I can as well.
    regards, thanks.
  • Thanks for the feedback on the pads and your brake performance. I will be revisiting my brakes again soon, as they are still noisy in the front (a loud squalling sound - not the wear indicator- when you first apply them or are braking as you go downhill).

    Me and a buddy did the front rotor and brake pad replacement on my Axiom. The brake pads and rotors are not that hard to change out - but you absolutely need a heavy duty air compressor rachet wrench to do it, as the big bolts are hard to remove. But, my buddy, who had done this same task on other makes of vehicles said it was no different that doing a GM truck.

    I used slotted racing rotors (EBC brand I think) from Summit Racing .com and some high quality Japanese brand special order brake pads. Not sure I like the pads but the drilled & slotted rotors are to die for, and worth every penny.

    I did a lengthy posting on this site about how to switch out from the electronic shock suspension system to Monroe Sensatrac shocks, including the part numbers, so I know that it can be done. The same friend who helped me do the brakes, assisted with the shocks. If I had it to do over, I would just REMOVE the Active Suspension System actuators from the original shocks, buy the Monroe replacement shocks, and have a real mechanic do that job, as it is a very physically demanding task to REMOVE the old shocks, most especially the two rear ones. We had a lot of trouble with it, and my buddy is built like the Hulk. It's just a job for a shock shop, that's all.

    DO CHANGE the tranny fluid to synthetic, as there are lots of reports of premature failures of the 4L30E tranny, and I think it is due to the lack of the dipstick and low fluid levels. Mines still going OK, so far.
  • afojcafojc Posts: 1
    My wife's 03 Axiom has been giving me fits with it's brakes, first let me say that I have replaced both the booster and master cylinder, have new pads all the way around and have bled the whole system , starting with the furthest away to the closest.

    The problem seem to begin when the car is started, the pedal is good while the engine isn't running, as soon as it starts the pedal goes to the floor and the only way to get any decent pedal is by pumping the brakes.

    I checked the vacuum line to the booster and am getting good vacuum, my question is this, can the ABS control module/pump be the culprit as it's the only thing left I haven't checked, bled or replaced?
  • You need to take this vehicle to your nearest Firestone or qualified service center, as this sounds like an unsafe situation. The 2002 Isuzu Workshop Service Manual lists the following possibilities for the symptoms you describe (excessive brake pedal travel):

    1. Air in the hydraulic circuit (most common, as you likely know already)
    2. Brake fluid low in the fluid reservoir (you surely checked for that)
    3. Master cylinder push rod clearance is excessive (there is an adjustment for this - more to follow)
    4. Leakage in hydraulic system (which relates back to No. 2 above)

    You did not mention, but I assume that on start up, the Brake system LED lights up on the dash and then goes back out to indicate that there are no DTC codes being posted on your brake system? If the light does not light up and then go out, the LED could be burnt out and there could be DTC trouble codes getting posted that you would not be aware of, unless you went to the auto parts store and borrowed a scan code reader from them. But, this is easy enough to check.

    There can, however, be other problems with solenoids or with the EHCU controller, or with the master cylinder or the vacuum booster, or with an internal (not external) hydraulic fluid leak that would be hard to spot, but would also cause this problem. The above items are just some of what is listed in the troubleshooting section of the chapter on the Power Assisted Brake System.

    In conclusion, you may not be able to tweak this further - you have done what I would have done and then some - so I suggest you get a pro to tackle it, as bad brakes are a LIFE SAFETY problem, not something to muck around with and get wrong. Just saying...
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Posts: 140
    edited November 2011
    The Service Manual also states that "excessive brake pedal travel indicates a faulty master cylinder"... which makes me wonder where you got your master cylinder, whether from a salvage yard or whether it was a new unit.

    Here is a relevant excerpt from one page of the manual on adjusting the brake pedal. You can use the info to determine if yours can be adjusted or how far out it is at this time. Still, you may need to go to the shop on this one.

    Brake Pedal

    Checking Pedal Height

    The push rod serves as the brake pedal stopper when the
    pedal is fully released. Brake pedal height adjustment
    should be performed as follows:

    Adjust Brake Pedal

    1. Measure the brake pedal height after making sure the
    pedal is fully returned by the pedal return spring.
    Pedal height must be measured after starting the
    engine and receiving it several times.

    Pedal Free Play: 6-10 mm (0.23-0.39 in)
    Pedal Free Play: 173-185 mm (6.81-7.28 in)

    NOTE: Pedal free play must be measured after turning
    off the engine and stepping on the brake pedal firmly five
    times or more.

    2. If the measured value is not within the above range,
    adjust the brake pedal as follows:

    a. Disconnect the stoplight switch connector.
    b. Loosen the stoplight switch lock nut.
    c. Rotate the stoplight switch so that it moves away
    from the brake pedal.
    d. Loosen the lock nut (1) on the push rod.
    e. Adjust the brake pedal to the specified height by
    rotating the push rod in the appropriate direction.
    f. Tighten the lock nut to the specified torque.
    Torque: 20 N·m (15 lb ft)
    g. Adjust the stoplight switch (2) to the specified
    clearance (between the switch housing and the
    brake pedal) by rotating the switch housing.
    Clearance: 0.5–1.0 mm (0.02–0.04 in)

    NOTE: While adjusting the stoplight switch, make sure
    that the threaded part of the stoplight switch does not
    push the brake pedal.

    h. Tighten the stoplight switch lock nut.
    i. Connect the stoplight switch connector.

    Checking Pedal Travel

    1. Pedal height must be measured after starting the
    engine and revving it several times to apply vacuum
    to the vacuum booster fully.

    NOTE: Pedal height must be 95 mm (3.7 in) or more
    when about 50 kg (110.25 lb) of stepping force is applied.
    2. If the measured value is lower than the above range,
    air may still be present in the hydraulic system
    Perform the bleeding procedure.

Sign In or Register to comment.