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Isuzu Axiom Maintenance and Repair



  • Dsimonia: Yes, that's sorta correct. But, (and this is detailed in my step-by-step instructions on how to do this from the prior posting), if you remove the 30 amp orange fuse from the fuse box under the hood (I think it's on the passenger side, if memory serves me and is labeled "Active Ride"), then the indicator light that looks like a shock aborber will NOT light up. This fuse only serves the ISC Active Ride subsystem anyway. Those of us that did this did not experience any negative side effects, either, unless you really like the bouncy-bouncy ride you had with the ISC system, that is. Instead, your Isuzu will have a normal ride like a regular SUV.
  • ewpewp Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Axiom and had transmission problems that resulted in Isuzu changing my transmission at their expense. When I picked up the vehicle the speedometer did not work. That problem also created a check engine light. The heading indicator also did not work even tho the satellite indicator showed I had satellite reception. I quickly turned around and told the maintenance supervisor. He took the car back and after a couple more hours on the rack came back and said I needed a new "Speed Sensor" and for $485 he could fix that.

    My question is, where exactly is that speed sensor, a picture would be nice, and what does that sensor look like? Thank you so much for and help. EWP Pappy
  • Wow. That's a thorny situation. For one thing, if all of these features worked beforehand, your mechanic has some explaining to do. To make matters worse, there are multiple speed sensors on the vehicle, depending on whether it has TOD/4WD or not, although it is clear from the Service Manual for the 2002 Axiom that the speedometer is tied to one of them and its failure will post a DTC trouble code.

    To be clearer, there are speed sensors at the front wheels, a speed sensor on the rear end for the ABS system, and one on the tranny body itself, and possibly a few more if you have 4WD. All are shown and described in the Service Manual, which you can buy and download online.

    Or, you can send me a private message to "" (Only replace the "at" with the @ symbol), and I can send you the 3 pertinent pages, which show the sensors in question.

    If I were you, I would take the vehicle to another mechanic and get another price right off, and also an opinon as to whether the dealer is responsible for possibly damaging your speed sensor when they repaired or replaced your tranny. What may be happening here, if it is the speed sensor on the tranny body itself, and I think this is the case, is that some Neanderthal shade-tree mechanic damaged your speed sensor during the tranny repair or replacement and now wants you to pony up hundreds to replace a sensor that probably costs $100 or less. I just hope they did not do additional damage beyond the speed sensor to other sensitive modules in your Axiom.

    However, do your own due diligence on this. Since it's a 2002, there is the possibility that this is coincidental failure; however the sky high repair price leads me to believe otherwise. This is where finding another professional who can give you another estimate is crucial - otherwise you might want to repair it yourself. Looks like an easy swap out - not much harder than replacing an oxygen sensor really.

    Last but not least, if this turns out to be the dealer, don't forget you can file a BBB complaint, a complaint with the attorney general of your state, or you can march them into small claims court for next to nothing. Just be sure to document your side first, if you opt to do this.
  • ewpewp Posts: 2
    WOW Thank you so much Walk2 .
    Mail is on the way.
  • i also own a 2002 axiom with transmission problem that has been rebuilt approximately 40,000 miles ago (115,000 miles odo). currently the transmission is jerking when it is shifting to second gear particularly from cold start. i may have to have it rebuilt again. the problem you encountered with no speedometer reading, wrong display of heading, cruise control inop, is caused by a worn out driven speed gear-part number 8-97144-659-1. it's available at dealer part only, $43.22 plus tax. installation by dealer from our area is $135.00. i have a reliable, knowlegeable mechanic here in orlando who installed it for only $35.00. my mechanic also have replaced/installed the following - new a/c compressor & dryer-$700.00; water pump, timing built & timing tensioner-$400.00. the interior of my car is still immaculate so i'm keeping it for a while as long as i have my reliable mechanic servicing it. the shocks are also in need of replacement, so i'm replacing the original electronic absorbers with the standard monroe absorbers. answer to your question is
  • The 2003/04 base model axioms did not have the ISC system, and some other standard features- they just had basic shocks and they seem to be readlily available aftermarket. they might be the same part number as rodeo. So far my ISC shocks are fine, a bit of weepage in one of them but they still feel firm. The ISC unit on the top of the shock basically limited the amount of movement in the shock by opening and closing a valve that controlled the number of steps in the shock valve damping. If I recall from 7 steps to 4 for the firmer sport ride.
    For a better ride, be sure your tire pressure is no more than 3 pounds above the standard 26PSI. Regards.
    Go Farther...
  • I have an '02 2wd Axiom with a strange problem that I haven't seen on the board. I live in Arkansas and when it gets really cold outside (low 20s or lower) my heater blower motor doesn't run. It happened several times last year.

    I live a couple of miles to work and normally I can start the truck and let it warm up a little and before I get to work, the heater is blowing hot air. On these really cold days I have driven for up to 30-45 minutes before the blower will start working. When it does, the air is hot.

    The engine is up to temp but it seems dependent on cabin temp and not engine compartment or engine temp.

    I've mentioned it to people. One suggested that I had an air pocket in my coolant and I pulled the radiator cap and let it run for a while to see if the bubble would come out and the coolant level change. No change.

    Any Ideas? Thanks
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    Radiator bubble...? LOL Try banging your fist around under the passenger side of the dash. My blower stopped working and I needed a new blower motor--this made it click on until I had it replaced.
  • Late year and again this year I have had an intermittent prob with my blower motor. It seems when it is cold and it is on a lower speed I get this bearing whinging noise but it seems to go away when I put the speed up or it warms up a bit so i assume after 10 years it is getting tired. I also wondered if something/debris might be in the blower motor cage. noise tends to go away so have not had the time to check under the dash and see how hard it is to replace the motor. anyway have an idea? cant be any worse than what we did to replace the motor in a late model camry. whole dash had to be taken apart to get at the heater box and motor. full day job and it was not pretty.
  • I replaced mine on my 02 Axiom for the exact same reason you describe. It was making the same noise... easy to do, easy to access, too. Just remove the connector and take out 3 or 4 screws and it comes right out.

    I did find some leaves and debris in the squirrel cage when I replaced the heater blower motor with a new one, so in retrospect, if I had it to do over, I would remove (drop) the motor, clean out the debris, and lubricate it with WD40 or similar product, and see if it works WITHOUT replacing it. If it doesn't fix it, you can always buy a new motor. I got mine on Ebay from a wholesaler, as I recall for less than $50.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Posts: 140
    edited November 2011
    Hey Arkyax: Looking at the Workshop (Service) Manual for the '02 Axiom, I can see in the wiring diagram that electrically upstream of the blower motor, there is first a heater control relay, followed by two 15A fuses that feed power to the blower motor. There is no T'stat switch, per se, but the other side of the motor control is tied to the Auto A/C control unit (PCU) that does have inputs from three temp sensors - a duct sensor, an ambient air sensor, and an in-car sensor, which show up on the wiring diagram as some type of thermistor or other resistive temperature sensor or element. Two of them are stand-alone and appear to be easily replaced if defective - the duct sensor and the ambient sensor. The in-car sensor is shown as being part and parcel of (an integral part of) the intake actuator. There are three actuators, too - think of them like dampers - an intake actuator, a mix actuator and a mode actuator. This later one routes air to the floor vent or dash vent and so on.

    So, I hope the problem that you are having is either a problem with the motor bearing lubricant, which can be easily fixed for $50 by replacing the blower motor, and is not related to the temp sensors, or the Auto A/C PCU. One test you could try, since it would not be hard to do, is to wait for a cold evening, remove the blower motor, take it inside where it's warm, then bring it out in the morning when it's cold and reinstall it and test it. This would isolate the problem to the blower motor and its bearings, which by now are probably getting old. If it is the blower motor it is REALLY EASY TO REPLACE, as described in my previous posting. Check eBay to see if the fellow I bought mine from is still selling new OEM Isuzu blower motors for $50 or so, if you opt to replace it, as I think the motor is about $100 from a dealer.

    Hope that helps.
  • I'd pull out the motor (not too hard to do) and try to lubricate it. Use 3in1 oil or a bit heavier not WD40 as it's not really a lubricant and will evaporate quickly. While in there blow/vacuum out the duct work and you might get a few more years out of it.

  • Thanks Everyone for the quick response.
    I have taken the motor out to see if something was stuck in the squirrel cage and found nothing holding the motor. I vacuumed out the crap that was in the duct work just because I was in there. It was cold out and I gave the motor a twirl and it spun like a top. So I don't think it's a lub problem.

    I DIDN'T know that there were 3 sensors in the circuit, a duct sensor, an ambient air sensor, and an in-car sensor. I felt that it was electrical all along because the blower would not spin at all and then all of a sudden it would work once the cabin temp got a little warmer.
    It's now 50° to 60° and it works perfectly. I'll check into replacing the duct and ambient air sensors before it gets too cold out.

    Thanks again.
  • Thanks for the info. sounds like it is easy to get at the motor. I will take it out and clean it like you and others mentioned. new ones are available at rock auto for 39 bucks so that is dam reasonable.
    regards. Kent
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    Was browsing through the manual and it says you can go 7500miles per oil change. Does anyone wait that long? I go every 3k and even so there is NO oil on the dip stick. I was wandering if it would be okay to prolong oil changes and just add some 10w-30 every now and then...?
  • I have always changed the oil in my rodeo-now 100k and axiom 76K every 4-5k miles at the most or 4-5 months max. I use 10w30 Conv. or high mileage oil. with the conventional oil I mix it- I use 4 qts of conv oil and a quart or so of the synthetic. I am usually down about 3/4 of a quart between oil changes so rather than add oil I change it. In the late fall and over the winter I use 5w-30 oil for easier starts up here in the north-though that will use a little more oil. I use a qualtiy filter , preferably Isuzu one.
    From experience and what I have heard, even if there is just a bit of oil on the dipstick, and it looks like it is terribly low, 1 quart will usually fill it up to the full line. Be sure you have changed the PCV valve at least every 30k miles. the maintenance manual does not mention when to change it, it but a clogged pcv valve will cause the engine to burn more oil so change. It is easy, it screws into the top of the left side valve cover. right side as you face the motor. the top plastic covering comes off the 4 rubber grommets holding to the studs. be sure you work the cover off easily, the grommets can fall out. ( they look like a well nut but without the metal nut inside. I lightly tape the rubber grommets to the cover they do not fall out when the cover is put back. Be aware of parts books that list and incorrect pcv valve. earlier Isuzu have a plastic push in pcv valve, but later ones, post 2001 I think they use a metal screw in one. I think all Axioms had the metal screw in one. Still easy to do.
  • I always used fully synthetic oil and the best after-market oil filter I could find at the local parts store. While the oil may cost you a bit more, you can go 5-6 K miles between oil changes, rather than 3K per change. 7500 is pushing it a bit in my opinion. I traded in at 120K miles, and NEVER had a problem with oil consumption or with the engine. I use synthetic oil on our 07 Prius and on our 2011 Honda Pilot, too. It's worth it in my opinion.
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    Thats interesting... I will have to mention that PCV valve when I go in for service. My car idles like a diesel when the oil is low. Is this what you are referring to?
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    I was contemplating switching to synthetic but I was worried that the car would need the thicker oil or it might leak and cause more problems. AND, I have my car dealer serviced......synthetic oil changes are $100+ :surprise: Though if I can go twice as long--it wouldn't be soo much more expensive. Would I still have high oil consumption with synthetic? BTW, I have 165k on the odo :grin:
  • I don't know if that would be the cause, but low engine oil level is never good. the pcv valve has vacuum to it and when plugged up def will cause oil consumption. We know that for a fact on these engines. it is so easy to change. take off the top plastic cover as I mentioned and you see the hose coming to the top of it from the right side as you look at the engine. it screws in tot he valve cover. the new one will have some lock tite on the threads.
  • You must be doing many things right to have 165K on your car or any car. use the correct weight oil 10-30 in summer and i use 5-30 in winter here in the northeast. Use the high mileage oils as they don't cost that much more than conv and are part synthetic. I have no leaks under my 76k 2002 axiom at all. anywhere.
    myths about synthetic is that it is thinner and will cause leaks is not true. Synthetic oil is real oil that had just been processed and refined more so the molecules are smaller and more equal is size than conventional oil. they are all oil products. Toyota now is using 0w-20 in most of its new cars with a 1 year-or 10k change interval. not that I would go that far. 4-5K in 4 months to me is a good compromise for my high mileage or conv oils. so far so good for me. But if you use conv oil every 3k then that is all great too. You can't change it too much,,, well you can wear out the oil drain plug hole. be sure to use a new copper gasket each time btw.
  • Man... it looks to me like the evap solenoid problem... low speed, no power traction... it is safe mode driving condition.

    Your mechanic is the shhh.... Make an electronic check and discard code by code. Download the isuzu repairing manual.

    This vehicle is full electronic and has a very sophisticated control system in powertrain, suspension, transmission... any electronic code related to powertrain or transmission would produce check engine signal on and after 3 times not cleaned... will put the suv in a fool proof mode.
  • dschubachdschubach Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Rodeo and it now needs new rear shocks. It has the same active ride system and I would like to disconnect it just like you did with your Axiom. I can't find any information on it in the repair manuals and was wondering if you think that it would be similar to the same steps you took to disable your Axiom?
  • Dear Dshubach: That's hard to say without doing some research on the Isuzu part number for BOTH vehicles, and I do not have the Service Manual for the Rodeo to know the Rodeo part numbers. However, doing a quick search on Google for your vehicle, I see lots of aftermarket listings for Monroe, Bilstein and KYB shocks for both front and rear. Contrast that with the Axiom, where NO manufacturer listed ANY replacement units for my vehicle, and when I called Monroe Tech Support, they could only guess which model might work based on the shaft length, as they had no cross reference either (although I did my best to inspire them to look into this further).

    My guess is that it's an even easier swap on your vehicle than the Axiom. And, if your Rodeo has the ISC system built in to it, the fuse, connectors and electronic dampeners can all be removed in a similar fashion. It's been a while, but I recall that the process was reversible, if I wanted to buy OEM shocks, but I was quite satisfied without the ISC, and the ride was much better. Bert also converted his Axiom (now for sale) and reported being similarly satisfied.

    I hope that info is helpful to you. But do your own due diligence on this. I am sure if you are able to do the swap, you'll like the ride better.
  • The replacement aftermarket parts for the Rodeo and Axiom are the same. They are readlily available from rock auto, advance or wherever.
    economy...MONROE Part # 32336 Monro-Matic Plus Shock Absorber
    w/o Active Ride Control; Front/ 32337 rear. 16 bucks

    or OEM ride quality MONROE Part # 37159 OESpectrum Light Truck Shock Absorber
    w/o Active Ride Control; Front/ 37160 rear. $32 bucks

    I replaced my 2000 rodeo shocks with new monroes. they were the reg setup. I would assume the mounting locations should be the same. but not sure about a diffence in the mounting hole. Just the shock is different, if it is the Intelligent Suspension Control ISC /active ride system or the standard.
    i got my shcoks at sears when they had a sale and they put them on the rodeo. My Axiom ISC shocks still seem ok with 82k. but I guess if you picked one up at the auto store and comparted the mounting to it then you would know. or go the the monroe web site and look for illustrations for the mounting locations.
    Let us know. i am wondering why you can not just unplug the harness from the top of the shock, and tie it off somewhere, and unplug a fuse or light bulb from the ISC dash light indicator. I do like the firm ride of the ISC when going around a highway off ramp.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Posts: 140
    edited June 2012
    Wow. That's a lot of codes! Most are inter-related, though. Thank goodness I own a copy of the 2002 Isuzu Axiom US Version Service Manual. You will also need to get one online someplace if you want to wade through this problem yourself. It's a mess, with a lot of possible scenarios, since there are multiple codes. The good news is that each one is documented in detail in the Service Manual.

    One of the codes you provided point to a problem with the Mass Air Flow Sensor. In fact, that code (p0101) indicates that the MAF has possibly failed. Code p0401 indicates that either the EGR valve is dirty or failed or the MAP sensor (Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor) has failed.

    Code p1125 means "ETC (Electric Throttle Control) Limit Performance Mode", which points to a problem with any of the 3 accelerator position sensors (APS1, APS2 or APS3).

    Code p1295 is similar and indicates a problem with "ETC Power Management Mode" which means either there is a problem with the Throttle Valve or the two Throttle Position Sensors (TPS1, TPS2).

    DTC code p1515 is similar to 1295 and means "P1515 Command - Actual TPS Correlation Error" and is related to the same circuit above, with the TV and the TPS's.

    Now, before you go jump off a bridge, or drive your car off a cliff, be aware that what is common to ALL of these codes is that they are all circuits that feed into the PCM module. The Powertrain Control Module.

    So, it could be as simple as any of these problems, with regard to the PCM:

    *Poor connections.  Misrouted harness. Rubbed through wire insulation.
     Broken wire inside the insulation.Check for the following conditions:
     Poor connection at PCM-Inspect harness connectors
    for backed out terminals, proper mating, locks,
    improperly formed or damaged terminals, and poor terminal to wire connection.
     Damaged harness-Inspect the wiring harness for damage."

    So, look to see if a mouse or squirrel has gotten into the wiring harness and damaged any of the wiring to the sensors. The RPL light may also be caused by a wiring harness or connection issue. The manuals states this:

    "The powertrain control module (PCM) orders the RPL “ON” signal for Multiplex Control Unit. When Multiplex Control Unit is received RPL “ON” signal that turn RPL “ON” by grounding the RPLdriver circuit. The RPL should not remain “ON” with the engine running and no DTC(s) set. A steady RPL with the engine running and no DTC(s) suggests a short to ground in the RPL driver circuit.

    Diagnostic Aids
    An intermittent RPL may be caused by a poor connection, rubbed through wire insulation, or a wire broken inside the insulation. Check for the following items:
     Poor connection or damaged harness..."

    The PCM has a hand in ALL of the functions related to the codes you provided, so it is suspect. Let's hope it's not the PCM itself, as replacing that is expensive and requires reprogramming by an Isuzu tech, but assuming BEST CASE, there is the possibility that your PCM wiring harness has been dislodged somehow or got wet? Since the PCM is located "located in the passenger compartment below the center console"... did you spill a beer recently?? Did someone try to make out in the passenger side and bump into one of the PCM connectors with their big foot?

    Here's the info on the PCM and what it does and where it's located:

    "Powertrain Control Module (PCM)
    The powertrain control module (PCM) is located in the
    passenger compartment below the center console. The
    PCM controls the following:

     Fuel metering system.
     Transmission shifting (automatic transmission only).
     Ignition timing.
     On-board diagnostics for powertrain functions.

    The PCM constantly observes the information from
    various sensors. The PCM controls the systems that
    affect vehicle performance. The PCM performs the
    diagnostic function of the system. It can recognize
    operational problems, alert the driver through the MIL
    (Check Engine lamp), and store diagnostic trouble codes
    (DTCs). DTCs identify the problem areas to aid the
    technician in making repairs.

    PCM Function
    The PCM supplies either 5 or 12 volts to power various
    sensors or switches. The power is supplied through
    resistances in the PCM which are so high in value that a
    test light will not light when connected to the circuit. In
    some cases, even an ordinary shop voltmeter will not give
    an accurate reading because its resistance is too low.
    Therefore, a digital voltmeter with at least 10 megohms
    input impedance is required to ensure accurate voltage
    readings. Tool J 39200 meets this requirement. The PCM
    controls output circuits such as the injectors, fan relays,
    etc., by controlling the ground or the power feed circuit
    through transistors or through either of the following two
     Output Driver Module (ODM)
     Quad Driver Module (QDM)
    PCM Components
    The PCM is designed to maintain exhaust emission levels
    to government mandated standards while providing
    excellent driveability and fuel efficiency. The PCM
    monitors numerous engine and vehicle functions via
    electronic sensors such as the throttle position (TP)sensor,
    heated oxygen sensor (HO2S), and vehicle
    speed sensor (VSS). The PCM also controls certain
    engine operations through the following:

     Fuel injector control
     Ignition control module
     ION sensing module
     Automatic transmission shift functions
     Cruise control
     Evaporative emission (EVAP) purge
     A/C clutch control
    PCM Voltage Description
    The PCM supplies a buffered voltage to various switches
    and sensors. It can do this because resistance in the
    PCM is so high in value that a test light may not illuminate
    when connected to the circuit. An ordinary shop
    voltmeter may not give an accurate reading because the
    voltmeter input impedance is too low. Use a 10-megohm
    input impedance digital voltmeter (such as J 39200) to
    assure accurate voltage readings.
    The input/output devices in the PCM include
    analog-to-digital converters, signal buffers, counters,
    and special drivers. The PCM controls most components
    with electronic switches which complete a ground circuit
    when turned “ON.” These switches are arranged in
    groups of 4 and 7, called either a surface-mounted quad
    driver module (QDM), which can independently control up
    to 4 output terminals, or QDMs which can independently
    control up to 7 outputs. Not all outputs are always used.

    PCM Service Precautions
    The PCM is designed to withstand normal current draws
    associated with vehicle operation. Avoid overloading any
    circuit. When testing for opens and shorts, do not ground
    or apply voltage to any of the PCM’s circuits unless
    instructed to do so. These circuits should only be tested
    using digital voltmeter J 39200. The PCM should remain
    connected to the PCM or to a recommended breakout


    And there is an illustrations, too, of the PCM. It has two gigantic side-by-side...
  • connectors feeding into it from one side. It is a metallic box with aluminum looking heat sinks on it. Should be easy to find.

    Anyway, good luck with this problem. I hope it is not the PCM itself and you can find something obvious, but I myself would not hesitate to take this to someone who is VERY SKILLED in dealing with PCMS if there isn't an obvious problem found by visual inspection.

    And, there is the possibility that any one sensor has gone bad and is pulling down the power supply section of the PCM and causing ALL of the other readings. You see this sometimes, too, but fixing that kind of problem can be a hit-and-miss shotgun approach, where you replace one sensor after another, which is difficult and expensive for the DIY home repairer.

    Hope this is helpful.
  • decababydecababy Posts: 5
    thanks alot for the information given. You and this message board are life savers. and i will give you the updated information once my problem is fixed. Thanks again.
  • Hello, my 2004 Axiom shuts off when I deccelerate too fast or occassionaly when turning. Also, the clock and compass are no longer working. When the car shuts off it completely dies. All electrical and engine activities stop. When it happens, I wait for a moment and then restart the car. So far, no problems after starting again and it drives fine. There are no indicator lights on. Does anyone know what could be the problem?

    Thank you,

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,780
    Sounds like the battery may be loose... and, when it shifts, it loses ground and shorts out?


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