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Isuzu Axiom Maintenance and Repair



  • dgluthdgluth Posts: 49
    My 2002 Axiom has 30K miles on it and it runs like a top. I have been very happy with it so far.

    Dennis P.
  • high idle when 1st starting my axiom about 3 mins...makes a wining noise in the engine... ac compressor is rough sounding when it comes on and off... i can hear my valves tickiing when it is running... anyone else with similar problems/solutions
  • My '04 will sometimes start with a high idle, but it doesn't last three minutes--more like a minute. As far as the valve noise, the DI engine does seem to have a unique sound--almost like a quiet diesel. Mine has 70,000 miles on it and I've had few problems.
  • rcopa1rcopa1 Posts: 24
    I have an 02 XS with 58,000 miles and have had no problems. None, nothing - would have expected something but it runs great. I only drive city too. I'm not crazy about the vehicle but have to say mine is well built. My only issues would be RIDE and gas mileage.
  • I bought a new to me 2002 isuzu axiom a few weeks ago. It has 94k miles. It is real clean and it is a one owner car. However, when I slow down to almost a stop ..there is a noise and feel of a small thud and when I take off there is another thud...almost like a drop. The transmission light is not automatically shifts nice from 1st to 2nd when I accelerate. When I ease to a slow stop there is no noise and when I ease the acceleration there is no noise. Any clues?
  • The 2002 Axiom has an Active Suspension. It is controlled by microprocessor. It is designed to counter force against bump and lean motions exhibited by the body. It is a little over-agressive so whenever you blip the gas pedal or poke the brakes or stop a little hard you will feel a thump as it counter forces from the shocks. All the 2002 's do it and I think the rest of the model years also. You'll get used to it after a while and will not even notice it except when you hard stop.

    The brakes will make a wet rubbing sound when you stop if you set the hand brake when you park and leave it on. I set the brake when I stop and shift into park and then release it after turning off the igntion as long as I am not on a hill. This seems to prevent the rubbing noise and sensation. When I do park on a hill I have the noise / sensation of wet rubbing brakes for the next 3 uses of the truck. Then it dissappears.

    The engine makes a quiet diesel ticking sound when running because it has solid valve lifters. If the tick is loud you probably are low on oil. Pull the stick when the engine is cold and off. If the ticking is very loud and you have enough oil, you may need a valve adjustment, but this is unlikely unless you have a very high mileage on the engine or unless it has been run with low oil for a very very long time.

    Hope this helps you folks.
  • i have a isuzu axiom 2002 the other day I noticed the war would not crank at times then would start as if nothing was wrong then the other day it just stopped cranking Ithought it might have been the starter but when I had it tested it was fine then I had the alternator test and it was functional. I was told it might be an alarm system malfunction. I was wondering if anyone has come across this problem and could tell me where to locate the anitheft system and disable it.
  • isu2isu2 Posts: 8
    what were the parts used (brands) to add the air bag shock mod.
  • Looks like my 2002 Axiom (70,000 mi.) has a lower intake manifold leak, is this a common problem? The Isuzu parts guy told me you do not have to remove the upper intake first, upper and lower can be removed as one unit? Anyone know the torque sequence , I plan on doing this over the weekend.
  • rpg11rpg11 Posts: 1
    does anyone know if a 2003 isuzu axiom has an auxiliary input in the factory radio
  • Does anyone know if the active suspension shocks (Axiom 2002) can just be replaced with Rodeo or Trooper non-active shocks? I would think the Rodeo shocks of about the same year would fit. But I don't want to buy them and find that they don't fit.

    Trying not to spend the big bucks on the active shocks. Besides the sport mode seems too stiff and the non-sport mode too slopy.

  • I have an Isuzu Axiom '02 XS, 40K miles. I broke my driver side tail lights from a minor slip 'n bump, is it an easy fix? I found out from a dealership, the part replacement will cost $140+ tax, and the repair, sounded like the install will cost me plenty. The backside showed two bolts that I easily took out, but the things is still held inside by interior bolts. How do I go about fixing this. Need any help on it. Thanks!
  • Go to and look at page 57 of 72. After selecting 2002 Axiom. There is a close up of the lamp parts. There are probably breakers that have this part.

    Good luck
  • I would like to thank you for your help. The diagrams on the pages that you referred to proved invaluable to the replacement of my rear lamp on my Axiom XS'02. With your help, I was able to tackle the prob on hand, confidently, and in so doing, did some savings. I am sure this success story is just one among many, but anyway, my thanks.
  • dgluthdgluth Posts: 49
    My 2002 Axiom has 32K miles and recently (twice to be exact) the Check engine light has come on when pushing the gas (and goes out when you take your foot off the gas). I get home Check the oil and that is fine, drive it again and the light doesn't return. I have not gotten gas recently so it shouldn't be the gas cap and it runs fine. I know Autozone will pull your code for you but doesn't it have to be going off at that time, for them to get a code?

    Any ideas?

    Dennis P.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Once a code is thrown, it should stay stored in memory until someone clears it with a code reader.

    That's not always true in real life, but that's the theory.
  • I would bet that it is an intake manifold gasket. There is a warantee fix that is done in a few minuites and is free from the dealer. This a known problem and the symptoms sound like this is the problem.

    Let me know how it turns out.

    Also if your transmission begins to silp in 1st and /or 2nd gear (automatic) this is also a warantee problem and is common in the 2001 - 2002 French made transmission. There is an accumulator seal that begins to leak. It's another easy fix but initially the symptoms will freak you out. So keep this in mind.

  • My 2004 had a similar problem: It would crank and then stop just before starting, Then turning the key would do nothing. If I shook a cable coming out of the fuze box, it usually started fine.

    This problem started out of the blue, went on for three or four days, then never happened again. Strange.
  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Posts: 71
    Well, most of you know that the Active Suspension sucks so just abandon it. I have put on shocks all around and the Axiom finally drives like a car, but a little bit stiff (that’s good to me). The front shocks can be replaced with KYB - GR2 344054, and the rears with a shock that is 3 inches longer than the shock that fits the non-active Axion. I can’t find the receipt or box so you have to talk to the engineering people at KYB or Monroe or other good shock manufacturer. The shock needs to be 2 to 3 inches longer as they moved up the top shock mount in the rear to accommodate for the Active Suspension valve. The shock idiot light comes on in the dash but so what? At least the car rides better then it ever has. Good luck with your Axion. ANy questions, contact me through forum.

    Best regards
  • daud1daud1 Posts: 2
    hi, i have a 02 axiom and i just found that my ABS wires are chewed up. Is there anyway i can reattach them? the wires are about an inch short. the dealer wants 350.00 for a replacement. any help is appreciated.
  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Posts: 71
    Where are the wires cut? There are several hall effect sensors on the car. At least one each at each wheel.

  • this is as a result of the rear propeller shaft needing to be serviced. This propeller shaft is filled with grease and when it the grease becomes worn or disapates from use u get play which is what your feeling when u come to a stop and the truck settles or when u accelerate from a stop... My mom owns a 02 and we have this serviced about every 15 to 20k..... ck your owners manual under maintanence and u will find this item listed.... usually costs about $90.00
  • daud1daud1 Posts: 2
    the wires are cut closest to the actuator itself .
  • Bert: Thank you for this info, I was just researching this myself for my 02 Axiom 2WD, as I have hated the ride since the first time I bought it, and sure don't want to buy the OEM shocks again.

    Can you be more specific about the model number for the KYB rear shocks? This would be a great help to me! I think you mentioned contacting KYB directly, which I could also do, but it would be a great help to know the exact model number you used.
    Also, did you install them yourself, and how difficult was it if you did, or did you get a local shop to do it for you? Last, but not least, what did you do with the old electronic sensor modules? Did you bag and seal them and just leave them or did you remove them? What worked for you?

    Thanks again for the info. Awaiting your reply....
  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Posts: 71
    I have looked everywhere and cannot find the shock information. What I did was to remove the shock and measure it. The rears have a large electric valve on top and this adds about 2-1/2 to 3 inches to the shock height. The fronts have a much smaller valve. You need to replace it with a shock that has the same height and extended throw. I went on line and got some numbers for tech help from Monroe, KYB and others and talked to them all. I'm pretty sure it was KYB that had the shock I needed for the rears.

    Removing the shocks can be difficult. I just cut through the top of the valve front and rear. Also the sleve that goes over the bottom bolt and through the rubber grommet will probably be stuck to the bolt and you can't remove the bolt. I carefully torched off the shock, removed the rubber and again carefully torched through the sleeve not heating or damaging the bottom bolt. I just left the valve wires and plugs hanging and of course the shock warning light came on but there isn't really any problem with this as there is no feedback loop to tell the car that there is anything wrong or different.

  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Posts: 71
    Sorry this took so long to reply. Iv'e been working out of town.

    I don't see any reason why you cant just clean up the wires, slide a piece of shrink tube over them (individually), solder them back together shrink the tube and be on your way. Get the shring tube with the sealer inside as this makes a better seal on mission critical parts.

  • Bert: I very much appreciate that you took the time to check on this. I only wish you could narrow down the exact make and model of the rear shock though, as I called KYB Tech Support last week and even read them your posting over the phone, and they could not find any specific info on file, and the best they could come up with is to use the models KYB GR2 344298 for the front (a different model number than you mentioned, but KYB apparently changed some model numbers recently?) and the KYB GR2 344299 for the rear, as can be seen on at this webpage:

    But, what is suspect about the KYB Support answer is that these shocks are listed as fitting a 2002 Axiom WITHOUT the Active Electronic Suspension, and as you point out, there is a difference in the length of the rear shock that may be important.

    In fact, there is no way to know, even on the front shocks, without taking one off and comparing it to a replacement unit in hand, and the restocking fee at is 30%, which is pretty punitive.

    With a leaking front shock already, I am willing to risk the front ones and restocking, as the model number you listed does not compute with Tech Support.

    This all leads me to this question: Was it a few years ago when you did your replacement?

    Thanks, though, for trying. I hate to reinvent the wheel - some pun intended.
  • Bert-
    You are so right! My 2002 Axiom suspension is a POS. Are these replacement shocks plain R&R? I was informed they are fed by a hydraulics or are they electricly activated?
    My AXIOM is a 2002 with 43000 miles on it and all 4 shocks are shot. I called up Isuzu directly and they said "your out of warranty" anything else I can help you with"? I told the rep yes, please direct me to the closest Toyota Dealership!
    Your help is greatly appreciated.
  • The Axiom Shocks just have an electric valve on the top (which makes them longer/taller). This valve just opens to make the ride too soft or shuts/restricts to make the ride too stiff. I just cut off the wires and don't worry about to dash warning that says there is a problem with the Active ride system. It's just sensing that the wires have been disconnected. In an earlier post I gave the model and type for the front shock replacement. I found a shock that was longer and fit just right. The rears were harder to find and I just cannot recall what I used. However I would do it differently now. I'd Cut off the rear top shock brackets, drop them down on the frame and re-weld them on at about 2-1/2 to 3" lower. This isn't really too much trouble if you have a lift or a friend that has the tools. Once you lower the brackets I think you can just order the non-active shocks for the rear of an Axiom. To be exact measure the old shock without the valve and this would be the distance you would lower the upper shock mounts. In some ways this seems like a lot of trouble, but just look at the cost of the active shocks and the fix seems worth it. Remember that the old shocks can be difficult to remove. I used a recipricating saw to cut through the top of the shocks on the front and an air grinder chop wheel to cut through the top of the rears. Spend time soaking the bottom bolts in a release oil and be prepared to have trouble getting the bottom bolt out as it wnts to stick in the steel tube that goes through the bottom rubber washer/grommet.
  • Friends: I did it!!!

    Inspired by Bert's report, I bought the Axiom service manual online, researched the shocks, and a buddy of mine and I successfully changed mine out about 2 weeks ago. I have been testing them out to make sure they are working great and I am thrilled to have my old shocks replaced!

    So, I now have non-active shocks and have gotten rid of that overpriced, farcical joke of an active "intelligent" suspension system. All in all, it was not that hard. I will attempt to detail the steps for those who are interested in trying it.

    But, I can say that I now have a normal ride - no more sproingy ride- just a normal SUV ride. And no more of that stupid downshift klunking either, when going downhill.

    The steps to do this task (at your own risk of course) are as follows:

    1. Remove the fuse that controls the Active Ride system. It is located under the hood in a black plastic box on the LH side of the engine compartment. It is orange colored, 30 Amp fuse, I believe. It pulls right out. Put it in your glove box for safekeeping.

    2. Disconnect the battery positive + terminal.

    3. Disconnect the electronic connectors to each of the two front shocks. There are two gray connectors on each side (4 connectors total for the front shocks - 2 per shock). You can locate them in the engine compartment. The two on the RH side are hard to reach, but it is possible to unplug them. Wrap the connectors (car side) up in waterproof duct tape or black electrical tape.

    4. Remove the two black KYB dampening actuators that sit on top of the two front shocks. Believe it or not, there are only two phillips head screws on the top that have to be removed and the actuator assembly comes right off the top of the shock. Then there are two more nuts that have to come off. Remove the top nut and the U-shaped actuator bracket.

    NOTE: IF YOU ARE GOING TO ALSO REMOVE/REPLACE THE FRONT SHOCKS YOURSELF - then you can remove the lower nut. If you are NOT GOING TO REPLACE THE SHOCKS YOURSELF, then just remove the top nut and take out the U-shaped actuator bracket and then put BOTH nuts back on tight and let the mechanic deal with the rest of it. But after both nuts are removed, you can then remove the rest of the shock JUST LIKE ANY OTHER SHOCK ON ANY OTHER VEHICLE. All of the electronics on the front are gone once the actuator is unscrewed from the top of the shock assembly. This is the easy part.

    5.The electronics on the rear shocks are a completely different design from the front. There is no easy-to-remove actuator assembly, instead it is all a one piece assembly . But, there is just one electronic connector, and it is attached to the car's frame a foot or two away from the shock. You will need to trace back the cable to the connector and unplug it. You will get dirt in your eyes, so wear goggles. As I recall, I had to unsnap it from the frame to work on it. You then should wrap the male connector up with waterproof duct tape or electrical tape to keep the dirt out of it (in case you ever sell the car and someone wants it back to original condition).

    Now, here's the rub: the connector and cable assembly for the rear shocks stay attached to the top of the shock - there is nothing you can remove beyond unplugging the one connector to the shock, until you remove the entire shock. However, ignoring the cable and connector, removing the rear shocks are just like removing any other rear shock, which means that the job is still a pain in the [non-permissible content removed].

    6. To remove the shocks we used my friends' air powered ratchet tools and his excellent and complete wrench and tool set. The front ones came off easy and were easy to replace as well. The rear ones were a bear, really, and we had to use a lot of muscle. This is mainly because the nut on the top of the shock has to be wrenched off for quite a long distance and it does not want to come off at all. It will seem like it is cross-threaded. So, if you have time, use some nutbuster on it a week before you do the job, to save yourself some grief.

    At one point, we actually got the nut part way off and could go no further, even with both of us working on it - and my buddy is really stout. Plus, the rear shock will try to turn (rotate) as you try to undo the top nut, and you have no way to prevent this. So, one person has to grip the shock tightly with both hands while the other guy uses all his might to get the nut off with a hand wrench from underneath. Not fun. Not fun at all. But, if you can get the nut most of the way off, you can carefully hack saw the threaded rod to complete the task, if needed - we got lucky and started to hacksaw the threaded rod and then managed to get it off with a wrench instead. This will all make sense once you try it yourself, but I would say that because of this issue alone, IF YOU HAVE NEVER CHANGED OUT SHOCKS BEFORE OR DO NOT HAVE THE PROPER TOOLS, just pay your mechanic to do it for you. It was an extreme hassle to remove the rear shocks, and was the hardest part of all.

    7. We used Monroe Sensatrac shocks on my 02 Axiom. Monroe actually lists a replacement shock for "non-electronic" Axioms, and this set of shocks fit and work just fine, once you get the electronics disconnected/removed.

    The EXACT Monrote Sensamatic shocks I used are 37159 (front) and 37160 (rear) - I have the boxes here in hand. There are no extra parts/pieces required. Just these two pair of Monroe shocks. I got a quote from Sears to do it for $260, if I disconnected the electronics (which no one seems to want to touch), so keep that price in mind. The shocks themselves cost about $140 USD with tax, and given the difficulty, if I had it to do over, I would pay someone to do it. Plus, you get really dirty, and there is a risk of injuring yourself when working on shocks.

    8. Which brings me to the safety point: we were extra careful, used jack stands and safety precautions and no one got hurt. If you are not competent at shock removal, or are careless, you could get hurt, so be careful.

    9. After replacing the shocks, reconnect the battery + cable and reprogram your radio. You're done, and now your Axiom will ride like a normal vehicle.

    10. Also, because the so-called "Intelligent" Suspension system is now unplugged (deactivated), including the stupid G-force sensors mounted on the frame, you will not experience that annoying downshift when you go down a steep hill. I never liked it anyway, and don't miss it a bit. Also, because the ISC fuse is removed, there is no shock indicator lamp that lights up on the dash either, as this was controlled by the same ISC system.

    Hope that helps. Email me if you need diagrams or more information, but it works and it works well. Also, you can probably use other brands of shocks, if you want to cross the Monroe numbers above - just keep in mind that the rear shocks are longer by about 3 inches or so. You can check the
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