Isuzu Axiom Maintenance and Repair



  • ivan02ivan02 Member Posts: 2
    Dear Walk the Walk2 I replaced my shocks about two weeks ago and just like you said it was really hard to remove the stock shocks but I did it and I really like my new suspencion, its a lot cheaper to go this way. My friend and I changed them in one day it was a lot of work the only thing that I have to do is to remove the fuse to turn off the shock light, but thanks for all the advice...
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Hi, Foks -

    I'm new to the forum, attempting to help a friend - widowed mother of three teenagers who recently discovered her 2002 Axiom's frame is rusted to the point of no return.

    We believe it would be unsafe to drive even after $2500 worth of repairs - and consider ourselves grateful no one's gotten hurt to this point.

    I've carefully read your discussion and am developing a list of resources for her, including the NHTSA and Cash for Clunkers sites - any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Did you, by the way, try contacting Isuzu?
    Thank you so much for any help -
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    Dear Coop15:

    Sorry to hear about these rust-thru problems.

    Questions for you: Has this particular vehicle been used in northern climates where salt is put on the roads during the winter, or do you live at the beach?

    Is the owner the original owner?
    How many miles does it have on it?
    When was the vehicle purchased and was it purchased new?

    I ask all this because there is corrosion coverage under the warranty for 72 mos. and 100K miles, but this is likely only to the original owner (such as myself). But, it is also unlikely that she bought it after July 7, 2003, given that it is a 2002 model, so the 72 mos. have probably passed already.

    (See Message #133 for exact details on Warranty Coverage, verbatim from the owners manual ... )

    You can certainly call the NHTSA, or post this to their website, but this is like a message in a bottle. Unless hundreds of owners have this same problem, not much will be done on a vehicle that is 7 years old now.

    HowardRU was able to get his insurance to cover it, but not sure if that will work for you.

    The 3rd option is the Cash for Clunkers or any kind of trade-in offer from a desperate car dealer. Most car dealers won't even bother to test drive the vehicle if its as old as yours. Toyota is an exception - they check out your vehicle thoroughly, but the Mazda dealer where I bought my Isuzu never even test drove my trade in. In fact, my wife sat in the car the whole time, because she hates car salesman with a passion.

    Last, but not least, you could donate the car to The Dignity Project, or a local Vo-Tech that does auto body repair, as a charitable donation. They will pay to fix it up instead, but current tax law only lets you deduct about 30% of the fair market value of the item, so the Cash for Clunkers may be a better way to go since it is a Federal TAX CREDIT, not a Federal tax deduction.

    But, DO report it to the NHTSA, because with enough momentum, a recall may be forced upon Isuzu America.

    Since Isuzu is out of the vehicle business in the US, I would not expect any kind of suitable response from them, when you call them. I called them myself and was not impressed by their lack of concern about my problem.

    Hope that helps.
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for your prompt reply - I feel helpless knowing this all comes down to an expensive loss... will urge her to report it and contact Isuzu -

    Yes, northern climate (PA - original owners), out of warranty by a year. Her insurance company won't even advocate for her, let alone consider financial remediation.

    Lord, you'd think we'd get what we paid for...
  • alexbeckeralexbecker Member Posts: 3
    I bought an Axiom for $7,000.00 within 3 weeks it started chugging, check engine light and reduced power light came on. I had to replace fuel pump, then carborator, then computer and a few other parts. Cost of $3500.00 thought that would be it. Ran for 3 good months, started stalling, check engine light and reduce power light on again. can't drive over 20mhp. now I'm told it is the wireing harness and might cost $1500-$4000 to fix. It is a piece of sssssshhhh.............tttttttt. I'm so mad. Cant afford to trade it in, cant afford to fix it anymore. Its just a driveway ornament. If I knew I would have bought something brand new. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    Alex: Sorry to hear of the problems you have been having. I hope you did not buy a lemon vehicle. Still, I could use some more info on your situation, such as mileage and whether you took the car to an Isuzu dealer or a all-around mechanic, and any other pertinent info, such as why they think it is the wiring harness...

    I am doubtful about the diagnosis your mechanic gave you. When I experienced the symptoms you describe, it turned out to be a clogged EGR valve. This is a part you can remove with two bolts and clean with acetone and a wire brush. But the symptoms, CEL on, reduced power, sluggish performance, were essentially the same. But, there can be many causes.

    Luckily, I was able to drive my car to my local Autozone dealer and have them plug in their OBD SCAN Tool and tell me what the Check Engine Light code was. This is a free service at Autozone, and Advanced Auto Parts, too. Then I Googled the code and knew it was the EGR valve and then took it from there.

    So, before you torch your Axiom for the insurance money, why not get someone to check the CEL code for you and/or get a 2nd opinion from another mechanic? While it is possible that you could have a wiring harness problem, even the service manual I have does not suggest this as a possible cause, based on your symptoms.

    See if you can get the Check Engine Light code and post back here, so we can comment on that. But, I would not trust what you were told without some backup or a 2nd opinion

    By the way, the entire service manual is available online in PDF format for less than $20, and it details the troubleshooting procedures for this kind of problem in Chapter 6.

    Hope this helps...

    Bert, do you have any thoughts on this???.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    Some humble pie here: I poured over the Service Manual with your situation in mind, and it is very possible that there is a problem with the wiring harness that serves the PCM (Power Control Module), or the Multiplex Controller, which is why it would be important to know if there were any Diagnostic Test Codes set in your vehicle. Based on your description, it does sound like the Reduced Power Light is staying ON constantly after the vehicle is started, is that right? But, we do not know if there are any Diagnostic Test codes (DTCs) being set, without the SCAN TOOL scan I suggested earlier.

    Be aware that the Service manual says the following:

    "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. An intermittent RPL may be caused by a poor connection,
    rubbed through wire insulation, or a wire broken inside the

    However, the problem can also be caused by a bad Multiplex Controller, or a bad PCM module, or in a best case scenario. a simple problem with one little wire leading from the Multiplex Controller to the RPL light in your dash's instrument cluster panel, or last but not least, a defective instrument cluster panel. (See diagram on page 1060 of the Service Manual below).

    Please look over the following three pages in PDF format. Download them and then post back here when you have them, so I can delete them, to keep my webmaster happy. I will leave them up for a few days for you:


    Bottom line, you should buy your own copy of the Service Manual online, then get a friend with a TECH 2 OBD SCANTOOL and lots of auto repair experience to check this out for you. You may be able to find and fix this problem yourself and save some $$$. Wouldn't that be great!

    I would hate to find out you have a loose wire that is easy to fix and the other guy missed it!!!

    Don't forget to post back here if you find a DTC code to share.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    If you can save them as .gif files, you can park them on your CarSpace photo album page. Then we won't have someone trying to track you down in 2 years who needs the same info.

    One way to save a pdf file with Windows is using the Print Screen key to copy the image to the Clipboard, and then paste it into Paint, then click Save As.
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    After some limited research, it turns out my friend may have no other option (still owing three years' payments and no financial support) but to have the frame replaced. She'll be fortunate to be able to afford that -

    My question: will the vehicle be safe to drive?

    Thank you -

  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Member Posts: 71
    I'd contact the state Insurance commissioner, and consumer rights office at the Attorney Generals office with all of the information she has. It sounds like the Insurance company is just jacking her in hopes she will believe they really can't do anything. The car is totaled and not drivable. Would they rather pay for damages and personal injuries when the frame separates at 65 MPH? [non-permissible content removed].

    Most Consumer Rights people attached to state AG offices are a great and aggressive resource.

    Let us know how it all turns out.

  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Bert -

    I can't thank you enough - you're giving me the resources to help her. I didn't even know we had a State Insurance Commissioner...

    Funny, last Wednesday my husband paid a visit to the welding shop and apparently put this guy on notice, this morning he refused to touch the vehicle (finally got it up on a lift to look, with my girlfriend in attendance). Literally falling apart in rusty chunks -

    He said he wouldn't touch it if he couldn't guarantee her safety - (???). What I suspected all along, why did it take a visit from a man to 'compel' this guy's moral reasoning...

    I will let you know - thanks again. I'm so grateful I found this site....

  • alexbeckeralexbecker Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the feed back. I had an 1995.5 Isuzu Rodeo for 12 years, LOVED IT, it was just time to get something new, I sold my Rodeo, and search for an Axiom. About 6 months later we found 1 in Rock Valley Iowa at a Ford dealership. I now live in Omaha, Ne and was willing to drive 4 hours to look at it. It was love at first site. I bought it, drove it back home, 2 wks later power steering pully fell off. Had that fixed at Firestone and had them do a complete check up. they said no problems what so ever. 2 more wks then reduced engine problems. I couldn't drive it 20mph 4 hrs away, so I brought it back to Firestone. The fixed everything aroung the wire harness, so I have warranties on all that, this last time we brought it to Jiffy complete auto care, then Tire Kingdom auto care, They both said it was the wire harness and then we took it back to Firestone and then they saidf the same thing. So thats where I'm at. I will copy the info you guys were so kind to leave and give them that so they can check it out. I will post up the info they give me when I get it all fixed. I REALLY like the truck and I put so much $ into that I would take a loss if I traded it in. Oh yeah, closes Isuzu dealership I could find was in Kansas City then Ohio. So I have no luck driving it there to get looked at, and was told that it could take up to 3 months for Firestone to find wire harness since there are no dealerships aroung and Kansas City and Ohio don't have the part. I'm just baffled and I just want it fixed. THANKS
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155

    This is how I was able to have my insurance company "total" my wife's Isuzu Axiom. I got $7500 for the car, and was expecting $0.

    1. Call your insurance company and tell them you hit a really bad pothole. Make sure there are potholes or construction near or where you were driving. Or tell them you were driving in a place where you know there is road construction (pretty much most state highways these days). Tell them you almost had an accident and it helps if you had small children or senior citizens with you (empathy play). Both were the case with my wife. You can also visit your local state highway comission and view all the ongoing road construction projects and refer to them by project # (I'll get to this later). Example is like the Mass one: ist.asp
    Print out a copy of the state highway project report and location and make sure you give it to the adjuster to show him/her that you didn't do this on your own.

    If you can convince them that road construction by the state caused the unusual damage, then they would not have a chance in hell suing the state for the claim you want them to pay you.

    2. DO NOT tell the insurance adjuster about the NHTSA Report # PE09030 opened on June 16th 2009.
    Telling the insurance adjuster about this pending case will only allow them to assume it's a defect in the car mfg and let you deal with the problem once the government sues Isuzu.....10 years from now. Do not mention this to the adjuster.
    (The Isuzu Rodeo uses the exact same frame as the Aixom). DO submit your own claim on this site.

    3. DO Call Isuzu and file a formal complaint. They will do nothing and will tell you that they are prepared to do nonthing since they don't want your business any more. Record the Case #.

    4. DO take pictures of potholes that you say are the some of the ones that you hit. Make sure the hole is on the correct side of the road and match the axel side that is rusted off. Otherwise it will look like you were driving on the wrong side of the road.

    5. DO look into the Cash for Clunkers program if it's still in effect by the time you read this posting. I was ready to drive an 8 inch bolt between the frame and the rear trailing arm just good enough for me to drive the car 3 miles to my new car dealer to get $3500. I would have towed it to the parking lot next store to the dealership for $50 and hobble it across the parking lot to get my free money.

    I had the towing company bring her Axiom to the Isuzu service dealer and they told me the only repair was a new frame for about $6000. Then I had the car brought back to my house and left it there until the adjuster came and eventually towed away.

    6. DO expect a letter from your insurance company after they pay the claim (at least in MA) that in such a situation where there is no other driver in an accident, they are allowed by MA law to assume that you are more than 50% at fault and as a result they are eliminating your safe driver credit! Is that a kicker or what! It's not like she hit a pole or tree or other parked car. It was a pot hole left in the road by the state! You are entitled to dispute the judgement and have your day in traffic/insurance court. So.....remember that list of road projects that you pulled down where you ran over the "pot" hole, and remember those compelling pot hole photos you took where you destroyed the car? Well make copies of those and include all of them in your letter stating that the state is at fault in that they did not adequately prepare the road surface for safe driving (unless it says drive at your own risk on signs). Use those photos of the road and surrounding area with constructions ignes, barrels, potholes with objects (like your leg) that show how deep they are. Have these ready for the insurance adjuster in case you feel he's going to find in "favor" of the insurance company.

    7. DO ask for another insurance adjuster if the first one doesn't see the damge your way. You probably have been a paying customer for many years now and that is the least they could do. If the car is at a repair facility, state they must have looked at the wrong car or confused your car. If it's at your home (like mine was) be friendly and cordial to the adjuster. Ask if they've ever seen potholes cause this type of damage? Ask if the insurance company would go after the state after paying out your claim (a bit presumptuous).

    8. DO file a complaint with the state Insurance Comissioner if you are denied. Call your local consumer advocate. In Boston, we have Hank Phillipie Ryan, Help me Hank, and others on the local network affiliates. A phone call could be worth $7K or more.

    9. DO NOT buy another Isuzu.....Just had to throw this one in (since they don't sell passenger cards in North America).

    Just thought I would pass on my advice to success.
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    The Cash For Clunkers federal program started this week and should be fully in effect by this Friday. My 02 Axiom qualifies as its combined mileage, according to the EPA website is 16 mpg. So, if I were to buy a NEW car, with mileage of at least 18 mpg, it would qualify for the minimum $3500 credit.

    The car ends up being scrapped when it is turned in and the dealer provides the credit to you.

    This might be a good time for many to turn in their old Isuzus for a new car.

    Read more here:
  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Member Posts: 71
    Well, damn, you threw a wrench into my ongoing plan at home. I dug a 18" pit in my driveway that the Axiom could drive into, then lined it with heavy plastic. I have filled the pit with salt water and a bit of muriatic acid. Every night I drive the Axiom in and let it sit overnight. Each morning I drive it out, let it drip dry then inspect the progress of the frame destruction and corrosion.

    Just Kidding............

    However your explicit fraud instructions on collecting the insurance money will be very helpful. By the way, you better hope no one in law enforcement or the insurance industry reads your last post. Frankly, I wouldn't have shared that type of information on a public forum

    Dead serious...........

    Best Regards
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Agreed and grateful - the information is very helpful, but you might have put yourself at risk -

    Thank you for sharing! Meanwhile, I'm sure my friend will get a chuckle out of this...
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    I am aware of that. Had thought about that also writing the steps.

    However, there is no fraud at all. The problem I had was due to the potholes that were on the state highway project. I have the proof of the project, road damage and every other piece of evidence signed, sealed and delivered. I also do have those witnesses who were in the car and would swear in court.

    What's a little embelishment?
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Have your friend go read my posting today on the NHSTA investigation into this problem. They are collecting evidence and customer complaints.
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155

    If you have not received this e-mail from Mr. Rinehardt, then copy this letter, answer the questions and send photos and mail it to him. I am doing certified mail to ensure receipt of this. If you go further into the carcomplaints site, you will see the letter actually mailed to Isuzu and Honda. They are investigating with a possible recall for this vehicles.

    Please do this asap, as the more info Mr. Rinehardt gets, the better our case is for a recall for these Rodeos, Axioms and Passports.

    Dear Mr. L......,

    My name is Derek Rinehardt. I am a federal investigator with the
    Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. We are conducting a
    formal investigation of 1998 through 2002 model year Isuzu Rodeo / Honda
    Passport vehicles for a potential safety related defect involving the
    rear suspension lower link components separating from the frame due to

    Thank you for filing a complaint with us in April. It is helpful to our
    investigation. As we gather more details it is sometimes necessary to
    contact the complainants for additional information.

    Your complaint suggests that your vehicle may have experienced the
    condition we are investigating. If you wouldn't mind, please answer the
    questions below (even if you no longer the vehicle) to supplement the
    information you have already provided us. The questions may seem trivial
    and some may be redundant to your complaint but are very important to

    1. If you did not provide the VIN of your vehicle with your
    complaint please do so.

    2. Are you the original owner?

    a) When was the vehicle purchased?

    b) Has the vehicle been primarily driven in you current state of

    3. What was the date of the incident?

    4. Were you the driver of the vehicle when the incident occurred?

    a) Were there other passengers in the vehicle at the time of the

    5. Please describe in detail the specific occurrence when you
    became aware that the lower link failed in your vehicle.

    6. Please also answer the following to supplement the prior
    information you have provided.

    a) Approximately what time did the incident occur?

    b) What were the weather conditions at the time of the incident?

    c) Warning Signs:

    i) Were there any warning signs alerting you to an impending issue
    with your vehicle?

    ii) If there were warning signs please describe the warning signs.
    (i.e. noise, etc.)

    iii) How long prior to the failure did you notice the warning signs?

    d) Which component failed (right or left)?

    e) How many miles were on your vehicle at the time of the failure?

    f) How fast were you traveling when the failure occurred?

    g) What type of road were you traveling on (i.e. two lane road,
    highway, residential street, etc)?

    i) If you recall the exact location please provide that information
    (for example the intersection of ABC Street and XYZ lane)

    h) What were the traffic conditions? (light, moderate, heavy)

    i) Were you able to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road?

    i) Was your vehicle stranded in a lane of traffic?

    j) If the vehicle was left inoperable did the vehicle require

    i) How long did it take for a tow truck to arrive? Where was the
    vehicle towed?

    k) At the time of the incident were you using your vehicle to tow a
    boat, trailer, etc.?

    7. Has the issue been corrected on your vehicle? If so how was it

    8. Did you report the issue to Isuzu / Honda? If so what did Isuzu
    / Honda say in their response to you?

    Also, please feel free to add any additional relevant information
    (including pictures). Thank you again for filing your complaint and
    contributing to our investigation.

    Best Regards,

    Derek L. Rinehardt
    Safety Defects Engineer / Federal Investigator
    U.S Department of Transportation
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Office of Defects Investigation, Vehicle Controls Division
    1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
    W48-219, NVS-213
    Washington, DC 20590
    Office: (202) 366-3642, (877) 536-8368 x63642
    Fax: (202) 366-1767
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    You folks are absolutely the best - we're on it!!!

    Thank you!!! Coop
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Howard -

    (Sorry, hope I'm not being too forward by addressing you as such)-

    Where on the NHTSA site can we find any of these complaints that have been filed?

    If the Fed's site is anything like the NYS Ed. site (I teach), it'd take four days to probe and find related information.

    Meanwhile, I've advised my girlfriend to start composing correspondence to Mr. Rinehardt (forthwith)...

    (smile) Thank you - Coop
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    You can File a complaint right here

    Also on this same page, on the left is DEFECTS INVESTIGATION LINK.

    This is where you can type in the NHTSA Action #: PE09030
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Better yet, why wait for the U.S. Postal Service to lose your letter to Derek L. Rinehardt. Here is his email address so that you can email him your letter and photos!

    [email protected]
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    why wait for the U.S. Postal Service to lose your letter

    But email has its own pitfalls - such as the ubiquitous spam trap. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Nope. I sent it return receipt and received both a confirmation of delivery and also a "Read" receipt.

    But also FAXED and also used good ;'ol USPS as a backup.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    But also FAXED and also used good ;'ol USPS as a backup.

    Now that is prudent! :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • woodycowoodyco Member Posts: 2
    Maybe the rest of you will think I am crazy, but I just purchased a 2004 Axiom with 73K miles. I have a 1999 Vehicross and a 1999 Amigo. I live in the high mountains of Colorado at 10,300 feet. The winters are brutal. My two Isuzu's have been completely reliable and real tanks in the deep snow and sometimes mud. We needed a 4door family 4X4 with reasonable gas mileage and clearance. My experience with the other two Isuzus and the realtively low price brought me back to Isuzu again, even though they are out of the market. As others have stated, using quality gasoline and an occasional bottle of acetone will keep the EGR valve and tube pretty clean. Otherwise, the carbon build up will suffocate the system and cause high idle problems. I use Shell gasoline almost exclusively even at the higher price. The Vehicross has 138K miles and the Amigo 82k. No problems except the EGR and Oxygen sensors in the Amigo. I do regular maintenance though. I appreciate this message board. With Isuzu gone, we have to depend on each other!
  • jedmustangjedmustang Member Posts: 12
    We have lot's of Isuzu Axioms here in Anchorage Alaska, mostly '02 models, originally brought in as low mileage used vehicles. They are quite popular and well suited to winter conditions, for similar reasons that you relate to in Colorado. I have not heard of any problems of frame rust here like has been recently discussed on this forum. All of the Axioms I see on the road seem to be holding up well and look good. There is a dealer that continues to provide reasonable support and service. There are also still quite a number of Rodeos, and Troopers on the roads.
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Isuu must have taken good care to make sure vehicles capable of bering shipped to Alaska (somewhere within the reasonble perimeter) were well built to suit environmental concerns - the difference between PA/NY winter coverage is substantial.
  • jedmustangjedmustang Member Posts: 12
    Alaska winter road maintenance does not use extreme concentrations of salt to melt ice, as I understand that they do in the NE US. We use mostly just sand for traction on ice. It saves a lot of rust damage to all brands of cars.
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Hello -

    To make sure the record has been set straight, my friend's Axiom was originally owned ( 4 - 5 years ) by a couple in PA. Pennsylvania doesn't use salt, either.

    Her rust damage (which totaled the vehicle) occurred over a period of 1 1/2 years. According to the mechanics we've talked to, Isuzu isn't the only manufacturer experimenting with 'new' (and I'm sure much more cost efficient) alloys.

    Luck with yours, sounds like you got a good one. Coop
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    When Isuzu put the cars on the boat from Japan, there are no plans as to where the cars will end up once they land in California.

    Other than smog emissions and some "entry port installs" of electronics or "packages", the cars end up wherever the demand comes from.

    Rustproofing of the frame would have been done before or during the mfg process in Japan.
  • cptsessocptsesso Member Posts: 116
    Axioms were made in Indiana not Japan.
  • woodycowoodyco Member Posts: 2
    Yes, Axioms were made at the Subaru plant in Indiana. Some major components became the Subaru Tribeca. Thanks Howardru
  • jedmustangjedmustang Member Posts: 12
    The door sticker in my Axiom says, "Assembled by Subaru - Isuzu Automotive Inc." I learned from somewhere else, the plant is in LaFayette Indiana. Because I was happy with my previous Subaru, that was one of the factors in my decision to buy the Axiom.

    You can find out a lot more about the history of the Subaru Isuzu plant at this Wikipedia link for Subaru of Indiana. Which shows the dates of production of the Axiom and various other models.,_Inc.
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    My apologies. It was my wife's car when I met her, that I "owned" via marriage.

    At this point, I don't give a [email protected]'s @ss about Isuzu or where they assemble their cars. Assembled in Indiana with mostly Japanese parts, including the frame.

    Isuzu produced a poor quality product with a frame that rusted prematurely for any market. They know whey they pulled out of North America.

    Enjoy your Isuzu....
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    During the quarterly PM inspection and oil change, I noticed a minor radiator leak, evidenced by green antifreeze appearing in the metal rock-guard pan at the bottom that protects the radiator and oil filter. No visible leak was detected.

    So, we idled the Axiom for about a half hour, then noticed a dribble coming out of the radiator overflow hose where it connects by the radiator cap. Just a small amount, but consistent. Checked the overflow hose - it was good, and not plugged; bought a small clamp and new radiator cap. That was yesterday.

    But, the problem persists today. I now suspect that maybe the bottom radiator hose connection, currently secured by the factory OEM spring-type clamp, may be getting looser, and may need a better screw-on style clamp instead. All hoses feel tight and fine, but this vehicle does have 97K miles on it and original hoses.

    So, there is a mystery radiator leak somewhere, one that is not readily visible, but that leaves radiator fluid in the pan. The vehicle never runs hot, but then again, I want to be sure it doesn't.

    Anybody have any ideas? I did do a radiator flush about 20K ago, so the radiator is clean and has great fresh green fluid in it. I hate to have to drain it unnecessarily... should I get it pressure tested?

    Or, as my mechanic buddy suggests, should I just go get a screw-type clamp and clamp the bottom hose connection tighter, in case this is a problem that only shows up when the vehicle has been running a while?

    What do you think?

  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Member Posts: 71
    Well, the new clamp is no big deal. Just get one and put it on, however you may spend some time getting the old one off. Just don't damage the hose in the process. I'd do that and keep an eye on the coolant level for the next few weeks or month. If there is no or minimal coolant loss you should be OK. Loosing a little? Then keep a jug of 50% coolant around and top off the tank as it needs it, just don't over fill.

  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    More on my radiator leak problem. I had to add that Stop Leak stuff. This radiator seems to have seam cracks in it, that leak just a little. The leaks are occurring in the top (plastic) portion of the radiator, below the rubber flap, where it could not be found easily. The stop leak stuff SEEMS to have stopped it for now, but a radiator replacement is in my near future, I think.

    The local Carquest store has a replacement radiator for $150, which is not bad, because the St. Charles Isuzu store shows the OEM one at $307. It doesn't look to be too hard to install - drain the radiator, remove the hoses, take off the shroud/fan guard, and remove a few bolts. An easy DIY task, really. But, I bet the local mechanics would charge me $600 to do this job.

    What is most disappointing is that the radiator did not last even for 100K miles. Technically, it's probably still under warranty at 97K miles, but it's not worth my trouble to find out what the dealer, who is 50 miles away would do for me now.

    Still, the fact that radiators are made out of black plastic and aluminum pieces is worrisome, and something I never noticed before, until mine starting leaking out of the blue.

    So, it's good to keep an eye on your radiator fluid folks and if you smell hot anti-freeze that's the first clue there might be a problem.

    Last, but not least, has anyone tried to do the timing belt change as a DIY project? Do you need special tools? Seems like if I have to tear down the whole front of the engine, I should do this at the same time? (Again, my mileage is 97K). Or, should I wait a while? I welcome your feedback on timing belt replacements for Axioms.
  • ftrflexoftrflexo Member Posts: 4
    Hi I'm new at this, but here go's I have a 02 Axiom my rear suspension lower link on the drivers side just let go spun the car around at 35mph my son was driving nobody was hurt the car is in the shop and I have been told that other parts of the suspension are ready to fail bottom line is the vehicle is junk but I replaced the motor at 90,000 at a cost of $5000 and it has 110--120,000 on it now. I see some people are having good luck with their frames how about motors? because now it appears I have a Isuzu Planter if anyone is interested in a motor please get in touch I hope I've done this right thanks
  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Member Posts: 71
    So, exactly what's the problem with the suspension parts? Are they worn out or corroded?

    Maybe you could spend some time looking at car breakers/salvage parts. There is an amazing resource of salvage businesses and they are all connected on the web. You can find anything for a Axiom through their network. I'll do some looking through my old files and see if I can get some websites for you.

  • ftrflexoftrflexo Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply, Corroded, the mounts at the frame of all the components at the rear, two mechanic's said there was no place to weld to and the rest of the frame was not far behind so I'll like to repair it but whether the time and effort would be worth it is the question. To look at the vehicle you would never know that it was dying of cancer, so I thought if someone needed a motor there is not many miles on mine, I did file a complaint with NHTSA but who knows when anything could get done? but because of this forum I was able to do so, and find out that Mr.Derek Rinehardt was looking into this problem, my only thing is other people should look at their vehicles this was a total surpise my daughter was due to drive this vehicle back to school at 60-70mph the same night it surely would have rolled.
  • coop15coop15 Member Posts: 10
    Can't believe this is happening to someone else - our condolences...
  • ftrflexoftrflexo Member Posts: 4
    Thanks, I am very surprised that one or more of these vehicles has not hurt or killed someone yet people please check your frames. it only takes minutes
  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    The Bar's Stop Leak did not work and the radiator leak continued to worsen, so I bought an aftermarket radiator at a local auto parts store, 2 new hoses, and 4 screw-style hose clamps. All total parts were < $220 with the antifreeze. Took my wife and I almost 6 hours (I guess we are either too careful or too pokey) to swap out the radiator, but it was not that difficult, just tedious and grimey.

    New radiator has solved the problem, so beware of these cheapo Nipponese plastic-aluminum radiators, they are basically junk and mine lasted only 97K miles.
  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Member Posts: 71
    Well, never mind about the salvage parts. Sounds beyond repair. I wonder what's going on? My 2002 Axiom looks fine underneath here in salty Wisconsin. Roads are really well salted here all winter so I don't know why my Axiom seems OK with 120,000 miles on it. Any conjectures?

  • ftrflexoftrflexo Member Posts: 4
    This vehicle came to me from NY at 50,000miles according to the title, reading some of these posts some people are having good luck and others not, well good luck with yours I have inquired yesterday about what Isuzu says. I'm sure it will fall on deaf ears, I will let you know how I make out Thanks
  • howardruhowardru Member Posts: 155
    Follow my advice from June. Perhaps you can get yours totaled too and get some $ for it.
  • bertbcfmbertbcfm Member Posts: 71
    108,000 miles and the trans was jinking around slightly then started to slip going from 2nd to 3rd. This was Friday late afternoon so I called the dealer on Monday. And drove in Tuesday AM. Almost didn't make it. Lost all drive line connection and had to pull over. I waited 5 minutes and it drove just fine so I made it to the dealer. Will get free new (not refurb) transmission. Also my gas gauge sending unit had failed and I dreaded replacing it but I found out that was also covered under the 125,000 mile drive-train warranty. I'm the original owner so I'm happy, but wondering what's going to go next. Still think the 4L30E transmission is a good transmission, perhaps it's how it is utilized in the Axiom with the TOD. Cadillac, BMW, Chevy, and Postal service trucks don't seem to have the trans issues with the 4L30E. Anyway I'd thought I'd let you all know the bad - good news.

  • walk_the_walk2walk_the_walk2 Member Posts: 140
    Sorry to hear that Bert. You have taken such good care of your Axiom, too. Great to know that the dealer covered it under warranty. They must be pretty reputable. Not sure every dealer would be so easy to work with.

    Question for you: Have you ever had to service your tranny in the past? Did you run it on stock fluid or synthetic? Did you ever have any leaks on the modulator? Is your Axiom a 4WD or 2WD?
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