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Isuzu Axiom Transmission Problems

dave02dave02 Posts: 1
I've got the accumulator seal/cover leak on my 02 Ax. Will be getting the part on Monday but would like to add some lost fluid - but where to fill from as there is no dipstick. Any help is greatly appreciated.



  • we have an 03 Axiom and do not live near a certified dealer. In order to get our transmission serviced we have to take it to a qualified dealer... meaning someone who has the special tool required to service the sealed transmission. It doesn't have a dipstick and unless you can purchase this equipment yourself and educate yourself on how to use it...I imagine you'll be needing a 'qualified' dealer as well. A word of warning though... we recently took our Axiom to a dealer because we needed new intake gaskets...they recommended that we service our transmission (due at 50K m according to them), as well service the timing belt, change the water pump, flush the fuel injectors, change the fuel filter, etc. Our Axiom has 85K mi, and we knew we were 10K over service...we agreed to have the fuel filter changed and the injectors flushed, said no to the timing belt/water pump, and agreed to have the transmission flushed. It took 7 days for the mechanic to change the intake gaskets, flush the fuel system, and flush the transmission. They charged us just under $900. 2 days after getting our Axiom back, the transmission went out. We had it towed back to the dealer, where they estimated repair/replacement cost at $5000!, admitted that the mechanic knew the trans. was slipping when we got it back and didn't inform us, and then further informed us AFTER THE FACT that flushing the transmission may cause loose debris that would destroy the transmission, since it was 10k mi overdue (25k according to them). We are now without transportation and possibly looking into a lawsuit- or a great deal on a new car. I suggest finding a mechanic you can trust to service your car.
  • I also want to add...I'm currently researching just how much a replacement transmission actually costs... Isuzu will not give me a personal quote, only through a dealer. I found $2200 listed as a repair cost on consumerguide. I also found that this transmission does have known problems but no recalls.
  • The only way you can add or refill fluid for 2002 Isuzu Axiom is from bottom of trans.,not from the top.Take your car to the shop is the best way.
  • ga12345ga12345 Posts: 1
    Did you ever find out how much it costs to replace a transmission? I might have to replace mine and would like to know. :cry:
  • macdougallmacdougall Posts: 5
    I have an 03 Axiom. The check engine light started to blink, and now it is stalling or bogging down at stop signs, and lights. We checked the O2 sensors, which we found has 4! That didn't seem to be the problem. It seems to be getting worse, anyone have these same problems? The nearest dealer is 2 hours away.......I recently had the fuel filter changed and air filter, with no luck?
  • sagefemmesagefemme Posts: 4
    We received two quotes...both said the actual trans. replacement cost would be $4500. :surprise:
  • sagefemmesagefemme Posts: 4
    Our Axiom did that. That's why we took it in...they diagnosed it as intake gaskets which needed to be replaced.
  • axiomguyaxiomguy Posts: 6
    Mine did the same thing, ended up being the egr valve located on top of the engine right in front of the firewall. You may want to goto Autozone and have them run the code.
  • macdougallmacdougall Posts: 5
    Thanks for your reply. We took it to the dealer and had the same problem, intake gaskets. It cost $345, they charged $150 per hour for labor! Problem solved however, pockets emptied.
  • cptsessocptsesso Posts: 116
    Hey Mac, how many miles on your Ax? I had my 2002 intake gasket replaced under warranty last year. I am not sure of the warranty on the 2003's.
  • macdougallmacdougall Posts: 5
    Well mine is also a 2002, thought it was an 03. It had 68,750 on it when my problem started. They didn't say anything about it being covered under any warranty. I assume they wouldn't offer up that type of info.
  • cptsessocptsesso Posts: 116
    Are you the first owner? If not, the warranty period is shorter, I don't recall what the time frame is, but you can call to find out.

    If you are the first owner, I would make a call to the dealer as to why it was not covered. Mine was out of the 3yr, 50k mile basic warranty (time not mileage) but the gasket was covered under the 10yr, 120k mile powertrain warranty.
  • russkie03russkie03 Posts: 1
    I'm starting to feel the transmission starting to "slip" on my 2002 Ax. It doesn't engage initially unless I'm very careful with the gas. If I'm not careful, it jerks and then engages and it feels like it's getting worse. Could that be a transmission fluid problem or is this something else. I haven't taken it to a dealer to get the transmission fluid examined and it has about 54,000 on it right now. I know the manual says I need to do it every 20,000 miles, but I don't have a dealer near by and it's definitely outside of my skill set. I appreciate any and all help.
  • macdougallmacdougall Posts: 5
    I would first check your warranty. Then look at a previously posted message about having the fluid changed and the problems it cost. Sounds to me like it would be a bit more than just the fluid. However, I thought warranty runs up to 60K?
  • rpino69rpino69 Posts: 7
    I have an 02 Axiom with 90k miles and my check trans and set cruse light come on at the same time and the vehicle bogs and sometimes dies. Also when I come to a stop the trans or motor sounds and feels like it moves forward when I stop and on take of it feels like it moves backwards. Now reading all the stories it really sucks that I bought this vehicle. Has anyone had these problems and can u help.
  • rpino69rpino69 Posts: 7
    I own an 02 Axiom and the check trans and cruise set lights come on and then the vehicle bogs down or dies. It usually happens when I hit a bump or accellerate. Also when I come to a stop I hear and feel the motor or ABS system move forward and on take off it moves backwards. Can anyone help?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Please post your ABS question in Isuzu Axiom Brake Problems.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • jamrock02jamrock02 Posts: 9
    Hi, I have a 02 Axiom, and the transmission went out at 92,000 miles. It started slipping at first then just wouldn't go into gear. The dealer replaced it under warranty. The thing I couldn't figured out is the replacement only has a 12 month or rest of original warranty coverage. So take it in it is covered.
  • Problem fixed, I had to take it to the dealer. I had a short in my wiring from my crank to the PCM that caused the two lights to come on. The thump I felt was my drive shaft, It needed to be re packed. It cost me $600.00.
  • Hello all,
    I'm glad I found this forum to keep up with the latest on my 2002 Axiom. I've owned it since new and have babied it with good maintenance, oil changes etc.

    I had the transmission serviced at 45k miles and had just about reach 90k miles for my next service of the tranny. Unfortunately the week before I was going to take it to the dealer for service, the oil cooler line to the radiator blew without warning. No leaks or other signs were evident before the failure.

    Since it was the pressure hose from the tranny that split open, all of the fluid was dumped immediately had the car coasted to a stop. We had it towed to the dealership here in West Palm Beach and they replaced both hoses, the filter, gasket and flushed the tranny all of which came to $507. With the towing charge, I'm out about $600.

    My question to the group is this: Should I have expected this line to let go this soon? How many others have blown with less than 90k miles?

    I'm still covered under the 120k mile / 10-year power-train warranty by Isuzu but the dealership said that this pressure line is not part of that warranty. Should I appeal to Isuzu for my out of pocket expenses?

    Thanks in advance for your replies,
    SE Florida
  • dgluthdgluth Posts: 49
    My 2002 Ax (32K) was just in for an oil change at my local mechanic and I was told the transmission pan is seeping. She told me worse case scenario about 220 to fix, best case scenario it is covered under warrenty. The only problem is that there are no local Isuzu dealerships closer then 45 minutes away (with no traffic and 1.5 hrs with traffic). Question can any mechanic shop work on these sealed transmissions? My brother suggested going to Ammoco and just get the gaskets changed on it. Any ideas?
    Dennis P.
  • You might want to refer to past messages on the site, transmission repair and flushing can cause a lot of problems. I would go to a dealer and ask if under warranty and make sure that their work is warrantied as well after, due to some major problems some have had after transmissions have been worked on.
  • cfair15cfair15 Posts: 1
    My boyfriend has an 2002 Axiom. Just two days ago his car was working fine then all of sudden hischeck engine light came on. After that seems like first gear went out. He was only able to drive in the second gear. So the car only work in 2nd and had a reverse. He parked it for a day. Yesterday he drove it on the street from the house and then the car wouldn't move anymore. It had no gears at all and no reverse. We had it towed to the shop, waiting for them to get back to us. Would anyone have any suggestions on what it might be?
  • Hello everyone! I just bought a used 2002 Isuzu Axiom a few months ago, and it has a lift kit and larger tires on it. We got stuck in a major freeze recently, and had to switch it into 4wheel drive. Well apparently there's also a switch on the front tires that I have to turn on in order to activate 4wheel. We drove the truck home in low gear, to avoid slipping on the ice. Then, a few days later, I put it back into 2 wheel drive. Ever since that incident, my truck won't switch into 3rd gear. I checked the transmission fluid, and it's fine. When I purchased the vehicle, it didn't have a warranty on it, but after reading all these posts, I wonder why? Anyways, I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what my problem might be. My uncle thinks maybe I didn't take it out of 4 wheel drive properly, because it was in low gear or something. But I don't really know how a lift kit works. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! :confuse:
  • cptsessocptsesso Posts: 116
    I also have a 2002 Axiom XS 4WD but I do not have any "switches" on the front tires (hubs) to activate the 4wd. Not sure what you are talking about as I am not aware of any T.O.D.(Torque on Demand), 4wd Axiom that has anything other than a selector on the panel for T.O.D, 4wd Lo, and 2wd.

    Also, you can't check the transmission fluid very easily, as it is a sealed transmission (no dipstick). It requires you to get under the truck with the fluid warm and remove a filler plug to visually check for the fluid to be level with the plug opening. Not a very easy task.

    Are you sure you have an Axiom? Sounds like you do not.
  • wing5wing5 Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Isuzu Axiom and the ckT.O.D. lite is on. I also have no shift indicator light. When I take off it feels like the brakes are hanging up and I hear a clunk after I get rolling. Brakes, calipers and rotors less than 1000 miles ago. Any ideas?
  • wing5wing5 Posts: 2
    new development, started car for first time today and everything worked. have had inttermitten starting problem for a couple months. the key has quite a bit of slop in the tumbler. anyuone had any problems with ingition switch?
  • I have a 2002 Axiom and my Transmission went out at 92000 miles I had it under an extended warranty and the Dealership rebuilt the trans. The cost would have been 4,300.00. moving ahead 1 yr. and 2 months I have 134,000 miles and no warranty. My Transmission just went out again. Would not advise buying this car if you have not.
  • The tranny on my 02 Axiom went out at 102K miles and the dealership replaced it with a rebuilt tranny under the powertrain warranty. The new tranny seems to be sticking when it shifts from 3rd to 4th gear causing the car to jerk. Also, when in Power Mode the tranny whines out when shifting from 3rd to 4th, and the same jerk happens. When I take the car to the dealership they tell me that the transmission is working fine. Has anyone experienced these symptoms?
  • Thought this might be of interest to most Axiom owners. I recently bought a copy of the Workshop (Service) manual for my 02 Axiom Near the beginning of the service manual is this entry, which will really blow your mind, when it comes to the frequency of serving the automatic transmission fluid in an 02 Axiom. This is the literal quote, which I scraped off page 0B-7 in the Maintenance and Lubrication section:

    "Automatic Transmission Fluid Replacement

    Under harsh operating conditions, such as constant
    driving in heavy city traffic during hot weather, or in hilly or
    mountainous terrain, change the transmission fluid and
    service the sump filter after every 20,000 miles (32,000
    km) of operation.

    More over, the remaining life percentage of ATF can be
    estimated by using TECH–II as an auxiliary tool to judge
    the right time for ATF replacement.

    The remaining life percentage is calculated from ATF’S
    heat history. When it is close to 0%, ATF replacement is

    However, if you look at the chart printed on page 0B-2 it says to change the automatic transmission fluid at 120,000 miles. And, this is the same chart found in the owners manual in the glovebox. So, there is a definite contradiction here, especially considering that changing the AT fluid is a tricky task best left to the dealer or someone with a tranny fluid exchange machine.
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