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Isuzu Axiom Transmission Problems



  • So i tried to change the oil on my 02 Axiom and drained the tranny fluid on accident! So i have to have it towed to a garage and have them fix it right? or is there some way for me to add it? Is there going to be alot of other problems??? I didnt completely screw it up did I? Will it cost a fortune if I cant do it myself?Thought I would ask you seem to know alot about the car... Thanks...Kay
  • rb44rb44 Posts: 1
    I have replaced mine twice. 82000 and 126000. 2500.00 each time. :cry:
  • qinvaqinva Posts: 7
    We bought an Axiom XS about 7 months ago, and luckily, or because they knew something was up, the dealer included a drive train warranty. Trans displayed what some of you are describing, along with a trans overheat warning light, and then died. We found a really good mechanic in Mike at North American trans, in Richmond. He not only replaced the trans but also educated me. Trans is an old GM unit that has been modified for use in many vehicles including BMW's, Isuzus, and a host of others. It has problems. It should NEVER be flushed, but instead the pan should be dropped, cleaned, and a new filter and fluid installed. The external flushes do not work, but instead can lead to failure 'cause they pack the sludge into places it shouldn't be. He showed me my old unit with the pan removed and it looked like someone painted the inside with thick dark grey metallic paint. And, this was less than 100 miles after the Isuzu service dealer FLUSHED the trans( I requested a full service with new filter and oil, they said it isn't necessary and they don't do them). Car had 62k, and actually had a junkyard trans that had been installed(according to the yellow paint date on the case) the month we bought the car. An auxiliary trans cooler had been installed, but it was too small and mounted on the back of the radiator instead of in the cool air in front. Our oil lines are hard steel lines, so I don't understand how the line blew on the trans in the other post. The bottom line, to me, is that the trans needs special attention from all us long term Axiom owners. If you are in an area with hard winters, check the trans lines and replace if in doubt. It's much cheaper than a replacement. I plan on having Mike service the trans every 15k - also much cheaper than replacement. It may be that the stock, radiator trans cooler is too small or restrictive, because once it starts getting hot the trans will fail. I plan on putting a larger, heavy duty cooler on the car IN FRONT of the radiator, and recommend that everyone add auxiliary coolers, or eliminate the stock cooler altogether. Mike said heat is the biggest problem with this trans - it doesn't like to get hot. Once it does, the problem worsens fast and leads to failure - sounds like the cooler, and/or filter, gets restricted once the sludge inside starts to form and failure follows. Mike's done a lot of BMW replacements of this same trans and they all look like mine did after they fail. Keep 'em cool, and keep 'em running.
  • qinvaqinva Posts: 7
    Get your transmission serviced right away. DO NOT let them sell you a flush, and if you come back to get it and they didn't service the trans, but instead just flushed it, raise hell. go to a reputable trans shop and have them drop the pan and replace the filter and fluid. don't screw around, $100 bucks now will save you junking the car if you can't afford the 4 grand replacement cost. The cars are great cars. You cannot replace its features in another car for the same price as your Isuzu.
    Closest thing I've seen to the Axiom is a same-year Lexus suv.
  • qinvaqinva Posts: 7
    This is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my post. DO NOT let anyone "flush" the trans in your ISUZU!!!!!!! Go to an independent trans shop with a good reputation and ask if they know anything about the trans in your Isuzu. If they can tell you the problems it has and tell you it should never be flushed - you've found your shop. If they recommend an external flush, turn around and walk away, and try the next place.
  • qinvaqinva Posts: 7
    A reputable shop will charge between 4 and 5 thousand to install a "remanufactured", guaranteed unit. don't let anyone "rebuild" yours on site. The dealers and warranty companies(like Premier) will only install the remanufactured units. This transmission is a good, but old design, GM unit. Service it with a new filter and fluid regularly (15k) and it will last forever. Let it go until it overheats and it's done.
  • qinvaqinva Posts: 7
    There are 2 plugs on the bottom of the trans. One is the fill hole and one is the level hole. You pump the fluid in the bottom hole until it starts to come out the top hole. Plug the top hole and quickly seal the bottom hole. there is no hole in the pan.
    While your down there, do yourself and your tranny a favor and drop the pan, and replace the filter and fluid. did your seal blow because the trans got hot and the extra pressure on a hot soft seal blew it out. Could be telling you something. Heat is this trans enemy, and restricted oil flow is what makes 'em hot.
  • qinvaqinva Posts: 7
    Get your car to a qualified trans mechanic NOW. It may already be too late. A good trans shop knows how to service this trans - it's a GM unit!!!!! do not let anyone do and external flush of this trans. Have the pan dropped and filter and fluid replaced. If they offer a flush get the heck out of there and find a good shop. People that know this trans know it should NEVER be flushed.
    You may be able to save the trans if you act now. But, it might be too late.
  • qinvaqinva Posts: 7
    Unless the repair of your 'seeping' oil pan includes a complete trans service with filter and fluid, you should get out of that shop and never go back. The gasket and filter kit is less than 50 bucks, up to 75, depending on the brand. $200 for a complete service, which would include the replacement of the pan gasket, is in the ballpark for a complete service, but way too much for just a gasket replacement.
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    Couple of years ago my servo cover broke and all the fluid drained out. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • texas_techtexas_tech Posts: 3
    edited September 2011
    I bought my 2004 Axiom (2WD) when it had about 40K. Now, it has 63K, and I want to change the transmission fluid. From previous discussion, it seems that it is safer to do transmission fluid drain, not transmission flush.

    So, today I visited Midas and they said that they need "Genuine Isuzu Transmission fluid." I checked online, but I did not find any such fluid. Will a regular ATF Dextron III work?

    Also, I went to a former Isuzu dealership, and a mechanic there offered to drain my fluid for $99, but mechanic said that "a lot" of old fluid will stay in the transmission system. Please let me know if I should ask specific questions before I let him drain and refill my transmission fluid. And should I buy a new gasket/filter for my transmission. Will this one work? Duralast Transmission Filter/Gasket
  • I'm not sure what my mechanic uses, but I'm positive it's not "Genuine Isuzu Transmission Fluid." I'd definitely have the gasket and filter replaced when the fluid is changed.

    Did you check the manual for the transmission fluid type?
  • Can I please get a PDF copy of the manual as well. I am having issues with my 02 Axiom transmission too.

    Thank you
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    Has anyone else experienced problems where the trans doesn't want to shift after being driven hard(e.g. constant hard accleration)? Mine will not move at all if I drive it too hard but if I wait 20mins or so its fine again. Sometimes on the highway I will start too see white smoke at the A/T Oil light will come on. Again, none of this happens if I take it easy and ease my way up to speed. WEIRD
  • Where is the Aamco you went to located, please!
  • The Isuzu owner manual says Dexron 3. there is also a dexron 6 that might be ok if compatible with the 3- check the label, but Dexron 3 is available everywhere and less expensive. the filter and gasket is also available. It is a GM tranny , nothing wrong with an ac delco filter kit. I bought a kit from advance auto parts but I wont do this myself. sounds too complex. I do hate to take down the pan on my Axiom. I have a totally dry undercarriage, not a leak or seep on anything in my drive drain on my vehicle. I guess the main thing is to drain the oil form the lower plug- plug it back, then fill it from the upper fill hole till it runs out, plug it , start the engine the start filling it again till it runs out and replug it. Guess you need some kind of oil pump to get the oil back into the fill hole. Need to do my rodeo too as its got about 100k on it.
  • cptsessocptsesso Posts: 116
    Keyser Avenue, Scranton PA
  • hi, i got a 2002 axiom isuzu suv last month and the transmission and engine lights are on, the gas meter doesn't work and i took it back to the dealership i bought it from, and they don't want to take care of it, i am going to file a claim against them at the Business bureau but i need to know if there's anything else i can do to make them give me a refund or have them fix the issues, they were so "nice" when i bought and it seemed like it had no issues, and after i told them the problems they were so mean and said they would never buy an isuzu, what can i do?
    Also, if getting my money back doesn't work, i might need to replace the transmission, does anybody know if this transmission is compatible with any other make and model? thank you
  • sounds like a case for the BBB, or attorney general. it should have at least a 30 day warranty. and if you are in a state with emmisions testing, it wont pass with the check engine light on and thus they can sell it that way if it won't pass.
  • tiawtiaw Posts: 1
    Mine would do that - I didn't drive it hard but after driving for long distance awhile it was like it got hot or something and didn't want to shift. My husband changed the filter in it and now it is the opposite. If it's cold it has to warm up before it will go and the only way it will go now it manually shifting it from first to third...I cannot afford a transmission so I only drive it in town and manually shift it
  • thats odd. are you sure it is properly filled with dexron 3 fluid. It is hard to check if you do it your self. from what Hear you have to fill in through the fill hole- higher than the drain plug. fill it up through the fill hole and close it. then start the car, and go through each gear for 5 seconds then back to park, with the motor running, open the fill hole again and keep adding fluid till it starts coming out the fill hole and before the fluid gets too warm then cap it up and shut off the motor. maybe it is not fully filled. good luck with it. I bought a filter kit to try to do mine but getting under their to fill it looks like a chore. regard.
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    That's interesting, it sounds like your Hubby may have done something wrong.
    I'm contemplating going to the dealer and having the tranny serviced ( drop and clean the pan add new filter and fluid) but I hate to waste $$ that could be going for a tranny replacement. That procedure is $265. I've been calling around and a new trans w/ labor is around $3200. It sounds like he did a half job as he should have done the aforementioned procedure to get all the old fluid etc....
  • I bought an Isuzu Axiom 2002 model a month ago from a 3rd party in Nigeria. Check Trans + Check Engine lights were blinking. Mileage 82,000. Took it to a Mechanic who drained the trans fluid and refilled with Mobil ATF 220 (no Dexron 111 where I stay). Now the car wont move on Drive except I press winter Drive button. Autoboss V30 Diagnostic report: PO748- Faulty Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid valve. PO730-Incorrect gear ratio. P0218-Trans condition over temperature. P1870- Problem in CVT speed Change control valve assembly. My mechanic wants to change the whole gear system. Don't know any Isuzu Axiom dealer in Nigeria. Can't drive unless I hit the 'Winter Drive' which goes off after 20mph. Pls advise.
  • Wow . . . I just can't believe an Axiom made it to Nigeria!
  • I have a 2002 axiom base model with 40000 miles on it third owner yesterday coming home from work when I went up a hill at 20 mph all mine did was reve up no speed nothing. Dropped it to third nothing second gear can go 40 mph first gear 20 mph (live in PA) took it to our friend who has a shop but after filling with two quarts of wolfs head aft (major pain) and going thru gears like it says took for test drive still the same calling gm on Monday seeing hows it's a gm tranny n a isuzu dealer is like 60 miles a way on highway don't wanna drive it 40 in 65 lol. What is average cost to rebuild tranny
  • a9x2a9x2 Posts: 25
    I just went through the same thing. My trans was toast. Would not shift into 3rd gear either. I did know it was failing though because it was slipping for several thousand miles. Do not take it to an Isuzu dealer. The trans alone there was $5,500--don't forget the extra cost for labor. I called around and got prices for a trans rebuild/replace in my area. The prices I got were $3200,$2700, and $2300. Anywho, $2300 later my AX drives on. Look for mom and pop shops that work on transmissions. AAMCO is another option but there were on the pricey side.....
  • wykidd28wykidd28 Posts: 1
    check nuatral safety switch i had to replace mine
  • My axiom just turned 80K. I took the car to jiffy lube, at 79k and told them how to change the tranny oil - it seemed that they knew to use the drain plug and then refill through the filler plug. start the engine and shift through the gears and then with the motor running recheck and fill more till it runs out. The old fluid was pretty dark- I gave them a jar to catch a sample so I could see the condition. It seems to shift better, though it was not a big issue before, only a few hard shifts. there is that shift solenoid that can be replaced but thinking that new dexron 3 or 6 fluid may help lubricate that better and maybe clean it. I think I would like to either change the fluid again soon or actually have the filter changed to get more of the old dark fluid out. It was 49 bucks to have the fluid changed, not bad considering about 6 quarts of fluid alone is about 5 bucks a quart or more. I am sure you probably only get half of the old fluid out with a drain, but think its worth it. Dexron 6 can be used fir dexron 3 but not the other way around.
  • rdw0372rdw0372 Posts: 3
    Where is your mechanic located? I'm also sure my car is having the same problem. I like to talk (take the car) to him if he's in the local area. Thank you.
  • rdw0372rdw0372 Posts: 3
    Has anyone else experience this (or something similar)? About a month ago, my radiator goes out, straight forward fix. The car drove fine for about two weeks than “check transmission” light displays and the car shifts hard. I park the car overnight, start the next morning, drives perfect. To be safe, I take it over to my mechanic for him to check out. He checks the transmission oil, seems everything is fine. The car drives perfect for the next week then the light comes back on. I park it again and it does the same thing except, this time I take it to a transmission shop. The transmission specialist hooks it up to his computer but there’s not any codes indicating something’s wrong with the transmission. I take it back home and 4-5 days later the check transmission light is blinking again. I return to the transmission guy, he suggests checking the pan, upon examination he said the debris, on a scale of 1 to 10 was a “1." He recommends hanging the solenoid switch and gaskets, I got that done and the very next day( drove car about 35 miles), that darn light is back on and shifting hard again. I take it back to the transmission guy; he said that it’s an electrical problem. I take to my regular mechanic, he hooks it up to his computer but no codes come up. Turn the car off, light gone and car runs fine again. My normal mechanic says it might just need the computer reset (he wanted me to come in the morning). This problem only happens in the late afternoon (when it’s hot outside). I think it’s some fan relay switch because in the early morning and mid afternoon, the car drives and functions perfect. Any suggestions?
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