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Isuzu Trooper



  • I am considering buying a 2002 Trooper. What is/has been reliability, safety etc on this vehicle?

    Would you recommend purchase of 2002 Trooper S?
  • cracoviancracovian Posts: 337
    Please judge the safety of the Trooper for yourself:
    I guess there is a way to put a positive spin on these results but I cannot think of any at this point...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There are at least 2 trooper owners on this board who were in 40-50mph T-bone accidents with previous troopers. Walked away untouched from their truck that was totalled and re-bought another one. For me that says a lot about them. Theoretical tests aren't real world stats. Real world stats show the Troopers as very safe. If they were so "unsafe" then the liability insurance on one would not be less than a mazda 626, a friend of mine had a 626 and the liability jumped $20 when he went from the 626 to the trooper.

  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I place importance on both controlled crash test results as well as anecdotal crash test results. I'm one of the folks whose Trooper t-boned another vehicle (his fault, not mine) and walked away basically unscathed. Well, I did have a sore neck for a few days but that was it. The Trooper, a 1996, was totalled. I felt it protected me quite well in this type of collision. We bought a 1998 Trooper to replace it.
  • loosehead - As far as reliability goes, the Trooper is well above average. I have owned 2 Isuzu trucks and 2 Troopers with a combined mileage of over 500K. I have never been stranded or experienced any major repair items. If you surf this message board, you will find very few complaints compared to other SUVS. Remaining Troopers are deeply discounted so don't pay anything close to MSRP on this '02 S model.

    cracovian - Don't give up on your Trooper. I know it's frustrating but you should see what Land Rover Discovery owners have to contend with the first 20,000 miles. Like the Disco, the Trooper is bomb proof to 200K once you iron out the new car issues. You mentioned you live in Georgia. I live in Atlanta and can tell you from experience that several Isuzu service departments suck. Stay away from Lou Sobh and Pugmire. I like Horton (terrible sales dept. but great service) and Southtowne. Good Luck
  • Thank you for info. I am looking at 2002 Trooper S (used with 14 K miles). Price will be about $16,500. I have spoke to approx 6 owners face to face over last couple of days all said that they liked them and would buy another. I need to move quickly.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    You might want to remove the word in your last post that rhymes with "shuck" before it's deleted!

    Interesting that Southtowne has a good service department. During my last Trooper search, I nearly bought a year-old Troop from them. I'm in Michigan, but would have flown to Atlanta and drove back the Troop. In the end, they didn't have one with TOD, so I ended up buying from a dealer in Maryland and driving it home from there. Horrible buying experience, by the way.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    There are some problems with the trooper...don't be fooled, many of us have had issues, such as starting, alignment, fuel regulator, etc. These are all fairly minor and get resolved by the dealer.

    I have had a "pulling" problem, where it took several tries to get it to drive properly (basically because I took it to a car shop and not a truck shop), my catalytic converter failed and was replaced under warranty, I had my thermostat replaced, my steering column was replaced under warranty (didn't fail, but a seal allowed water to get in and caused a coupling to wear).

    I have not heard of any real drivetrain failures on one of these trucks due to mechanical failure.

    Trouble free? I wouldn't say so...but free of major driveline problems, I would definetely say so. It is a truck and has different maintenance issues than say a nissan sentra, which may not need to see a shop for 10 years.

    It is important to make sure you include as part of your research finding a qualified place to get it serviced. Is the Isuzu place you are buying it from a Truck shop? Most of my problems have only been problems because I had to make repeated trips to the dealer to get the one thing fixed. Once I found a decent place, those issues were resolved.
  • That sounds like a fair price to me. Is it a 4X2 or 4X4? I have a '99 S 4X4 and have only 2 regrets in choosing an S over an LS or higher. The first was the lack of an armrest. I think the new S comes standard with this now. The second was the lack of TOD, I love my 5-speed but wish I had the added security that the TOD system provides.

    Thanks for the tip bluedevils. Sorry if I was offensive to anyone. On a lighter note, I've seen people dissatisfied with Lou Sobh scratch the "h" off the dealer nameplate. Talk about negative publicity.
  • bstone3bstone3 Posts: 97
    2001 TOD LS - 34K miles - 1 1/2 years ownership - one trip to the dealer to replace the drive by wire sensor - thats it - and the sensor was not causing a problem but the check engine light came on and the dealer changed it out. The 30K mile service I have had done by independents since the Isuzu price is rediculous. I have owned a bunch of SUVs and 4X4 trucks - this is by far the finest of the bunch. Still running on stock tires and they have 10K left. Run on Mobil 1 for 5K miles between changes and may use 1/2 quart berween changes.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    no offense taken. It's just that Edmunds has a pretty strict policy on profanity, and a pretty wide-spanning definition of what qualifies as profanity. So rather than see your helpful post be deleted, I figured I'd mention it in case you could clean it up first.
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    While my Trooper has not been trouble free, the problems I have had have been relatively minor: intake manifold gasket and fuel pressure regulator. Neither problem disabled the vehicle. You rarely see the major lemon problems that frequent the other boards.

    BTW, I'm waiting to see if my intake manifold gasket goes out again in January like it has before. It was -12 degrees this morning, so if it is going to happen it should happen now. Or maybe I did get the new improved gasket last time, have never been able to find out.
  • bawbcatbawbcat Posts: 118
    What are the symptoms of a bad intake manifold gasket? My Trooper runs normally as far as I can tell, but it does make quite a bit of intake noise, especially when the engine is cold. Could possibly be a leaking gasket?
  • cwmosercwmoser Posts: 227
    Brian, I would have preferred a manual transmission version. How well does the manual transmission shift?
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    IMG symptoms were most evident at idle. RPMs would surge from 0 to 1000 every second or two, "check engine" light on. I could also hear a hissing sound with the hood up.

    Starting and driveability were generally fine with this problem.
  • I have a 5-speed in mine. It shifts great. It feels a little stronger than the automatic in my opinion. I wanted a stick shift so bad that I ordered a base S model and then added leather, 6 disc changer etc. I get alot of comments from people that are suprised to see a manual transmission in a SUV.
  • I have a manual transmission Trooper because I did not particularily like the feel of the shifting in the automatic transmission on the 1995 Troopers. I have had a test drive of a 2002 TOD and I like it's automatic just fine. I like my manual transmission. It makes driving more fun and I think I am able to use more of the 175hp that my Trooper came with. I especially like driving it as if the 4000# trailer was there when it is not, revving to >5000 RPM before shifting and taking curves etc.. The Trooper feels pretty sporty that way, especially just after letting go of the trailer.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I wish there was a 4HI option with the Automatic.
  • cbreckcbreck Posts: 9
    For those who have experienced a leaking IMG, was the surging/stalling constant, or intermittent? My 98 trooper acts up once a week, with no engine light when it occurs. The dealership doesn't seem to have a clue. After talking with Isuzu, "they" tell me if it were the IMG, the problem would be constant. Any thoughts?
  • serranoserrano Posts: 107
    I tend to agree that an air leak would be constant, but not necessarily so. If it was intermittent, I would expect it to show up when cold.

    Easy check--when the truck is cold, start it and open the hood. Spray some starting fluid around the manifold where it contacts the block. If there is a leak, you will hear the engine speed up as it draws the starting fluid into the cylinder(s).

  • gao16gao16 Posts: 7
    I just had to take my 2000 S (pretty basic-auto and TOD) to the dealer on 1/20/03. Symptoms-constant check engine light, surging RPM at idle, unable to sit and idle for more than a few minutes, and intermittent stalling. The problem was fixed under warranty, no problems with dealer. I also received a follow up call the next day from dealer service department. Seems Isuzu computers were down on 1/20/03 and the service dept was unable to check recalls. The service mgr set me up with a loaner and recall work was done today. The recall work had to do with a fuel hose kit and a fuel pipe protector. I would recommend M'Lady Isuzu in Chicago area for service, but I did have a bad experience with their sales dept.
  • Starting fluid is even more explosive then gasoline. Maybe use WD-40. At least don't test it in your garage.
  • serranoserrano Posts: 107
    Do you have any proof to back up your assertion? Starting fluid is basically alcohol. I disagree with you. It's not like nitromethane, or even gasoline. I have used it on snowmobiles, small engines, and autos, and have yet to see any evidence to support your conlusion. In my opinion, gas vapor is much more dangerous.

    WD-40 is a water dispersant, albeit petroleum based. I would be very surprised if it did anything at all.

  • ostazostaz Posts: 80
    Starting fluid is NOT alcohol based, it is ether based, and yes, it's explosive and dangerous.

  • Starting fluid, at least the traditional kind , is more like ether than alcohol, and is extremely flammable, and dangerous to inhale. WD40 will definitely change the fuel/air mixture into something more combustible. It has solvents in it that are extremely flammable.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    sorry, couldn't resist.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,621
    I went sea kayaking one March and a snowstorm blew in after we got set up on the beach. There was lots of soaking wet driftwood, but the can of starter fluid I found on the beach got a bonfire going in no time. If you read Crankshaft, think about Ed's BBQ :-). That stuff will singe your eyebrows before you light it!

    Can't imagine it being good for MAF sensors and the like on newer cars.

    Steve, Host
  • cbreckcbreck Posts: 9
    The surge/stalling problem I have is not constant. The first time it occured was after my first drive out to the Colorado river from Los Angeles, in the middle of July(110 degrees), no check enging light. After stopping for food and beer, the surging stopped. Since then, it occurs after driving more than 20 miles on the freeway, or after several short trips in the morning. Only twice has the check engine light come on. I don't know how much of a leak would cause the problem.
    I'm wondering if it's possible for the gasket to expand and contract throughout the thermal cycling of engine operation, enough to cause the problem to be intermittent? I'm stumped!
  • Recently I have driven in some very slippery ice on steep hills, a significant hazzard South of the road salting line. The kind of hills that I downshift to ascend in summer. Today there was a Jeep Grand Cherokee spinning its tires and being pushed by two big guys that I had to wait for. They ended up going back down the hill to find another route. Once the jeep was out of the way I put my Troper in 4wd High and eased the clutch out in first gear. I went right up. I even was even able to shift to second without breaking loose a tire. Another vehicle suddenly apeared over the crest of the hill from the other side, the sunny side dry side, it was moving too fast, I was worried for a moment since I was in the oncoming lane going around an abandonned car, but I was able to get back over to my side of the road before the oncoming vehicle got too close. A few miles later another big glare ice hill and this time it was a full size white work van that could not go up. He got sideways and was lucky to stay out of the ditch turning around. There were cars in the ditch on one side and way down in the woods on the other that slipped off this hill. Again I eased my Trooper right up the hill without slipping. I don't have TOD and I don't have rear limited slip. My 1995 SOHC Trooper-S has new Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo tires that impressed me very much today.
  • serranoserrano Posts: 107
    Okay, okay, ether is not the same as alcohol. Here is a link describing its composition - I grudgingly yield to the masses who think the car will explode by virtue of spraying ether in the engine compartment. However, keep in mind that folks spray this stuff into an open air cleaner and intake manifold. I think the dangers here are overstated. Yeah, if you empty the whole can into a puddle on the engine, you might have some problems, but let's not get too PC on the dangers of a spritz of starting fluid.

        An alternate method of diagnosis is to use a vacuum gauge. It is likely that an air leak would lead to unsteady, weak vacuum. I defer to the experts on the correct engine vacuum for this vehicle at idle because I have not had the opportunity to do any diagnosis of this type on a trooper.

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