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Isuzu D-Max Problems

Are you having problems with your Isuzu D-Max? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Isuzu D-Max issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Isuzu D-Max in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

My 2023 Isuzu D-Max SX is 'sweating oil'

A bit of sweating around the various parts of an engine where one component joins another is definitely not uncommon and not really a problem provided it's not actually dropping oil on the ground (at which point it's a leak, not a sweat-mark). But really, an almost-new vehicle like yours shouldn't be doing this at all.

The rear-main seal on the crankshaft is a likely culprit and a common source of leaks from this area, but since it's a big job (gearbox removal) to do it, I can understand why a mechanic would declare it okay and not to worry. The problem with that is that the sweating is likely to become a leak sometime down the track, at which point you'll have to act.

The good news is that because you've flagged this problem with Isuzu while the vehicle is still under warranty, it's called a pre-existing condition and is covered by the factory warranty, even if that warranty has since expired. However, one would hope that Isuzu does the right thing in the meantime and changes the offending gasket or seal to fix the problem.

Be very wary, however, about Isuzu (or more likely the dealer) claiming the problem is being caused by the catch-can you have had fitted. A good quality catch-can, with a relief valve and correct installation should not cause a rear main seal to leak. As for changing the grade of oil you're using, I doubt that it would do much, but since the alternative is a slightly thicker oil, it might just make the difference you're chasing.

I am having gearbox problems in my 2019 Isuzu D-Max

Problems like these are hard to diagnose remotely, as there's a lot going on in a modern gearbox. But, conventional wisdom suggests that a noise followed by a series of failures of the same component (the oil seal) means something inside is bent or damaged.

The noise is potentially being caused by something misaligned and rubbing or a damaged bearing, and the blown oil seal is the eventual result of the damage/swarf/heat/friction that results. The other possibility is that the rear gearbox seal is being destroyed from the other end of things, as in the tailshaft. A bent tailshaft could set up harmonics, friction or vibrations that could kill the seal, but you'd imagine there'd be a vibration through the whole vehicle at speed if this was the case.

Your vehicle is under warranty (six years of it from new) so make sure the dealer is aware of the problem and their obligation to fix it.

Fire risk: 2021-2023 Isuzu D-Max ute recalled with more than 8000 units of the dual-cab affected by fuel hose fault
Isuzu has published a recall for thousands of its D-Max utes after finding a fault with its fuel line that could lead to a potential fire risk.
Read the article
Are the front drive shafts and CV joints of the 2021 Mazda BT-50 interchangeable with the Isuzu D-max?

If we鈥檙e talking about the current model D-Max and BT-50, then yes, the entire driveline should be interchangeable. Under the skin, both the Mazda and Isuzu utes are the same vehicle. Car makers enter into joint ventures like the development of this pair of vehicles to keep costs down by sharing the expense of developing, engineering and testing parts like engines, transmissions and, of course, drive-shafts and CV joints.

While most joint ventures like this one will arrive at two vehicles with some visual differences and usually some details differences inside, when it comes to the oily bits, making specific driveline or suspension parts for one vehicle over the other is defeating the purpose of the joint venture in the first place.

What's your opinion on diesel engine remaps?

Remapping an engine 鈥 done right 鈥 can provide you with more performance. But there鈥檚 also often a price to be paid in terms of reduced fuel economy and increased tailpipe emissions. Typically, there are workshops that are very good at this and others that aren鈥檛 so expert at extracting more performance.

But before you go down that route, it sounds like there鈥檚 something wrong with your vehicle in its current state. Fundamentally, a 2013 Isuzu D-Max should be able to haul a van of that mass, comfortably at the legal speed limit. That said, that鈥檚 a fairly hefty caravan and experience shows that many owners of similar rigs find that about 90km/h is a more comfortable speed for highway travel. So maybe you need to lower your expectations a little.

A full service and tune-up would be the first step in improving the towing situation, by returning all the engine鈥檚 settings to their stock position. Modern turbo-diesels can also suffer a fall-off in performance over time as the fuel system (pumps and injectors) wear, the diesel particulate filter becomes full of soot and the intake system becomes clogged with a mixture of soot and oil from the vehicle鈥檚 emission-control system. Those are the things we鈥檇 check first before shelling out for a remapped engine computer.

Does the 2014 Isuzu D-Max have a DPF filter in the exhaust system?

Isuzu switched to a new, Euro 5-compliant engine for the D-Max ute in 2017. To meet the stricter Euro 5 emissions requirements, a DPF was fitted. But D-Maxes before that time do not have a DPF fitted. On that basis, your car will not have a DPF.

Given the problems experienced by owners of DPF-equipped vehicles (not just Isuzus) this is one of the things that has made the older D-Max such a popular second-hand buy.

Will a 2006 Isuzu nudge bar fit on my new 2021 Isuzu D-Max.

Almost certainly not. Unless there鈥檚 some strange quirk of manufacturing that allows the mounting points to magically line up, the current Isuzu D-Max is an all-new design, compared even to the most recent predecessor, let alone the model from 2006. The 2006 D-Max shared a lot of its architecture and engineering with the Holden Rodeo and later Colorado, while the new D-Max is a joint venture with Mazda and forms the basis of that company鈥檚 BT-50 range of utes.

You may be able to engineer a set of adaptors to mount the early nudge-bar to the later vehicle, but at some point it鈥檒l get messy and simply not worth the time and money investment compared with buying a nudge-bar designed specifically for a 2021 D-Max. There鈥檚 also the issue of whether the old nudge-bar design would be compatible with the air-bag system of the new Isuzu. Again, almost certainly not is the short answer.


What can I do after the engine cover arms of my 2019 Isuzu D-Max broke after being serviced?

Warranty or not, if the workshop that serviced the car broke the cover, surely it鈥檚 up to that business to fix it. Separate to that is the fact that the car is still well and truly under warranty, so that makes the problem Isuzu鈥檚 to some extent, also.

To be honest, these plastic covers are one of the more useless additions to modern cars and really only serve to make the underbonnet area look a bit neater when you open the bonnet. In fact, they allow packaging engineers to be a bit lazy as they can cover a messy layout. The best advice is to get hold of a new cover under Isuzu鈥檚 warranty and store it in the shed. Then, when you鈥檙e ready to sell the car, fit the still-new cover so it looks neat and tidy for would-be buyers. The vehicle will run fine without the cover.

What 4WD should I buy for towing?

To get a vehicle with meaningful (as opposed to a theoretical) towing ability of 2.5 tonnes, you really need to shop for a relatively late-model dual-cab 4X4 ute. The reason for that is that many vehicles that claim a 2.5-tonne limit in the brochure fail to explain that there鈥檚 also a Gross Vehicle Combination Mass in play and, by the time you鈥檝e added passengers, gear and a full tank of fuel to the towing vehicle, there might not be much of that GCM to devote to a towed load.

Going for a vehicle with 3000kg or even 35000kg towing capacity in the first place is a good way to ensure you do accidentally start driving around in an overloaded vehicle with all the legal and insurance connotations that involves.

A lot of the current shape dual-cab utes fall within your budget on a second-hand basis, but there are caveats. Make sure you only buy a ute with a full service history. Some of these vehicles were worked hard by their original owners, so be very careful before handing over the cash. Avoid ex-mine fleet vehicles and don鈥檛 be afraid to buy a base-model vehicle if it offers better value. Even a single-cab version of these utes will be a lot cheaper than the dual-cab and, if you don鈥檛 need the rear seat, are often a more practical solution. Makes and models include the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Mazda BT50, Mitsubishi Triton and Isuzu D-Max. For real value for money, vehicles like the Ssangyong Musso can tow 3.5 tonnes, are well equipped and can be had for less than $35,000 drive-away, brand-new. That also gets you a seven-year factory warranty. All of these options are available with the automatic transmission you want and, indeed, this is the best option for a tow vehicle.

Why doesn't my Android connect via Bluetooth in my 2017 Isuzu D-Max?

This topic has been a red-hot one for many years now. It seems a lot of car-makers can鈥檛 seem to get it right when it comes to specifying a Bluetooth system that will work for Australian customers. Toyota had all sorts of crazy issues with the Bluetooth in its vehicles of a few years ago, although recent experience suggests that is now sorted.

I鈥檝e not heard of the Isuzu D-Max as a problem child specifically, but it doesn鈥檛 surprise me to hear that you鈥檙e having difficulties. There鈥檚 a theory that some Bluetooth systems simply don鈥檛 play well with some makes and models of phones, and that could be what鈥檚 happening to you. A quick check would be to find a friend with an iPhone and see if that will work better in your car. That would at least rule out a blanket problem with the unit in your car.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.
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