By September 25, 20084 Comments Read More →

1999 Isuzu Rodeo Runs Bad And Engine Surges

Reader Question
Thank you again for your site, it has a lot of helpful information and resources! I tried to look for a problem similar to my car’s problem in the archives, but was unable to find one.

I have a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo (used) that has 100,000 mi and has been having the same problems for 3 years now. The car will shake or shutter violently at stoplights or stop signs and idles really high.

It seems to want to shut off, but never has. Also, it will “lurch” forward when I apply my brakes and am coming to a stop. Whenever this occurs, I will pull over and shut the car off. Then, it’s hard to restart and the check engine light comes on.

After driving around and multiple start ups, the check engine light will go off. I have taken my car into the dealer and other mechanics, but the problem has never been completely solved.

Like Murphy’s Law, the dealer/mechanic can never recreate the shuttering and the check engine light goes off whenever I take it in. They have tried the following: flushing out the EGR valve, cleaning throttle body.

I have taken it to one place and they are confident that it is the EGR valve staying open too long; a month later I’ll take it to the dealer and they say it can’t be the EGR because the codes aren’t showing up in the computer.

It will also “surge” at start up, where the car seems to rev up and down without my foot on the gas.

Thank you so much for any advice or suggestions!

What’s up Nikki

I think you stumped me on this one, and this has been going on for 3 years??? Wow! I can only suggest you find a mechanic who will start checking the basics like:

checking fuel pressure at the engine

check compression

check for a vacuum leak under the hood

check for spark at the spark plugs and test spark plug wires for wear

and hook up a scanner to your computer so they can drive the vehicle out of the shop and see what your computer sees is going during this problem time.

These intermittent problems can be a real pain to track down, but 90% of the time it is caused by something fairly simple….like a vacuum leak from a broken rubber vacuum hose under the hood or an intake manifold leak.

And these simple problem can often be overlooked because the mechanic is too focused on another item…like an EGR valve and is blindsided by the obvious.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

4 Comments on "1999 Isuzu Rodeo Runs Bad And Engine Surges"

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  1. Merrill says:

    Help, I have a 1995 isuzu rodeo, runs sluggish,shakes a little on startup, has surges while I drive and won’t go over 50……what should I do?

    • By Austin Davis says:

      There are a few things that come to mind and I would investigate if you were in my shop…or any shop.

      1. Check fuel pump pressure and volume of fuel at the engine using a manual fuel pressure gauge.
      2. Check for vacuum leak under the hood, inspect all rubber vacuum lines and connections for leaks.
      3. Check spark plugs and spark plug wires that might be worn or damaged causing an engine miss
      4. Check exhaust system for a restriction that is not allowing the exhaust to leave the engine.
      5. Compression test on each cylinder to determine if there is major internal damage or wear

      These vehicles are notorious for having headgasket leaks which allows coolant to enter inside the engine.

      Common symptoms of this are usually:

      1. Constantly having to add coolant to radiator
      2. White smoke out exhaust pipe
      3. Lack of power
      4. Check engine light coming on
      5. Engine missing, due to coolant on spark plugs (whiteish powder can be seen on the spark plug electrode once plug is removed)

      If you experience any of those symptoms, I would first do a cooling system pressure test to rule out a possible headgasket leak. If you DO suspect a headgasket leak, then try my suggestion using this headgaske sealer found here

  2. Tamra Kaufman says:

    I have a 96 Izuzu Rodeo. I have recently had a similar issue. I have described this in relation to my lawn mower. My suv was “self-propelled”. Take the foot off the gas, and the RPMs increase. Brakes, RPMs increase. Attempt to stop, only successful, if the RPMs were below 1500. Above that, Pray like Satan was on your tail pipe. It began intermittently, but as time went on, it became more frequent. I had the EGR Valve replaced this weekend, and the problem has been alleviated. There were times when I could go a steady speed down a highway without ever touching the gas or brakes. To watch your RPMs increase while going up hills without touching the gas and tapping the brakes, is quite a scary situation to find oneself in.

  3. Dereck says:

    My 99 Rodeo did this and I had the EGR valve code and I just replaced it. So far…no problems. But it did shake and shutter and rev high after being on the highway for a bit. Oh, and the check engine light went on and off all of the time. Buy the EGR valve from Advance Auto and use code LC123 for the discount code online and it will save you $40! Change the EGR valve yourself because it is extremely easy (2 Bolts and a connector).

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