2000 Trooper Needs New Engine and Isuzu doesn't want to honor warrenty.

First off, excuse me if this is the wrong group. If you think a certain other group would be better as my question involves points of law, please tell me.
I have a 2000 Isuzu Trooper with about 85K miles that died on the freeway. I had it towed to a dealer who diagnosed it as siezed engine that needs to be completely replaced. The dealer asked for maintenance records to prove that I've been doing oil changes (and I guess other maintenance). I'm not great at keeping records, but I did manage to go to Jiffy Lube and get a print out showing I have done oil changes for the last 40K miles. Before that, I had them done at various mom and pop shops and/or did them myself. I got a call from the Isuzu dealer this morning saying, "not good enough". We want more records or we are going to charge you $2000 to do an inspection and then determine if the warranty will be honored. In either case you will have to pay $2000 and won't be reimbursed.
It's going to be difficult or impossible for me to come up with more records than what I have already given them.
I believe they are just putting up roadblocks to get out of fixing it. This particular Trooper has been a lemon. Last year it had the whole transmission replaced (under warranty) and I have had to take it in numerous times for exhaust leaks, serpentine belts, and check engine lights. I suspect they are just saying to themselves, "We've already sunk too much into this Trooper".
Does anyone know the law on these issues or can advice me on the right course of action? Or does anyone have references that would be appropriate?
Another minor point is that they do not provide a rental car while the car is worked on. They've told me that this repair will take 3 weeks. Is this normal for all brands?
Thanks in advance for all your advice,
Dave
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dave wrote:

any decent one-man rebuild shop can take it apart in 1 day, machine the heads or take them to another shop to be machined, let's call it 2 days (though it's less than 1 day) and assume 3 or 4 days for delivery of needed parts, 1 day to put it all back
if needed parts are immediately available, then the job can be done in less than 2 days
the dealer is just about the worst place for this job
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Joe,
I totally agree with you. If it was on my dime, I wouldn't go to the dealer. But, there is a warranty and it seems that Isuzu should fix the problem. And they require you to take it to an authorized dealer. Unfortunately for me Isuzu doesn't have much incentive to practice good customer service, honesty, or integrity, as they are pretty much out of the customer vehicle business.
Dave

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Yikes...sorry to hear that... I've been changing the oil myself in our 2002 Trooper (bought it new - same 10/120 warranty as yours I'm sure) and have kept a little log book in the center console with notes on gas fillups and all maintenance. Hopefully I'll never need it! I didn't know what else to do to try to prove that I have in fact done the necessary oil changes *myself*. All other maintenance I have receipts on...
Is there another Isuzu dealership near you? Or even a few hours down the road? If nothing else, give them a call and discuss the situation. They may be happy to help you out and make some $$ on a warranty repair.
Have you tried calling the main US Isuzu office? They may be able to get something done for you too.
How often have you had the oil changed (3k, 5k miles?) and have you checked it in between changes? Unfortunately, Troopers are known to use oil...if it ran out of oil, that would cause it to seize up...and probably not be a warranty issue... :-(
Wesley

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dave wrote:

It is normal for the manufacture to require verification of proper maintenance.
However, the law does state that the burden of proof is the responsibility of the manufacture. It is them that must prove that the engine seized as result of improper maintenance.
It is well known that the Isuzu V6 engines use a ton of oil. Isuzu claims that up to 1qt per 1000 miles is normal. Is it possible it ran dangerously low?
Have you talked directly with Isuzu customer service as well as the regional representatives rather than just the dealer?
You can go through arbitration but do not know the success rate on that.
Write your own records of when you changed the oil. They may not like that but thats all you are required to do. Show records. Again, the burden of proof is on them, not you.
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Miles & Wesley,
Thanks for the info. I too, have kept records of the oil changes I have done myself. I was told by the Isuzu authorized dealer that will (hopefully) do the repairs, that this doesn't count. Miles, do you happen to have a link to a site that states the law that
1) customer records of self oil changes are sufficient, and 2) the burden of proof is on Isuzu to show it was bad maintenance?
Since, I last wrote, they have put up more roadblocks. I presented them with a printout from JiffyLube (signed by manager) showing oil changes for the last 40000 miles, with the last one only 4354 miles ago. Isuzu claimed that the format of the documentation was not sufficient; they need original invoices. As I stated, I think they are just trying to wear me down.
I have filed a complaint with the BBB and the State of California. My next step will be to look into small claims court. Of course, that's a major hassle in terms of time and money.
Incidentally, I did check the oil about 2 weeks before the incident. It was about a quart low (which I added). No oil light or check engine light ever came on before the breakdown.
Further research on the internet confirms that (1) these engines are notorious for burning through oil. In fact, some customers had had the engines replaced (under warranty) for burning way more than 1 quart/1000 miles, and (2) it's actually quite common for these engines to seize up.
I thank you all again for your advice and wish the best of luck with your Troopers. For what it's worth, my brother has a 99 Trooper (manual, not auto) that has 160K on it with hardly any problems. And he's pretty rough with it.
Dave

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Good luck Dave...please keep us posted as to how it works out. Sounds like you've gotten stuck with a crappy dealership. Depending on how slimy they are, they may be turning it in for warranty and then trying to get you to pay too... My boss had a run-in with his local Chyrsler dealership when an engine went out in his caravan. He had bought a Chrysler extended warranty through another dealership when he bought the vehicle, and they told him Chrysler had no records. He finally got someone (at another dealership) to print off the screen directly from Chrysler's system showing that it was in fact under warranty. Sounded like they were trying to double-dip on that deal...pretty sad...
I think I'd still try finding another Isuzu dealership to work with (or at least talk to)...or go up to the next level in the Isuzu corporate chain...
Wesley

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I am interested in buying a 2002 Trooper from reviews. I was hopin to ge more infoon the subject, but I read that the last model (1998-2002) has engine oil issues. No leakage, but rather it burns off i the cylinders due to insufficient or clogged "oil return" lines, an Isuzu design flaw in the engine. Supposedly the problem was fixed (this is what I want more info on) for the 2002 engone, increasing the return lines from 4 to 10+, thus remeding the oil flow/ loss issue. For the non-corrected engines I read something about cleaning/ replacing the PCV valve and other breathing elements and running a cleaner/solvant to unclog the 4 lines to allow for unobstructed oil flow through the engine. Double check before attempting the fix. None the less, I thought you might want to know that from all that I read (and by repairing the issue on the 2002 model) Isuzu is aware of the flawed engine design and oil changes are really a mute point and have little of nothing to do with the engine seizure. Hope this helps. PS If anyone can verifiy the 2002 fix, it would be appreciated as I plan to purchase one if this is the case. -Brian
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Oil usage (to my knowledge) has been a known problem since the 3.2 v6 was introduced in 92. Just check the oil at every fill up...no big deal. I can't confirm any changes to the engine design, etc... I have noticed that later model 3.5's look a little different under the hood...but that could just be a cosmetic change. At any rate, I've not heard of hardly any engine problems with the 3.5's. I have heard a few complaints about transmission problems, but still not enough that I'd consider them any worse than any other make or model of vehicle. The fact that Isuzu originally offered a 10yr/120k mile drivetrain warranty on the later model Troopers (at least 2000-2002, maybe before) tells me they are confident that they have produced a good product.
We have a 2002 Trooper that we bought new in April of 2003. It currently has 35k miles on it and has performed wonderfully. At around 20k I changed over to synthetic oil. All along it's been pretty random with oil usage. I doesn't normally burn oil, but occasionally you'll find that it has suddenly consumed 1/2 quart. I've recently begun to realize that an unlevel parking spot seems to influence the level somewhat...and perhaps that's part of the perceived problem (at least on ours). When it was still nearly new there was a part replaced under warranty to fix a problem with hesitation upon acceleration right after a cold start. It went away, then came back, and has slowly gone away again. Other than that, I've not had any work done on it. We had an 18' travel trailer that we replaced this spring with a 20' and it does a great job towing both of them. Probably 10% of the miles are from towing. I did have an auxiliary transmission cooler installed just to be on the safe side...figured it was cheap insurance.
We also have a 94 Trooper that my wife drives every day. It's working on rolling over 150k miles and doing pretty well. It's had its share of odd problems, but no more than average for any other vehicle I'd say. We bought it with about 115k. Just don't do that...unless you are already thinking about the new timing belt...that's due at 120k. Oh well! A good bargaining point if we ever do buy one at that mileage again. I think the 3.5's in the later troopers have an 80k interval....
At any rate, I wouldn't at all hesitate to recommend a 2002 Trooper. Depending on where you are and how far you want to drive, take a look at www.autotrader.com. I've seen a number of surprisingly low-mileage Troopers out there...
Wesley

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I read your reply to my post about my 2000 Isuzu Trooper and its seized engine. Do you know where you read this information about the clogged "oil return" lines and burning oil off in the cylinders? Currently, Isuzu is refusing to replace the enginer under warranty and I am going through the Better Business Bureau. Documentation about their engine problems would be most useful. As I said in the post, I'm really upset with Isuzu because the oil had been changed about 4000 miles ago and I'd checked it 2 weeks previous. I've done most of the maintenance on it and taken it in regularly for oil changes.
Any research leads you can give me would be most appreicated. -Dave
On Nov 7, 1:52 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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