2004 Isuzu Ascender

Hi everyone,
3 months ago, my wife bought a 2004 Isuzu Ascender with only 6000 miles on it from a car dealership. We both love it, it's a charm to drive and we
enjoy the ride. There is nothing wrong with it, I am just curious if any of you have any hints or tips in the way of preventive maintenance that we could do to help keep my wife's "baby" stay in great shape longer.
Also, if there are any possible mechanical problems that we should watch out for or recalls that have been issued that you may know about so I can be sure that they have been done to this vehicle. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Mark
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M & T wrote:

No different that most any other vehicle. I change the oil every 3,000 miles. I also change the transmission fluid every 15K and use synthetic if available for a particular transmission. I live where its very hot and tow sometimes. Keeping transmission fluid clean is essential. The differential oil gets changed every 15K as well. Too often people ignore those and end up with trouble.
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Additionally, air filter every 15k miles, new spark plugs, wires and (if it has it) distributor cap and rotor every 30k miles. Also if it's 4X4 change the transfer case fluid when you change the transmission fluid. On my automatic I have the transmission filter changed, then reverse flush the trans fluid every 60k miles or so because changing the fluid the normal way only get about 50% or the old stuff out. Replace the coolant every couple of years as it slowly breaks down. Have the brake fluid bleed every 2-3 years as it will slowly absorb water which will lower it's effectiveness and may cause rust internal to the brake system (though that is unlikely unless you live in a humid climate and never change the fluid). It's always a good idea to check all the under hood fluids while you're at the gas station as that can tell you if something is starting to leak. I don't do it every time because I'm not perfect, but I check everything once a month or so. When you get new tires have them inspect the brakes.
Check with the dealer or a good service shop about timing belt/chain replacement (should be at least 60k miles before that is needed) as well as serpentine belt/tensioner replacement.
Finally, ensure that Isuzu knows you own that vehicle in case there is a recall or check the internet for recall notifications.
Do that and it should last you many many miles. I wish Isuzu had a larger dealer/service network and made more consumer type cars and trucks as I haven't met anyone with complaints about theirs - my Amigo has 180k miles and it's still going strong. The only draw back is the closest dealer to me is about 200 miles away.

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Forgot to mention the most important part (probably from your wife's point of view) keep it clean. *grin*

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Ed H. wrote:

Don't know of many V8's with a timing belt. Timing chains don't need to be replaced very often. I won't buy a vehicle with a timing belt anymore. Especially if the engine is an interference design. I assume the Ascender uses a chain so shouldn't need much maintenance.
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I don't know of any V-8s with a belt, but I don't read car mags, etc. just like to save money by DIY. Does Isuzu only make the Ascender with a V-8? I haven't seen one in real like, they look pretty small in the advertisements and I could imagine a V-6 as a base motor.

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Ed H. wrote:

They do make a V6 Ascender. I've never seen one as everything on the lots here are V8's.
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The 5-passenger Ascender uses an inline 6 cyl. ,7-passenger uses a V-8.

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Both the V6 and V8 are GM vortec engines, not Isuzu engines.

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juanalong wrote:

Hope they don't have the piston slap issue thats plagued some of GM's V8's and were never fixed as far as I know.
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Did u get the 5pax model or 7pax? Remember, it's a GM vortex engine. I have a 2005 5pax Ascender with the 4.2L, 6cyl.
The only advice I can offer is the same everyone else is telling u. Oil, oil, oil...no other liquid is more essential than the oil. Everyone has their own opinion and favorite oil they use. I'm a synthetic user and change it every 5K.
Transmission = every 20K. Radiator flush = every other year.
I live in south Texas so hot and dusty is the norm. I clean my air filter every 3mo and replace every 10K.
Congrats on your Ascender. My wife loves her's too.

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Thanks everyone for your replies, I appreciate your advice. We will be sure to check the oil often. Also, seeing as we live in the panhandle which seems to produce copious amounts of dust we will change the air filter often too.
My wife's model is a 2004 5 pax Ascender 4.2L, 6 cyl. with leather seats, sunroof and tow package. A very fine little vehicle if you ask me. LOL, as far as keeping it clean, it's the first vehicle my wife cleans fanatically, hence the rain storms we've been having in the panhandle.
Again, there was a lot of great advice which we will follow, thank you all.
Mark & Tammy Very happy Isuzu owners.

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