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Rodeo Woes


I have a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo, two wheel drive that I am extremely happy with. Two days ago the CHECK ENGINE light came on and the car started to hesitate when I am driving.

It sounds OK at idle, but when Just touch the pedal, I notice a distinct hesitation, as if something is not quite firing in time. If I hit the gas a little more, the hesitation disappears.

Does anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this, what needs to be fixed and whether it will be expensive?


--Mark, New York State

You need to have the trouble codes in the computer read. If the light is on there are codes stored. Most auto parts stores will read the codes for free. Without the codes it’s just guessing.

The biggest clue is that check engine light! If you throw away the information it conveys, by NOT scanning for its Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC), you are shooting yourself in both feet!
Then, if you don’t bring those codes here for advice, you are shooting yourself in an even more tender area (ahem).

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here. 

Regarding warning lights:

  1. if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  2. if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  3. if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

    ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.

But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.