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Isuzu Dmax problems; where does it fall short?

I’ve been a Toyota fan for a long time. They make great vehicles, and I’d happily own most of their range. That said, our replacement 4WD from the 80 Series Land Cruiser was an Isuzu Dmax; a step in a very different direction. If you want to know how much the total build cost, you can read about it here – Dmax build cost.

I’ve had the Dmax three years now, and clocked up nearly 50,000km in it. They are a great vehicle, with a solid foundation, great engine and reputable gearbox (if you get the auto) and good quality gear used overall. If you want the full review, check this out – Isuzu Dmax review after 3 years.

However, I’m not brand biased, or so attached to it that I fail to mention its shortcomings, and every single 4WD out there has at least a couple. Sometimes their owners will acknowledge it, but more often than not they don’t! If you are looking for Isuzu D’max problems, then you’ve come to the right place. Please note most of what is raised here are also Isuzu MUX problems, which are basically a wagon version of the Dmax. 

Isuzu Dmax offroad

Our 2016 Isuzu Dmax

Please note this post is my opinion only, and its up to you to do your own, independent research. I’m more than happy to share my opinion, but don’t base your decisions off them without doing extensive research elsewhere.

Frills and fancy bits

There’s no doubt that the D-max lacks in the fancy bits department. If you want a Ute that has all the bells and whistles, a Dmax is not it. They are a bit agricultural, truck like if you will, and that’s exactly what a select portion of the market wants.

I couldn’t care less about chrome bits, fancy dash boards, leather seats, lights that come on when you unlock the car and the long list of other things that some people find important. I wanted a solid vehicle, with vinyl floors that could be taken away with minimal fuss and relative comfort. Being the SX version (base model) our Dmax has a similar interior to that of a 15 year old vehicle, and that’s OK with me. It might not be for you.

Our Isuzu Dmax

Electric windows are about as fancy as this one gets!


At 130kw at the engine, and 380NM of torque, the Dmax is not leading the market here either. It’s got enough power to be reasonable, and a lot if you are used to some of the older diesel 4WD’s, but its got nothing on  other Utes like the Ford Ranger, Ford Raptor or V6 Volkswagen Amarok.

If you are towing anything heavier than 2.5 tonne (which you probably shouldn’t be with a Dmax anyway) you are going to feel it, substantially. You will not be able to sit on 100km/h when there are hills at all around; it just won’t happen.

Our Dmax has bigger tyres, a big ute canopy and a fair bit of weight, and you feel it towing a camper trailer around the 1.5 tonne mark. We’ve just recently gone and bought a Lifestyle Reconn R2 Hypercamper which is about 2 – 2.5 tonnes loaded and you really notice it!

It will sit on 100 most of the time, but it has to work hard to do so. Of course, there are lots of options when it comes to improving power and the 4JJ1 motor is extremely popular for getting huge power figures from with reliability remaining largely unchanged.

Dmax motor

The 4JJ1 motor. Bulletproof, but not the greatest power house on the market

Weak CV’s

Independent front suspension vehicles are notorious for breaking CV’s, especially when a lift is fitted. Dmax lift kit problems are always going to be accentuated because of this, and you need to be careful going too high. The Dmax CV’s seem to be at a disadvantage from the factory though, with the differential sitting slightly further back than it other vehicles, and this puts more stress on them to start off with.

Some people have broken CV’s with factory tyres and no lift. Touch wood, I’ve had no issues with bigger tyres and a 30mm lift kit, but I drive it as carefully as possible and have installed a diff drop kit. The thing to remember is that if your wheel comes off the ground and lands hard when the tyre is spinning your chances of breaking a CV increase hugely. I know a number of people who’ve hammered their vehicles and not broken anything, so maybe its part luck/driver ability too.

That, and don’t hop the vehicle; as soon as it starts to bounce, stop and re-think what you are doing. Keep bouncing the front end and you’ll end up in broken CV territory very quickly.

Dmax diff drop difference

We’ve fitted a diff drop to the Dmax

Weak tie rods

If you see a broken Dmax on the side of a 4WD track, there’s a pretty high chance the two front wheels are pointing inwards towards each other. This is because the tie rods on the steering rack are not very strong, and have a habit of bending/breaking.

Again, this happens when you are 4WDing and giving it a bit too much. I’ve seen a few cases of this, but again know plenty of people who give them a lot of work and have never had a problem (and neither have I). A bit of mechanical sympathy goes a long way.

I’ve just recently seen much heavier duty options to remedy this, and will be keeping an eye out on it, and driving with care.

Early differential failures

I have read of a surprising number of Dmax’s with rear differentials that have failed before 80,000km. Apparently there was a batch of ring and pinion gears that were made with poor hardening properties, and the gears essentially chop out and become a pile of metal shavings in the bottom of your differential. Mine will be getting checked shortly with a camera through the oil fill hole, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see damage.

Not good enough Isuzu; absolutely no leg to stand on in your defence. I don’t know how many of these have been covered by warranty, but often by the time you reach those sort of kilometres the warranty is long gone.

Cracked inner guards

This point is super scary. A number of Dmax’s and MUX’s (I’ve seen about 50 online) end up with the inner guard cracking, above the front wheels. This seems to stem from vehicles that spend a lot of time on rough roads, have heavy bull bars and winches mounted and that stick out a long way. That said, I’ve also seen it on Dmax’s and MUX’s that have no bull bar, or even the factory aluminium or steel bull bar.

The repair is not pleasant; it requires the engine to be removed, and the cracks welded up, but there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again.

I did read from an Isuzu technician that it is caused by soft body mounts that wear out and are not replaced often enough, and have seen a number of them cracking at the front, so keep an eye on it. Apparently this is something all dealerships are required to check and rectify on a regular basis now.

Also, I’m told that there was a mishap in the manufacturing facility where high tensile steel was stamped incorrectly for the guard panels, and used anyway. Obviously this is more susceptible to fatigue and is more likely to crack.

We’ve gone with the lightest steel bull bar I could find, opted not to install a second battery under the bonnet (which I reckon is a daft place to put one anyway!) and will keep an eye on the body mounts regularly. 

I’ve also seen a lot of people installing Colorado body mounts, which are apparently more solid, but as to whether this makes the actual issue any better or not, I couldn’t say. If the steel is incorrect, its not going to fix that, and Isuzu would certainly have a greater leg to stand on if you did end up with cracking.

Leaking rear main seals

Early on, there were a number of Dmax’s that had rear main seals replaced under warranty. I was told that the robot applying the sealant to the seal was missing a small portion of the seal for a huge number of vehicles. I’ve not had mine leak so far, and hope it stays that way!

Open rear diff

The Isuzu Dmax is one of the few 4WD’s on the market that doesn’t come with a diff lock, or an LSD as a factory fitted install. Instead, it comes with traction control only (which most vehicles also come with). It works OK, but isn’t as good as some other variants on the market. A rear diff lock makes a big difference in these, and I suspect we will end up with one down the track. 

Drive your 4WD carefully

The Dmax comes with traction control and no diff lock or LSD

The hands free sucks

If there is one thing that is a total and utter flop on my model Dmax (2012 – 2016) its the hands free. It is absolutely useless. You can adjust the settings, but its just terrible. Who ever has the bad luck of trying to talk to you on the other end of the call will have major issues hearing what you say. Of course, you can rip the dash out and replace the head unit, which is what we will be doing soon.

For me, this is not the biggest issue in the world (and I knew about it when I bought the car) as I don’t use it too often to make or receive calls, but if you were using it for business purposes it’d be the first thing you would fix.

Turbo failures on DPF Dmax’s

I specifically bought the older version Dmax. I could have paid the same price for a brand new one, but opted for the last of the pre DPF models. The reasoning was simple; a DPF (or DPD as Isuzu calls them) is just another thing to go wrong, and I know Isuzu have issues with them in their trucks (despite being one of the better DPF’s on the market today). 

At the time of purchase, I’d heard of a couple of turbo’s going on the newer model with the DPF, and since then I have heard of a huge number. Every week there are a couple posted online about turbo’s that start to wail like a police or ambulance siren. These are being replaced under warranty, but it takes time and means you are without a car for a while, and some people are on their second or third turbo’s!

Isuzu Dmax DPF problems

In terms of reliability, an EGR and a DPF are not a great idea. Of course, they’ve come about in order to meet environmental emission regulations, so they are here to stay. Isuzu have done an amazing job with their DPF’s in general (compared to many other brands), but I am still seeing some DPF problems on Dmax’s and MUX’s. A few people have had theirs replaced (and realistically they are a consumable) earlier than they should have.

If you are finding the DPF burns are happening much closer together, you may have a problem. One of the most important things to get right with a motor running a DPF is the right oil; if you run non DPF suitable oil it will block the DPF in no time, and you’ll have all sorts of issues.

Limit the number of short trips you do and the DPF will be much happier too.

What’s gone wrong with our Dmax?

So far, I’m pretty pleased with my Dmax, but having only done around 70,000km its not really a huge form of evidence just yet.

The Dmax turbo was replaced when it was first delivered to me (faulty waste gate actuator), and I had the transfer case seal on the rear weep, which was replaced under warranty, and kept leaking (we are on seal #4 now, which seems to be holding). I’m fairly confident the first 3 seals that were installed were not done properly (pushed too far in). You can read more about that here; Dmax leaking transfer case seal.

Nannup caravan park

Our trip to Nannup was nearly cut short by a transfer case seal failure

I’ve had the rear differential pinion seal replaced under warranty as it was leaking, and the 4 front body mounts that were cracking and deforming.

The latest issue has been a leak from the front differential, in the 4WD actuator assembly, and its booked to go in to be repaired. EDIT – this has stopped leaking, is still full and will be monitored. If its leaked, and is still full without being topped up it must have originally been over filled?!

Beyond the above though, these are solid vehicles. I’ve been on various Facebook pages of different makes and models, and the Isuzu 4WD pages seems to have very, very little issues overall. Those that are made a point of are not major (like Ford Ranger engine failures, for example, which are posted on the Facebook page just about every week!).

We’ve also fitted a transmission cooler to care for our Automatic Transmission, after the temperatures were getting a bit too hot for my happiness, but this is not uncommon for a lot of new 4WD’s that are working hard. The Isuzu Dmax Automatic Transmission prior to 2017 seems to be bullet proof, with the 6 speed ones (prior to the new shape in 2021) having a few more issues.


If this post comes across as saying the Dmax’s are not a good vehicle, I apologise. This is not the case; they are good vehicles with a few little flaws (on the whole) that can be easily worked around. There’s no perfect vehicle out there, and plenty of other rigs have a lot more, worse issues.

Would I buy another one? Sure. Would I look at alternatives? Absolutely. The game is always changing, and there’s no perfect 4WD for everyone out there. Overall though, I’m pleased with the vehicle, and it is serving us well. We will have this for at least another 5 years, so lets see how it goes by the end of it.

Have you got a Dmax? Have you had any issues with it? Let me know below!

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81 comments… add one
  • Richard March 14, 2020, 5:51 PM

    Early on had a head gasket blow, fixed under warranty. Then EGR stuffed up. Then after numerous returns to dealer with concerns head still leaking (using half bottle of coolant/800km) it was finally identified that the EGR cooler had a leak, again fixed under warranty. Now sitting on 165k and the vehicle is awesome. Bog standard too.

  • Aaron Schubert March 14, 2020, 5:57 PM

    Hey Richard,

    Sounds like you’ve had a bit of a rough run to start with. A lot of the process revolves around how good the service and mechanics are, and sadly they don’t always back the product up the way they could.

    Good to hear you are happy with it overall; hopefully it gives you years of further trouble free service!


  • anthony March 15, 2020, 5:10 AM

    i dont understand how anyone can say the cracked inner guards are caused by a bullbar when it is mounted to the chassis not the body.
    i have the same 16 model as i didnt want dpf either, the only problem i have had was a weeping transfer case seal fixed under warranty twice.
    now on over 90k kms and about 20k of that was on some pretty rough roads touring N.T. loaded up and towing a boat.
    drivetrain sympathy is a must with most IFS rigs, mine has spent a fair amount of time offroad with no real problems.
    also my handsfree is fine, i have heard people complain about it but i have never had that problem in a lsu, i am beginning to think its the different unit in the sx that is the issue here.

  • Aaron Schubert March 15, 2020, 6:26 AM

    Hey Anthony,

    Given people have had inner guards crack on vehicles with heavy aftermarket bull bars, as well as the Isuzu aluminium ones and even without bull bars, I think its safe to say the bull bar doesn’t cause the cracking. That said, even though they mount to different points they are still attached together. I’m told that the body mounts are too soft and wear/fail too quickly and if they aren’t replaced then you end up with the cracking. Either way, its a massive shortfall on Isuzu’s part with no real fix.

    I agree with the drive train sympathy. The hands free is the same model, and it was one of the most common complains earlier on across all models. Absolute garbage, unless you managed to get a good one.

    All the best mate

  • Andrew Nicholls April 29, 2020, 8:20 AM

    Aaron, Thanks for your precise & v. comprehensive analysis. I have just purchased a 2008 D-Max with 200K km on it. Over the previous 20 years I have had 3 x Jackaroos (the last being a Diesel). Isuzu make a solid, simple, and low-frills 4WD as you point out – and we bought them for ‘truck’ reliability. Only Holden’s incompetence with common rail diesel injection destroyed an otherwise perfect vehicle. (thank God for Holden’s demise, and welcome in the MUX). Like you, I compared Isuzu from a grounding of Toyota engineering.
    One point you touched on repeatedly in your analysis – many drivers have this ‘thing’ about indestructabity, coupled with urgency and the need to drive fast & hard. A competent working diesel towing up hill gives you more time to soak in the magic wide, brown land, or give wildlife time to escape collision. As a passenger, a fast thoughtless driver off road is a precursor for head & back aches.
    I hope our D-Max goes the distance – another 200,000 km is expected. As I paw over it now checking, tightening, etc, I compare it to a stable of Subarus we have had in the last 10 years.
    3 have done in excess of 400K km – all down to the driver as a driver, & not a wrecker. It’s all about the nut behind the wheel.

  • Aaron Schubert April 29, 2020, 3:32 PM

    Hey Andrew,

    Congratulations on the new to you vehicle. The old Jackaroo’s were a fantastic vehicle, and you are right; Isuzu know how to make a vehicle.

    I had a chuckle about your comments regarding the nut behind the wheel. I’ve long since learned reliability and a slow journey are far better than a fast journey and not making it there!

    All the best

  • Steve robert clackson June 7, 2020, 4:28 PM

    i have the 2017 dmax sx single cab.
    love the 2550 tray

    hands free sucks so bad. its bad when i use it to call people and they answer with their mobile its rubbish.

    when you call from hands free on a dmax to hands free on another dmax you surely going to both be pissed off with how crap the sound quality is

  • Aaron Schubert June 7, 2020, 4:55 PM

    Hey Steve,

    A single cab would certainly be amazing for room! Yep, the solution to the hands free is to swap it out. Still terrible you have to do that though.

    All the best

  • Rob Hicks July 25, 2020, 8:30 AM

    Interesting over view, i jumped from a 2002 2.8 izuzu turbo rodeo 400000 km, which by the way never let me down into a 2018 d max 4×2 , had 2 factory recall, the last being the rear springs replacement, now completed 80,000 km no issues , about to trick the ute up a bit and take it where most would not venture in a 2 wheel drive so will be interesting to see if i have issues

  • Aaron Schubert July 25, 2020, 9:04 PM

    Hey Rob,

    Good to hear you had a great run from the Rodeo. I think you’ll do just as well with the new rig. They are a great vehicle, but not perfect.

    All the best

  • edward lew July 29, 2020, 1:09 PM

    i owned an isuzu dmax 2.5 2014 for about 7 years till now, running well over 169,000 km without any problem, only minor and major services along the way.
    to me, its a solid and well build truck.
    so far, i do not have problem like you wrote above.

  • Aaron Schubert July 29, 2020, 5:43 PM

    Hi Edward,

    That’s fantastic. Lots of people have trouble free Dmax’s too. However, they are the most common issues people face in this model range

    All the best

  • Tim September 1, 2020, 7:47 PM

    Just bought a 2nd hand dmax. 116k on the clock. after 1k i serviced it and found chunks of metal in the diff. casting looks very strange almost all the teeth where missing chunks and the cast looked flakey

  • Aaron Schubert September 2, 2020, 7:34 PM

    Hey Tim,

    Yep, this is a pretty well known issue. I believe the hardfacing was not done well on many of the differentials. Its actually getting quite hard to get second hand ones now because of this. A lot of people fit older model diffs with the same ratio, but they have an LSD and technically make your vehicle illegal. The better option is to get a locker, and replace it with something better, that will be useful off road.

    All the best

  • Andrew Coleman October 8, 2020, 4:50 PM

    Hi Aaron,

    I’ve been looking at a DMax for a number of years now to replace my 2010 Hilux due to its limited towing capacity. I’ve held off for various reasons, but am now looking to get one.

    I’m looking at the brand new 2020 model. Which of your shortcomings above do you think this would resolve? I understand the towing capacity and power on the new model is far superior?



  • Aaron Schubert October 8, 2020, 6:29 PM

    Hi Andrew,

    The new model is different in many ways, and I’m sure will have its own set of problems. How big they are, and how much it will affect you depends on what you want it for, and how well Isuzu did. No one will know for sure without a few more km’s being put on them. I would imagine most of the problems I listed will have been rectified.

    My last piece of advice would be to wait a few more months to ensure that there are no issues the first owners are having. When the first model comes out, they often update it and correct issues in the next version.

    All the best

  • Brendan Lewis November 2, 2020, 7:37 PM

    I have just updated my 2014 Isuzu d max with 256000kms on it to the latest 2021 model. I had 2 petrol v6 Toyota Utes prior to these. Both makes are great reliable Utes. I have a love affair for the Isuzu because it’s frugal on fuel and reliable to the max

  • Aaron Schubert November 2, 2020, 8:04 PM

    Hey Brendan,

    Very nice mate, and quite a few km’s to do in 6 years! All the best with the 2021 model; I hear they are quite the improvement.


  • Alan November 9, 2020, 10:31 AM

    I have a 2016 D-Max and having a lot of problems with all the fuses there is far to many I blew a auto transmission fuse and the reverse lights don,t work it is confusing, now I have to replace the timing chain adjuster the chain looks ok.I hope others don,t have problems and good motoring.

  • Aaron Schubert November 9, 2020, 4:20 PM

    Hey Alan,

    Unfortunately all modern vehicles have a lot of electronics. Have you been towing a trailer by any chance? Never heard of any issues with the timing chain adjusters; what happened?

    All the best

  • Gavin November 12, 2020, 6:15 PM

    Hey mate. Thanks for the article; your stuff is really informative. I understand you had the transfer case seal repaired under warranty, but I was wondering if you had any idea how much it would cost out of warranty? I have a 2015 Manual Mu-x, and I need to replace the rear main seal and the transfer case seal, and I’m hoping not to be taken for a ride on cost. At this stage I’m having it done at Isuzu Pakenham.

  • Aaron Schubert November 12, 2020, 7:55 PM

    Hi Gavin,

    The first seal was done under warranty, but it was leaking when I picked it up. The seal itself is cheap (from memory about $15) each, and doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to replace. It should be under $100 on its own.

    The rear main is a much bigger job, and to be honest, if its not lifted (this only affects the transfer case seal, not the rear main), I would be pushing for both to go through under warranty. I’m told that the robot which applies sealant around the seal on the rear mains was not doing its job properly for some time, and this is a common fault. At only 5 years old it has not lived up to ‘reasonable expectation’ and should be done free of charge.

    If they say its out of warranty, I would argue that 5 years is not a reasonable life span especially when its a known problem, and despite it being out of warranty it should be covered. The ACC has some great information about warranties that is worth a read.

    All the best

  • Belinda November 13, 2020, 11:45 AM

    Thanks for the comprehensive post!

    Just collected my 2019 MUX from the dealer after returning it on a tow truck!
    17 months old, 65,000km -traction control and engine light come on, won’t change up to 4th gear, same in seq shift!
    Stop vehicle, start again… stuck in second gear…
    Turbo has gone 😔
    Has had the Bluetooth unit swapped over in the first month, apparently it had an issue but replacement only marginally better so I am returning to earbuds…
    I do love my MUX and it’s bells and whistles … but gee I hope that’s all that is going to go wrong this early in the piece!

    Feel like I need to move away from dealership services so I can actually speak to a mechanic and not read a technician report!
    I am going to have all these things kept under a watchful eye… This vehicle is my bread and butter and can’t afford it to be off the road unsechelued!
    Cheers to all those submitting comments also 😉
    Very helpful to keep in mind.

  • Aaron Schubert November 13, 2020, 4:18 PM

    Hey Belinda,

    You’ve had a rough start to what should have been a great experience. Hopefully its al sorted now, and you get to enjoy a few years of trouble free motoring!

    All the best

  • A. Wills November 18, 2020, 9:15 PM

    Husband bought a D-Max Single Cab 4×4 Tray Back. The Evaporator failed on the Air Conditioning Unit (our Auto Electrician says this is quite common with the Isuzu D-Max). Isuzu says we have to take it to the nearest dealer which is over 400klms away. Surely we can have it done by our fellow and send them the bill. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Aaron Schubert November 19, 2020, 5:08 PM

    Hi A. Wills,

    I have heard of a significant number of these being done. I would speak to your local dealer, and if you have no luck with them, consider trying Isuzu Ute Australia head office on 07 3151 5888

    All the best

  • Ken Ssmwau December 2, 2020, 3:56 AM

    Hi, I really enjoyed your fair and balanced assesment of the D-Max. I bought mine mid 2016. It is the pre DPF model. I also was looking for a simple, strong and reliable 4wd. We tow a fair bit, (2.5tonnes) and it seems realy comfortable at aprox 95 to 100klms. Best fuel economy at 90klms. At 65,000ks The only two faults that I have had with the D-Max is the evaporator leaked, and was replaced under warranty, and the open diff is a royal P.I.T.A. when 4 wheel driving. The ute will be out of warranty soon, and will get a LSD as a upgrade. I really like the D-Max, and hope to get a long run out of it. Ken.

  • Aaron Schubert December 2, 2020, 4:41 PM

    Hey Ken,

    Sounds like you bought one for the same reason as me. They are a great vehicle.

    I would get a locker instead of the LSD. If you go through your manual, you’ll find fitting an LSD is not legal on these as they interfere with the electronic stability control.

    All the best with your Dmax

  • Stephen January 26, 2021, 7:21 PM

    The front end is pathetic…

  • Aaron Schubert January 26, 2021, 8:03 PM

    Hey Stephen,

    I wouldn’t say its pathetic, especially seeing as a huge number of people have no issues with them. Usually failure is from being unlucky, pushing the limits of the vehicle or poor driving practices.

    He’s running an auto locka, and installed 2 aftermarket ones, which are basically made of cheese.

    All the best

  • Neil McBride February 1, 2021, 1:05 PM

    I’ve got a 2017 duel cab 4×4 Dmax.
    Only after add ons are towbar, bullbar, roof rack and Peddlers suspension.
    Have had the EGR, TURBO, REAR SEAL x3, AIR-CONDITIONING replaced (as mentioned in the previous comments) all fine and well now. However I have an new issue that the Isuzu dealership is stuck on. I’ll be driving along and just go into limp mode. Once the car is turned off and back on the warning light disappears (traction control light) and I can drive away no problem.
    Code errors U0100 and U0101.
    My ute is still under warranty. This has been happening for almost 18mths/50,000km and can happen anywhere from 2km or 10,000km apart. It can happen during an 8hr drive or 2min into a school pick up run and doing any speed. There are no consistency to cause the error.

    Are you familiar with this issue as my local mechanic has the same issue with their RACV call out vehicle. Their frequency of the issue is now 3-4x a day.
    Head Office has been good and opened a case for me and contacted the dealer. Surely we can’t be the only 2 with a 2017 Dmax that has this issue?
    The dealer said the issue is that small that they can’t get a good read on the issue and said I just have to drive it until it breaks down.
    I wouldn’t mind so much if I didn’t depend on my vehicle for work and for the long weekend trips into Central NSW to visit family. That is the last thing anyone needs is to be broken down 700km away from home.
    The latest visit to the dealership they requested to have my vehicle for a week to drive it around with their drive recorder attached, my ute never faulted for them but my mates ute did a couple of times.
    Instead of coming back to us with answers they are saying we have voided warranty. Saying have a Chip in my ute, so I got them to have a look before I took my ute back and low and behold I don’t have one which left the service manager scratching his head.
    Now they are telling my mate that the amber lights on the roof could void warranty. In my opinion they sound desperate to get rid of us.

    Cheers Neil.

  • Aaron Schubert February 1, 2021, 3:52 PM

    Hey Neil,

    Sorry to hear you are having a bad run. I haven’t heard of the U0100 and U0101 errors, but looking online it seems common across all makes and models and can be anything from a wiring fault to a dodgy fuse or communication issues. Not ideal to fault find. I would ask on the various Dmax and MUX pages on Facebook; there is some good information shared on their from a technical perspective.

    Asides from that, you have purchased a vehicle that isn’t doing what it should. The ACCC makes it very clear that any product purchased in Australia must do what a reasonable person would expect it to. Yours clearly isn’t. I would tell them they can keep the vehicle for as long as they need, providing they give you a loan car. Otherwise, ask them to take it back, as its not fit for purpose.

    Isuzu, nor any other manufacturer have zero grounds to palm a warranty issue off on any modifications unless they can prove that the modification caused the problem. Sometimes this is easy to do, but if you haven’t changed anything significant (especially motor/wiring/chip/OBD scanner related) I can’t see how they can argue it.

    All the best mate

  • Brian February 13, 2021, 7:58 PM

    Recently purchased a Cx space cab trading in a 2016 model, the new vehicle is causing major problems related to the sensors breaking at shadows on the road travelling at speed o the highway. Breaking when a car is in a left turn lane turning off, not allowing the vehicle to return to the left lane while overtaking on a duel carriage. The fuel consumption is 10/100 klm on a 1000 klm trip where my old one got 7.7/100 and when I complained they said it wasn’t run in 😡, my old one got 7.7 at 5000klm so that’s bs and they were unable to replicate the electronic sensor problems so I have installed a dash cam to record the actions as this feature has the potential to cause a major accident with the vehicle doing unexpected things. I also found the lane control totally unreliable

  • Aaron Schubert February 13, 2021, 8:07 PM

    Hey Brian,

    I’ve heard some sketchy things about these safety features, and people are using blacked out business cards to stop the sensors from working to overcome it. It doesn’t sound good at all. Keep us updated with the dash cam footage, and how Isuzu react. I’m all for improving safety, but it sounds like Isuzu haven’t quite got this right.

    Not good regarding the fuel economy either; it will be interesting to see if it improves. Hopefully your run so far improves!

    Take care

  • Graham February 18, 2021, 5:30 AM

    I have a 2015 Dmax 160k on the clock, I have been towing a 3t caravan since I purchased the ute. put a 2″ lift on it a bull bar, canopy and so on, it has been great. I change the auto oil ever 30 to 40k and had a cooler fitted. On thing i did do and am blown away with, is a new Gturbo fitted, not because the factory one was playing up. I wanted more power and it certainly delivers. I have been around Australian, across the simpson, through the high country ans up the cape with mates from the 4×4 club and it has not missed a beat. Would i buy another one yes, would i look at anything else yes but it would need tobe really good if i decided to change. One more thing i am looking to do is put a LSD in it. Has anyone got any thoughts on this.

  • Aaron Schubert February 18, 2021, 8:10 PM

    Hey Graham,

    The Gturbo certainly does make a big difference in power. I had one on my 80 series for a while. You can get similar results with a good remap too, and the factory turbo.

    You can get an LSD. However, you’ll have a hard time getting one, they don’t really work that well and they are actually illegal in these Dmax’s as it interferes with the electronic stability control.

    You’d be much better off with a proper locker, like the ARB, or Electric locker from Harrop

    All the best

  • Steve Goodwin February 23, 2021, 9:19 PM

    MY18 SX 4×4 space cab chassis tourer build. Alloy Isuzu tray(Triple M) canvas canopy in sail track with engineered load bearing alloy roof and rails. Lovells GVM GCM upgrade. 2nd battery behind driver in cab. Fridge behind passenger in cab. 200watt solar panel up on cab roof. 270 awning. Shower awning. Tray of Drifta drawers as our bed base. Canopy 150mm higher than standard as we sleep in canopy. TJM bullbar and winch, side rails and side steps. Nil issues. I have braced bullbar by getting scrub rails incase bullbar causing inner guard cracking. Support strap of inner battery clamp to outer guard incase battery rocking causing inner guard cracking. Fwh incase CV breaks. I have a spare CV. Have sleeves to place on tie rod ends that are weak. Superior Engineering diff drop re poor cv angles. Some thought has gone into avoiding issues as best I can. There are a few areas of concern that we all hear about. So far so good. 28,000 ks only on her though. Catchcan from Flashlube. Donaldson 10 micron prefilter. I attached long evap pipe for aircon to firewall with clamp to try and avoid evap failure from cracking. Will go elocker in rear one day because of known diff issues. I keep GVM 400kg down from maximum of 3600kg. No towing. Hayman Reese Xbar.

  • Aaron Schubert February 24, 2021, 3:59 PM

    Hey Steve,

    I’ve seen your comments a few times online; you’ve built up quite the rig. It’s similar in many ways to mine, and it sounds like you’ve put plenty of thought into making something that will do what you need it to.

    I’ll get a locker too eventually.

    Keep an eye on the body mounts; they are the primary cause of the body cracking issues.

    All the best

  • Leo Crasti February 27, 2021, 9:29 AM

    I have a 2015 DMax LSX and have also purchased a new 2021 XTerrain. Great looking vehicle with added creature comforts, …..but, it is turning into the worst driving experience in over 50 years of motoring.
    Harsh ride shudders on 80% of road surfaces, computer cuts throttle when rounding a corner, which on dirt is the opposite to what I want, constant beeps and alarms for no reason, steering feels loose with lane keeper assist wanting to either drive off the road or change lanes. Driving with a cross wind is a constant battle against steering feedback. Emergency brakes are applied prematurely. Headlights are very poor and there is no genuine option yet.
    I am an Engineer with a passion for technology, however in my view the computer intervention creates dangerous situations. Apart from the steering and brake overrides, the trip computer is cluttered with information and the navigator constantly needs screen intervention. Let us realise that at 110kph, we are covering 30 m/sec, relative to on coming traffic this is 60 m/sec. The systems are causing driver distraction. It is nearly impossible to follow the 808 page manual.
    Am I alone with the above concerns?

  • Paul Porter February 28, 2021, 6:47 PM

    Hi I have a 2018 dmax and seem to be having continuous wheel alignment issues, only just clocked over 50k and had multiple wheel alignments and still scrubbing out the insides, factory fitted tyres lasted 35k ish? Not happy. Thanks Paul

  • Aaron Schubert March 1, 2021, 12:00 PM

    Hi Leo,

    Sorry to hear of your experience. From what I’ve heard, you are not alone in your beliefs. It’s a real shame. Have you spoken to Isuzu about it? Any useful feedback from them?

    All the best

  • Aaron Schubert March 1, 2021, 12:01 PM

    Hi Paul,

    I’ve heard of a few people with this issue. Touch wood ours has only had one alignment, and that wasn’t because it needed it. No major tyre wear issues.

    Who’s doing the alignments? It might pay to take it somewhere that spends more time, and charges more for a better result. Are you looking at the figures after each alignment? I would suggest Pedders as an option, if you have one nearby

    All the best

  • Roy March 9, 2021, 7:07 AM

    Have a 2014 dmax, 200,000k on it. Purchased new.

    Paint issue in one area, you can see fingerprints, they wouldn’t look at it. Blamed me as i didn’t show them early enough. Mate of mine in the industry showed me the finger spacing and the fact that the marks were under the duco. I literally would have had to lift the paint, make the mark and then respray.

    Second issue was manual gearbox, they looked at it, told me nothing wrong while well under warranty and then of course a few months out of warranty wouldn’t’ look at it. They also indicted they knew what the problem was which is what really annoys me. Having spoken with a few gearbox guys of late the problem is now quite well known.

    Handsfree was bad as noted.

  • Aaron Schubert March 9, 2021, 5:01 PM

    Hey Roy,

    Sorry to hear of your issues. At the end of the day it really comes down to how hard you are prepare to lean on them. If you can prove the paint wasn’t done right from the factory they should have no leg to stand on.

    This is the same with the gearbox; if it had an issue under warranty and you took it there, and they did nothing, they are still liable for the repairs. Sometimes It’s not worth the effort though!

    All the best

  • Ben May 17, 2021, 6:19 AM

    Saying that guards are cracking due to bullbars and winches shows how little you really know. Both of these are mounted to the chassis. The guards crack due to the body flexing and vibrating. This is caused by poor body rubbers, especially the front ones. A well known fix is to fit colorado front rubbers as they are much more solid and reduce the vibration greatly. Gotta love how yet again another so called expert writing a blog claims something mounted to a chassis can crack the guards. Perhaps its time to retire or go back to something mechanical that you understand a bit better

  • Aaron Schubert May 17, 2021, 5:52 PM

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for your delightful comment. If you took the time to read a bit more carefully, you’d see that I clearly mentioned the body mounts, in the paragraph right underneath.

    FYI, I’ve been a qualified mechanical fitter for many years, so your comment is rather amusing.

    Have a great night

  • Tim W. May 24, 2021, 6:44 PM

    Hi Aaron, great reading from people that know and understand. I have an SX spacecab 2013. I had unusual cracking noise in rear, thought to be brake lining binding up. How wrong was I ? Turned out to be diff. First idea was fit locker, eliminate problem. Unfortunately, was to late, crown wheel and pinion not healthy. So, now going for 2nd hand centre and if no issues will do the locker at a later date. Either way it is still annoying and expensive. At 175k and 95% highway running only. Thankfully no other issues have come up and i had trouble free 16k trip around big island in 2019. Fingers crossed it stays that way. Regards Tim from Tassie.

  • Aaron Schubert May 24, 2021, 6:56 PM

    Hey Tim,

    There must be hundreds of these that have failed by now. How did you get on finding a second hand unit? I hear they are quite hard to come by. The alternative is a torqueworm drive, which some people are doing.

    I agree that its annoying, and it shouldn’t be acceptable. I need to check mine too; thanks for the reminder.

    All the best

  • Tim W. May 25, 2021, 10:39 AM

    Hi Aaron, parts can be hard to find, we are lucky in a way down here, that we have in excess of 100,000 4wd’s on the road, very good people in the know IE, mechanics and dealer’s ,only took two phone calls. I am thinking to check and change diff oil in conjunction with normal service (10,000km) just to be on the safe side. Oil is cheap. All going well the vehicle should take us on our grey nomad adventure later this year. Cheers Tim from Tassie .

  • Aaron Schubert May 25, 2021, 6:40 PM

    Hey Tim,

    Thanks for the update. I believe the hardfacing was not done correctly on these, which is why they chew out. Regular oil changes probably would prolong it though.

    All the best

  • Warren June 4, 2021, 1:08 PM

    2013 dmax replaced a clutch at 30000 ,rattle in motor when cold from new for 4 seconds ,squeel in front wheel oil seals from new a bit of wd40 once a week looks after that left hand front tyre chops put suspension all checked out ok, loose radiator fluid since new 1lt month car has 100000 on it now still goes good had a roos ECU remap plenty of towing power now

  • Aaron Schubert June 4, 2021, 6:14 PM

    Hey Warren,

    Sounds like you’ve had a few issues! I’d be keeping an eye on the cold motor rattle, and the loosing of coolant. What has Isuzu had to say about it?

    All the best

  • Shaun June 14, 2021, 6:32 PM

    Auckland nz here. Had a 2017 dmax that was a friday built ute. Turbo went in under 10,000km had a strange noise from motor that head office couldnt explain and loads of other issues. Sold after 30,000km. Got into a 2019 dmax and am at 29,000 km turbo going on this one aswell, starting the nice siren noise. Not overly happy about this. Lucky its still under waranty.

  • Aaron Schubert June 14, 2021, 6:39 PM

    Hey Shaun,

    Sorry to hear mate. Not what you expect from a new Ute. Unfortunately all of the 2017 – 2020 models (until the new shape) have the same turbo, and they must have changed thousands of them by now. Not good.

    All the best

  • Murf Lunney August 8, 2021, 9:14 AM

    Have a 2015 MUX with 146000 ks owned from new currently having a new head gasket replacement at a cost of 5,500 not happy about that ; this car has never towed or missed a beat , out of warranty by 18 months this vehicle was regularly log book serviced after that but ISUZU say I cant prove it had coolant change when it was due, seems a poor excuse as I cant get a proper answer to how it would blow on such low ks it is a diesel 4×4 has anybody had similar issues , and wonder what kind of warranty Iwill get when fixed .

  • Aaron Schubert August 8, 2021, 12:51 PM

    Hi Murf,

    Sorry to hear you are going through that. $5500 for a head gasket seems insanely expensive; you can get a second hand motor for that.

    Who did the log book servicing?

    All the best

  • Mad Mix August 14, 2021, 2:43 PM

    Hi Aaron
    I have a 2010 Dmax which I bought new. No dramas except the egr which was done earlier this year at 240000ks and seals on the gear box, it’s now at 270000ks and still on the original clutch. I’m looking to buy a new 21 model and give the 10 to the missus but you are so right there isn’t a perfect 4wd out there but these are a great bus.


  • Aaron Schubert August 14, 2021, 2:45 PM

    Hey mate,

    Great to hear you’ve had such a good run from the 2010 Dmax. They’ve certainly proven themselves to be reliable. The 21 will be a giant change, but all the best with it!


  • Farq August 22, 2021, 2:12 PM

    Dmax are a rubbish car as you have just pointed out in this article. Ive had numerous problems with mine so got rid of it. Waste of money it was so bad.
    Your comment about weekly failures with the motors of Ford Rangers is false and misleading. If your going to make a statement like that back it up with facts not BS. In fact they are more reliable than Toyotas.
    I’d never buy another Dmax, what a total piece of garbage!

  • Aaron Schubert August 22, 2021, 2:27 PM

    Hey mate,

    Doesn’t sound like you’ve had a good run. What issues have you had with the Dmax, and what model was it?

    Engine failures in the Rangers have been very common. Sorry if that upsets you. Regarding the statement, I can only go off what I see regularly posted, and from what mechanics have to say about them. To be fair, there are more on the road too, so its somewhat expected.

    I might suggest that your comment doesn’t have any facts in it either, so perhaps you should take your own advice? More reliable than Toyota is most certainly an interesting opinion, of which a majority of those in the know would disagree with. What facts can you back that up with?

    All the best

  • Darron Slorach August 22, 2021, 8:21 PM

    Hi Aaron I have a 2015 dmax diesel ute has being a great ute no problems at all but 2 weeks ago it decided to blow the coolant out the header tank a long story short it had never being hot and didn’t get hot until it let go temp got to 3/4 on gauge, head gasket blown put in 2 spots between cylinders head cracked as well 190,000 on clock only ran in must be a fault there somewhere for that to happen never being hot and no leaks.

  • Aaron Schubert August 22, 2021, 8:33 PM

    Hey Darron,

    That sucks mate. Sorry to hear. Unfortunately its not the first time I’ve heard this, but they seem to be far and few between. Have you got quotes to repair it? Might be worth considering a second hand motor too

    All the best

  • Lindsay Rice August 27, 2021, 7:05 AM

    Hi Arron great article.
    I have a 2020 everest that I bought to tow a 2.6t van.
    Like you did for your D Max I wanted a trans cooler.
    Ford dont offer a cooler and the dealer won’t fit an after market one. If I go and get one fitted and I have issues with the 10 speed trans I am worried about my warranty.
    Any thoughts on what I should do.?

  • Aaron Schubert August 27, 2021, 7:12 PM

    Hi Lindsay,

    I would speak to an automatic transmission specialist, and probably get an OBD2 reader to monitor the temperatures. Perhaps you wont need one, which solves your issue altogether.

    If the temperatures get hot, an automatic transmission specialist will be able to advise your options, and any mechanic can install one.

    They only way they can decline warranty is if the transmission cooler caused an issue, which it wont if its correctly suited to the vehicle and recommended + fitted by a specialist.

    All the best

  • Mark Everingham September 26, 2021, 6:03 AM

    Hi Aaron, have bought a 2021 2wd dmax, mostly loving it .
    One thing was the DPF burn off light came on, and me being me, didn’t know what it was, i traveled a few k’s to home , looked in the book and it told me i should of kept driving till it stopped flashing, when i drove it next it wouldn’t come out of 1st gear rang isuzu dealer got it towed they rang back next day…. it turned out to be a fault which after being plugged into their computer was re programmed, all good have since had the light come on and it did its burn as it should have, now the main complaint i have is some of the nannies …pulling on the steering wheel applying the brakes when i get to close to a vehicle, they are working as they should ,but if you turn them off which isn’t as easy as it should be , you have to turn them off again when you restart , having said that it has saved me from running up the back of a car in Sydney traffic , and the other day saved us from a bad situation where a loaded trailer got way out of control,…. between me and the feature in the stability control ,..was able to save it, so what can i say, it pulls like a train, and the economy could be a little better, but so far i am happy.
    Thanks for your very informative site.

  • Aaron Schubert September 27, 2021, 12:03 PM

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the comment. Good to hear its treating you well. I believe their has been a firmware update for the safety side of things on the BT50/Dmax which makes it react a little less harshly, and I’ve heard good things about it so far.

    All the best with your new vehicle!

  • Kim Goldfinch September 30, 2021, 11:37 PM

    I’ll have to check it out but I think our Dmax is about a 2016, it’s a manual and has just started revving up while driving, the rev counter goes up and the motor starts over revving while just driving along, any ideas would be helpful, cheers

  • Aaron Schubert October 1, 2021, 4:38 AM

    Hi Kim,

    If its doing this while you are in gear, and driving along, it can only really be the clutch slipping. You can confirm this quite easily by putting it in third gear when stopped, and trying to take off. If it stalls, you might be OK. If it doesn’t, the clutch is slipping and you probably need a new one.

    This shouldn’t be unique to the Dmax; its just a wear and tear item

    All the best

  • Tom D October 7, 2021, 1:20 PM

    Hi Aaron,
    I own a 2017 dual cab Dmax LS-U 4×4. Set up for touring.
    I want to warn anyone out there considering this generation to stay well clear and I’ll explain my story.
    I bought it from new and I’ve done 125,000km now. The evaporator has cracked it due to dodgy lines apparently. About to attempt to get it fixed under warranty tomorrow hopefully. The drivers door window constantly plays up, I’ve had the touchscreen replaced under warranty, have switched to ARB locking diffs as I know the OE one crack it early on plus the traction control is sub standard to rely on for a modern 4×4. The inner guards cracked around 90,000km. They were welded back up under insurance as they thought it might have to do with an accident in 2018. Neither I or insurance at the time knew it was a common issue. So, I noticed at 115,000km the cracks are back. So naturally I speak to Isuzu. They knocked back the warranty claim saying it was from my cord Bullbar. When I pointed out that the dealer had fitted it under finance they backtracked and blamed it on the Pedders GVM upgrade. I pointed out that the GVM upgrade was done in Nov 2019 after the initial cracks. They then said the car has too many modifications including lockers… (their words) and that Pedders re-manufactured my vechicle and to take it up with them. This has been an extremely stressful time. I started the application in May. Luckily my previous insurer involved with the initial repair paid me a cash settlement of $10k to pay for the repairs luckily. The insurer said they believe it’s a manufacturing defect also hence the cash settlement as opposed to authorising the repairs and giving a lifetime warranty on them. We are taking Isuzu to VCAT and I have spent thousands of my own dollars getting an engineers report. I have almost no savings now and after all this trying to move my family from Tennant Creek NT back to Victoria with no Air conditioning. I have serviced this vehicle accordingly, (every 10,000km) it’s 4 and a half years old and a total lemon. Not to mention being lied to by Isuzu. The new panels are different parts. The panel beater in Alice told me he deals with the cracked inner guards once a month and said it will happen again and get rid of it. I overheard an employee at the Isuzu dealer mention to one of their colleagues that they had heard it happen to (x) family twice.
    Really disappointed and I hope this post saves at least one other person from this fate. Feel free to contact me as there’s more to the story I just can’t fit it and I’m probably boring everyone to death!
    Thanks for reading

  • Aaron Schubert October 7, 2021, 4:43 PM

    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for the comment, and the story. What a truly terrible experience that I’m sure has put you off buying another Isuzu. I must say I am worried about mine cracking too, and have been keeping a keen eye on it. I might suggest you look into the types of steel used; I’m told that during the manufacturing process some sheet metal was mislabelled and some of the panels that crack were made from much harder steel than they should have been, and are not a suitable material for their location and application.

    All the best in your battle for a fair outcome

  • Led October 8, 2021, 2:04 PM


    Is anyone having issue with oil consumption? I have a 2018 Dmax and by 10k after service its dropped to half on the dip stick, and about a third quarter of a plastic 600ml water bottle caught in catch can. Isuzu say this is normal…. Cheers

  • Aaron Schubert October 8, 2021, 6:38 PM

    Hey Led,

    What oil are you running? Mine seems to catch around 250ml per 10k but doesn’t seem to drop much on the dipstick.

    All the best

  • Emann Mendiola October 13, 2021, 9:08 PM

    2020 dmax 1.9L rz4e – less than 5,000km on the clock, the rear main seal is leaking. Very disappointing.

  • Aaron Schubert October 14, 2021, 5:13 AM

    He Emann,

    Sorry to hear. We don’t have those motors over here, but the rear main isn’t exactly uncommon on the 4JJ1 either

    I assume they’ll sort it under warranty?

  • Emma Hall November 18, 2021, 5:13 AM

    Hi Aaron,
    We have a 2018 DMax. It is our on-farm vehicle. Everything was fine with the vehicle until Saturday gone when the same thing started happening as Kim Goldfinch mentioned in their comment September 30, 2021. Unfortunately on our way to the dealer, an hour and a half drive, Tuesday gone, the car completely died and we had to get it towed to the dealer. The dealer is putting in a warranty claim for us but was hesitant to say it will be accepted. Her tone of voice when she mentioned that this kind of thing happens when one rides the clutch left me very worried that we are going to be blamed for this. She stated the “clutch disc is completely warn and burnt out. All fibres are worn off.” We can only assure them we don’t ride the clutch. We use low 4×4 to avoid such situations when moving animals etc. I an quite stressed we are going to be left with the blame and a hefty bill.

  • Aaron Schubert November 18, 2021, 9:07 AM

    Hi Emma,

    Firstly, sorry to hear you are having issues. The clutch is an interesting one, because it falls under the wear and tear category. If you are confident that it is driven correctly, then you can push back. By law, the vehicle you purchase (and anything else too) must perform as the consumer would expect it to. You wouldn’t expect your microwave to stop working after 6 months of use, and likewise having to replace a clutch on a 4WD that is only a couple of years old seems excessive.

    I have heard of others towing things having to replace the clutches too. How many km’s has it done?

    Either way, a new clutch shouldn’t be a hugely expensive bill, and hopefully Isuzu share some of the responsibility

    All the best

  • Emma Hall November 18, 2021, 10:49 AM

    Thank you Aaron,
    I appreciate your response.
    The Ute has only done 55,000kms.
    I hope Isuzu will stand by their claim that they are the best farm Ute’s around, which is why we decided on purchasing it over others models.
    Cheers, Emma

  • Aaron Schubert November 18, 2021, 11:06 AM

    Hey Emma,

    You are very welcome. Just keep pushing. I would say 55,000km is not how long a clutch should last for.

    All the best

  • Emma Hall November 19, 2021, 6:23 AM

    Thanks Aaron,
    I appreciate it.
    Fingers crossed.
    Take care,
    Emma 🙂

  • David December 1, 2021, 4:13 PM

    Hi Aaron,
    Very interesting articles, I’ve just about sold my Nissan y62, and was keen to buy a Isuzu MY15, July onwards, but on reading the brassed of owners, 2nd choice was 2014 hilux, but really I’m just about gone full circle, GQ1988swb, non turbo, good old plugger and even spend $10,000 total recon motor, seems ok
    Cheers David

  • Aaron Schubert December 1, 2021, 4:27 PM

    Hey David,

    How come you sold the Y62? I’ve always liked them.

    I think you’ll find bad points about every vehicle, and the MY15 model Dmax and MUX’s are a decent vehicle. You don’t hear of the good reviews, but its worth weighing it all up. I’d join some of the Isuzu pages and get first hand feedback from other owners. The large majority of owners are very happy, and we fall into this category for the most part too.

    There is something nice about an old, simple vehicle, but we found that the age of components just kept resulting in things going wrong.

    The Hilux is also a good vehicle, and as long as you keep on top of the injectors they are a great motor.

    All the best with whatever you decide

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