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4x4 Faults and Problems

This section deals with known and reported problems with 4x4 off road SUV vehicles.

It is not intended to turn you off 4x4 SUV's.

Nonetheless, the database of known or reported faults with various 4x4 Vehicles should help.

If you have had problems with your 4x4 - please help us build a database of known faults.

Notified 4 Wheel Drive Failures

Smoky Diesel Car Engine icon Smoky Diesel Engines

There are many reasons why diesel engines smoke. Here are a few of them and with luck you will be able to cure your smokey diesel engine!

Smoky Diesel Car Engine icon Engine Oil Sludge

Learn how to check your car for oily sludge or gel and understand why black gooey oil sludge build up in the motor is bad for diesel engines.

Isuzu Trooper icon Isuzu Trooper

Is the Isuzu Trooper 3.0 Diesel Reliable?

It seems that whilst earlier Isuzu Trooper 3.1 diesel engines were very reliable, the third generation models 3.0 TD engine (1998 onwards) perhaps should be avoided. This is mostly due to injector problems and blown engines. The suggestions are that they were subject to an Isuzu recall in 2005 that proved to be unsuccessful.

We researched the RAC and AA websites but they failed to mention this problem in any great detail. In fact, the Automobile Association threw out a recommendation that the third generation 3.0 TD remains the best Isuzu Trooper engine in production. What is your experience with Isuzu SUVs and pickups? Do you find the diesel engine reliable? Let us know and we will publish your feedback for other users.

Diesels Starting Problems iconDiesels Starting Problems on Cold Mornings

Someone recently commented that when they try to start their diesel engine on a cold and frosty morning, it winds over a few more times than normal and a big puff of white smoke streams out of the exhaust when it finally kicks in. The smoke colour isn't blue, but it was described as more greyish if anything. Some mornings when it has been cold it hasn't done it, then on other wintry mornings it has.

When starts normally it turns over about 3 times and it away it goes and no smoke. I always make sure the glow plug light goes out first. Is it because the glow plug light only senses the glow plugs temp and could the engine block still be too cold for combustion to occur? The extra smoke is the excessive diesel being burnt?

Response from a Diesel Mechanic

Unburnt fuel is black. White smoke is a sign that either;

  1. Condensation in the exhaust.
  2. Blown head gasket.
  3. Burning automatic transmission fluid.

Obviously it's the first one, being it only happens on cold mornings. Cold weather will always give you grief when starting a diesel vehicle. This is also the time when batteries fail. Give the glow plugs a couple of goes before cranking the engine as this will help. This is why most diesel vehicles in Europe are fitted with a 24 volt battery.

Mechanical fault icon Nissan Terrano

My Nissan Terrano has this problem the speedometer odometer, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, tachometer do not work. I have looked in the hand book their is no indication for fuse or a relay.

I have phoned the Nissan dealer but he would not inform me what the problem was, "Bring it in and in and they will look". Its a year 2000 2664 cc.

Smoky Diesel Car Engine icon Mitsubishi Pajero

143,000 - Head gasket blown after a gruelling tree pulling episode. Head developed a small crack as a result. Repairs cost £1200. Front end oil leak - Turbo breather pipe rubbing on bulkhead after rubber insert became dislodged. 150,000 Rocker cam shattered over one cylinder - No known cause.

Vehicle Glossary of Terminology iconVehicles Terminology

A - Z Glossary of Car and Automotive Terms - Car language... what does it all mean? Does it really matter whether its called an SUV or a Crossover and is there a difference? When is a four-wheel drive MPV a soft-roader instead of a 4WD CUV? This alphabetical dictionary of automobile terminology helps explain the meaning of car jargon, slang words, and mechanical phrases used in the motoring industry - from A Banger to a Zagato.