Honda Passport Problemsby Andy Joseph
Sold between 1994 and 2002, the Honda Passport was a compact SUV, marking Honda's entry into the truck market. However, the vehicle was produced by another automaker, Isuzu. In fact, it was also sold as the Isuzu Rodeo. The Honda Passport was never a brisk seller, and it was eventually replaced by the Honda Pilot.
First Generation Problems
With some first-generation Honda Passport vehicles (1994 to 1997), there may be failures of the rear wheel speed sensor and the ABS isolation/dump valve assembly, particularly in the 1994 and 1995 model years. Some first-generation Passports may also have engine and transmission issues, related to the failure of the idle control thermo valve (on the 4ZE1 2.6-liter engines) and the force motor (on the 4L30-E transmission).
Other First Generation Problems
Other problems with first-generation Honda Passports include hard starting (can be fixed with replacement of fuel injectors), oil leaks (address the spark-plug tubes), and faulty seat belts (can be serviced under the Honda Lifetime Seat Belt Limited Warranty).
Second Generation Problems
Failure of the intake manifold gaskets and fuel tank sending unit are problems that can afflict any model year of the second-generation Honda Passports (1998 to 2002). This can cause rough idling and inaccurate fuel gauge, respectively. In either case, the "Check Engine" light would illuminate. Another prevalent issue is the failure of the electronic brake control module and the rear wheel speed sensor wire harness for the ABS braking system. Consequently, the ABS hydraulic brake would run at all times, and the ABS brake indicator would light up.
Other Second Generation Problems
Other common problems with second-generation Honda Passport include the audio system, steering and vehicle noise (certain wires would need to be replaced or repositioned), and cracking rear windows due to uneven heating distribution of the defroster (defroster kits can be either repaired or replaced).
Today, the Passport lags behind other Honda vehicles in resale value. Thus buying one can be a good bargain. Keep this in mind, though: the Honda Passport is really a re-badged Isuzu Rodeo.
Based in the D.C. area, Andy Joseph works full-time as a data analyst and technical writer. He has been writing articles about technology, health, politics, music, culture and automobiles since 2007. His work has appeared in The Express, Congressional Report and Road & Track. He has a master's degree in journalism and technology management.