It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving a Single Cab or a Double Cab, Isuzu has been producing excellent bakkies for decades. The Isuzu KB, designed for ruggedness and durability, was said to be an example of how this might be done perfectly by Isuzu. For our review today, we’ll be taking a look at the well-regarded and durable KB 250, although it’s not without flaws.

Cluelessness and catastrophe go hand in hand with raising public awareness and preventing it. At Engine Finder, South Africa’s leading provider of excellent used engines for sale, we care about our customers and their cars. If you ever encounter any of the problems listed below with the Isuzu KB 250, we recommend that you seek the assistance of a qualified technician.

Problem Key Information
Automatic Gearbox Malfunctions Symptoms include unexpected disengagement. Solutions involve checking the linkage, torque converter, and speed sensor.
Brake Pedal Switch Issues Can trigger engine light and limp mode. Check the switch and connections for faults or carbon buildup.
High Fuel Consumption May be caused by over-tightened injectors or a faulty suction control valve. Professional inspection is advised.
Starting Issues in Hot Conditions Problems starting when the engine is hot. Check glow plugs, sensor wiring, and consider a new battery cable if necessary.
Brake Caliper Failures Recurring issues with brake calipers require regular inspection and potential replacement or repair.
Hot-Start Problems Engine cranks but may not start. Inspect fuel lines, bleed the system, and check the injector pump’s decoding unit.

Here are potential common ISUZU KB 250 Problems

1. Automatic Gearbox Malfunctions

Symptoms: Owners of the Isuzu KB 250 have reported instances where the automatic gearbox disengages unexpectedly. This results in the engine revving without any forward propulsion, and when it does engage, it may cause the vehicle to jerk forward aggressively.

Solution: The potential causes range from a worn linkage to a faulty torque converter or a malfunctioning transmission speed sensor. It’s crucial to have these components inspected by a professional mechanic. In some cases, replacing the damaged parts or recalibrating the sensor can restore the gearbox’s functionality.

2. Brake Pedal Switch Issues

Symptoms: The brake pedal switch malfunction can trigger the engine light and force the vehicle into limp mode, significantly reducing its power. This can happen unexpectedly during travel, causing understandable concern for drivers.

Solution: A thorough check of the brake pedal switch with a multimeter can diagnose the issue. Sometimes, the problem is as simple as a loose plug or carbon buildup on the connection points, which can be cleaned or reconnected to resolve the issue.

3. High Fuel Consumption

Symptoms: Some Isuzu KB 250 owners have reported higher than expected fuel consumption, with figures deviating significantly from the manufacturer’s stated combined cycle usage.

Solution: A common culprit for increased fuel consumption is improperly installed or over-tightened injectors, which can distort the spray pattern. It’s also advisable to inspect the suction control valve, as contaminated fuel can cause it to malfunction. If you’re experiencing high fuel consumption, it’s best to have a professional technician diagnose and address the issue to prevent further inefficiency.

4. Starting Issues in Hot Conditions

Symptoms: Certain KB 250 models may experience difficulty starting in hot conditions, a problem that does not occur when the engine is cold. This issue can be severe enough to prevent the vehicle from starting at all when both the external temperature and the engine are very warm.

Solution: Recommendations for this issue include checking the glow plugs and the associated sensor. A chafed sensor wire can lead to poor engine grounding, which may be the source of the problem. Some owners have resolved this by installing a new battery cable between the starter and the battery. However, it’s essential to have such work done by a professional to avoid causing additional damage.

5. Brake Caliper Failures

Symptoms: A number of Isuzu KB 250 drivers have encountered recurring issues with brake calipers, which are critical components for the vehicle’s braking system.

Solution: Regular inspection by a qualified mechanic is essential for identifying early signs of wear or failure in brake calipers. If a problem is detected, prompt replacement or repair is necessary to ensure the vehicle’s braking system remains reliable and effective.

6. Hot-Start Problems

Symptoms: Particularly with the D-TEQ model, there are reports of the engine failing to start when hot. The engine may crank but not start unless the motor light is on prior to ignition. Sometimes, the engine might start but then cut off abruptly.

Community-Sourced Solutions: Members of the 4×4 Community Forum have shared a variety of potential fixes for this issue:

  • Checking the Key and Anti-Hijack System: Ensure the key still has its chip and that the anti-hijack system is not causing a fuel cutoff.
  • Starter Motor and Electrical Connections: Examine the starter motor’s wiring for power delivery issues and ensure all electrical connections, especially earth points, are clean and secure.
  • Immobilizer and Electrical Faults: Investigate immobilizer issues and retrieve OBD codes from the ECU, which could indicate specific electrical faults.

One user resolved their starting issue by removing an old anti-hijack system, suggesting that aftermarket security devices could interfere with the starting process.

Professional Solution: While these community-sourced solutions can provide direction, it’s crucial to consult with a professional mechanic to diagnose and fix starting problems accurately. A professional can ensure that all components, including the immobilizer and electrical systems, are functioning correctly and can address any underlying issues without compromising vehicle security.

For more detailed experiences and solutions, refer to the discussions on the 4×4 Community Forum.

7. Diesel Pump Decoding Unit Failure

Symptoms: The vehicle may fail to start due to a malfunctioning diesel pump decoding unit, which is responsible for decrypting the key when the ignition is switched to ACC. This issue is often exacerbated by excessive vibration and heat exposure.

Solution: While a user-suggested workaround involves bypassing the decoding unit, this is not a recommended solution as it can lead to continuous engine light activation and disable the immobilizer function. The appropriate course of action is to seek professional repair to address the decoding unit’s failure, ensuring the vehicle’s security features remain intact.

8. 4×4 Selection Issue in 2018 Isuzu KB250 Models

Symptoms: A troubling issue has come to light with the 2018 Isuzu KB250 D-TEQ 4×4 models, as reported by vehicle owners. The central concern is the persistent illumination of the “check 4×4” indicator. When attempting to engage the 4×4 system by switching from 2H to 4H or 4L, there is no indication of the system engaging — no sound from the actuator, nor any visual cue from the dashboard icons.

Diagnosis and Solution: The problem was thoroughly investigated by a member of the 4×4 Community Forum, who documented their experience in a detailed thread. After a series of diagnostic tests returned no errors, the owner took a hands-on approach to inspect the front diff actuator.

Upon disassembly, significant corrosion was found inside the unit. After a careful cleaning and sanding of the contact tracks, the actuator was reassembled. This intervention successfully rectified the issue, restoring the proper function of the 4×4 selection system without the need for costly replacements.

For a more in-depth understanding of this issue and the solution, you can read the full discussion on the 4×4 Community Forum here.


As far as reliability goes, you won’t find much better than the Isuzu KB 250. In terms of quality and toughness, the 250cc engines are the best of the best. Hundreds of thousands of miles of trouble-free driving may be attributed to this model. The Isuzu KB 250 outlasts comparable bakkies under similar circumstances.

You should always bring your ‘tough as nails’ Isuzu in for a complete checkup by a competent technician if it ever shows any of the symptoms listed above.


What kind of engine is in the Isuzu KB 250?

The Isuzu KB 250 is equipped with a robust 2.5 litre D-TEQ diesel engine. This powertrain is known for its solid performance, delivering 85 kW at 3,600 rpm and a peak torque of 280 Nm starting at a low 1,800 rpm. The engine’s efficiency is enhanced by its high-pressure, common rail fuel injection system coupled with an intercooled turbocharger, ensuring a blend of power and fuel economy.

What is the fuel consumption of an Isuzu KB 250?

Fuel efficiency is a key aspect of the Isuzu KB 250, with the vehicle boasting a combined cycle consumption figure of approximately 7.9L/100Km, which translates to about 12.6km/l. However, real-world figures reported by owners suggest an average closer to 9km/l, indicating that actual consumption may vary based on driving conditions and vehicle maintenance.

Is Isuzu KB reliable?

The Isuzu KB series has a longstanding reputation for reliability, serving as a dependable workhorse for a variety of tasks. The KB models are designed to endure rigorous use, reflecting Isuzu’s commitment to durability and performance. With the latest iterations adding more style to the substance, the KB continues to be a reliable choice for those who need a bakkie that’s as tough as it is functional.

What is the load capacity of the Isuzu KB 250 double cab?

The Isuzu KB 250 double cab is designed to handle substantial loads, catering to both work and leisure needs. While the exact load capacity can vary by model year and configuration, these vehicles are typically capable of carrying a significant payload in line with what is expected from a robust utility vehicle.

What is the difference between Isuzu KB and D-Max?

The transition from Isuzu KB to D-Max represents an evolution in design and technology. The D-Max offers a modern 6-speed transmission, available in both manual and automatic options, providing a smoother and more efficient driving experience compared to the KB’s 5-speed transmission. This upgrade is part of Isuzu’s continuous improvement to meet the demands of bakkie enthusiasts and professionals alike.

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Drawing from extensive expertise in the used car parts industry, Craig Sandeman has established himself as a trusted authority in automotive repair. He possesses a deep knowledge of the challenges encountered by individuals seeking reliable car parts, making him a highly sought-after expert in this field.


Potential issues, causes, and solutions have been identified in the above article based on the experiences of car owners and repairers, as well as web materials such as forum blogs and technical support bulletins. This data is supplied exclusively for the purpose of reference. Only appropriately qualified persons should perform repairs and/or changes on your vehicles.

While it’s important to keep in mind, it’s also important to note that the amount of times anything is mentioned here should not be seen as a sign of its reliability or frequency. Various owners, driving in different ways, and caring for their vehicles in distinct ways will cause two identical vehicles to perform differently.

As previously said, this material is supplied primarily for reference reasons; nonetheless, we hope that by doing so, we will be able to supply you with essential knowledge that will allow you to make informed decisions whenever you encounter any of the aforementioned setbacks.

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