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I am also working on a 2002 isuzu axiom with the 3.5 engine that also starts for a few seconds then shuts off and will not start back up i did an engine over haul on it, and the engine ran before i removed the engine, did you find the problem?
I would go right to the dealer for this, you can go to auto part store and get some knobs but they wont fit correctly, i've been through this and i would say the dealer is the best bet. hope this helps.
Use 10w30 oil. The heavy oil 10w40 will cause the pinging due to the hydraulic cam advance oil valve control. It is not uncommon for these motors to use oil between changes according to the isuzu rep. Have you changed the pcv valve? How much oil is it using? reply
check engine light indicates that the computer in your vehicle has sensed a electrical problem pretaining to the performance of the engine usualy a diagnostic scan would determine the actual cause, vehicle has to be hooked up to a diagnostic tools.
I have the same vehicle, and it is usually caused by the gas cap being loose or not sealing properly. Double check and make sure that it is tight and the code will automattically reset itself. If this doesnt work, Schucks/AutoZone will give a free code check and let you know what it means.