Nissan 350Z Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your Nissan 350Z

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Nissan 350Z Problems

Timing Chain Rattle and Tapping Noise

Rattling and tapping in the front of the engine on the 2003-2006 Nissan 350Z is very evident, especially on cold starts. This rattling noise should not be taken lightly as it warns of upcoming timing chain failure. 

The cause of the noise is faulty timing chain guide rails and timing chain tensioners that wear out well ahead of schedule. These components are there to keep the timing chain tight and properly positioned. When these parts fail, the timing chain becomes loose, and pieces of the timing chain guides break off, falling into the oil pan. 

To remedy the situation, Nissan/Infiniti has made revised guides and tensioners, but replacement can be very costly. 

Proper oil change intervals and oil type may help slow or prevent the situation. 

Erratic or High Idle After Cleaning Throttle Body

The throttle body for the Nissan 350Z is known for carbon buildup, and requires regular, light cleaning to maintain peak performance. After cleaning the throttle body, many owners notice a very high idle, erratic (bouncing) idle, and unpredictable power surging. 

The cause is normal ECU adaptation: When the throttle body builds up carbon, the rate of airflow is slightly decreased. The vehicles computer reads this decrease in air volume, and adjusts the throttle body settings to maintain the proper engine idle speed. When the carbon is cleaned out, the ECU now registers too much air, and cannot adjust back to the original settings. While it is trying to change settings, the idle will bounce from low to high, and the car will surge forward at times. 

It has been recommended to simply wipe inside the throttle body every 12,000 miles, and never to touch the flap inside. Also, the cleaning procedure may be best left to a qualified technician.

The solution can be as simple as disconnecting the battery for at least an hour, having the dealer reset the computer, or, in extreme cases, replace the throttle bodies. 

Engine May Stall Due to Failed Crankshaft and/or Camshaft Sensor

The engine may stall at times due to a failed crankshaft position sensor and/or camshaft position sensor, These sensors can fail intermittently as they warm with the engine. Sensors on certain models have been recalled by Nissan and will be replaced as necessary. Please visit our recall section for this model to see if your vehicle is covered by this recall.

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Nissan 350Z Recalls

Passenger Air Bag May Not Deploy

This recall affects certain vehicles equipped Occupant Classification System (OCS) control units manufactured by Continental Automotive Systems. A varistor in the OCS control unit may have been manufactured out of specification. Under certain conditions, this could interupt the signal between the OCS and the air bag control unit (ACU), causing the passenger air bag to be suppressed in an accident. If the air bag does not deploy when needed in a crash, the risk of injury is increased. Dealers will test the signal between the OCS and ACU with a special tool to verify proper function. The seat cushion containing the OCS hardware will be replaced as necessary. The recall began November 4, 2008.

Fuel May Leak from the Fuel Filler Hose

The fuel filler hose may crack and result in fuel leaking while filling the gas tank. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can cause a fire. Dealers will replace the fuel filler hose. The recall began on March 13, 2006. The Infiniti recall number is R0508 and the Nissan recall number is R0505.

Engine May Stop Running Without Warning

The circuit board for the crank position sensor and cam position sensor may have improper solder joints. This could cause the Service Engine Soon lamp to come on, the engine may not start, you could experience reduced power, or the engine may stall without warning, which could result in a crash. Dealers will replace the the crank position sensor, cam position sensors, and in some cases, the variable timing control sensors. The recall began on December 22, 2003. The Nissan recall number is R2022 and the Infiniti recall number is R3021.

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Nissan 350Z Reviews

I will NEVER buy another Nissan anything again. I bought this 350z convertible with 16k miles on it in 2005. With under 20k miles on it (thankful for warranty), I went through a recall on the tires and brakes, problems with the roof not going up/down, driver's side window motor going out. I kept the car as I don't want a large car payment and thought once those items were fixed, no more issues....
covertable top will not open
This car is excellent overall except that the passenger's compartment gets hotter then it should be after I've driven the car for 5 minutes especially in the summer. This only occurs after I've stopped and parked the car for a short while because a heat transfer from the hot engine compartment to the passenger compartment via the hot water lines allows the whole ventilation system to get ho...

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