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Nissan Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 34 Nissan models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

A thumping heard and felt in the floor is often caused by failing engine mounts. A failing mount allows too much movement of the engine, and will require replacement.

Various drivability problems may be caused by the air intake tube attached to the air cleaner box coming loose. Nissan has recalled 2003-2007 models for this concern. For more information on this recall please click here»

The electronic throttle actuator (throttle body) can fail causing a loss of power and illumination of the Check Engine Light.

The catalytic converter closest to the cylinder head can fail causing illumination of the Check Engine Light. Prompt repair of this problem is recommended because the catalyst material can be sucked into the engine and cause internal damage.

Excessive timing chain noise, a rattling or ticking, on higher mileage cars may lead to timing chain failure, which can cause engine damage. There are upgraded chain tension guides with a steel backing to improve durability and a modified repair procedure no longer requires the removal of the cylinder head to replace the timing chain. Maintaining proper engine oil level and frequent oil changes are important to ensure the long-term durability of this engine.

 

The 2005-2010 Pathfinder with an automatic transmission may develop an issue which is commonly known as the "strawberry milkshake".

The name is based on the color and consistency of the fluid found in the coolant reservoir, transmission, and radiator.

The radiator on these models has an isolated portion for cooling automatic transmission fluid(ATF) that is pumped in and out by the transmission. This area of the radiator is known to rupture internally, and the following occurs:

  • Transmission overheating warning light
  • Transmission slipping (engine revs high and vehicle moves slowly)
  • Jerking when accelerating
  • Engine overheating
  • ATF and engine coolant mix in the radiator, engine, and transmission

Engine coolant in the transmission can cause severe damage, and if not caught immediately may require replacement or rebuild of the automatic transmission.

To correct the situation, the radiator must be replaced, and the engine cooling system must be flushed thoroughly. Also, the transmission will need to be professionally flushed, inspected, and possibly repaired or replaced.

To prevent this from occurring, proactive replacement of the radiator is necessary and recommended.

The engine may not crank when the key is turned to "start" if the starter relay fails. This can be confused with a defective starter motor.

A coolant leak may develop from a plug on the front of the rear cylinder head, behind the timing cover.

The 2005-2010 Nissan Xterra equipped with the automatic transmission may develop an issue which is commonly known as the "strawberry milkshake".

The name is based on the color and consistency of the fluid found in the coolant reservoir, transmission, and radiator.

The radiator on these models has an isolated portion for cooling automatic transmission fluid(ATF) that is pumped in and out by the transmission. This area of the radiator is known to rupture internally, and the following occurs:

  • Transmission overheating warning light
  • Transmission slipping (engine revs high and vehicle moves slowly)
  • Jerking when accelerating
  • Engine overheating
  • ATF and engine coolant mix in the radiator, engine, and transmission

Engine coolant in the transmission can cause severe damage, and if not caught immediately may require replacement or rebuild of the automatic transmission.

To correct the situation, the radiator must be replaced, and the engine cooling system must be flushed thoroughly. Also, the transmission will need to be professionally flushed, inspected, and possibly repaired or replaced.

To prevent this from occurring, proactive replacement of the radiator is necessary and recommended.

The engine mount on the right side can wear prematurely and cause excessive engine movement.

Rattling and tapping in the front of the engine on the 2003-2016 Nissan Quest 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. 

The front struts can wear prematurely and create a knocking noise when driving over bumps.