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Terry ASKED THE GUIDE

Nissan Navara 2011: Why does it go into limp mode?

My 2011 Nissan Navara randomly goes into "limp" mode, sometimes pumping the accelerator works and other times it does nothing. It has a new fuel filter, a slight leak in the exhaust near firewall, and there is a lot of oil in the intercooler. What is going on?

As with any other problems like this one, Terry, the best advice is to have the car plugged in to a scanner and have a diagnostic mechanic read the fault codes which will hopefully give an idea of the cause of the limp-home mode and unresponsive throttle pedal. It could be something simple, it may be something really intrinsic, but without a scan, you’re flying blind.

The oil in the intercooler, meanwhile, is a potentially big problem. A little oil inside the intercooler piping is actually quite normal and is usually the result of oil mist from the crankcase ventilation system condensing and leaving a little oily residue. But a large amount of oil in the intercooler suggests a turbocharger with leaking seals and/or bearings. If the seals are leaking, boost pressure from the turbocharger can force oil from the turbo’s bearing into the intercooler. If that’s the case, you’re looking at a rebuilt or new turbocharger unit. A blown turbo could also be enough to prompt the limp-home mode you’re experiencing.

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