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Nissan X-Trail diesel problems

Asked by Fabian

Is the 2008 Nissan X-Trail turbo diesel considered a reliable car and are there any regularly occurring problems with the engine?

Answered by CarsGuide

10 Mar 2021 David Morley

The biggest complaint from owners of the earlier X-Trail turbo-diesel was a lack of low-down torque which gave the car a lazy feel when accelerating from rest. Nissan actually issued a Technical Service Bulletin (like a recall, but for a non-safety related issue) to reflash the turbo-diesel’s computer to increase boost pressure at low revs and give the car a livelier feel.

But like many modern turbo-diesels, the X-Trail has also been the victim of Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) problems where the engine never gets hot enough to cause the DPF to self-regenerate. The bottom line is that if you don’t drive the car at freeway speeds for at least 20 minutes once every few weeks, you could be setting the DPF up to fail. Replacing the DPF is a costly business, too, so make sure that your intended use for the vehicle fits with its mechanical requirements.

A diesel engine is also often more costly to own and maintain thanks to higher-cost, more frequent servicing that can easily offset the diesel’s lower fuel consumption compared with a petrol engine. Urban owners are drifting away from diesel powerplants and back to petrol engines, and that, frankly, makes a lot of sense.

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