Nissan Patrol Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Nissan Patrol reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Is it worth getting the engine replaced in my 2002 Nissan Patrol?

Answered by CarsGuide 14 Jun 2022

If you still want to drive a proper off-road four-wheel-drive, then maybe fixing what you already have is the wise way to go. Supply crunches and high demand have seen the prices of second-hand four-wheel-drives skyrocket. You might be in for a shock when you check the prices of second-hand replacements.

Beyond that, it comes down to the overall condition of the rest of the vehicle. Off-roaders are big, heavy and sometimes complex machines and if the rest of the mechanical package isn’t in good condition, fitting a new engine will only attend to one of the vehicle’s ongoing cost-centres.

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Is it wise to buy a 2008 Nissan Patrol with an overhauled engine?

Answered by CarsGuide 7 Jun 2022

Four-wheel-drives like the Patrol tend to do big mileages, so you often see them advertised with overhauled or reconditioned engines. That’s not a problem provided the work has been done properly and quality parts used.

But you also need to talk to the seller and determine exactly what they mean by `overhauled’. A true overhaul will have included reconditioning the cylinder head, boring the cylinders, new pistons, new bearings, rings and even things like a new water pump and fuel pump. The receipts form the rebuild will tell the full story.

Our bet would be on the car you’re looking at having had a piston failure (number three or four piston) which was too common on the ZD30 engine. At which point you need to find out whether the engine was completely rebuilt, or simply had a new set of pistons and a new turbocharger fitted.

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What's a good 4WD for the outback?

Answered by CarsGuide 18 Mar 2021

You really have two ways to go here. The fact that you want to go off-road in the best/worst conditions this country has to offer means an SUV or cross-over just isn’t going to cut it. With that in mind, you’re looking at either a dual-cab ute or a conventional four-wheel-drive wagon.

In the ute world, there’s plenty of choice within your budget, but you need to be careful that the vehicle in question hasn’t been worked to death by a tradie towing a bobcat Monday to Friday. The popularity of these vehicles, meanwhile, means that there’s lots of choice when it comes to aftermarket bits and pieces to complete your dream vehicle.

The other route – a conventional wagon-style 4X4 – also places a lot of choice within your budget. The Toyota LandCruiser Prado would be a good choice, as would something like a Mitsubishi Pajero which has always represented good value for money both brand-new and second-hand. You could also look at Nissan Patrols which also give you plenty of car for the money and, if you shop carefully, you could find a really nice LandCruiser 80 Series, reckoned by some to be the absolute pinnacle of off-road wagons, even though they’re getting on a bit now. There’s great aftermarket and service support for all these options, so it will come down to your personal preferences.

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Are Nissan Patrols prone to overheating?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Nov 2020

The ZD30 will probably not be remembered as one of Nissan’s greatest engines. In good condition and running properly, they’re not a bad unit, but they have managed to develop a reputation for – as you’ve identified – giving problems long before they should.

Any off-roader’s engine is liable to overheat, especially when you’re working it hard in the bush with minimal air-flow through the radiator. Many Patrol owners have identified this and fitted larger, aftermarket radiators to fix the issue. A bigger worry is the engine’s propensity to explode – usually – number three of four piston with catastrophic results.

The trade has a few theories including a build-up of oil and soot (which forms black gunk) that partially blocks the inlet tract that causes uneven mixtures across all four cylinders. At that point, you could have hot-spots occurring that can potentially melt pistons. Another theory holds that the same black gunk was messing with the engine’s sensors and allowing them to send false information back to the computer, again leading to incorrect air-fuel mixtures.

Boost spikes were another problem, apparently caused by the engine’s slow response to commands from the computer. In extreme cases, turbo-boost could increase violently and damage pistons. Even then, it wasn’t that simple, because Nissan itself seems to have misunderstood the engine, originally specifying an oil capacity of too little, leading to oil starvation and engine damage. The company quickly added a couple of litres to the specification (for a total of 8.3 litres) and instructed its dealers to shorten and recalibrate dipsticks when the cars came in for servicing.

For all that, the ZD30 has gathered its admirers who value its performance and reduced fuel consumption over some other turbo-diesel Patrol engines. For our money though, if you can afford it, the bigger, less stressed TD42 turbo-diesel is the pick of the Patrol engines from this era. The catch there is that the TD42 was only available with a five-speed manual while the ZD30 could be had with an optional four-speed automatic.

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Why is the fuel consumption high in my 2000 Nissan Patrol?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Sep 2020

I assume you mean it’s higher than normal, because these were thirsty trucks to begin with. The 4.8-litre petrol six-cylinder engine could easily consume 20 litres per 100km at freeway speeds and a lot more around town or in the bush. Even the turbo-diesels were no sippers.

But a sudden jump in fuel consumption can often be traced back to either tuning or a glitch in part of the fuelling system. Make sure the car is serviced and has a clean air filter and new spark plugs (if it’s a petrol engine). You can also have the fuel-injection system checked to make sure you don’t have a stuck injector that is pouring fuel into the engine when it doesn’t need it.

If the engine is fit and healthy, you can then make sure the car doesn’t have a dragging brake or another mechanical problem that is – literally – dragging it down. Don’t ignore the other basics, either; under-inflated tyres can also cause high fuel consumption. And, have you fitted a roof rack lately? These can easily add a full litre per 100km to your overall consumption figures, just through wind-drag.

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What is the best second-hand model of the Nissan Patrol?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Aug 2020

While the later Y62 Nissan Patrol was petrol V8 only (and a thirsty one at that) it’s also way out of your budget. Go back in time to the old faithful GQ model, and you’re going too far back, as these are now quite old vehicles. Which leaves you with the GU model which fits within your budget but is still new enough to be around in good numbers and in good condition.

Within that GU model-window, the version I’d recommend is the earlier 4.2-litre turbo-diesel model built from 1997 to 2007. While there were other turbo-diesel engines offered in the GU, they were problematic, especially compared with the tough 4.2-litre unit. There was also large-capacity six-cylinder petrol engine, but that has a monstrous thirst as well. Given that you want to tow a camper and do some off-roading, the extra range and fuel efficiency of the turbo-diesel will be a bonus.

The only catch is that this engine was only ever tied to a five-speed manual gearbox, and if you want an automatic, you need to look elsewhere.

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What is the best second-hand model of the Nissan Patrol?

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Aug 2020

While the later Y62 Nissan Patrol was petrol V8 only (and a thirsty one at that) it’s also way out of your budget. Go back in time to the old faithful GQ model, and you’re going too far back, as these are now quite old vehicles. Which leaves you with the GU model which fits within your budget but is still new enough to be around in good numbers and in good condition.

Within that GU model-window, the version I’d recommend is the earlier 4.2-litre turbo-diesel model built from 1997 to 2007. While there were other turbo-diesel engines offered in the GU, they were problematic, especially compared with the tough 4.2-litre unit. There was also large-capacity six-cylinder petrol engine, but that has a monstrous thirst as well. Given that you want to tow a camper and do some off-roading, the extra range and fuel efficiency of the turbo-diesel will be a bonus.

The only catch is that this engine was only ever tied to a five-speed manual gearbox, and if you want an automatic, you need to look elsewhere.

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Nissan Patrol 2006: Is it worth buying?

Answered by CarsGuide 7 Aug 2020

The vast majority of Nissan Patrols from 2006 have covered a lot more than 172,000km, so that’s definitely one thing in the vehicle’s favour. These seem to be a pretty good thing over time and kilometres as well, but there are still a few things to be wary of. The first of those is how the vehicle has actually been used in the past. Has it been used extensively off-road? Climb underneath and check for damage caused by rocks and try to gauge how hard a life the Patrol has had.

The other thing to bear in mind is that there were two diesel engines offered in this model. The biggest, a 4.2-litre turbo-diesel is a pretty good thing and tough enough to survive. The smaller unit, though, a three-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel doesn’t enjoy the same reputation for reliability and longevity. In fact, the smaller diesel is notorious for suffering an incorrect air-fuel mixture and/or turbo-boost spikes which can smash the pistons to bits. At which point the whole engine is junk. Should this happen, you might find that the cost of repairs is more than the actual value of the whole vehicle.

So that’s the bottom line: If the engine is a six-cylinder, it’s probably worth a punt if it’s cheap enough. If the engine is a four-cylinder, you might be wise to look for an expert on these engines to examine it and give a recommendation in person.

This model Patrol was also entangled in the Takata air-bag fiasco, so make sure the air-bags have been checked and replaced if necessary before driving it anywhere.

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Nissan Patrol 2006: How much is it worth?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Apr 2020

That’s an awful lot of money for a 2006 Nissan Patrol, Heather, but there are a couple of mitigating factors. The first is the incredibly low mileage and if there’s a GU Patrol out there with fewer kilometres showing, then I’d be a bit surprised.

The second thing in the car’s favour is that it has the mighty 4.8-litre petrol six-cylinder engine which is one of the best towing engines ever made for a passenger vehicle. A Patrol with that engine will always find a buyer even if, at $18,000, it’s right at the top of the price ladder. Then again, given that it represents more or less a brand-new 2006 Patrol (and this model was a cool $80,000 on the road back in the day) maybe $18,000 is a steal. Depends on how you look at it.

The only caveat is that it will use lots and lots of fuel and double that amount if you tow a caravan with it.

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