Nissan Problems

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

I have a 2003 Nissan pulsar ST. How much is it worth?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Aug 2022

Mileage is a very important factor in the retained value of a car like this. The more kilometres it has covered, the less it will be worth. There’s also a sort of kilometre-cliff over which a car will plummet in residual-value terms once it breaches that distance-covered.

Even though you’ve cared for the car and serviced it properly, most buyers will be a bit leery of a car like a Pulsar with so many kilometres on board. Even in otherwise good condition, it would probably struggle to fetch more than about $3000 in the current market.

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When the engine heats up on my 2007 Nissan X-Trail, the automatic transmission struggles to change gears.

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Jul 2022

Engines and transmissions need to operate across a wide range of temperatures, from zero (or lower) on a cold morning, to extremely hot (when towing a trailer across the Nullarbor in mid-summer). Sometimes these differing operating temperatures bring out different behaviours.

The problem of selecting gears is often caused by wear or a fault in the transmission’s valve body, or it could be something else within the gearbox such as a worn clutch-pack or band. On a simpler level, you could be looking at something as easy to fix as a mis-aligned or mal-adjusted selector cable. Another possibility is a low transmission fluid level. If this is the case, you need to find the source of the leak, not just top up the level, as a transmission is a sealed unit that shouldn’t need topping up.

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How do I get my digital speedo showing on my 2016 Nissan X-Trail? What settings do I need and what procedure do I follow to show my digital speed?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Jun 2022

From what I can see in the owners’ manual, the X-Trail has the ability to display the vehicle’s current speed as part of the trip computer’s read-out. By scrolling through the various pages offered by the computer, you should be able to find one that gives a readout of current and average speed.

Later model X-Trails had a proper digital speedometer, but the trip computer version is the best you’ll get in this model.

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Do you think owners of Nissan CVT cars like the Pulsar should create a class action for all the out of pocket repairs on cars doing less than 100,000 km but more than three years old?

Answered by CarsGuide 28 Jun 2022

The CVT transmission has haunted many a car-maker over the years and just when another car-makers thinks they’ve got the tech nailed, along comes another series of failures that makes consumers think again.

Late last year in the USA, Nissan paid out a US$277 million settlement for a class action brought by owners of its CVT-equipped cars, so there’s certainly a precedent for this. However, don’t assume that US and Australian consumer law are the same – they’re not. The lawsuit, meantime, accused Nissan of knowing about the fault for years and doing nothing. Nissan, while admitting no wrongdoing, agreed to pay the claims.

The viability or otherwise of a class action legal case is not the sort of advice Carsguide dispenses. You would need to talk with a law firm specialising in this type of litigation and then weigh up the costs and potential benefits, bearing in mind a win is no certainty in these cases.

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I am changing over my old Navara D22 and considering a Ssangyong Musso Ultimate. Should I take a risk on a Musso?

Answered by CarsGuide 17 Jun 2022

My experience has generally been that Ssangyong is a brand with decent reliability. Many people think it’s a Chinese brand, but it’s actually a South Korean company. And when you look at the other South Korean car-makers we see here – Hyundai and Kia – you can see that the country makes some fine vehicles with great reliability and durability.

You’re right about that warranty, too; at seven years of factory cover, it’s one of the best (if not the best) in the business. You’re also right about the relative value-for-money equation. The Ssangyong seems like a lot of vehicle for the money.

Perhaps the only thing that might make you think twice would be the supply of spare and service parts. That said, in 2022, that problem is afflicting a lot of mainstream companies and volume sellers as well as the smaller brands. And from what I can gather, this problem is a bigger one for the Chinese brands than some of the others.

A Musso has a towing capacity of 3500kg (with a braked trailer) so a 1200kg caravan should not trouble it one bit. Take the Musso for a test drive and decide for yourself, but we reckon, after a D22 Navara, you’ll be amazed at how good a modern dual-cab ute can be at this price-point.

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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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I tried to turn on the white LED lights in my 2016 Nissan Pulsar and they're not working...

Answered by CarsGuide 6 Jun 2022

I’ll assume you’re talking about what Nissan calls the Pulsar’s `Accent Lights’ which are fundamentally LED daylight running lamps. I have heard of these failing, and the cause was a poorly soldered connection which should be pretty easy for an auto electrician to put right.

Finding the fault will involve checking for power at the lights and then working backwards to the switch to see which component is not playing. Even though they’re LEDs, trouble-shotting is no different to any other electrical component that appears to have lost power. Again, a good auto sparkie should be able to figure it out.

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My 2014 Nissan X-Trail is jerking in fourth and fifth gear at 2000rpm...

Answered by CarsGuide 26 May 2022

The CVT transmission in the X-Trail has caused plenty of owners problems over the years. Jerking or shuddering is usually down to one of two things: Either the metal belt inside the transmission which provides the drive is worn and is slipping, or; the transmissions valve body is faulty and needs replacement. Either way, it’s a fairly major repair.

But what you haven’t told me for certain is that your car is, indeed, a CVT-equipped example. In the off-chance that your car has the much rarer conventional manual transmission, then the problem is more likely to be something wrong with the engine that is causing the problem at a particular engine speed (2000rpm in your case). Changing the plugs is a decent first step, but in the longer term, you’ll have more success by having the vehicle scanned and seeing what fault codes are thrown up by the car’s computer.

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How reliable is the N15 1998 Nissan Pulsar LX 1.6-litre five-speed manual?

Answered by CarsGuide 18 May 2022

In a nutshell, these were pretty reliable cars mechanically speaking. Simple and fairly rugged, they were not known to have any major, endemic problems.

The caveat is that they’re now nearly 25 years old, so the reliability of one today has a lot more to do with how it’s been serviced and maintained than its reputation back in the day. And because they were always a pretty cheap car, they were also a very cheap second-hand car and were bought by a lot of people who couldn’t afford to maintain them properly. So a lot of them are totally worn out now.

But if you can find one with some kind of service history and one that hasn’t had too many previous owners or has operated as a company fleet car, then you might be looking at a reliable little car that will cost peanuts to own and run.

Keep in mind, though, that the one area that budget cars of this era consistently fall down is in safety. This car lacks every modern driver aid we’ve come to rely upon, including ABS brakes and ESP. Even the driver’s air-bag was optional back in 1998. So if the car being bought for a young or inexperienced driver, you might want to think again.

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