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Nissan X-TRAIL Diesel Problems

Are you having problems with your Nissan X-TRAIL Diesel? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Nissan X-TRAIL Diesel issues & faults. We have answered all of the most frequently asked questions relating to problems with the Nissan X-TRAIL Diesel.

Knocking noise in 2015 Nissan X-Trail diesel engine

There's often a disparity between what a car is insured for and what it might be worth on the second-hand market. In any case, with a worn out engine, its market value would be next to nothing anyway. And with 290,000km on its odometer, you might have trouble finding a buyer willing to take a punt.

That said, even if you put a low-kilometre second-hand engine in it, the fact remains that everything else from the transmission to the wheel bearings, brakes and suspension have also done 290,000km and can be pretty much guaranteed to be fairly worn themselves. You could then find yourself shelling out more money every year to keep the car running on the basis that you'd already spent $10,0000 on a replacement engine. Sometimes it's better to cut your losses and buy something newer.

Nissan X-Trail diesel problems

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鈥檚 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鈥檛 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鈥檚 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.

What is the best family SUV for around $20000?

While the Mitsubishi Outlander is spacious, reliable and easy to drive, our experience testing it against rival medium SUVs have found it to be noisy and a little too firm riding to be truly comfortable and relaxing. At your price point, there are better alternatives out there. 

Have you considered a Mazda CX-5? In petrol or diesel, we have found it to be a superior and more economical proposition, and is definitely quieter and more refined. Plus, the Mazda's all-wheel-drive system is more sophisticated and better at dealing with loose surfaces like sand.

A late-model (post 2014) S5-series Subaru Forester 2.5i petrol is far more economical than the earlier iterations, since it switched to a more efficient CVT continuously variable transmission. And there's also the 2.0D turbo-diesel which is economical. This, too, is a fine SUV on-road or for light off-road driving.

Finally, the Nissan X-Trail diesel is a roomy and capable choice, especially from 2017, when it received a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel to replace the older 1.6L unit.

What model X-Trail or Forester should I buy for less than $19000

We'd recommend the Nissan T32 X-Trail Series II from mid-2017-onwards and Subaru S4 Forester (2013-2018), since they both make strong secondhand buys due to their reliability, economy, ease of operation, spacious interiors, practicality and strong resale values.

The reason why we'd buy the 2017-onwards X-Trail Series II is because it standardises Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). With the Forester, you'll need to skip the lower grades 2.0i-L (manual-only) and 2.5i-L (auto only) for the S and XT for that important safety technology Subaru calls 'EyeSight'. 

The X-Trail comes in front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, but the Forester is AWD-only. All automatics are of the continuous variable transmission (CVT) variety, which priorities fuel economy but can make the engine drone under hard acceleration. Subaru calls its CVT Lineartronic while Nissan dubs its version X-Tronic.

Our recommendation is to check the service and maintenance history of any car you buy, to ensure every interval has been met and carried out by a proper dealer or brand specialist. This is especially important with the Forester, as it is a slightly more complicated vehicle mechanically. Note that all Subarus of this generation require six-monthly service intervals, not 12-monthly ones like the Nissan, which might be an inconvenience. 

We'd steer clear of ex-rentals as they tend to have a very hard life (both models were popular with such agencies), though they're almost always the base X-Trail ST and Forester 2.5i-L grades that end up as rental fodder.

If you're thinking about diesel engined versions, the X-Trail in middle-range TL and up-spec TS guises switched from the earlier (2014-2017) Series 1's 1.6-litre turbo-diesel to a much more powerful and effective 2.0-litre unit, so that's worth remembering. In the Forester the 2.0D equates to the mid-level petrol models in terms of equipment levels.

Finally, we recommend a mechanical check-up to see that your potential used-buy has not been subjected to punishing off-road treatment. While both the Forester and X-Trail offer good ground clearances, they're not for off-road use, only light gravel, snow or trail driving.

We hope this helps. Good luck. 

Nissan X-Trail 2012-2013: Diesel better than petrol?

The obvious benefit is fuel economy, the diesel is much more economical than the equivalent petrol model. On average the diesel consumes 20 per cent less fuel than the petrol model. The other possible benefit is that the diesel has an automatic transmission whereas the petrol has a CVT transmission.

What's a fuel efficient SUV on the market?

I don鈥檛 believe that what you want is out there, and can only reiterate past advice, buy a Patrol/Pajero/Prado/LandCruiser.

Nissan X-Trail: Oil in air filter

Our Nissan specialist Jerry Newman says it is not unusual to find oil in the air cleaner on diesels, Nissan and other brands, but the issue really comes down to how much there. A small amount, such as a smear, is nothing to be concerned about. It would have come through the breathing system. If there's a lot of oil then it would be a problem, and you should look at the engine breathing system to find a fault. Newman says that's most unlikely on such a new car.

Nissan X-Trail 2003: Smoking exhaust

Since we last responded to your question we have found out that the X-Trail does have an issue with the breakdown of the catalytic converters in the exhaust system, and the abrasive powder formed can be sucked back into the engine because of the valve overlap Nissan employs to control NOx. Once in the engine it can cause rapid wear of the bores and rings, and the oil trial like yours shows.

Nissan X-Trail: DPF light

The problem is that your driving routine doesn't meet the requirements for the Diesel Particulate Filter to conduct an automatic burn that it must do to get rid of the carbon that has accumulated in it as part of its normal function. The auto burns happens without you knowing, there is no effect on the engine operation while it's going on, but if it doesn't happen the warning light comes on, the engine warning comes on, and eventually the car goes on to a limp home mode that virtually forces you to go to the dealer who can do a forced burn to restore the filter to normal operation. If it's not done it can result in a damaged filter, and can also result in damage to the catalytic converters and that can lead to a very large repair bill in the many thousands of dollars. There isn't much the dealer can do, other than what they have done on your car, and the suggestion to buy a new car is a sign of the frustration they are feeling. Nissan's reputation in the trade is that they are very uncooperative when it comes to warranty claims, although in this case there is little they can do, the solution needs to come from Japan.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.
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