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Nissan X-Trail Common Problems and Solutions

Car Not Starting

Problem:

The engine fails to start or is regularly stalling.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is likely to be a camshaft problem. Models reloaded between 1999 and 2002 had notorious issues with the camshaft, with the timing chain tensioner being defective. This results in a jam which causes the engine to fail. It can also affect the brakes, so you need to have it checked as soon as possible. Replacing the timing chain tensioner will resolve the problem in most cases, but you may also need to have your camshaft sensors adjusted so that this doesn’t become a recurring issue.

Difficulty level

3

TurboChargers on Diesel

Problem:

The engine is making whistling noises, and there is excessive smoke coming from the exhaust and a loss of engine power.

Models affected:

Solution:

This only affects diesel versions of the X-Trail, but it’s a problem across every model released. It’s not that common, but it will mean that you need to replace the turbocharger completely. This is a job that can take under ten minutes to do, but you will need to buy the replacement turbocharger. Shop for your turbocharger here.

Difficulty level

4

Fuel Leak

Problem:

Fuel is running out of the bottom of the car whenever you fill it up.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is usually caused by a small hole in the filler tube. X-Trails that were built between 2000 and 2004 have particular problems with rust susceptibility in the filler tube, especially the section closest to the mounting bracket. In most cases, a simple glue repair will fix the problem, but if the rust is particularly bad, then you will need to buy and replace the filler tube entirely, but this is a very easy fix. You can find your filler tubes here.

Difficulty level

1

Stalling Problem

Problem:

When pulling away, you are experiencing excessive stalling.

Models affected:

Solution:

This was a common problem in X-Trails released between 2001 and 2007 and is usually caused by the engine angle tripping misaligned engine management sensors. In most cases, making a slight adjustment to the sensors will fix the issue, although you may need to replace the sensors entirely in some cases. This is very low-cost, and sensors are easily available on our website.

Difficulty level

3

Part you need

Engine sensor

Part required

Engine sensor

Get a quote for Engine sensor

DPF warning light

Problem:

If you have noticed the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) warning light coming on your dashboard then this is because the DPF is blocked up due to using the vehicle for short journeys. This means that the DPF is not getting hot enough to burn off the unwanted particles.

Models affected:

Solution:

You can take the vehicle out onto a motorway or a-road and drive at around 2500rpm for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the DPF to get hot enough to burn off all unwanted particles. If this doesn't work, you can remove the DPF and give a good clean out. Follow the instructions on the video below:

Difficulty level

2

Suspension problems

Problem:

If you have noticed that there is a knocking noise coming from the suspension when you drive over speed bumps or rough roads, this is usually an indication that the anti-roll bar links need replacing.

Models affected:

Solution:

Fitting a replacement anti-roll bar link will resolve the issue.

Difficulty level

3

Part you need

Anti Roll Bar

Part required

Anti Roll Bar

Get a quote for Anti Roll Bar

Lack of power/black smoke from exhaust

Problem:

If your turbo is broken, then you will have at least one of the following symptoms: there will be a lack of power when accelerating, or you will see black smoke coming from the rear exhaust and/or you might hear a whistling noise coming from the top of the engine.

Models affected:

Solution:

Any of these symptoms means that you need to replace your turbo.

Difficulty level

4

Turbo leaking

Problem:

If you have noticed that there is oil leaking out of the turbo which is located in a silver box mounted on top of the engine, then the inter-cooler is leaking.

Models affected:

Solution:

You will need to fit a replacement inter-cooler to fix the problem. Replacing the inter-cooler can be a very expensive job. This is where we can help you.

Difficulty level

4

Part you need

Intercooler

Part required

Intercooler

Get a quote for Intercooler

Changing Gears

Problem:

When the clutch stops engaging correctly, this results in problems with gear selection. It particularly affects moving into first gear from a cold start.

Models affected:

Solution:

In some cases, this will simply mean making adjustments to your clutch or checking that the mechanism connecting the gear-shifter to the gearbox hasn’t been worn or damaged. If these two solutions fail to resolve the issue, then you will need to replace the clutch. The method of replacing a clutch is quite a big task, but there are plenty of guides available online, and you can buy your clutch here.

Difficulty level

3

Part you need

Clutch Kit

Part required

Clutch Kit

Get a quote for Clutch Kit

Pumping the Clutch

Problem:

When driving, to change gears, you are having to ‘pump’ the clutch. If this starts to happen regularly, then you have an issue with your hydraulics.

Models affected:

Solution:

Bleeding the hydraulics and removing the air from the system should be your first step and may resolve the issue entirely. X-Trails have a reputation for a flimsy clutch, and they can become worn more quickly than you may have realised. Check the throw-out bearing, which may need greasing. If these do not result in smoother gear changes, then it may be that your clutch needs replacing. Lots of drivers worry about replacing a clutch themselves, but it’s not as difficult as you think. Simply buy a replacement clutch from our site, and follow a step-by-step guide.

Difficulty level

2

Overheating and Lost Compression

Problem:

When the car is constantly overheating, this can lead to steam coming from under the bonnet, a ticking noise, loss of engine power, or a hot bonnet (sometimes a combination of symptoms). In most cases, this will be caused by a blown head gasket. In some cases, however, it will mean that the engine has become ‘cooked’, and the result is lost tension in the piston rings.

Models affected:

Solution:

Replacing the head gasket will, in most cases, resolve the issue. It’s a lot more cost-effective to buy and replace a head gasket yourself. If the piston rings have melted, then the entire engine will need to be replaced, which you can find on our website.

Difficulty level

5

Particulate Filter Warning Light

Problem:

The warning light for the particulate filter is lit up on the dashboard.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is a problem for diesel versions of the X-Trail built from 2007 on. The particulate filter is known to clog very easily, especially if you make a lot of short journeys. Try taking the car out for a long drive to see if this turns the warning light off. If that doesn’t work, then cleaning the filter will have to be done by hand, but you will then need a dealer to turn off the warning light for you.

Difficulty level

3

Non-Working Trailer Hazard Lamps

Problem:

When towing a trailer, the hazard lamps are not functioning.

Models affected:

Solution:

This isn’t a very common problem and largely affects X-Trails that were built between March 2007 and April 2008. In most cases, simply replacing the fuse will sort out the problem. You can buy the right fuses here.

Difficulty level

1

Part you need

Fuses Multipack

Part required

Fuses Multipack

Get a quote for Fuses Multipack

Noisy Steering & Free Play

Problem:

The steering is looser than it used to be and makes a lot of noise.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is a steering shaft problem that is common in X-Trails that were made in 2007. It’s dangerous because it affects the safety of the vehicle when driving. Luckily, replacing the steering shaft is a relatively simple process, and replacement steering shafts are very low-cost parts to buy on our website.

Difficulty level

2

Power Steering Failure

Problem:

The power steering has failed, making the car much harder and more dangerous to drive.

Models affected:

Solution:

This is a serious problem that Nissan has taken steps to tackle. It only affects X-Trails built between August 2008 and August 2011 and is caused by the casting for the heat sink on the control unit for the power steering being out of specification. If Nissan has not made this repair on the car, then take it to a Nissan dealership, and you should be able to get it fixed for free.

Difficulty level

5

Excessive Oil Leakage

Problem:

Excessive oil leaks are usually recognisable when you leave a puddle of oil on the road after being parked for any length of time. Alternatively, you might find that you are filling up on oil more often than usual.

Models affected:

Solution:

Check for external leaks underneath the car. If you cannot find any, then you will need to run a compression and leak-down test at a garage. This should identify whether you have worn internal parts that are using up or leaking your oil. Once identified, you’ll know which parts you need to buy from our range.

Difficulty level

3

Reading these common Nissan X-Trail problems should help you find out what is wrong with your Nissan X-Trail – or just what to look out for in the future. We’ll also give suggestions on what to do if your Nissan X-Trail does have one of these issues.