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Hey everybody. I've been on this board for a while, but haven't really posted...just used it as a resource. But now I ask for your help.

To summarize…Nissan screws me in the butt, and I have to pay them $250 for the pleasure. Need advice. Xterra breaks down four times, dealer can’t find problem, Nissan says I have to pay $250 tow bill.

Long Version:
Ok, let’s start with a little background. I bought my Xterra new back at the end of March. I’ve been a Nissan owner for a long time having owned 3 240SX’s, but this was my first new Nissan. The Xterra looked perfect for what I was looking for in a vehicle. I figured I’d spring for the extended 100,000 mile warranty since I travel a lot (like 100%) with my job and the peace of mind would be nice. Well, so much for peace of mind.
Two weekends ago, I was actually at home for a change. It was a Sunday, and I had parked the X in our shop’s driveway and walked to our shop to work on my 240SX. A few hours later, I was ready to call it a night and hopped in the X to pull it up to the house. Well, it wouldn’t crank. I tried it multiple times. It would turn over, but it didn’t seem to be getting fuel. Great! I thought…my new truck is already broken. Since it was a Sunday night, I knew it would have to wait, so I got the owner’s manual and read through it to see if there was anything I was doing wrong. Nothing. A couple hours later, I went back outside and tried it again. It cranked right up. So I’m thinking that was weird, but my truck’s running again…yay!

I get up the next morning to go to work, and guess what. My truck won’t crank. I call a tow and take it to the dealer. I hitch a ride with the driver so I can get a rental from the dealer while they fix whatever the problem is. We get to the dealer, roll the truck off the roll-back, the service manager hops right in and fires her up like there’s not a problem. I’m dumbfounded. They say Nissan won’t let them do anything until they see the problem happen, and they can’t provide a rental car until something happens. So I say “whatever, just keep it a couple days…it’s bound to do it again.� I called my dad to come pick me up since he works nearby, and borrowed my mom’s car to go to work.

Work this week was in the next state over. I was over there until Friday, and had been working 12hr shifts so I couldn’t talk to the dealer to check on progress. I get back over there Friday afternoon certain that the problem had revealed itself and the truck was fixed. Not so…It cranked fine all week. So I reluctantly make arrangements to get my mom’s car home, hop in the X, and drive home.

Saturday at lunch, I get in the X and drive to my grandmothers to visit her while I’m in town…besides, she’s cooking dinner. After spending a couple hours over there, I go to leave. The truck won’t crank. At this point I’m starting to get a little hacked. I get my dad to help me pull it up to the shop because it’s easier to get a tow truck in up there. We hook a chain up to the X and pull it with his truck like a ¼ mile up the road to the shop. We get there, and I turn the key out of curiosity…it cranks right up. It’s almost like the truck is playing games with me. We crawl under it and can hear the fuel pump running when the ignition is turned on. We drive it around the shop a couple times, making hard accelerations and braking hard, killing it, and restarting it several times…it finally wouldn’t crank again after about 15 minutes of that. Me and my dad mess with it for a while…we checked all the relevant fuses and all were Ok. We can’t hear the fuel pump running when you turn on the ignition, so we know either the fuel pump or a relay or some other electronics controlling it is faulty. We open the doors and step on the door seals and shake it back and forth as violently as we can, but it still won’t recrank.

That Monday, I get the tow truck to come back out and take it back to the dealer. I tried to crank it before he got there to make sure it was still “broken�. I didn’t go with him this time. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the dealer from the shop, so I waited that long and called. They said that they had just rolled it off the roll-back and it cranked right up again. I told him what me and my dad had done. I also told him to drive the thing home…use it as his personal vehicle…whatever it takes to get it to do it again so it can be fixed. Well, today is Wednesday, a week and a half later, and the problem has yet to re-occur for them. And now they’re saying they won’t release it until the tow bills are paid ($250). I was like “excuse me!� The parts/service dept at the dealer seems to be on my side as I’ve used them before for parts, and I know they’ve been messing with the truck a lot and the service manager has driven it home several times trying to get it to not crank…but they say Nissan won’t let them touch it until the problem reoccurs. That I can sort of understand…it’s hard to diagnose a problem when there are apparently no symptoms. But they also say Nissan won’t cover the tow bills because no problem was found.

I have left a report at 1-800-NISSAN1 and have been on the phone with the regional service manager for my area…his name is Eric and hasn’t divulged his last name yet, but he’s over Paul Barnett Nissan in Brookhaven, MS. All he would say is no problem was found, so the tow bill falls back on the customer…it’s Nissan’s policy. My argument was that a problem WAS found…I found it…4 times. The truck would not start…it stranded me…left me without a way to go. I’m paying $500 a month on a Nissan Xterra that I can’t rely on…or even drive right now b/c the dealer won’t release it until the tow bill is paid. Just because the service department can not find out what’s wrong with it doesn’t make this my fault. They should pay ME $250 to pay half my truck note since they’ve had it for two weeks…hell, it should be more than that, as I’ve missed two days of work, and it’s inconvenienced my parents as well since I’ve had to borrow my mom’s car for over two weeks and the help I’ve gotten from my dad. I also pointed out to Eric how ludicrous it was to loose a customer as devoted to Nissan as I WAS over a $250 tow bill. I get him to call his supervisors, who he will not give me the names or contact info for, to discuss it. He calls back with the same position…it’s Nissans policy to not cover it unless a problem was found. What happens if I do pay the bill and it happens again next week…or next month…or next year? SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS TRUCK…FIX IT DAMMIT! Idiot Eric doesn’t budge.

My question is are there any other feasible routes I can take? Nissan, or at least its representatives Eric and his supervisors, seem to not give a damn about its customers. Whatever happened to “the customer is always right�? Whenever I get on the other side of this fiasco, I’m really considering selling the Xterra. I know I’ll never buy another Nissan again. The only reason I’m gonna keep my 240SX (which is a dedicated autocross/track car) is because Nissan didn’t build it…I built it.

So I guess the point of all this is to ask if there is anything I can do about this, and to point out that Nissan doesn’t think you are worth more than $250. Thanks for reading it.
 

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Sorry to hear about that. I got a question. What is the status of the engine when you go and crank it and it doesn't start? I mean is the engine hot or cold?
 

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get it on video...So pretty much before you start her up, get your camera rolling. Then show the dealership...problem solved. My dos pesos.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's varied.

First time...driven for several hours (from out of state), parked for a couple hours...warm.

Second time...first thing in the morning...cold.

Third time...Short drive, sat an hour...cold/warm?

Fourth time...15 minutes of low speed stop and go...hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've thought about the video thing...and will be carrying around a digi with me whever I get it back. The service guy already heard it not crank on the phone, though.
 

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One thing that comes to mind is the starter is giving you issues. If it happens when the engine is hot then the starter is hot to and won't operate until it cools off as well. If it happens again try to get down by the starter and beat on it a couple of times then try to start it. If it starts right after that then that's your source.
 

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I've changed a few starters in my time and what Dan says does ring true. They can be tempermental fuckers when they are playing up. Might be worth making sure you have a good connection to the starter too, maybe remove the plug or wires (however it is connected) and make sure you have a good clean connection, or if the wires are bolted to the thing - make sure the bolts are tight. Not looked at the starter on the X to see how easy it is to change, the 1st Gen one was easy enough tho.
 

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Ya - thats a good point about the key.

prehaps there is interference with the key? Do you have anything electronic or a magnet on your keychain?

Fred
 

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:clown:-I've got (three) seperate keys, that all operate the ignition--and (one) master key that locks the glove box--

--Next time this happens-try all of your keys-if that is the trouble, mark the defective one and take it to the dealer for REPLACEMENT!!!

-- :geek: :geek: JIMBO
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tips guys, but I'm ahead of you on all of them.

It's not the starter...it turns over fine. It just won't fire.

I've tried all keys and even tried the "reset" procedure in the owner's manual. There is nothing on my chain but keys (like non-car, non-chipped keys) and the remote locker. I don't think keys are the problem.

I know it's a fuel issue, b/c one of the times when it wouldn't crank, I sprayed ether in the intake and it fired and ran for a second and then died again.
 

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:clown:--Yo Lance--You probably have an automatic???

--If you do, the next time this non-start situation occurs-Shake the gearshift lever around "P' , it could be the Park/ign switch is BONKERS--

-- :geek: --JIMBO
 

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LanceS13 said:
My truck won’t crank. I call a tow and take it to the dealer......
My question is are there any other feasible routes I can take?
Pay the tow bills, but give Nissan, and the delaership, in writing, notice that you object to doing so, and expect that if it is subsequently proven that the truck has a problem, that Nissan will reimburse you for those towing charges. Then the next time it happens, document it with video(include things like a newspaper, signs, TV, radio, etc., to establish the date/time), and then call the Nissan help line, and have them call the tow truck. If possible, also video it not starting while the tow truck driver tries to start it.

Also, the last time I was at the dealership, they did a printout of the fault codes that had been recorded, because I had an issue with the Service Engine Soon light being on. In addition to a code related to that, the service advisor said that it looked like I had had some problems starting the truck. I knew about that however - I was testing trying to start it with a non-transponder key, and seeing how close a transponder key had to be in order for it to start. So, if yours won't start(sometimes), maybe there are some codes that would show this to be the case - even if they don't identify what is wrong, it would help prove what you have been saying.
 

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I have a 2003 Grand AM that I traded in for my X - one time I had a problem where I would I'd have the cruise control set and it would just cut out. Once it cut out it would not re-engage until I turned off the engin eand turned it back on.

After three trips into the garage I talked to the service manager and they set me up with a box plugged into the car that recorded everything that was going on - speed I was driving - RPM etc. The next time it happened I brought the car in and they were able to tell right away what the issue was.

As I understand that they only do that in extreme cases - I think your would warrent it if Nissan has such a thing.

Fred
 

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Yeah, Nissan doesn't give a shit about its customers...

... I was on my way to go 4 wheeling, which I have done many times, and on this dirt road leading to the trail, my F'ing side impact air bags go off. I wasn't sideways, or anything that I coudl see a possible reason for them going off. Only thing I can see is it was bumpy and maybe it was at that perfect shaking that caused the ball in the track to reach the sensor.

Well... this happened 6weeks ago. Nissan has just told me they are finally going to fix my car. BTW, it is a 2006 w/ 12,000 miles on it. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

I really loved my Xterra, but this experience has made me distrust it and taught me to hate Nissan (company). I will probably never buy another Nissan because of the way they handled this.

Sorry to thread jack, but thought i would share.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Jimbo, it's a 6 spd.

dpatton, thanks...I didn't think about including a means of proving the time/date. Good idea. However, the truck threw no codes at the dealership.

Spicoli...I have posted this on a couple forums just this morning. And you're already the 2nd person other than myself that have been so displeased with Nissan that they won't ever purchase from them again. How many more of us are there. You would think Nissan would get their head out of their asses and help the people that fund their paychecks. It just doesn't make sense that a business would act this way.
 

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Well I'm thinking of filing a complaint with the Attorney General for the state Nissan's Headquarters are in, which I have to find out still.

Attorney General works for the people and with the BBB. Companies don't want complaints against them.

I understand that my airbags going off was probably a fluke, but what drives me nuts is it took Nissan so long to say they would fix them... and the whole time they keep accusing ME like I did something to make them go off. My car has NO damage or anything that would make the airbags go off.
 

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If you are pretty sure that it is a fuel problem and not the starter then make sure that the injectors are working. The way that you can do this the next time that the engine doesn't turn over is to take a long screwdriver and place it on the injector. Have someone turn the truck over and then put your ear up to the screwdriver. If it is working then you will hear a clicking sound. Check the wiring at the injectors to make sure that they are tightly connected and you can always pull them off to check for corrosion or moisture. If there is corrosion or moisture then that might be the cause as well.
 

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I read all that, When I got to the part where one guy said transponder I was also thinking sorta that way. I am thinking alarm system is not working properly.

He's what i would do.

Disconnect the battery one night, all night. That just may fix it.

If it don't. I'd get into how the alarm works. I don't know maybe Dan does, but some do not set if you lock the doors manually and open the door with the key not the FOB. Don't use the keyFOB at all. Maybe that will work. If no problems I'd chase the Alarm.

My thinking is that the Nissan Alarm disables the start in some way and yours is malfunctioning at that part of the process. I suspect Nissans system cuts the crank wire at the Steering collum. There is a Run and a crank wire. I think the problem is the crank wire. Reason I suspect that is Nissan does not warranty a Kill switch and this may be why, because it interferes with their alarm system.

If you get to thinking that is it, you can install a bypass module as they do when they put in a remote starter and that should do it.

Other than that. I have no idea, but I'd sure do the battery thing 1st.

MC
 

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Thanks for the tips guys. I think I'm gonna just go pay the $250 and get the thing back and see what happens.

Spicoli, I think they're still based in SoCal but are planning on moving to TN (Nashville?) soon. Let me know how that goes...I may follow suit.
 
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