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2012 Xterra 90,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A month ago my check engine light came on and it coded P0345. I replaced the sensor with a Duralast from Autozone. It was ok for about a month and then it started dying out of nowhere. I got an oil change at the dealership and they told me that after market parts don't like to work on Nissans.... So I replaced the previous one with one from the dealership parts store. Well today, as my wife is sitting in the car at work, it just died on her twice. It started up fine right away. Autozone checked the alternator and battery the other day and they passed. Does the dealership normally check these things (alternator, battery) on their multi-point inspections anyways? They did tell me my battery was leaking, it is less than a year old, but I didn't see any leaking and neither did the Autozone tech. Could this still be an alternator issue? Other threads I have seen stated that all the sensors do not need to be replaced at the same time, only the one that threw the code... is this not the case after all?

Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

EDIT:

Alternator is good.... I guess now it is on to the fuel pump.... Or maybe the crankshaft sensor....

UPDATE:

So I replaced the Crankshaft Sensor as well as the Bank 1 Camshaft Sensor, so all three are brand new OEM Nissan parts. The crankshaft sensor is a pain in the ass to get to... with the correct tools, a wobbly ratchet extension, it would have been much easier to unscrew the bolt that is holding the sensor.

I have seen some things that the Bank 1 Camshaft Senor is easier to get at from this direction, under the wheel well, but unless you have super skinny arms and skinny fingers, I don't see how this can be the case.

When the dealer advised me that they usually replace all three, that they also do an idle reset... Is this something I can have them do at anytime or I need to get it done ASAP.... or is it even relevant at all?

Now let's hope this is the solution and I don't need a fuel pump after all...

Thanks for all of your help!

2012 Xterra 90k miles
 

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Did it throw new codes when it died this time? P0345 again? Have you replaced the crankshaft sensor? (just curious, different code)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It has not thrown any new codes. I only replaced the camshaft sensor on the driver’s side, not the crankshaft sensor or the other camshaft sensor.
 

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OEM sensor is a start! I'd bet the crankshaft sensor is beginning to fail, took my X like 30-40 miles of driving to throw a code after it died on me the first time.
 

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You should only need to replace the sensor that threw the code. And yes, for sensors always go with OEM.

"Battery leaking" sounds like the dealer trying to get you to say "oh goodness replace that please" and then your bill says "replace battery at customer request".

I don't have any personal experience with this, but the sudden dying sounds familiar from other posts about the fuel pump on its way out. I'm pretty sure that does not throw a code. Just a thought, there are many other possible culprits too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just checked the alternator by removing the positive battery cable, so it is not the alternator. Is the fuel pump something that is easy to replace or diagnose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OEM sensor is a start! I'd bet the crankshaft sensor is beginning to fail, took my X like 30-40 miles of driving to throw a code after it died on me the first time.
So replace the crankshaft sensor before thinking about the fuel pump?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"Battery leaking" sounds like the dealer trying to get you to say "oh goodness replace that please" and then your bill says "replace battery at customer request".
I might have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night.... This is the first time they have ever tried any of that garbage with me, so I will let it slide but I doubt I will use that service advisor again.
 

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My new batteries leak on the top. They have to vent somehow I guess. You can tell because there is sort of a stain around the top caps. It doesn't do much but it does corrode your cables - which is why those felt washer things actually works - keeps the acid off them to some degree. I doubt that's your issue. If your battery is dead it wouldn't start right back up.

When it died did it kind of sputter a bit then die, or just quit? If its the latter its likely electrical. Could be a fuel pump but at idle I think it would have enough pressure to sputter for a second or 2. It could be a fuel pump - but when fuel pumps die they tend to not start back up for a minute or two (until the fuel pump cools down). That's certainly not an absolute however.

Could be a Crank sensor - they behave that way? As soon as the engine looses signal from the cam sensor or crank sensor it immediately stops firing - so often you don't get a code.

Could be the engine immobilizer - looses the key for a second. You have another key you can try for a while?
 

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My new batteries leak on the top. They have to vent somehow I guess. You can tell because there is sort of a stain around the top caps. It doesn't do much but it does corrode your cables - which is why those felt washer things actually works - keeps the acid off them to some degree. I doubt that's your issue. If your battery is dead it wouldn't start right back up.

When it died did it kind of sputter a bit then die, or just quit? If its the latter its likely electrical. Could be a fuel pump but at idle I think it would have enough pressure to sputter for a second or 2. It could be a fuel pump - but when fuel pumps die they tend to not start back up for a minute or two (until the fuel pump cools down). That's certainly not an absolute however.

Could be a Crank sensor - they behave that way? As soon as the engine looses signal from the cam sensor or crank sensor it immediately stops firing - so often you don't get a code.

Could be the engine immobilizer - looses the key for a second. You have another key you can try for a while?

I put a new battery in a few months back and it started that leaking at the top thing too almost immediately. I took some dielectric grease and put it all around the battery vents and then sprayed it down with some battery acid neutralizer spray a few times and it hasn't leaked since. I don't know if the newer vents are just a crap design or what but it was a cheap fix and worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
UPDATE:

So I replaced the Crankshaft Sensor as well as the Bank 1 Camshaft Sensor, so all three are brand new OEM Nissan parts. The crankshaft sensor is a pain in the ass to get to... with the correct tools, a wobbly ratchet extension, it would have been much easier to unscrew the bolt holding the sensor in place.

I have seen some things that the Bank 1 Camshaft Senor is easier to get at from this direction, under the wheel well, but unless you have super skinny arms and skinny fingers, I don't see how this can be the case.

When the dealer advised me that they usually replace all three, that they also do an idle reset... Is this something I can have them do at anytime or I need to get it done ASAP.... or is it even relevant at all?

Now let's hope this is the solution and I don't need a fuel pump after all...

Thanks for all of your help!
 

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Camshaft sensors are behind the engine. The crankshaft sensor is the one on the side of the engine, behind the fender liner. Don't trust eBay for OEM parts. They are usually Chinese counterfeits.
 

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Also, make sure to remove the neutral battery terminal before starting the exchange. I had never done this, but I keeping reading that it helps the vehicle computer start fresh. If you just exchange the sensor, the computer is trying to read the old one and wondering what the heck the change is, so the vehicle may run sluggish for awhile until the computer catches up. If you remove the neutral, then change the sensor and reconnect the neutral, the computer will automatically read the new sensor and not have sluggishness after the change.

My friend tried both ways as he had already changed both camshaft sensors without removing the battery neutral and his 'X' ran rough for a while before it smoothed out. He replaced the crankshaft sensor after removing the neutral, then reconnected it and his 'X' ran like a top. This was after an error code for both at different times, not preventative stuff. This could all have been coincidence as well, but the removing the battery neutral takes two seconds, so no colossal feat.
 

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I haven't had one fail yet but was looking at these as something to keep on hand just in case. They are pretty expensive on the Nissan site and the ebay ones do seem too good to be true. What is the best place to get these?
 

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Rock Auto or Amazon had the best prices when I bought all new sensors. Amazon can be hit or miss - I got both cam sensors and the crank for $140 including shipping, others have said they got them cheaper.
 

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I haven't had one fail yet but was looking at these as something to keep on hand just in case. They are pretty expensive on the Nissan site and the ebay ones do seem too good to be true. What is the best place to get these?
Rock auto Hitatchi sensors are the best price I found. They are the oem sensors, just without the markup of adding the Nissan logo
 

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I ended up ordering the camshaft sensors from Rock Auto and the crankshaft sensor from Nissanpartsdeal. Also ordered a can of Deoxit from Amazon since my last can ran out. I do a lot of electronics repair on pinball and video games and I am wondering how many codes are thrown by a bad connection and not a bad sensor. Since most people just unplug the sensor and replace it we will never know. There are lots of times where simply disconnecting and reconnecting a connector fixes an issue caused by built up resistance. I am in no way saying it's a waste of time replacing the sensors and I am replacing mine, but it could be worth a try if you are stranded to unplug the connector and plug it back in.
 

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With the weather sealed plugs on modern vehicles it is much more unlikely it would just be a dirty connection but anything is possible. Unplugging mine when it went bad then realizing I ordered two crank sensors and only one cam (the wrong side of course) and reconnecting it while waiting on the correct sensor didn't fix the issue. Finally changing the sensor fixed it immediately.
 
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