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Infiniti M35/M45 Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • hi,

    Did anybody have the steering issue with 2006 M35 sport? Recently bought one with 36,000 miles. Change the whole set of tire to Michelin pilot Sport All Season. Alignment once.

    The car can't keep in the center of road. You have to hold the steering wheel all the time to adjust the random pulling effect (right or left). The driving feeling is so unsafe.

    After some research on the forum, it looks like some steering rack issue.

    Have been to dealership several times. One dealer said it's the typical way of this car. The other said it is tire-related. But none of dealer want to work on the steering rack.

    Very disappointed :( . any suggestion?
  • barryendbarryend Posts: 121
    Pepe Infiniti in White Plains, NY was glad to replace my steering rack. It helped allot. I still think the design of the car lacks steering centering fell. Maybe lack of caster in the geometry. I replaced the Goodyear OEMs with Conti Conatcts too. Michelin Primacy is supposed to be a softer ride than Pilots.. I probably will not lease another M35X. Steering and ride not that great. Gas mileage poor but with gas so low it is not a big issue this month. Otherwise it's a great car.
  • finadvfinadv Posts: 59
    Does anyone get the Service Engine Soon light on when they full up with gas? Seems maybe every other time I get gas, the light goes on. Eventually it goes off again, but it's annoying. I make sure the cap is on tight and I don't over fill it. Not sure what's causing it. Anyone with similar experiences?
  • hi,

    Just update some information about the steering issue about the 2006 M35 sport. After contacting infiniti comsumer affair, the rep claims they can't do anything if the dealer can't reproduce the problem. Asking for her supervisor, the same speech. They all think the wondering is normal for the M.

    What can I do now, after three dealers,rep and supervisor in the infiniti comsumer affair?
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 920
    1) make an appointment with your service manager to meet the infiniti area service rep. Have them both in the car and drive it in an area where the problem is very evident (you have to do your homework and know where to drive to show the problem).

    2) file a formal complaint with the NHTSA.

    3) Infiniti is trying very hard to avoid a recall on this. Review this forum, Fresh Alloy and Nico forum. Print out all the entries on this topic and send it to the supervisor at Infiniti (and give a copy to the infiniti regional service advisor when you meet him).
    Point out that this is a known problem and that should any accident occur due to the problem, it is well documented and will likely be an Infiniti legal problem to deal with.
  • barryendbarryend Posts: 121
    In my experience and other posting on forums the problem is remedied by replacing the steering rack and the OEM Goodyear RSA's. It sounds like Infiniti is taking a stonewall defensive posture to try to contain the damages. Talk to your Congressman, www.Consumerreports.org, Goodyear, and a class action attorney.
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 920
    One more thought. I had the bluetooth upgrade on my 2006 M35 although I really didn't have the exact problem that would have caused the upgrade. The service manager coached me thru the "complaint".

    You might want to go out for coffee with your salesman or sales manager and discuss the problem. Maybe they can help convince the service manager that he really can recreate the problem. Remember, Infiniti does not require a video of the service manager experiencing the problem....he just has to say he has experienced the problem and infiniti will pay for the replacement steering rack. The salesman/sales manager might be willing to help, but that, of course, depends on the dealer and your relationship with them.
  • try this for some objective evidence of the steering defect .....

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/defect/defectsearch.cfm
  • barryendbarryend Posts: 121
    Yes there are several postings there about M35X steering and trammeling.

    First my 2006 year car had a new steering rack replaced by the dealer at 27,000 miles. The original rack became quite loose after 1-year.

    Shortly thereafter I put on Cont Extreme Contact tires. Now it drives quite well. The new tires have much more aggressive, open tread than the OEM Goodyear tires. More like a snow tire. They are excellent in the rain and good on what little snow we had in 2008.

    Postings on forums state Michelin's improve but do not cure the trammeling issue.

    My further opinion is the engineering of the steering lacks on-center feel. That is fundamentally incurable.

    The M35X is a beautiful car with great features at a very good price. I see Infiniti offering $10,000 off MSRP now.

    Make sure you can live with the stiff ride.

    Put on the Contis before leaving the showroom and sell the Goodyears on Ebay. Or better donate them to charity and take a tax deduction. It is worth the extra $1,000 since the car is a bargain.

    It's great now that premium gas is down 50%. It is a gas eater due to weight, 4 wheel drive and gearing.
  • My '06 Sport has been great. Got the steering rack done and went to Michelin A/S tires and it steers and rides well. I'm at 44K miles, owe $20K on the loan, and I'm at the inflection point of payoff and keep ( and get a set of winter tires/ wheels) or trade. If i keep it, i'm looking to put 150K mi on the car. I know Nissans are for the most part bulletproof, but i'm wondering if there are any real life examples from forum members regarding high mileage M's...experiences, major repairs, etc. Fire away and thanks!
  • Just wanted to share a humerous happening about a rattle. Bought a new m35x about a year and half ago. For two months from the time I bought it I heard a rattle evertime I would hit a bump or a washboard type road. Went crazy trying to find the rattle. One day for some reason(even though I don't where sun glasses) I opened the sunglass holder in the roof console. Someone at the dealership had left a pair of great looking sunglasses in the holder. Removed the glasses and the rattle disappeared. Have slept well since.
  • I too am experiencing the steering defect and extremely low gas mileage (~14 mpg in local driving) with my '06 Sport (27,000 miles). I just bought it this past summer (came off of a two year lease) and generally like the car but am now wondering if I made the right choice.

    Before I go back to my dealer about the steering rack does anyone know if this fix is covered by the warranty and if this is indeed the best way to correct the issue? The gas mileage sucks but that I can live with for now - the steering problem not so much.
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 920
    The steering problem may be a faulty rack which would be covered under warranty. Your service manager has to see/feel the problem driving the car and sometimes that's the tough part.
  • I'd be concerned about the 14 mpg city too. My '07 gets 17.5 mpg city and I drive it fairly aggressively. Are going around all day with your right foot on the floor? If not, I'd question why only 14 mpg.
  • barryendbarryend Posts: 121
    I have a 2006 M35X. Tracking was dangerous. My steering rack was replaced under warranty in 2007 and that helped allot. Shortly thereafter I replaced the horrible 27,000 mile OEM Goodyear GT-A tires with Continental Contacts. That helped even more. They greatly improved wet and snow traction and softened the ride.

    The M still does not track that well but the roads in my Westchester, NY area are horrible. Otherwise the car is great.

    My theory is the design of the steering lacks caster in the alignment. It is incurable. More caster would increase the steering's tendency to go straight.

    Gas mileage is not very good. Killed me last summer. It is a heavy car with 4-wheel drive and the top gearing is low. No 7-speed on the M35X even for 2009. No real cure. Go light on the pedal and easy on the a/c. Keep the air cleaner clean. Sluggish on regular gas use mid grade or premium.

    My lease is over soon. Thinking of Audi an A4 (a bit small not cheap but wonderful),
    Caddy CTS 4 wheel drive (beautiful, aggressive prices, no backup camera, great warranty, On Star, but who knows about GM service and quality?)
    Infiniti G-37 sedan (a bit small and rear seats do not fold down),
    Good but uglies: Acura TL and Infiniti FX. (don't know if I can look at those for years).
  • My driving is almost always local and I'm actually driving fairly easy to get the 14 MPG -- driving it hard brings it down closer to 12. Based on consumption history in the computer the best the previous driver did was about 18 mpg (assume that was more highway miles). With gas below $2/gal it's just an annoyance but I'd sure love the additional gear.

    As for the steering rack - I'll make an appointment with my service rep and hope that they notice the same thing I do (somehow I suspect that Murphy's Law will temporarily disappear...). The car has OEM Bridgestone Potenza RE050As that have a fair amount of mileage left on them and none of the boards have pointed to these tires as a culprit. Will keep you all posted.
  • barryendbarryend Posts: 121
    The 4 wheel drive should use more gas than the rear wheel drive. I cannot understand your low mileage. Maybe it is allot of hills and heavy traffic.
  • Have a '06 Caddy CTS 3.6 (wife's car). 58k trouble free miles. My '02 Olds Intrigue .. 100k trouble free before I sold it to my neice 3 yrs ago - still driving it. My point is GM builds some very good/reliable/affordable cars. Don't shy away from the '09 CTS. It's prob what I'll buy next yr when the '06 comes off smartbuy.
  • So I went to the dealer this morning (Infiniti of South Bay) and took the technician for a drive. They had never heard of any other M35/45 having the issues I was experiencing which is no surprise - they don't want to admit there is a problem). During the test drive the car tramlined (as expected) but they said that that is normal driving characteristic of the M35.

    Dutifully, they checked the alignment and found nothing out of the ordinary and said that the grabby/wandering steering is typical of a "sport" model with 19" wheels and low profile tires, particularly on bumpy/uneven road surfaces. Unless Infiniti issues a technical bulletin they are not going to be doing any steering rack work. I also asked the service manager about gas mileage and he said that 14-15 MPG is typical of what they're seeing until the car is sufficiently broken in and after which it should get closer to 18 MPG (apparently 27K miles is not broken in enough).
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 920
    Your technician may not have heard of it, but your service manager should have been in the car with you. I suggest you drive a 2008 sport to see if it does the same thing. With stock tires and 19" wheels, it is, unfortunately, a common complaint.

    Ask to meet with the Infiniti service representive the next time he visits the dealer. Tell them that it is a safety concern...your wife drives the car and at times it jerks and is uncontrollable. Make them write that on the service ticket from today's visit...or make them write up a new ticket saying "customer concerned about safety. At times the car is uncontrollable when it catches a tar strip of similar in the road". Make sure that the infiniti rep sees that those words are on file.

    (note: at some point Infiniti is going to wind up in court on this issue due to an accident. With documentation such as I am suggesting, they will have a great deal of difficulty saying they were unaware of the issue).

    The tires really are the bulk of the problem and changing them seems to be a significant part of the solution. Not all the cars need a new steering rack, but you want to be on record, just in case you have a problem down the road.....and need an extended warranty repair.

    As far as gas mileage...your car is broken in. I got 16-17 on my 06 M35 and I only rarely floor it. Most of my driving is in a spralled out city with a fair number of lights. If I were in NY with lights at every corner, I would expect significantly less MPG. I always burn regular fuel. I now get about 19 on my 08 M35 (5000 miles) using regular with no ethanol which is available at a few local stations.
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