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Nissan Armada Brake Problems

My Armada has about 65K miles on it and I bought it with about 40k 2 years ago. Last week I noticed a decrease in brake performance and squeaking from the front end. I looked at the rotors and found a deep gouge in the drivers side rotor and waves in both rotors. I started looking online for replacement brakes and came across a company who sold performance brake parts.

I tow our 30' camper with a Blue Ox weight distributing hitch and it has plenty of power and stops ok (I think the trailer brakes worked the hardest). Since the rotors need replacing I have decided to go with dimpled and slotted rotors with premiume pads on the front and regular pads on the rear.

Has anyone converted to drilled and slotted rotors or installed a trany cooler on this vehicle to assist with towing?


  • I wrote a few weeks ago about the latest brake fix for the Armada. I had stated the the rep met with us and said that the engineers finally found the problem which was related to the electrical system that was sending wrong signals to the brakes. I have to report that the fix has worked so far and the SUV drives totally different than before. If any of you are still having brake problems, make sure you take your Armada in and tell them you want the latest electrical fix. Hopefully this will be the end of this problem. If it would crop up again....I will write.
  • I concur with shopinful's recommendation.

    I too had this problem 72hrs after purchasing an 04 SE Off-Road Armada with 20k miles.

    The braking system ceased to work while traveling on a heavily populated street, luckily there was a turning lane that gave me adequate room to stop before reaching the intersection. Symptoms: Brake peddle fell to the floorboard, grinding was felt and heard, dash brake light came on. It felt like the brake pads fell off the calipers and the calipers and rotors were rubbing against each other to stop the truck, which didn't happen. I had roughly 20% braking power, compared to normal, when this occurred. I came to a stop on a side road, read the owners manual concerning the dash brake light. The manual advised me to check the break fluid, and if full, take to a NISSAN dealership. Therefore, I brought it to a NISSAN dealership immediately. Within 10mins a mechanic noticed the upgraded braking system was already added to the truck before I purchased the vehicle. Therefore, their approach to fix the problem was reprogram the VDC control unit.

    Here's the info from my work order receipt:

    Reprogrammed VDC Control Unit
    (Reprogrammed VDC As Per Bulletin NTB06-040)
    Fail Code: 32

    Nissan Bulletin NTB06-040

    It's been over 2 weeks now and the brakes are working normally. Hopefully, this is the real brake fix! I will keep everyone posted if something changes.
  • Brad,
    It has been quite a few months now and the brakes are working great. It took Nissan quite a while to find the problem but I think they finally solved it. Glad it worked for you too. :)
  • Just a report.....the brake fix is still working. My husband tested it to the max this last weekend on the interstate. Drove much faster than he should of and had a few quick stops.....brakes worked like a charm since the last fix. To the person asking about current model....I do believe that Nissan FINALLY has fixed this problem once and for all. Thank heavens!! Now that our SUV is fixed I am really enjoying it. :shades:
  • wai1480wai1480 Posts: 7
    i am just wondering have you guys find out if the brake issue still exists?
  • shopinfulshopinful Posts: 47
    Brakes still working perfect!! I guess the last fix with the computer system worked. It took a long time but am so glad this is behind us. ;)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Mine is working well towin 10k lbs on a regular basis.

  • rshershe Posts: 236
    I just had the ABS reprogram done last month after they failed. The strange thing is mine is a 2004 and this is the first time this ever happened. 3 years and 45,000 miles and it happens now?? Seems like something involving a computer program issue would have happened sooner.. Who knows?! Glad I got the extended warranty. But I must admit all is going well after the update, knock, knock, knock on wood.
  • wai1480wai1480 Posts: 7
    Based on the replies I assume they fix the original problem. How much will it cost if without the warranty? If it can last another 45k it will very reasonable. If the armada has the brake issue so what about the qx56?
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    I just had my front and rear brakes replaced (05), new front rotors and rear rotors resurfaced, all for free (55K miles) and they gave me a free rental too. Mine didn't appear to be a problem, they just squeaked. I had them check it while in for an oil change and what-da-ya know, they're worn out almost completely. I think my last brake visit was around 34K miles.
  • :lemon: I own a 2005 armada I purchased a year ago with 16000 miles. It was in for brakes a total of 5x which included the replacement of both front calipers at different times as well as the rotors being replaced twice. I contacted a lemon law attorney. Nissan has agreed to buy the piece of crap back, but they are dragging the process out. Before I have to sign papers that I can not speak out about the brake problem once Nissan settles. Let me advise every one with constant brake problems to seek legal advice. Nissan knows the brakes are undersized for the Armada and has beefed up the 2008 model. Nissan is trying not to have a national recall.
  • Sorry to hear about your problem. Did they do the electrical computer fix already with your vehicle? Ours is still working great. Amazing the difference. Wish you luck with the new vehicle. :)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    No offense but they have already had a recall on them which covers the rotors and caliper brackets and pads. Perhaps your dealer couldn't figure out how to fix it...


    PS: I tow 10,000lb trailers on a regular basis and after they fixed the brakes it's been 100%
  • HI I also own a 2004 armada . an em having a lot of brake problems . took it to dealer ship . They were not helpful an acted like I was crazy . any how were do I find the recall info at so I can get this fixed ..
  • Hi, If you go to the official Nissan website. You can look up the tech bulletins for the brake system of your year armada about the replacement of thicker front rotors and brake components. Some people are under the impression that their was a recall but Nissan has not officially called it a recall. Nissan has only issued Service Tech Bulletins which cover the brake problem. Nissan figures that the less people who know or complain will save Nissan on the cost of the parts and labor. If you cant find the bulletins let me know I will get you the exact numbers. Its typical for the dealership to try and push you away. Also you might want to file a complaint with the NTSB. Good Luck
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    The TSB you are looking for is NTB00-033d. You can go to this site and by registering (free) you can download 1 file per day.
  • I also have a 2004 Armada and I experienced the ABS/Brake/VDC light coming on. Took it to the dealer and they could not find anything wrong. They reset the computer and added fluid to the master cylinder. This happened after having the vehicle for 9 months. I experienced the brake judders and the steering wheel shaking out of your hand when braking. I took the vehicle back to the dealer complaining about same problems and also those lights were on again. I received a call and was told front and rear brakes need replacement to the tune of $1,100. I only had 25K miles on it. I declined, hoping to escalate it to try to get it done under warranty (I was told brake warranty is 12K and if you can prove judders, 36K).

    Five weeks later, while backing out of my driveway, the brake pad feel off. Obviously, I was not going back to that dealership. My neighbor who works at a local garage offered to do the brakes so I would not have to have it towed. Turns out, the rotors were so warped and the pads so low, the pad slipped right off. In addition, the caliper on the side that the brake feel off of, was leaking profusely. So I had to replace pads, 1 caliper, and the rotors.

    I was so angry, I contacted Nissan. They asked for copies off all receipts saying I had a good case to be reimbursed, After about a month, they called denying the claim based on the notes from the dealership. The dealership claims the brakes were just worn out. I don't believe normal wear and tear to the point of the pad falling off at 25K so I escalated the decision to a supervisor. I contacted the repair shop who did the brakes to let them know what was going on and they told me that they still had the rotors there. I contacted Nissan and they told me to take them to another dealership to be evaluated. I did that and the second dealership said that yes, indeed, the rotors were severely warped, contradicting the first dealership's notes.

    I was told they were taking this new information to the regional parts manager for a decision. I also had to fax them my work order from getting the new brakes done. I was informed yesterday that I was being turned down to be reimbursed because they replaced the brake pads. Their theory is that the pads were so worn due to my neglect, they warped the rotors.

    Where do I go now??????I will get an attorney as a last resort. I want this rectified ASAP. My lease is up in February. Any suggestions as to whom I can contact now? Thanks!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    25k is about all you will get out of the pads on the trucks. The 12k warranty is only for rotors and pads, your brakes (calipers, etc) are covered under the regular Bumper to Bumper Warranty. I am a bit confused on how many miles etc. were on the pads when you warped the rotors. If the pads do wear down and it's metal on metal then they will warp your rotors and the dealer isn't responsible for this.

    As for the leaking caliper that should be covered.

    The problem I see here is if you get a lawyer, how much will it cost you to get a lawyer, only to recover at most $1000?

  • When the vehicle went into the dealership in March, it had 25K on it. I tool it because the wheel was shaking and the brakes pulsating and the VDC/SLIP/OFF/BRAKE lights were on again.

    They told me that the brakes were worn within normal range. I don't know, maybe I am being unreasonable but I don't think 25K is alot of miles. I had a Pathfinder before this and I never had to have the brakes replaced. Yes, I am aware that the Armada is a much heavier vehicle but I am also aware that they put Frontier brakes on the which is a 3000 pound heavier than the Frontier. There is so much on line about how the brakes put on especially the 2004 Armada, were undersized. As it was explained to me, the brakes are too light weight for these vehicles which causes the pads to wear quickly. All of the excessive heat due to stopping causes the judders, ie. the rotors to warp. In addition, they will not even reimburse me for the caliper which was $500.
  • One last thing.....5 week after the truck was at the dealership, the brake pad fell, off in my driveway. It was so thin, it slipped off the rotor. 5 weeks prior, the dealership called my brakes normal wear and tear.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    So you declined to get the pads replace 5 weeks earlier when the dealer said they were worn? Then you complained when the pad slipped out (because you didn't replace it) and your caliper broke due to the fact that there was no pad in there?

    Unfortunately I think that you are SOL on this one, (if I'm getting the story straight) because the dealer told you to replace the pads, and you didn't, this then led to a failure of a component which would normally be covered under warranty had it failed but because you failed to replace the pads, the caliper broke.

    As for the "weight" of the vehicle. I regularly tow a 10,000lb cigarette boat trailer with my 2004 Armada. I have never had problems with my brakes, after they performed the TSB brake upgrade (larger rotors, pads and brackets) even one time when the brakes failed on my trailer, I had to tow it about 500 miles on the highway using only the Armada's brakes.

    25k is a bit short, but like any first year build vehicle, there will be glitches, the 04 Armada happen to have this one. If you aren't ready for small glitches like this, I'd suggest you buy mid-life cycle vehicles in the future, cause no matter what brand you buy if it's a "new" model it'll have issues on something.

    Below is a pic of my boat and Armada.

  • No matter how much any one out there defends Nissan and the Armada. The plain simple truth is that they have had these front problematic undersized brakes on the Armada since 2004. And yes the few defenders of Nissan will state that the last computer TSB finally fixed the problem. I beleive this is the 3rd TSB. Why are so many owners of the earlier models being mis informed by Nissan Dealers? Well if thats the case it should not have taken 3 years to fix. Nissan knows there is a problem with the early models, this is proven fact due to Nissan making the front rotors bigger and thicker on the 2008 Armada. And before any of you defenders claim I am bitter let me rest asure you I like the other aspects of my Armada. I just want what I paid for, and for the money I paid I don not think I am asking too much for the vehicle to work safely and properly. I am in the process of Nissan settling on my Armada. Nissan has agreed to buy it back. I am advising anyone with a 2004 thru 2006 Armada to seek help under the Lemon Law. Even if you are not the original owner or your armada or it has over 36k you should still be covered under the Breach of Warranty. If your Armada has been in for the front brakes more than 3x you may have a case. Check it out with a lemon law attorney. There are strengh in numbers. This will get Nissans attention to finally properly fix what they sell. If you are having problems and you do not speak up you have no one to blame but your self. Contact the National Transportation Safety of the US Goverment, there are many avenues for one to take do your home work like I did good Luck !!!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The computer issue is completely different than the size of the rotors and pads issue. I never had the computer issue, but did have the rotors warp in the first 2500 miles.

    If you haven't had the rotor and pad and caliper bracket upgrade, you should definitely do it.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also, Toyota had this same problem on the Sequoia/Tundra trucks when they came out, just about every Japanese manufacturer has had this problem when they bring out the first model year of their full size car or trucks. Nissan was no different.

  • Yes, I did wait 5 weeks to get the brakes done but I didn't think it was a must do this second since they said the wear was within normal range. They did not say they were in really poor condition. I didn't get it done because they wanted $1,100 for front brakes. I wanted to see if I could get a second opinion from another dealer. Like I said, although I was 2 weeks past the warranty date, I only had 25K on it. This vehicle is their top-of-the-line product and I paid close to $48,000 for it. I know other vehicle owners with trucks this size, and they have not replaced their brakes this soon. The fact are the facts, the Frontier brakes are not heavy enough for this vehicle. Of course, the brakes wore out prematurely. I certainly knew this was their first of this model when I purchased it, and yes, you are right, you have to expect glitches, but fix them and not at my cost.

    Your boat is awesome! I am not showing this picture to my husband. He is dying to get a boat. What year is you Armada? Did you lease or buy?

    As far as the caliper leaking, the repair shop that repaired the brakes said the caliper was leaking for a considerable time. I was told by a service specialist that Nissan extended the brakes warranty to 36K miles. found out yesterday that that is not true. Nissan extended the brake warranty to 36 months.
  • Make sure you tell your dealer about the constant break problems. Please read past post to address this problem with you dealer. Nissan has honored problems with the brakes by fixing them since it has been a problem from day one. I would not give up but ask for a Nissan Rep. and write Nissan about going to the Lemon Law to relieve your brake problem. That should get their attention! :shades:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My truck is an '04, I knew about the brake issue before I bought and actually had them write into the contract that I would get the brake upgrade as soon as it was available or the car would be returned. It's an LE and I bought it in spring of '05, although it had been on their lot from Aug of '04, got a great deal payed about $38k with tax and a 100k bumper to bumper warranty.

    Thanks for the compliments on the boat! You can see more pics at I tagged a log in the Hudson last sept and it looks like my boat will get totalled or close to it. I think I'll be replacing it with a Center Console boat with Twin 250s or 275s. :)

  • My truck is also an '04 but I bought it in Feb 2004, before these problems were really made public. Of course, I think I am right and I am sure Nissan thinks they are too. We will have to see what happens. Like I said, the brake pad fell off while I was backing out of my driveway with my 2 little sons in the car. It rolled across the street and partially up the neighbor's driveway before coming to a stop in the middle of the street. Was very scary!

    With my previous truck, the Pathfinder, I took a 3 year lease and had no problems with it ever. With the Armada, I took a 4 year lease and probably should have extended the warranty. My lease is up on Feb 27th. I don't know if I am going to get another one. I really do love the truck except for the payments..........

    The boat would be my husband's dream. He just said last night to my 6 year old, that he wanted to get a boat next summer. He goes to all of the boat shows in Atlantic City, and then comes home and shows me all of the boats and prices. Pretty steep!!!
    Thank you and good luck with your new boat. I will let you know when Nissan makes a decision.
  • There is no reason for that brake pad to fall out. If the vehicle was in for service and the dealer thought the brakes were that bad they would not take that risk and allow you to leave without strongly encouraging you to let them fix it. At best they would have had you sign a waiver to protect them prior to you leaving.
    The Armada has had major front brake issues since 2004. If the Nissan rep is not trying to help and you have not caused any damage to the system other than Normal wear? Contact a lemon Law attorney for Breach of Warranty it does not cost you anything for a consultation. If you are found in the right the attorney fees are paid by Nissan.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The boat would be my husband's dream. He just said last night to my 6 year old, that he wanted to get a boat next summer. He goes to all of the boat shows in Atlantic City, and then comes home and shows me all of the boats and prices. Pretty steep!!!
    Thank you and good luck with your new boat. I will let you know when Nissan makes a decision.

    Perhaps he'd like to buy my boat? I tagged a log last sept and I may have to sell it since it's got a hole in it :( Only kidding about him buying it, it'l probably going to be totalled.

    I hit up all the boat shows too. I'm going to the NY Boat show in Dec/Jan.

    Last year we were supposed to go down and do an overnight to Atlantic City but never made it down. I spend most of my time boating on the Hudson/NY Harbor and Barneget Bay.

    If he ever wants a ride next summer, let me know, it sounds like you guys are in NJ which is were I spend most of my time.

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