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Nissan XTerra SUV



  • I'm just about convinced that I want to become an Xterra owner. I'm looking at the XE 4X4 with the 3 pack. I'm wondering though, has anyone had any problems with the 4x4? I live in Atlanta, and with winter coming, I'm hoping to avoid sliding around on the icy roads that the winter inevitably brings. Also fschaad49 posted about his recent purchase of an X here in town. Where? I'd like to go to that same dealership if they worked so well with you. Thanks.
  • I don't think anyone has had any significant problems with their Xterra to date. I certainly haven't.

    As for sliding on icy roads, the Xterra isn't going to help you at all. Icy roads are just that, icy, and any vehicle will slide. 4x4 only helps you get and keep moving, it does not help you stop or turn any better.
    Drive on slick surfaces with extreme caution, and keep in mind that when a 4000 lb. Xterra gets loose it's going to be much harder to recover that a 2500 lb. car and will do a lot more damage to anything that it hits if you don't.

  • I saw an earlier post about the 2wd version with LSD being capable enough off road and even being able to handle snow. Looks like I can save a few bucks going with the 2wd. Comments?
  • I've had mine for 6 months, almost 10,000 miles, and have had absolutely no trouble either.

    As far as icy roads go, a 4WD of any kind may enable you to keep going when others can't. This can be a big help if for some reason you must travel immediately and can't wait for conditions to improve. Just pretend you're driving a rear wheel drive with four bald tires, though. That'll keep you in a properly respectful state of mind about your ability to stop.
  • I think it probably depends on how much off-roading you are going to do and how much snow you're going to see. A 2wd with LSD is probably a little more capable than 2wd without but not as capable as 4wd with LSD. Some folks have gotten 2wds and have since traded up to 4wd. Others are satisfied with the 2wd. For winter driving, I got a 4wd with LSD. I will take all the help I can get.
  • I bought a 2001 SE-2WD Auto 6 days ago w/5 miles on it. I had one experience on day 3 where while driving though a parking lot I applied the brakes and they seemed very slow to slow the car. Yesterday I was pulling up behind a van to park. It was a slight downhill drive, so I was already applying the brake and doing < 15mph. As I started to completely slow and stop behind the van, the Xterra started to accelerate. I am a one foot driver so I know I didn't have a foot on the gas, and I looked to verify that both feet were on the brake petal(standing on it!). The Xterra basically 'hopped' 15 feet into the van (moving it 2 feet)before stopping. I have 2 sets of marks, 1 set for the braked front wheels and 1 for the spinning back wheels. Anyone heard of other similar experiences? I wonder if this happen to a much lesser extent in the 1st exp. I described??? Help!
  • I've been reading some of the earlier posts and thanks for all the info. You seem to know what you're talking about. The same goes for the many other posts that I've read. Ask me how to build a building, and I'll tell you. Ask me about a car, and I'm screwed. Anyway, Can you explain limited slip differential? I know the principal behind it, but before I jump and make a decision about which type of Xterra I want to buy, I want to make sure I have ALL the facts. Also, the 4 wheel drive on the xterra is not a full time system, correct? Thanks in advance.
  • i'm off the drug kick now, but the LSD does help out a little, especially to take the edge off a hard day's work...
    i saw on ebay yesterday that you can get the titanium dash kits and stuff for less thatn $100.00...and yes, it is only on the 2001 SE. the 2000 SE i looked at didn't have it. it definately is a cool looking feature. the sunroof is almost totally useless in the SE. i was driving a 99 VW Passat w/ a power sunroof, and swore to myself that i'd never get another car (or truck) w/o a sunroof. so far i don't miss it, we'll see in the summer. but i never used the tilt on the sunroof (actually it was a moonroof.) if you really want it, go for it!!! good luck to you and all the future Xers!!!
  • Yes, I have heard about this on a government complaint database. If you will put your email address in your profile I will email the info to you. Thanks, Cheryl
  • xeroxero Posts: 5
    I can't remember anyone having any problems even remotely similiar to yours. I'd be standing on the dealer's doorstep. Good luck.
  • mindiemindie Posts: 109
    Thanks for the info on the dash kit - it seems like everything is coming down to either paying a little more to have my X come the way I want it, or saving a few bucks and taking care of some things myself. If I know my husband, he'll probably not want to fuss with things ourselves; so I'm pretty sold on the SE over the XE.

    I wish I had an X right now - we're actually getting some snow here in Kentucky (albeit only a couple of inches)!

  • You should never have said that about building a building. See below for my list of questions on THAT subject. :)

    You are correct that the X has a part-time 4WD system with both high and low range (unlike some of the "cute 'utes" that do not have 4lo). You the driver decide when to engage 4wd and if so, hi or lo. Being a control freak, I appreciate this.

    I believe that the LSD on the X works by means of a series of clutch packs in the rear differential. When there is excessive rear wheel spin on one side, the LSD clutches engage and send more power to the wheel that is NOT spinning. Without LSD, all the power would continue to go to the spinning wheel, hence you find yourself stuck. This system is not a guarantee, because I believe that if one rear wheel loses traction COMPLETELY, the LSD will not kick in. That's why 4wd is also good because you still have power going to the front axle and can hopefully pull yourself out.
  • I've never heard of any cases of the X accelerating instead of slowing when the brakes are pressed. I wouldn't mind knowing how many have experienced this problem and if the cause is known (my curiosity has gotten the best of me).

    I do remember another car that use to "jump" forward when placed in gear.

    The phrase "I'm Audi 5000" comes to mind.

    If the information is too much to post, please either post the link to the website or e-mail me the information at

  • that from what I understand, when 4wd in the Xterras is engaged, all four hubs are locked together. This means that all 4 wheels get the same power all the time, essentially disabling LSD. LSD only functions while in 2wd mode. Not sure if someone else had mentioned this earlier or not.
  • xcanukxcanuk Posts: 372
    my email is in my profile.

    But I have notice recently that the brake and gas are a little too close. Depending on what boots I'm wearing at the time, I seem to hit both pedals at the same time.

    Unclemartybob: You mention you had both feet on the brake pedal.. the pedal isn't that wide, so maybe you were partly on the gas. My truck is manual, so I'm guess the pedals are the same size as the auto.
  • gonzo7gonzo7 Posts: 259
    2 Xterras- The 4X4 on the X doesn't work like that.
    If you have LSD - both rear wheels drive, if not, then only 1 wheel drives in the back.
  • Sorry I took so long with the info. I took the time to check my info and confirm what I saw. Here goes.......
    1. Consumer Complaints
    2. Year 2000
    3. Nissan Truck
    4. Xterra
    5. leave blank and press submit
    You will see the first of several consumer complaints about acceleration without foot on pedal, while stopped, etc. Make sure to follow the steps or you will end up in no-mans-land. Hope this is of help. Cheryl
  • Make sure to check out the service bulletin and recall sections.......
  • From your message, I couldn't quite understand what you were saying. You said that the "4X4 on the X doesn't work like that", but then you explain to me what LSD is. All I was trying to say was that in most (and I'm assuming in the X as well) trucks with part-time 4wd, when 4wd is engaged, it locks all 4 hubs together which causes all 4 wheels to spin at exactly the same speed. This is why you shouldn't engage 4wd in dry conditions because in turns, the outer tires cannot spin faster than the inner ones, putting strain on the system and potentially damaging it. At the same time, if all 4 hubs are locked together and spinning at the same speed, I don't see how power can be transferred back and forth between the 2 rear wheels?

    I also read an article somewhere, sometime ago that explained the 4wd system in the X and I'm pretty sure that what I mentioned above is what they said it was. I may be missing something though...
  • I hate to change the subject, but I'm having a bit of a problem that I thought one of you may know about. I just purchased a pair of Hella 500 driving lights and I mounted them on my Waag grill guard this morning. Tonight, I took it out for a little test and I was shocked at how high they were aimed (I must have gotten at least 6 flashes from oncoming cars). Anyway, when I got back home, I tried adjusting them down so they weren't aimed so high, but even when I adjust them all the way down, it still shoots way past my low beam range. I would be able to adjust them even lower if I install a spacer between the lights and the guard (the bottom of the lights are hitting the guard, stopping me from aiming them any lower). Was wondering if anyone has installed Hella lights (or any brand) on their grill guard and how you managed not to blind the oncoming traffic. I may just go with a spacer. Any suggestions on what I should use as a spacer (several thick washers could do the trick)?

  • In 2wd, I believe that the front and rear diffs allow the inside and outside tires to turn at different speeds going around corners. Only the rear axle is powered so there is no problem.

    When you're in 4wd in the Xterra though, both AXLES are locked together and have to turn at the same speed because the X doesn't have a center diff. On slippery or loose surfaces, the tires can skid enough to compensate for any difference in speed between the axles as you corner. If you're on a dry road in 4wd, its much harder to skid the tires so the mechanical parts are stressed and could be damaged. The hubs themselves are not "locked" together per se.

    This is why if you lose all traction at one front and one rear tire in 4wd, you can be completely stuck because without the LSD or another device, all available power goes to the spinning tire (where you don't need it.) This is why hardcore offroaders install front and rear lockers.

    In low traction situations, in a sense, 2wd is sometimes only 1 (rear) wheel drive, and 4wd may become 2wd with one front and one rear driven.
  • xcanukxcanuk Posts: 372
    Since LSD seems to be handled..

    Unless the is a difference in "names", driving lights are equivilant to highbeams, and should be treated as such. They are not extra normal headlights. The aiming process is the same for aiming your highbeams, and that is most likely why you are having trouble lowering them. If you do lower them, you are defeating their purpose. If you want extra "short" light, you should have gone with fogs. In any case, auxilairy lighting should be left for the dark highway and out of the city limits.
    The only way to properly aim lights is on a brick wall in a dark parking lot. I might be off with the distance, but mark where your headlights hit the wall at 6', back up 12' and aim fogs below this mark, highbeams slightly or on this mark.
  • Thanks for the info. This is my first 4wd vehicle, and though I'm no stranger to car components, I'm not too fluent in the 4wd system lingo. Based on what you wrote, silverxglider, are you saying that the X with LSD really can have up to 3 wheels providing power (not necessarily all at the same time) since the X does not have LSD for the front?

    xcanuk, when I bought the Hellas, the box said "fog lights", but they sure look like driving lights to me. They make the X's high beams seem weak in comparison even though they're only 55w bulbs. In any case, I've decided to reroute the wiring to the high beams and use them with the high beams only. Thanks for your help.
  • shek3shek3 Posts: 72
    I have a set of PIAA lights mounted and I did exactly what you said...........I used a rubber spacer so I could point the lights down....Mike
  • OK, short and sweet:
    The front and rear differentials allow the left and right sides to turn at different rates in turns across the same axle, but without a center diff the aggregate front/rear difference in rotation cannot be dissipated (the overall distance travelled by the front wheels will be more than the overall distance travelled by the rears). This is where you need to be on a loose surface, to allow this difference to work its way out of the system by having one of the tires scrub it off by turning a little faster or slower than it otherwise would. If it can't get out, the stress builds up and something will break.
    The LSD has been explained pretty well. Just remember it is not "the" solution, it will only do so much before a true locking diff would be the real answer.

  • for the info. But after examining the light pattern in the Hella 500 "fog lights" I've come to the conclusion that if I point them down by using a spacer, I won't be getting much help from them. The Hella 500 fogs seem to have a pencil beam pattern with a slight scatter (exactly opposite as what the box shows). Anyway, this morning I rerouted the wire to the highbeams and adjusted them the best I could without it being dark. Tonight I'll find if I need further adjusting. At least now I can drive without blinding everyone and causing accidents...

    Thanks for the rubber spacer info though.
  • Hello.My Xterra has 22000 miles and the only real problem I've had with it is a constant crackling noise coming from the driver window/headliner area.The dealer has had it on 3 separate occasions and after applying additional insulation to the headliner,tells me all is well.Well in a day or so the noise always returns and has been a constant annoyance for almost a year now.Some of you guys seem pretty mechanical(which I'm not).Is a headliner problem something I'm just going to have to live with?Most people tell me to ignore it but since it's right in my left ear and I paid 25k for my X I'n having trouble doing that.I'm exasperated with the dealership.Any advice/suggestions out there?
  • xcanukxcanuk Posts: 372
    Looks like you got a mislabeled box, pencil beam are driving lights, although they all look the same, the pattern is set in the lense.
    I've hooked up a wide variety of lights, but always connected them separate and independent. The one advantage to getting the most effective fill of light. This way, I could run fogs, normal headlights, and driving lights and get a nice overlapping pattern on the road.
  • Yes, as I understand it, the LSD can under the right circumstances give some power to both rear wheels, for a "total" of 3.

    Lockers would be nice because then you would really have 4wd but they're costly and they have some drawbacks of their own in ordinary, on-road driving.
  • shek3shek3 Posts: 72
    I have seen this problem before here......I think people were spraying insulation(the type that expands VERY little). I think they were removing or just pulling down the gasket around the sunroof and spraying the insulation into the cavity. If you go to a home improvement store just make sure you buy the right type or you could have trouble....Mike
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