Nissan 350Z Transmission Questions

dat2dat2 Member Posts: 251
I have an '05 350Z 6spd touring with 3500 miles on it, and I have only noted some clutch chatter, at times, mainly when it is cold out. Also some notchiness or slight grinding on the 1-2 shift. Otherwise shifting and clutching is primo. I am coming from a 96 240SX with 170k on the original clutch and tranny. The 240SX, when newer, had a very notchy shift, but improved with age (like a fine wine?)...

Anyone else having any early mileage clutch chatter?


  • tlewis7313tlewis7313 Member Posts: 2
    Just picked it up last week and hear a weird noise sometimes on start up and shifting 1st to 2nd. Is this the noise everyone is saying is clutch related?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,032
    it depends. can you describe the noise?

    '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE. 62-car history and counting! MB Sprinter and '92 Nissan Gloria on the way!

  • tlewis7313tlewis7313 Member Posts: 2
    The noise is not unlike a throw out bearing that has gone bad, kind of like bearings rolling around, hard to describe, but it only happens when shifting 1-2 and 2-3.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,032
    well, i'm still unsure of what you are describing, but there are 2 issues i'm aware of with the Z and tranny noises. One is a slight rattle that occurs when idling in neutral (i have this same thing on my 20-year-old alfa with 100k miles and the original tranny/clutch, so i counted it as unalarming). The other is the grind that many folks complain about, particularly when shifting from 1st to 2nd. Others seems to have more serious issues related to this, but it was only noticeable on my Z when it was cold.

    '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE. 62-car history and counting! MB Sprinter and '92 Nissan Gloria on the way!

  • starchecker1starchecker1 Member Posts: 35
    Not sure if it's the same thing I had. But after 8,000 miles on my 2004 Roadster I heard a noise like some change clinking in the back(I thought I might have left a glass bottle in the trunk or something that was rolling around when I would start moving or shifting 1st to 2nd.)

    I took it to Nissan and they said there was a TSB out for the rear bearings. They ended up replacing both for free. Not sure if it affected the 05's though.
  • pa350z2006pa350z2006 Member Posts: 4
    I just purchased my 06 Z 6spd. I to also have mild stiffness/notchiness in first and second gear. I have driven stick all my life and when I brought it home and parked it in my driveway with a decent incline, I pushed in the clutch and it sounded like something was clanging around in the read of the car.

    Took it back to the dealer and had them drive it to my home and the tech drove it up the driveway without the noise, he claimed that it is all how you push in the clutch. If i push in the clutch very quick it will make the noise, feather it slowly keeps it from happening.

    I also have a clunking noise if shifting to quickly from first to second instead of feathering the clutch nicely....does everyone have this problem? I test drove two Z's both stick at two different dealers and they were both the same with the noise while shifting. Wish I would have found these threads earlier, although I love the car! Is there anything wrong with this noise, or is it just normal in these cars???
  • pa350z2006pa350z2006 Member Posts: 4
    Have to apologize to everyone on here....I just read the message on the other page, but it looks like this must be normal for the Z's for the 1st-2nd gear noise.... the guy in the post before mine described it exactly as mine is behaving with 300 miles on it. Hopefully it is normal, I had a mini S prior to this as a toy and had TONS of probelms.
  • rjgcparjgcpa Member Posts: 11
    Have a 2004 Touring with about 10K miles. When I first bought the car I went to three different dealerships and had their service department test my car. Each mechanic said the 1st to 2nd grind was not a grind but simply the gear providing a notchy feel. Experience it going into 3rd as well but not as pronounced. Two things. I find a slow shift into 2nd will definitely produce a grind (so now no leisure shift;I always shift quickly). Also, if I make an effort to pull the gear shift toward me, rather than straight, as I go from 1st to 2nd it helps more often than not.
    The clutch chatter is there as well. However, if I keep the clutch depressed at the spot where the gear begins to engage for an extra second or two, instead of continuing to lift off the clutch, the chatter doesn't happen. In other words I am sort of riding the clutch which I know is not a good idea and something I have never done with another vehicle. So in going from 1st to 2nd I never fully release the clutch but raise it enough to engage 1st gear and then quickly depress to the floor to secure 2nd. Result is kind of like speed shifting and vehicle accelerates faster (I don't mean spinning tires).
    If you find another solution please let me know. Though I don't smell any metal heating up, likely I'll end up replacing clutch and related parts sooner rather than later. Good luck.
  • dat2dat2 Member Posts: 251
    Agree, excessive clutch chatter is causing me to slip the clutch more than I would otherwise, which will likely result in premature clutch wear. 25k miles now on my 05 touring and chatter is a little stronger, otherwise car is performing admirably. 96 240sx has 180k miles on original clutch, and still feels strong, so if dealer says premature wear is user-attributable I will laugh.
  • 13471347 Member Posts: 1
    I have never posted on a message board before, however after my experience with Nissan and my '03 350z I feel compelled. Today after a meager 16k miles I finally got rid of this piece of crap car. My problems in a nutshell;

    1. All tires needed to be replaced due to feathering causing excessive front end noise. Nissan refused to address the situation until the recall despite my many complaints.

    2. Windows would go down automatically and would not return to the up position. Problem occurred 3 times in 1st 10k miles.

    3. CD player works intermittently and skips constantly.

    4. Finally, the clutch and fly wheel burned out at 16k miles (I baby this car and have driven a stick shift all my life). I called Nissan customer service and they completely blew me off. My own dealer pretended to be unaware of all the clutch problems. Today I paid my $2000.00 to have the car repaired and upon picking it up the clutch once again was not working...problably a tranny problem. A Nissan mechanic who had limited experience with stick shifts drove the car. He stalled it twice and wasn't able to go from 0-5 mph without excessive jerking. Told me the clutch was fine and just need to be broken in. I promptly drove to my nearest Acura dealer and traded this piece of crap in for a 2006 MDX. Even the Acura dealer thought the car drove like crap and only gave me 18K for a trade in on a car with 16K miles, a new 2K dollar clutch and 4 new tires and wheels that cost nearly 6K. Go figure.

    Bottom line....I lost my shirt financially, received the worst service and customer support I have ever experienced, and wasted literally days if not weeks of my life dealing with aggravation created by Nissan's inability to take responsibility for their manufactures defects. Do your self a favor and DON'T buy any Nissan products.... especially a 350z. I intend on notifying the BBB, but does anybody know if I have any further recourse on a national level?? (sorry for the long post).
  • shadowland1shadowland1 Member Posts: 1
    Unfortunately I must agree with the post above. I have a 2006 350z base. I've had problems with grinding into 5th gear for several months. I've been to two dealerships and they both told me the car didn't have a problem even after I replicated it multiple times.

    Nissan customer service is a complete waste of time. They have brickwalls setup so you can't talk to any kind of decision makers and they blow you off as much as they can without you harrassing them.

    I love my car, I really do I won't get rid of it, but I am severely dissappointed with Nissan as a company and would never recommend anyone buy their products.

    At this point I believe I have found a dealer 2 hours away that is familiar with this problem and would be glad to fix it...I'm not holding my breath.
  • dat2dat2 Member Posts: 251
    That sucks to hear about all your problems with these 350s. I still love my 05 touring model, 26,000 miles on the original tires is pretty good for a sports car. I have had only a couple minor new car issues. The car performs flawlessly and is a treat to drive, even commuting. Also I routinely get 26-28 on the hiway, which is sedan-like.

    Sorry for all the problems you have been having at any rate.
  • etchrleetchrle Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Z has had clutch, transmission, engine,and tire problems. Replacement of the clutch - transmission solved those problems.

    The front end problem was solved with a Stillen adjustable camber front end. Really neat. I have 15K miles on the new Goodyear F3s and tread wear is normal!

    My dealer has been extremely good to work with on these and other issues. And all (except the front end) have been managed under warranty. On the front end, they replaced tires and adjusted. But as the stock front end has no camber adjustment, the fix was only a bandaid.

    Problems notwithstanding, this remains the neatest car I have owned ... even including my original 240Z.
  • atownleyatownley Member Posts: 1
    I agree with this post. My wife has a Nissan Pathfinder. The pivot bushing went while the vehicle was under an extended warranty. Nissan refused to fix. The part was $4 and the labour was $1300. I tried writing letters to customer service but I was stone walled.

    Nissan customer service is a complete waste of time. Nobody can escalate issues.

    Do not buy a Nissan product - You will be sorry
  • cantgo55cantgo55 Member Posts: 4
    I bought my 2006 350Z touring roadster in Nov 2005.
    I have been very happy with this car up until now.
    For the past two months, everytime I pull into my driveway,
    I can hear a rumbling noise in the back of the car for
    a few seconds. The way I pull into my driveway is like this.
    As the car approaches the driveway, I slow down enough to
    almost a complete stop, and put it back in first gear as I turn into the driveway.
    My driveway is on bit of a downward incline.
    As soon as the front of the car makes it past the sidewalk,
    I can hear the low rumbling noise in the back.
    At this point the car is rolling on a downward incline.

    Took it to Nissan dealer but they could not replicate the
    noise. The mechanic found the tire changing kit not strapped
    down and blame it for the noise problem.
    But I can produce the noise consistently at home, even with the
    tire changing kit strapped down. The spare tire is also
    tightly strapped down.

    If anyone knows what is causing the rumbling noise please
    let me know. You can send me an email at [email protected] Many thanks in advance.
  • kalakala Member Posts: 9
    Check to see that you don't have anything loose in the storage compartments behind your seats. On some downward inclines and turns I was also hearing a rumbling noise coming from the back. Turned out to be my compact umbrella rolling and sliding around. Stopped the sound by wrapping a small towel around the umbrella.
  • 03posz03posz Member Posts: 1
    I purchased my 03 as a 2nd owner. The car had 19k on it when I purchased and ran great. I started having trouble around 38k. In a nut shell, here are the issues...

    1...Check engine light came on, found out a coil pack was blown.

    2...Driver side window motor stopped working.

    3...Recall on the gas filler tube. Supposedly they are cracking and causing fires.

    4...Occasionally, the car will not start. I put the key in, turn it and nothing. Eventually it will start after I try it 10 or more times in a row. To this day Nissan has yet to diagnose the issue.

    5...3rd gear was making a grinding noise. I took this back to Nissan 3 times, finally they replaced the transmission at 50k. During this, one of there idiot mechanics did not place the lift right under the car and cracked the passenger ground effect. They denied this was their doing.

    I have attempted to contact Nissan customer service numerous times with no luck. They do not call you back and it is impossible to talk with a supervisor. All the above problems were fixed, minus the no start issue, under warranty.

    The rear suspension is really bad in the 03's and causes excessive tire wear. I purchased new rear tires in Nov of 06, when I went for inspection in March of 07, they told me I needed new rear tires. Now mind you I drive all highway and do not race this car. The tire company refused to take responsibility for this issue.

    Nissan is a headache to deal with and they DO NOT stand behind their cars. DO NOT buy a Nissan, you will deeply regret it!!
  • wolffewolffe Member Posts: 2
    What`s the best possible manual tranny fluid for Z`s? Would a fluid like Royal Purple Synchromax or GM Synchromesh be a better choice over a 75W90 GL4 gear oil? It seems most manual trannies (like the Tremec in Mustangs,Vettes,and T/As) use ATF.

    I would think think heavy gear oils would be too thick for good synchro engagement/lubrication.

    Also,does anyone know who makes Nissan`s manual trannies? I know Borg Warner made them in the 80s era Z31,but they don`t make transmissions anymore.

  • ArondosArondos Member Posts: 1
    I own an 06 enthusiast.

    Took it in two weeks ago with grinding/sticking going into 5th. Went for a ride with the service manager. It did a nice heavy clunk going into 5th. He went back to neutral and back into 5th, clunk again. He said "Well looks like you got a synchro going that will be a new transmission."

    Took 6 days for them to get the part. the 7th day I dropped her off at 8am, had the car back by noon with a new transmission. Other than that only issues I have had are a weatherstrip coming loose and had to have the door on the little storage area in the middle replaced due to the coating coming off.

    If you are having problems. Try another dealer if there is another in your area.

    Overall I have been very happy with the car and the service. Only got 11k on her so far though. Some of the issues I read here on 03's are known issues. Personally I would never buy a car the first year of its run. to many problems get found.
  • dgarddgard Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Nissan 350Z that I have babied. It has 33K and my clutch and key plate have broken. The dealership told me this is normal and that usually they are only good for 30K. This is ridiculous clutches should last into 70K. When I told the dealer that this was ridiculous he became obnoxious. The cost of my repair is 1600 for the clutch and 1100 for the key plate. Again my car has 33K. I have called Nissan Corp and requested assistance with this repair stating that it must be defective. The dealership (Premium Nissan of New Rochelle) told me that Nissan Corp was useless. This is my 4th Nissan. If nothing is done to help me then it will certainly be my last and I will be telling everyone I know. These are tough times for car dealerships they should be doing everything in their power to keep their loyal customers.
  • ab350zab350z Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I have an 2004 convert and had the same sound pulling into my driveway or at slow speeds turning. My brother told me to have the nissan dealer check the axle nut. They did and the axle nut was loose and thats what made the noise. Hope this helps, I love my Z too but it was driving me nuts. Now my 5th gear grinds, I drive it real easy too. It only has 26K on it but O well I not getting rid of it either.
  • dashermandasherman Member Posts: 1
    My wife's 2008, 350z manual transmission has only 7,000 miles on it. First problem, driving across the George Washington bridge, NY the clutch just went to the floor and would not allow the car to go into gear. Towed to dealer who adjusted the linkage. Now two weeks later, the clutch works but the car will not move when put into gear. It is presently at a dealer to look into problem. Was there a recall on the cluch/transmission? Anyone have an solution?
  • tonie2005_350ztonie2005_350z Member Posts: 2
    I am a 44 yr old nurse. As a female I feel the dealer is trying to get one over on me.
    I bought a 2005 Nissan 350z on 6/9/2009. On 7/10/2009 the clutch went. I have driven a stick since I was 16. The dealer is saying the car was driven "hard", "excesive tire wear" . This is is BS, I don't even know how to do a "burn out". Dealer states ,not under warrenty and wants 1450 to repair, clutch,bearing,fly wheel. People have told me a "blown" clutch has different signs vs. a worn out clutch. I need to fight these guys. I hadn't even made my first payment on the car and had to have it towed to dealer.
  • jtattjtatt Member Posts: 1
    I'm so glad to find out that I'm not the only one with clutch issues! Although its not going to cover all the money I've wasted....I have an 04 350z Roadster. Bought 2 years ago. 2 weeks after I purchases used with 35K, the clutch went! The dealer refused to pay and I filed suit but it didn't go through b/c it wasn't worth it based on New York laws ( I live in CT). I don't even drive the car year round since I live in CT and just today was told that my clutch is going AGAIN! WTF. I know how to drive standard and do not downshift. I don't know what to do. The warrantee on the first clutch I replaced has expired. I need to make a decision of whether to shell out another $3k or get rid of the car. I'm sooo upset- I LOVE the car but I can't keep affording new clutches every 30K.....Does anyone have any advise?!
  • aglodoaglodo Member Posts: 1
    Hi I have a 08 350z manual base model and about two months ago i tried to do some peel outs and my clutch did the same thing and got stuck to the floor i had to wait till the rpms dropped till i could get it back into gear and go. What did the dealership say about your clutch.
  • tonie2005_350ztonie2005_350z Member Posts: 2
    "you need a new clutch" at my expense
  • stralianstralian Member Posts: 1
    I can't find a dipstick to check my ATF level. It now appears to be possibly electronic? Someone please help.
  • tyree42tyree42 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased my dream car of 20 years in oct '09 (first nissan was a '87 200 sx se) a black six speed convertible Z. I paid cash for a model with 34k miles on it. It is a great car to drive not so much to own. I didn't try the cd player on the test drive wont play when the car is cold I can play my ipod through to tape deck cd player not so much of a problem. I am a aggressive driver the clutch felt funny when I purchased, It went about three weeks after that cost me about 900 to replace I took responsibility since I am a aggressive driver and I had read reviews on this site noting others with clutch problems. Still smelled the new clutch a friend suggested starting in 2nd gear when possible that did help. I basically had to learn to drive a stick all over again. Btw I live in the western PA. Hills and cold. Car is sexy though. Jury is still out as to how I feel about owning it, will write another post after summer.
  • car_lovecar_love Member Posts: 27
    edited April 2010
    I just bought a 2005 350z Touring Manual 6 with 34k miles on it and the clutch has lost pressure to half way twice, both in low RPM in 1st or 2nd gear in parking lot situations. I park the car and when I start it back up in a bit, it's fine again. Only happened a couple times in the past 2 weeks, I'm summing it up to having the car in too low of RPM revs for 2nd gear.

    This has never happened with any Honda (it would just stall if it happened) I have owned but do notice it with the 2005 350z that has a ton of torque and sounds like a lot of people experience something like this once in a while in this car. So far happy with the car, no major problems. I know how to drive a stick, don't down shift or race the car around like I was 20 years old again but it is sure scared me that the master cylinder or slave cylinder might be going out already or the hoses are stretching badly.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    Have you had a mechanic that you trust look at it?

    Hoses and such should be checked about now, if you haven't had that done.

    Let's face it, a lot of the Zs with manual transmissions were bought by racer wanna-be types and they may have abused the clutch. You know how you drive; you don't know how someone else drove it before you.
  • car_lovecar_love Member Posts: 27
    I will definitely have it checked out. Thanks
  • briin79briin79 Member Posts: 1
    If you open the hood on the top right next to the window open up that cover. That is where the transmission fluid goes in. You can look to see if its low there. No dipstick for the car though.

    My clutch just went out after 52k miles. Dealer said same thing its a Wear item. Ive heard in many forums about this issue in cars with minimal miles. The dealer will tell you that nissan requires a new flywheel to be installed. Do not listen to them. They are just squeezing more money out of you. If you see many blue spots then yes you should buy another flywheel. But buy an aftermarket one at a cheaper price. I found someone to do the install for 150$ flywheel and clutch. I bought a used clutch for 100 lightweight performance flywheel for 150. Its recommended to also purchase the Clutch release bearings the same time to avoid any malfunction in the future.

    The person doing the install is a Nissan tech. Came str8 from his mouth. Yes i know people shouldnt buy used but if you know what to look for it ok. Cant always afford new ya know!
  • debbieraydebbieray Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2005 350Z Touring Roadster with 30,500 miles. Runs great, but on shifting, especially from 1st to 2nd, I hear a clattering noise. From reading the previous posts, this seems to be common. Is it the sign of a more serious problem such as the clutch getting ready to go? I am assuming the car was probably driven hard by the previous owner. I am not an aggressive driver at all.
  • babloo80babloo80 Member Posts: 1

    Do you have issues with downshift or upshift or both with 2nd gear? If you have downshift / upshift issue with 2nd gear only, it might be related to synchro. You might want to get this sorted out before the 5 yr factory warranty expires!
  • car_lovecar_love Member Posts: 27
    So, after a month and a half of dealing and trying to trouble shoot this odd clutch issue, I took my 2005 350z Touring model into the dealership today after getting the clutch to stick halfway down. It's been like this for a month... after about 15-20 minutes of driving, the clutch engagement drops halfway to the floor, engagement point changes and the gears crunch as I shift up and down. The mechanic reproduced the issue and said it's probably the clutch master cylinder and that there is probably a leak someplace, hopefully repaired on Friday. Sadly, the clutch seems to burned a bit and wore down due to the weirdness in engagement.

    Positive: I have the Security Plus extended warranty for 1 year (dang it's only 1 year).
    Negative: the clutch burned a bit due to the odd clutch master cylinder issue... wonder if Nissan would cover a clutch replacement too? or pay partially for one? I may just ask.
  • car_lovecar_love Member Posts: 27
    I get a rattle when my clutch goes out of whack... sometimes this can be due to not pushing the clutch far enough to reach the engagement/disengagement point... you might try making sure you're getting the clutch down far enough during shifts 1st and 2nd are the most finicky...

    If you hear crunches through out more gear and the making sure that you push the clutch down far enough during gear changes doesn't work, you may want it checked out.
  • car_lovecar_love Member Posts: 27
    Thanks, yeah I checked that it's above low and below high, the mechanic said it was low... OK...

    I took it into the dealership today and was able to reproduce the problem... he thinks it's a faulty or leaking master cylinder. Will hopefully have the problem with the hydraulic pressure loss on Friday... unfortunately, it burned the clutch a bit while it was not fully pressurized and I've lost some clutch and trying to see if Nissan will help out on it. I asked for a quote from the dealer for a full clutch package replacement... they quoted around $800. Not sure I trust a non-Nissan mechanic with my clutch... I had an independent garage do my Acura GSR and they messed up the whole car by forgetting to connect the ground on the transmission housing back to the frame of the car... blew electrical stuff all over the place. I'll still look around for better pricing. Thanks for the tips.
  • yomiyomi Member Posts: 2
    Screw Nissan..Same thing is happening to me. I took mine in 3weeks after buying it brand new and they told me it was ok. The clutch was soft and smelt of burnt rubber. Is anyone suing?
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