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Nissan Armada



  • Just got our Armada back from it's 3rd brake repair. 1st time they machined the rotors, 2nd time replaced brake pads and rotors per the TSB. Each time we got about 4000 miles on the repaired brakes. Now there is A 2ND NEW TSB that replaces the rotors, pads,member torque,8 bolts, boot kit-front. We were assured this "FIX" will work. Will let you know in another 4000 miles or so!! Hopefully they got it right. If anyone wants the parts list, email me!
  • Just got our Armada back from it's 3rd brake repair. 1st time they machined the rotors, 2nd time replaced brake pads and rotors per the TSB. Each time we got about 4000 miles on the repaired brakes. Now there is A 2ND NEW TSB that replaces the rotors, pads,member torque,8 bolts and a boot kit-front. We were assured this "FIX" will work. Will let you know in another 4000 miles or so!! Hopefully they got it right. If anyone wants the parts list, email me!
  • I have been feeling the steering wheel vibrate at 70-75mph on the highway. Kinda feels like a vibration when you slow down with a warped rotor, but this is happening at a constant speed. Anyone else have this problem?

    I guess it could be an unbalanced wheel, but the truck only has 1000 miles.

  • This seems to be the norm. Mine did it, my friends did it. If you look at my past posts you will see where I talked about things like this so I won't go into it again. On sunday I had about a 3 inch bolt come through one tire and I of course had a flat. I was lucky to be close to a full service station. The tire was ruined (big hole)so we put on the spare. I went to discount tire (per another posters recommendation) to have the tires checked out after Sears balanced them and rechecked them. (still vibrating at 75 and up badly) All 4 tires were off pretty bad. So Nissan and Sears screwed up. I have yet to hit the highway to check it. Discount tire thought I had 30k miles on my tires and were shocked to see I only have 15,100 miles on them. He had to look again and ask me if it was true. I told him Nissan says nothing is wrong and this is normal for them to wear so fast on a vehicle like this. They said no way and that from looking at my wear patterns (and knowing I had rotated them 3 times already) said I had suspension problems for sure. The good thing is the tire that had the bolt though it was my worst one. Sears did the 4 wheel alignment (Nissan had the bulletin but would not do it without charging me since I had 12,500 miles. They said my warranty ran out no matter what the bulletin said.) and all 4 wheels were off. The said it alone should not have caused the extent of my problems. Also Discount Tire confirmed this. So I am confronted with Nissan denying my vehicle has any problems. Again, go over a bump and the steering wheels shakes back and forth badly. They say this is normal. It is not and I know it is not. I have not had a chance to go to a different dealership but am going in the next week for this and other major problems I have posted about. My advice is to stay away from these vehicles. If they had of been willing to take care of me, I would be happy even knowing the problems have been a pain but now I know they are not capable of fixing them. If the other dealership (owned by the same company as the other one I bought from) doesn't take care it, I will I guess have to go the legal route. Nissan service is the pitts in my area. Never buy a Nissan in the Austin area unless you are expecting to buy it as-is.
  • Soldaustin -

    You say that your steering wheel shakes badly when you hit a bump? In primarily offroad communities, e.g. modified Jeeps, we refer to this as "death wobble". It is a harmonic oscillation of the front end and does not necessarily represent a design defect (although it might).

    Let me explain. All mechanical systems have a frequency at which they vibrate (think of striking a tuning fork). This is why any car or truck has various dampeners, including a steering dampener, also known as a steering stabilizer.

    This wobble can be caused by any number of things - it is not necessarily a suspension issue and certainly not necessarily a suspension defect - do not let somebody whose job is to mount tires tell you that you have a suspension defect as they are way out of their league. This isn't to put anybody down, but those kind of generalizations are misleading and usually inaccurate.

    Typically a suspension issue will show up as a worn component, such as a bushing, or when something is loose or bent. The most typical cause is very simple: out of spec front end alignment. This is the situation that normally shows up when hitting a bump. Out of round tires can also be a problem, but wobble over bumps suggests there is more to it as the out of round situation requires speed to surface.

    It is important to realize that the Armada has 33" tires. These are very big tires, and tires of this size that are low quality will not last. To compare, the Sequoia and Expedition have 31" tires, and compared to 33" tires there is an enormous difference in impact to the rest of the vehicle, even with 18" rims (the larger diameter increases leverage). Yea, they look good, but don't think that Toyota and Ford and others aren't staying smaller for a reason, because those rigs would look a lot better without the undersized tires.

    Your first order of business is to get a set of tires that is truly designed for a 6,000 lb. plus gross vehicle weight. The BFGoodrich All Terrain ko is a good choice. You need tires with much stiffer sidewalls, but don't fear as your handling will improve without sacricing ride quality. Replacing OEM crap with good tires is the best investment you can make in any new vehicle. Don't expect them to be cheap. Good tires in these sizes are going to run you the better part of $200 each.

    The second thing you need to do is get a front end alignment if you didn't already. The third thing if necessary will be to take it to a shop that specializes in 4x4's. Talk to a mechanic that understands trucks as work vehicles and not as a commuter car - your dealer will not be able to provide this service in most cases. Simply replacing the factory steering dampener may do wonders.

    The factory shocks may also be insufficient and shocks do wear out quickly on heavy vehicles. Improper valving or excessive wear will cause the wobbling you describe. Good shocks make a world of difference, and in case you didn't notice Nissan advertises that the offroad package has Rancho shocks. Given that Rancho shocks are merely decent offroad shocks, this tells me two things: 1) the standard shocks aren't worth a damn, and 2)Nissan knows it. If you want to go after Nissan, try to get the Rancho shocks under warranty.

    Still, the first order of business is to buy tires that can handle the basic abuse of supporting 3 tons of rig, because unless you got the Offroad package, your tires were designed purely for the test drive and nothing else. I think discount tire has a satisfaction warranty and will let you drive the tires - just get this in writing.

    You can hound Nissan all day long, but you are never going to get anything for the first set of worn out tires.

  • davemandaveman Posts: 19

    I think my dealer finally found the problem. There was a small leak from the windshield wiper reservoir that caused some corrosion on a portion of the wireling harness. This corrosion was causing the controller to do all sorts of strange things.

    The wiring harness was replaced, as was the washer reservoir, and it seems to work ok now. The Nissan engineers told them to look under the wiper reservoir.

    Did they find your problem?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I had a similar problem in a different vehicle, a 99 Mazda 626 V6 in this case. My plastic coolant reservoir bottle developed a small leak along the bottom seam. The A/C compressor clutch electrical harness connector is located directly under this bottle and it is not shielded or protected in any way. Hot coolant got into the connector and cuased all kinds of intermitent A/C malfunctions which the delaer could not fix under warranty until the A/C quit for good about three months later. They replaced a bunch of A/C components for no reason, to no avail before that time. Fortunately, warranty covered the repairs. This is another illustration how a cheap leaking plastic container can cause serious problems.

    I would like to comment on large tires:

    Increasing tire size on vehicles appears to be a meaningless fad that does not do much for the customer. To begin with, you pay much more for larger size replacement tires, particularly for 18 inch or larger size. Secondly, it much more difficult to properly balance large tires, because they are heavy, have tall sidewalls (on trucks and SUVs) and they mostly require large weights to balance. I have had horrible experience with tire stores being unable to balance the tires properly. And this with 15 and 16 inch car tires! So my advice is to avoid optional large tires on any vehicle if you can. Large tires also increase the turning radius of the vehicle, which can be a nuisance.
  • rshershe Posts: 236
    The only way to balance these larger tires sucessfully is to use road force balancing. Look around your area to find a shop that has one.
  • galvanggalvang Posts: 156
    Having cheap tires that wear out after 13k miles is dispicable. During the process of wearing out, vibration and flats. Nissan should replace those tires at their own expense. Conti-crap tires aught to be thrown out of Nissan.

    Nissan aught to get together with Michelin and have them supply the Cross Terrains. I saw a 275/65/17. A lower size tire but a much better overall quality tire. The load ratings are about the same or even better then the OEM Conti-Crap. The delimma here is that a new rim may have to be used.

    Since Renault has a big stake in Nissan, you can surmize that some of the quality issues that they are encountering are indirectly from the French auto company.
  • rshershe Posts: 236
    I was upset when I saw Continentials on my Armada, but I have to be fair and say mine are wearing very well and have a nice highway ride.. Just for grins, I have searched all of the popular tire sites and the Conti's and Goodyears that come factory installed are the only choice that I can find... Has anyone else found another fit?
  • I had the roof tsb completed on my truck and it made a world of difference, I can now drive with my rear windows down ;) and no resonance noise to speak of;The overall cabin noise that I hear now is what I expected from this truck (not very load just need better tires) and it ain't that bad. I've read several other post on this site about the roof repairs that accomplished nothing and I wonder if the dealership didn't just "pencil whipped" the form and told you to have a nice day.
    On a sad note my wife ran into a pole in my truck and damaged the lt side bumper and part of the grill... She is still alive and kicking but it was a close call, needless to say she will NEVER drive my truck without adult supervision ;)
  • I am not a stranger to these forums, as I am the owner of an early build Armada. I have spoken to my Dealer today, and the Nissan "DTS" (District territory supervisor) I thought I would post what I was told about the Armada brakes. Nissan is very aware of a design problem with the Armada Brakes. As of now, the 05 Armadas has been released with NO UPGRADES to the Brakes as of yet. Nissan will be instituting a "running design change" to the Brakes with redesigned calipers, rotors, and hubs in April 2005. As far as the rest of us 2004 and 2005 owners, they will be having a Brake design upgrade TSB around the same time. Remember that Toyota had the same thing happen to them with the Sequoia, but it took them 3 years to get a running change. Will the 05 Armadas have every other common "issue" already taken care of? Guess we have to wait and see...........
  • I really don't know what to think about the Continentals...I have 16k on mine and they still look great! And as I have said before, I do not baby this thing. The truck as a whole has been behaving very well, just the usual squeaks and rattles, the sunroof and rear hatch are the worst, especially in the cold until it's warmed up, but knock on wood, all else is well. I hope they get the brake retrofit out there soon, I wonder how they are going to treat people who have worn out brakes from natural use...?
  • btill1btill1 Posts: 69
    I too like Tiggerguy have had very minor problems with my Armada, I have 20k miles on mine now, I picked it up last XMAS eve so I am coming up on one year. I did have some driver window problems which took 3 visits to the dealership to rectify, but it seems to be corrected. I to wonder about the brake fix and at how many miles they would repair them at. I have had no issues with my tires tread seems good or my brakes to this point. I do have a water leak through my sunroof when I bring the car through a car wash, apparently there is a TSB for this and I will have it repaired on my next oil change visit.
  • There's the solution! Buy one near a holiday! I bought mine on New Year's Eve! (and yes, my sunroof leaked a little going through a carwash, they adjusted it)
  • I bought mine Dec 23, 2003. Plagued with problems................
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I test drove my Nissan on Dec. 24th and delivery was New Years Eve. It's been pretty reliable.

    Steve, Host
  • Those of you that have the bench seat, is it stationary in the middle section? Or is it able to recline just like the outer seats. I saw a 2005 Armada with the bench seat, and it was awkward that the middle seat wouldn't recline like the outer seats and was uncomfortable near your shoulder with the middle not moving back far enough, and the middle seat pushing on your shoulder. Thanks
  • Yes, its another for the list of "what were they thinking?"
    -no split 3rd row
    -front of passenger seat doesn't tip up
    -aux is weak and can't be selected on steering wheel or rear controls.
    -headliner is weak and bounces
    -auto headlights are too sensitive, constantly turning on and off.
    and there's more but I don't want to sound too winey:)
  • rshershe Posts: 236
    Yes the middle rear seat is fixed and not real comfortable....We have two car seats in the outbound positions and only use the center when we absolutely have to
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    I finally got out and drove an 04 last weekend. Very young sales guy but straight out of the school of bash our competitors, I know more than you, and believe me not your eyes. I'm glad it was a long test drive on the hwy and local roads. I just hate that that sales guy had to come along for the ride. I also drove a Nav earlier in the day and they just gave me keys and said take all the time you need. Go figure. Back to the Armada, the size, engine and uniqueness put it at the top of my list. One test drive and my wife said she'd never get in one again. She sat in the back with our daughter while the sales guy rode shotgun. She said the ride was no where near as comfortable as the Nav (strike one). This particular vehicle had a slight resonance, the headliner shook and when she pulled down the dvd player, it was waving like a flag (strike two). The sale guy proceeds to hold the screen and then say "it's not shaking or rattling now." Strike three. He then decided to bash the entire line of full size suv's from the Sequoia to the Escalade. We just nodded kindly at all of his nonsense and left as soon as we returned to the dealer. Although my wife hated the ride, I thought it was fine. The navigation system was pretty cool too. None of that really matters though. If the wife's not happy, for get about it.
  • If they would only hire enough engineers, or hire talent from Honda and Toyota. That would be money well spent!! Don't customers expect quality these days??
  • I got my Armada a month ago and love everything about the truck except for one thing, gas mileage.
    When they said 13 city and 19 highway, well, they lied cuz I only get like average of 10 miles to a gallon. 10 miles are in combination of both city and highway but mostly highway miles. I complained to the dealer and they said that all SUVs get 10 miles to a gallon on the average. I am so disappointed on the gas mileage. I now regret getting this truck, I'm spending $250 more per month on gas. Maybe it's just my truck only that has poor gas mileage, can any of you Armada owners tell me your story on gas mileage?
  • Not trying to point fingers, but there are a LOT of NEW SUV owners that don't take into consideration that they are buying a large truck with a large engine that is NOT going to, no matter how hard you try, get the mileage of a Toyota Camry. That said, 10mpg is lousy, I average 16.7, and HAVE been averaging 16.7 religiously since about 5000 miles. Yes, I hate spending 40 bucks a week on gas, but my lifestyle (which consists of more than mall shopping) requires that I drive a large SUV, so I can't argue. Consider that the Country Squire wagon most of us grew up with only got about 8mpg. Yes, there's still a lot of room for improvement, but there's also progress. It wasn't long ago that 15mpg was unthinkable in a Suburban type vehicle.
  • Everything that I have complained about and taken my vehicle in for is now coming to pass in the form of a bulletin. I see a couple of new ones I have been waiting on.

    1. Rear clicking sound when you take off. It does it every time after you sit a bit. The Nissan service write said they couldn't hear it. Now all of a sudden it is a bulletin.
    2. Sound from under the hoood. Sounds like a helicopter. I took a copy of a post saying it might be the purge valve as a poster on here had done. They said they couldn't hear it (3 times in) and they didn't know what a purge valve was. Now it is a bulletin!
    3. Roof booming. Took in 3 times for this also. Said there was no noise and if it couldn't be duplicated, they can't fix it. It never made it into the shop.
    4. Brakes. As I posted a couple of months ago, I finally got new rotors after already being turned once (brakes were also worn out) and had to wait on other parts for 3 weeks as the bulletin had been added to. Well, I have 2,500 miles now since I had got the new rotors and brakes and the rotors are shaking upon braking again.
    5. Front end alignment bulletin. I was over by about 500 miles on the front end alignment warranty so they wanted to charge me. I took it to Sears and all 4 wheels were off. All tires are ruined and have been rotated 3 times (at 13,000 miles at the time) I figured since there was a bulletin out on this they would just fix it. They reminded me that the bulletins will not outlive the warranty so this could be the kiss of death for a brake warranty or other wearable types of items. I don't know if they lied to me or just don't know what they are taking about.

    Now at least this gives me ammunition. I will take it to a different dealership this time. (same owners though) Hopefully they will not ignore me. If they do I will talk to the service manager and the dealership manager. Their service is horrible. I envy you guys with no problems. Hard to believe though that some don't have any problems that are made on the same assembly line. As far as the brakes go, I think I see why some don't have it. Mine is mainly city driving. My friends is mainly highway. He has 18,500 miles on his and never had the rotors turned. I have about 15,750 and all but 2000 have been stop and start city driving. Still they should hold up better than they have. The problem is in all of the vehicles or there would not be a bulletin out on it. The brakes are just bad, thats all. It is across the board. The other things, who knows why it hits some and some it doesn't. Again, at least it should help me to get mine fixed. Thanks for all of the posts here. It has really helped. I was ready to sue but don't want the grief. I will keep trying. If I exhaust all avenues, I will have to do something.
  • tt30tt30 Posts: 31
    I also got my ARMADA a month ago and love everything including the mileage! I drive with the gas/mileage screen on, and always check the mile/gallon ratio. What I see the average for my driving habit is 14.5 mpg (city). I drove outside the city, and the best mileage I saw was 18.5.

    Of cuz, if would be nice to have 56mpg like Toyota, but then it would look and drive like cr$#. Just IMHO. 8-)
  • I have 5000 miles at an average speed of 17 mph (all but probably 90% of the miles are city). from 0 to 2000 miles I got about 10mpg, 2000-4000 about 11mpg and from 4000-current about 12mpg...except the week my wife had it and it only got 9.2 mpg....I wonder what her driving habits are when I'm not in the vehicle:) Can you tell who buys the gas.....
  • rshershe Posts: 236
    Has anyone else noticed a buzzing like noise from behind the dash. It happens about 20-30 seconds after the vehicle is shut off and lasts about 2 seconds. Sounds like a vent door closing??
  • Mine does it every time and always has. Of course the dealer says it doesn't do it. It sounds just like a vent door closing like you say so I don't know since they say it doesn't do it. My seat does adjust itself overnight also which is weird. If you set it, you go back out the next morning and the seat back is straight. I have to lean it each time. Now that is a weird one! Anyone else notice having to reset their seat?
  • Mine does it but it's about 2-3 minutes after I shut off the ignition? It's either the vents or the CD's unstacking?
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