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Can Anybody Help Solve My 2000 Nissan Frontier problem?

bmurtaghbmurtagh Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Nissan
My 2000 Nissan Frontier king Cab truck showed a
"Service Engine Soon" light at about 100 miles. I
have had the car 10 days and actually drove it less
than 2 full days. The dealer is taking
instructions from the factory but, so far, none
have worked. I have demanded a new truck but have
no final answer as yet. Can anybody help? Has
anybody seen this problem before?


  • volfyvolfy Posts: 274
    It's the bloody ODBII again! I've seen these similar complaints and 9 times out of 10 they are caused by a loose gas cap or a bad sensor.

    I understand your frustration, but asking for a new truck is a little extreme. Especially since your truck probably runs just fine with that "Service Engine Soon" light on. On some other cars it's call a "Check Engine" light. In any case, the idiot light relates only to the ODBII emission control system and does not indicate the general mechanical health of your engine.
  • Volfy, thanks but this time the code given relates to the transmission. So far, the factory has told them to replace the gear speed assembly (that didn't work) and now they are being told to replace the transmission control module. The service manager at my Nissan dealer does not think that will work. he thinks it needs a new torque converter. I do NOT think asking for a new truck is extreme. I have had the truck for 11 days and have only had it in my posession for parts of 2 days of the 11 days.I smell citrus!
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    I am not intending to slam anyone, but I can't resist noting that nobody seems to be screaming Foreign reliability here. Seems like when things are going good on the imports, all the owners rant and rave about how much more reliable they are over domestics. Have one go South and it is ALWAYS a "minor" problem.

    Welcome to reality. All vehicles are prone to the same workmanship flaws, including imports.

    I have owned both and have to say my domestic is just as reliable, has more standard and OPTIONAL equipment and is much more reasonably priced at the original sale AND to repair and maintain.

    Just my .02 observation. Sorry if it was way overpriced, but import owners don't seem to mind that much.
  • volfyvolfy Posts: 274
    What are the symptoms other than the light on?
  • There has always been a discussion as to whether imports or domestic are more reliable? I have had many Japanese Vehicles, and overall my ownership experience has been much better. I also have less problems with the import dealer. I am not saying that I have never had a problem, what I am saying is that the problems usually did not happen until the car had lots of miles. I have friends that have GM products changing starters at 50K, 60K and 70K. In some cases even whole engines! I have never had that problem with my Acura, Subaru, or Nissan. My Toyota did need the starter changed when I had about 160K. When I sold it it had 225K with the same engine! I think that the American automobile has come a long way..but it is still a long way from being apple of my (Japanese) eye! I remember reading not to long ago where GM, Chrysler and Ford had the highest Lemon Law buy backs. What does that tell you!
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    My family still has a 78 Chevy 4x4 with 350 and turbo 400. First engine was replaced at 200k still going strong, but used a little oil. Now with 250k miles, the engine is about due to be replaced or overhauled, but the kicker is that it still has the SAME ORIGINAL TRANSMISSION! My dad to this day still tows a 40 ft gooseneck trailer full of cattle with it and it never misses a lick.

    Other than the engine replacement when ANY vehicle would be due, the truck has had nothing more than normal maintenance done to it.

    My brother in law has an 89 Chevy 4X4 with similar story to tell.

    Buying Foreign is just a weak security blanket that costs way more money than what security it provides. Its false sense of security at a premium price.

    Another good point to make is that the American vehicles are rebuildable when they do need it. Foreign vehicles usually must be scrapped and replaced with brand new engines. They are pretty much "throw away" engines. My mom found this out with her 89 camry. Engine blew at 90k miles in 98. 6 grand to get the engine replaced! FAT CHANCE! The whole car wasn't worth that. We sold it to the scrap yard for 2k. A factory NEW GM 350 engine costs $1,500.00. If you need it installed, it will cost ya another $1,000. Gee, $2,500 or 6,000?

    Your theory doesn't fly.
  • If they can't fix your problem in three tries you can get your money back. At least in Pa. I did on a Jeep just last year.
  • Shoulda bought a Tacoma.
  • i agree with iceman totally!
  • I've owned about every type of vehicle you can imagine. My most reliable vehicles have all been Nissan. If I had a problem they have always stood by their products, even no charge on items after the warranty had ran out a couple thousand miles previously. I have never seen a Nissan blow 6 Alternators like my buddy's F 150. I told him to contact FORD "quality care"(yeah right) they said there was nothing they could do. The last on cost him $800 cause it caught on fire.
  • Nissan figured out it was the transmission Control Module. It runs fine now. They were great. I have 5 free tanks of gas and $250 off any maintenance I do at a Nissan dealer. The truck is great. It runs fine and is a real looker. I am now happy!
  • Glad to hear it Brian. Now, keep an eye on your exhaust manifold studs. Sooner or later one is gonna break and the exhaust gasket will blow. If you are lucky, you will catch it before it warps the head. Good luck.

  • iceman knows his stuff,ive repaired many of these!
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    Trade it in for a Chevy!
  • zbad,

    Having owned two domestic cars (Chevy, Dodge) and foreign (Toyota, Nissan) I have to tell you that you know nothing of reliability experiences. My Chevy Blazer was a piece of junk and especially the Dodge Stratus (bought new) taken to the shop 3 times the first month of owning it (odo 325miles). I have put 15K on my Frontier and it has not gone into the shop once. Toyota is just as good when I bought a 93 Camry for my wife 72K and still runs great with no problems.

    For you other people who will not wake up and see America Quality lagging behind there are far more many Nissan pickups on the road than many of you will admit. Problems ratio is higher on Domestic end of the spectrum. If you don't stand up to the American Auto Makers (Chevy, Dodge, and Ford) then poor quality will continue to pour out in production.

    Bring on the arguments of this one.
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    I say YOU are clueless on this one. I have owned a 96 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 w/V6. Great truck once they replaced the head gaskets. No other problems in 47k miles when I traded for another truck, but have known MANY who have had nightmares. The Tacoma I bought was WAY overpriced as ALL the imports are.

    I have owned Ford trucks for 15 years, 8 all together (new) and never had ANY problems with ANY of them until I owned one lemon Ford in 98 so I traded for my 99 Silverado which also is a great truck so far after 9k miles.

    I would have agreed with you 10 years ago when domestic quality was lacking. Quality is as good or better than imports today. Imports are still selling on past reputation, not present quality advantages. If you want to waste your money on a false security blanket, by all means, piss your money out the door, Linus. If you want a truck that will be less money initially, less money for parts if you do need them (THEY ALL WILL EVENTUALLY), more payload capacities, more standard equipment and optional equipment and still be just as reliable as the above mentioned Nissan that had a limp peter, buy a domestic.

    I buy a new truck every two to three years and have owned "almost" all of them.

    You know nothing.....typical comment when a person doesn't have a clue themselves.
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    Not to even mention that the Frontier is just UGLY!
  • My truck will out live yours.

  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    Maybe, but not just because its a Nissan.

    My 89 1 ton Chevy 4X4 has 223k miles on it. Same engine. Same transmission. No problems still today.

    Your trying to justify that false sense of reliability advantage. Imports are still selling the numbers they sell based on past reliability and loyalty, not because they are built any better. Most of the imports aren't even imports these days. Built right here in the US. There is no difference. Glad you feel secure though. Moreso, I am glad you can afford to throw money away to have that false security blanket.

    Also, hope you never do have to rebuild that truck. The import engines are use once, throw away engines.

    Good luck.
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    BTW: For my daily drivers, I buy a new truck every two to three years anyway. I never have to worry about any reliability issues with my trucks anyway. Even if what you say were true, you would have to keep it for 200k plus miles to compete with the longevity of the 1 ton 454 Chevy I have. Most people who buy the truck you have are women and yuppies. Both of which don't usually keep a vehicle longer than a few years to claim any reliability advantage.
  • Why are you even in the Frontier section anyway?
    You don't see me over in the Chevy Truck section bad mouthing those trucks. If you ever owned a Nissan truck before it would all be relavant but you don't and continue to bad mouth nissans. Those are the only sections you visit it seems. Ususally people like you are searching for attention because you probably have had problems with your truck and blame us folks who have good reliable vehicles. If you have experience owning a truck, by all means tell us about why you like it and not why you hate others. Preaching hate begets hate and it is wrong and I apologize to everyone for doing it myself in earlier postings. I will only reply negatively to vehicles I have owned in future postings.

    God Bless
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    Ok. Maybe dogging the Nissan wasn't fair. You are correct. I have never owned a Nissan vehicle, but that is because I have never liked them.

    The reason I keep comparing my truck/trucks to the imports is because I have owned both domestic and import. The import was a good truck for what it was designed, but it cost way too much and was no better a truck than the domestics I have owned.

    My point being is....if you like the imports better, fine, I can respect the fact that you LIKE the import trucks better. However, I keep hearing all this crap about how the import trucks are so much more reliable than domestics and that is why people buy them. That is just a false security blanket. It holds no merit whatsoever.

    Most import buyers don't keep their vehicles but a few years and then trade off for something else. How can they claim higher reliability and logevity in the vehicles if they don't keep them to a point where things start to break down?
    I have over 225,000 miles on my 1 ton Chevy truck. It has never had any major work needed and I am not the original owner.

    To add to that. When I so desire, I can easily and VERY CHEAPLY replace my 1 tons engine or even rebuild the one that is in it. The import vehicles engines generally are not "rebuildable" and replacement is more than twice the cost of the domestics.

    These things are my only point, really. It wasn't until you got a little defensive that I dogged your Nissan. In import trucks, my preference will always be a Toyota. However, I doubt I could ever bring myself to buy another one, especially at the rediculous cost for much less truck (size, payload, towing, etc.)

    My buddy had a 97 Ford F150 with the 5.4l. He just traded it for a Tundra. I would definately by a Tundra over another Ford anyday, but that is because Ford has royaly screwed the engine and transmission lineups on the new Ford trucks. Again, that is just my opinion. Never had any major problems or complaints with any Chevy I have owned.
  • artpartp Posts: 156
    I see that you totally believe in your theory based on the very small number of vehicles you have owned (when compared to the millions sold).

    It's a natural response, to relate past ownership experience to brand preference and loyalty. The problem with your sincere thoughts are you're not looking at the *real documented statistics* that show GM and Chrysler at the bottom of the heap when it comes to reliability. These are not my feelings, they are DOCUMENTED FACTS. Go look in Consumer Reports, to name one example. No automaker wants you to see these results because they all have problems, it's just some brands are worse.

    Myself, I've owned a mix of domestic and foreign vehicles and haven't had enough problems to form a strong PERSONAL opinion about reliability. The few problems I've had have been frustrating, time consuming and expensive, which is why I put reliability near the top of my list when choosing a "make" of vehicle. One thing I have noticed though; Take two $20k vehicles, a domestic and an import, put 90k miles on them both then tell me which one rattles, vibrates and has an A/C unit that does not work. In MY EXPERIENCE the domestics are on the bottom of the food chain, but I have no "larger study" to back my opinion.

    I feel a slight sense of shame for not buying American. My sense of supporting an industry that could do better is worse.

    You do make an excellent point about cost to repair though. In my opinion the idea is to have as few repairs as possible. As mentioned, repairs tax your time and patients as well as your wallet.

    To me it's just an odds game. I'll put the odds in my favor when possible.
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    I don't consider "consumer reports" facts of anything. They are the worst! They make the most ludicrous and uneducated claims and biased opinions of any of the magazine editorials and none of the magazines are all that great. If you are basing your claim to reliability to magazine tests, you are highly misinformed.

    Also, you have to realize that the imports sell less than 1/3 of the vehicles that domestics sell. Domestics sold being a much larger quantity than imports sold, there will be more domestics reported with problems. And how about the fact that the import cars you say have less rattles and such are assembled right here in the same US plants that domestics are made in. A ton of the domestic cars are using the same foreign parts that the imports are using, only in the imports they cost TWICE AS MUCH!

    BTW, just to mention, the "women" of my extended family all buy Toyotas and I know from first hand knowledge that they are not as reliable as everyone claims. My sisters Avalon, a 28k car, had numerous driveline problems. She finally ditched it for another Avalon. She still insists that they are so much more reliable, even after she owned a Chrysler Labaron that she put 250,000 miles on before selling it. She ran the transmission dry on fluid and ran it for thousands of miles with it making noises before I got to take a look at it. I added fluid and it was running on the same transmission and engine when she sold it.

    My mom just bought another Camry, a used 98 model. The 92 Camry she had was hit in the rear end from some gal at 30 mph. At only 30 mph, the car's frame was not repairable! That sure is a strong car frame! Yet she went and bought another one. I am sure glad it wasn't a head on collision. She probably would not be alive to tell about it. AT 30 MPH!

    It's obvious you are foggy headed with so-called reliability advantages of the imports. You buy what makes you happy, but if you say that there is a single "fact" to your claim, you are either highly misinformed or you are just fooling yourself. I keep a close eye on who does the "consumer reports" type magazine tests. There is a lot of bias and a lot of deep pockets to be influenced. Don't trust those as "facts" or you will be disappointed. Go visit various dealerships for the different makes of vehicles. That will tell you quite a lot. Also look at the TSB's and Recalls of each. That by itself will shock you and totally blow away your security blanket in the import vehicles.

    Take care.
  • artpartp Posts: 156
    First, consumer reports is non-profit. I think they would be the least BIASED of all. I don't read CR for their recommendations, I would have to agree they suck in that area. I look at the statistics, statistics don't lie.

    Second, you're bringing up the "market share" theory. Domestics sell more therefore you will see more broken ones. The facts state *percentage* of those reporting problems, quantity has nothing to do with it. Why does Ford seem to have less problems (opinion) than GM, despite the fact that they sell slightly more trucks?

    Third, you're still fighting with the same argument. Your point is always based on personal experience. There's nothing wrong with personal experience but I don't think it's a fair or honest way to judge a product, based on the fact that your experience is with a *very* small fraction of one percent. Is it possible that your experiences have been better than the average because of your knowledge of auto's, great maintenance and knowing how to drive a vehicle without thrashing on it as hard? Or were you simply delt a better hand?

    I’m purposely leaving out my personal experience, such as the 85 Jetta I owned. Used to pull a 1000 pound boat and gear and commuted hard, over mountainous roads to work and got almost 300,000 miles out of it, etc., etc. The story isn’t worth anything because it was a very isolated example. VW’s don’t have the best reliability status. IT WAS AN ISOLATED EXPERIENCE.

    My opinion on "country of origin".

    I think poor quality vehicles are DESIGNED poor, not necessarily built poor. If you took Yugo parts and designs, to a BMW factory, do you think the quality would be on a par with the better cars of the world? I personally believe that GM and others spend most of their R&D money on getting the most power and economy out of every ounce of engine, along with bells and whistles like tow/haul mode, rather than make a something work better (more reliable). For the majority of the population what seems to sell vehicles is marketing, features, power etc. I think when people buy new vehicles they imagine and compare the vehicle as it sits on the lot, new, with no problems. I don't think many say to themselves "what will this thing be like in five years?". I think the big three recognize this and produce vehicles accordingly. It’s similar to the Windows operating system for computers. Why can’t Microsoft fix what they have before releasing new products with more features?

    At one point I swore I would never own another Japanese vehicle. Because they are so "cliché" and boring. Every make has it's strong and weak points.

    By the way. Every time I see a new Silverado, I think to myself “should I have bought one?”. It’s great truck with tons of great features. I have to use willpower to remind myself of what it’s like to have a vehicle in the shop.

    By the way I don’t have a security blanket. Again, I’m just playing the odds game. It’s possible my Tundra won’t start today.

    If you want to go back to using “personal experience” to compare vehicles I could tell you about all of my friends and families and their stories about their GM products. The fact is though, they fall under the market share rule that you brought up. Not really a fair argument.

    I’m not trying to slam you, just trying to point out a more logical way to compare.
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    It's ok to disagree.
  • artpartp Posts: 156
    Don't have the energy to respond? :)

    I know, it's beating dead horse.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I'm going to jump in here also. I here rants and raves about how reliable Japanese products are. They are supposed to be PERFECT. But, there are quite a few listings here at Edmunds about Frontier problems. Why is it its ok for them to have problems but not Rangers/S-10/Dakota. There is truely a double standard here folks. Why is it the Ranger is automaticaly the worst truck anyone can buy but remains number one in the compact truck segment for 12 YEARS???!!
    And the Tacoma has headgasket problems, STILL with their 3.4 V6! This is ok though because its a Toyota right??
    Should have bought a Ranger :-))
  • If you want to see for yourselves, go to a dealership service department and look at (even ask about) the various autos in being fixed/repaired. It's nice to go into a Nissan Dealership to get my oil change without waiting in line for hours while other vehicles are being fixed like I did when I had a Dodge Stratus. You see I was getting it repaired (trapped key one week and transmission the next) and got an oil change which took over 2 hours while waiting for the service department full of broken Chrysler vehicles. Learned my lesson and traded the Stratus in for a Frontier 4x4 (now with 17,000 worry free miles) and I can get an oil change at my local Nissan dealership in and out in about 15-20 minutes.

    Enjoy the ride!
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    There is part of your problem. Are you so mechanically inept that you can't even change your own oil. If you can't change your own oil, then you definitely fall into the catagory of those that buy a Nissan pickup...yuppies and women.

    Even if you do have your oil changed somewhere, why would you go to the dealer and have it done. You really do like to spend money foolishly.
This discussion has been closed.