Nissan 350Z Problems and Solutions

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Nissan
Share any 350Z problems and possible solutions here.


  • drobin59drobin59 Member Posts: 26
    I just got my silver roadster and was giving it the first waxing. The paint in the rear fender panels looked to be uneven. There also appeared to be a bit of clear tape in a small part of the seam. Thinking it was left over from protective sheeting that the car arrives in, I rubbed it a bit and the paint began to come off!

    Anyone out there have a similar issue? Will the dealer do anything about it. I did not get the car from the local dealer?


  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    I replied to your other posting in the "traditional" thread -- but yeah, this needs to be seen by any Nissan dealer, at least to get a file started on the problem in case it develops into something more major than just a seam edge. JW.
  • zgirl1zgirl1 Member Posts: 11
    I just got a brand new z and I get a whistling or rustling noise in the front right dash air ducts. Apparently they don't know how to fix it and now it's intermittent and they say they can't duplicate it. It happens to me every day and I think it might be when the car is cold and the plastic hasn't expanded yet. Any thoughts would help.
  • buck350zxbuck350zx Member Posts: 1
    My Z has a few rattles in the dash, but the dealer did not say it was ducts. They said everything was tight and it was dash touching windshield, would have to take apart entire dash, but instead they stuffed some kind of packing material into the space between dash and worked. Hope it holds out for the long term. Hate to have to get rid of this car.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    as the window-in-touch-with-dash is a feature very carefully copied from Porsche 911s, mandatory for the most part in all, including the $180k GT-3.

    See, don't you feel better now? JW
  • jaquinojaquino Member Posts: 90
    I did not know that we had some Porche inspired stuff in our cars, cool!

    buck350zx might not feel any better, but I sure do! :)
  • zgirl1zgirl1 Member Posts: 11
    The could have left that out. It is the most annoying noise you could immagine. haha
  • nitroxnitrox Member Posts: 1
  • zzz350zzz350 Member Posts: 44
    After doing some research, I opted not to buy the BOSE system due to very poor performance. So I have the basic system which okay but not that great, anyone had any luck with putting in some aftermarket speakers? The main problem appears to be lack of mid-range.
  • bikerjessebikerjesse Member Posts: 2
    I got the CLARION radio & speakers. Nissan Knew they were inadequate from 03 feedback yet still put them in 04's. The rear speakers are totally worthless.Can't get it to sound good. Fade it to front speakers to hear anything.
  • bikerjessebikerjesse Member Posts: 2
    MPG for 60-80 during a long road trip averaged 27.5 for me. And that was the middle grade gas, not premium.
  • zzz350zzz350 Member Posts: 44
    I just took a trip down 101 to Morro Bay and I at the speeds you mentioned, I got 30 to 31 mpg, of course using the correct grade of fuel.

    Thanks for the response to speaker issues. Did you replace the door and rear speakers with Clarion or just the rears?
  • five8five8 Member Posts: 1
    Anyone else notice a sort of low level grinding or rumbling sound when applying the brakes. Getting ready to have the dealer check it out but wanted to see if anyone else noticed anything similar. Mine is a 2003 Coupe with about 7,000 miles on it; base model with factory 17" rims and Toyo tires.
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    Nissan has a Technical Service Bulletin that provides for the technician to fill out a sheet with the owner. The technician then uses a kit consisting of felt to isolate the noise of plastic rubbing or knocking against plastic. Pretty easy fix if the noise can be duplicated in front of the technician.
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    Check to make sure that the gas cap is tight by turning it to the right and getting it to click atleast three times. The computer senses that the colose fuel system has an open and it will set the check engine light
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    Check to see if the door panel is adjusted correctly as it intersects with the duct with the ?Z? logo on it. If the gasket is not sealing it will make a wind noise. If the gasket does not seal you might adjust the door panel to the front to take up the gap.
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    Crutchfield has a nice selection of radios with the trim kit that will fit the car. I am looking to replace my base radio as it is pathetic and I took the panel loose from behind the driver's seat and found that the sub woofer panel is there. Check out Courtesy Nissan on the web and they sell the speaker for the unit along with the proper cover. Then all you have to do is take out the old system and wire in a new head unit along with an amp to power the sub. You cannot believe the room in that sub woofer compartment. Plenty of room for several amplifiers. Now, I just need to pick a head unit, speakers and a couple of amplifiers. Courtesy Nissan sells the six disc changer for the stock non-bose unit for over five hundred dollars. You can buy a pretty good system for that kind of money. Decisions - Decisions...
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17

    I bought a 350Z and the seat bolster is wearing at the point you rub against it getting in and out of the car. There is a Technical Service Bulletin to correct this. So, if you have the problem go to the dealer and they will replace the top seat cover.
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    There is not a Technical Service Bulletin for the brakes as of yet. But, if you complain enough to the dealer they should turn the rotors and replace the pads to correct the problem. I had a similar problem on my 2000 Maxima and they fixed it by turning the rotors and replacing the pads. However, there was a Technical Service Bulletin on the car. You can check out the Technical Service Bulletins on the car by going to the National Highway Transportation Safety Board website and click on Technical Service Bulletins. Then click on the year, make and model of your car and it will display all Technical Service Bulletins related to your car. The detailed information is not available but the basic description is. If you want all the information on a particulat Technical Service Bulletin you have to order it and pay a small fee. Once you know there is a Technical Service Bulletin is out on your car you can go the the local dealer and have them fix the problem. Oh, if you have that smearing on your driver and passenger window there is a Technical Service Bulletin on that. The dealer will replace the window snubber with one that does not leave residue on the window.
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    Can't comment on the overspray unless the car has been touched up. But, the hood chips easy because it is made of aluminum. So, get the paint touched up and stay back from trucks. The first day I had my car I got a huge chip in the hood from a flying stone...
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    The hood chips easily because the paint on the car is water-based, per EPA decisions against traditional techniques. Your bumper will chip as easily even tho it's not aluminum. JW
  • jaquinojaquino Member Posts: 90
    I thought the 350Z is built in Japan, are they subject to the EPA over there?

    Does Nissan have to abide to the EPA regulations before they can sell it here, even though the car is not built here?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    Nissan USA for sales which occur in America. It's a legal thing, I guess, and I also would guess you're right that it is required for sale in-country. This statement is not, however, binding on the party of the first part and you should consult an attorney for its applicability to your situation. JW
  • zgirl1zgirl1 Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for the tips on the dash noise issue. I have had it at two seperate dealerships where the technicians heard the noise but either couldn't later duplicate it without me (although they sat in the car with me and heard it and said it's not a big deal to fix)or didn't have a clue what to do about it. I am going to fill out the lemon law papers to get them to fix it. It's such a small issue you'd think they would want to fix it and be done with it. I have carboard in the dash now and it's quiet. haha nice to pay that much for a brand new car and have cardboard in the dash.

    Also, my hood and front bumper has a plethora of paint chips out of it. I drive 1000 a week and never had a chip out of my mercedes but have huge ones out of this car. Very dissapointing. I'm wondering if I should touch them up or just leave them. I don't want any rust issues.
  • eblumeblum Member Posts: 52
    Seems that paint chipping is a common complaint with Nissans. Don't you think they would do something already about this??? Hello, Nissan, are you listening?

    The funny thing is the 2000 Maxima brochure shows them shooting diamonds at the paint to test its chip, that is the best PR B.S. in a long time.

    Does anyone know if the volume of 350's produced this year will increase or remain the same?
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    I have a grease rag in the dash of my 92 corvette and it has been there since it was less than a year old. The ducting in the center was rubbing against the inside of the dash and that was their fix. So, don't feel bad about a little cardboard...
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    The EPA has banned the use of chromates and lead in paint. Since this is the case there is a problem with the paint sticking to the layer of primer below. And, since the primer is non-chromate it does not self etch as the old kind. Also, since the chromates have been removed it does not allow the paint to fuse to the primer it is only an adhesive bond. If the paint is struck with enough force it just chips off. Can't fight the EPA so get a bra or the 3M covering. Or, you can keep back from trucks and hope for the best. I have already invested in the touchup paint for my 2003 350Z that is Readline Red. If you are going to buy a 350Z get a solid color for the paint and the touchups do not show as much.
  • eblumeblum Member Posts: 52
    I don't hear these chipping complaints in the same volume from other non-Nissan owners that I hear it from Nissan customers. I do know about the EPA changes but do not think that this solely are the cause of Nissan's paint issues...I think there are other factors involved.

    As far as bras, they are crap IMHO. Had one on for 1 day and it scratched my car. I made sure it was as clean as possible before putting it on,
    but it is impossible to stop dirt, sand, etc from getting behind it. My next car will have the 3M product applied....
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    for complaints re: paint durability and finish in other cars, check out forums devoted to Subaru, Mercedes, Chrysler products, Jaguar, Porsche, Honda, Chevrolet .... you get my drift, I hope. JW
  • eblumeblum Member Posts: 52
    I will take a look at some other boards again. I usually look at other threads and I never really saw many discussions about paint issues on other cars...but I will look again....

    I also can compare my Maxima to my 1996 Dodge Ram and 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix. Both vehicles had no where close to the same paint issues as the Maxima. Unfortunately, neither were built as well, so that's why they are gone....
  • zzz350zzz350 Member Posts: 44
    The problem with the paint chipping can be summed up by saying,"It's your tax dollars in action", the EPA has eliminated quality of paint over a ridiculous overkill of lead paint conformity BS. What will be next, cars won't be allowed to have enough torque to smoke the tires because of the health risk associated with inhaling burnt rubber fumes. The madness continues, sheesh.
  • ahensgensahensgens Member Posts: 1
    Someone was inquiring about too much base at times. I had this same problem & brought it to the dealer & it is the noise regulator inside the vehicle that listens to lower/raise the volume of the radio when you stop. It had to be replaced so far on all the z's in my area.
  • 350z03350z03 Member Posts: 1
    I definitely agree with one of the above msg that the paint chip issue is likely not the result of the new EPA requirements. I have checked other car forums and paint chips was never an issue that was brought up for their cars.
  • zgirl1zgirl1 Member Posts: 11
    Vonsud: can you help me find the Technical Service Bulletin on the dash rattle issue? I can't seem to find it or anything related to that issue, and I need it for arbitration . I would appreciate your help, or anyone else for that matter. Nissan removed the windshield to put the insulation or whatever their fix is however it has done nothing to alleviate the problem.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    zgirl, I'd try a search at There used to be a faq there on TSBs and though I haven't been there recently the people will be very happy to answer your question if you can't find it with a search.

    Best, JW
  • zgirl1zgirl1 Member Posts: 11
    thanks so much, unfortunately I am also on that site and although there are lots of complaints on the issue there no one seems to really be educated on it.
  • zgirl1zgirl1 Member Posts: 11
    Eric, I have the link I can't seem to find any issue relating to that problem on there. Sudder mentioned there was a technical bullentin so I was wanting to find that specifically. Unless I'm just darn blind. LOL
  • eblumeblum Member Posts: 52
    I can't find a TSB on that issue either, but check this one out:

    Check out #16. This might be an all inclusive TSB.

    Who are you using to represent you? I had good success with a firm in PA.

  • zgirl1zgirl1 Member Posts: 11

    Thanks so much for that. I intend on doing it myself . I do however, work for a law firm. :-)
  • eblumeblum Member Posts: 52
    I have to say you might have a tough battle. I had stacks of dealer repair statements and they replaced thousands of dollars worth of parts and it took almost 1 year to get them to buy my car back....
  • brad1431brad1431 Member Posts: 1
    as the z was moving over dips in the road and
    moving to the left the right rear tire felt like
    it was going to come off... if anyone has had this problem or knows about this, please help.
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17
    Go to the Nissan website and go to technical publications and pay the $20 bucks to access the site for the day. Basically, they are charging you $20 bucks to gain access to the maintenance manual. But, a bonus is that you get to download all the technical service bulletins. Print them out and take them to your dealer to get the problems corrected. Remember, Technical Service Bulletins TSBs are not a Recall so it is on the customer to get the dealer to fix the problems. The nice thing about Nissan is that they will allow you to print theirs out. Most manufacturers keep this as inside information. All you normally get is the listing on the NHTSA page and that does not give the entire printout but just a small quote as to what the TSB corrects. The Nissan site allows you to print out the real thing that the mechanic will use to fix your car.
  • vonsudderthvonsudderth Member Posts: 17

    IF YOU CONFIRM: A 2003 350Z exhibits squeak and rattle noise(s), ACTIONS: Use the following Service Procedure sections provided in this bulletin to resolve the incident(s): Squeak and Rattle Diagnostic Customer Worksheet - MUST be filled outwith customer PRIOR to beginning repair(s). · Front Area, Upper (dashboard, lower windshield) · Upper Area (headliner, upper windshield, sunroof) See this bulletin for detail.
  • rclab1rclab1 Member Posts: 2
    i'm single, no kids and I (98% of the time) drive alon in the car.......
    since the Car is RWD, does anyone have any experience in driving the car in the snow, i live in the Northeastern part of the US and we have crazy winters here.......

    i'm planning on getting snow tires all around using the stock 17" rims. I'm very cautious before i buy the car.

    please give your experiences on driving in snowy climates concerning the 350Z w/snow tires.

    (i have to make up my mind, either
      the 350Z or the G35coupe)

  • maxiusmaxius Member Posts: 7
    rclab, like you too I am in Northeast (NJ). I too am interested in a 350Z which would be my only car other than wife 2001 Nissan Xterra which she needs for her job. I was told 200lbs of sand bags with snow tires on should do the trick in a 350Z, but not sure. I too would be interested in what others say about this or what they do. Thanks. Max
  • printzprintz Member Posts: 70
    I live in NY & if it snows do not bother driving the car(you're going to be all over the road, if moving at all)...Unless you have a 2nd car(front wheel drive), I wouldn't get the Z....Especially with the winters we've been having lately.....
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    I live in Mass., I think it's fine -- obviously you have less clearance than in a SUV, but with a hundred pound bag of something in the back, four Blizzak LM-22s, and some practice in an empty parking lot for the driver the first time there is a couple of inches, a good driver should be fine.

    I was raised on RWD. It was all we had to drive. Just take your time. Fine print: fwd is easier, awd is better still, staying home is best. JW
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Member Posts: 956
    The Z is especially good in snow, I think, and according to drivers on some of the web boards, because it's so heavy. Something like the S2k or the Z4 exaggerate the problem. In addition, you are helping yourself out by using the 17" wheels and (I'd suggest) the narrowest tire fitment you can get.

    No reason not to drive what you like. JW
  • aok350zaok350z Member Posts: 2
    Can anyone provide information on the recent recall of all 350Zs for engine problems that prevents the car from starting? What is the cause of the problem? What is the fix? Is the engine reliable?

    I am contemplating a purchase, but must have a reliable car that starts, since I travel a lot at night as part of my job.
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