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Nissan Frontier Problems

pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
edited March 2014 in Nissan
Here is the new place to discuss your Nissan
Frontier problems. Below is a a direct link to a
previous Nissan Frontier problem topic:

Frozen Pickups Topic 2001 Nissan Frontier

Try using the topic search (left side) to find
other Nissan Frontier topics throughout Town Hall.
Thanks for your participation. ;-)

Pocahontas, Host


  • #1 of 2: BRAKES (leroyt) Wed 29 Nov '00 (08:13 PM)

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I have a '98 regular cab 2wd 5-speed 4-cylinder. No brake problems. Gas mileage ranges from about 22-27 mpg. I get 25 in my normal 13-mile commute, most on a divided noninterstate highway, no traffic backups. Long-trip mileage only increases to 27.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Have you tried bleeding your brakes? It could also be due to over/under inflated tires. Or, the front end could be misaligned.

    On the other hand, it could just be the crown of the road making you think it's pulling.

    The high performance tires on my car would pull all over the place when braking on rough surfaces.
  • Thanks for the inputs. Had the front end aligned and the problem continued. Took the beast back and they bled the line and now the problem seems to have been fixed. Only time will tell. As for milage, I get 16/17 around town. Haven't been on an extended trip yet, so don't know about the highway milage. Appreciatemyour time
    IHN Leroy
  • This is leroyt again. Another problem--When I first start the beast, a lot of black smoke comes out the exhaust when I goose it to move out my driveway which is inclined. It's not condensation which is white. It all goes away after a few seconds.
    tdhe dealer said it was normal. ????????Help.
  • Just to clarify, the brake problem I copy/pasted above is leroyt's message, not mine. Thanks for your feedback though.


    Pocahontas, Host
  • leroyt again. What is a k&n filter that improves gas milage???
    IHN leroyt
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497
    I have a CC SE 4x4, no problems at all. I have put 21,250 miles since I bought it new in March 2000. I have been on long trips from Tampa, FL to Miami, FL several times. I get about 17.5 to 18.5 mpg. It doesn't matter if I have the A/C on or not. It drops to about 10.5 to 12.5 while towing my 4000lb boat. Not bad with the Auto tranny. Your problems with your truck probablly lies within the dealer. If I were you I would try to take it to another dealer if you can.
  • Copy/pasted for pvy:

    #0 of 1: Nissan Frontier OD Problem (pvy) Thu 14
    Dec '00 (03:37 PM)

    I have a 2000 Frontier XE King Cab 2wd 4Cyl.
    Sometimes when I flip off the OD button at the
    head of the shift column nothing happens. What
    should happen is a dash light goes on saying "OD
    off" and, of course, the tranny should downshift.
    Well, sometimes it does, sometimes not, and
    sometimes it downshifts half an hour later,
    startling the hell out of the driver. This happens
    at both low and high rpm, low and high temp,
    seemingly at random. Anybody have any thoughts or
    similar experiences? Much appreciated.

    #10 of 13: pocahontas (keanec) Fri 15 Dec '00 (05:15 AM)

    I have a 4wd 4x4 2000 CC and I use the OD button
    all the time and I don't ever experience the
    problem you mentioned.

    #11 of 13: Better have the dealer check out the (obyone) Fri 15 Dec '00 (06:00 AM)

    switch. When the OD does kick off, does the OD off
    light come on?

    #12 of 13: Hi keanec- To clarify. (pocahontas) Fri 15 Dec '00 (08:12 AM)

    I was copy/pasting a message for another Town Hall
    participant: pvc.

    I don't own frontier. However, thanks for your
    feed back. I'm sure pvc will appreciate it. ;-)


    #13 of 13: Re Post #9: Thanks (pvy) Fri 15 Dec '00 (10:02 AM)

    It's going in to the dealer today. Will have them
    check the od switch. Thx to all who responded!
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Posts: 290
    Getting in and out of 4 low on my Frontier (00 KC) gives me a little bit of "grind" sound, but that's pretty normal. If you feel it's way too loud or something is not right, then have the transfer case inspected and also have the fluid replaced. That might help.
  • Can the Nissan 2.4 litre 4-cyl. engine (143 hp. @ 5,200 rpm, 154-ft. lbs. torque @ 4,000 rpm) with a man. trans. pull a 2,500-lb. trailer? The eng. is rated up to 3,500 lbs. I'd like to get the 4-cyl. as it's a lot less money and better on gas. Also the 6-cyl. is only available in the Desert Runner, which I don't need -- would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

  • I own a 99 Frontier 2.4 auto King Cab and it pulls 3000 lbs just barley. The 2.4 manual is rated for 1500 lbs,the auto for 3000 lbs. I now use my 2000 Xterra V6 to tow thw 3000lb boat as it launches a lot quicker than the 4 cyl. The 2.4 is a great daily driver getting me 25-29 mpg 95% of the time.I am very happy with the build quality of Nissan.No rattles to anoy me.No water leaks to fix.
  • I'm having similiar problems as Leroy. I have a 4cyl 2000 XE KC. It's a great truck. The only problem is that the truck pulls. It cannot stay on the center, no matter what. I don't think it's the crown. This is at all speeds.

    The second is gas mileage. I'm at about 20 MPG. Will this go up? I just turned 1500 miles. I think I broke it in pretty well.


  • I have a 1999 Frontier (Extended Cab) with the 2.4 liter 4 cyl and auto trans. Occasionally, the tranny fails to downshift to 1st gear when I stop (it stays in high gear). Has anyone experienced this?

  • Lots of snow up in Wisc. this winter and this is my first winter with my 2000 Desert Runner. Love the truck but the limited slip doesn't work as well as I thought it would. Any suggestions on making the stock diff. work better without going to something like a locker or the TrueTrax No Slip? Would a heavier differential lube make it lock up better?
  • I have a 98 Nissan frontier reg cab with about 34k miles on it. I love the Nissan trucks, had a 93 Nissan hard body , traded it in with 185k miles on it.... no problems. My current 98 Nissan frontier is a great truck... well built... it has a manual 5 speed trans with the 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine. lately I have been hearing an annoying sound from the sounds like a squeeking noise like from a belt pulley or something, I have not been able to pinpoint the source of the noise yet. I plan to replace the belts soon and get a tune up to make sure everything is in good working order..has anyone else had a similar problem? Any idea as to what the source of the squeek may be? Any feedback would be much appreciated...Thanks
  • I also have a 98 w/ the 2.4L 4x4. At around 35,000, I started hereing the same sound(squeeking from belt pulley). It hasn't affected performance, but I don't want it to be a prelude of bad things to come. If you get any feedback, or can provide me w/ some, I'd appreciate it.
  • pbraunpbraun Posts: 11
    I have a 1999 Frontier 4x4 XE-V6 K/C. The EPA gas MPG rating is 15/19. I get 14/city, and 16/hwy. I brought it back to the dealer, and they said it is running at factory specs, and there is nothing they can do. I have Goodyear GSA tires, 30/9.5R15, and a fiberglass topper. I carry about 150 lbs of gear in the truck. Has anyone had any similar problems with thier mileage? I have read some post about a K/N Air filter, do these really affect the mileage?
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497

    I have a 2000 Crew Cab SE 4x4 auto, with the stock tires and rims and about 30k miles. I average about 17mpg here in "flat" FL with the a/c on all the time. It doen't matter whether I have the tailgate down(in fact I actually get worse mpg w/it down)or not. On long trips I get about 18mpg. I installed the K&N filter when I had about 10k miles on it and have seen or felt no difference in power or fuel economy (I just think it's a better filter than a paper one), now just because I don't feel a head-snapping power difference that doesn't mean there isn't any...just that I don't "feel" it.
    So I don't know if I've helped you or not but these have been my experiences.
  • Owned an 87 nissan 4cyl pickup and looking to buy a 2001 frontier...something basic 4x2, automatic (got a bad left leg and ac for my wife. looked at all the small pickups tacoma, ranger, s10 etc and ended up back at the nissan dealer. trouble is i don't see too many on the road and don't read too much about them on bulletin board. any advice would be welcome?
  • axle59axle59 Posts: 28
    I bought a 2k1 XE desert runner 3 weeks ago and I love it! I paid $18,000 for it with the 5 speed. I think the auto is about $1000 or so more. My buddy has a '97 pathfinder 4x4 and I go everywhere he does. The truck is as quiet as my 2k1 chrysler town & country. The steering is tight and the V6 is plenty powerful. I can't imagine what I would do with the supercharged version. The only complaints I have so far is that I can't put the kids car seats in the rear jump seats and the stereo sound quality is maginally good at best although it is difficult to get the cd to skip in off-road conditions. If you are looking for just a base one and live in southern CA the dealer I bought mine at had a 2k1 standard cab, 4cyl, auto with 5k miles for about $11K. Email me at [email protected] if interested and I'll hook you up with their number and the sales manager.
  • coas2coas2 Posts: 8
    I am thinking of buying a 4X4 SE CC SC. Dealer says I have to put 92 octane or higher in it for the life of the vehicle. Is this true? Why? What would a lower octane (reg. Unleaded) do?

  • Stewart,
    I test drove a frontier 4X4 this weekend. The salesman did not go with. I went to an icy parking lot and used the 4x4 HI with no problem. While trying to use 4x4 LOW, I had the problems you described. I am and was not familiar with the process for shifting in and out of 4x4 on this unit. I will still buy a frontier despite this- I will rarely use 4X4 low now on my explorer. I figure this is one reason the tacoma costs more- its as easy as pushing a switch on the shifter. I would not be concerned about this.
  • axle59axle59 Posts: 28
    You need to put premium fuel in the SC for the same reason you need to put it in a corvette. It is a high performance engine and as such requires premium fuel. Use of non premium fuel can cause engine knock and ping wich will eventually lead to premature engine failure.
  • keaneckeanec Posts: 349
    valsigplym & Stewart

    You should not have to turn the vehicle off to put it in 4 low. I just pulled a plow out of a snowbank last night and I used 4 low....Simply put the gear shift into neutral..then put the 4x4 shifter down into 4 high. Puase, and then push the lever down into 4 low. This should work on any auto. You might have to push down on the 4x4 lever when moving from neurtral to 4 low.

    I am not sure about a standard 4x4; but this is the procedure my 2000 4x4 cc and older pathfinder is also in the owners manual. Try it and let me know if it works.
  • goobagooba Posts: 391
    The easiest way i have found to put it in 4 low when you have an automatic is to stop the vehicle and put the transmission in park.Then you can shift it into 4 low without the grinding.
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    engine noise;
    I heard this once on my frontier too, I took it to my service advisor, he said it was probably a bad idler pulley, he said there have been some problems with the bearing, nothing too serious, but get ti taken care of before the warranty expires, but mine only did it once, and I have to wait until it does it more for them to be sure that is what it is, but I already made a note of it in my file so if it hapens out of warranty I will still be OK,
  • rusdrusd Posts: 2
    I'm looking into getting the 2001 King Cab or Crew Cab (both in V6). How well does the truck, in general, do off road? I don't want a weak truck that will break if i want to get away...but i don't need a hummer either. Please advise me
  • mikekcmikekc Posts: 1
    Has anyone experienced a flickering display on the stereo in their Frontier? I have 99 KC SE 4x4 and the display illumination keeps flickering. Also the reception has a lot of static in it sometimes and I live in the city where reception shouldn't be any problems. Has anyone had this problem as well?
  • spierce2spierce2 Posts: 1
    Has anyone had any problems with a noise coming from the rear of the truck when you let off the gas? I have a Nissan Frontier 4x2 crew cab and just noticed the noise. I have had my truck since July 2000 and have been pretty happy with it except for the radio. I am on my third radio now and I still have some problems with it. I would like to hear from anyone that has had the same or similar problem and found out what it was. I will be taking it back to the dealership to fix the problem.

  • riddlejariddleja Posts: 6
    I have a 99 Frontier and lately the fuel guage has been acting up. It only reads a little more than 3/4 after filling up. The problem is pretty erratic- it'll happen for 3-4 fillups in a row then not happen again for a month or so. Any ideas?

  • azsazs Posts: 3
    I purchased my truck in December of 99. No problems what so ever except, When I got the truck it didn't come with cruise control. When I went back to the dealer to ask if I could then put it in the truck, They said no. Is it possible that I can get I/I installed on my truck.
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    Bring it to the dealer, they should be aware of the problem, it is one of two things most likely, either a bad sending unit or more likely, there have been some problems with a restriction in the hose that does not allow the float to go all the way up, either way it does not take long to fix.

    Check with your local aftermarket shops, they should be able to help.
  • mdb3930mdb3930 Posts: 9
    I read that a certain string of VINs of Frontiers have the floater upside down in the fuel tank which makes the fuel guage incorrect. It can be repaired at the dealer under warranty but takes some time sobring a book. If you need immediate help, look up the range in your owner's manual and stay within those parameters give or take a few miles.
  • donleungdonleung Posts: 22
    I'm interested in buying a 2002 Crew Cab this fall with the long box and apparently different frame (maybe all new) noted from the location of the rear wheels in the pictures on Nissan's web site.

    In Car and Driver's recent long term test of a Frontier Crew Cab there was a picture of the left rear door area of the body (at least that's what I recall) that showed some rust under a painted weld seam of the cab. They surmised it was due to cab and/or frame flex.

    I've seen a similar problem on the old full size Ford Bronco's with the fiberglass back half (think OJ Simpson vehicle). They would all rust at the roof seam right behind the doors.

    Have any of you Frontier owners noted similar rust or any other signs of lack of rigidity in the frame/body assembly?

  • I own a 98 frontier 4x4 SE 2.4l 4cyl. and I too am experiencing the engine noise that irish_1973 is hearing. not sure what it is but I will have the dealer take a look at it. it does sound like a belt but I can't pinpoint it. perhaps bearings. And another thing that's bothering me is the plastic/vinyl Nissan Frontier decal across the back of the tailgate has fallen off twice. I'm getting tired of it doing so. Bad glue or just bad design to begin with? I have seen other Frontiers around town suffering from the same problem.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    I have always been skeptical with regards to claims that foreign vehicles were so much more reliable and had higher quality standards than domestic vehicles. That being said, I recently bought my 4x2 Frontier CC. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 1400 miles. On my way to work at the start of the 3rd week of ownership, the service engine light popped on, the engine idle turned rough and I am hearing a chatter noise from the dash area of the passenger side. And now the vehicle is at the dealers for service. Right about now, I'm not feeling very comfortable or good about my first foreign truck. I haven't even made the first payment on the truck yet. I will keep you posted as to what they find.
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    Just got off the phone with the service manager. The gas tank vent valve was defective causing the service engine light and fault code, the computer was compensating for the fault code causing the rough idle, and the cruise control cable came loose from it's bracket and was thumping against the firewall on the passenger side of the wall causing the chatter noise. I sure hope my experience gets better from here. It's not very reassuring to require service before making a payment.
  • jeffteeljeffteel Posts: 6
    Does anyone know if you can safely put child safety seats in the back jump seats in a King Cab Nissan Frontier?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    No, you cannot do it safely. Nor can you use the middle seating position in front bench-seat equipped trucks.
  • It's a complex piece of machinery for crying out loud. Do you expect every single one to roll off the line with zero defects? It would be nice, but ain't gonna happen for ANY manufacturer including Mercedes or Toyota or Nissan. I sympathize with you, but be realistic; complex systems can have a bug or two. I personally would rather have any bugs rear their little heads early in the ownership period rather than later; if at all.

    If problems CONTINUE popping up, then you have a problem...
  • jvirginiajvirginia Posts: 65
    Relax. I'm not having seizures over the appearance of some defects. I figured this being the "Nissan Frontier Problems" forum, it would be a good place to alert other owners of the details. It is not reassuring to have a service call before you make your first payment. It seemed ironic to me that the first time it would happen to me was on a vehicle that I least expected it to occur on. I agree with you that I'd prefer any problems to occur early while the vehicle is under full warranty. I was just hoping for (and anticipating) a longer 'feelin good' period, that's all.

    No problems since then and my mileage so far has been better than expected. I recorded 20.8 MPG on a recent road trip. Have a good day....
  • tony4064tony4064 Posts: 3
    Looking to buy 20001 AC frontier how is the truck in general, this is my first truck. Right now I drive 2000 ax gel ,which is a great car no problems. The only thing with the frontier is that I think it has to much plastic in front. Does any one feel the same way. The more I look the more I am getting confuse. NEED HELP thank you
  • techtech Posts: 34
    I have a 99 se 4x4 frontier. I have noticed a degradation in braking efficiency over the past few months. I took it back to where the brakes were done and found the calipers were frozen causing the rotors to heat up and warp. the kicker is that I was 167 miles past warranty and nissan has refused to cover their defective junk. fortunately I bought the extended warranty . wrong. now the warranty company is saying that this is a consumable. bottom line is should have bought the Toyota better quality , the price was higher but I guess you get what you pay for .
    never again.
    disgusted tech
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    I think I would be more po'd at the fool who did the brakes in the first place.
  • techtech Posts: 34
    I neglected to add that I was told by nissan over the phone that abs will sometimes have a pulsation in the pedal when braking. the problem was exacerbated when the temperatures began to rise.
    which is when I realized something else must be wrong.
    by the way nissan says there is no problem but the brake shop says there is. who do you believe?
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    tech...maybe the brake shop is trying to blame it on Nissan to avoid fixing their mistake? Just asking...not saying...

    By the way....there is a "Tacoma problems" thread, with actually more documented problems then the Frontier, but I think both of these trucks are high quality pickups....there is always going to be some problems with either.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    I think something may be wrong with my 98 4WD Xcab. It takes an unusal amount of force to get it started moving and when on a slight incline it does not roll back but stays put. The parking brake does not seem to be sticking. I can not hear the brakes rubbing. The hubs are not locked. It is not in 4WD. I went to an empty parking lot and tried pushing it and letting it coast to a stop and there definitely feels like there is some force fighting the laws of physics and increasing the rolling resistance.
    Anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this? How can I check to know if this is normal?
    I am taking the truck to the dealer on Wednesday for oil change and tire rotation and will ask abuout this then but I would like to go there with as much information as possible. Could it be a bad wheel bearing? Any help is appreciated. Truck only has 25K miles.
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    I would contact the BBB. Nissan gave me the same line with my Frontier, when my A/C was not as cold as I thought it should be. I was told the A/C charge was only covered for 12 months. The 36 month / 36,000mile warranty did not cover A/C charge. I even complained before the 12 months was up and Nissan said it was working as designed. I called Nissan for help and they said the same thing. I also complained about the 3 mud flaps that cracked and broke. I have never seen a mud flaps made out of cheap plastic like these. Again, no help from Nissan. The A/C problem was a cracked pipe and was fixed under the A/C recall only after we were told we had to pay for diagnostics.

    I sold the Frontier and bought a Blazer. I had more problems with the Blazer but GM fixed them with NO hassle and even rented me cars. I even had 2 problems with 42,000 miles (out of warranty) and GM fix them under something they called a good faith repair. It worked because I bought a new Silverado last year (still have the Blazer too). I would much rather deal with a company that stands behind their products.
This discussion has been closed.