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Nissan Versa Engine Problems



  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    My guess would be most of the problems are probably in assembly, not design. getting the assembly plants to correctly asseble a car to specs for the fist time has got to be a challenge.
  • factionfaction Posts: 9
    I had this problem.
    My invoice states that "ignition relay in IPDM E/R was not fully seated." They fully seated it.
    Then it says "Found intermittent NATS malfunction code P1615. Replaced BCM, reprogrammed keys."

    I don't know if that last bit has anything to do with the first bit, but there you go.

    oh--parts--FP number 284B1, controller assy (if that is any help)

    I also had a bad battery which they replaced at the same time.

    Car worked fine after that, but now I have noticed that you have to crank it just a little harder than usual to get it to start. Might this just be related to usual wear?? I'm going to ask them next time I go in for an oil change.
  • factionfaction Posts: 9
    Weird. I use 10% ethanol all the time and haven't had any problems. At least that I have noticed.

    Are your problems like "have to crank it to start" problems or something else?
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    The rest of the vehicle is new

    Not quite. The Versa, or Tiida in many parts of the world, was first released in September 2004. It's only a new model in North America.

    What's new is the assembly line for the Versa in Mexico. The plant has been there awhile, but the line is new.
  • bikedorianbikedorian Posts: 48
    Quite. The engine and much of the electronics are brand spankin new. That's pretty much "the rest of the vehicle" in my book. YMMV.

  • streakerstreaker Posts: 5

    I guess I never responded to this message from February 2007, My cars problem is that after driving my Versa and then parking it, the car won't easily start occasionally. The engine won't turn over without trying for five minutes or so. I have had no problems like this since going to only ethanol free gas. My car was checked out recently and they found no problems. The manual mentions that you can try up to 10 percent ethanol but if it has a problem with "warm starts" (car engine has been recently used and is still warm but it won't easily start) then go back to regular gas. This is exactly what happens to me with ethanol in the tank. Nobody else has experienced this??? Obviously, Nissan technicians are familiar with this problem. I wonder why I am the only one who seems to experience this?
  • rags2rags2 Posts: 4


  • I have had my Versa since March. Have had the fuel pump replaced once already. They are picking it up tomorrow to replace it again. It will crank and crank and not start for a while. The mechanic (the first time) told me to turn the key just a little (to where the lights come on) for about 30 seconds. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn't. They said it wasn't getting the burst of fuel to the engine to start the car. I like the car but it has been in the shop more than I have driven it. The people at the dealership know me well and I know almost everyone's name. I don't want to know them...I just want to come in for my oil change and go. It had problems with starts in the sun and "cold" starts where it sat overnight. I had to wait 2 months because the first pump was on backorder. By that time the problem was so bad it would hardly start at all. I have no idea how long it will be until I see my car again. I should have stuck with Toyota.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    It sounds a lot like deposits on the valves. when carbon builds up on the valves (usually caused by driving a very short distance (like moving it) and then letting it sit, the valves cann't properly seat. If the valves arn't seating properly, you won't get enough compression to keep the engine running. It could very well be poor quality gas, ethanol blend, fuel filter, or something like that. If it eventualy starts after holding the gas peddal in while cranking it for 30 or so seconds, then that probably your problem. the reason it will start after cranking it for awhile is because the valves (while moving) will knock off the carbon deposits.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,099
    I'd tend to agree, it sounds like the fuel pump really wasn't the issue. The symptoms make the fuel pump a candidate for the cause, but not the only candidate.

    I recently had a wheel bearing replaced on an Altima, and the new bearing completely failed inside of 90 days under normal driving conditions. Bad part so it was replaced, but if the replacement fails, I'd have to start looking elsewhere for the cause.
    Even if I assume the parts are ROTTEN and fail 5% of the time (a ridiculously high figure, but it will illustrate my point), if I put a second part in and it also fails or doesn't correct the problem, the chances of me having gotten two bad parts in a row is down to one quarter of one percent. (0.25%) Something else HAS to be causing the problem. Throwing another of the same part at it isn't likely to solve things in my view.

    The fuel pump would have been the easy fix, if it had worked. Just like putting more air in a low tire is the first, easy try. Then the tire goes low again and you check for leaks in the tire, or the valve stem, or at the seal to the rim. Sounds like some more detective work is going to be needed.

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  • jujubeejujubee Posts: 2
    I purchased my 2007 Vesa (liftback SL auto w/ CVT) 2 months ago, it now has 2,000 miles on it. I took it to the dealership last weekend to check the brakes because i am experiencing an abrupt hesitation (or maybe downshift?) @ appx 10 mph when i apply the brakes & reduce speed. I was told there is nothing wrong. Immediately after picking it up from the service dept (right @ closing time) I noticed the engine (transmission?) making a loud clicking sound, almost like a "sparking" sound. It happens when i shift gears, accelerate, brake & even randomly when driving. I am also hearing a loud "singing" noise when the car/rpms slow down. Does anyone know what these issues might be? I'm almost scared to drive it, but cant get to the dealer til Sat because of jury duty! Any suggestions would be so helpful, i always feel SO apprehensive having to go back to the dealership. I really want to like my Versa, but these issues as well other minor problems are quicky turning me off. Already thinking about unloading this car... :confuse: ">
  • jenvjenv Posts: 1
    In early August, I purchased a new 2007 Versa. Since the time of purchase (starting when I drove it off the lot to take home), I have experienced frequent problems with starting the vehicle. When I turn the key, the vehicle frequently cranks for 5+ seconds. Sometimes the vehicle will then start, and sometimes it will just die. This does not happen every time that I start the vehicle, and I have not been able to detect any pattern to help indicate when this will happen, though it generally does not happen when I first start it in the morning.

    I took the vehicle back to the dealership twice for service so far. The first time they said that they found that the negative battery terminal was loose, and this was causing the problem. They tightened it and said it should be fine. The problem then happened again the next day (and again about 5 or six times over the course of the following week). When I brought it in again, they said that they were unable to duplicate the problem and thus could not do anything about it. I left the vehicle there for three days, and finally Nissan Technical Services instructed them to order a fuel pump to see if that resolves the issue. It has been three weeks now, and I'm still waiting on the fuel pump...

    The worst part of this (besides having such problems with a new car) is that the service technician had a "there's nothing we can do" attitude about it. He said that it was the first that he had heard of the problem and seemed like he did not believe that it was occurring because he could not duplicate it. I located various accounts on the Internet of other Versa owners with similar problems, and I printed and brought them to the dealership. The service tech then said that they were not helpful because they only mentioned problems, not solutions. As ridiculous as this is, I have actually started filming the process of starting my car to document the problem.

    I have submitted a complaint through the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation:

    I recommend that anyone else experiencing problems with their new Versas do the same. If they receive enough complaints, maybe Nissan will start giving a crap. I should have bought the Honda fit. :lemon:
  • Does anyone know if this CAM in the engine is belt driven, chain, or gears? If it is belt driven, would it be possible and not too painful to replace it with a chain? Thanks
  • Yeah i went and looked at one this ssaturday theyre chains. thanks
  • Not sure if this is an "engine" question but here goes...

    Just this afternoon, I discovered that I cannot go above a certain speed. I could press hard on the gas pedal (even floor it), but once it reaches a certain speed, all I hear is increased engine(?)/rev(?) noise but I don't get an increase in car speed. The RPM gauge seems also to waver around "2"... never really going above it even I press harder on the pedal. The needle sometimes even dips slightly when I'm pressing on the pedal.

    Is there something wrong with my car (S, manual, ABS)? Bought it less than a month ago with only 300 miles on it. No CVT.

    Thanks so much for responding~

    P.S. Is the RPM gauge supposed to be around "1" even when the car's not moving, e.g., in front of a red light? It doesn't go back down to "O" unless I turn off the engine.

    P.S.S. I apologize for my limited vocab on these things. First-time driver. =)

    P.S.S.S. I tried switching it to "Neutral" and flooring it, and then back to "Drive" in an attempt to fix it. No can do.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,099
    You didn't say what the "certain speed" was.

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  • I seem to have trouble getting above 40 mph.

    Anything above and I hear a loud spinning/whirring sound, but the car barely moves faster.
  • samncsamnc Posts: 44
    I own this car for almost 2 months now and I have about 3300 miles on it. Whilst the mpg has slightly improved, the accerleration from 20 to 50 mph is still very sluggish. The revs are normally in the high 2000 revs and low 3000revs when I try to accerlerate, the transmission seems disengaged, the engine in high revs, the gears then falls back to lower gear. It happens when it is climbing upslopes or accelerating between 20 to 50 mphs on flat terains. Anyone has similar problems?
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    deffinitly something wrong. Not sure what, but I'd guess its either in the transmission, or possibly the ecm. at any rate, get it back to the dealer.
  • Just took my Versa in today for the same issue:

    have experienced frequent problems with starting the vehicle. When I turn the key, the vehicle frequently cranks for 5+ seconds. Sometimes the vehicle will then start, and sometimes it will just die. This does not happen every time that I start the vehicle, and I have not been able to detect any pattern to help indicate when this will happen, though it generally does not happen when I first start it in the morning

    They said it was the fuel pump and it would be ready tomorrow. After reading previous posts I'm becoming a skeptic. Has anyone found that replacing the fuel pump does solve the issue?

    Did you finally get the fuel pump?
  • I have posted here before that if I use any Ethanol blend, my Versa will have problems with warm starts (where the car is already warm due to earlier use). My car problem is a little different as it will occasionally crank for ever without turning over if I use ethanol fuel. I have to sit and wait for a few minutes then try again and usually I can get it to start if I do that.

    If this is your problem, find the gas stations around you that don't use ethanol or use a high grade fuel (expensive but they are usually ethanol free) at stations like Shell and Petro Canada. I'm in Canada so those are some of my choices.

  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Do you know what the ethanol mix ratio is where you are? Where I live, Minnesota, a 10% ethanol blend is mandatory in all gasoline sold. You have no choice here. However, the E10 standard is very common in the U.S., and certainly Nissan would program the MCU/MPU to accept this kind of blend, as has every auto manufacturer who sells in the U.S.

    Of course, if the MCU/MPU is malfunctioning, thus not being able to properly compensate for the ethanol mixture, you could have a problem you are describing. Bad MCU/MPS has been reported among the early-production Versas, so you may want to speak with your dealership about that.
  • Anybody have problems with CVT? I have a sedan with 8,000 miles on it. Started acting up - and couldn't go in reverse. Took it to the dealer and they are replacing the entire transmission.

    Just wondered if this was a rare problem???? :confuse:
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    That sounds rare. The JDM Tiida (Versa in Japan) did have a recall earlier in the year for one of the CVT clutch hubs (could crack/break), but I did not think this recall had applied to the Versa.
  • I'm having fuel pump #3 installed today (12/12/07) in my 2007 versa. The 1st, (original) failed at about 5000 miles and the 2nd about 1700 miles later. Hopefully this 3rd one will last. Hope this helps... :confuse:
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    Took it to the dealer and they are replacing the entire transmission.

    I think that standard procedure with the cvt. any kind of problem will be dealt with by replacing the whole thing. I don't know if its because they're new and the engineers want to be able to look at the ones that fail, or if parts are hard to get, or few tech at the dealerships know how to fix them. But everybody who's had a problem (I haven't seen many) all have got a new trans.
  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    Update: Problems still exist a year later! Nissan Canada took my issues seriously though and in September replaced the ECM, IPDM, Throttle Changer and a few other fuel injection items. The bill was over $2000 to Nissan.

    I had no problems during the warmer weather but now that it is winter again the problems have started. Here's a rundown of my last week:

    Saturday, December 8/07:
    The car started but the engine light stayed on. When I pushed the gas peddle there was no gas going to the engine. It could be driven but was in safe mode. I shut the car off. There was a strong smell of gas in the garage.
    I waited 5 minutes and tried again. Car started fine.
    1/4 tank of gas. I filled the tank up. (I also filled up again on Wednesday when it was 1/2 full. I wanted to see if keeping the tank filled would alleviate the problems.)

    Tuesday, December 11/07:
    As I was driving uphill over an overpass on the perimeter the engine started to race and the tachometer rose to about 3.5. Then it fell to normal of 2.5. The cruise control was on so my speed was constant at 90 KM.

    Friday, December 14/07:
    I was driving at about 60 KM and the engine started to race. The tachometer rose to about 3.5 and then fell to normal.

    Saturday, December 15/07:
    The car started but the engine light stayed on. When I pushed the gas peddle there was no gas going to the engine. It could be driven but was in safe mode. I backed out of the garage and drove back in. There was a strong smell of gas in the garage.
    I shut the car off and tried to start it again. It would not start.
    I waited 5 minutes and it started. The engine light came on and would not shut off.
    I shut the car off and waited another 5 minutes. It started but still the engine light would not shut off.
    The tank was just under 3/4 full.
    I drove to the gas station and filled up. The engine light remained on.
    I drove to Sobey's. It started fine but the engine light was still on.
    I drove to the other side of the city. After sitting for 4.5 hours it started fine but the engine light remained on.

    I'm getting close to trading in the car. However, I just looked up the black book value and it has depreciated $6000 - $7000 in a year. Yikes! I'm not sure what to do. I need a reliable vehicle for cold winter travel.

  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Gosh, I am so sorry to hear about all the problems that you are experiencing. You are actually being very patient - I do not know whether I would give this many chances to Nissan.

    I do not know the laws of your province, but is there anythinkg like what we in the U.S. call a lemon law that forces the dealership/manufacturer to take back your car?

    My concern, as it appears for you, is that problems may continue to recur, and the bigger problem is that your warranty will eventually run its course and problems will keep happening still.

    Yet, there is definitely the issue of taking a depreciation hit if you trade the car in. But I would be nervous to continue to drive a car like this if I were you. Yours may well be one of those statistical oddball, but it doesn't help to know that you are in that group, since you still have to deal with this particular vechicle.

    No one can decide this question for you, but placing myself in your situation to the extent that I can imagine, I would ask thse questions if I were you:

    1) Is there a possibility of a life-threatening danger?
    If you drive lots in the countryside and your car dying can put you in danger, that's a good reason not to stick with this particular car;

    2) Does not having the car directly impact your earning?
    Do you run a business, for instance, for which a dead vehicle directly hits the bottom line, or force you to miss work if your car dies?

    3) Do you have an alternative vehicle?
    Do you have another car to turn to while your Versa is in the shop, especially after the warranty runs out and if the dealership does not give you a loaner?

    Everyone would put a different weighting on these questions, but if I were you in this situation, all these questions would weigh very heavily, and if 1) and/or 2) is "Yes" and 3) is a "no," I would get rid of my car.
  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    Thanks Jacksan, for an excellent reply. You've made some very valid points that are definitely food for thought. According to your weighting I should get rid of my car since I answered yes to 1 & 2 and no to 3. Last winter when I first experienced troubles I was hopping mad. I looked into whether there was a lemon law in the province (there isn't) and talked to the dealership about a new car. Unfortunately Nissan or the dealership wouldn't take it back.

    I also called CAA to find out my rights in the situation. I was advised to work with the dealership to try to rectify the problem. If the dealership refused to work with me then I could apply for an arbitrator to mediate. If we could not agree then the arbitrator could decide how much my car was worth and the dealership would have to purchase it back. His decision would be binding. But, the dealership and Nissan have tried very hard to figure out what's wrong so I never applied for an arbitrator.

    This morning my engine light was still on so I drove to the dealership before work. The service manager had received my detailed e-mail and forwarded it to Nissan. He scanned the car's computer and once again it showed a throttle problem. These parts had all been changed in September. The scan turned the engine light off and the car drove fine all day. Now I'm waiting to hear about Nissan's next plan of action.

    I've checked out some alternative cars and there doesn't seem to be much to replace it with. The Yaris doesn't come with cruise control. The Fit doesn't have a height adjustible driver's seat. I'm short and couldn't see over the stearing wheel. I'm not crazy about Ford or GM. Do I take a chance on another Versa? I don't know. I love the car but sure don't want to buy another lemon.

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