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Nissan XTerra SUV



  • xcanukxcanuk Posts: 372
    >various metallic clanging noises in the suspension on rough roads.

    1) Check the screws holding the skid plate. dealers love to crack them during oil change.. fix is to swap them for heavier ones

    2) check for a rock inside the A-arm ( has happened)

    >a high pitched metallic scraping noise is heard when I turn the wheel--similar to brake wear indicators.

    Check/grease the steering stops (looks like bolt heads that limit the amount you can turn the wheel.. total 4, 2 per side, on in front and behind the wheel)

    >The cruise control surges and the transmission gets stuck in gear when the cruise control downshifts to maintain speed up hills.

    Hills are hard on cruise as it tries to maintain speed.
  • jf067jf067 Posts: 17
    I'm the new owner of an '02 XT, about 26k miles. I know that you sacrifice fuel economy when you buy an SUV, but this is nuts. Has anyone had any luck improving gas mileage with aftermarket products, such as open ellement air cleaners?

    I'm not a fast driver, and usually average only about 60 mph highways with it (trying to get a little distance from a tank). Best I can get is around 17mpg. Any thoughts from experienced XT owners?
  • KicKMan1KicKMan1 Posts: 45
    You're now in a situation where you should be thinking seriously about your legal rights and the financial harm you ARE going to suffer as a result of your apparent lemon vehicle. Nissan North America will do everything in their power to avoid a buy-back. I've litigated a lemon law case against Mitsubishi; believe me when I tell you, they take this seriously and fight hard to avoid the public perception of "giving in".

    Get your legal ducks in a row and consult with respect to an attorney. The idea that they want to get you out of the old one and into a new one is theoretically BS. Check your state's lemon laws (look in the consumer protection area) and familiarize yourself with the definition of a lemon as well as the remedies. In most states, if you have a lemon vehicle, the manufacturer is obligated to take back the bad one and replace it with a new one (mileage charges may apply) or refund the money you've paid to date.

    In any event, don't let them get you to the dealership and play games. Anything other than "here's your replacement vehicle" or "here's your money back and a voided finance agreement" constitutes game playing.

    Feel free to e-mail me off line with questions.
  • I copied this over from another discussion board I created. Steve (the host) suggested I check in this area, so I've pasted my comments in here for your feedback. Please forgive my confusion as I'm new to this process. Thank in advance!

    I'm looking at getting a new SUV. I'm leaning toward the Xterra because it's the most truck-like of the SUVs I've found. It's also affordable. I currently own a 93 Explorer that's been nothing but problems for me. Now, I'm looking to get something new to avoid frequent repair bills, and want an SUV that rides like a pickup.

    I'm looking for some constructive feedback. Are these really good vehicles? Are there better ones out there? What do owners like/dislike? What's a good price to pay for one of these (or another selection)?

    I've done enough research through normal channels. Now, I need to hear from people who own this and other SUVs for advice before I make my decision.

    I looked for a similar discussion and couldn't find anything. So, if this is repetitious and another discussion exists that answers my questions, please let me know. Thank you in advance for your help!
  • I have an 03 SE/SC. This is my second one. I had an 01 SE and traded it in on the 03. The only thing I disliked about the 01 was the lack of passing power and it tended to get asthmatic on ramps to the highway. More a function of gearing than anything else I think. The supercharger takes care of that problem handily. The normally aspirated makes 10hp more than previous ones and moves better than the older ones, but I wanted the Supercharger.

    It is very capable off road and in snow and both of them have been trouble free for me. The only maintenance I ever had to do were the standard things. Routine service and oil changes. As for mileage I have gotten above the EPA ratings on both of them.

    One thing I have to say is that the roof rack on the X is the most useful rack I have ever had on any vehicle. Buy an extra crossbar if you want to increase the weight capacity on it. The weight carrying is limited by the crossmembers.

    It definitely rides like a truck rather than a car :) I prefer the harsher ride myself, a soft ride makes me feel like I'm driving a boat.

    I can't recommend it highly enough, the only product out there right now I would consider replacing the X with is the Murano but it is a different type of SUV altogether.

    My baby is Granite, the replacement for Gold Rush in previous models. More of a pewtery shade rather than pure gold. By the way, it is surprisingly maneuverable given the size of the vehicle and the brakes are amazing.
  • Hi, I currently own a 97 V6 Pontiac Grand Am, a far cry from an SUV. I moved to Eastern Washington and am in desperate need of something with 4WD to get me up those pesky forest service roads and over the pass in the winter to get to snowboarding. I love the looks of the XTerra and was pretty much set on it until reading some of these posts.

    Does anyone have some comparison information on the XTerra, the Ford Escape, the Hyundai Santa Fe (yikes, could it be legitimate?? not to put down Hyundai, but this is their first attempt at something SUVish) and the Jeep Liberty?

    I really want a small SUV with good/better gas mileage that isn't horrible to park or get stuff in and out of. But it needs to be able to handle and act like a real SUV, not a car.

    If you have any comments I'd love to hear them!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Here's a comparison topic on the competition:

    Subaru Forester vs Hyundai Santa Fe vs Jeep Liberty vs Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute vs Saturn Vue

    Remember that people tend to post more when they have a complaint than when the SUV works right when they jump in it everyday and go (Romulandmz being the exception <g>).

    Enjoy shopping!

    Steve, Host
  • newb2knewb2k Posts: 1
    I've been looking all over, but can't find a more detailed description of this package beyond what says.

     - I understand what Traction Control is, but is the Vehicle Dynamic Control a stability control system?
     - How does it work?
     - Basically, how effective is it in helping control a lateral slide or hydro planing through a puddle on the pavement?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    This was originally posted on a canadian Xterra site in response to complaints of window and windshield fogging.

    I always disable the A/C during the cooler winter months.

    With the advent of the new less efficient refrigerant the
    A/C evaporator (A/C cooling heat exchanger) had to become a lot more dense and complex, 10,000 sq. in. of surface area vs 4400 for freon.

    When your A/C shuts down, in many cases unknowingly, there will ALWAYS be a thin film of moisture remaining on these surfaces, about a quart for the one in a 92 LS400. That's the reason your windshield and windows will oftentimes fog up very quickly once you deactivate the defrost/defog/demist function.

    My 92 Lexus would oftentimes on a cold morning spontaneously and suddenly fog over the windshield about 5 miles from home. I discovered that the reason for this was becuase during the previous day's A/C operations the thin film had accumulated and then remained within the A/C plenum overnight.

    My initial solution was to leave the sunroof and windows open in the garage at night so the car could "dry" out.

    Later I was to discover that the A/C would automatically shut down if I drove into an area of colder weather, 34F or below. When teh A/C shut down all of the moisture would be free to enter the car and quickly fog over the windshield.

    My 2001 Porsche 996 has a switch in the glovebox that I can use to open the A/C compressor clutch circuit during the winter. On my RX300 I simply unplug the refrigerant pressure sensor switch just in front of the radiator.

    Automotive A/C systems ARE NOT capable of dehumidifying incoming airflow that is already at a lower temperature and/or has a low relative humidity. As the outside air temperature declines to, and below, about 55F the efficiency of the A/C to dehumidify the incoming airflow declines precipitously until at 34F it is non-existent.

    If you have condensation forming on the interior surface of your automotive windshield or windows it is solely the result of the DEWPOINT SPREAD being too low. Dewpoint spread in this circumstance is a function of the relative humidity and the temperature of the interior surface of the windshield.

    If the condensation has already formed, or is beginning to form, then you must force a STATE CHANGE (converting water to vapor) by bringing
    an extraordinary level of energy to bear on the issue.


    1. Turn up the heat to MAX.
    2. Turn the blower up to MAX.
    3. Activate the defrost/defog/demist function.
    4. Make doubly sure the airflow is in Fresh mode, not recirculate (*).
    4. If A/C is available then activate the A/C (**).
    5. Lower a rear window slightly to exhaust the condensation as it vaporizes (***).

    (*) Some modern day automatic systems (Toyota/Lexus especially, systems designed by NipponDenso or Denso USA, and I would be suspicious of MB products) will indicate FRESH with the system still in recirculate, or partial recirculate mode. I was warned many times for my 92 Lexus that I had to manually depress the "fresh" mode button, even with that mode indicator already lit, myself to be sure it actually was in fresh mode.

    (**) Even if you have A/C, and activate it in this circumstance, and even with an indication, A/C indicator "lights", the A/C may not add any dehumidifying functionality. The incoming airstream may already be of low humdity and/or temperature, or in many cases while the indicator will light up indicating A/C mode the A/C compressor may be disabled (most Toyota/Lexus systems disable the A/C with OAT below 35F) due to climatic conditions.

    (***) Many modern day vehicles have very little provision for cabin atmospheric outflow. Once it was decided by the powers that be that A/C would be used all year around then something had to be done to keep the gas mileage in check. Apparently the solution was not to let "conditioned" air escape the vehicle.

    Most "exhauster ports", the common method used to exhaust passenger cabin atmosphere, are now rather small and almost all located somewhere near or around the bottom of the rear quarter panel of the vehicle. An area of unusually high atmospheric pressure due to airflow around under and over the vehicle.

    Unless you turn your blower up extremely high there will not be enough atmospheric pressure within the passenger cabin to force any sunstantial level of exhausting airflow.
  • xcanukxcanuk Posts: 372
    More than I wanted to know... but I'm curious which Canadian Xterra Club you're refering to ??
  • aauxtaaauxta Posts: 1
    Tried a search but didn't come up with anything. So does this really help on gas mileage? Can anyone verified this on a Xterra? Thanks in advance.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Must be a new wave of infomercials on the tube. Consensus is that it's snake oil. There's a recent thread here:

    steve_ "Jeep Wrangler" May 4, 2003 10:48pm

    Steve, Host
  • tperrastperras Posts: 2
    I'm having persistent electrical problems with my 2000 X that Nissan seems unable to correct. When its rainy and cold, the oil pressure light comes on, the windshield washer light comes on and the cruise control "set" light flashes. When I first bought the truck, it shorted out and died on me twice - right out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of winter! They've changed "modules" and even resorted to changing the entire instrument cluster. It doesn't die on me, but the warning lights are frustrating. Has anyone had any similar problems? Were they corrected? Does anyone have any knowledge of the electrical system that would give me a lead as to what might be causing the problem?
  • xdreamsxdreams Posts: 7
    Hello again everyone. It's been a while since I've visited this board, I'm glad to see some old familiar names still posting. I have a 2001 SE automatic, with about 16K on it. I've noticed a persistent, high-pitched squeak now that my windows are down with the warmer weather. My guess is something shock or strut related but seems odd at 16,ooo miles. My dealer stinks so I thought I would check on this board before heading over there.
  • sew3663sew3663 Posts: 5
    I just got the brakes replaced on a 99 SE 2WD and the mechanic told me that the shocks were "totally gone" and the only replacement shocks (Rancho) would cost $410. He said that I would need to replace them ASAP, as they would ruin the tires and suspension. Usually when shocks have gone bad in previous cars, the ride is noticeably "bumpier", but this time I haven't noticed any drop in ride quality or anything...

    What do you think? Is it really that dangerous for the car to ride with bad shocks? How can you tell if they are bad? What kinds/brands of shocks will fit on my truck?

    We are most likely going to sell it and get either a Murano or G-35 by the end of the year. I don't want to have to get pricey repairs if they aren't necessary...
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    check the body (the bottom part that goes in the top part) to see if there is any fluid. If there is fluid then the shocks are "totally gone". If there is no fluid, then they could just be worn out. How many miles?? The only danger to worn out shocks is increased braking distance and uncontrolled evasive the truck doesn't respond as well as it should. As far as Rancho goes, very stiff. It's an off road shock with a big piston for rebound. Check out KYB or Old Man Emu. Good ride qualities with both.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    Has any one come across any after market sources for swapping the big V6 into the X? I know some company did it for GOX a few years ago, but I never saw anything else on it. The problem with the Xs mouse power would be eliminated with 250+ ponies under the hood.
  • jcliffrojcliffro Posts: 108
    I wonder what percentage of Xterras are being manufactured with the optional side air bags? I would venture to guess it is below 5%. I did an internet search within 100 miles of New Orleans and only found one Xterra in dealer inventory with side air bags. I hope the Insurance Institute's recent findings on how poorly most smaller SUVs did in a side impact when not equipped with side air bags will prompt Nissan to equip a much higher percentage of the 2004 models with the side air bag/head curtains. I for one have been holding out until I can find the SUV I want equipped that way (still trying to decide between Xterra and 4-Runner; and, by the way, no more 4-Runners in inventory have the side air bag option than Xterras and when there is one, of course it is the most expensive Limited model). Anyone out there finding a higher percentage of side air bags on 2003 Xterras in another part of the country?
  • hargenshargens Posts: 1
    Just purchased a used 2000 Xterra. First time out on the expressway I detected a high pitch noise that started around 55mph and faded out at around 70mph. Not sure if it is tire noise or ?. Anyone have a similar experience?
  • If your X has the deflectors on windows and hood, it is probably the bottom of the front window ones. My first X had that noise too, and it was from the bottom of the driver's side wind deflector. My new one without the deflectors doesn't have the noise.

    If thats the noise a small piece of 3m double sided tape under the end of it will reduce or eliminate it.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The best way to check if the shocks are worn is to press down hard on the front and rear bumpers and watch the vehicle bounce. If it bouces up and down more than once, the shocks are probably worn. If the shocks are good, the car should bounce only once after pushed down.

    Do you do a lot of driving on bumpy roads? The function of shock absorbers is really not to absorb shock (the springs do this), but to control the spring oscillations. If you have really bad shocks, you will get wheel hop, and lot of bouncing when you hit a bad spot in the road.

    I am absolutely convinced that you can find decent gas pressurized shocks for you Xterra for around $ 100 for all four. I installed four Gabreiel shocks on my 95 Nissan SE V6 4X4 pickup for about $ 80. I got the shocks from Autozone I believe. I have had these for about two years now and they work just fine. The claim that only Rancho shocks fit your vehicle sounds like nonsense to me. Check JC Whitney catalog on line - they probably have quite a few shock absorbers for your vehicle at a reasonable price.
  • maccmacc Posts: 11
    Hi- I have a 2000 xterra SE and for the past year there has been a rattling sound coming from the rear of the truck (maybe more on driver's side - not sure, though). Took it in to dealership and they can't figure out where it's coming from (took out the first-aid kit just in case...). It mainly happens when going over bumpy road surfaces or turning. Anyone have any ideas?? *One more question... It's time for my 30k maintenance check. If I rarely use my 4WD, do I still need to have the front wheel bearing grease and hub grease replaced? It's $200 for just that!!
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    2003 Nissan Xterra XE 4WD 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 4A) MSRP Invoice
    National Base Price $23,399 $22,129 $22,312
    Regional Adjustment
    for Zip Code 50124 -- -- $21
    Optional Equipment $1,834 $1,517 $1,568
    P01 Power Package info $1,299 $1,126 $1,154
    V93 Electrochromic Mirror info $219 $167 $175
    K94 Body Side Molding info $99 $73 $77
    M93 Splash Guards info $89 $53 $59
    L92 Floor Mats info $79 $61 $64
    F94 In-Cabin Microfilter info $49 $37 $39
    Color Adjustment
    Silver Ice Metallic Clearcoat -- -- -$31
    Destination Charge $540 $540 $540
    Total $25,773 $24,186 $24,410

    Totals $24,186 for invoice. We have a $1500 rebate with 1.9% financing for 60 months. Would $1k under invoice minus rebate for a total of about $21600 sound out of line? I know the X-Terra is down 25% in sales for the year and the 04's are coming soon. Is this in the right ballpark, or should I ask for more or less? Thanks in advance.
  • maxiusmaxius Posts: 7
    Hi there I have a 2001 Nissan Xterra SE with a flip up sunroof. I only have one problem with it, when you drive more that 50 miles in hour it makes a lot of noise. Anyone else having this problem? It doesn't shake or anything, but sounds like it is. Maybe it was removing the gear basket? Thanks Max
  • A certain amount of noise is unavoidable, you are intruding the sunroof into the airflow. Adding turbulence = adding noise. If the sunshade is left on, it makes the noise even worse. Especially if you took off the front wind deflector from the roof rack for maximum visibility like most people do. With the front deflector in place, the roof isn't the piece causing the wake turbulence, and not as much wind directly on it.
  • The $1500 cash back goes with the 1.9% financing but not with the special lease. I can not find verification of that on the Edmunds site. In fact it indicates the the $1500 is available both ways lease or buy. Any other place to look on Edmunds ?
  • I am looking into buying a 2003 Xterra and was wondering is there that much of a difference with the super charger and other options that the SE has over the ones of the XE? Does having 17" wheels improve the ride that much more than the 16"? Also has anyone heard about the 2004 models? what improvements they will have?

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!!


  • Has anyone heard the details of the Xterra redesign, according to Automotive News its supposed to happen next year for the 05'model, but have not head any details. Anybody else heard anything........
  • Hi,

    I'm looking into buying a 2000 Nissan Xterra, but can't figure if the XE is available with automatic AND manual transmission. If I find an automatic, is it an XE, or an SE?

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