Nissan X-Trail (2001–2007)

What's good

100% breakdown free in 2003 Which survey.

Nissan generally had slightly below average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 94.77 v/s lowest 31.93).

Fewest breakdowns and average for problems and faults in 2003 Which survey. 

What to watch out for

2001 MY Sport models had garish Clarion single slot CD, cassette player radio that cheapens the interior. (This was dropped in favour of a CD multi-player in early 2002.)

Speedos and odometers of diesels tend to be about 10% optimistic, so you're not going as fast as you think and not getting quite such good economy.

On early 112bhp 2.2 diesels, listen for timing chain/tensioner rattles and check for losing power. Noticeable between 1,500 and 2,000rpm. Rattling timing chains caused by fracture of the timing chain guides inside the chain cover on some but not all 112bhp 2.2 litre diesels. May also see white smoke. Seizing of diesel pump due to lack of lubricity in the fuel can snap the chains of all 2.2 diesels.

Reports of injector and ECU problems on 2.2 136s. Further reports of turbo failures on 136PS 2.2i diesel, possibly because drivers are not letting them spool down by idling the engine for a minute or two from red hot. TSB to replace failing 'Power Boost Sensors' that can also lead to turbo failure.

In 2009 Nissan extended the warranty on the 2.2 diesel's turbo to 5 years or 90,000 miles.

Reason for engine problems may well be that engine air filters are not routinely changed at services and, of course, on any diesel engine, they need to be. Failure of intercooler common. Large number of turbo, intercooler and general quality problems have led me to withdraw my recommendation of the car.

Another reason for turbo failure is down to the intercooler having compressed connections as opposed to the welded connections now used.

The following applies to Renault 1.5DCI engines, but may explain why the diesel turbochargers fail: The EGR valve should open to allow carbon dioxide (which acts as a cooling gas) into the combustion chambers when the engine is under load (>30% boost). This allows the combustion chamber temperature to drop and thus the temperature of the exhaust gases. If it sticks in the closed position the exhaust gas temperature will rise causing a) the turbo bearings to fail and b) engine oil into the induction system. This can cause the engine to run on its crankcase oil until it is either stalled or goes bang. Problems with EGR valves are often the cause of rough running when the valve is stuck in the open position as well. In several cases turbos have blown but the EGR valve has not been replaced. Inevitably the new turbo unit will not last long.

Problem on overrun on EU4 136bhp diesels between 2,000 and 2,400rpm.

Unusually the X-Trail is fitted with twin tanks. So if a diesel X-Trail is accidentally part-filled with petrol it means draining both tanks. (The tops can be accessed from inside the car.) Check rear wheel arches for rust.

On 2.5 petrol models the exhaust manifold is prone to corroding around the lambda sensors and starts to leak. As the manifold includes a catalytic converter the cost of replacement is around £1,500.

Rubber sealing strips on bottoms of doors wear away down to the metal spring clips which rust and scrape the paint off the door sills.

New problem notified in October 2007 is failure of the fuel tank lifter pump.

Diesel rattle on engine overrun is caused by the solenoids managing the fuel feed not shutting down when you take your foot off the pedal. It allows excess fuel into the injectors which continue to operate. Specialist Diesel Engineers recognise this problem with the X Trail and also with some Toyota diesels. Seems that the problem is more common with cheaper fuels (less lubricant) and can be assisted (cured) by liberal helpings of quality fuel additives.

Just one report (so far, in December 2009), of the fuel tank lining of a 68k mile 2003 X-Trail diesel breaking up and the bits wrecking the fuel pump. Understandable if filled with petrol in error. Surprising otherwise.

26-7-2011: Apparently, any X-trail with the sequence T30 in its VIN number will be inferior to those with T31... which suggests that they changed turbo manufacturer/supplier at that juncture.

23-8-2012: Loss of performance of 10 year old X-Trail 2.2 diesels can be caused by corrosion/degredation of the alloy fuel filter housing, letting air into the fuel delivery system. Replacement costs £175.

21-5-2013: All four brake calipers failed one after the other on a 52k mile 2007 2.2 dCi. Seems to affect 2004-2007 build X-Trails. Also suffering mysterious re-starting prtoblems. Possibly mass airflow sensor.

20-9-2013: Stalling 10-15 minutes after start-up, especially when car facing uphill, may be caused by a failed non-return valve on either the fuel filter or the fuel filter primer (there are two non-return valves, not one).

25-2-2015: 2002 reg Nissan X-Trail in Takata airbag recall not fixed properly by dealer and returned to owner with airbag light on. Dealer then demanded £65 to fix it.

21-9-2015: 61k mile 2007 X-Trail 2.2 diesel suffering same stalling problem as 20-9-2013. May be same cause or may be one of the two fuel tank lifter pumps failing.

23-9-2015: Yet another reader with the same stalling problem on a 2007 X-Trail 2.2. This one in Barbados.

31-7-2017: A tip, not a fault. " For years my X Trail has inexplicably cut in to limp home mode while driving. Diagnostics repeatedly indicated fuel pump fault, which I didn't believe. Problem was solved instantly by replacing crank case control valve. Fuel pump is fine. Apparently this is a relatively frequent problem, with a much simpler solution than the engine diagnostics would indicate. Car has now done 195,000 miles."

20-8-2018: Report of 2001 Nissan X-Trail with 112,000 miles sounding "like a clattery old bag of spanners for a short while after start-up." See beginningof this section: "Rattling timing chains caused by fracture of the timing chain guides inside the chain cover on some but not all 112bhp 2.2 litre diesels. May also see white smoke. Seizing of diesel pump due to lack of lubricity in the fuel can snap the chains of all 2.2 diesels. "


June 2002/March 2003: TSB to replace rattling timing belt tensioners and guides on T30 YD22 engines. Parts required: top timing chain tensioner part 13070 BN310 and chain tensioner guide part 13085 BN300. Only affects X-Trail 2.2DIs with T30 YD22 engines built before December 2002 and does not affect Almeras, Tinos and Primeras with basically the same engine. 8-12-2003 Recall of 108,563 1.8 and 2.0 litre petrol engines built 1998 - 2003 over angle and position sensors which can cause engines to stall and/or fail to re-start. Sensors to be replaced. October 2005: Recall of 136PS DIs to reprogramme ECU to make life a bit easier for the turbo (also described as "TSB to replace failing 'Power Boost Sensors' that can lead to turbo failure.")

24-04-2006: Problem is described as hesitation on overrun between 2,000 and 2,400 rpm with Euro step 4 136PS dCi engines. Most pronounced in 5th/6th gear. It is caused by an incorrect calibration of the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) - operating at the wrong frequency, and to prove that the problem is caused by this, the garage has to drive the vehicle around without the EGR connected to see if the hesitation goes away. Nissan is working on "electronic countermeasures" in the ECU to deal with the problem. Proper fix with Nissan dealers from end August 2006.

25-2-2015: 2001-2007 Nissan X-Trails subject to Takata airbag recall.

20-06-2017: R/2017/039: AIRBAG MAY FAIL. The airbag manufacturer have informed Nissan of a potential concern with propellant degradation of Front Passenger Airbag fitted with Smokeless Passenger Inflator (SPI). It has been confirmed that this degradation is a function of time, temperature, and environmental moisture. Deterioration of the Inflator propellant may, under certain usage conditions, lead to abnormal deployment of the Passenger Airbag. In an extreme situation, this condition could create excessive pressure within the inflator during airbag deployment and may result in separation of the airbag housing. Fix: Recall all affected vehicles to replace the front passenger airbag module with a new quality controlled item. Build dates: 07-06-2000 to 28-08-2011.

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