Lumpy, rusting Micra - Jim S
Recently bought a '97 Micra 1.0 manual which my parents have had since new, UK supplied. Surprised by very poor rust protection underneath - I've ended up waxoyling it myself after I've had a look at similar ones, all rusting pretty obviously at the bottom seam of the sill. It hardly seems acceptable that a modern car is so poorly finished off, with many exposed seams which are just painted and already showing signs of rust bubbles. Or is it just me as I've heard no mention of this elsewhere? Secondly, it is jerky in traffic in first and second gear, being hard to drive slowly as if it is either on or off. It reminded me of my old Mini which was like this - is this a common fault and due to the fuel injection programming, as I have heard? Is there any way around this?
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - Rob E
Jim,

Have heard no such reports for the mark 2 Micra: well respected as paragons of reliability and good quality engineering. Part of the reason why they were ranked so highly in the Auto Express recent driver power survey was their obvious ease of driving - a virtue of every small Japanese car, even the 1987 Toyota Starlet I own! To be widely regarded as easy to drive must mean your experiences of 'lumpy' performance in 1st and 2nd gears to be atypical, and well worth getting checked out. Surely reports of vulnerability to rusting underneath would have shown up in used car literature - including Honest John's excellent guide. Nothing that I have come across for the Micra - and that's several sources - makes any reference to their poor rust proofing underneath. This points towards the rust on yours being atypical again.

Regards, Rob
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - Rob E
Jim,

Just re-checked HJ's guide again - only the front chassis cross member could get rusty, - but surely not on a 97 car one would hope?!
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - Trevor Potter
A succint, reasoned, researched posting. Well done Sir.
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - neil
'Well played old chap'

What ARE you on?
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - Chris Eglinton
The Micra is one of the most reliable small cars on the road today. I have owned two over the past 6 years with never a hint of trouble. All they ask for is to be serviced to Nissan standard as per the Schedule.
They never let you down and are so easy to drive.
Lets hope the new one is half as good, and no Reault parts.
Chris..
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - John Davis
My MK1, 1987 Nissan Prairie never had any rust at all and it was still "unwelded" anywhere when I sold it after 150,000 miles. However, my Son's 1990 Prairie seems to be a real rust bucket and needed much welding on the floor, sills etc for an MOT pass. Did Nissan drop their standards a bit during the 90's ?
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - David W
Until recently I looked after the ultimate low mileage 1994 Micra 1.3SX (model?). Two local retired owners and a genuine 28,000 miles. Full service history and we would do a six monthly oil change to prevent engine problems, this being at 1,500 mile intervals some times.

Despite this very low use underbody seam corrosion was significant (compared for example with a typical similar age Citroen/Peugeot with absoluteley no rust), not bad enought to need welding for a while but it had a good grip and advanced at each MOT.

The underbody wax/sealant looked as it it had been done in a two second pass and various components (brackets etc) had shaded other bits from receiving a layer. Every nut and bolt underneath was red rust.

I did advise the owner to let me waxoyl it at an early stage but they thought it looked so good because of the shiny paint the problem couldn't be that bad.

Within the confines of the local/town use it was a well equipped and nippy/easy car to drive with a good stereo.

Being so lightly built it did amuse me that the front electric windows were able to exert a fair distortion on the doors when the windows hit top before shutting off. If the motors had been 10% more powerful they would have been propelled out of the frames.

David
Re: anti-rust warranty? - jack
Most makes have an anti-rust warranty of 6+ years.

Have you checked yours?

Otherwise, in the view of most motoring journalists, the Micra was always considered a "disposable" car that you scrapped after 6 years. That obviously applied to older Micras which had reached that age to justify the reputation. Whether your Micra was parked in a field for years before sale is another question you should investigate - check when it was actually manufactured rather than when first registered.
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - ChrisR
Could this be to do with where they were intended for when they were made? Maybe those originally intended for other markets were given less rustproofing, then when the destination changed it was added after assembly. Can this be linked to a downturn in, say, the Japanese market in the mid-late 1990s, which may have left a lot of LHD Sunderland-built cars stranded in UK?

Chris
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - ChrisR
Of course I meant RHD cars...

Oops.
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - RichardM
Get it Waxoiled! I posted on this subject on here a while back as my '95 example had no underbody protection. I put it down to being built in the UK. Sorry.
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - RichardM
Also should have mentioned the paintwork is rather poor. Mine had quite large 'missed' areas hidden on the rear of the roof almost hidden behind the top of the tailgate, and on the inner wings in the engine compartment. No, no accident repairs either...

Nissan GB were not bothered when I contacted them, so I painted them myself.

Wouldn't have happened on Jap Nissans.
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - steve paterson
neil,
I think it's called patronization. Plenty of that here. Makes my skin crawl at times.
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - Jim S
Thanks for all the replies - no, it's not an import or for another market, yes, it runs fine and drives well except for slow speeds in traffic. Perhaps I didn't explain myself well, but at around 10 to 15 mph it's far more jerky than one would expect and this appears to come from the drive train - at a constant speed it's fine, but if it's on-off, very slight acceleration, then no acceleration, it is not smooth. And it's only done 15k, proper servicing, well-cared for. Anyway, I'll live with it. However, the underbody still seems poor - there is protection, but only on the obvious sheets of metal under the passenger compartment. What I want to call the subframe bits (between the wheels) is very poor, patchy with many exposed seams. I have looked under a few others, and they appear similar, with N and M reg ones rusting badly below, but looking great on top. I guess the average buyers aren't bothered, and enthusiasts aren't going to buy a car like this anyway. Thanks again for the site and the forum, it's a valuable method of sharing information when manufacturers really don't seem bothered.
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - RichardM
Hi Jim,

What I did with mine last summer was paint the subframe bits (remove any rust first with a wire brush), brake pipes etc, with a generous coating of Hammerite Underbody Seal - a sort of thick semi-flexible bitumen coating. When it was dry I Waxoiled all the rest of the underside with Waxoil using the standard 'pump up' sprayer thingy, thinned slightly with white spirit and stood in a bucket of hot water to aid the flow. The subframe bits were sprayed also, as a 'belt-and-braces' measure.

Seems to have worked well. The MOT tester didn't comment upon the lack of protection this time. I intend to give a further spray every summer.

Also, check the condition of the horn unit, as it's exposed location had caused mine to corrode quite badly. Scrape off any flaking paint, prime with a metal primer and paint with Waxoil or similar.

As for the jerkiness at low speed, I would say it is a 'feature' rather than a fault. Seem to remember reading something about it being due to the ECU protecting the catalyst.

Great little car otherwise though. Totally reliable, economical and suprisingly quick for a 1l!
Re: Lumpy, rusting Micra - ShereKhan
I agree with the fact that the car was probably standing in Sunderland before it was sold to your parents. I remember reading about a few other Nissan models (can't remember which ones) that were found to have rust on them after they were sold as new cars. From what I remember the cars were brought over from Japan and left standing in the open before they were sold as new cars. Do you live anywhere near coast? as this could also accelerate the rust.

--
306 2.0 SE Cabriolet
Lumpy, rusting Micra - Rog G
Hi,

Did you ever sort out the jerky problem with your micra ? I have the same/similar problem with a 1996 1.0 micra, when in slow traffic in 1st/2nd gear the acceleration is not smooth.
Thanks in advance for any information on this.
 

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