Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - terryh
swmbo's 2002 xtrail diesel with 60k Nissan FSH, has intermittent fault of losing power, cutting out and jerky engine. AA said fuel pump. Brought to specialist who managed to experience issue, but it went away after they changed fuel filter and an earth lead. Problem back again after 2 months. Mobile tech suggested turbo and a garage to recover to and do repair. Garage inspected turbo and drove car over two weeks without issue.

Any ideas ? swmbo wants a new fuel pump but big expense without 100% diagnosis. Driving me nuts as I wish something would properly break !
Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - ED731PDH

Also consider fuel pump relay, camshaft sensor and MAF sensor.

Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - snowgoose

We have one of two 2.2 diesel X-Trails in our road. A local mechanic reports the same symptoms as you on each of them: "losing power, cutting out, jerky engine". He recommends the same fix: bleed 0.25 litre or so of fuel through the fuel filter and the engine is good for ~2,000 miles and then you've got your problem back!

They've been in touch with Nissan over the other X-Trail to no avail: no one seems to have any idea why removing the out-flow hose on the fuel filter and bleeding some fuel through would provide some sort of temporary respite.

Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - piston power

Id be tempted to do away with the fuel filter housing and pipe the flow direct to the pump and see how it runs.

It may be leaking air in to the filter & check all rubber fuel hoses for splits.

Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - carr

I had the same problem at about 60,000 miles on my 2003 diesel XTrail which has the old Nissan engine. It would run OK when cruising but would stutter and jerk when accelerating to overtake or climb a hill. Replacing the fuel filter fixed it a couple of times.The garage contemplated replacing a sticking air mixture valve (I think, I live in France and stuff gets lost in translation) but never did and for the last 15,000 miles the problem has disappeared. A sticking valve does sound more likely than a turbo because the fault is intermittent and feels like fuel starvation.

The car seems very sensitive to fuel quality, I think that maybe sometimes there's not enough lubricant in some batches. I used to think that certain supermarket fuels used to cause the problem but that wasn't consistent. I would suggest changing the fuel filter and buying a few tanks of branded diesel.

I hope very much that I don't get the problem back, it drove me nuts too.

Good luck.

Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - Simon.G
Hello, I have a 2003 X-Trail with the 112hp diesel Nissan engine. It is exhibiting this exact problem. I can't afford to change the fuel pump without knowing for sure that it will solve the problem.

Anyone out there who knows for sure what causes this problem? It seems like a very common problem with X-Trails with the Nissan diesel engine!

Many Thanks,

Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - thomab

Following on from the previous posts I too seem to have the same problem with my 2003/53 2.2Di Diesel X-Trail.

I replaced the fuel filter the other month and since then I have not been able to obtain the consistent performance I had previously. Genuine Nissan filter was used.

Whilst the engine always starts first time and idles smoothly, intermittently and when under load, i.e. accelerating up hill or towing, it will loose power in 3rd or 4th gear requiring a premature change down to 2nd in order to maintain progress. If I leave it in 3rd or 4th the power will intermittently surge. (You could call it spluttering!)

The problem I’m sure is down to fuel starvation caused by air in the fuel system that wasn't there before the filter change.

I have primed the system by removing the fuel filter outlet pipe ensuring no bubbles remain and then reconnect the pipe continuing to prime until the priming pump goes ‘hard’. However if left for 5 seconds it will go soft again and will take a few more pushes. I then start the engine and continue to prime for a few minutes in case any air is stuck beyond the filter.

This process fully restores the performance for a few weeks only for it to slowly revert to its previous state.

I have checked the filter housing/priming pump by installing a clear fuel pipe to the outlet, that loops higher than the filter, and there are no bubbles whilst engine is running.

What I do notice is when the engine is switched off a large bubble appears from the direction of the fuel pump and sits at the top of this loop. It clears when the engine is started but returns when stopped. I’m not sure if this is normal behaviour or whether it has anything to do with my intermittent issue? On disconnecting the clear filter outlet pipe the fuel immediately drains away, I assume back to the tank via the return pipes, again I assume this is normal too? - but the filter remains full as expected so the non-return valve is working ok.

So to diagnose this further my questions are :-

1/ Should the priming pump stay hard until the engine is started?
2/ Does it make any difference if the ignition (engine not started) is on when priming?
3/ Is it normal to have to continue to prime once the engine has started?
4/ Should an air bubble rise from the direction of the fuel pump to the fuel filter outlet when the engine is stopped? Or do I still have an air lock/leak maybe in the fuel pump area?
5/ Should the fuel drain away from beyond the fuel filter if I disconnect the filter outlet pipe or should it hold there waiting for the main fuel pump to suck it in and compress it?

All hose connections are tight and there are no obvious fuel or air leaks in the system that I can see.

I would welcome any comments, observations or advice so I can resolve this issue one and for all, and hopefully help others who are experiencing this frustrating problem.

Thanks in advance.

Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - xtrailman

Jerky running is often a symptom of a faulty "neutral position switch", more noticeable in 3rd and 4th gear.

The switch sends a signal to the ECU, which shows a status signal of "on or off ".

The switch detects whether the car is in gear, and affects idle speed and fuelling, problems occur if the switch thinks its in neutral while actually running in gear.

If you unplug the sensor, the ECU will think its in gear, so you can eliminate it this way.

Usually a new switch is required around £100.

Sorry i don't know its location, just something i recorded from a car mechanics article on the T30 2.2

Nissan X-Trail - 2002 xtrail diesel spluttering - Des H

Without any warning my 2005 185k miles X Trail switches in to limp home mode, unable to accelerate. One click off and then back on the ignition reboots the car. It can go for months without doing it, or several times every 5 minutes. Seems to be a link with rural diesel from infrequently used garages. Nissan diagnostics many years ago said it was a faulty fuel pump, which was definitely wrong, as have driven another 100k miles on the same, original fuel pump. The most plausible explanation I have heard is that it is the potentiometer (which I understand is the accelerator by wire). It happens only at low acceleration, and never in cruise control. Now it is doing it several times a minute after filling with Waitrose petrol and the engine management warning light has come on. Am taking it to the garage and see if they can work out what the problem really is.


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