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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a new sound coming from the engine area. It is a whizzing sound - like a sewing machine - that does not change with AC on /off, engine rev, or in/out of gear. Yesterday, I got a very slight 'whiff' of a rubbery-burn smell. Turned the AC off...then on...and it was gone. I can't tell if I am chasing one or two problems.....but I'm pretty sure the whizzing noise will lead to something going completely south.

2005 Frontier SE 251,000 miles

Any thoughts? ideas? Suggestions?
 

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Only thing I can think of that might sound like a whizzing would be a vacuum leak sucking air. As for the rubbery smell I'd check the condition of the serpentine belt as it may be slipping under load of the a/c. Good luck, hopefully it's something simple.
 

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Got a new sound coming from the engine area. It is a whizzing sound - like a sewing machine - that does not change with AC on /off, engine rev, or in/out of gear. Yesterday, I got a very slight 'whiff' of a rubbery-burn smell. Turned the AC off...then on...and it was gone. I can't tell if I am chasing one or two problems.....but I'm pretty sure the whizzing noise will lead to something going completely south.

2005 Frontier SE 251,000 miles

Any thoughts? ideas? Suggestions?
Netxtown,

Might be something going on with the Electric Cooling Fan.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had to make a run into town yesterday and the whizzing sound was not present when I first started up the truck. I made the 15 mile trek into town, pulled into a parking spot between two vehicles, then put down the driver's window so I could hear the engine better (reflection off parked cars). When I pulled into the spot, I left it in gear.

With the window down, I could hear the whizzing sound again. Then, I put it in P(ark) - and it stopped. Put it back into gear - R and D - and nothing.

What i am trying to better understand... As engine RPM changes - wouldn't every aspect of the engine ( belts, vacuum, etc) all increase/decrease with the engine? BRubble points out the electric cooling fan and it is about the only thing I can think of that maintains a constant RPM.
 

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What i am trying to better understand... As engine RPM changes - wouldn't every aspect of the engine ( belts, vacuum, etc) all increase/decrease with the engine? BRubble points out the electric cooling fan and it is about the only thing I can think of that maintains a constant RPM.
Netxtown,

The Electric Cooling fan on my '13 turn's on and off, depending on the Heat Sensor I think, cause mine run's a lot more in the Summer Time than in the Winter Time. After I park mine from a long drive and if the Electric Fan is running, when I turn the AC Off, the Electric Fan also turn's off, right after the AC is turned off.

Might be a good idea with the Engine Off to use a Shop Mirror and take a look to see if the Fan Blade's look in good shape and also a good look at the Shaft to make sure it is actually turning the Fan Blade's. All just a Shot in the Dark on my part though. It might also be worthwhile to leave the motor running after a long drive, and stand in front of the Truck to maybe get a better idea of where the noise is coming from, if it is makeing the noise or if the noise start's back up.

By the Way, Congrat's on 251K Mile's and it show's you are doing something right in your Driveing and Maintenance.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I started it up this morning...and let it warm up until the electric fan came on. No odd sounds coming from there. fan cycles on and off with no issues.

I called a couple places to see about getting it in for a diagnostic....and both nearby places want me to drop it off for a couple days. I looked into renting a car for that time...and holy toledo! $350 for 2 days!!!
So the side-track to this whole thing is now finding some kind of scooter that is light enough I can store it in my workshop, and cheap enough i won't care. :) Being out here in the sticks with out some sort of backup transpo is not a good idea!
 

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I started it up this morning...and let it warm up until the electric fan came on. No odd sounds coming from there. fan cycles on and off with no issues.

I called a couple places to see about getting it in for a diagnostic....and both nearby places want me to drop it off for a couple days. I looked into renting a car for that time...and holy toledo! $350 for 2 days!!!
So the side-track to this whole thing is now finding some kind of scooter that is light enough I can store it in my workshop, and cheap enough i won't care. :) Being out here in the sticks with out some sort of backup transpo is not a good idea!
Nextown,

Well that rule's out the Electric Fan Idea.

I've read that Rental Price's were Sky High right now.

My last rental was with Enterprise and they picked me up @ the house 19 mile's away! Maybe if you talk with the Service Manager he might be able to arrange a Loaner @ a Reduced Cost or maybe even your insurance might help, won't hurt to ask anyway.

I used to keep a Motorcycle just for this type of situation, but I had a Hard Wreck on it 15 year's ago that injured my spine. I've still thought about getting a cheap MotorBike for backup, but I haven't yet. I wouldn't mind getting a 250cc, 350cc or 450cc to have, as long as it would go at least 80mph, but if I go down again, it could very well put me in a WheelChair and that's a big risk for me, especially since I like to ride and I'd probly ride the MotorBike when I didn't need to be rideing.

The Sale's Manager might have a Demo to let you drive for a couple day's to see how you like it. I've also paid for a taxi when they are willing for the 20 mile one way trip. Some countie's in my State also have Rural Transportation that has to be prearranged @ an Affordable Cost.

Good Luck,
 

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I had to make a run into town yesterday and the whizzing sound was not present when I first started up the truck. I made the 15 mile trek into town, pulled into a parking spot between two vehicles, then put down the driver's window so I could hear the engine better (reflection off parked cars). When I pulled into the spot, I left it in gear.

With the window down, I could hear the whizzing sound again. Then, I put it in P(ark) - and it stopped. Put it back into gear - R and D - and nothing.

What i am trying to better understand... As engine RPM changes - wouldn't every aspect of the engine ( belts, vacuum, etc) all increase/decrease with the engine? BRubble points out the electric cooling fan and it is about the only thing I can think of that maintains a constant RPM.
Netxtown,

The Electric Cooling fan on my '13 turn's on and off, depending on the Heat Sensor I think, cause mine run's a lot more in the Summer Time than in the Winter Time. After I park mine from a long drive and if the Electric Fan is running, when I turn the AC Off, the Electric Fan also turn's off, right after the AC is turned off.

Might be a good idea with the Engine Off to use a Shop Mirror and take a look to see if the Fan Blade's look in good shape and also a good look at the Shaft to make sure it is actually turning the Fan Blade's. All just a Shot in the Dark on my part though. It might also be worthwhile to leave the motor running after a long drive, and stand in front of the Truck to maybe get a better idea of where the noise is coming from, if it is makeing the noise or if the noise start's back up.

By the Way, Congrat's on 251K Mile's and it show's you are doing something right in your Driveing and Maintenance.

Regards,
Upon BRubble's suggestion of standing in front of the truck while the noise is occurring, at this point is probably the thing to do being that the noise is intermittent. If you could get a sound recording and post it here on the forum would be very helpful. Being that the noise is constant irregardless of the RPMs points to a possible bad ABS pump motor or a chattering relay on the IPDM module.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Upon BRubble's suggestion of standing in front of the truck while the noise is occurring, at this point is probably the thing to do being that the noise is intermittent. If you could get a sound recording and post it here on the forum would be very helpful. Being that the noise is constant irregardless of the RPMs points to a possible bad ABS pump motor or a chattering relay on the IPDM module.

Went straight out and fired it up and got up close and personal with that ABS setup. Nothing. And then....

I leaned way down to the ground - right behind driver's front wheel - and the sound is much louder and is coming from the tranny area. I was going to crawl under it....but it is hotter than hell outside and I am just not in the mood to crawl around on gravel (hey! I live out in the sticks!) The mere mention of "tran$mi$$ion" makes me wanna say some very ugly things! (Part of that Navy training! :) The thing that throws me is that the pitch of the sound doesn't change....in gear or out.

And right about now is when I wished I would have followed through on getting one of those cheap little scooter things. They're ugly. They're laughable. But 50 mph is better than hoofing it...
 

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Went straight out and fired it up and got up close and personal with that ABS setup. Nothing. And then....

I leaned way down to the ground - right behind driver's front wheel - and the sound is much louder and is coming from the tranny area. I was going to crawl under it....but it is hotter than hell outside and I am just not in the mood to crawl around on gravel (hey! I live out in the sticks!) The mere mention of "tran$mi$$ion" makes me wanna say some very ugly things! (Part of that Navy training! :) The thing that throws me is that the pitch of the sound doesn't change....in gear or out.

And right about now is when I wished I would have followed through on getting one of those cheap little scooter things. They're ugly. They're laughable. But 50 mph is better than hoofing it...
Netxtown,

I would listen closely to what Rogoman is saying.

Since the Transmission was brought up, I would definitely check the ATF level and look for leak's. Being on Gravel a slow ATF leak might not have been noticed. The Service Manual give's 2 method's for checking the ATF Level.

Copied from my 2013 Nissan Frontier Service Manual:

"A/T FLUID Checking the A/T Fluid (ATF)
1. Before driving, the A/T fluid level can be checked at A/T fluid temperatures of 30° to 50° C (86° to 122° F) using the “COLD” range on the A/T fluid level gauge as follows: a. Park the vehicle on a level surface and set the parking brake. b. Start the engine and move the selector lever through each gear position. Shift the selector lever into the “P” position. c. Check the A/T fluid level with the engine idling. d. Remove the A/T fluid level gauge and wipe it clean with a lintfree paper. CAUTION: When wiping the A/T fluid from the A/T fluid level gauge, always use a lint-free paper, not a cloth. e. Re-insert the A/T fluid level gauge into the A/T fluid charging pipe until the cap contacts the top of the A/T fluid charging pipe as shown. CAUTION: To check A/T fluid level, insert the A/T fluid level gauge until the cap contacts the top of the A/T fluid charging pipe, with the gauge reversed from the normal inserted position. f. Remove the A/T fluid level gauge and note the A/T fluid level. If the A/T fluid level is at low side of range, add A/T fluid to the transmission through the A/T fluid charging pipe. CAUTION: Do not overfill the transmission with A/T fluid. g. Install the A/T fluid level gauge and the A/T fluid level gauge bolt. 2. Warm up the engine and transmission. 3. Check for any A/T fluid leaks. 4. Drive the vehicle to increase the A/T fluid temperature to 80° C (176° F). LLIA0071E A/T fluid level gauge bolt : Refer to TM-302, "Component". SCIA2899E Revision: October 2015 2013 Frontier NAM TM-268 < PERIODIC MAINTENANCE > [5AT: RE5R05A] A/T FLUID 5. Allow the A/T fluid temperature to fall to approximately 65°C (149°F). Use the CONSULT to monitor the A/ T fluid temperature as follows: NOTE: The A/T fluid level will be significantly affected by the A/T fluid temperature as shown. Therefore monitor the A/T fluid temperature data using the CONSULT. a. Connect CONSULT to data link connector. b. Select “MAIN SIGNALS” in “DATA MONITOR” mode for “A/T” with CONSULT. c. Read out the value of “ATF TEMP 1”. 6. Re-check the A/T fluid level at A/T fluid temperatures of approximately 65°C (149°F) using the “HOT” range on the A/T fluid level gauge as shown. The HOT range is between 50° - 80° C (122° - 176° F). CAUTION: • When wiping the A/T fluid from the A/T fluid level gauge, always use lint-free paper, not a cloth. • To check the A/T fluid level, insert the A/T fluid level gauge until the cap contacts the top of the A/T fluid charging pipe, with the gauge reversed from the normal inserted position as shown. 7. Check the A/T fluid condition. • If the A/T fluid is very dark or has some burned smell, there may be an internal problem with the transmission. Flush the transmission cooling system after repairing the transmission. • If the A/T fluid contains frictional material (clutches, bands, etc.), replace the radiator and flush the transmission cooler lines using cleaning solvent and compressed air after repairing the transmission. 8. Install the A/T fluid level gauge in the A/T fluid charging pipe. 9. Tighten the A/T fluid level gauge bolt to specification."

When I check the ATF useing the Cold Range, I First let the Engine Warm up @ idle to operateing temperature and then go through the Procedure. I try and put the level 1/2 way between the Low and Full Mark's.

When I check the ATF useing the Hot Range, I use my Scangauge II to monitor when the ATF get's up to 149F Degrees, ( I have to drive about 10 to 20 mile's in the Hot Summertime to get the ATF up to that Temperature), then go through the Procedure and put the level 1/2 way between the Full and Low mark's. I'm glad that I don't have the New 3.8L engine's cause I don't know how they go about checking the ATF Level on their Transmission's.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Speaking of tran$mi$$ions.....

I recall having the transmission serviced (at an outrageous price point) by the dealership at 60k, and then again at 120k. In the interlude between then and a few years later, Ithe conversation with my local repair shop (not Nissan) was that after the transmission gets to be high mileage - leave it alone. Even just a drain and fill could be enough to send it into a tizzy. Hence, there has been absolutely zero maintenance of any sort for the transmission for the last 130k miles. Now I am wondering if my local repair guy (who I don't go to anymore) was just blowing hot air.

On a separate note: it sure would be nice if the dealerships didn't charge an arm and leg - and first born - for routine maintenance. I recall the service at Nissan was $170 a throw. That did not include dropping pan. Just drain and fill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you could get a sound recording and post it here on the forum would be very helpful.
I installed Parrot on my phone last night and will attempt to get a decent recording of the sound. Then i have to figure out how to get the file from the phone to here being i don't allow google to run my show. I will try to put it up on google drive...then i can xfer it to my desktop.
 

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Speaking of tran$mi$$ions.....

I recall having the transmission serviced (at an outrageous price point) by the dealership at 60k, and then again at 120k. In the interlude between then and a few years later, Ithe conversation with my local repair shop (not Nissan) was that after the transmission gets to be high mileage - leave it alone. Even just a drain and fill could be enough to send it into a tizzy. Hence, there has been absolutely zero maintenance of any sort for the transmission for the last 130k miles. Now I am wondering if my local repair guy (who I don't go to anymore) was just blowing hot air.

On a separate note: it sure would be nice if the dealerships didn't charge an arm and leg - and first born - for routine maintenance. I recall the service at Nissan was $170 a throw. That did not include dropping pan. Just drain and fill.
Netxtown,

On my '93 Hardbody, I stopped doing a drain and fill @ 100K mile's, as advised me by a Nissan Service Adviser. Now I can't say if that is right or wrong though to do that.

I don't think that the transmission will have a bearing on this current issue, but I would at least keep a check on the ATF Level and how the Fluid is looking on the Dipstick.

I agree that it is too expensive for me to take mine to Nissan for a Drain and Fill of the ATF and that's why I do it myself useing the Geniune Nissanmatic S or Valvoline Maxlife ATF that is compatible with NissanMatic S ATF. To tell you the Truth I trust myself more than Nissan Service Dept to make sure that the ATF Fluid Level is correct. It just take's too much extra time for them to do it right IMO, "If" the person doing the ATF Drain and Fill actually know's how to do it correctly, but that's just my opinion.

I don't think that it is necessary to drop the pan, as there is a drain plug and the Nissan Service Manual doesn't mention dropping the pan to do a simple drain and fill. There is no Filter to change out,, just a Screen and from what I've been told,, if that screen get's clogged then it's time to do a Transmission Repair. The Valvoline Maxlife ATF in gallon jug's, can be bought @ Walmart and is very affordable IMO. Again I don't much think that the ATF is the problem,, but brought it up to check the Fluid Level, as it's a pretty good expense for Transmission Repair.

Regards,
 

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The "don't service a high-mileage automatic transmission" is a throwback to the old days and essentially an "old wives tale." You'd have someone that never performs any maintenance on his auto transmission and starts having problems and then they service the trans and the trans quits, so they blame the service rather than the lack of maintenance or the chance that the transmission had a problem that was unrelated to the fluid condition. Transmissions today are far more complicated than those thirty and forty years ago and the transmission fluid that some of them require is a lot more advanced, as well. Many today specify synthetic transmission fluids which are more durable and have better lubricating qualities than the old Dexron III/Mercon ATF. Because of that, service intervals have changed and are longer than in the past for some transmissions. I still recommend a drain and fill at least every 50,000-60,000 miles with synthetic fluids on conventional automatic transmissions and around 30,000-40,000 miles for CVT transmissions (making sure the proper CVT fluid is used). I've had great results with Valvoline Maxlife Full-synthetic ATF in my automatic transmissions over the years, including my current R51 Pathfinders and 03 Frontier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
...and so I am off to Ye Old Tran$mi$$ion Shoppe for diagnosis - and provided the e$timate doesn't knock me unconscious - repair. I have got major concerns about even driving it the 18 miles into town. I hope it doesn't leave me needing a tow. (At least that bill will be covered by Geico! - - thank you Lizard boy!)

FWIW - I did check the tran fluid and it is a nice rosy red color and with no burnt smell. Level was fine, too. Also, way back 10 or so years ago, I did the radiator bypass modification.Honestly, this is the very first major "event" with this truck, and as much as i am scared to death of the bill that may be coming - I can't complain too much as it has given me 251,000 miles without a bottle of aspirin. Even if the bill is $4k - that is not even 2 cents a mile....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The update: Tran$mi$$ion shop said "nope. Not our problem!" Which was a huge relief. But, they then indicated the noise was coming from somewhere forward of the oil pan. Potentially they were guessing oil pump. Ugh. on the up side - they don't charge a diagnostic fee! yippee!

Repair shop #1 wanted me to leave it for 2-3 days so they could diagnose it. And if it ws the oil pump - they suggested just replacing the entire engine. WTF!!!????

So i sucked it up and made the trek to my old repair shop. Joe pulled her in within 15 minutes. Listened to everything. Even put on his stethoscope and probed and probed and probed......and inconclusive. BUT! He was pretty certain the noise was external to the engine. So i made arrangements to drop it off there tonight so that the engine would be cold for him in the morning. And i think I did a little sigh of relief.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Three days, rental cars, and $200+ dollars later.....I still got engine noise and no fix. Only thing that has changed is Joe is now thinking the noise could be internal to the engine. My only problem with that is that I have no idea what item is internal to the engine AND is constant RPM.

What is aggravating the crap out of me is the "recommendations" just to open her up - replace the water pump and the timing chain and the tensioners and the belt and the spark plugs and the valve cover gaskets....and maybe one of those will be the fix.....at a cost of $2500+. That approach just doesn't work for me. What happens when we replace all that stuff, I pay the bill, and we still got the noise? If I am gonna throw something against the wall to see if it sticks - it won't be money!

Not sure what the next move is other than to keep driving and hope something breaks or makes itself more obvious. Ain't that one helluva note!
 

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Three days, rental cars, and $200+ dollars later.....I still got engine noise and no fix. Only thing that has changed is Joe is now thinking the noise could be internal to the engine. My only problem with that is that I have no idea what item is internal to the engine AND is constant RPM.

What is aggravating the crap out of me is the "recommendations" just to open her up - replace the water pump and the timing chain and the tensioners and the belt and the spark plugs and the valve cover gaskets....and maybe one of those will be the fix.....at a cost of $2500+. That approach just doesn't work for me. What happens when we replace all that stuff, I pay the bill, and we still got the noise? If I am gonna throw something against the wall to see if it sticks - it won't be money!

Not sure what the next move is other than to keep driving and hope something breaks or makes itself more obvious. Ain't that one helluva note!
Netxtown,

Might be a good idea to get yourself a mechanic's stethoscope. I think I got mine @ Harbor Freight. You've got more time than the paid mechanic's and can take your time to try and narrow it down to where the noise is comeing from.

On another note, if you don't want to put much money into your Truck. Used Truck Value's are extremely good right now. Carvana offered me 17K for my '13 SVV6 that I paid 20K for 8 year's ago. I figure they'll resale the truck for maybe 22K. I'm not interested in getting rid of my '13, but wanted to find out about my truck value.

Good Luck and let us know how it's going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Right now, my biggest worry is that I will do the "wait and see" - and end up with a ruined engine. Hence, the stethoscope is exactly what I need to crawl under this pup and start homing in on where the noise is coming from. I question if they dropped the skid plate and probed those areas noted by the transmission shop. I just find it somewhat incredulous that a fully qualified shop could not even come up with a "we think it might be..." after having the truck for 1.5 days....and supposedly spending over 3 hours diagnosing it.

The screwy part is that I am having absolutely zero performance issues. And why do those stupid engine codes not pop up when i need them the most! LOL!
 
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