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Discussion Starter #1
My engine saga continues to the point that I think I have to get rid
of the car. I know the issue now through trial and error. Last night
got the same code that has been an issue, and sure enough, once again
my PCV valve was clogged from excess blowby. My piston seals are not
doing the job anymore and letting too many combustion gases pass into
the crankcase. This causes a vaseline like substance in the engine oil
which then gets sucked into the PCV valve, clogging it and causing
vacuum issues. Coats the throttle body and intake manifold, and its
just all-around bad news. It still drives great when it runs, but its
causing idling and starting issues which are no good if we only run
one car. I installed an oil catch can yesterday to help but its only
confirmed the sludge blowby. I hardly used the car yesterday, and there was more than a tablespoon of yuck in it when I checked today
What to do? Do I try a piston cleaner? Is there anything to be done other than major expensive engine work. Do I throw money at this or move on and throw money at another vehicle. I am thinking 2011 to 2103 Subaru Forester.
 

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You can't go wrong with a Subaru. I've owned a bunch. 3 Outbacks and 3 SVX. What's your mileage again?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
223,744 KM with 80% of it daily city driving.
Guess I am going to try some type of piston cleaning stuff and hope its a partially stuck piston ring that can be freed. At a loss as to what happened, but its been a pain the last couple of months and Rogoman's theory about blowby and engine wear seems confirmed by what I am seeing in the catch can and the failure of everything I have done to fix the issue. Even today after clearing the code and the pcv valve it started up and drove and idled fine. I am sure it will be ok for another couple of days and then this will act up again. Again no coolant in the oil, no bubbles or oil in coolant, engine compression tested good, exhaust smoke is normal, good spark and fuel pressure and no check engine light
Any suggestions on how to proceed?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, when I decide I decide-- just bought a 2011 Forester Limited with the exact same mileage as the X. Got it cheap enough that I will be willing to invest it and be confident that it still has more life in it. Its a shame for my X though I will sell it for approx 1500. It drives great when its driving and has far more that is good on it than bad, and I think someone new will be happier to invest in it a bit. For example, if someone was commuting in from Wakefield every morning and getting a good run on the highway rather than being stuck idling in traffic to cross the bridge every morn, I think the car would be great. But at the moment if I do a number of short errands I am not confident it will start well after the 3rd stop, and more importantly, my wife has lost faith in it and is scared of being left stranded if she takes it.
There is a possibility I will keep it as a second car, but having been there and done that many years the truth is the occasions where its needed are pretty rare, neither would get used sufficiently, and it would still engender unneeded expenses. It's surprising me but as attached to the X as I have been, I am now ready to move on and realize it was not going to last forever.

Huge thanks to Otomodo, X-HALE, Mike, Rogoman and SMJ. Will miss you guys and hope to pop by every now and then but it won't be a hobby of mine anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Black Pearl w the black leather and winter package, auto and awd. First year they put a timing chain and before they went CVT for the transmission. Nice vehicle once I give it a wash and wax and interior clean. Private sale from a woman whose uncle gave it to her but she finds too big and prefers her Corolla. It needs new tires and pulls slightly to the right, but no leaks anywhere I could see, had dark but good oil just now due for change based on the sticker in the windshield. Got underneath it, flashlight in wheel wells, and thorough check of the exhaust and I don't know where it wintered but there is no rust and only a few paint chips. Carfax checks out. Will have to get it Qc safetied but should pass with my X trail Blizzak winter tires put on the subie rims. I also get to keep my one-year-old Continental all seasons. A friend wants me to sell his one-year-old winter tires that are the 16'' size for the X so I will throw those on mine to sell it. Even with 240,000 kms $3500 for it was a seriously good deal, and leaves fair bit of room for me in case it needs some more serious repairs than I foresee. The husband was a good guy to boot and will drive it over with his uncle on Monday. Was a fun time buying a car. Have a good feeling about it.
 

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That's a very good price for a 2011. I would not be happy with a CVT either. By 2011 Subaru had long since sorted out their head gasket issue.On the 2.0 litre it was never really a problem anyways. I had a Black Pearl '97 Outback LTD with leather. It's a nice colour, especially in the sun. With that many KMs in 8 years you would have to think it had a lot of highway miles too rather than city.
 

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Good luck on your Forester Quad. Was glad to help you as best I could. You've acquired a good amount of knowledge on Nissan vehicles so it would be good for you to stop in at the forum and maybe help some "Newbees" with their problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the good wishes guys. Having slept on it, maybe I will keep the X as a second car for a bit. Yesterday it was fine, and late in the aft I decided to take it for a highway run to Wakefield and enjoy the remaining fall foliage, the X drove great. accelerating well up to 140, pulling strongly up hills, steady as she goes on cruise control. It's still a great vehicle that I am sure would drive to Toronto tomorrow if needed.
It has only three issues 1) the sunroof requires you to push the tilt-up button to fully seal when you slide it closed
and 2) the blowby that is affecting the PCV system. 3( I have never properly adjusted the handbrake shoes to work properly but its an automatic and I rarely park on a hill. That is it, every electrical feature works, all lights are good, very minimal rust, and with my seat covers and info system, it has, in my opinion, the nicest interior of any current X trail I have seen. Frankly, I tried to look after it proactively I don't think many others were ever as well maintained and obsessed over. No current check engine light, no pending fault codes, even the gas gauge is now working properly. The oil catch can is working with no vacuum leaks. Just this summer, transmission fluid change, coolant change, oil change, spark plug change, new fuel injectors, front and rear brakes serviced and lubed... It's hard for me to figure what would be an appropriate selling price, and how much you disclose.
You routinely see used ads that state it needs a windshield, and tires and maybe some other stuff. Price may be cheap but then someone has to be ready to spend 1500 to 2K to make it roadworthy. So perhaps a disclosure that it may require some engine work is not the end of the world. Should I leave the catch can in place or delete it and put back the OE PCV hose and engine cover for appearances? I could always reinstall it on the Subaru.
Thanks for bearing with me guys. It helps me to write out my thoughts :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Je te souhaite la meilleure des chances avec le subaru.
Ce fût un plaisir de te lire et d'apprendre à travers tes écritures.
Au plaisir de te(vous)recroiser.

Tony.
Merci bien et surtout pour ton aide avec mes questions toutes ces années. Ce Forum a beaucoup ajouté a l'experience d'être proprio d'un X trail et j'ai bien aimé le sens de camaraderie que ca m'a apporté.
Cheers
Mike
 

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You would pretty much need to disclose the engine issue. To do otherwise would be dishonest and weigh heavily on your conscience. By mentioning it though you pretty much destroy any chance of selling it. People don't buy cars with engine problems for obvious reasons. You'd be lucky to get $500 for it, if that.It would be basically a parts car.
I bought mine 2 1/2 years ago for $1,900 in near mint shape with 200,000 kms. It passed Quebec safety with flying colours and only needed a rear wheel bearing as it was beginning to rumble.
You could keep it as a second car but will you ever trust it fully to get you home? It's a tough decision.
 

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That's a very good price for a 2011. I would not be happy with a CVT either. By 2011 Subaru had long since sorted out their head gasket issue.On the 2.0 litre it was never really a problem anyways. I had a Black Pearl '97 Outback LTD with leather. It's a nice colour, especially in the sun. With that many KMs in 8 years you would have to think it had a lot of highway miles too rather than city.
That was my thinking and its still basically 30,000 kms or 20,000 miles a year, and I would not be surprised if the car went to Florida or someplace in the winter. I can actually find listings for the same 2011 with less than 100,000 kms for more than 3 times what I paid. A car like that has either sat for long periods or done lots of short trips. Anyway we will see how it goes with the one I got which showed zero codes and none pending
I will say this what a pleasure to see hub assemblies and complete strut assemblies for it and part prices are comparable if not cheaper than for the X.
My friend is selling me his one-year-old winters on rims 215 65 16 from a Chrysler 300M for $100 so I will put those on the X.
Guess I will sell two sets of 17'' Nissan alloy rims, my spare fuel pump assembly and rear wiper motor and arm on Kijiji.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think the scrap value for it will be higher than $500. If you were to drive it you would have no idea it has an issue. Most sellers have zero knowledge about their cars. Its only had something like 6 times it would not start immediately, but in every instance I was able to get it started and drive home fine within 15 minutes or half an hour. Also, keep in mind it is currently plated in QC and that alone is worth an extra 500, as it does not require a safety for a Quebec buyer. All bearings are good by the way and have all been replaced over the past few years with quality parts. Brakes are great, steering tracks true, heat and air con work perfectly, transfer case and rear diff A1, all struts and suspension arms are less than 3 years old, all fluids are fresh, no engine leaks.
I bought an Ontario plated 2002 Acura EL for the nephew last winter for 900 with check engine light on, brake service light on, that had been in a minor accident, had an engine oil leak, and a hole in the catalytic converter. There was something like 30 items required for it to pass safety, and even with me doing a lot of the work it cost $1500 to get everything sorted including some body work. There is always a buyer. My nephew loves the car and I know its safe and a far better vehicle than a neglected 2007 Hyundai Accent it replaced.
The infotainment unit and wired in back up camera will be attractive to someone as will the custom seat covers that are a year old.
6103
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For argument sakes, its in better shape than this one and has 100,000 less clicks. Passed a compression test and a coolant pressure test, no signs the head gasket has failed on mine.

Comparable ones are asking over 3K. I really do not think I would be ripping anyone off by asking 1500. I would recommend that any buyer that is not mechanically knowledgeable have it inspected. Anyone wanting a 3 month used car warranty can take their chances and pay 3 to 5,000 at a used car dealer. I have the complete maintenance history since it was new, and it's in the kind of shape that putting in a new engine or having valve work done on it would be worthwhile.
 

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I too have near 230,000 klms on my Xtrail. Bought it used about 4 years ago and have been very pleased with it so far, with basic routine maintenance, changed out stock bulbs for LED, replaced the windshield, new lite truck tires, new tranny and differential fluids, replaced the cam sensors, upgraded the stereo (which is still fried at the moment). But i was thinking that probably in a few years my now 13 going on 14 year old Xtrail will get replaced by another japanese suv awd....such as a 2016-17 Toyota Rav4 awd. A bit boring and more mainstream, but very very reliable, service and parts much easier to get then the Xtrail, a solid 2.5L 4cyl engine with 176HP, a solid 6 speed automatic , visibility, shape/size/cargo and passenger room similar to Xtrail and the awd system on the Toyota pretty good for light duty city/winter driving (for my personal needs , anyways). I do enjoy my nissan truck, just thinking the truck will be aging and need more expensive maintenance ( and so will I....)......eventually i go the safe middle aged man route and buy a boring reliable , low expenses vehicle that should go easy on the wallet and not have to worry about tracking parts down or long term ownership issues.
 

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other japanese suv i had in mind to buy used in a few years from now is a 2015-16 mitsubishi Outlander awd. With the small V6. My gas mileage probably suffer compared to a nissan/toyota 2.5L 4cyl, but that increased horsepower and torque be nice. They have a nice ride, very good lockable awd system, reliability on par with a toyota rav4. A friend bought a 2018 Mitsu Outlander with a four cylinder / automatic/awd this year and he extremely pleased with it. Previously he had a then new 2013 or 2014 Mitsubishi RVR ( the stubbier, smaller one) with awd and a 2.0L engine. He gave that vehicle to his son to keep, never had any issues at all since purchasing it new.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I thought we must have the same friend for a sec, but his 2018 replaced his 2013 Outlander. He likes them for towing his teardrop camper. I agree the RAV is a good vehicle and I like them as long as they are passed 2013 and so have a rear liftgate like the X, rather than the side opening door with the spare tire on it.
As much as I have rushed to buy the Subie, I will probably also delay selling the X and get some more use from it as an occasional second car, and possibly bring it to a Japanese specialist garage such as Takaki motors who can properly assess it. I am much closer to a Nissan dealer, but I am sorry to say I have no faith in them.
I will say when buying a car from Ontario to register in QC there is a hidden hick up. Despite the price I paid, I have to pay sales tax on the min value established for it by the SAAQ. You save by not paying GST on a private transaction but in my case, they want $809 in QST for a car I paid 3500 for because according to them it's market value is $8100. They tell you, you can pay 200 to have the car evaluated, but when I finally spoke to a guy licensed to do this, I was told it was pointless, and that for cars less than 10 years old they will not budge. The mileage and condition of the car are not considered. Saw this echoed in a post by some guy who bought a used 9-year-old Murano with failed CVT for 1000 and had to pay tax on a 5000 valuation.
In a couple of weeks, I will compare the Subie and the X in a thread. It's pretty obvious that in a lot of ways Subaru drew on the T30 X for inspiration, but they failed to copy putting the gas filler on the driver's side. And get this irony of ironies, my wife is disappointed in the height of the passenger seat. It's manual unlike the drivers and does not allow you to raise the seat cushion. I am sure they did this for extra safety for the passenger in the event of a crash, but it does feel a little sunk in with a higher beltline.
I had not checked the sound system on it but hey hey it got an upgraded Pioneer sound package with nav, and has lots of good features. Sadly though it has no possibility of plugging in a back up camera, so I may end of changing it later and installing one.
I guess I will see what the Subie is like to maintain, but the boxer engine set up is kind of cool, and looks fairly straightforward to work on. I will be replacing the pcv valve and radiator cap for preventative reasons. Oil change with the filter on top of the engine looks really easy.
 

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Good choice with the 2011 Forester Limited . I have liked the Subarus going way back, but have never owned one.. The 2011 Forester is a very smart looking suv, has great visibility, car like ride, decent mpg, very similar to our Xtrail in many ways including a 2.5L engine and pretty much the same horsepower. (i base my opinion on having driven customer cars over the years, chatting with customers/owners , body shops/mechanics over the years). When Subaru redesigned the forester for 2014, i kinda liked the new look and interior. But sometimes it comes across as bulky looking and maybe a bit too premium or flashy for some reason. So going back to the non turbo 2011 style, it has a more cleaner, just right athletic look about it. I think you made a good buying choice and will be very pleased with it in the long term. ttps://www.samarins.com/reviews/forester_09.html
 

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one japanese suv that i wanted to buy before buying my 06 Xtrail was the 08-13 Nissan Rogues. But there were a few things i disliked that never were improved upon to convince it be a safe, reliable bet such as a rav4/honda crv/subaru or even our older Xtrails. The pitch black interior combined with the dark privacy glass just depresses the hell outta me. The rearward visibility due to the pinched sloping back window and smallish rear quarter windows add to the misery. The Xtrail was so much better for all around visibility and a pleasant lighter colored interior. But the big negative to me is that damn CVT transmission. Too many problems and likely an expensive hassle with no warranty. After 2014 , the Rogues became bigger, heavier . Nicer to look at, nicer interior ...but became costlier, the same 2.5L engine with pretty much the same horsepower from a 2006 Xtrail ( 167 hp versus Rogues 170hp...nissan should offer more hp/tq in these newer rogues), and they still use that goofy cvt transmission.
 
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