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Discussion Starter #1
Hello and I'm new to the forum. I'm looking to buy a Frontier and found that my budget will only get me a "high mileage" truck. I want the 2005 and up truck with the V6 and seems most trucks I find have between 120-170k miles.

I'm in the twilight of my youth and remember cars with points and pretty much stuck with general motors stuff (although I ran a VW, a Volvo, and an Izusu). General motors motors used to go 100-200k miles before top end work was required but I had a 4.3 vortec that was running strong at 220k miles. but then it was always several water pumps, starters, radiators, and alternators along the way (and front end work, and of course brakes, shocks, and exhaust...).

Can I have some responses on high mileage trucks and let me know your miles and the repairs you did along the way. Am I just throwing good money on bad if I buy a truck with 170k miles on it???
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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Most late model engines are pretty reliable well over 100,000 miles due to their efficiency. Of course, maintenance is always a key to any vehicle. If you are looking at a 2005-2010 model Frontier V6, there are two issues you should be aware of:

1) Nissan has had a lot of radiators fail on automatic transmission models in that the integral trans cooler can leak, causing cross contamination of engine coolant and automatic transmission fluid, which often damages the transmission. If you are not sure if the automatic transmission is original, there are two options as far as preventing this. One is to replace the radiator with an aftermarket or updated Nissan part. You can get aftermarket radiators for less than $100 on Ebay. The other method is called "the bypass method." There is likely a factory installed, auxiliary trans cooler on the Frontiers (I'm not 100% sure, but there is on the North American made Pathfinders and Xterras). Many re-route the trans cooler hoses so that the ATF no longer passes through the radiator, using the auxiliary cooler alone. If you plan on towing or live in an area where there is really cold weather, I would recommend radiator replacement. If you are looking at one to buy, make sure you check the AT dipstick (which is held in with a 10MM head bolt) and the engine coolant reservoir for signs of cross contamination.

2)The VQ40DE is an excellent engine, but there were a lot of problems due to the upper timing chains cutting through the plastic upper tensioner "feet," which is the pad that is pressed against the chain. This will often result in a "whine" noise that sounds similar to a P/S pump whine. Nissan updated the upper chains and beefed up the tensioner "feet" to address the issue, but replacing these parts is a fairly big job and typically costs $1200+ to have it done in a shop. There is no average time or mileage when either of these problems occur. A Carfax report might tell if either of these repairs have been done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks SMJ, I was aware of the Timing Chain issue (they call it secondary timing chain?) but didn't know there was a different/improved chain to use with the new tensioner. I read (the TSB?) it was most common around 80k miles to hear the sound and saw a youtube vid showing the tensioner shoe where the plastic slipped on the shoe and then the tensioner was pressing on the metal (crap, couldn't find the video just now)... And I was aware of the radiator issue - but I'm shopping for a manual transmission truck.

I'm looking at other issues on high mileage trucks. How many miles do you have? AND C'mon there must be other forum members that are proud of the miles they've racked up since 2005...
:)
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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Yes, it's called a "secondary timing chain" by Nissan. There are actually three timing chains on the engine. The primary connects the crank to the cams; the secondary chains connect the exhaust and intake cam gears on each side. Borg-Warner makes them. Supposedly they rounded the edges of the secondary chain links; I've looked at them, but couldn't tell any difference. I just hope it fixed the problem because I've replaced them on three different vehicles!
 

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Hey Gary,

Do a Google Search for an '05 V6 MT Frontier,, and I think you may get just what you're looking for:

2005 Nissan Frontier Consumer Reviews

On that Thread Review,, about everyother one is Either Best Truck Ever,, or Worst Truck Ever.. :)

I've been with Nissan Truck's since '93. Drove that '93 for 20 year's & 176K mile's. I could have kept driveing it,, but to tell the Truth,, After 20 Year's,, I wanted a New Truck to drive,, and I test drove all of them, ie Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Ram, but again the Nissan just Whooped them all, Best Bang For The Buck.

Be sure to check the Oil Dip Stick for Overheating Sign's. Ck everything that has a DipStick, or a Cap.

If the Battery is Corroded,, that's Negligence or Ignorance, so that'a good indication of the other more important thing's that an Owner need's to keep a check on, which they probably didn't.

If you buy Private,, try to find out who drove it, Their Age,, and if any young Driver's had privelege's. Young Driver's are prone to Truck Abuse; not all but enough do, to put up a Red Flag, before purchaseing.

If you buy from a Dealer,, Get them to give you a long warranty.

Do everything that SMJ,, has said.

Geniune Nissan Part's IMO,, are good. the '93,, I replaced a leaking gas tank @ about 10 year's/115K mile's, Leaking Water Pump @ 19year's/174K miles, Radio konked out @ about 17 year's/160K Mile's, Some of the Dash Lighting started to go out @ about 16 year's, more or less, The main light's for the Speedometer, Coolant Temperature, etc, were still working when I sold the Truck @ 20 year's/176K miles.

Try to get a Good Nissan Technician to chk the Truck out,, if possible, like maybe the Fellow that Test Drive's & Evaluate's the Trade in's before the deal is made.

So far,, I've had good luck with Nissan Truck's,, but that doesn't mean that you will though.

Maybe some of my suggestion's will help a little bit. If so I'm glad.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wow thanks guys.

I crawled around and under the truck and didn't find anything noteworthy but the battery sure looked corroded/neglected. The seller says he is second owner after buying it at 20k miles in 2008 but car fax says there was one owner until it was traded in this year and sent to auction. The dealer confirmed having it for four days. Seller said he had it at the dealer for four days but they reneged on trade in value so he took it back. I suspect the seller bought it at auction and flipping it.

Seller said he always ran synthetic oil in it and I checked the oil. I wouldn't know what synthetic looks or smells like nor what I'd see with signs of overheating are but the oil looked a little dirty (kinda smelled like oil??). Seller said he runs 10w40 because its got some miles and that he replaces with 2 qts of 20w50 in the summer. I never heard of this and thought the engine should get 5w30. Anyone hear of this? could he have heavy oil in to quiet hydraulic lifters??
 

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Go with your instincts. My gut says you nailed it. I bet the guy cannot show you a single servicing invoice in his name. 20w50 ? Does he take it to the track?
There was a thread this summer about a Pathfinder in Mexico with the mechanic having put in the same weight oil thinking he was doing the owner a favour. The engine did not like it.
Keep looking it will pay off in the end.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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I would stick with 5W30. Also, the VQ40DE has solid lifters with adjustment shims, not hydraulic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Oil didn't smell like gas. I really think this guy is selling cars for a company. I googled his name and found a photobucket account with albums for 15 cars and it included a few car fax reports. When I met with him I decided not to challenge his story figuring if he is selling for the company that bought it off auction, then it still is a good price and a one owner car. The car fax did show regular service all at one particular Nissan Dealer. He presented a bill of sale from Autotraders LLC in Tobyhanna PA and the title showed AutoTraders as the owner. When I questioned why he or his company was not listed as the owner he said he cycles all his company vehicles through this autotraders LLC. Again I figured he was lieing but decided to go forward anyway. I missed the DMV tonight but plan to close on it tomorrow. He allowed me to take the title to the DMV without leaving a dime so at least I will know there are no liens on it when I get the title in my name. And the Oil, well replacing 2 qts of 5w30 with the 20w50 was his recommendation as he said that's what his mechanic always did... but I don't believe his mechanic always did anything to this truck...
 

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Seller said he always ran synthetic oil in it and I checked the oil. I wouldn't know what synthetic looks or smells like nor what I'd see with signs of overheating are but the oil looked a little dirty (kinda smelled like oil??). Seller said he runs 10w40 because its got some miles and that he replaces with 2 qts of 20w50 in the summer. I never heard of this and thought the engine should get 5w30. Anyone hear of this? could he have heavy oil in to quiet hydraulic lifters??
Gary,

If the engine ever got too hot,, the Dipstick may or may not show sign's of Discoloration of an Engine getting too hot.

Buying a Good used Pickup, can be difficult to do. Especially Nowaday's that Truck's are Becomeing Quiet Trendy. All you can do is try to find a good one. Sometime's it work's out good,, and I hope everything go's good for you too.

I would guess,, that the reason the previous owner was mixing in 20w50,, was to thick'n the oil, and help prevent oil Blowby. You'll know more as you get mile's on it and see if it is necessary to add oil, in between oil change's.

If mine ever start's to use a little bit of oil,, I'll probably go to 10w30 or 10w40, which is a little bit thicker. On my '93,, it also recommended 5w30,, but I used 10w40 from the getgo on that one. I probably would have gone to 10w30 or 10w40 on the '13,, except the cold Idle is set so high,, that I didn't want to take a chance with the thicker oil,, not getting to the Top End as fast as the 5w30.

Use a Bakeing Soda & water solution to get the Corosion off of the Battery Terminal's. Then put a thick coating of Grease over the Terminal's,, and exposed Wire's, and you'll never have to deal with Battery Terminal Corosion again. I've never had to clean off any corosion on any of my Engine's, cause I coated the Terminal's with grease since new. My oldest is a 1988 Lawn Tractor. I've lost count on how many Batterie's it's had over the year's,,but I've never had any corosion, ever.

If you think that the used Truck Market is Tough; The Used Airplane Market is even Tougher... :)

Good Luck,, and hope you'll have good luck with your New Frontier.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good points good attitude (ya never really know when buying). Come to think of it, I didn't test drive all that long and it wasn't that hot when I finished... (I don't think I even verified it went to full operating temp duh). & I drove it a little hard but didn't do hard deceleration or acceleration looking in rear view for smoke. Seller seemed tight on time snd I wasn't thinking... but for the price at worst case I could rebuild the engine and still come close to other dealer sales. It's the manual trans and I'm not finding many of these. Anyone know what a jasper engine or rebuild might run? I was guessing $3k.
 

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Hard to resist the sexy red ones...The guy is a curbsider and rushing you is a sales tactic. He needs to flip rapidly to make money. That said the vehicle itself could be a good one. I am just not so sure about custom blended oil formulations...

You are right about them being rare. Best deal for an 05 with around 195,000 miles in the Toronto region in fair condition with slight damage, they are asking 3900.

In fact the best deal I see on my Kijiji search is one not that far from me. A 2006 Nismo edition version, private sale from a nice neighborhood and with the equivalent 100,000 miles and they are asking 8500. Probably could be had for under 8K. I like the pewter colour.
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-image.html?adId=1027031314&image=0&enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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Good points good attitude (ya never really know when buying). Come to think of it, I didn't test drive all that long and it wasn't that hot when I finished... (I don't think I even verified it went to full operating temp duh). & I drove it a little hard but didn't do hard deceleration or acceleration looking in rear view for smoke. Seller seemed tight on time snd I wasn't thinking... but for the price at worst case I could rebuild the engine and still come close to other dealer sales. It's the manual trans and I'm not finding many of these. Anyone know what a jasper engine or rebuild might run? I was guessing $3k.
You would spend almost $3k on a used engine if you needed one. A Nissan reman is over $7k. This is not an easy engine to rebuild on your own.
 

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That's a Nice looking Truck Gary.

I hope that the matching Aluminum Wheel is in the Spare Wheel location under the rear end.

You got Mud Flap's Too! That's good,, cause it has helped the paint stay on behind the Wheel's.

You got a Metal Front Bumper Too! Also is better IMO.

I like KC's,, cause we have Full size bed's for hauling. To me they also look good too.

The Outside look's good, so hopefully you got a good one. If you put some seat cover's on now,, they will help keep the seat's looking good for a long time. I like the Wet Suit Material best. Sorry can't remember the exact name of the material.

If you got the Hitch,, then you are all set, but I would go over it good, and maybe change out the Rear End Oil,, and clean the Rear Axle Breather.

If they didn't leave the Owner's Manual with it,, you can go to Nissan's Web site to get another one, or maybe download the Manual. The OM let's you know what Type & Viscosity of Oils & Fluid's to use. There may be a place on this site to download the Service Manual Too, which also has( I think) the Type and Viscosity of Oil's and Fluid's to use.

Good Looking Truck.
 

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As my moniker says, I'm on my 4th Frontier. All, except the new '14 were purchased at 3 years and 96k, 105k and 116k miles on the '95, '98 and '04 respectively. These were bought from someone I knew. The '98 was sold in '07 with 218,000 miles. The buyer liked it so much (not one tick or squeak) he kept calling to buy the '04. Over 100k, I change the shocks, fuel filter once/yr, the oil every 2,000 miles and plugs, cap and rotor yearly. The '04 needed a timing belt, water pump and radiator at about 220,000 miles. I always use Nissan oil filters as recommended by www.oilfilterstudy.com. He's independent, and cuts them open to examine construction. Fram gets very low remarks. I finally did the clutch (all three past Frontiers were manual trans) on the '04 at 200,000 miles. Could have gone more. Never did any exhaust work, although the heatshield on the exhaust manifold did rust off. I also changed the steering linkage bushings at one point. These trucks are amazing, and don't resist buying a high mileage truck. I would have kept the '04 another year, until I was hit by a car and the front end damage totalled the truck at 237,000 miles. I'm certain it could have gone 300,000 miles easily.

Like previously advised, trust your instincts, look for leaks, service receipts and noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got the truck and loving it. It had a spare tire on it and tire air pressure indicator light. So I picked up a used tire had it mounted and all tires topped off but the light is still lit. Also picking up the truck it had a servicen engine soon light on so I Don t know what that's about. Ideas?
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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The "service engine soon" light is the same as a check engine light. You will need to get the stored trouble code(s) read and they will help give an idea of what the problem is. Many auto part stores will do this for no charge.

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will turn on the warning lamp if there is a problem with the system. Normally, they come on for one of two reasons: the tire pressure is low in one or more of the tires, or, one of the TPMS sensors is bad or the battery is weak. The battery is a non-serviceable part within each of the four sensors, so the sensor must be replaced if the battery is weak or bad. Also, they tend to last about 6-7 years, and when one goes, the others are usually not far behind if they are the original sensors. You would need to get the trouble codes to find out what the problem is, but this requires a capable scantool. Also, keep in mind that if there is a code for a sensor in a specific location (i.e. the left front wheel), the position indicated is for the location of the TPMS sensor when it was registered. If a sensor was programmed at the left front wheel, for example, then it was later rotated to the left rear and not reprogrammed and that sensor went bad, the trouble code triggered would be for the left front sensor as that is where the now faulty sensor was last registered. Sensors need to be registered (or "programmed") using a TPMS trigger tool as well as a capable scantool. There is also a manual method by jumping a harness connector under the driver's side of the dash, but it's a bit of a pain that requires setting each tire to a different but specific tire pressure and driving the vehicle. If a new TPMS sensor is installed, the trigger tool may still be necessary to get the sensor out of "sleep mode." Dealers, most tire shops and some independent shops are able to program sensors. Weak sensor batteries tend to act up in colder weather, so it may work when the weather is cold until the vehicle is driven and the temperature of the air inside the tire heats up. If it is a sensor that is causing your problem and they all appear to be original, my suggestion would be to get four, new Dorman direct fit TPMS sensors from Rockauto.com. They are half the price of the Nissan sensors and, unlike most, have a lifetime warranty. The tires will need to be removed in order to replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think I'll get the service engine codes and forget the tire pressure sensor crap until I get a new set of tires.
 

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Bought my 2010 SE V 6 FWD, 6 speed manual new It has 104000 on it now. Oil changes at stretched intervals up to 6,000 miles or so. I had one rear alxe seal replaced under warranty at just shy of 60K (the end of the power train warranty). A thermostat last March (maybe 85K? I don't remember) Tires at 70K Brakes I did my self including parking at 65K ish. Haven't even changed plugs yet, I have them in the garage but I was told they go 117,000 miles. I need a battery now and some suspension work, probably shocks. Lost a mile or two in MPG relatively recently too. Time for a checkup I think

Had some on and off issues with the tire pressure sensors. Early on, maybe 15-20K ish miles I was driving a lot on one particular road with one of those wireless changeable message signs. In rainy weather often when I passed the sign the TPM light would cycle a few times but never come on steady....or would go steady and the off after another 20 miles or so. First few times I'd stop at the nearest safe location and get out, in the rain and check TP. Nothing wrong. I got to a point that I would simply ignore the light. Came out one day for lunch after the light had come on on the way to work..... in the rain and had a flat tiire.....I'm back to checking things out when they come on now!

I was told that RF interference can cause the sensors to go spastic.

Other than the spastic TPM, this truck has been a gem.
 
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