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Discussion Starter #1
Neighbor asked for help on his Versa yesterday.

Every floor pan heat shield had broken in at least one place.

Front, middle, & rear.

Every floor pan stud and every heat shield nut and washer already have rusted over. (All but 2 looked like 20 years of rust.)

The heat shields are wafer thin. Only a bit more than aluminum foil thickness. Literally. You can bend 'em with your fingers.

The heat shields, once broken, begin tearing in a line, like a cracked windshield does exposed to heat.

The rearmost heat shield has a large area that is not supported as it bends away from the pass's rear floor pan (back toward the muffler), so vibration breaks it even more.

All this ... just after the warranty period ...


Checked JUST ONE of the local junkyards ... and there already are 15 Versas there!

That should be a pre-purchase criterion: check the area junkyard listings FIRST.

Along with checking recalls ...

Along with checking TSBs ...

Though the latter are delayed and/or not issued until they have to be.


Being a long-time Datsun/Nissan guy, painful to see this quality decline ...
 

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I hear you on those, but in my experience they have always proved problematic over time and require clamping, and those rear heatshields over the muffler usually corrode around the attaching bolt so that it is no longer held and can move and vibrate around. If you can remove the bolt, you can use a large washer with the old bolt to get it so that holds firmly inplace anew. Word to the wise other weak link in the exhaust tends to be the welds for the mounting brackets. Its worth keeping an eye on those and having them rewelded when they break loose. That said I have never changed an exhaust component on my 2006 X trail, but I have had some welding work done 3 times over my 6 and a half years of ownership (its now 9.5 years old.)

For what it is worth my front manifold heat shield has lots of holes and corrosion, as did the one that protects the back catalytic converter. I used good quality aluminium furnace tape to cover the problem areas, and put on a couple of layers. To my amazement 10 months later after a complete winter,its still in place and doing the job. If I could I would have bought new ones to replace the old but they are either unavailable or cost a a fortune
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<those rear heatshields over the muffler usually corrode around the attaching bolt so that it is no longer held and can move and vibrate around. If you can remove the bolt, you can use a large washer with the old bolt to get it so that holds firmly inplace anew.>

Dang, we have a lot of the same experiences. Nearly identical, across everything you mention.

The neighbor's floor pan heat shields did not show signs of rust, even at the thoroughly rusted studs, washers, and nuts. So, Nissan got the coating right ... at least through the warranty period.

But, the heat shields were JUST SO THINLY designed, engineered, and manufactured (obvious cost-cutting), that vibration and insufficient securing simply caused them to break, in multiple places, and spider outward.

Yes, we had installed 1" diameter washers (under the rusted nuts) - the biggest washers we had, and they held most of the shield stud-areas back up, but not all of those areas. The shields are no longer free-style-banging against the intermediate pipe now, but ours is not a long-term fix either.

Not sure if the neighbor is going to take me up on the offer to run to the junkyard or go get new ones. At $150 for the new set, and after he saw the originals, I know he doesn't want to do either, cause he can see both options WILL fail again.

Nissan did NOT change part #s on these 3 floor panel heat shields.

<welds for the mounting brackets>

Yeah, same here. Same issue. Seen the same thing.

<my front manifold heat shield has lots of holes and corrosion, as did the one that protects the back catalytic converter. >

Yeah, our Altima's are doing the same thing on the exhaust manifold heat shields. And, are in the process of falling away from those bolts. Front 2 shields wear/rust/decay particularly rapidly. Rear one does not decay quite as rapidly/soon.

Nissan had one part - changed to another part - then changed to a third part. That was the case for each shield.

But, no recall. No warranty coverage.

They know about the problems. Know the short duration of the parts. Know it's been going on for (at least) the past 2 generations of the cars. Know most (nearly all, probably) customers never get down and see these issues.

So, they continue to not do the right thing ... for the customers.

You either fix your engineering, building in quality (not testing it away). Fix your design. Fix your manufacturing. Fix your testing. Fix the quality control. Fix the parts. And, apprise the customers of the free repair(s). After all, they paid for the parts to be right, up front.

Or, you continue to trade your reputation and future sales for pushing units today.

Spent 30 years in big business. I witnessed repeatedly that the bigger a company gets, the more they tend to rush product prematurely, the worse their product and quality becomes, the more they squeeze their subs and suppliers, the less responsive to clients and customers the company becomes, the more political and more bureaucratic and more slothful they become organizationally, and the organizational layers undergo expansionism affecting keen decision making.

That is, until the company feels enough pain - or ultimately realizes purity of leadership and vision, and finally reverses the cycle, setting about cultural and systemic reforms, re-building lost reputation and market-share.
 
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