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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The frontier has to be one of the most reliable vehicles Nissan makes. I have worked for Nissan for many years now and can tell you these things stand the test of time. Now I am not saying that you will never have any issue with one but I can tell you it is a lot less than some other Nissan vehicles. Yes Nissan kicked themselves in the face for the radiator/trans but really as long as you replace the radiator and or bypass it you will be fine. I chose to purchase a Nissan frontier because of their reliability, styling, and simplicity. You really cannot go wrong with this truck.
 

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The frontier has to be one of the most reliable vehicles Nissan makes. I have worked for Nissan for many years now and can tell you these things stand the test of time. Now I am not saying that you will never have any issue with one but I can tell you it is a lot less than some other Nissan vehicles. Yes Nissan kicked themselves in the face for the radiator/trans but really as long as you replace the radiator and or bypass it you will be fine. I chose to purchase a Nissan frontier because of their reliability, styling, and simplicity. You really cannot go wrong with this truck.
Thought Nissan corrected the radiator/transmission problem in 2010. Are you saying that I should replace the radiator or bypass on a 2016 Frontier?

So far I have enjoyed my Pro 4x.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you have the warranty extension for your truck then yes the problem can still happen which was 2005-2010. 2016 frontiers did not have this issue. Sorry I should of been more specific.
 

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I've had a different experience with my frontier. I still love it but it seems to be far less reliable than any other nissan I have owned. Honestly the most reliable so far was a 2009 Versa 1.6. I did nothing but change the oil and air filter and one set of front brakes in 205k miles. Ironic since it was the cheapest car in America.


-My frontier the battery failed causing check engine light (fixed under warranty before any major damage).
-Vehicle stopped responding to the gas pedal. Scary driving on the highway and the gas pedal doesn't work. (traced this down to the warped/not properly closed air box with a KN crap filter)
-rust spots on some bolts like door jam in in gas filler area (other cars had some rust but never this soon)
-odd burning smell from rear (99% sure this is just my tires but that 1% still bothers me).
-windows all roll up really slow and passenger window rattles like crazy if it's not all the way up or down.
-passenger seat vibrates and rattles

I bought this truck used but it only had 19k miles and was only 2 years old when I bought it. Like I said I love it. But so far it's the least trouble free nissan I have ever owned.
 

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-My frontier the battery failed causing check engine light (fixed under warranty before any major damage).
-Vehicle stopped responding to the gas pedal. Scary driving on the highway and the gas pedal doesn't work. (traced this down to the warped/not properly closed air box with a KN crap filter)
-rust spots on some bolts like door jam in in gas filler area (other cars had some rust but never this soon)
-odd burning smell from rear (99% sure this is just my tires but that 1% still bothers me).
-windows all roll up really slow and passenger window rattles like crazy if it's not all the way up or down.
-passenger seat vibrates and rattles
To me, "reliability" is how much I can trust a vehicle to get me from point A to point B without having mechanical issues. The only thing on your list that potentially points to a lack of reliability to me is the battery problem (but how old was the battery and was it regularly checked and maintained?). If there is a good battery in there now that's being maintained properly, it sounds to me like your truck is good to go from a reliability standpoint.

EDIT: I'm not saying that funny noises and smells or minor surface rust on a relatively newer vehicle aren't annoying. But the window can rattle all it wants and if the vehicle still gets me to work everyday and is seldom in the shop for mechanical problems, I consider it to be reliable. A semantics issue I suppose.
 

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To me, "reliability" is how much I can trust a vehicle to get me from point A to point B without having mechanical issues. The only thing on your list that potentially points to a lack of reliability to me is the battery problem (but how old was the battery and was it regularly checked and maintained?). If there is a good battery in there now that's being maintained properly, it sounds to me like your truck is good to go from a reliability standpoint.

EDIT: I'm not saying that funny noises and smells or minor surface rust on a relatively newer vehicle aren't annoying. But the window can rattle all it wants and if the vehicle still gets me to work everyday and is seldom in the shop for mechanical problems, I consider it to be reliable. A semantics issue I suppose.

I will have to disagree. A gas pedal not working is a major reliability issue. I could die from that one. Burning smell from the back of the truck also could be something catastrophic.

The battery was OEM and was replaced under warranty. It has an updated Nissan labeled battery now. I don't maintain batteries. I never have. I have had probably 10 nissan's that have called my driveway home. I have racked up a million miles in these nissan's. I have replaced two batteries ever. One the battery wouldn't hold a charge but no check engine light saying communication to TCM error like on the frontier. This was an OEM battery that gave up after 150k miles and my kid always playing the car leaving the damn lights on. The other was this frontier where I get a check engine light and after reading up on this forum it could have caused a fried TCM. I understand taking care of the battery and maintaining it may prevent this. But again, this was never an issue on previous nissan's until this one.

I agree not everything on my list was going to stop me from getting somewhere. But I was on a roll LOL. So I listed my other annoyances with the vehicle. Which in my short time already has a longer list than my previous nissan's.

Like I keep saying, I still love it. Probably my favorite nissan because it's a truck. She is just going to need a little more love than one's I have owned before. Ironically it's the most expensive one too.
 

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I will have to disagree. A gas pedal not working is a major reliability issue. I could die from that one. Burning smell from the back of the truck also could be something catastrophic.

The battery was OEM and was replaced under warranty. It has an updated Nissan labeled battery now. I don't maintain batteries. I never have. I have had probably 10 nissan's that have called my driveway home. I have racked up a million miles in these nissan's. I have replaced two batteries ever. One the battery wouldn't hold a charge but no check engine light saying communication to TCM error like on the frontier. This was an OEM battery that gave up after 150k miles and my kid always playing the car leaving the damn lights on. The other was this frontier where I get a check engine light and after reading up on this forum it could have caused a fried TCM. I understand taking care of the battery and maintaining it may prevent this. But again, this was never an issue on previous nissan's until this one.

I agree not everything on my list was going to stop me from getting somewhere. But I was on a roll LOL. So I listed my other annoyances with the vehicle. Which in my short time already has a longer list than my previous nissan's.

Like I keep saying, I still love it. Probably my favorite nissan because it's a truck. She is just going to need a little more love than one's I have owned before. Ironically it's the most expensive one too.
A gas pedal problem that was attributed to an aftermarket add on, a battery failing because of your kid running it down and because of neglect (Frontiers do not come with a maintenance free battery), and a burning smell that you haven't diagnosed but the vehicle drives fine and you're pretty sure it's just the tires. I'll take this vehicle off yours hands - I'd feel perfectly safe using it as a commuter. :)

I have heard of people having funky issues with their Frontiers when the battery was replaced. It's not something I've experienced personally but I have seen it on the forum a number of times.

Like I said, I thinks it partly a semantics issue but I think it's also your expectation that your 3 year old vehicle should be quieter and more refined than it is - which I don't think is unreasonable, by the way. I hate it when newer cars start sounding or behaving like older cars sooner than I feel they should.

As a side note, you might pull off the rear rotors and check for axle seal leaks as a possible source of the odor (that would be a reliability issue). I might also be inclined to check the fluid level and condition in the rear diff, verify that the parking brake isn't dragging, and see whether there is any evidence of fluid leaks onto the exhaust - I may be way off base but those are relatively easy things to check.
 

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A gas pedal problem that was attributed to an aftermarket add on, a battery failing because of your kid running it down and because of neglect (Frontiers do not come with a maintenance free battery), and a burning smell that you haven't diagnosed but the vehicle drives fine and you're pretty sure it's just the tires. I'll take this vehicle off yours hands - I'd feel perfectly safe using it as a commuter. :)

I have heard of people having funky issues with their Frontiers when the battery was replaced. It's not something I've experienced personally but I have seen it on the forum a number of times.

Like I said, I thinks it partly a semantics issue but I think it's also your expectation that your 3 year old vehicle should be quieter and more refined than it is - which I don't think is unreasonable, by the way. I hate it when newer cars start sounding or behaving like older cars sooner than I feel they should.

As a side note, you might pull off the rear rotors and check for axle seal leaks as a possible source of the odor (that would be a reliability issue). I might also be inclined to check the fluid level and condition in the rear diff, verify that the parking brake isn't dragging, and see whether there is any evidence of fluid leaks onto the exhaust - I may be way off base but those are relatively easy things to check.
Wow, Jen, you almost hit what I would have said word for word.

Things modified and things not checked out and or ignored are NOT the fault of the car maker. People seem to forget a vehicle is a mechanical item with many pieces and moving parts. Things can and will go wrong.
 

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The battery run down was on the previous car. My kids don't play in my truck. The gas pedal though I did have a crap aftermarket filter (previous owner installed) in there was due to a warped air box. Warped after 2 years!!! Common problem it seems on these vehicles. Actually my co worker with an xterra has same issue and uses OEM filters. It uses the same air box. Mine took me quite a while to persuade it all to fit together like it should and I assume the stress on it now will eventually lead to the box cracking down the road.


I feel safe in my vehicle. I never said I didn't. I am more than capable of diagnosing and fixing issues as I have already done that with the battery and air box on this truck. I have done plenty of mechanic work in my day. I am just stating it is the least reliable Nissan I have ever owned. A difference of opinion from the person who started this thread. I am wondering if the previous owner had these issues as well and that is why he unloaded it so quickly. I'm not getting rid of it. I will drive it until the wheels fall off! I have had incredible luck with nissan's in the past. Even this vehicle being the least reliable is still more reliable than some friends and families vehicles of other makes. It is also my favorite nissan I have owned. Styling, capabilities, interior room, exterior size, winter traction (will be better when I get new tires), all far outweigh these annoyances.
 

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The battery run down was on the previous car. My kids don't play in my truck. The gas pedal though I did have a crap aftermarket filter (previous owner installed) in there was due to a warped air box. Warped after 2 years!!! Common problem it seems on these vehicles. Actually my co worker with an xterra has same issue and uses OEM filters. It uses the same air box. Mine took me quite a while to persuade it all to fit together like it should and I assume the stress on it now will eventually lead to the box cracking down the road.
My apologies, I obviously read the kid sentence too quickly.

I have trouble with the air box on mine too - the middle tab never wants to line up the way it should, so my box is probably warped too. I was told by a Nissan tech that most of them are that way and, right or wrong, they usually just call it good if they can get two of the three to line up and never see any driveability issues.

I'm glad you still like the truck; I feel the same way about mine. I've had recurring axle seal leaks and some other minor issues (most of which can be attributed to my off road habit, but some of which can't) but overall it's a great truck and my favorite vehicle that I've ever owned. I also had a very positive experience with Nissan Consumer Affairs when my truck was under warranty and my local dealership decided that they no longer wanted to help me sort out an issue I was having.
 

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I've had a different experience with my frontier. I still love it but it seems to be far less reliable than any other nissan I have owned. Honestly the most reliable so far was a 2009 Versa 1.6. I did nothing but change the oil and air filter and one set of front brakes in 205k miles. Ironic since it was the cheapest car in America.


-My frontier the battery failed causing check engine light (fixed under warranty before any major damage).
-Vehicle stopped responding to the gas pedal. Scary driving on the highway and the gas pedal doesn't work. (traced this down to the warped/not properly closed air box with a KN crap filter)
-rust spots on some bolts like door jam in in gas filler area (other cars had some rust but never this soon)
-odd burning smell from rear (99% sure this is just my tires but that 1% still bothers me).
-windows all roll up really slow and passenger window rattles like crazy if it's not all the way up or down.
-passenger seat vibrates and rattles

I bought this truck used but it only had 19k miles and was only 2 years old when I bought it. Like I said I love it. But so far it's the least trouble free nissan I have ever owned.
I had that same problem with the rattling window . Just so you know it's your window regulator starting to go bad . If it's under warranty I'd have them fix it before it's not anymore .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
robj80, so I have seen most of those things that have happened to your truck.

1. If the battery has low cranking voltage you can get a CEL as low voltage to some of the modules will cause this. Usually no concern to your vehicle. See it all the time. Batteries are wear items and unfortunately they can fail at any time.
2. Sound like someone never closed the air filter properly. Usually you would have to have air leak after the MAF sensor to get a no throttle response as unmetered air is a pain when it comes to MAF sensors. I normally would see this on a intake tube not attached properly. To me it sounds like human error.
3. I def have seen paint flaws on lots of nissans. My 2017 has a paint flaw on the passenger door. If you are under warranty most of the time you can get that covered depending on mileage.
4. Haven't had any burning smells on frontiers. You can check the rear axle seals though. I have seen many of those come through and can cause a burning smell.
5. All frontiers need window regulator lol. Really I have replaced numerous regulators and get the same creaking type noise. Seems like they will never correct this issue. The rears go slow because of dirt and debris most of the time in the tracks. Normally a little lube in the window runs will help with that but yes very annoying.

I do agree that most of this gets really annoying especially when we all know vehicles aren't cheap. I guess i just deal with the minor stuff like that as long as i know my vehicle will get me and my family where we need to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dang I didn't read all the comments. Everyone has already chimed in on most of the concerns.

JeniorNV- If you are still having axle seal leaks there may be a tsb on your concern but i have seen when techs cut the bearing and collar off and cut into the axle shaft where the seal rides and won't seal. Had it happen on a xterra for us.
 
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