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Can anyone tell me if performing periodic maintenance on the rear axle vent is included anywhere in the service manual or owner's manual? I looked and cannot find anything. Reason I ask is...my vent failed and dealership said they always check it when one brings their truck in for maintenance. If I would have known about it, I definitely would have checked it every time I changed my own oil. Thanks.
 

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I would either check it regularly or install the "Axle Vent Mod". If you search the forum, you will find it. It essentially extends the vent to behind the passenger side tail light. It also adds an air filter and eliminates the one-way valve allowing the axle to breathe.

After the mod, I would still check the filter occasionally. Doubt you will need to change it very often. Cost me about $25 in parts (including the filter)...
 

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The vent is not supposed to be a regular maintenance item, but Nissan knows they have a problem with them so some dealers will make it practice to check them. My driver side seals blew and started leaking in the first 10,000 miles. I had it fixed under warranty, installed the vent mod with a hose and filter, and so far haven't had an issue in the last 9,000 miles.
 
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The vent is not supposed to be a regular maintenance item, but Nissan knows they have a problem with them so some dealers will make it practice to check them. My driver side seals blew and started leaking in the first 10,000 miles. I had it fixed under warranty, installed the vent mod with a hose and filter, and so far haven't had an issue in the last 9,000 miles.
Can you, or someone, tell me what 'checking' it involves? I don't off-road so am not inclined to do the mod. However, if this checking, and perhaps keeping clear, is something I can do with very minimal tools I'd like to know how. I have found where it is and the area is relatively clean.
 

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The existing piece is spring loaded. You should be able to freely push down on it and have it move about 1/8 of an inch. My understanding is the piece is a one-way valve and if pressure build up, there is no release, and that is what does the seals in.

Given how easy and inexpensive the mod is, I went ahead and did it anyway. I don't do much off-road, but figure the mod will reduce the chances of trouble later.

Without the mod, I would think if it becomes covered in dirt/mud/whatever, and no longer freely moves, I would pull it and clean (or replace) it. Can't imagine it is very expensive.
 

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Right, the valve is spring loaded and the idea is to keep stuff from getting in but let air breathe out. Since it's mounted so low, it accumulates grime, road salt, water, mud, etc. over time and stops working properly. In my opinion it's a crappy design. American brand 4x4s have had vent lines running up to higher and protected locations on the vehicle body for as long as I can remember.
 

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Can you, or someone, tell me what 'checking' it involves? I don't off-road so am not inclined to do the mod. However, if this checking, and perhaps keeping clear, is something I can do with very minimal tools I'd like to know how. I have found where it is and the area is relatively clean.
Had my buddy change the diff fluid in my '00 right before I sold it...he also checked the (original) axle vent. It was clear and had nearly 185k miles at that point...though all on the street = no off-roading.
YMMV (lol)
 

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Had my buddy change the diff fluid in my '00 right before I sold it...he also checked the (original) axle vent. It was clear and had nearly 185k miles at that point...though all on the street = no off-roading.
YMMV (lol)
The vast majority of truck owners rarely, if ever, do any "serious" 4 wheeling so getting all clogged up with mud is rarely a problem.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the vent design on the Frontier. It is the same type of vent as has been and is used on many other vehicles from many manufacturers over many decades.

It wouldn't hurt to occasionally take it off and inspect it and clean it up if necessary. If you take it off I would also make sure the the threaded hole in the axle is also unblocked from hardened congealed axle grease and/or mud. A Qtip or pipe cleaner will do the trick.

If you are frequently mudding or fording a lot of streams (or flooded mall parking lots :)) you may want to do the axle vent mod. It will definitely eliminate any concern over the OEM vent getting sealed by mud or rust or water getting sucked into the axle.

However, some folks believe the vent mod will also eliminate the risk of leaking axle seals and that is just not true. Some folks that have done the vent mod have still ended up with leaking seals.
 

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When a friend of mine (hes a mechanic and gets a discount on parts at Nissan) purchased my rear brakes for me, the parts guys told him that they change out the diff vent when they do the rear brakes, so I changed mine then. Not sure how official that policy is or if its in the service manual. That said my rear diff had water in with the fluid and all the bearings were shot, so I will be doing the relocation mod like mentioned above once the parts finally come in, not sure if the vent is what leaked though or it could have been the old one that leaked I guess.
 

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Had my buddy change the diff fluid in my '00 right before I sold it...he also checked the (original) axle vent. It was clear and had nearly 185k miles at that point...though all on the street = no off-roading.
YMMV (lol)
YMMV is 100% correct. A dry climate may be one thing, but in areas like here in MN, you can end up driving in a salty, sandy, wet, sloppy mess from November to April.
 

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I figure for the $25 in parts and hour of labor, it was worth the effort. It would seem that the construction of the valve would only let air flow in one direction when working and not at all when plugged. Without the free flow of air in both directions, there would be some pressure exerted on the seals. Also the fact that it lets water in, was enough to convince me it was worth the effort to do.

It may not make a difference, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything either...
 

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The 2011 KC SV I just purchased has 54k on it. Previously owned in Utah
and Oregon, the valve was clean and functioning properly upon inspection
last week. I decided to move forward with the cheap mod anyway.

Initially I contemplated stainless steel braided hose, then fuel line, before
settling for silicone tubing because of the purdy colors available.
 

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... the valve was clean and functioning properly upon inspection last week. I decided to move forward with the cheap mod anyway. ...
So what is the inspection that allows you to determine it is functioning properly, short of seeing lube dripping from a blown seal as a sign it is not. Mine is clean that's as far as I know.
 

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Why me?

Dang it my left rear axle seal has blown :( and when I took the fill plug out there was some pressure released :(

I think I caused it myself, when I put the PRG rear cover on I filled past the service plug thinking a bit more gear oil could only help with heat and wear. I had almost 3qts in there, my own stupid fault. Oh well you live and learn.
 

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So what is the inspection that allows you to determine it is functioning properly, short of seeing lube dripping from a blown seal as a sign it is not. Mine is clean that's as far as I know.
hmm, uh.....okay I may have assumed too much, now that i'm sitting here
thinking about it. I figured that if the valving was not plugged up (I removed
it and tested the valve for proper function) the diff would be okay. are you
suggesting the the only sure method would be to open the diff up?
 

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hmm, uh.....okay I may have assumed too much, now that i'm sitting here
thinking about it. I figured that if the valving was not plugged up (I removed
it and tested the valve for proper function) the diff would be okay. are you
suggesting the the only sure method would be to open the diff up?
I'm not suggesting anything. There have been several references to 'checking' and 'inspecting'. I'd like to do this too but am not clear what's involved. So your post is helpful - you removed the valve and tested it for proper function, i.e. looked to confirm it was not plugged up. If that's it I'm good. Thanks
 

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ohhhh, i thought you were hinting I missed a big step.
the vent/valve used on our trucks is similar to many others out
there on other vehicles. just YOUTUBE it and you'll see many
methods used to manipulate and checking the valve
 

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ohhhh, i thought you were hinting I missed a big step.
the vent/valve used on our trucks is similar to many others out
there on other vehicles. just YOUTUBE it and you'll see many
methods used to manipulate and checking the valve
Even better, I'll do just that. Thanks again.
 

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Other things to consider with this repair

If your axle vent fails or your axle seal just decides it's time to retire. You'll be looking at new parking brake shoes and rear pads. If they get soaked with gear oil and you don't find/fix it quickly, no good you can't buy just one side. And I just replaced my pad's <1k.:(

I think I've caught it early enough I'm just cleaning the pads/shoes and rotor. Since lowering the gear oil level and relieving the pressure, I'm going to see if the seal stops leaking?
 

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My right side just blew. 55k miles, so should be covered under the powertrain warranty.
 
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