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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As a brand new Frontier owner, I am lovin' my truck. There IS one thing though that is niggling me and this is a lag in acceleration. From the time I press on the pedal, there is like a brief "dead zone" until it kicks in. If I don't feather it, it can cause a bit of a lurching start. Is this "normal"? I'm aware of the drive-by-wire set up.
I am coming from a manual 5 Spd. F-150 to the 5 Spd. auto on the Frontier, so I'm not sure this is a matter of getting used to??
I've seen the issue pop up on the forums, but I can't seem to pinpoint others comments to my own.
If I've missed a thread on this, I'd appreciate a link to it.
Thanks for any input or ideas.
 

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As a brand new Frontier owner, I am lovin' my truck. There IS one thing though that is niggling me and this is a lag in acceleration. From the time I press on the pedal, there is like a brief "dead zone" until it kicks in. If I don't feather it, it can cause a bit of a lurching start. Is this "normal"? I'm aware of the drive-by-wire set up.
I am coming from a manual 5 Spd. F-150 to the 5 Spd. auto on the Frontier, so I'm not sure this is a matter of getting used to??
I've seen the issue pop up on the forums, but I can't seem to pinpoint others comments to my own.
If I've missed a thread on this, I'd appreciate a link to it.
Thanks for any input or ideas.
I've not noticed anything. Granted, a manual will always be more "snappy" simply because it's got a direct connection. I'm also assuming that F-150 was a V8. That's a huge difference. You have my cylinder pulses to soak up more fuel on throttle changes at a given RPM, resulting in a quicker spin-up (of course that could be countered by less reciprocating and rotating mass in a V6) - anyhow...it's more than likely the transmission that's throwing you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply but I don't think that's what it is. Although I know what you mean, the F-150 was a V-6 and actually the Frontier has a better overall feel of torque and acceleration.
The issue is with this odd feeling of "on/off" with acceleration, versus the more traditional feel.
Other ideas?
 

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Also, in case you aren't aware, there is a wide open throttle restriction until you reach 38mph.

So, you might have the gas mashed, but it isn't giving you 100% throttle until you reach 38mph.

I haven't noticed a hesitation in my pedal but I will pay more attention and see if I notice it now.
 

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Expand on your lag. Are you cruising at like 40 mph in 5th and you just hit the gas? That would be b/c 5th has no power at that speed and you have to feather it to get it to kick down a gear. My wife's auto in her Ford Escape seems more "peppy" than mine, like instant power all the time. I associate that with my truck just being bigger and not really supposed to drive like that. I don't feel like mine is laggy though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Expand on your lag. Are you cruising at like 40 mph in 5th and you just hit the gas? That would be b/c 5th has no power at that speed and you have to feather it to get it to kick down a gear. My wife's auto in her Ford Escape seems more "peppy" than mine, like instant power all the time. I associate that with my truck just being bigger and not really supposed to drive like that. I don't feel like mine is laggy though.
To expand on the explanation:
First, I'm not a "romp on it" kind of driver.
What is happening is that as I push down on the accelerator from either start or even under 40 MPH or so, there is a "dead zone" as if the "switch" has not engaged. Then at a certain point, acceleration begins.
If I push down "a lot", when it kicks in, it tends to lurch a bit.
If I push down "a little", then it feels a little "laggardly" (is this a word? Describes it, though).
Also, I have noticed a general feeling of lugging in how the transmission shifts and in acceleration below about 35. Not sure if this is all related in poor communication with the accelerator pedal.
If I thought this was actually a problem - and maybe it is - it will need a trip to the dealer. It's just that I have seen some posts on this issue.
 

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The electronic throttle body has a delay to kick down gears. Most new vehicles are this way unfortunately. I find that to be annoying, but its easily addressed with a tuner.
 

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Have you driven with OD turned off? It will kick into OD once speeds normalize and then under acceleration it will show some hesitance because it tries not to kick out of OD.

I think frontiers also "learn" your driving habits and the transmission/ecu/etc adjust. The reason I say this is if I rest the computer (remove battery cable) it will show that I can get >300 miles on a tank. Then I drive it around a week or so and it will say 260/tank. Also, after a reset, it seems the transmission shifts funny (way too early).

So, maybe try a ecu reset via removing the battery cable, then drive for awhile and see if it "learns" your style?
 

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fly by wire aside you will always get this feeling when switching to an auto tranny from a manual just because of the shear mechanics of what happens in an auto drive line to get you going compared to a manual driveline. there will always be a lag or hesitation because there will always be that slight moment of getting the fluid in the torque converter moving and transferring that energy to the drive line where in a manual you are directly transferring energy from motor to driveline. fly by wire systems give you much more accurate and precise control of the throttle. standard linkage requires the energy of your foot moving the pedal to be transferred through multiple parts that have slack and play in them and a cable that stretches overtime and changes length with temp where with the fly by wire you have your foot on a pedal and as you move the pedal it changes the pos of a sensor that is reading the exact amount the pedal is moving and at the speed of light transmits this information to be turned into a throttle pos. i've always felt much more constancy with my fly by wire cars than with traditional ones. trust me what your feeling is the greater power that is lost to transfer energy through an auto tranny driveline. also with these trucks there is a slight feeling of a being held back or lack of sensitivity below 38 mph because of the wot restriction. its called the WideOpenThrottle restriction which may make you think all it does is not let you hit a full wide open throttle but thats not all its doing. the entire map of peddle pos to throttle pos is different. this i know from disabling the function listening to the difference in the initial suction of air as i accelerate at 20 mph. but this gives a feeling of not quite getting out of it what your putting down with your foot. hope atleast some of this might have helped
 

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It could very well be the traction control system cutting off your throttle...

If a tires slips a LITTLE LITTLE bit... your power is temporarily gone for a moment and slowly feathers back to full power unless traction is lost again.

This can be disabled though, button is by the 4x4 switch.

Also, I don't know if I'm 100% correct, but i THINK the factory programming has the throttle limited to 45% throttle until you pass 30-40mph or so...
 

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It could very well be the traction control system cutting off your throttle...

If a tires slips a LITTLE LITTLE bit... your power is temporarily gone for a moment and slowly feathers back to full power unless traction is lost again.

This can be disabled though, button is by the 4x4 switch.

Also, I don't know if I'm 100% correct, but i THINK the factory programming has the throttle limited to 45% throttle until you pass 30-40mph or so...
VDC is what you're referring to. It does a few other things as well, but, for the most part, you'll notice it not stomping on the brakes when you slip the wheels.

One thing I've noticed is when you're on an incline - the truck has a nice feature that will hold it in place with your foot off the brake, until you hit the gas. There's a delay there, so you end up hitting it harder on the gas, then the wheels slip, it grabs the brake in response to that and drops RPMs, and then it releases a second later.

Annoying...
 

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the traction control and VDC are two separate things. the vdc uses a g sensor and info from the abs sensors to tell if the vehical is sliding or becoming unstable in a turn and individually applies brakes to each wheel to prevent sliding or spinning and can be turned off with the vdc button. the traction control however can not be turned off with the push of any button in your truck, the Z, G, GTR however do have trac control off buttons to turn off this specific function. so unless modification is made the truck will always have ABLS trying to keep the rear wheels spinning the same speed (all 4 in 4wd) and traction control to try and limit excessive wheel spin through throttle control which you may have noticed if you have ever been high centered. but with what the op has said about feeling this hesitation when driving normal and not romping on the gas when this is happening none of these features would be a factor here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You folks are amazing with the responses!
Lots of useful info and it's very much appreciated.

So it sounds like the bottom line is: I'll get used to it?
No one else seems to find it particularly annoying from what I am reading.
Also:
1.) can anyone add anything else to comment that the Frontier "learns" your driving style/habits?
2.) I stumbled on a post for resetting the throttle response that involved pumping the pedal in specific intervals, etc. Anyone else had experience with this?
 

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You folks are amazing with the responses!
Lots of useful info and it's very much appreciated.

So it sounds like the bottom line is: I'll get used to it?
No one else seems to find it particularly annoying from what I am reading.
Also:
1.) can anyone add anything else to comment that the Frontier "learns" your driving style/habits?
2.) I stumbled on a post for resetting the throttle response that involved pumping the pedal in specific intervals, etc. Anyone else had experience with this?
answer to number 2: yes its the procedure used by the dealership techs to recalibrate the fly by wire and is what they will do if you take it in concerned about something regarding hesitation or anything like that with the pedal. it pretty much erases the current settings and has you reset the wot setting and no throttle setting.

answer to number 1: the truck is very smart and learns many things and puts them to memory and through some mathematical algorithms adjusts somethings based on data over time of how the truck runs. these include logging data of each individual cylinder and how it burns gas to adjust fuel injected into each one to keep them balanced but this also includes learning your driving habits, like what your average pedal pos is at any given rpm, vehicle speed, ect to decide what the best shift points and so on are to make the best use of power and to get the best economy. the problem with all of these mathematical algorithms is that over time there is so much data that its making its decisions from that any changes made currently have a bit less effect on how they change the mean of everything else which is why its a good idea to reset the ecu and erase all this saved data and start from fresh. in the nissan service techs manual it says to erase all this data can take up to 24 hours with the battery disconnected so if you have a day that you can go with out your truck or atleast close to a day give the reset a try and see if this helps you out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
answer to number 2: yes its the procedure used by the dealership techs to recalibrate the fly by wire and is what they will do if you take it in concerned about something regarding hesitation or anything like that with the pedal. it pretty much erases the current settings and has you reset the wot setting and no throttle setting....

... give the reset a try and see if this helps you out.
Just wondering: would you recommend doing the reset yourself using the more complicated "pedal pumping method", based on the info supplied here in the forum? Also, if so, would happen to know that link?
Thanks again.
 

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i would on maybe a weekend or when you have a couple days off and don't plan on going anywhere in your truck wake up and go do any running around you need to do then disconnect the battery for 24 hours or as close to 24 hours as you can, most of the time the data is all erased before 24 hours time but thats the max it would take, then give it a few days to a week and see how you like eveything then if what is desired has not changed then try the recalibration. i have never done the pedal recalibration myself but i've seen people post the procedure either on this forum or the my350z forum i can't remember and i've had this done at a dealership (watch them do it cause i do most of my own work and like to watch every move someone makes when working on my stuff) on my z after i pulled off my throttle body and took it apart to machine a new butterfly for it. i didn't get the throttle pos sensor exactly right and it wasn't getting full WOT or something like that (it was like 3 or 4 years ago) i don't have a link to a page with the recalibration procedure though. i'll see if i can dig that up for ya. i'll probably have better luck asking a few buddies on the Z forums
 

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I have noticed this when I go from my frontier to the xterra. I find that if I let the x start rolling before putting any pressure on the throttle, its smoothest.
 

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Hi graybear. I know what your talking about, there are a lot of nissan vehicles that have this slight throttle lag. Not sure what it is but you get use to it.
 

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the traction control and VDC are two separate things. the vdc uses a g sensor and info from the abs sensors to tell if the vehical is sliding or becoming unstable in a turn and individually applies brakes to each wheel to prevent sliding or spinning and can be turned off with the vdc button. the traction control however can not be turned off with the push of any button in your truck, the Z, G, GTR however do have trac control off buttons to turn off this specific function. so unless modification is made the truck will always have ABLS trying to keep the rear wheels spinning the same speed (all 4 in 4wd) and traction control to try and limit excessive wheel spin through throttle control which you may have noticed if you have ever been high centered. but with what the op has said about feeling this hesitation when driving normal and not romping on the gas when this is happening none of these features would be a factor here.
The button on the 370z and the button in my frontier are one and of the same...VDC. There is some traction control stuff left on (ABS, but not Active Brake and Limiting System (ABLS)), but when it comes to wheel spin at take off, VDC *does* switch the system that applies brakes to control wheel spin off. Frontier does a one-wheel-peel...Z lays rubber through 1st, 2nd and chirps 3rd (7AT).
 
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