Phantom men­ace

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

A YOUNG friend has a prob­lem with a Nis­san X-Trail where the mo­tor will ei­ther cut out at sub­ur­ban traf­fic speed, or run very rough and lose all power, which is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous. Un­for­tu­nately it ap­pears that it is be­yond the Nis­san dealer’s abil­ity to fix it. Nis­san deal­ers have had the ve­hi­cle on their di­ag­nos­tic rigs and said it regis­ters no elec­tronic faults. We have done all of the other things, hav­ing the fuel tank and lines cleaned, re­placed fuel fil­ters, spark plugs and leads. The way the en­gine be­haves when it restarts sug­gests it is not a fuel-re­lated prob­lem and it is now a case of pos­si­bly re­plac­ing the var­i­ous sen­sors, an­tic­i­pat­ing that one of them is do­ing things that are not reg­is­ter­ing a fault on the di­ag­nos­tic rig. It is very dis­ap­point­ing that Nis­san deal­ers can­not fix their own cars and car own­ers are ex­pected to go through the ex­pen­sive process of re­plac­ing bits un­til they cure the fault. It raises se­ri­ous ques­tions about the use of di­ag­nos­tic rigs to say there are no faults in an en­gine when there ob­vi­ously are. This raises the ques­tion of whether the X-Trail should be sub­ject to a safety recall when it could lead to a very se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent. The young lady who owns the car is nat­u­rally at her wits’ end and any sug­ges­tions you can pro­vide would be ap­pre­ci­ated.

Trevor Bow­ley, email In Nis­san’s de­fence, it can be difficult to isolate and fix a prob­lem that oc­curs in­ter­mit­tently. If it doesn’t oc­cur in their pres­ence then it’s hard to crit­i­cise deal­ers and their me­chan­ics. But your friend should go back to the dealer and call on Nis­san’s help to sort the prob­lem out. The dealer should pro­vide a cour­tesy car while her car is off the road.

It sounds as if it is go­ing into limp-home mode for some rea­son and by turn­ing the en­gine off and restart­ing you are re­set­ting the com­puter. It is prob­a­bly a sen­sor play­ing up but be­cause it only hap­pens in­ter­mit­tently it’s hard to trace. Give the dealer as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble to lo­cate the cause. AXLE TO GRIND My 1997 EL Fal­con had a dron­ing sound com­ing from the back wheel, which was di­ag­nosed as a faulty wheel bear­ing. I had it re­placed with a Repco bear­ing but within 10km

Mys­tery: Apower loss is caus­ing prob­lems for an X-Trail driver

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