just bought a high mileage Xterra !

domindart Aug 24, 2017

  1. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Hello, I'm new to the Xterra. It is an 03 W 240k miles. Few things. #1 it has a sort of miss or studder sometimes.
    What should I be looking at? Also, what engine oil will be best for this car in your opinion? i was debating a high mileage synthetic blend. Thanks love the site so far.
     
  2. Fromfrontier2Xterra

    Fromfrontier2Xterra Titan Swapped / SAS'd Super Moderator

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    Welcome and congrats. As for the miss / studder, start with checking plugs, timing. I would also agree with the high mileage oil, but will defer to the 1g guys for the best answer for that.
     
  3. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    Plugs are where I'd start, and specifically #6. It's way at the back and most people have trouble getting to it, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's still the original plug.

    2nd thing would be the distributor. I wouldn't just shotgun it, because there have been issues with getting the wrong dizzy for that specific engine. Open the cap and see if you can wiggle the rotor front/back and side/side. If you can, then the bearing needs to be replaced. BEST option is to get a new bearing and press it into place. Barring that, there's a marking on the housing that you need to match when you get a new dizzy. I've never done it, so I'm not sure what or where it is. On top of that, new rotor and cap are cheap and wouldn't hurt.

    Last thing would be to replace the fuel filter. It's under the vehicle, near the center line on the last cross member before the rear axle.

    As for the oil, nearly any 5W-30 will be fine. I would do a high mileage variant of your preference, since they have additives that help keep seals pliable and extra detergents to clean gunk.
     
  4. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Thank you guys.
    Do you think a 5w30 or 5w40 to go with a thicker oil? I read that some people are choosing that... I think I hear the lifters sometimes... Thought maybe things were getting kinda loose.
     
  5. Riz98

    Riz98 Test Drive

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    Location:
    lemoore, ca
    Great recommendations from the above post about the ignition products. I did not have any issues with my 2002 Xterra but recently changed the spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor, and fuel filter. The engine runs sooooo much better and throttle response is a huge difference. My spark plugs looked pretty beat up. Do yourself a favor and remove the hood when doing the spark plugs. It will make getting to the number 6 spark plug alot easier. I will be taking a longer road trip roughly 400 miles so I am curious to see if the gas mileage improved or not. For the spark plugs spend the extra money and the get the OEM NGK plugs that the manual calls for. As for the oil I recently (last oil change) switched over to the Shell Rotella T6 in the 5w40 flavor. The reason being is that I was running high mileage synthetic oil and the engine would get noisy valves at around 3500 miles from the oil breaking down. The issue isnt the brand of oil or being synthetic but rather that the engine only takes 3.5 quarts with the filter. I used to run the Rotella T6 in my Subaru Sti and the oil did great and did shear down like other oils did. The oil is made to hold its weight and viscosity at higher temperatures like it will see in our engines due to the small oil capacity. Yes it is not in our manual to run this weight but I have not heard anybody else running this weight oil have any issues. Hope this helps you out.
     
  6. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    I'll have to do these tune-up things you all speak of. Not looking forward to taking the hood off though.
    I'm thinking about running a 5w30 high mileage synthetic blend.
     
  7. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Welcome to XN!

    These guys are on point. Get your tune up done, and as long as you don't have any distributor issues, you should be ready to roll.
     
  8. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Today I cleaned the MAF sensor and sprayed some throttle body cleaner in throttle body. So far it's not missing as before but we'll see it seems to run better on cool nights .
    There is a loud hissing tho...
     
  9. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    I was told that a synthetic oil is better than a high mileage . From my oil change place so that is what I'll go with if I'm not convinced otherwise by that time. Do you have anything to add to that?? Thanx
     
  10. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    You've got a 240K engine with an unknown history (assuming you don't have oil change receipts, because who keeps those?). Switching to a full synth at this point really won't get you anything as you're already well into its life. Just run a high mileage blend and save the $20-$30 the shop wants to charge you.

    For a young engine (<20K), yeah, I'd switch to a synth and never change off of it. The benefit of a synth is its usually more slippery due to a smaller particle size. The problem with a synth in an old engine is the seals may be so worn that the smaller size is easier to seep out, so the engine may look like its leaking like a sieve. At 240K you've already done a lot of wear in there, so I'd almost rather the larger particles to fill the gaps better.

    If you're really anal, or even just curious, grab a kit from blackstone-labs.net and have a sample tested. It's about $20 to run the tests, but it'll tell you the condition of your engine.
     
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  11. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    My oil change shop guy said a synthetic is better than high mileage...
     
  12. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    Because they're sales people. Same amount of time, product is not much more expensive, but their profit is higher. Margins for them are so low for oil changes as it is, it's why they keep recommending upgrades and other services.
     
  13. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Hmm. Good points... I guess I'll just do a 5w30 high mileage.
     
  14. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Blend ..
     
  15. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    50 bucks for a diagnostic to figure out the hesitation in the engine... Think I should do it?
     
  16. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Sounds reasonable.
     
  17. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Still haven't had the money to diagnose yet but the brake light comes on now too , I think it's related. I'm going to guess right now that it's that spark plug in the back that's not firing right. Might just try to go to Dad's and get help to inspect and replace them if I can around work.
     
  18. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    Brake light is on when the hand brake is pulled, or when you're low on fluid. No other times.
     
  19. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Must be low on fluid then, will check.
     
  20. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    If you are low on fluid, check your pads. It doesn't usually just leak out. As the pads wear, more fluid is kept in the caliper piston.
     
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  21. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Shouldn't the pads rotors make noise if they're low?
     
  22. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    Sometimes. Depends if the indicators were put on. I've seen some brands where they're removable.
     
  23. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    What does it mean if she eats a lot of oil? I noticed I had to add more after a short while.
     
  24. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    It's either being burned or leaking. Any dark smoke out the back?
     
  25. TheFauxFox

    TheFauxFox Titan Swapped / SAS'd Founding Member

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    White smoke is oil or a coolant issue.

    Dark/black smoke is gas caused by a lack of oxygen or an overabundance of fuel.
     
  26. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    I don't think it's smoking...
    Don't think leaking much.
     
  27. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Well, I haven't diagnosed it yet, but did get oil change and tranny fluid changed at my shop. They said the issue is probably a vacuum leak. There was a hissing sound from seemed like around plenum. Couldnt pin point it, said could hook it up to a smoke machine to locate it but I'm wondering if it could be a fuel injector gone bad.
     
  28. Joey

    Joey First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

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    FYI, The rubber boot piece that goes from the air box to the intake manifold tends to crack in the bottom. This could be your hissing sound and your hesitation issue also. The engine doesn't know how much air is being delivered.

    Do you know when the timing belt was replaced? If not you might want to atleast check it.
     
  29. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Thanx I'll look at that.
    Don't know about timing belt.
     
  30. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Welp, didn't find that damn vac leak yet. When I have the money I'll get it on the smoke machine. Wondering though just how much power I'm losing due to this . Truck seems underpowered sometimes.
     
  31. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    It's a brick with a minivan engine. It is a tad underpowered.
     
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  32. domindart

    domindart Test Drive

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    Yes I've heard that though sometimes it feels like the hesitation is robbing it.
     

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