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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Question The Ugly Truth

Hi there, after researching, i found that the Nissan 350z have some common mechanical issues. i wanted some personal feed back on these matters and further more, i am looking for some newer issues that are starting to escalate with the car.

As you read the concerns below i would like you to consider that fact that i am trying to buy a used Z. i will need YOUR HELP in showing me HOW I CAN CHECK for Defects or DETERMINE how used or well kept is the car. ( i could care less about interior or exterior and care more about the engine and mechanical components) what should I LOOK FOR when purchasing a USED Z?



I learned that some years, mainly the earlier models 03-04 have alignment issues causing the tires to wear out prematurely. there was a class action suit brought to nissan.

Here are my questions:

1. Were they able fix that issue? i heard that they just gave people money and the issue was unfixable? were there any mechanical solution for that issue?
2. How can you tell if the car has that issue? im planning to buy a car and can it be determine buy looking at it? any recommendation to how to check the car before purchasing it?


Another issue, is the oil consumption.

1. has any fixed this problem? from what i have read. people are losing between 1 quart per 1000miles or less?
2. do all the models have these or just random z? if so, what is the percentage of the z have them? is it common?


Next issue, is the transmission.

1. how often do people have these? and how common is it?

and what is the usual issue thats causing the trans to go bad?

Next, Reliability:

1. i have heard that most people drive their Zs hard. is that true?
2. are there any other issues that are coming up that are most common besides the one listed above?
3. anyone has lost compression because of the car being driven hard?

Lastly, how much do the dealers hate or avoid dealing with the common issues that the car has?



I will greatly appreciate your help thank for your looking at my thread and your opinion is greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 02:30 AM
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That's a laundry list of newb questions that'd take way too much (of my) time to answer. So here's the short version:

1. Yes. Early on sometimes. Yes.
2. You can't tell by looking at it unless the feathered tires are still on it.

1. Yes, they replace the motor.
2. Random early 06 models a smallish to medium percentage.

1. Some synchro problems on the MT. Fairly rare.

1. It's a sports car so probably yes. But then again alot chicks drive them so...
2. Minor crap
3. I'm sure some fool has. Not common.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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tahnks ronin Z! i appreciate our answers! could you dirrect me on some thread that talks about these in details?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
i will need YOUR HELP in showing me HOW I CAN CHECK for Defects or DETERMINE how used or well kept is the car. ( i could care less about interior or exterior and care more about the engine and mechanical components) what should I LOOK FOR when purchasing a USED Z?
Just use common sense - without ripping the engine out and analyzing the engine oil no one can really tell you how a car has been driven.

Look for fluid leaks in the engine bay and around moving parts. You said you don't care fore ext/int - but that's a good idication of how the car was taken care of...if the int/ext looks like shit than the chances are the owner treated the rest of the car that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
I learned that some years, mainly the earlier models 03-04 have alignment issues causing the tires to wear out prematurely. there was a class action suit brought to nissan.
Yeah, but you're gonna lower the car, put aftermarket wheels and get a better suited set of tires - so it doesnt matter...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
Another issue, is the oil consumption...
Not an issue on most cars - yes, some have had problems, but it's not like it's going through a quart a day...if you're truely worried about it, get the VQDE motor (2003 through 2006)...random...



There has been an issue with VQDE trannsmissions...nissan fixed mine for free. If you're looking at a car out of the warranty period than you sunk - but if it shifts smoothly and has 50k+ miles on it...it's probably ok...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
Next, Reliability:
Very...I drive mine very hard...it keeps coming back for more...I am doing an engine rebuild and my mechanic had a look at my OEM pistons and he said they looked very good - but I am sure some people drive them very kindly...not me...bat outta hell!

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Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
3. anyone has lost compression because of the car being driven hard?
I would think that lost compression is a problem with not maintaining the vehicle...not always how hard the vehicle was driven...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
Lastly, how much do the dealers hate or avoid dealing with the common issues that the car has?
take the dealer out of the equation - buy a private party and find a honest reliable japanese mechanic in your area...you will get nothing but a lighter wallet and a headache from dealing with a nissan dealership.

'03 Z33
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 10:57 AM
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and no more of the stupid icons!!

thanks buddy and welcome!!

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
Hi there, after researching, i found that the Nissan 350z have some common mechanical issues. i wanted some personal feed back on these matters and further more, i am looking for some newer issues that are starting to escalate with the car.

As you read the concerns below i would like you to consider that fact that i am trying to buy a used Z. i will need YOUR HELP in showing me HOW I CAN CHECK for Defects or DETERMINE how used or well kept is the car. ( i could care less about interior or exterior and care more about the engine and mechanical components) what should I LOOK FOR when purchasing a USED Z?



I learned that some years, mainly the earlier models 03-04 have alignment issues causing the tires to wear out prematurely. there was a class action suit brought to nissan.

Here are my questions:

1. Were they able fix that issue? i heard that they just gave people money and the issue was unfixable? were there any mechanical solution for that issue?
2. How can you tell if the car has that issue? im planning to buy a car and can it be determine buy looking at it? any recommendation to how to check the car before purchasing it?


Another issue, is the oil consumption.

1. has any fixed this problem? from what i have read. people are losing between 1 quart per 1000miles or less?
2. do all the models have these or just random z? if so, what is the percentage of the z have them? is it common?


Next issue, is the transmission.

1. how often do people have these? and how common is it?

and what is the usual issue thats causing the trans to go bad?

Next, Reliability:

1. i have heard that most people drive their Zs hard. is that true?
2. are there any other issues that are coming up that are most common besides the one listed above?
3. anyone has lost compression because of the car being driven hard?

Lastly, how much do the dealers hate or avoid dealing with the common issues that the car has?



I will greatly appreciate your help thank for your looking at my thread and your opinion is greatly appreciated
You should care about the interior and exterior because those are the biggest, most obvious clues about how the engine and transmission were treated.

As Ronin mentioned, the serious oil consumption issues were related to the Rev-up models. BUT, my Z uses about 2.5 qts every 6000 miles. I refill my oil with a smile on my face. The car doesn't smoke, pulls hard, and makes good power. Some goes through the PCV but I don't know where the rest goes.

The tire feathering is a stupid issue. A good alignment and better tires is all you need. To look for it, you need to examine the wear on the tires. Don't confuse this with camber wear. Most Zs have camber wear.

My Z has 96K miles and it has been flawless. Not one issue. Second gear is notchy when cold, my Homelink mirror has the rattle, and I have the window streaks. Big deal.

Don't be too alarmed by the sounds. That sound when the clutch is out: normal. The rattle at startup when cold: normal. The drivetrain is noisy and indestructible. Built like a tractor.

If you can get an 07-08 get one. If not, most if not all, of the issues related to the earlier cars have been corrected. There were no (what I consider) major issues with these cars besides the rev-up oil consumption and the synchro problem.

'03 Enthusiast-UpRev-Nismo-VOLK-Stillen-Motordyne-INGS+1-Lightwerkz-Brembo-StopTech-Injen-K&N
275WHP/245WTQ
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3point5 View Post
Just use common sense - without ripping the engine out and analyzing the engine oil no one can really tell you how a car has been driven.

Look for fluid leaks in the engine bay and around moving parts. You said you don't care fore ext/int - but that's a good idication of how the car was taken care of...if the int/ext looks like shit than the chances are the owner treated the rest of the car that way.



Yeah, but you're gonna lower the car, put aftermarket wheels and get a better suited set of tires - so it doesnt matter...


Not an issue on most cars - yes, some have had problems, but it's not like it's going through a quart a day...if you're truely worried about it, get the VQDE motor (2003 through 2006)...random...



There has been an issue with VQDE trannsmissions...nissan fixed mine for free. If you're looking at a car out of the warranty period than you sunk - but if it shifts smoothly and has 50k+ miles on it...it's probably ok...




Very...I drive mine very hard...it keeps coming back for more...I am doing an engine rebuild and my mechanic had a look at my OEM pistons and he said they looked very good - but I am sure some people drive them very kindly...not me...bat outta hell!


I would think that lost compression is a problem with not maintaining the vehicle...not always how hard the vehicle was driven...



take the dealer out of the equation - buy a private party and find a honest reliable japanese mechanic in your area...you will get nothing but a lighter wallet and a headache from dealing with a nissan dealership.
hey man, thanks for checkin in. good point on the int/ex.

could you elaborate more in this "VQDE motor (2003 through 2006)"

* how did you get a free repair from nissan? under warranty?
* what is the reason for rebuilding your engine?
* promise, no more smilies *wink*

Quote:
Originally Posted by idrm350 View Post
You should care about the interior and exterior because those are the biggest, most obvious clues about how the engine and transmission were treated.

As Ronin mentioned, the serious oil consumption issues were related to the Rev-up models. BUT, my Z uses about 2.5 qts every 6000 miles. I refill my oil with a smile on my face. The car doesn't smoke, pulls hard, and makes good power. Some goes through the PCV but I don't know where the rest goes.

The tire feathering is a stupid issue. A good alignment and better tires is all you need. To look for it, you need to examine the wear on the tires. Don't confuse this with camber wear. Most Zs have camber wear.

My Z has 96K miles and it has been flawless. Not one issue. Second gear is notchy when cold, my Homelink mirror has the rattle, and I have the window streaks. Big deal.

Don't be too alarmed by the sounds. That sound when the clutch is out: normal. The rattle at startup when cold: normal. The drivetrain is noisy and indestructible. Built like a tractor.

If you can get an 07-08 get one. If not, most if not all, of the issues related to the earlier cars have been corrected. There were no (what I consider) major issues with these cars besides the rev-up oil consumption and the synchro problem.
hey. thanks for the cold start heads up!!! thats good to know, saves me from freaking out.

are you the first owner of your car?

im familiar with the interior noises the car produces. i have a boosted tC with poly mounts and i know how it is when it comes to vibration and interior orchestra.

could you explain to me what are the REv up models?

and how were the older cars corrected? was there a recall after the law suit?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 10:15 AM
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There was never a recall, but there was a class action lawsuit. Just FYI.

RevUp motors are just a tiny bit different from the original VQDE motors that came in the 350 for the first few years.

When anyone buys a used car, you'll never truly know all the defects or problems. The previous owner could have been completely anal about taking care of the car, but Murphy's Law might still apply. My point is that if you feel like the car is in good or great condition for being second-hand, then go with your gut and do what feels best. After that, you'll have to live with maintenance and modding issues.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
hey man, thanks for checkin in. good point on the int/ex.

could you elaborate more in this "VQDE motor (2003 through 2006)"

* how did you get a free repair from nissan? under warranty?
* what is the reason for rebuilding your engine?
* promise, no more smilies *wink*



hey. thanks for the cold start heads up!!! thats good to know, saves me from freaking out.

are you the first owner of your car?

im familiar with the interior noises the car produces. i have a boosted tC with poly mounts and i know how it is when it comes to vibration and interior orchestra.

could you explain to me what are the REv up models?

and how were the older cars corrected? was there a recall after the law suit?
At the time my car was under warranty. I am rebuilding my block bc I f'd up the oil pressure sensor housing that is attached to the lower engine block/upper oil pan. I (think I) f'd up the threading and went to screw it in and the last few turns broke pieces of the lower engine block off. I've wanted to do a re-build so I decided to pull the trigger...

This is just my opinion on the HR motors - but they create +/- 20hp more right? same dispacement? Is there a different bore or stroke? the key is it spins a little faster - has like a 7000rpm redline right? spins faster, processes more fuel, which equals more power. It makes sense to me that if you are going to spin a motor that fast and get that kind of output then there is going more pressure and stress on the system. It is my opinion that some or all of the engine was not re-engineered to take these stresses and/or pressures and that's why the engine leaks a little oil.

Big picture? who f'n cares!! it's not like 100% of the engine oil is gone after 500 miles, right? So you're 1/2quart less after an oil change...bfd?? You have a 3.5 liter engine that puts out 300hp - I don't know why we spend so much time on burning a little bit of oil...thats all I got...

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomamas View Post
hey man, thanks for checkin in. good point on the int/ex.

could you elaborate more in this "VQDE motor (2003 through 2006)"

* how did you get a free repair from nissan? under warranty?
* what is the reason for rebuilding your engine?
* promise, no more smilies *wink*



hey. thanks for the cold start heads up!!! thats good to know, saves me from freaking out.

are you the first owner of your car?

im familiar with the interior noises the car produces. i have a boosted tC with poly mounts and i know how it is when it comes to vibration and interior orchestra.

could you explain to me what are the REv up models?

and how were the older cars corrected? was there a recall after the law suit?
Mine was used. I bought it with 56K miles on it. The Rev-Up motors were in the 6MT '05 Anniversary edition and all '06 6MTs. They had a higher redline and they made 300 HP instead of 287 HP like the regular DE motor in all 03-05s (besides the 6MT Anniversary). Some Rev-Up motors had OC issues likely due to bad piston rings. Nissan replaced the motors so by now, they SHOULD have good motors.

'03 Enthusiast-UpRev-Nismo-VOLK-Stillen-Motordyne-INGS+1-Lightwerkz-Brembo-StopTech-Injen-K&N
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