Rear axle seals leaking - TSB NTB10-008 situation - Nissan Xterra Forum
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#1 Old 11-28-2012, 09:24 AM
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Rear axle seals leaking - TSB NTB10-008 situation

I've got a 2006 Xterra Offroad with the electric locking rear diff. It's got 71K miles and both rear axle seals are leaking significantly. The left rear seal was replaced by the dealer at 41K miles for leaking. At present, the left rear seal is not leaking as badly as the right rear seal. Assumedly because the right rear seal has never been replaced.

There is a Nissan TSB that covers this rear end type (M226). The TSB number is NTB10-008 and describes this exact seal failure condition. It makes no mention of checking for a cause of the problem being a plugged up differential breather tube. The dealer is telling me the differential tube is plugged and saying that's the cause of the seal failure. They want $860 to replace the seals and bearings.

The TSB on the other hand says that both rear axles themselves, along with the bearings and seals, need replacement.

It gives me a lot to consider. First thing is, whether the breather tube is plugged or not, my axle and seal failure match completely with the information covered in the TSB, which makes no mention of the breather tube consideration. The second thing is, I had a seal failure showing up at 41K miles, and no mention of a plugged breather was made to me by this dealer at that time. I'll also mention that when they told me about the leaking seal and that they were only replacing the seal on that one side, it did not give me a warm feeling about whatever the condition of the seal on the other side might be. I've always learned to service both sides in situations like these. The fact that the other side is leaking worse than the side that got replaced argues to me that worse side WAS already also having a problem at 41K miles then too. And again, if the breather was plugged, why wasn't that mentioned then?

I would like to know how many others of you are out there that have run into this problem already, and were you able to successfully fend off the breather tube argument. The dealer is telling me they would service the breather tube at the 30/60/90K miles service appointments, but that I haven't had those done. Well, they weren't telling me they wanted me to be doing them, all the while bringing my vehicle to them every 3-4K miles for oil changes. I've been trusting them to be watching out for my interests that way.

Wow! Did I really just say that?? I know, it sounded (and likely is) really foolish of me to have been thinking that way..
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#2 Old 11-28-2012, 12:27 PM
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My X doesn't qualify for this, but since there's a TSB out, Nissan know's it's a fault. A TSB is one step removed from a recall. If there's another Nissan Dealership in your area, go there. This one, my friend, should be on the house.

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#3 Old 12-05-2012, 03:05 PM
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This is a double post - though I had same issue:


I've had my rear seals leak since I bought the car in 2005. I had the seals replaced under warranty a number of times (maybe twice). They leaked again. I found information on the internet showing others had the same issue. I had 5 yr/100,000 extended warranty and had a whole new rear drive train installed under warranty. Now some 75,000 miles the rear seals are leaking again. I was informed there is a service bullentin dated JAN 2010 - maybe before my new drive train was replaced - noting this issue. I called 1-800-NISSAN1 to file a complaint. They told me to take it into a Nissan dealer for diagnosis - obtain a cost and then they will contact Nissan Corp. I told this women - does this mean you will resolve the issue after I wasted my time and money - and she said no - though there may be a resolution. What the heck - I'll give it a try.
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#4 Old 12-05-2012, 06:10 PM
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I would challenge them show you how they service the breather. Call Nissan and open a complaint for your issue.
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#5 Old 12-12-2012, 11:14 AM
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Ok, I need to take a few hours and put my thoughts and a plan together. Since my first post, I went back and forth with the service person at the dealer to help lead him to reading and understanding the issue the TSB covers, that it applies completely to my vehicle, and the correct way to address the problem. If I didn't go back and forth with him on three phone calls about that, he would have had his techs replace just the axle seals (one of them for the second time - the first was at 40K miles, which was a mistake because they apparently never considered checking for a TSB on the issue). In fact, when I finally got him to understand the issue, only then did he get that the fix is to replace both axle assemblies. And as such, the new estimate went up to $1365.

Ok, now that we have an accurate estimate, it then took me at least 5 phone calls over the course of almost two weeks to re-establish contact with the Nissan Consumer Affairs representitive who had contacted me on November 26th, in response to an email I submitted on their web site seeking information/coverage of the cost of this repair, based on what I had already learned about the TSB. The representitive didn't return any of my calls or voice mails until I had the case escalated to her supervisor. She had never once even picked up her phone. Then I suddenly heard back from her the next day, in the middle of at least the 3rd phone call, to one of three other representitives that I had gotten on the phone in the process of trying to get through to the rep already handling my case.

Today I got the phone call back that I wasn't surprised to get, given the experience I'd already been having. Nissan has decided (at this point) they're not going to cover any of the repair cost because of the mileage on the vehicle, number of miles out of warranty, and it's 'limited' service history. That last part, when I asked about it, refers to the fact that I have not had the dealer perform 30K and 60K maintenance procedures. I responded that I've been bringing the vehicle in regularly every 3-4K miles for oil changes and the dealer never suggested to me I should be having them to the 30/60K procedures. They responded, not incorrectly, that those are mentioned in the owners manual. Sure, I know what. But what I should have been faster on thinking of was telling her in response that my dealer is very vigilent about asking me to reply favorably on the Nissan satisfaction surveys that follow every visit to the dealer. They've gone so far to let me know that they need numeric responses of at least a 9 out of 10 on every question in order for Nissan corporate to not come back at them with sanctions of some sort.

I'm not ready to give up. Not for at least $1365 when the problem is so obviously a manufacturing issue of some kind, and in no way attributable to lack of proper servicing, and when if the dealer had been doing their job properly, the issue would have been addressed as per the TSB at 40K miles, 10 months after the TSB had been issued.

The Nissan Consumer Affairs rep said I could send my further request for consideration to them in writing as there was no one else I could talk to on the phone who could help me further. I had to restrain myself from trying to address the passive aggressive dismissal of that suggestion because I don't think I would have been able to help my cause any further. I just wish they would stop making this a game of escalation, obviously with the intent of limiting their exposure to their own defect through anticipating that significant numbers of people will just roll over and accept the financial burden of that rather than put the time and effort required into jumping through arbitrary hoops they've setup just for that reason.
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#6 Old 12-12-2012, 11:23 AM
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A TSB is different from a recall in that it is only a correction for a known problem. It does not cover the vehicle for repair of the problem once the vehicle is no longer under warranty.

I used to see this all the time when i was a tech for Hyundai. However you can figure out if they're overcharging you for the repair. usually at the bottom of the tsb the warranty time the manufacturer will pay the technician is listed. See if they will give you that exact amount or plus a slight bit.

I see both side of the story here having been in the position you are in but also having been on the technician side of having to do a job that you actually lose money on. That is hard to cope with. Hence the higher than average prices for repairs at a dealership. You are paying for factory level service and they are making sure the technician will be able to cover the time he has into the job.
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#7 Old 12-12-2012, 12:26 PM
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I think my strongest argument is going to be that they unwittingly found the problem themselves at 40K miles and didn't address it correctly. That's while the vehicle was still under an extended service plan, if not a drivetrain warranty. I don't know if I'll succeed but I can't see how they could argue something different with a straight face.

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Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
A TSB is different from a recall in that it is only a correction for a known problem. It does not cover the vehicle for repair of the problem once the vehicle is no longer under warranty.

I used to see this all the time when i was a tech for Hyundai. However you can figure out if they're overcharging you for the repair. usually at the bottom of the tsb the warranty time the manufacturer will pay the technician is listed. See if they will give you that exact amount or plus a slight bit.

I see both side of the story here having been in the position you are in but also having been on the technician side of having to do a job that you actually lose money on. That is hard to cope with. Hence the higher than average prices for repairs at a dealership. You are paying for factory level service and they are making sure the technician will be able to cover the time he has into the job.
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#8 Old 12-12-2012, 05:26 PM
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did they approach the extended warranty company for repairs? or ask you if you wanted it repaired?
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#9 Old 12-12-2012, 05:31 PM
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It was a Nissan extended service plan, bought from Nissan directly when the vehicle was purchased new

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did they approach the extended warranty company for repairs? or ask you if you wanted it repaired?
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#10 Old 12-13-2012, 07:29 PM
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but did they call in a claim?

It could've been called in and denied. extended warranties deny claims alot. Even if offered by the factory.
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