Cooling system issue - Nissan Xterra Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-11-2013, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Cooling system issue

Ok so I have a 03 X that's having an odd overheating issue. Hopin someone can help.*
When my wife drives to school (about 28 miles) she has no issues whatsoever. But on her way home goin up some hills etc the gauge starts to show its overheating however there's no loss of power at all. Seems to drive completely normal. She says when she turns the heater on it feels hotter than normal and the gauge immediately drops and stays normal. All I can think of is maybe the water pump is goin out so its not pumping as much water as it should? Or the tstat is clogged and not letting enough water pass? I know the tstat is new (I replaced it a couple thousand miles ago)
Any insight is greatly appreciated.*
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-11-2013, 09:36 PM
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Welcome to clubX... Might wanna check out the fan clutch for that overheating. Keep us posted on what you find please.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-11-2013, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 SE SC 4X4 View Post
Welcome to clubX... Might wanna check out the fan clutch for that overheating. Keep us posted on what you find please.
Fan clutch is a good idea. I hadnt thought of that. Il have to troubleshoot that one.
And something else that got mentioned on another forum was an air bubble I the system and I had noticed that there's a small crack in the reservoir so I'm wondering about that one. Would an air bubble cause this problem? And how do I go about "burping" my cooling system?
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-11-2013, 10:40 PM
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While adding coolant to the radiator crack the air relief screw and back it out or remove it. Continue adding coolant until it flows out the air relief screw then replace the screw.

Air relief screw.

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-11-2013, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1993F250 View Post
Fan clutch is a good idea. I hadnt thought of that. Il have to troubleshoot that one.
And something else that got mentioned on another forum was an air bubble I the system and I had noticed that there's a small crack in the reservoir so I'm wondering about that one. Would an air bubble cause this problem? And how do I go about "burping" my cooling system?
If there is air in your system that could be the issues . There is a bleeder screw that you can crack open to bleed your system .

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post #6 of 19 Old 01-12-2013, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys I appreciate it.
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-12-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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So on another forum people are saying the Xterras don't act different when they're overheating which I find odd. And There sayin it sounds like I need to get a SC Xterra radiator.
Also I checked my fan, it's working.
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-12-2013, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1993F250 View Post
So on another forum people are saying the Xterras don't act different when they're overheating which I find odd. And There sayin it sounds like I need to get a SC Xterra radiator.
Also I checked my fan, it's working.
I have had mine hot enough to engage the fault safety and up until it restricted me to 1500 rpm's it ran fine. The SC radiator definitely helps out, I have one and the temp never moves, but I would find what is causing the problem before installing the SC radiator.

Just because the centrifugal fan is turning does not mean it is working at the proper speed.

From top to bottom I would be looking at the following.

Is the coolant system topped off and properly purged of air?

Is the coolant clean and in spec on mixture?

Is the radiator it self externally clean and not plugged with debris?

Is there excessive corrosion inside the radiator?

Is the radiator cap in spec? Radiator caps wear out over time and will not hold the correct pressure. This will lead to overheating.

Is the thermostat installed correctly and opening at the correct temp?

Is the fan working properly and turning at the correct speed?

Is it really overheating? Do you have access to an infrared heat gun to check the temp at normal levels vs temps when the gauge indicates overheating temps?

Is the temp gauge reading properly? This is actually a common issue on the Gen 1 Xterra's. The connector for the temp gauge sender is affixed with a single rivet and over time the spade connector will work itself loose on the rivet. This will cause intermittent signal and wildly varying readings. Simple to check for and simple to fix. Just grab the connector and see if it will rotate in a circular manner. If so replace the sender. Make sure you check the correct sender as there are two side by side. One is gauge temp sender and the other is the temp sender for the ECU. The gauge is the one closest to the grill.

Gauge sender indicated by the blue arrow and the ECU by the red arrow.


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post #9 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 10:11 AM
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A typical problem with the xterra when it is overheating, can be the radiator is clogged with debris on the outside. They are alluminum and they weather and that "grabs" junk out of the air and stops air flowing through the fins. Wash it out from both sides, to make sure it flows air.
If the radiator is clogged on the inside, go for the supercharged radiator replacement. (I went with a copper and brass one that fit right in. I hate plastic tanks on the alluminum radiators)
You should change cap with a new one periodically, as the rubber dries out and then will stop holding pressure.

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Raise TBs (X), paint plastics (X), Replace radiator with one that is bigger and will last (X), install roof lights (X), IAB (X), better tires (X), shackles in rear(X), remove rear sway bar (X), Bilsteins (X)

Last edited by Itsme; 01-16-2013 at 04:14 AM. Reason: cuz I kant type for S--t
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 02:06 PM
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X2 on what everyone said Especially RacelXXL's list.

This type of overheating sounds more like it is coming from the system being clogged. But I strongly urge you to follow Racers List and do NOT mark anything off till you are at least 99% sure that it meets the standards. Many easy repairs are often overlooked because of how unlikely they are.

I also Upgrqaded my radiator to the Supercharged and it keeps it roughly 8 degrees cooler and consistently cooler.

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