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I have an 05 xterra(115k miles) and was driving it one day when it suddenly lost almost all power. Was able to limp it home where I hooked my code reader up and had a P0300 code. I attempted to find the cause of the misfire but was unable to figure it out. Using a buddy's shop grade computer we found cylinder 3 wasn't firing. Took it to the Nissan dealer to troubleshoot and they told me there was nothing wrong with it. Got back on the Rd and was barely able to make it to my mechanic... Testing the temp before and after my cats indicate they're bad as it's reading hotter upstream than downstream. Here comes the tricky question.... All of a sudden I have water in my oil... I know this is not good. I did a compression check and my cylinders are all between 170-180psi which most likely means my head gasket isn't blown. Aside from a cracked block, are there any other ways to get water in the oil? I hate to scrap this truck because it's still in such great shape aside from the motor.

I'm at my wits end so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
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If it was water in the transmission, we'd all be tellin' ya to fix the radiator. 2005 - 2009 had the SMOD issue. If not replaced, the radiator can let coolant and trans fluid mingle with each other.

For water in the oil, the usual suspects are:
  • head gaskets
  • water pump (seals)
  • intake gaskets
  • cracked block or head
There may be more avenues, but those are what I can think of.

Also, to CX members: feel free to correct my information about the years that the SMOD affected the Xterras.
 

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Start with the easier stuff first. Intake gaskets and water pump seals and go from there.

It is possible for the head gasket to leak just from one galley to the next (oil channel to coolant channel) and not involve the compression chamber. This would mean you would still have good compression.

The block typically only cracks if you have a major overheat or a serious mechanical failure like broken rod.
 

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Strong compression checks all around is a real good sign! Find the leak and fix it. That's low mileage for an 05. Fix it expense sure beats the car payment!
 

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I don’t believe the intake on a second gen carries water. Most VQ have a pipe that goes head to head on the back of the engine
 

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I don’t believe the intake on a second gen carries water. Most VQ have a pipe that goes head to head on the back of the engine
The only coolant being supplied in proximity to the intake on the Gen 2 is the small coolant line connected to the aluminum throttle body housing.
 

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Now, this isn't to scare the crap out of you but this was my experience with my 2007 X that I bought 3 years ago. When I bought it the guy told me it needed an engine. For the price I got it at I didn't care. I'll put one in. So here's what was wrong with it. These engines have the water pump inside the timing chain cover. There's an additional cover on top of that where you can remove it and look at the condition of the water pump. On some of these engines, the timing chain tensioner can break and cause the gear on the water pump to get damaged. It can also skip teeth and knock it out of timing possibly bending your valves. Your compression looks great. You should also do a leak down test. I wouldn't start it or drive it much until you check the condition of the timing chain and water pump. you can do more damage. I decided to take the heads and get them rebuilt and honed the cylinder walls, and put new piston rings and bearings. My X runs like new now with all the new parts.
 

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If a car is out of the warranty period (as an '05 certainly is), I don't bother to take it to a Nissan dealer. Find an excellent mechanic that really knows what they are doing. Just because someone is part of a dealership does not mean they are good at all, they are simply part of a system.
I found a mechanic that I trusted over 20 years ago and I go to them for everything. If they don't fix it right the first time (very unusual) they repair it again for free. One time they hired a 'salesman' intake person that tried to rip me off by saying I needed new tires and parts, and they fired him when I questioned it.
There are good, competent, honest repair places out there!
 

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Find an excellent mechanic that really knows what they are doing. Just because someone is part of a dealership does not mean they are good at all, they are simply part of a system
I regularly have to piece together what other people’s mechanics have done to destroy a perfectly good vehicle. Very often, those people hate dealers so much that they still believe I’m trying to rip them off even when there’s no/minimal charges. Car dealerships and their service departments always have an uphill battle to earn peoples trust.
 

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I used to work at a dealership (not Nissan) as a service writer, among other positions. There are techs who know their stuff and there are those who just simply replace parts.

No matter if you use a dealership or an independent shop, finding a person who actually knows what they're doing takes more than just dropping off your car. You need to build a healthy relationship with your tech so you know what s/he is capable of doing well, or whether they're just parts monkeys.

The bad rep for dealerships most likely comes from higher shop prices and a few bad experiences, along with the fact that sales people also work there and are associated with the service folks as a result. That's an uphill battle to begin with.

Find a good tech and stick with them.
 
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