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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!
Im new to this club so bear with me! I purchased a used 2006 Nissan Xterra. I had a friend go with me to look at it, it drove fine no codes no problems. 1/2 way back( from Van Nuys to Oxnard, about 30 minutes) the check engine light turned on. When I got to Oxnard, there was a smell of some type of oil burning, and the car was not accelerating correctly. I had to step hard on the pedal for the car to move. A block from my house, the car turned off and the battery light flashed. The next morning, I was able to drive the care home fine, but the car wouldnt drive at more than 10mph. Its been in & out of the mechanics for 6 months, and every time I got the car back it would have the same problem after 3 days. They have replaced the valve body, fuel pump, the clutches, and some other things that I cant recall right now. Im really desperate to know whats wrong with this car, even if I decide not to keep it. Sadly, there arent any lemon laws for used cars here in Cali, so I dont have many options. I would appreciate all the help and advice. ?? Thank you!
 

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2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
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So are there check engine light codes? How do all of the fluids look? You say a burning oil smell, there are several different oils in a car with distinct smells so figuring out what it was could be helpful.
So you have an automatic and you got the valve body changed? I don’t know much about this but I do know that the automatics in that year can go bad from the oil mixing with the coolant, so check those two fluids.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello,

I know its been a minute but I decided to give an update.

I ended up having the whole transmission replaced by Nissan with a whole new transmission. Overall, it drives well. However, recently, I noticed that the car trembles at 15 mph. It happens the worst when I first start driving. Rarely, there are days where this doesn't occur. Idk if this is attributed to the previous transmission problems but if its related, I would like to take preventative measures before the new transmission is ruined. I will also note that if I happen to accelerate really really slow, I can prevent the tremble from happening. Overall, the car drives great. This could be a minor issue.
 

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whats the coolant and tranny fluid looking like? does either look like a nasty strawberry milkshake? if so you got a SMOD one that wasnt corrected before it broke and it may not be worth fixing.
 

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Hello,

I know its been a minute but I decided to give an update.

I ended up having the whole transmission replaced by Nissan with a whole new transmission. Overall, it drives well. However, recently, I noticed that the car trembles at 15 mph. It happens the worst when I first start driving. Rarely, there are days where this doesn't occur. Idk if this is attributed to the previous transmission problems but if its related, I would like to take preventative measures before the new transmission is ruined. I will also note that if I happen to accelerate really really slow, I can prevent the tremble from happening. Overall, the car drives great. This could be a minor issue.
get a new radiator in there, the 05-09 xterras and frontier 4.0 have whats known as a SMOD issue (Strawberry Milkshake Of Death) the radiator is the culprit they had a minor desgn flaw that causes the tank wall between the coolant and tranny fluid where they meet for heat exchange to cool the tranny fluid to crack and mix the fluids, any new nissan or aftermarket radiator will have this issue fixed. check your fluid condtion, you may need to have the tranny fluid exchanged whith the coolant and new radiator as a preventative measure, coolant doesnt lubricate tranmsissions and will eat kit alive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello,
Yes im familiar with the so called “milkshake of death.” I just checked the transmission fluid and its a clear slightly pink as it should be (not milky pink). Do you still suggest i get the radiator changed? What else could be causing this pull? Maybe its an early sign of what could be future SMOD?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I had my transmission replaced and the fluid as well (recently). Is the coolant something thats done with the radiator replacement? I just checked the coolant its a nice clear green/blue.

thank you to everyone thats been helpful. I love my car and its been quite a journey for us!
 

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I had my transmission replaced and the fluid as well (recently). Is the coolant something thats done with the radiator replacement? I just checked the coolant its a nice clear green/blue.

thank you to everyone thats been helpful. I love my car and its been quite a journey for us!
yes i would still get a new radiator in it just to cover our bases and coolant should be changed whn a radiator is replaced, any shop worth anything will do this
 
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yes i would still get a new radiator in it just to cover our bases and coolant should be changed whn a radiator is replaced, any shop worth anything will do this
Definitely. A replacement radiator is MUCH cheaper than another transmission. If you're comfortable changing your own oil you should be able to change your own radiator, which will save you a bit of cash adn there are plenty of YouTube videos showing how to do it. It requires only very basic tools. Genuine Nissan radiators tend to be a tad spendy (close to $600), but there are a number of decent aftermarket manufacturers out there as well. The 2nd gen guys can point you in the right direction with regard to brands. I've heard good things and Koyo, Koyorad, and Mishimoto, all of which are supposed to be made in Japan.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Are there any older posts or links you can refer me to that have instructions on the radiator replacement?

Thank you guys!
 

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There are a ton of videos on Xterra/Frontier radiator replacement on YouTube. Check a couple out as some will show you little tricks that others won't.


If the factory spring clamps are still on there, I generally prefer to re-use the spring clamps on the hoses or replace them with new spring clamps. The spring clamps are designed to give constant pressure since they will expand and contract with the hose and radiator barn as the system heats and cools. Worm clamps can't do that and so the hose becomes more and less compressed as it heats and cools. This results in a permanently compressed hose over time, which will result in a damaged hose and a loose clamp that will leak. Worm clamps are also prone to over tightening. The factory spring clamps will always apply the correct amount of pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Through all my research and looking through all these posts, I decided to call Nissan today cause they in fact did change my transmission. Long story short - if the new transmission issues are SMOD related, the radiator is covered and can be repaired for free (yay).

Here's what I got:
IMG-4733.JPG


If this option is presented to me, great, if not I will proceed with my own repairs as its necessary and cost worthy.

I found this article on a sister forum of ours and confirmed the model number :D I just wanted to double check before I walk in like a fool.

75387
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update: so after the radiator was replaced (koyorad brand) and the tranny opened and checked, the car still seems to have that slip at 15mph. The fluids were clean and the car isnt giving off any codes. Any ideas?
 

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Defective possibly.

Take it to the shop and ask them to drive it and give their recommendation. They may say that it needs a warranty replacement, or it can be fixed, or that it's normal (which doesn't seem likely from your description).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Defective possibly.

Take it to the shop and ask them to drive it and give their recommendation. They may say that it needs a warranty replacement, or it can be fixed, or that it's normal (which doesn't seem likely from your description).
the transmission is brand new though... hmm well i guess it could still be defective? Theyre checking it today but they are having a tough time figuring out why it has issues now if it was fine before.
 

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the transmission is brand new though... hmm well i guess it could still be defective? Theyre checking it today but they are having a tough time figuring out why it has issues now if it was fine before.
its likely not new but rebuilt
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yes the transmission was rebuilt. so if the transmission is defective, im assuming that that early pull could lead to more serious problems in the future? there doesnt seem to be anything else wrong with it otherwise. no smod, no codes, new radiator... if thats the case, im gonna consider replacing this car altogether and taking it as a loss.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
its likely not new but rebuilt
i have a question... i read somewhere online that the car could be slipping if the TCM was not programmed correctly. Nissan programmed it, is there a chance this could be the issue? How would I know? I could ask them to reprogram it. The first time they did it, the car was fine for a while.
 

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i have a question... i read somewhere online that the car could be slipping if the TCM was not programmed correctly. Nissan programmed it, is there a chance this could be the issue? How would I know? I could ask them to reprogram it. The first time they did it, the car was fine for a while.
very well could be, could even be qa mismatched tcm and transmissiona ssembly causing problems, say the tcm is from a 2007 and th tranny is from a 2005, tcm's maybe different and require drifferent programming and solenoids, i'd have everything double checked for congruity
 
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