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My 2006 Nissan Xterra 4x4 began running pretty rough, making a (sort of bad muffler noise). and it feels like it's going to lose power. I parked it and only drove it to the muffler shop and back home (explained below 3rd paragraph)

After checking similar posts I looked under the hood and (1) didn't find any bad vacuum hoses. (2) noticed that the sound wasn't coming from there. I looked under the car (Driver's seat area) and found that the noise seemed to be coming from that area but couldn't see anything out of wack..

I had an issue with a nut missing from the rear flange (passenger side of car) and tried to replace the gasket and nut but couldn't get the other screw off. I took it to a local muffler shop and they fixed that problem and tidied up underneath, loose hangers, rusted - other- flange...
I was hoping this would fix the rough running - but it didn't.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? I really hope to not go thru thousands of dollars replacing this and that to deduce the culprit.

Note: I purchased this car used about a year ago so I don;t have any maintenance history and have not had any mechanical problems before now. but it does use a lot of gas.I get about 14 mpg highway...maybe..

Thank you to any/all who may be able to help me pinpoint the cause.'
Also, does anyone know where I could find a diagram type picture of the full muffler/exhaust system on this car so that I can identify what is what under there. Yes I am a novice at this
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Routine maintenance- oil changes, new tires and alignment, oh and exterior bulb replacements.
I've put less than 1,600 miles (1,200 of those are hwy ) on this car since i bought it and haven't had any problems before
 

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2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
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I don’t have an 06, but could a clogged cat be causing a lot of back pressure that has potentially loosened up a flange connection? If you get something that can blow air into your exhaust pipe, you can spray soapy water on all the suspected possible leaks in the exhaust system and it will make bubbles where air comes out.
 

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Thank you, i can try that easily enough.
sounds like the timing is way off, have the timing checked there is a tsb for early vq powered vehicles 05+ xterras included related to premature wear on timing chain guides could be your issue, check your coolant and tranny fluid for cross contamination happens some on the early 2nd gens too due to clasonic making a bad radiator design, it will look like a nasty strawberry milkshake. pull a couple of spark plugs what do they look like? CourtesyParts | Genuine OEM Nissan Parts & Accessories is a good place to get diagrams. or sign up for a free autozone rewards account they have some online too.
 

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Thank you, it's actually running better now but found it low on oil, so I'll fix that, then I'm going to drive it where i can blow it out since, it's only been city, short trip driving for quite sime time. I looked at a video on changing the spark plugs, and good grief, could it be any harder to get to them.

But if this doesn't work, I'll have to take it to the dealer as I'm afraid to go that far into it with my limited knowledge and experience.

Then i think i need a vehicle that is less complicated to work on.

My 95 volvo has so much more room to get at for repairs
But i sincerely appreciate your and everyone's assistance in troubleshooting this problem..
 

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Thank you, it's actually running better now but found it low on oil, so I'll fix that, then I'm going to drive it where i can blow it out since, it's only been city, short trip driving for quite sime time. I looked at a video on changing the spark plugs, and good grief, could it be any harder to get to them.

But if this doesn't work, I'll have to take it to the dealer as I'm afraid to go that far into it with my limited knowledge and experience.

Then i think i need a vehicle that is less complicated to work on.

My 95 volvo has so much more room to get at for repairs
But i sincerely appreciate your and everyone's assistance in troubleshooting this problem..
the spark plugs on 2nd gens are pretty easy to change
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But you have to remove so much just to get to them. I dunno...i looked at the video and became a bit intimidated but then i looked under the hood again and thought, maybe.

  1. Also, i have upon closer listening, the engine purrs., couldnt find any loose or worn hoses..it's more of a shudder(?) coming from underneath (driver side front but behind engine compartment). When i try to accelerate by flooring it...it hesitates then reacts. Hmmm?
I bought some seafoam and thought i would fill the gas tank and add that.
I'm still hoping for a simple solution, haha.
 

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2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
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But you have to remove so much just to get to them. I dunno...i looked at the video and became a bit intimidated but then i looked under the hood again and thought, maybe.

  1. Also, i have upon closer listening, the engine purrs., couldnt find any loose or worn hoses..it's more of a shudder(?) coming from underneath (driver side front but behind engine compartment). When i try to accelerate by flooring it...it hesitates then reacts. Hmmm?
I bought some seafoam and thought i would fill the gas tank and add that.
I'm still hoping for a simple solution, haha.
Driver side front but behind engine compartment. What do you mean? Not front of engine drivers side, but back of engine drivers side? Like the exhaust manifold/catalytic converters area?
 

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2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
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Hopefully that can help someone else identify it. I’d imagine it’s exhaust related or transmission/engine connection related
 

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Yes sir, about directly under driver's seat area.
does this happen only in motion or at rest with engine on as well, and does engine or vehicle speed change the pattern, pitch or loudness of the noise?
 

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Yes, even at idle and no the vehicle speed does not change it.
Thank you.
does rpm changes make any difference? say if you get under and listen and have a friend give it gas slowly increasing the engine speed does the sound change at all? if not i'm thinking its proably a cat clogging up or the substrate coming loose internally in that side or could be a loose exhaust hanger, can you move any of the exhaust pipes by hand?
 

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This may sound too simple but they checking the thin black ground wires connected to the top of the timing chain cover on the driver's side. There are three of them. I once accidentally leaned on them and disconnected one. It caused the X to run with no power with the pedal to the floor. Just a thought.
 
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