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Test Driving the 2nd Gen. Xterra

1364 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  silverbullet
So I am new to this forum but have been around VW/Audi forums since I was 16 (now I am 21). I have been in a VW for 5 years and need an SUV. So I am looking at the 2005+ Xterra. I am going to look at the first one on the list tomorrow. It is a 2006 S 4x4 6spd, the only down fall is it has lots of miles, 80k. The lady I talked to said she lived 60 miles from work and drove that daily. Now they live near where I live and dont need the Xterra. I am mechanically inclined, replaced turbos, rebuilt 2 engines and such.

I searched for things to look for on a used Xterra and after 5 pages of stuff unrelated I gave up.

So what are the main things to look at on a used 2nd gen. Xterra?

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The 2005 models had some issues with a weak differential but that seemed to be mostly related to those who offroad. Not many if any accounts that I'm aware of from daily driving causing a diff to grenade. From 2006 on they seem to have corrected whatever the issue was and that's really the only knock I'm aware of on the 2nd gens. All around they are really solid. Good steering setup and coilover suspension. Stout engine and better gas mileage than the 1st gens.

Give this thread a day or so (maybe even by tonight) and some of the other 2nd gen owners will give their input as well.

Welcome to CX! btw
i have a 2005 6speed off road
the only problem i have had was the belt tensioner wearing out at 42000
80 000 is really not that bad for a used car
things to look for in any used truck-
drive in a parking lot, and turn the front wheels from lock to lock, listening and feeling for vibration or other noise
pay particular attention to how it shifts around third, as this is often the most used gear, and syncro will often mess up from 1st to third.
crawl under the x- the one good thing about the tin foil skid plates is that they show any sign of off roading in wear and strike patterns
look under the gas tank (between the tank and the body) as sand and debris will hide there. if she said that she had never used it in sand, and you find sand up there....
good luck and try not to fall in love with the first vehicle you see.
happy hunting
So when the belt tensioner goes out the acc. belt goes out? or is it the timing belt goes out? When the timing belt goes out on the 4.0 does it cause valve and piston damage?
if the tensioner goes out, the serpentine belt will give you some warning by screaming its head off. not the biggest deal, unless you are in the backcountry
Ok that is no biggie ^^. Good thing its not like the VW where if it goes out there is alot of things to fix.

So I drove it around and love the 4.0L in that car with the 6spd. The only cars I have driven with a manual was a Jeep Wrangler with a shot engine and a 78 VW rabbit diesel with 48hp. 265hp manual is awesome. But it did have an oil leak and an odd noise when about 2k RPM. GF said it sounded like the engine was going to die. So I passes on it

Here is another ???:

When started up does it idle high and make a louder noise? Is there a pump or something that goes on when warming up?
it screams out loud with the fan during cold weather start up around 1800 rpm and goes down to normal rpm before my cigarette is about to finish :D
the 4.0L engines in the 05 to current models run timing chains btw. So no need to worry about breaking like on engines with timing belts.
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