Help. I recently took my 2004 Xterra in for the 45000 mile service at
a local Nissan dealer. My truck had not been serviced at 30000 so i
figured at 48000 I should do something before I really need serious
maintenance. Everything up to that point were merely oil changes every
3000 to 4000 miles and the occasional topping off of fluids. There was
one occasion where the AC compressor gave out. I could not turn the
clutch mechanism by hand so I figured the bearings failed. It was a
daunting task but with the help of my mechanic friend and an after
market part purchased at Ebay I managed to spend less than $300 for
everything not to mention the sweat I put into it.
So going back to the original story, I take it into the Nissan dealer
just to get a free inspection and therefore a listing of all the
maintenance needed. The final write-up quoted me a price of $1029
which of course I did not agree to. All I had them do was change the
front brakes and give me a 4-wheel alignment for around $300. The rest
of the work I would do myself.
Here are some of the questions I have:
1. Assuming that they checked all four brakes and deemed the back
brakes to be alright in terms of pad wear, why am I suddenly hearing a
squeal every now and then? This happens after a cold start when i
drive after several yards. Once it's warmed up then the squealing
2. A tune-up was suggested in the write-up. What size socket do I use
for the spark plugs and how do you get the sixth spark plug out. It's
positioned towards the rear and such that access to it is next to
impossible. Besides changing the spark plugs what else is involved in
the tune-up for a 45000+ mile service?
3. I tried changing the automatic transmission fluid but I couldn't
drop the pan down because the front end of it is attached to an
aluminum pipe that seems to branch all the way to the cooling system.
Therefore I only managed to change the fluid and not the filter. How
do you disengage the pan from this aluminum pipe after removing almost
all the bolts around the pan?
4. The write-up suggested cleaning of the fuel-injectors for around
$140. So far all I've done was pour a whole bottle of Prestone fuel
injection cleaner into the tank. I've noticed some improvement in
performance compared to the previous. Is this all I need to do or is
there more involved?
5. How do I access the draincock for the radiator so that I can change
my coolant? There does not appear to be easy access to it short of
reaching up and turning counter-clockwise over a drain pail.
6. Lastly, the write-up also suggested changing the in-cabin micro air
filter for some ridiculous amount. How do I access this part for
All other suggestions would be sincerely appreciated.
On 11/21/06 1:01 AM, in article email@example.com,
If all they did was replace the front brakes and it wasn't squealing before,
it likely the new front pads are not bedded in yet. Try a couple of hard
stops from highway speed (really hard, just short of engaging the ABS), and
if the noise goes away, that was it.
What does your owner's manual say? I'll almost bet money that the spark
plugs aren't even due.
Can't help here. On my Pathfinder, there is a drain bolt and you don't take
the pan off. While its good practice to change the filter, draining and
replacing the fluid is going to be good enough at 45,000 miles. I'll bet
the dealer was going to use a fluid exchange machine and not touch the
filter (ask them).
You need to do it 3 times to actually change all the fluid. The procedure
is: drain & fill, run it, check the fluid - if discolored, drain & fill
again; repeat until it looks and smells good.
Unless you are having drivability issues, this is a prophylactic service
rather than a necessary service. I wouldn't do anything else here.
In my Nissans, it has to be opened from underneath. If that's what you mean
by reaching up and turning counter-clockwise, then you've got it.
Behind the glove box. Usually the box has to be removed to get access. If
you get Nissan replacement filters, the directions are supplied with the
filters. The average DIY'er can do this easily. The filters cost around
$30 at the dealer.
The dealers like to pad routine services with a lot of nice-to-have, but not
really necessary extras. As a rule, if the maintenance schedule in your
owner's manual doesn't call for a particular service, you don't need to do
it. The old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies.
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