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Frequently Asked Questions
It doesn't hurt to ask, but when it comes to caring for your Nissan, it could hurt to not ask. To make life easier, we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions Nissan owners have about caring for their vehicles. If you can't find an answer to your question below, contact your Nissan Service Advisor.
Drive belts, once called fan belts or alternator belts, play a vital role in the operation of the engine. While the engine is running, power is transmitted through one or more drive belts to a number of vital external engine components. Among the systems that depend on drive belts for power are the alternator, which supplies the entire vehicle with its electrical requirements, and the power steering pump, which provides power assist to the steering system. Should a drive belt fail, these systems will cease to function and the steering will immediately become stiff. A warning light on the instrument panel immediately alerts the driver about the failure and the vehicle can still be safely driven for a short period of time. It is recommended that you contact your Nissan Dealership immediately to arrange for the installation of a Genuine Nissan Drive Belt.
Your Nissan's engine may be equipped with either a steel timing chain or a synthetic rubber timing belt-check your owner's manual to be sure. The timing chain is maintenance-free. The timing belt, however, is prone to wear and deterioration as the vehicle ages. Because the timing belt is under a protective cover, it is impossible to perform a visual inspection to determine its condition. It is therefore recommended that the timing belt be replaced as a part of a long-term maintenance program-usually between 96,000 km and 168,000 km.
The timing belt is a vital engine component that coordinates the internal operation of the engine. Should the timing belt fail, this internal coordination, or timing, is destroyed. The result may be that the intake and exhaust valves interfere with the proper functioning of the pistons and cause severe engine damage that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Replacement of the timing belt at the recommended interval is one of t he most important maintenance items to perform.
Modern engine oils do more than lubricate-they help remove harmful engine deposits and contaminants as you drive. The oil suspends these contaminants and carries them to the oil filter where they are trapped and held. Eventually, the oil filter becomes so saturated with these contaminants that its filtering capability is significantly reduced or made totally ineffective. If the oil filter is not replaced at the recommended intervals, unfiltered oil will continue to flow through the engine and cause excessive wear, which will reduce performance and ultimately shorten the life of the engine.
Proper tire inflation helps prevent accelerated wear that leads to premature tire replacement and has an important safety aspect as well. Tires that are driven under-inflated generate excessively high heat levels that can weaken the tire to the point of failure. At high speed, a rapidly deflating tire can cause loss of vehicle control. An overinflated tire will result in harsh ride quality and will cause uneven tire wear.
- Make sure tires are properly inflated to manufactures recommendations
- At highway speed, drive with your windows closed. Even with the air conditioner running, the fuel savings are significant.
- Use your cruise control when conditions permit.
- Replace your vehicle's air filter more frequently if you drive in dusty conditions.
- Have the spark plugs inspected and/or replaced at the recommended service intervals.
- Don't let your vehicle idle excessively during warm-up
Depending on driving conditions, a certain amount of brake noise is normal. However, brake noise is often an indicator of potential problems and should be assessed as soon as possible. All Nissan brake pads have a sensor that makes a high-pitched squeal when the brake friction materials are nearing the end of their life span. If this squeal is heard, it is recommended that you make arrangements with your Nissan Dealership to have the vehicle's brake system thoroughly inspected. Nissan recommends that you have your brakes inspected at least every 6 months.