Why New Nissan Cars Are So Bad, What Went Wrong

Why New Nissan Cars Are So Bad, What Went Wrong

rev up your engines, welcome to my
Thursday video where I answer one of you viewers questions with an entire video,
and today’s question comes from Harry Lopez what do you think about the older
model Nissans before the Renault merger, were they good cars comparable to
the Toyotas and Hondas at that time, yes Nissans were better made cars back then,
up to the late 90s here’s a history of the Nissan Company to show you what happened, when I
was a young mechanic Nissan wasn’t even called Nissan it was called Datsun it
wasn’t until 1984 that the company changed its name to Nissan and
hilariously enough it cost the company 30 million dollars to change all the
signs on their dealerships from Datsun to Nissan, now those early Datsuns, they
could last a long time they had kind of two setups, the early ones like the
Datsun b210 they had tiny little engines, they didn’t cost much and they could last a
really long time, lots of my customers back then, hey they had a Datsun b210 as
a car they used in college I had one customer that had 400,000 miles on
one, they were little cars but hey they could run quite well if you didn’t mind
a little car and fixing them was a simple easy job, even rebuilding the
engine was pretty cheap, I had a customer with one the whole engine was rebuilt for
like 300 bucks and then it ran like a clock there were pretty dependable
little cars, but if you know anything about Datsun and Nissan whatever you
want to call them, they started to get into speed, the first real speed burner
the late sixties Skyline GTR that was a little bitty car but it put on 160
horsepower which was a lot for a light little car and that led to a whole range
of skylines, they even made station wagons and if you know anything about drift and hey
a lot of guys love those skylines turn them into drifter cars, they may be small
but they got a lot of power in them you can also mod them and they were very
popular car even today, as far as I’m concerned first real big hit Nissan
had was the 240z, that was the first real japanese mass-produced great sports car
back in the 60’s sports cars were known as fun to drive but they break all the time,
they’d leak oil, now with this Datsun 240z those things just could run for ever
with very little maintenance and people who knew about sport cars were amazed
because they said, whoa here’s a quick little car, it doesn’t leak oil starts every
time and gets pretty good gas mileage and of course they kept perfecting them
then they came out with the 260z the 280z the 300z they’re pretty
good sports cars there’s no arguing that they sold a lot of them, so Nissan hey
there were the ones that really perfected a mass-produced sports car,
much like Honda when they made just motorcycles, they perfected the
four-cylinder motorcycle before the Honda 750 made inroads as a speed burner
that could run forever, always start and not leak oil, people thought of motorcycles
as yeah they’re fast but they’re noisy and they leak oil and they break all the
time, Honda turned that on its head they made a fast motorcycle that could last
indefinitely with a little bit of care so Nissan really started the Japanese
mass-produce sports car market as far as I’m concerned, but the company
made various mistakes here and there as time went on, it was pretty much in the
rumor mill that the company it was up for sale, Ford was thinking about buying
it, but Ford had some problems and their stock went down and that deal fell
through, but in 1999 Renault kind of merged with Nissan, they didn’t buy them
it’s kind of a merger that Renault owns 45% of Nissan or something and Nissan
owns a percentage of them, it’s a really complicated deal, basically putting a
French car company in the mix the Japanese car company, now I know some
people like French cars I recently came from a trip to England and a lot of
people there drive French cars and they like them, but in the United States, French cars have
always been dismal failures, all the French manufacturers have tried to sell
cars in United States they all pulled out they had bad sales, people didn’t
know how to fix the cars, parts were expensive and hard to get, as far as I’m
concerned when Renault and Nissan when they merged,
not such a hot deal for Nissan because before 1999, cars like the Nissan Altima
they’re little bitty Nissan Sentra, hey those things were pretty solid built,
they could last a long time but in the 2000s a lot of Nissans started having
problems with engines wearing out prematurely and especially with bad
automatic transmissions that would wear out and cost a fortune to repair, and
heaven forbid you buy a late-model Nissan with a CVT transmission, those have
got to be the worst ones that are manufactured in the world as far as I
can tell, they’re always breaking in cars that my customers have, I get many times
people come and they’ll say what’s wrong with this Nissan and I’ll say, well
your CVT transmissions going out and some will say well you know I already
had it replaced once or they’ll say, gee I only got 60,000 miles and the
transmission is going out already, and that’s the reason I tell people not to
buy Nissans anymore the quality just isn’t what it used to be, it used to be
really well built cars they could last a long time you good a little bit Datsun
b210, a Nissan Sentra and yeah they were small cars and they rode a little bit
rough, but they’re pretty zippy for a small car could last a long time and
their sports cars back then we’re state-of-the-art, the ones today I see many
problems with their transmissions and their engines blowing head gasket, and they have
electrical problems and even simple things like, I’ve had customers with them
that the vehicles were like two years old and the mufflers rusted and fell off,
because look up my 25 year old Toyota Celica, it’s still got the original muffler on
it and it doesn’t leak and make noise and I mean they couldn’t make one that
lasted two or three years before when they welded it together
it was cheaply welded and it rotted and fell off, and their general design seemed
to get worse and worse, on a late-model Altima I had to change a blower motor,
to change the blower motor on any of these Toyotas normally I can do it in 15 minutes,
it was a six-hour job on that Altima because you had to take everything in the dash out to get to the blower motor instead of just having it at a nice
place with three little screws you take out and pop the motor in and out, so yes
Nissan used to make really good cars but after that merger with Renault, not so much, and
since this is the Thursday segment where I answer a viewers question, place your
own question on the YouTube comments below and I’ll pick the best ones to
make a single video to answer your question, and where
else can you find a guy with 50 years experience of fixing cars to answer your
own question with a video, so if you never want to miss another one of my new
car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood


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  2. soooooo Nissan started in Dec 1933 in 1958 they came to USA as Datsun, this was in case they didn't make it; it would not tarnish Nissan name.

  3. Sadly, I did not see this video before I got my first new car Nissan Sunny 2019 over a month ago, so was it a bad deal to buy this car? They told me it is like Toyota, should I be worried?

  4. Hey Scotty,what would be the best cargo van to buy out there, I'm trying to get one for work but have no idea which one will be more reliable, I appreciate if you can shine some wisdom this way, love your videos sir thanks.

  5. Scotty ever thought about writing a smart buyers car/truck/SUV guide? With a Toyota Celica on the front cover of course.

  6. Are the parts available to make a push button ignition into a key crank ignition? Along with that can a keyless remote door lock be changed to a manual door lock?

  7. Watching this while sitting in my 2016 Nissan Sentra SR Model. I went from a 2012 rogue to a 2014 Altima to this car. All of them had/have issues at around 60,000 miles. Do you think Nissan programmed them to go wacko at the warranty cut off ? Hmmm…well I am done with them. Bought me a 2007 Mazda 3 for a commuter. Zoom zoom.

  8. My 91 Maxima was amazing. Got it used in 2001 for $1000. Leather interior, power everything, sunroof, alloy rims, 6cylinder indestructible power plant… Amazing car. Absolutely loved it. When the windows and doors stopped functioning, and the rust ate through the body (Michigan car) I sold it for $1000 in LA in 2007. But the engine and transmission were still strong.

  9. Nissan and Datsun used to make great reliable commuter cars and sports cars. Unfortunately the 1999 Renault–Nissan merger eventually brought post-2010 CVT transmission junk, components that rust away, and blows head gaskets.

  10. Please people do not purchase a Nissan with a CVT transmission. The dangers you face while operating a car with this transmission are not worth it.

  11. hey scottie, what do you think about rotary engines, and what could have been done to it to make them good since the put out so much power from a small displacement

  12. I will never forget when I saw the 240Z at the car show. Pure drool but not old enough to drive yet I drooled on myself instead of the dealership’s car salesman. Eventually my best friend got a 240 and I had a 260. Secretly I liked the 240 better. But I dove the wheels off of it and only did routine maintenance with an easy brake pad change in the parking lot of my apartments. In fortunately I totaled it into the fence and mesquite trees of a local millionaire’s ranch. They could care less. I got her and handed it over to the body shop for a total. My favorite car to date. Talking about drifting before there was drifting! Thanks for the memories Scottie!

  13. Seems like Scotty has some sort of grudge against anything non japanese. How about these cars in Europe? Are european cars that are sold in europe just as bad as your experience with them in the U.S? Most of these videos it comes out like american manufactured bwms and mercedes and stuff like that is garbage but bmws made in germany and sold in europe surely are more reliable? Makes for a boring life driving Toyotas and Hondas all the time lol

  14. Hello from Canada Sir, BIG FAN!! I had a question: With all the new turbo engines and CVT's, do you still recommend new Honda's? I have an Accord that runs beautifully with 330,000km's on it but am leary about getting a new one when it's finally done.

  15. Hey Scotty could you do an episode on the pros and cons of all wheel drive. Personally I think they are a waste of money and make the vehicle heavier and perform poorer in the snow then better because I think stopping is a whole lot more important than going when it’s snowing out.

  16. My neighbor had a 74 Datsun 4 door field car. Stick transmission, and we beat… the living snot… out of that car. ALWAYS rev'ed the piss out of it just for laughs. We'd run over shrubs and small trees, it was flipped it on its side at least two or three times, engine bay would be caked with leaves, dirt, mud, ripped the exhaust off it and it just ran, and ran and ran.

  17. The 98 to 02 Accord seems to be the new Civic in FL. 5speed 4door makes sense…. But my 93 I feel started it… Your parents don't want you to have a Civic? Venture into accords… There's a 05 6 speed coupe in Orlando that disappears…. Maybe it's only 270 or 290 to the wheels but it a good starter and reliable

  18. Scotty! You should've mention that the reason Nissan changed their name to Datsun was their participation in World War II. Sailors were digging out unexploded bombs with Nissan stamped on it. They played a huge part in the Japanese Military Industrial Complex! Same thing with Mitsubishi. It's all cool now. We're all friends.

  19. I feel blessed, or super lucky, one of the two. I'm on my 3rd Nissan, first one was a 1996 200SX SER, decent car, went 340k, still ran good. Bought my first Altima in 2007, was 2005 model slightly used, no issues whatsoever, had 5 speed manual, pretty strong car for a heavy mid size four cylinder. Traded it for 2012 Altima SR V6 because the wife doesn't like manual anymore, coming up on 200k, no issues with CVT transmission or anything else so far. In fact, only consistent problem I've had with any Nissan is the one that Renault had nothing to do with, that being the 1996 200SX, went through an alternator every 100K, and had to do half shafts 2 times, had to replace 5th gear shift fork at 215K. Funny, I thought they were the good years? Bottom line, ALL manufacturers make garbage from time to time, can't be avoided. Toyota, Honda, Subaru have their own set of disasters, Hondas ain't great with automatic transmissions either. At the end of the day, I'd still buy Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subura. Have had all of them at one time or another, and with nothing more than basic upkeep, we've done just fine with all of them. BTW, Nissans have had timing chains for some time now, they went with timing chains on their four bangers and V6 engines long before Honda finally did. Had a chain on the 200SX back in 1996. I'm sure our experience is not the same as everybody, but I feel confident that it is universes away from unique. Finally, other than cosmetic design, Renault has practically 0 to do with the mechanical side. And just because a company is in bed with another says nothing about how the two entities actually do stuff. Not sure if Scotty has ever mentioned this, but Toyota and Subaru been in bed together for a long time. Does that mean he's going to sell his Celica since he ain't crazy about Subies? I think not. I've heard some very helpful advice from Scotty, but as with everything, take the rants with a grain of salt, cuz nothing trumps your own personal experience. Heck, no way I'm trading in my 2012 Altima at 189K anytime soon, it runs like a friggin dream! Still has gutts too.

  20. Nissan cars are CRAP !
    I bought a new altima, and will never buy another, never got 200k miles on it. Poor engineering, cheap build.
    Complete trash

  21. What about the Nissan Quest 2001..
    With 54,000 miles??
    And how do you know whether they didn't change name miles??

  22. Right now I have a 2011 Altima 2.5 S coupe that I just bought at 64k miles and I love it. But I'm unsure as to whether I should go get the "regularly scheduled" transmission flush? It's such a polarizing topic!

  23. Yup ur right Scottie…I had 1982 Datsun 200sx ran forever….I drove it to the scrap yard with 750,000km, engine was still in great condition body was falling apart because I never rust poof the vehicle. …

  24. Hi, a yr ago i bought a nissian frontier. At 750.mile i started noticing a noise that resemble water dripping on tin. The dealership mechanic told me its normal and all car do that. I also things that the truck gets very hot on the hood. It drives fine, i can go nonstop 80mile plus, not overheating. I thing its something to do with exhaust system, but i am neither an engineer or aechanic. i had a 1988 Chevy truck and 2001 Toyota echo. never felt the heat or hear noises. I bought the echo brand new too, but never notice any noise. Is it normal, for newer cars? When I am in a grocery store, parking lot i don't hear similiar sounds from other cars. Thanks

  25. I have a 2014 Nissan Frontier pro4 fully loaded v6 had it serviced. Got it back and now it's getting 10 mpg found the vacuum solenoid unplugged everything else looks ok changed the mass air flow sensor. Not pulling any codes frustrating what am I missing

  26. what is your opinion about Hyundai cars it has most of the market here in Iraq . thanks for your videos they give very valuable information

  27. My first car was a used 1995 Nissan Sunny. It started every time, the manufacturer battery lasted 12 years, and the acceleration was incredible . When I finally sold it, it was in still in perfect working order. I never failed an inspection. Sad that Nissan got into trouble.

  28. Thank you Scotty I’m new to your site and truly enjoying it. As a long time listener of NPR’s Car Talk (RIP Tom) you’re cut from the same cloth. I’m looking for what do you think about the 2015-2019 Acura MDX’s used?

  29. Hello Scotty, enjoyed your video. You get to the point and hammer the truth. I'm 57yrs old and drive a '15 Nissan Versa with what appears to be a electrical problem. You see every time the left turn signal is used 4 things will go wrong. 1. The engine light will eventually appear. 2. Then coming to a complete stop the transmission will vibrate harshly for a brief second. 3. Following that, the letter indicating the mode of drive on the dash will disappear. 4. From then on, all the above will remain and then the transmission, as time goes on, will receive additional erroneous signals, until the transmission fails to operate. 😀 Hark!!! There's a loophole to avoid this dilemma. Yet it's a quick fix but doesn't get rid of the problem. The problem can still reoccur. I only input this info to help diagnosed the problem. Here are 5 things to work around the nuisance. 1. Do not use the left turn signal, only in emergencys. Instead, to indicate a left turn use the left arm. BTW the right turn signal is ok to use. 2. a. If by any chance the left turn signal is used and the engine light appears, then ASAP change the left turn signal light bulb with a brand new one. b. FYI the bulb that was taken out most likely still works and upon changing the bulb the letter indicator light and transmission should work properly. Also after a few days of driving the engine light will disappear. 3. If by chance the bulb can't be replaced immediately and the letter indicator light disappears, then turn off the engine. Restart the car and from then on when coming to a stop pump the brakes once or whatever until the letter indicator light appears stable. Continue doing this. There could be no problem for a short while yet change the bulb ASAP or else the condition will get worse. 4. The high beams! I once had a similar problem with the H.B. since then the H.B. are only used in emergencys. 5. Keep an extra pair of bulbs in case of an emergency. BTW the car has received a new tranny at no cost. Also, later it got a new rear tail light assembly for $300. Yet the problem still occurs. Mr. Scotty Kilmer please reply with any helpful info. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless. P.S. I will input the problem code ASAP.

  30. I tell you what’s going on with Nissan, they are being made here now and cars being made here in the states suck.

  31. I wish cars were simple to fix like they used to be, i wish you could still buy a new simple car with out an infotainment system or driving assistence…. i wish manufacturers would offer to get rid of the excess crap as an option.

  32. Had a 06 Nissan Altima,never had a problem ran solid for 11 years never broken down BUT !!! I have a 05 yea I put a 06 engine on a 05 with the 05 tranny everything supposed to be comparable so now it runs one drive cycle and goes into limp mode with p1065 bad power supply to ecm right now I'm waiting on a new computer if …if these altims treated ok and maintained they last atleast the green one did but I have all the routine problems now electrical and possible tranny problems so yea I seen a Altima last but I cant blame the 05 I did good work but it's a 06 engine in a 05 means a lot when it's all drive by wire

  33. I just bought a Nissan Central, I paid 3000 it has 75.000 Miles What do you think is going to go first on my car? should I trade it in for a Toyotta ? Confused

  34. I had a 2012 Nissan Sentra for 3 years and never gave me problems. It had 90k miles when I got rid of it and passed it on to my dad he still has it.

  35. i respectfully disaree the 2017 murano is rated aboveaverage in reliability. The cvt is seems to be equal to hinda in reliability. Ateast theres no oil dillution issuelike in the CRV. Who makes the nest Cvt in cars nowadays?

  36. hi Scotty! i wanted to know why enthusiasts hat CVTsso much. Since it was proven in the Willams' F-1race carthat theyimproveerformance so much, tharfficials considered itike cheating! Ift makes you go faster and is more efficient; what's all the fussabout? i hear thatmodern cvts feel like a regular automatic.

  37. 2019 Nissan Altima SR here purchased in late January. 2 days ago it developed a bulge on sidewall of the tire. It has also been making clacking noise when the brakes are applied.
    Nissan replaced the tire under warranty at no charge and fixed the clacking noise. The service department did not want to disclose details on the clacking noise.
    Shame on you Nissan

  38. I remember my families 4 door Navy Blue Datsun. It was a great vehicle…with multiple costly repairs😒😒 and was laid to rest 10 years into owning the vehicle.

  39. Waaaaaaait a minute..I have a 2002 Nissan Altima and its been great until 2019. Now she's showing her age. But she handles well.

  40. Most newer cars and trucks blower motor replacement a pain now not just Nissan. Had a old customer question why it was $300 to replace his heater core. It cause it's a two day job removing his dash and reinstall everything. And pray you got everything right on the blender doors and the brittle plastic didn't break.

  41. One quick comments on the Renault-Nissan merger – it led to one very good car, and that was the first-generation Versa. I had one for 9 years and that thing was bomb proof. Rode comfortably and way smooth for a small car, was quick enough to get around town, tons of room inside. I never had to fix anything in 9 years. Replaced the battery once and the tires once, new headlight and taillight bulbs after about 7 years. Changed the oil every 7000 miles or so. Everything was accessible and easy to maintain. Super simple car and dirt cheap. I think it even still had an old fashioned throttle cable instead of a drive-by-wire setup. Had one of those peppy little Nissan engines. People that got the CVT regretted it, but I had the 6 speed manual in mine. It was a hell of a good car and I still miss it. I don't think they'll ever make a car that simple again. Maybe the Kia Rio 5 now, but even that's got a bunch of traction control and electronics that are bound to trip you up.

  42. I try to remember when exactly but it may have been in the 90s that I saw a magazine article where Nissan boasted that their cars would now come with ?% fewer parts. I pondered how this would be possible and several years later I came to understand. Case in point your ball joint wears out so you try to replace it. With Nissan you need to buy a whole arm. Many car manufacturers have now gone this direction but thankfully not Subaru. When I need a bushing I want just a bushing thank you very much. I also understand that the 3rd gen Rav4 cannot replace inner tie rods leaving no choice but to buy a whole steering rack. People who don't keep their cars long never think about these things as it is someone else's problem but pity the owner 5,10 or 15 years down the road. Ask lots of questions before you buy.

  43. My Parents had a Datsun 120Y Estate car, which they bought brand new in 1976. The car was cheaper than any of the equivalent cars at the time, but came with the expensive optional extras, heaters at that time were very expensive, but the Datsun came with a radio as well.

    To have a car, with a radio in, you will buy the radio from Halford's, and the car, from wherever you are getting the car from, then fit the radio to the car yourself. Datsun, by Nissan, came with the radio installed in the factory, before you would buy the car.

    When a car is three years old, in the UK, it has to go through the MOT every year. The MOT was just a safety check until the 1990's, when they introduced the emissions test as well. Part of this test was looking at the bodywork, people often would only wash their cars in time for the MOT, because that could be the difference between pass or fail.

    The bodywork on the Datsun, would start rusting after two years, so that you will have to replace your car more often. As a result people would say that you should never buy a Japanese car. Once Nissan dropped the Datsun name, and started building the cars in Britain, the equivalent of the 120Y, became the Nissan Sunny, and the Datsun 180Y became the Nissan Primera, the cars became vehicles people wanted. They have always been very fuel economical, and very reliable cars, they just used to rust, before the change of name.

    I learned to drive in many different cars, but the first one I learned in was the Nissan Micra. It was a good little car in town, but did not react well, on narrow country roads. These are narrow roads, with twists and turns, so you need to slow down, to turn, but other cars can be driven round those corners a bit more quickly.

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