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Nissan X-Trail Mk3 common problems (2014-2021)

Nissan X-Trail

When you’ve got a massive sales success on your hands, such as Nissan did with the first two generations of Qashqai, what do you do? Well, you go large, obviously. And that’s where the Nissan X-Trail comes in. The first two generations of X-Trail were slightly rugged-looking, angular affairs that screamed ‘workhorse’, but for the third-generation car, Nissan made it sleek, luxurious and fitted it with optional third-row seats.

Nissan has a pretty good reputation where reliability is concerned, no matter whether the diesel dCi engine is fitted, or the DiG-T or naturally aspirated petrols. But the X-Trail isn’t perfect, and suffers a number of irritating common glitches. However, in the main, these issues are nothing for the home mechanic to fear. All you need to do is download our Haynes X-Trail Autofix and we’ll guide you through the diagnosis and repair of most issues, saving you hundreds of pounds on usual garage bills.

Nissan X-Trail

What recalls has the Nissan X-Trail been subject to?

In excess of 7300 X-Trails were recalled because the ECU has to be reprogrammed to take account of an oxygen sensor.

Then 4377 cars were recalled because the paint coating on the hydraulic tailgate supports was not to spec, and could cause the strut to corrode. The tailgate could then drop unexpectedly.

However, that’s it as far as recalls are concerned, which is a pretty good result. So, if you’re buying an X-Trail just make sure the two fixes have been carried out. Thereafter, condition should be the deciding factor.

Nissan X-Trail

What common problems does the Nissan X-Trail Mk3 have?

The Nissan X-Trail can unexpectedly cause its ABS and ESP warning lights to illuminate, which is going to look very expensive indeed. In reality, it shouldn’t be because it’s simply a dodgy earth.

A number of owners have reported the malfunction indicator light illuminating, and the fault being a faulty fuel injector.

The air-conditioning system on the Nissan X-Trail is also prone to the odd hiccup, and you may need to replace its control unit.

Sometimes, the Nissan X-Trail fitted with the 2.0-litre dCi engine can be difficult to start. A camshaft issue can be the cause.

And finally, the Nissan X-Trail fitted with the 2.5-litre engine can stall suddenly when warmed up.

Nissan X-Trail

The Nissan X-Trail ABS and ESP warning lights are illuminated. Why?

Driving along in your X-Trail Mk3 and suddenly seeing the ABS and ESP warning lights aglow in the instrument panel is going to cause concern. It’s certainly going to make you take extra care on the rest of the journey.

The good news is that the fault doesn’t actually lie in either of these systems.

In fact, it’s an electrical problem, caused by poor electrical continuity in the left-hand engine mount earth cable.

Even better, your Haynes X-Trail Autofix can show you where the earth cable is sited; if it has worked its way loose then you’ll simply need to tighten it up.

However, if it’s as tight as the day it left the factory, then you’d be wise to replace the cable.

Nissan X-Trail

Why is my Nissan X-Trail fuel injection playing up?

A malfunction indicator light (MIL) lighting up in your Nissan X-Trail Mk3 is never a good sign.

First things first, you need to find out why it’s lit up, so you need to plug in a fault-code reader.

If this displays the code P062B, then the issue lies with either a faulty injector, faulty wiring or a duff engine ECU.

So, delete the fault code, switch the key to position ‘0’ and disconnect the injector wiring. Then tun on the ignition – if the fault reoccurs, then the ECIU is the source.

If it doesn’t, then switch off and connect one injector, before turning the ignition back on. Go through each injector like this to pin down the faulty injector. Then check the wiring. If the wiring is fine, replace the injector.

The Haynes X-Trail Autofix will be able to guide you through how to carry out the replacement procedure.

Nissan X-Trail

Does the Nissan X-Trail have air-conditioning problems?

You can guarantee that you’ll find out that the air-con system on your Nissan X-Trail isn’t working precisely when you need it to be – on a sweltering day.

However, it can pack up without warning. First up, you should plug in a fault-code reader. If the code shown is B24A1, then it’s likely the electronic control unit for the air-conditioning system that’s at fault.

First up, check the power supply to the control unit, and make sure any earth connection is solid. Delete the fault codes, then switch the system on. If the fault reappears, then the control unit is at fault and will need to be replaced.

And the Haynes X-Trail Autofix will be there to help you along the way.

Nissan X-Trail

Why won’t the Nissan X-Trail start?

If your Nissan X-Trail suddenly proves difficult to start, and causes an engine warning light to illuminate, you need to quickly get to the source of the issue. So, plug in a fault-code reader to the OBD II port. If the code is P0340, it signifies a camshaft position fault, and if it’s P2263 then it’s a turbocharger fault.

Before you go any further, you need to make sure that the camshaft and crankshaft are still synchronised, which Haynes X-Trail Autofix can help with.

If the engine is still synchronised, remove the valve cover and check the condition of the camshaft – it may be damaged. If it is, you’ll need to replace it, which will be a long job but which the Autofix can assist you with.


Nissan X-Trail

My Nissan X-Trail engine keeps stalling. Why?

Get in. Seatbelt on. Start the engine, and away you go. But once the engine is fully warmed through, it can suddenly stall. And it won’t restart until it’s cooled down again. Then you can get it running once more, but once it warm – stall. Annoying.

A fault-code reader is your first port of call. If it shows the code P0340 then you’ll know that the fault isn’t an engine issue, instead it’s a dodgy camshaft position sensor.

Check the wiring for the sensor, and if it’s fine, then it’s time to replace the sensor itself. This is a quick and easy task that the Haynes X-Trail Autofix can guide you through.

Finally, just delete the fault codes and all should be well – even when warmed up.

Nissan X-Trail