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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
139,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. detect if there is a crack in the cylinder head castings (1 reports)
2004 Nissan Titan cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Nissan Titan Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 022015

Titan SE 5.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles


I had my truck serviced at a Nissan dealership as my truck was running sluggish and Service Engine Soon Light was coming on and off in November 2014. At that time, the dealership performed a coolant flush, oil change, and engine coil replacements. My truck seemed fine but I was getting only 250 miles per tank which it would normally get me 340-360 miles to the tank. That is a significant loss.

So I took the vehicle back to Nissan in Feb 2015 with this complaint. They did their inspection, completed an oil change and performed a fuel injector flush. They could not tell me the reason why I was losing gas mileage. Within 2 weeks and less than 50 miles from when I picked up my truck from the dealership shop, my truck started overheating and within seconds my engine seized. I noted that the truck had no coolant in the overflow tank but no leakage on the ground at all, or in my driveway. I had my truck towed into Nissan for inspection. They have not given me the exact reasoning to this issue but stated that there is no compression in the engine and that I will need a new one! Awesome, just awesome.

From my perspective, this should have been detected by the mechanic at some point before my engine blew. As I did some research online for this vanishing coolant with no apparent leaks, I found issues with GM V8 engines during my the 2001-2006 years. To summarize, they had defective cylinder head castings causing them to crack over time. The heating and cooling cycles of the engine took a toll and the heads cracked mostly around the center row of the head bolts. This cracking in the engine casting is located under the valve cover, so it is not normally detected in a routine inspection by a mechanic. Coolant is leaking into the engine oil and engine damages occurs. Mechanics dismiss this as a possibility because the engine oil looks normal. Coolant is mixing into the oil which is a mixture of glycol and water but modern oils can hold a large amount of glycol in suspension, with few outward signs. The only outward indications are persistent coolant loss in the reservoir and a milky interior of the valve cover area. To identify the crack, the report suggest to perform a pressure test with the valve cover off to help identify the problem, then with pressure on the system you may see coolant or air seeping from the crack. Finding the crack is easier if you use fluorescent dye added to the coolant with the use of a black light. Excessive sludge buildup is often present.

My complaint is that we have not heard of this issue in Nissan trucks and it is clearly a manufacturer defect in the cylinder head castings. Furthermore, Nissan's own qualified mechanics are baffled by this issue and the detection of this issue makes me believe there is negligence involved in the thoroughness of their inspections. I find it hard to believe I am the first to have this issue, so that is why I am now reaching out to others with this similar issue.

- , Tampa, FL, USA

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