This article was written by Brian Jones, trusted ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Expert Automotive Contributor
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Problems with the Engine
To outperform other trucks on the market, the Nissan Titan XD must contain a reliable and potent engine, but that’s not the case. After looking at the reviews, it’s easy to see numerous engine issues with this model.
One NHTSA review states, “When flooring the accelerator pedal (as to pull out on entrance ramp) it has diesel lag response (just take a few seconds to accelerate) and also transmission has shifting issues during this time. Sometimes intermittent. I had a near miss experience when this happened to me. I was pulling out onto the highway from the entrance ramp.”
Nissan is discussing other engine troubles. With Service Bulletin #NTB19-057, the automaker talks about engine knocking and ticking. For something designed to handle heavy-duty work, it is improbable to believe that the engine lineups provided by Nissan are going to hold up. Instead of providing every tool needed, it is the owners that require tools to fix their broken-down trucks.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Nissan Titan XD Engine Problems
TRUCK HAS BAD HESITATION WHEN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION IS SHIFTING FROM GEAR TO GEAR AND THE RPMS FLUCTUATE BADLY. NO LOW END POWER. THIS CONDITION IS WORSE WHEN TOWING. DEALER SAID THEY ALL DO THIS. I HAVE OWNED 4 TITANS INCLUDING MY 2018 NONE OF MY OTHER TRUCKS DID THIS.
WHEN THE ENGINE STARTED MAKING A KNOCKING SOUND I TOOK IT TO A NISSAN DEALER SHIP TO BE DIAGNOSED. I WAS TOLD “THEY WERE AWARE OF ISSUES WITH SOME OF THESE ENGINES AND 2 OTHER VECHICLES HAVE ALREADY REQUIRED THE MOTORS BE REPLACED BY THEIR SERVICE DEPARTMENT. I DECIDED TO GET A SECOND OPINION SO I WENT TO ANOTHER NISSAN DEALER. THIS DEALERSHIP CONFIRMED THAT THEY HAVE A FACTORY NOTICE STATING THERE ARE ISSUES WITH THIS MOTOR. THE DEALERSHIP IS TELLLING ME THEY CAN NOT PERFORM THE FACTORY REQUIRED TEST FOR THREE WEEKS AND IF IT IS DETERMINED IT IS A DEFECTIVE ENGINE IT WILL BE ANOTHER 3 TO 4 WEEKS UNTIL THE ENGINE CAN BE REPLACED. IN THE MEAN TIME I AM STILL DRIVING THE VEHICLE. IN THE EVENT THAT THIS ENGINE FAILS AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR LOSS OF STEERING AND LOSS OF BRAKES. CURRENTLY THERE HAVE NOT BEEN ANY RECALLS OR NOTICES SENT OUT TO THE CONSUMER AND FROM WHAT I AM TOLD IT IS UNKNOWN HOW MANY OF THESE VEHICLES ARE DEFECTIVE AND CURRENTLY ON THE ROAD.
MY JOB REQUIRES ME TO TRAVEL A LOT AND IN DOING SO WHEN IM EITHER MERGING ONTO THE INTERSTATE OR NEEDING TO PULL OUT AT INTERSECTIONS FROM A DEAD STOP . ITS AS THO MY TRUCK STALLS AND MY THROTTLE RESPONSE GOES DEAD . LEAVING THE OTHER CARS DO COME CLOSE IN REAR ENDING ME . ITS SCARY ESPECIALLY WHEN I HAVE MY WIFE ALONG WITH MY THREE KIDS RANGING FROM 8 TO 12 MONTHS OF AGE .
Problems with the Transmission – Shifting
Working in conjunction with the engine is the transmission. This part is required to provide smooth-shifting ability, no matter how heavy the load is. Yet, we see additional problems with this truck’s transmission and powertrain.
Take a look at this NHTSA review. “Truck has bad hesitation when automatic transmission is shifting from gear to gear and the RPMs fluctuate badly. No low end power. This condition is worse when towing. Dealer said they all do this. I have owned 4 Titans including my 2018 none of my other trucks did this. Wish I didn’t trade in my 2013.”
Nissan doesn’t have any communication that brings to light the powertrain situation. Instead, the company has left owners to fend for themselves. This has not only left die-hard enthusiasts desiring a different brand but continues to prove that Nissan isn’t ready to provide the tools that truck owners need.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Nissan Titan XD Transmission and Shifting Problems
IN A ROLLING STOP VEHICLE HESITATES/LAGS/STALLS. 2ND VISIT THEY DID A SOFTWARE UP GRADE PROBLEM STILL CONTINUES NOT FIX WAS TOLD TAKES 2000 MILES FOR TRUCK TO GET USED TO NEW SOFTWARE NOW AT 11000 MILES SAME ISSUE
ON NO LESS THAN 30 OCCASIONS, THIS TRUCK, UPON ENTERING AN INTERSECTION OR ENTERING A PASSING LANE WENT “PEDAL DEAD” MEANING THE ACCELERATOR FAILED TO OPERATE LEAVING ME, MY FAMILY AND THE PEOPLE IN THE ONCOMING VEHICLES IN DIRECT DANGER OF COLLISION.. I HAVE TAKEN THE TRUCK TO THE DEALER, THEY SAY THEY FIND NOTHING. I HAVE FOUND 20 PLUS COMPLAINTS FOR THE SAME THING FROM OTHER CONSUMERS. THIS TIME MY TRUCK IS NOW ON DAY 20 AT THE DEALER. WITH THIS TRUCK DYEING UPON ENTERING INTERSECTIONS AND PASSING LANES, SOMEONE WILL BE KILLED, IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME. I BOTH THIS NEW, MY FIRST COMPLAINT WAS IN JANUARY OF 2109 AT 242 MILES, NOW 11 MONTHS LATER IT ONLY HAS 3300 MILES ON IT BECAUSE THIS PROBLEM PERSISTS AND IT IS ABSOLUTELY GOING TO CREATE AN ACCIDENT SITUATION. THE FAULTS OCCUR WHEN TURNING ONTO A RAMP, PULLING INTO AN INTERSECTION, OR MANEUVERING INTO THE PASSING LANE. I HAVE SIGNED LETTERS FROM TWO PASSENGERS IN HAND WHO HAVE NOT ONLY EXPERIENCED IT FIRST HAND, THEY WILL NO LONGER RIDE IN THE TRUCK AS WELL AS OVER 20 CONSUMER COMPLAINTS FROM COMPLAINT.COM FOR THE SAME MATTER
Problems with the Fuel System
What powers the engine and makes the truck run? It’s the fuel system that’s responsible for providing the gasoline or diesel fuel that is burned for performance. With the Nissan Titan XD, this is just one more vital system that won’t work properly.
Another NHTSA user had this to say, “While the truck is fueling and stationary, the filler neck emits a high-pitched whine noise. The noise varies in pitch with relation to how full the tank becomes. The mentioned complaint has occurred since the first fill up when I purchased it brand new off the lot. Additionally, I’ve made attempts of informing two separate dealers of what was happening and provided video of the complaint. One asked for a copy of video and the other said the engineers are aware and will respond shortly. That was several months prior to this complaint and still haven’t heard anything.”
In addition to the strange noises, many owners complain of the fuel spilling out on them while filling up. Service Bulletin #NTB19-049 addresses the whistling noise and tells technicians to replace the fuel tank with an upgraded model. Clearly, the manufacturer knows that this system is exceptionally defective and wasn’t built correctly. If the company claims to have all of the tools needed to complete a job, it should at the bare minimum, have a properly working fuel tank. As customers wait for their fuel tank replacement, they get to enjoy a strange sound every time they fill up. It’s a constant symphony reminding them how defective this truck truly is.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Nissan Titan XD Fuel System Problems
AS I WAS PUMPING GAS THE FUEL TANK BEGAN TO MAKE A HOWLING SOUND AND BEGUN TO SPIT THE GAS BACK OUT. THIS HAS HAPPENED FOUR TIMES, AND HAS BECOME WORRISOME.
WHEN FILLING GAS TANK IT HAS A HIGH PITCH WHISTLE AND BLOWS GAS BACK OUT ALL OVER THE SIDE OF THE TRUCK AND ON THE GROUND CAUSING A FIRE HAZARD. NISSAN KNOWS OF THE ISSUE AND HAS ISSUED A TSB BUT I FEEL IT IS VERY DANGEROUS AND NEEDS A RECALL BEFORE SOMEONE GETS BURNT OR KILLED THANKS FOR YOUR HELP
Problems with the Electrical System
Finally, it’s time to look at the electrical system. Again, this is one of the most essential parts of the truck. Without a properly running system of wires, there will be glitches and malfunctions that owners don’t want to deal with.
Here is yet another NHTSA complaint that was filed. “The contact owns a 2018 Nissan Titan. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. Roadside Assistance attempted to jumpstart the vehicle, but was unsuccessful. The vehicle was towed to [dealer] where it was determined that all the electrical harnesses needed to be replaced due to rodent damage. The dealer kept the vehicle from June 2, 2019 until August 6, 2019. The contact also stated that there were multiple electrical failures with the vehicle. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA Campaign Number 19V4955000 (Electrical System). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 16,916.”
Looking at NHTSA Campaign Number 19V495000, it’s clear that nearly 100,000 vehicles have a defective alternator harness that could have been damaged during the engine installation. While that doesn’t explain the rodent issue listed above, it is something that no owner should have to deal with. Furthermore, why did it take two months to repair the problem? The automaker could have built the owner a new car in that time frame. Maybe Nissan didn’t have the tools to get the job done after all.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Nissan Titan XD Electrical Problems
ON DATE THE TRUCK WAS PURCHASED, BEFORE WE DROVE TRUCK OFF LOT, CENTER CONSOLE HAD UPDATE ERROR MESSAGE DISPLAYED. NOTHING ON CENTER CONSOLE WOULD WORK, BUT VEHICLE WOULD RUN FINE. BLIND SPOT DETECTION WOULD NOT WORK. SYSTEM WOULD TRY TO REBOOT ITSELF FOR ABOUT AN HOUR BEFORE SYSTEM WOULD COME BACK ONLINE AND EVERYTHING WOULD BE NORMAL, INCLUDING BLIND SPOT DETECTION. NEXT DAY, I TOOK TRUCK TO WORK AND CONSOLE WENT OUT AGAIN AS I WAS DRIVING. BLIND SPOT DETECTION NO LONGER WORKED AGAIN. TOOK IT TO DEALERSHIP. THEY CONFIRMED IT HAD THE LATEST SOFTWARE UPDATE AND DETERMINED HEAD UNIT WAS BAD AND ARE REPLACING IT NOW.
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