The Nissan X-Trail has been a popular choice for SUV enthusiasts around the world. Known for its robust performance and versatile design, this vehicle has carved out a significant place in the automotive market. However, like any vehicle, the X-Trail is not without its issues. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the common problems that owners may encounter with their Nissan X-Trail, offering insights and solutions to ensure your vehicle continues to run smoothly.

Key Takeaways

Key Issues Solutions
Engine and Starting Problems Replace timing chain tensioner, adjust/replace sensors, replace head gasket/engine
Turbocharger and Diesel Engine Issues Replace turbocharger, turbo replacement, replace intercooler
Fuel System Problems Repair or replace filler tube
Transmission and Clutch Issues Adjust/replace clutch, bleed hydraulics/replace clutch
DPF Issues Long drive/DPF cleaning, clean filter/reset light
Suspension and Steering Concerns Replace anti-roll bar links, replace steering shaft, repair at Nissan dealership
Electrical and Lighting Malfunctions Replace fuse
Oil Leakage Repair or replace affected parts

Nissan X-Trails, particularly certain models, are prone to specific problems that owners and potential buyers should be aware of. From engine difficulties to electrical malfunctions, understanding these issues is key to proactive maintenance and problem-solving. We’ll explore each problem in detail, providing expert advice and practical solutions to keep your Nissan X-Trail in top condition.

Engine and Starting Issues

Car Not Starting

One prevalent issue with the Nissan X-Trail, especially in models from 1999 to 2002, relates to the car failing to start. This problem is often linked to camshaft difficulties.

  • Solution: The recommended approach is to replace the timing chain tensioner. This part plays a critical role in the engine’s operation, and its malfunction can prevent the car from starting.

Stalling Problem

Another common problem, particularly in models from 2001 to 2007, is the engine stalling. This is frequently due to misaligned engine management sensors.

  • Solution: Adjusting or replacing these sensors can resolve the stalling issue. It’s essential to ensure that these sensors are properly aligned and functioning to prevent further complications.

Overheating and Lost Compression

Overheating and lost compression in the engine are often symptoms of a blown head gasket.

  • Solution: The most effective remedy is to replace the head gasket or, in more severe cases, the entire engine. It’s crucial to address this issue promptly to avoid extensive engine damage.

Turbocharger and Diesel Engine Concerns

Turbochargers on Diesel Models

Owners of diesel Nissan X-Trails, particularly those with turbochargers, might encounter issues like whistling noises and smoke emission from the exhaust. These signs often indicate a malfunctioning turbocharger.

  • Solution: The ideal fix in this scenario is to replace the turbocharger. Regular checks and maintenance of the turbocharger can prevent these issues and ensure optimal performance.

Lack of Power/Black Smoke from Exhaust

A common symptom of a broken turbo in the Nissan X-Trail is a noticeable lack of power accompanied by black smoke emitting from the exhaust.

  • Solution: In this case, a turbo replacement is usually necessary. This not only resolves the immediate problem but also helps in maintaining the engine’s efficiency.

Turbo Leaking

Oil leakage from the turbo is another issue that can affect the performance and efficiency of your Nissan X-Trail.

  • Solution: A practical solution is to replace the intercooler. This can prevent further oil leakage and ensure that the turbocharger functions correctly.

Fuel System Problems

Fuel Leak

Fuel leaks, particularly in models manufactured between 2000 and 2004, can pose a significant risk.

  • Solution: The best course of action is to repair or replace the filler tube. This not only resolves the fuel leak issue but also ensures the safety and efficiency of the vehicle.

Transmission and Clutch Complications

Changing Gears

Issues with clutch engagement, affecting the ease of changing gears, are commonly reported in some Nissan X-Trail models.

  • Solution: Adjusting or replacing the clutch can often rectify this problem. It’s essential to ensure that the clutch system is functioning correctly to maintain smooth gear shifting.

Pumping the Clutch

Hydraulic issues leading to difficulties in clutch operation are another concern for Nissan X-Trail owners.

  • Solution: The remedy often involves bleeding the hydraulics or replacing the clutch altogether. Regular checks can help in identifying and addressing such issues early.

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) in Nissan X-Trails, especially in diesel models, are prone to clogging, especially if the vehicle is used for short journeys. Here are some common DPF issues and their solutions:

DPF Issue Description Solution
DPF Warning Light This indicates a blocked DPF, common in vehicles used for short trips. A long drive at a steady speed can help clear the blockage. Alternatively, a DPF cleaning may be necessary.
Particulate Filter Warning Light This light suggests a clogged filter, particularly in models from 2007 onwards. Cleaning the filter and resetting the warning light is often the best solution.

Suspension and Steering Concerns

The Nissan X-Trail’s suspension and steering systems are crucial for a smooth and safe driving experience. Here are some issues that might arise:

Suspension/Steering Issue Description Solution
Suspension Problems A knocking noise due to worn anti-roll bar links is a common complaint. Replacing the anti-roll bar links is usually the recommended fix.
Noisy Steering & Free Play Steering shaft issues, particularly in 2007 models, can cause noise and free play in the steering. The steering shaft may need replacement to resolve these issues.
Power Steering Failure Models between August 2008 and August 2011 may experience power steering failures. This issue often requires a repair at a Nissan dealership to ensure proper handling and safety.

Electrical and Lighting Malfunctions

Electrical systems in vehicles are complex, and the Nissan X-Trail is no exception. Here’s a common electrical issue and its solution:

Non-Working Trailer Hazard Lamps

  • Problem: Models built between March 2007 and April 2008 may have fuse-related issues affecting the trailer hazard lamps.
  • Solution: Replacing the fuse can resolve this problem and ensure that your trailer hazard lamps function correctly.

Oil Leakage

Excessive oil leakage in a Nissan X-Trail can be a cause for concern. Here’s what you need to know:

Excessive Oil Leakage

  • Problem: This could be due to external leaks or worn internal parts.
  • Solution: A thorough inspection is necessary to identify the source of the leak. Repairing or replacing the affected parts can resolve the issue.


The Nissan X-Trail, while a robust and reliable vehicle, does have its share of common problems, as we’ve discussed. Here’s a summary of key issues and their solutions:

  • Engine and Starting Issues: These range from car not starting due to camshaft problems to overheating issues from a blown head gasket.
  • Turbocharger and Diesel Engine Concerns: Problems include turbocharger malfunctions and oil leaks.
  • Fuel System Problems: Fuel leaks in certain models need attention for safety and efficiency.
  • Transmission and Clutch Complications: Clutch and gear shifting issues can affect the driving experience.
  • DPF Issues: Blocked DPFs in diesel models require cleaning or long drives for resolution.
  • Suspension and Steering Concerns: Worn components can impact the vehicle’s handling and comfort.
  • Electrical and Lighting Malfunctions: Electrical issues, while less common, can affect vehicle safety and functionality.
  • Oil Leakage: This issue requires immediate attention to prevent further engine damage.

Regular maintenance and professional inspections are key to the longevity and safety of your Nissan X-Trail. Addressing these common issues promptly can ensure that your vehicle remains a reliable and enjoyable part of your life.

Additional Resources

For further information, repair guides, part suppliers, and support from Nissan, you can visit the following resources:

By staying informed and proactive, you can enjoy all the benefits of your Nissan X-Trail for years to come.


What are the weaknesses of the Nissan X-Trail?

The Nissan X-Trail’s weaknesses primarily include issues with its engine and starting systems, turbocharger and diesel engine concerns, fuel system problems, transmission and clutch complications, Diesel Particulate Filter issues, suspension and steering concerns, electrical and lighting malfunctions, and oil leakage.

How reliable are Nissan X-Trails?

Nissan X-Trails are generally considered reliable vehicles. However, like any car, they have their share of issues, particularly in older models. Regular maintenance and addressing common problems promptly can significantly enhance their reliability.

What causes Nissan X-Trail to lose power?

Loss of power in the Nissan X-Trail can often be attributed to turbocharger problems, particularly in diesel models. Other causes might include blocked Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF), issues with the fuel system, or engine problems.

What are the benefits of Nissan Xtrail?

The benefits of the Nissan Xtrail include its versatile design suitable for various terrains, spacious and comfortable interior, good fuel efficiency, robust performance, and a reputation for durability and reliability.

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Drawing from extensive expertise in the used car parts industry, Craig Sandeman has established himself as a trusted authority in automotive repair. He possesses a deep knowledge of the challenges encountered by individuals seeking reliable car parts, making him a highly sought-after expert in this field.


Potential issues, causes, and solutions have been identified in the above article based on the experiences of car owners and repairers, as well as web materials such as forum blogs and technical support bulletins. This data is supplied exclusively for the purpose of reference. Only appropriately qualified persons should perform repairs and/or changes on your vehicles.

While it’s important to keep in mind, it’s also important to note that the amount of times anything is mentioned here should not be seen as a sign of its reliability or frequency. Various owners, driving in different ways, and caring for their vehicles in distinct ways will cause two identical vehicles to perform differently.

As previously said, this material is supplied primarily for reference reasons; nonetheless, we hope that by doing so, we will be able to supply you with essential knowledge that will allow you to make informed decisions whenever you encounter any of the aforementioned setbacks.

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