Last post on Dec 12, 2013 at 9:07 PM
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#31982 of 35397 Re: another sign from above [roadburner]
Apr 22, 2013 (6:53 pm)
if he could have gotten the window up I would have ignored the problem, at least until he got home. But dropping all the way into the door (apparently on that car, they can do that!) took that option out of play.
maintaining an old car is hard enough, doing it from 250 miles away is a real pain.
#31983 of 35397 Sienna Brake Job II
Apr 22, 2013 (6:54 pm)
I have faith in American retail.
Did the driver's side on the van in 1/2 the time -- as usual; the tools are out, and I know how hard to swing the hammer to beat the rotor off.
Everything goes fine & dandy until...
... I torque the banjo bolt into the caliper and strip it. With a torque wrench set to 23 lb. ft. no less.
Upon inspection, I didn't strip the bolt, but the reman caliper had stripped threads, which were helpfully painted over after rebuilding. At least there won't be a discussion who screwed it up.
As it turned out, not only was there no discussion, but the Autozone location that had another caliper -- not the one I bought the original parts -- swapped it out for me free of charge as a "warranty" item. That was really nice of them. I'll still have to shlep to the original store to return the cores and a couple of items that didn't get used, but overall, I'm happy. Did a quick test drive; tomorrow I top off the fluid (in daylight, thank you very much) and torque everything down and do an extended drive.
Then I'll do the Vibe, I guess.
REALLY puts the $133 lease payment on the Cruze into perspective.
Of course, I'm biking to work now the weather is finally warm-ish.
And ditto on the minivan tire-eaters. These vehicles would really benefit from LT tires and 45 psi pressure. I'm putting 40 in mine.
#31984 of 35397 2012 Nissan Xterra S 4WD
Apr 22, 2013 (7:40 pm)
My dad and I traveled to Austin, TX this past weekend for the MotoGP race at Circuit of the Americas. I found a great deal on a compact car from Budget ($15 per day plus the various exorbitant fees and taxes they tack on), and they suggested I might get a Ford Focus, which I was excited about because I haven't driven the current model. When we arrived, I was given a 2012 Nissan Xterra S 4WD. Here are a few brief impressions.
The Xterra is really showing its age. The current model was introduced as a 2005 model, and was reasonably competitive at that time. The mid-grade 2012 example I drove had very little standard equipment. The key, remote, and the position of the ignition were the same as my 2002 Altima, and the brake pedal feel was similar. Oddly, this was endearing to me, since I've owned a couple of Nissans in the past. The 4.0 liter V6 has a decent amount of torque and sounds like a V8 at times, but it's not a fast vehicle, and in 2WD mode, the rear tires break loose very easily on gravel in spite of their 265mm width. Unlike most of Nissan's lineup, there is no keyless ignition or passive entry. The 2012 model is lacking in creature comforts. The MSRP was slightly under $30,000, and it lacked keyless ignition, an external temperature display, a trip computer, a cargo cover, a USB input, or any auxiliary audio input at all. These are features I have come to expect as standard in pretty much any vehicle made after 2010 or so. In 2013, the Xterra has been updated with an improved audio system which includes aux-in and USB, and the MSRP has been significantly lowered.
Driving the Xterra is a little awkward due to the giant blind spots to the front and rear. These blind spots are not as bad as the Honda Element, but Nissan could have done a lot better. In 2013, the optional navigation system does include a rearview camera, but this doesn't completely eliminate the blind spots. The ride is relatively bouncy, as I would expect from a body-on-frame vehicle with (I think) a live axle. Still, the ride is better than the 2004 GMC Canyon I used to occasionally drive. My example had an infuriating rattle from the rear cargo area at low speeds. Oddly enough, out on the highway, the Xterra did really well, other than the fact that I averaged under 20 MPG the entire time. One of the toll roads I drove on had an 85 MPH limit, and there was a high-pitched whistling wind noise above 85. The cruise control in most recent Nissans will not go above 89 MPH, so this was my cruising speed for that leg of the trip. The interior has a lot of hard surfaces, as is to be expected for this segment, but I could probably let my neighbors' boxer puppy chew on it for several weeks, and it would still look the same. Still, it's possible to include a few creature comforts like a trip computer and an auxiliary audio input in an inexpensive interior.
After a couple of days of driving the Xterra, I came to a damning realization: Back in 2007, I rented a 2.7 liter Dodge Charger sedan, which was a severely decontented (and uncompetitive) model sold only to the car rental fleets. I refused to consider any Chrysler/Jeep product for several years thereafter. If my first impression of Nissan was my rental of this 2012 Xterra, which I also feel is uncompetitive, I probably would not have considered any Nissan product for several years, which is why Nissan desperately needs to either update the Xterra or kill it off entirely. I don't expect it to ride and handle like a 350z or have an interior as good as a Maxima, but a few creature comforts and fewer blind spots would go a long way. I might even decide I needed another Nissan in the stable!
#31985 of 35397 Re: New Vehicle [stickguy]
Apr 22, 2013 (7:27 pm)
Pretty sure it's been tried..
But it is well known among victims, that a man's primary thinking and reasoning organ, gets mixed messages from below the shoulders (the heart) but then gets even more complex messages lying in a region well below that. Now that area can really complicate an otherwise fairly (seemingly) content life..
#31986 of 35397 Re: Sienna Brake Job II [steine13]
Apr 22, 2013 (7:37 pm)
"REALLY puts the $133 lease payment on the Cruze into perspective."
Yeah, not only are you practically driving that car for free (only a few oil changes and tire rotations--the brakes and tires will last way beyond the term of the lease), you're getting the best 2-3 years of its life.
The left xenon bulb on my GLI flickers ever so slightly when the car is sitting still, and not so slightly when the car is going over rough pavement. Between that and the "Dunpop" tires, VW had better hope that JD Power doesn't send me a survey!
#31987 of 35397 Re: 2012 Nissan Xterra S 4WD [corvette]
Apr 22, 2013 (7:38 pm)
Interesting, if not discouraging.. review on the Pathfinder wannabee.
Sounds like among their oversights, they shouldn't make that one available to rental companies.
I've never understood the Xterra after its first two years or so. Fish outta water for too much money when the Pathfinder checks all the boxes for just not that much more cost. It too quickly suffered a ridiculously high MSRP (Pathfinder territory of the times) considering the content, and your review confirms it on an up to date basis. Must make Nissan a PILE of money for those not in the know.
#31988 of 35397 Re: 2012 Nissan Xterra S 4WD [gimmestdtranny]
Apr 22, 2013 (7:49 pm)
On the plus side, the pricing was lowered for 2013, and although a sunroof is apparently unavailable, I found that due to its aerodynamics, you can at least partially lower both front windows at speed with very little buffeting.
The current gen is in its ninth production year (which makes the rattle from the rear inexcusable) and is way overdue for a redesign. The current one wouldn't be that bad if it didn't have the jiggle of a live axle, and added a couple of creature comforts. There aren't many new smaller body-on-frame SUVs left in the marketplace, though. It's the Xterra, FJ Cruiser, Wrangler, or a pickup truck, unless there's one I've forgotten.
#31989 of 35397 Re: 2012 Nissan Xterra S 4WD [corvette]
Apr 22, 2013 (8:09 pm)
I have fond memories of my old 87 Pathfinder. Was a great truck. Somehow..over the years.. they lost their way and I attribute the inception of how they have marketed/built the Xterra (your comment about about the rattle..and I agree..no excuse whatsoever) a contributing factor. And of course now..fastforward a number of years and because Nissan felt they covered that price range with the live axled Xterra, they sent the Pathfinder way upscale and outta reach for the humble of household incomes. Apparently the new one is pretty nice on a number of levels..but again..price of admission puts it out of reach for many.
No matter what they do with the Xterra now, I think it will always be a wannabee.
Maybe they will offer it with a diesel...since that is probably the writing on the wall in the next few years. That might help it a lot. Remember all the hoopla when Toyota teased FJ fans that they were going to offer a diesel a few years ago? I know buyers who held off waiting for that one..and of course it never materialized. Might be an opportunity for Nissan to fill that niche.
#31990 of 35397 Re: 2012 Nissan Xterra S 4WD [gimmestdtranny]
Apr 22, 2013 (8:37 pm)
"Maybe they will offer it with a diesel..."
A Jetta/Golf TDI would've probably been my second choice after the GLI/GTI, since it's the second-best engine choice in VW's small car lineup. But, as long as the gas version performs better than the diesel (and I'm not talking about MPG), I'll want the gas one. I actually would have test driven the V6 version of the Passat (in spite of the fact that the "loaded" version lacks xenon lights and other luxury features) if it weren't for the fact that none of the nearby dealers keep one in stock.
Nissan has historically been late to adopt new engine technologies, and with the exception of the 2013 Altima, their cars have been a little below par on the MPG ratings. That said, I generally like driving Nissans (even the Xterra) in the same way that a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge guy will find something to like in most of the products from their respective preferred brands.
#31991 of 35397 Re: another sign from above [stickguy]
Apr 23, 2013 (8:09 am)
You could find salvage parts but probably not worth the time and effort since you need to use the car, and it's not at your address.
I have a spare car, so when one of them needs something I can shop around, order, wait, and usually do it myself. I installed a soft top on an NA Miata. $460 total. To have it done would have been $1100.
Then again, I wouldn't do that work again. What a pain that job was.