Did you check the most common Nissan Navara problems before buying this large SUV?
The Navara is one of the most popular 4x4s in the UK, and it comes in three models; the D22, D23, and the D40. The Navara has been around since 1997, and it is the best seller for its Japanese manufacturer. Usually, 4x4s and pickups are put under more strain than normal cars, but the Nissan Navara has a pretty consistent reputation for decent vehicles- in the first half of their life, at least.
The Nissan Navara offers an impressive assortment of features; first is its engine. A twin-turbocharged 2.3L 4-cylinder diesel engine powers this vehicle. This motor produces 140kW and 450Nm. The torque is also nicely spread over a range of 1 500RPM to 2 500RPM, and the engine is well-matched with its 7-speed automatic transmission.
Under the skin, you will find a coil-spring, 5-link rear suspension setup which improves comfort over various terrain conditions. Its Payload ratings remain impressive, and the Navara can carry up to 961 kg in 4×4 trim and 1030 kg in 4×2 configurations.
Most Common Nissan Navara Problems
All models of the Nissan Navara are plagued with similar engine faults you should look out for. A faulty fuel injector is a common problem. If you’re struggling to put your vehicle in idle, or you experience frequent engine cut-outs while idling, look no further than the fuel injector. It could be as simple as a blocked fuel line or need a total replacement.
- Engine Problems
The engine timing chain can constitute another issue in the Nissan Navara. This chain functions to keep all the internal parts of the engine moving in time. With the Nissan engine, the factory chain configuration is not adequate for the work the chain is meant to do. This leads to premature wear and tear of the chains.
If this chain breaks or slips, the internal parts of the engine can collide, starting from the valves hitting the piston and breaking away, leading to engine failure. At this point, you can consider the engine destroyed, and you’ll have to completely overhaul the system. 
- Gearbox Problems
These problems occur commonly while shifting gears. The gear is stuck at a particular position and won’t move to the next gear, or the Navara may slip out of gear while driving.
The cause of this problem may be a faulty clutch or gearbox, low transmission fluids, coupling, damaged or worn transmission components, dead clutch disc, or oil leakage.
To be fair, gear slipping is often a sign of normal wear and tear. But, with the Navara, these problems tend to occur far more frequently and way sooner in their life.
This malfunction can be felt while driving. You may notice your Navara jerking or hesitate while shifting gears.
Other symptoms of a faulty gearbox include problems with shifting gears, gear slipping, crackling noise when shifting gears, a burning smell, an indicator light coming up, or noise when the Navara is in neutral. To fix Navara’s gearbox problems, you’ll first need to identify the cause of the issue. 
- Clutch Fault
Your Navara’s clutch provides a direct connection between the engine and the transmission. Without it, the vehicle cannot move at all. One of Nisan Navara’s problems is a slipping clutch. This means that there is not enough pressure or contact surface left to transfer force from the flywheel to the transmission.
When there’s too much force coming from the engine, it becomes too much to handle, and the clutch slips. Slipping feels like you’ve pressed the clutch in a bit, and RPMs shoot up, even when you haven’t pressed the clutch at all.
This clutch problem will first show in the later gears when driving your Navara at higher speeds. With each slipping, the clutch begins to burn up, and with time, the problem will only get worse. The smell of a burning clutch is like a rotten egg or a burnt carpet.
Some drivers feel that the Nissan Navara clutch is too little for the vehicle. To be fair, this isn’t a problem but has been reported to be a source of difficulties. There have also been cases of premature clutch wear in manual models. 
- Battery Problems
The most common battery problem is battery draining while driving; it is most definitely going to be a problem with the Navara’s alternator.
There have also been reports of the battery draining while being parked; it could be a corroded battery cable, a bad battery, or a faulty alternator. You may also need to pump the accelerator to get the engine to start on some occasions. The remote key fob of your Navara may also not work.
- Fuel Pump Problems
If your Nissan Navara’s fuel pump goes bad, not enough fuel or even no fuel will get into your engine. If you’re experiencing an engine that sputters and struggles to start, it is a clear indicator of a faulty fuel pump. Other indicators include; loss of power, whining noise, the engine not starting at all, or consistently stalling. 
To fix this, you will have to replace your fuel pump. The good news is, fuel pumps are relatively inexpensive, but the labor costs may be a bit high.
- Heater Problems
Car heaters use a device called a thermistor to calculate the temperature. The Navara thermistor can become damaged and misread the temperature of the car or the temperature at the AC blowing.
The thermistor will believe that the AC is blowing warm air when it is blowing cold air. Because of this, the car heating won’t warm up adequately because the thermistor already thinks you are at an optimum temperature.
- Snapped Chassis Fault
In 2017, a couple of Navara owners noticed a common fault of corrosion on the chassis rails of their pickup. The cause of this problem is probably rust corroding the chassis, weakening it over time, and it can result in the model snapping.
Only a small number of D40s built between 2005 and 2008 were affected.
This problem wasn’t severe enough to cause a recall of the affected vehicles. No worries, you’ll just need to regularly inspect your vehicle for any signs of rust.
- Transmission Cooler Fault
The radiators of some Navaras have been known to burst internally for some owners. Because the cooler is in the engine’s radiator, this makes engine coolant enter the automatic transmission leading to a loss of gear functionality.
Also, due to the internal rupture of the radiator, engine coolant may enter the Megatronic, an electronic control system located inside the transmission. This contamination can result in significant drivability issues.
The solution is to bypass the existing cooler and fit an external automatic cooler. This will then separate the transmission cooler from the radiator.
- Steering shaft
There have been reported cases of problems with the fitment of the lower steering shaft. This shaft can become detached while driving and cause a loss of control of the steering wheel. There have also been complaints of the steering becoming heavy and hard to steer, then normal, then heavy, and then normal again.
242 of the 2020 D3 Navara models were recalled due to faulty steering components. 
- Rear Wheel Bearings
It has also been brought to our notice that the rear wheel bearings may be prone to excessive wear and may lead to noises from the rear axle. Ignoring this sign will be a bad idea because the bearings could fail and cause the shaft assembly to detach from the axle.
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Nissan Navara seems to be getting a lot of hate- some deserved and most underserved. The Navara has its fair share of problems that may constitute a nuisance. That being said, if you are in a position to handle the responsibility of driving such a vehicle and perhaps you reside in an area that is not as congested as the big city, then the Navara will surely not disappoint.
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