Question about 2002 Nissan Xterra

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We have a 2002 Nissan Xterra SE. We're being told that the timing chain has broke & when it breaks it damages the valves. Total repair around $2500. Is this accurate???

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  • Nissan Master
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Maybe, maybe not. If the chain only slips a link, this will not happen. It depends on how it fails, and you never know exactly what the damage is until you replace the chain and try to start it. If you're sure there is SOME damage, then you go ahead and pull the head off to assess the cost before replacing the chain. The damage can range from a bent valve to busted pistons. If you have more questions, please let us know.

Posted on Oct 12, 2010

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1 Answer

How do I replace the timing belt on the 2001 xterra SE


You'll need to get a repair manual or a shop manual for the procedure.
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The 2.4L four has a belt and is not an interference engine according to the Gates timing belt application chart for your vehicle (check it out on Gates.com.) The 2.7L V-6 doesn't show that it needs a belt--so it has either a timing chain and gears or just gears. If the belt broke on the 2.4L four, you should be able to put on a new belt and go. The engine should not be damaged.

If the timing chain on the V-6 broke then engine damage may have occurred. Chain engines are sometimes not listed as interference because breaking a chain is so rare. The damage would probably be bent valves and damaged piston tops. The labor involved in repairing all that might cost more than just getting a rebuilt engine and putting it in.

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1 Answer

Have nissan xterra 2002 133000 miles. Stoped at stop light last night and timing belt broke. Was at a complete stop when this happened. Could this have messed up the engine on bend a valve.


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1 Answer

Besides an oil & filter change what preventive maintenance should be done on my 2002 nissan xterra with 115,000 miles


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2 Answers

For a 2001 nissan xterra when should the timing belt be replaced


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Xterra with 2.4L and 4.0L have timing chain only, no timing belt.

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1 Answer

My xterra stopped running while driving it. Is there a timing belt or a timing chain?


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1 Answer

Knock sensor in 2002 xterra se/sc


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1 Answer

Timing belt sliped


Normally YES, I would have a new belt fitted and try it just in case. I have had several 'interference' motors break a belt and not damage any valves. Its worth taking a chance before running the expense of pulling the heads off for inspection.

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Broken timing chain


It depends on what engine the car has. The 2.8l V6 30v engine (1998 and newer) has a timing belt that runs the water pump and exhaust cams off the crank pulley, but the intake cams are driven by a timing chain assembly inside the head, with each intake cam driven by its respective exhaust cam. The car likely has valve damage, although if it shut down quickly, there may not be any piston or cylinder damage. The only way to know though, is to autopsy the motor and inspect everything. That alone is going to cost a lot. You'd probably be better off sourcing another engine from an auto recycler such as www.shokan.com in NY, or on eBay or Craigslist. I'd bet that you'd pay less to buy and ship that engine than you would to determine the full extent of the damage to your own existing engine.

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