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#4595776 - 12/06/17 08:08 AM Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise
TWG1572 Offline


Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 558
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
Late last winter, my '08 Frontier started making a loud whining noise when I started it. This only happened when it was cold (below freezing) outside AND the engine was cold. It wasn't a belt squealing sound, it's not quite as high pitched and grating. The noise faded away after 30 seconds to a minute of driving. It would vary with RPM, louder and higher pitched with higher RPM's.

I did some reading on Frontier forums, there can be a belt tensioner issue. I decided to replace the tensioner and belt, and figured I'd do the idler pulley while I was in there. I still had the issue, but warmer weather came and it's been quiet since. Well, until yesterday when it was 28 degrees when I walked out of work.

So, I'm trying to figure out next steps. I'm debating just taking it to my mechanic, but wanted to see if there were any other thoughts first. Of there remaining likely causes (PS pump, AC compressor, alternator, and fan clutch), I think the only thing I'd want to tackle myself in my garage would be the fan clutch.

TLDR - '08 Frontier, V6, 196K miles. Loud whining noise at startup when engine and weather is cold, but does not sound like a slipping belt. Varies with RPM. Goes away in a minute or two. Have replaced belt and tensioner.

Thanks!

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#4595792 - 12/06/17 08:35 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 19042
Loc: Iowegia - USA
Interesting as my '08 TrailBlazer is doing the same thing when the outside temp is near or below freezing, which is why it is in the shop.

Mechanic thinks it might be a belt tensioner pulley bearing, as do I.

We will know for sure later today.

My 2012 Frontier, to date, is doing very well in the cold weather.


Edited by MolaKule (12/06/17 08:36 AM)

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#4595833 - 12/06/17 09:18 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
Camprunner Offline


Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 1034
Loc: MA.
2005 - 2010 Nissan VQ40 DE V6 motors had a major timing chain issue where the chain would wear threw the plastic guides and make noise. It is possible that yours is in the early stages of going and more noticeable in the cold?

I have the same engine in my 2012 Pathfinder and I must say mine is not exactly quiet when it gets cold.

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#4595843 - 12/06/17 09:31 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
Boomer Offline


Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1934
Loc: Pennsylvania
Yes, I had a 2007 Fronty and it did the same thing. It was the timing chain wearing through the guides. GET THIS DONE right away as it can have serious consequences if you don't. Also, these Frontys leaked coolant into the ATF through the in-radiator ATF cooler causing the tranny to fail.
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#4595863 - 12/06/17 09:52 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
fenixguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 307
Loc: NC
I'm not trying to hijack the thread but, I've read a lot about the timing chain guides with these engines. Is that something that was supposedly fixed in the later models?
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#4595868 - 12/06/17 09:54 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
TWG1572 Offline


Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 558
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
I did have the timing chain issue and had it repaired. Based on the sound, this is not the timing chain issue. This is a much more shrill and loud whine, and much shorter in duration. I'm going to try and get a recording of it next time. I've not had the ATF issue. Fingers crossed that my luck continue to hold.

There's part of me that says it's just time to trade this thing in at December month end. I'd been thinking in the next six months, simply because it's getting long in the tooth and is my daily driver. And my kids are outgrowing the back seat. I just don't know what I'd buy - full size trucks are just getting too big, and I don't want to spend another 10 years in the same body style Frontier. It's been a solid truck, but I'd like a little variety. I'm also 6'4, so I don't fit many of the compact truck offerings.

I drove a Nissan Titan the other day just because they have crazy incentives on them. $33K for a crew cab, 4x4 truck isn't bad. That was their first offer, so I'm thinking there is negotiation room there. It still felt like a battleship, although maybe I'd get used to it.

Anyway, sorry to get off topic. The timing chain comments reminded me that I'm at the point where I don't want to sink crazy repair $$ into this truck.


Edited by TWG1572 (12/06/17 09:58 AM)

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#4595869 - 12/06/17 09:55 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: MolaKule]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24620
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Interesting as my '08 TrailBlazer is doing the same thing when the outside temp is near or below freezing, which is why it is in the shop.

I gather you're not going to throw additives at it until it goes away? wink Sorry, couldn't resist.
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#4595872 - 12/06/17 09:57 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: fenixguy]
TWG1572 Offline


Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 558
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: fenixguy
I'm not trying to hijack the thread but, I've read a lot about the timing chain guides with these engines. Is that something that was supposedly fixed in the later models?


Yes. I've heard various theories of what caused it - either poorly machined chains cutting into the plastic guides or poor quality guides themselves. Both get replaced when it's fixed. Maybe someone else definitively knows what the issue was. I don't


Edited by TWG1572 (12/06/17 09:57 AM)

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#4595991 - 12/06/17 11:18 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10592
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I've seen things as obscure as a tiny crack in an upper intake manifold gasket causing a screechy/whiney noise on an extreme cold startup. Like a reed vibrating in a woodwind instrument. This used to be very common on early 2000 range Isuzu Rodeo and Trooper 3.2/3.5L. Probably not this Nissan's issue, just throwing it out there.
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#4595999 - 12/06/17 11:23 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11970
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
My experience has been alternator bearings. Belt tensioner bearings could be it too. Alternatror noise is usually near zero F.
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#4596012 - 12/06/17 11:32 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: fenixguy]
Camprunner Offline


Registered: 02/19/08
Posts: 1034
Loc: MA.
Originally Posted By: fenixguy
I'm not trying to hijack the thread but, I've read a lot about the timing chain guides with these engines. Is that something that was supposedly fixed in the later models?


The timing chain issue was the result of Borge Warrner who made the chains and when there cutter would cut the chains if the cutter was old it would cut the chain links with sharp edges and thus would wear out the chain guides rather quickly. The chan and guide issue was fixed after the 2010 model year.

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#4596017 - 12/06/17 11:36 AM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
Gillsy Offline


Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 342
Loc: Owego, New York
Originally Posted By: TWG1572
Late last winter, my '08 Frontier started making a loud whining noise when I started it. This only happened when it was cold (below freezing) outside AND the engine was cold. It wasn't a belt squealing sound, it's not quite as high pitched and grating. The noise faded away after 30 seconds to a minute of driving. It would vary with RPM, louder and higher pitched with higher RPM's.

I did some reading on Frontier forums, there can be a belt tensioner issue. I decided to replace the tensioner and belt, and figured I'd do the idler pulley while I was in there. I still had the issue, but warmer weather came and it's been quiet since. Well, until yesterday when it was 28 degrees when I walked out of work.

So, I'm trying to figure out next steps. I'm debating just taking it to my mechanic, but wanted to see if there were any other thoughts first. Of there remaining likely causes (PS pump, AC compressor, alternator, and fan clutch), I think the only thing I'd want to tackle myself in my garage would be the fan clutch.

TLDR - '08 Frontier, V6, 196K miles. Loud whining noise at startup when engine and weather is cold, but does not sound like a slipping belt. Varies with RPM. Goes away in a minute or two. Have replaced belt and tensioner.

Thanks!



Get an engine stethoscope, and listen around. I would start at the power steering pump. When it is cold the fluid is viscous. God luck!
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#4596111 - 12/06/17 01:01 PM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10135
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
When was the last time the power steering fluid was changed?

And no, turkey basters don't count lol.
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2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 79k PU 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 228k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 146k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

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#4596134 - 12/06/17 01:25 PM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: Nick1994]
TWG1572 Offline


Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 558
Loc: Madison, Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
When was the last time the power steering fluid was changed?

And no, turkey basters don't count lol.


I'm ashamed to admit this on BITOG, but I don't know. I'd need to look at my receipts. 100K, or possibly never. Its never been something I've done with the other routine fluid changes.


Edited by TWG1572 (12/06/17 01:25 PM)

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#4596213 - 12/06/17 02:45 PM Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5751
Loc: Illinois
Hyundai changed PS fluids on my Gen Coupe due to cold weather whine.
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