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Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise #4595776
12/06/17 09:08 AM
12/06/17 09:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
Madison, Wisconsin
TWG1572 Offline OP
TWG1572  Offline OP

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
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!

Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4595792
12/06/17 09:35 AM
12/06/17 09:35 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 19,767
Iowegia - USA
MolaKule Offline
Global Moderator
MolaKule  Offline
Global Moderator

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 19,767
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.

Last edited by MolaKule; 12/06/17 09:36 AM.

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." Jimmy Dean
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4595833
12/06/17 10:18 AM
12/06/17 10:18 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,065
MA.
Camprunner Offline
Camprunner  Offline

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,065
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.

Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4595843
12/06/17 10:31 AM
12/06/17 10:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,034
Pennsylvania
Boomer Online content
Boomer  Online Content

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,034
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.


2013 VW Passat TDI SE, 65,100 miles Castrol Professional VW507 5W-30
2017 VW Golf All Track 21,170 miles Castrol Professional VW505 5W-40
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4595863
12/06/17 10:52 AM
12/06/17 10:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 318
NC
fenixguy Offline
fenixguy  Offline

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 318
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?


'16 Frontier SV 4x4-PP/Nissan OEM
'08 CR-V EX AWD-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram TG
'01 Civic EX-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram UG
'00 Civic LX-PYB/Fram UG
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4595868
12/06/17 10:54 AM
12/06/17 10:54 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
Madison, Wisconsin
TWG1572 Offline OP
TWG1572  Offline OP

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
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.

Last edited by TWG1572; 12/06/17 10:58 AM.
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: MolaKule] #4595869
12/06/17 10:55 AM
12/06/17 10:55 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 26,893
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Garak Offline
Garak  Offline

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 26,893
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.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: fenixguy] #4595872
12/06/17 10:57 AM
12/06/17 10:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
Madison, Wisconsin
TWG1572 Offline OP
TWG1572  Offline OP

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
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

Last edited by TWG1572; 12/06/17 10:57 AM.
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4595991
12/06/17 12:18 PM
12/06/17 12:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,237
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,237
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.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4595999
12/06/17 12:23 PM
12/06/17 12:23 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,467
N.H, U.S.A.
ARCOgraphite Offline
ARCOgraphite  Offline

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,467
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.


2019 VW Jetta S,6M OCI#0 1136mi-Castrol Edge Prof? VW508+OE Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#6 43467mi-Valvoline Adv 0w20 + SOA Filter
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: fenixguy] #4596012
12/06/17 12:32 PM
12/06/17 12:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,065
MA.
Camprunner Offline
Camprunner  Offline

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,065
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.

Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4596017
12/06/17 12:36 PM
12/06/17 12:36 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 346
Owego, New York
Gillsy Offline
Gillsy  Offline

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 346
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!


Many are the afflictions of a righteous man

2018 F150 Supercab 2.7 Ecoboost 4x4
400 lbs/ft of grin at 2750 RPM
2016 Kawasaki 650 Versys LT
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4596111
12/06/17 02:01 PM
12/06/17 02:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,344
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,344
Phoenix, AZ
When was the last time the power steering fluid was changed?

And no, turkey basters don't count lol.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 92k STP Synthetic HM 10w30 & Wix
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 233k Mobil Super HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 148k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: Nick1994] #4596134
12/06/17 02:25 PM
12/06/17 02:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
Madison, Wisconsin
TWG1572 Offline OP
TWG1572  Offline OP

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 568
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.

Last edited by TWG1572; 12/06/17 02:25 PM.
Re: Nissan Frontier - Cold Weather Startup Noise [Re: TWG1572] #4596213
12/06/17 03:45 PM
12/06/17 03:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,979
Illinois
SHOZ Offline
SHOZ  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,979
Illinois
Hyundai changed PS fluids on my Gen Coupe due to cold weather whine.


2008 Hyundai Accent 1.6L 5 sp manual hatchback
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Track 2L Turbo 6sp manual
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