2007 Nissan Murano SL 3.5L from North America
Fantastic vehicle, looks, power. Hard to repair... poor engine design
We had the transfer case fail right after we bought it, but it was covered under warranty.
In the last year I've replaced...
Cam position sensors.
Spark plugs (tough job, had to take the whole intake off. Repair manual states you need to remove the whole hood and window cowling, which is crazy for just a spark plug job. I managed it without).
All new brakes rotors on all four wheels.
New serpentine belt.
The above are all regular service items and shouldn't even be mentioned, but....
New fuel level sensors, located in the gas tank. Gas gauge stopped working. Common flaw it seems.
Ball joints will need to be done soon. Rough Canadian roads = ball joint killer.
Here's the big one... it needs a new alternator. It works fine, but the bearings are shot and it makes a crazy howling. I have replaced alternators on a few other past vehicles with no issues, but the Murano is a bit ridiculous. The alternator is in the middle of the engine, down low and jammed in a tight spot. You need to remove the battery, battery tray, fan housing, and whole radiator just to remove the alternator. I've been quoted $950 CDN for the job in a few different shops. The part in Canada is around $400. On RockAuto in the States it's $150 shipped. Looks like I'll be doing the job myself. In the process, and since I have to remove the radiator, I'll be installing a new radiator, hoses, and thermostat. The thermostat itself is in a super tight spot next to the frame. I've seen a couple videos that show removing the engine mount and jacking the engine up just to remove the thermostat. Which to me is a regular maintenance part and should not be that difficult to replace.
Another flaw that I've heard of on many 3.5L's is the timing chain guide. It's made out of plastic, and tends to break, causing timing chain misalignment. Why a plastic piece would be used on such a high wear part is beyond me. It requires engine removal to repair. Poor engineering design.
I guess what I'm getting at, for higher mileage Murano's... beware shop costs on trivial replacements. The engine is mounted sideways and makes for extremely difficult repairs and high labour costs. I'm not a mechanic, but can't afford $1000 to replace an alternator, so I'll be doing it myself. Not sure I'd buy another Murano just for the difficulty of repair. Love the car, sucks to fix.
I always find car reviews on brand new cars good, but they don't tell you much on the reliability over the years. Every new car will probably get decent reviews. So here's a review on a Murano with 150,000K.
This car has been great up until the last year. Love the ride. Great in the winter. Love the looks and feel. Interior is awesome. Tons of room in the back seats. Lots of power. The 3.5L engine is mounted sideways and proves very difficult to repair yourself, or you are doomed to pay expensive shop costs.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th March, 2017