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Nissan Micras - are they gash, or have I been unlucky?

Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
edited June 2009 in The Crudcatcher
Right, so this is the saga of my car, a 2004 Nissan Micra 1.5 diesel.

Bought aforementioned car in 2004 - it was 6 months old, and had about 5000 miles on the clock. For a while it was great - it had a mirror in the driver's visor and a hook in the footwell for shopping bags and everything!

Dec 2006 - the central locking started playing up, with the boot very occasionally locking and unlocking seemingly at whim.

2007 - took the car into a Nissan dealership to be MOTd and to have the central locking to be looked at, as the boot lock was now starting to piss me off. They pointed out that there were three outstanding recalls to the car, including central locking and ignition issues.

2007 -literally two weeks after the MOT, and three weeks before the warranty ran out, the engine died at a junction. It spent five days at a Nissan dealership. After a couple of days, I rang to see if they'd found out what the issue was. Their response, "We've put it through the diagnostic computers, and they can't find anything wrong. But we know something's wrong, because the engine won't start".

Eventually, they replaced a big chunk of engine - the starter motor, and a lot of the surrounding componentry. They told me it wasn't covered by the warranty, and would cost £680 for non-Nissan parts, or £740 for Nissan parts. They then phoned up and apologised, as it was covered by the warranty - the guy had misread the mechanic's 'D' (for diesel) as 'P' (for petrol). Big sigh of relief, and a decision not to bother with the Nissan dealership again.

2008 - the connector from the wipers to the wiper motor died. Three different garages said it'd cost a bit, as the entire wiper rack would have to be replaced (I checked with multiple garages, as I found it hard to believe they couldn't get the connecting component separately). This cost £180. Cue weeping.

End of 2008 - fuel economy started going down the pan, and there was an oil leak. More weeping.

Feb 2009 - More happy fun times, this time in the shape of the EGR valve. This is where I made the startling discovery that 2003/2004 Nissan Micras actually have Renault engines and electrics. The knowledge that my car was secretly French didn't do much to ease the £800 pain of tracking down the fault and replacing the valve, along with the rear wheels needing new bearing kits. And another oil leak needed fixing.

May 2009 - Passed MOT. Yay!

June 2009 - Got in the car one morning and the engine was dead. Needed new starter motor, would have cost £250 odd, but I've got AA cover so they pay up to £500 for repairs, with only a £25 excess.

June 2009 - Engine died. Again. This time was more exciting - we were driving oop North when the red battery light started flickering on and off. Then the ABS and power steering warning lights came on, and off went most of the electrics - power steering gone, no radio or heater/cooler, etc, accompanied by a most delightful burning smell and whirring noise. As we were driving up to the Peak District, we pulled over to call the AA. Good job, as the car wouldn't start again.

Yes, two weeks after having my new starter motor fitted, it got fried. The AA man said that he'd dealt with a similar case on a Micra a few weeks earlier, and it turned out it was a problem with the ignition - sometimes it gets stuck internally in the ignition position, forcing the starter motor to constantly trigger.

We don't know yet if the starter motor will be covered under warranty by the garage (if it was burnt out by the same fault as the previous one, isn't it their fault they didn't find that last time?), or whether the AA will stump up the cost again - we can have five claims a year, but the fact it's the same sort of issue in two weeks might cause problems. :/

So, has anyone experienced similar with a Micra, or am I just incredibly unlucky? I keep getting people saying, "Oooh, but they're usually so reliable!", but I'm also hearing from various garages and AA men about how they've dealt with similar issues.

Posts

  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    The old ones would go on forever, a few mates had them (my flatmate had a green one named "The Flying Bogey"). Maybe the new ones have more gremlins, but yours do seem to be pretty much exclusively electrical/electronic issues.

    Why would they put French bits in it though? That's asking for trouble!
  • Si78Si78 Posts: 963
    My ex gf has a 2006 1.5 diesel. She has not had any problems, so I would say you have been very unlucky!

    Like you say, lots of Nissans and Renaults share parts after Renault took a big shareholding in Nissan in about 1999 I think.

    As llamafarmer says, the older Micras were pretty much bullet proof. But the alliance with the Reggie has obviously had an effect on quality.

    The chassis will be similar to the Clio, which aint a problem as the French usually design good responsive chassis.

    However French electrics are notoriously poo.
    French diesel engines are usually very good tho.
    I had a Pug 306 Dturbo, which was fantastic-although very loud, unrefined and a tad smokey in true French style.

    The Nissan / Renault tie-up reminds me of the Nissan / Alfa Romeo tie-up in the 80's...

    Produced the fabulously awful Arna. Nissan styling and chassis, with Alfa engines and electrics...
    The worst of both worlds!!!!
    Looked terrible, in true 1980's Japanese fashion, and was nailed together by Italians, using the most unreliable engines and components you could find. ***shudder***

    It sounds like you have had pretty poor service from the Nissan dealer too.

    I would personally chop the car in and get a new one, electrical problems are very difficult to sort sometimes, and you may have lots more probs with the Micra.

    Look at the Toyota Aygo. Great little cars, very reliable. Perfect for small peeps too :wink:

    And designed the right way... Tie-up with Peugeot and Citroen to spread the cost of development, but designed solely by Toyota, with Toyota engines and mechanicals.

    Sorry for waffling on!
    Why has my sig been removed by the admins???
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    I would love to get a new car - or even one of the same age that doesn't eat most of our disposable income! Dunno how we could do it financially though - things are pretty tight, partly because of the car. I don't think I'd get much on the trade-in in it's current state! Plus I'm also a little reluctant because we've recently had a towbar fitted to it for the bike rack... :lol:

    Mr Toast would like me to get a new car too though - being 6ft 6 means that he doesn't have a lot of room (I got the car before the husband! :lol: ). As a passenger, even with the seat right back his knees are pressed against the dashboard - if the airbags deployed, I think that'd be his kneecaps gone...plus he can't learn to drive in it. It could have been worse though, I was planning on getting a Smart car before I decided on the Micra.

    We've been given a Corsa courtesy car, and he's loving that - leg room and everything!
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    The french bits were used cause at the time Renault and Nissan were in close partnership, you just got to look at the grill shapes on some Renault/Nissan cars and see how similar they were.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • Si78Si78 Posts: 963
    Mrs Toast wrote:
    I would love to get a new car - or even one of the same age that doesn't eat most of our disposable income! Dunno how we could do it financially though - things are pretty tight, partly because of the car. I don't think I'd get much on the trade-in in it's current state! Plus I'm also a little reluctant because we've recently had a towbar fitted to it for the bike rack... :lol:

    Mr Toast would like me to get a new car too though - being 6ft 6 means that he doesn't have a lot of room (I got the car before the husband! :lol: ). As a passenger, even with the seat right back his knees are pressed against the dashboard - if the airbags deployed, I think that'd be his kneecaps gone...plus he can't learn to drive in it. It could have been worse though, I was planning on getting a Smart car before I decided on the Micra.

    We've been given a Corsa courtesy car, and he's loving that - leg room and everything!

    I understand that money is tight for all of us at this time.

    Paying for un-expected repairs is a real struggle. I know from my past experiences!

    At least you know your monthly expenditure with a new car.

    Toyota Yaris is a good 'big' small car, if you know what I mean. Lots of interior space.

    The Toyota Auris is also good...I had one for a year before I got my Avensis.
    The Auris actually feels bigger inside than the Avensis. Lots of room, and very comfy. I'm
    6'1, and I reckon I could have worn a big hat in it...if I was so inclined lol.
    Also, you can get some good deals on the Auris at the moment...Not selling too well.

    And you will be keeping me in a job too if you buy a Toyota, so it's all good! :wink:
    Why has my sig been removed by the admins???
  • Si78Si78 Posts: 963
    http://www.toyota.co.uk/cgi-bin/toyota/ ... est-offers

    Mine was a 1.6... Was pretty nippy, and gooood when you feel the vvt kick in :wink:
    Why has my sig been removed by the admins???
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Do Toyota cars contain any stealth French engineering though? Any baguettes wedged in the engine block?
  • Hercule QHercule Q Posts: 2,781
    toyotas arnt french they are very reliable
    alternitavly look at a honda civic they are also very good
    also the newer ford fiestas are reliable and they look quite nice and the tdci ford engine is very very good

    pinkbike
    Blurring the line between bravery and stupidity since 1986!
  • Si78Si78 Posts: 963
    Mrs Toast wrote:
    Do Toyota cars contain any stealth French engineering though? Any baguettes wedged in the engine block?

    Well, the last few have been styled/designed in France.

    Some of the smaller engines are made in France and Poland. So may be garlic, cheese or ozór wołowy sloshing about in the engine lol

    We make the 1.6 ZR engine in Deeside tho :D
    (And we have the best quality record in europe, if not the world 8)

    This will be the next car I get... March next year.
    http://www.toyota.co.uk/cgi-bin/toyota/ ... &zone=Zone NG Auris&deepLink=AU2_SR180_new&navType=Content&sr=Mall
    Why has my sig been removed by the admins???
  • Si78Si78 Posts: 963
    Hercule Q wrote:
    toyotas arnt french they are very reliable
    alternitavly look at a honda civic they are also very good
    also the newer ford fiestas are reliable and they look quite nice and the tdci ford engine is very very good

    I agree...Civic and Fiesta are very good...But they don't keep me in a job so shush! lol :wink:
    Why has my sig been removed by the admins???
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