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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I took the truck in last night to have the leaking seal replaced, passenger side. They called and said since the differential was not filled properly, they claim the level should be and I quote "the end of your pinky finger below the fill hole" for proper amount. They claim the diff was over filled so they won't cover the repair under warranty. My gut feeling is I am now over 60,000 miles as of this weekend, I took it in Friday just under the warranty to make sure it would be fixed, so they want me to pay for it. $273 for one side seal repair.
I have never heard of any fill other than just coming out of the fill hole as full. Even if the oil is at this level, if the vent is working properly, you would only see a slight increase in temeprature due to extra fluid. As soon as I get the receipt, you can bet I will be all over Nissan corporate, even though it will do no good. I believe this is the last Nissan I will own, it is just a shame that such a good engine and transmission has been placed in the rest of this truck. I am geniunely scared of what else will start to happen to this truck as it gets older. The resale and trade value on this truck are the worst I have ever seen, I feel sorry for all of the people who started out upside down in a Titan, just wait until they try and go to a new vehicle.
 

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Took my truck to the dealership for a bad exhaust manifold (right side ticking real bad) and I also noticed the rear end differential cover was leaking, suggested they check it out.

The exhaust mainfold will be covered under warranty, and he said the silicone on the rear end cover needed to be redone, there is no gasket. OK so that will cost $92 not covered by warranty. So I advised them to go ahead and put on the finned (2005 models have this standard) rear end cover for an additional $127. When I picked up the truck from the dealership (waiting on parts, just took it back in today for work to be completed), I looked at the cover and the leak when I got home and I also noticed the rear disc brake covers were covered with oil from the bottom half down. Called the dealer back to have this included on my current work order (cause the truck just rolled over 75k and extended warranty runs out.

It is obviously the rear axle seals, looks just like the pictures someone posted on this site. I asked the dealer "how the hell the tech who looked at the rear end didn't see it????" The service manager looked at it today and agreed that it was the seals and that they are covered under warranty. He indicated that have had a number of them with the same problem.

You should be insistant that they cover this for you, it is clearly a Nissan problem, not an over fill problem. These dealers don't seem to want to do anything they are not forced to do. I bet I have had a dozen misc. problems with this truck, fortuantely all have been covered under warranty, but I seem to have to fight to get them to take care of stuff and the mechanics rarely look for other potential ptroblems. Pisses me off, I'll probably not buy a Nissan again.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is visit number 6 for this truck, the first time something wasn't covered under warranty. They have never gotten me a loaner car, even though 2 return trips were because they had to order parts. I argued with the guy for 15 minutes, to no avail. I will speak to him this afternoon about my Chemistry degree and past 12 years experience working in a lubricant lab, and what I have gathered from our testing and field experience. If this isn't satisfactory, I'll pay with my credit card and file a grievance with my credit card company, while I discuss this with Nissan Corporate. It's not the amount, it the principle.
I'll never consider another Nissan; this has just left a bad taste. I might even go look at the (GASP!) Honda Ridgeline. Might be kind of fugly, but Honda has a stellar reputation, and I'm sure it rides and drives like a sedan.

A slightly over filled rear differential at worst would lead to an approximate 10 degree rise in operating temperature, if the vent is not clogged and working properly. If you filled the diff completely full, which is impossible, then you could add excess outward force to the seals, and possibly cause them to fold and leak. With a proper release of pressure, the seals should not fail.
I am also going to ask him to show me the procedure for checking the diff fluid in a manual and ask him how they calibrate the end of the pinky finger.
 

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LOL....how to calibrate a pinky finger....LOL


Ridgeline?? Yes fugly, but I've heard that, production/quality wise, it's the best vehicle on the road today, including all cars/trucks/suv's.
 

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you are supposed to fill the diff till the oil comes out. they say the capacity is 68 oz. however, there is no way to over fill the diff unless its nose down on an incline and its filled that way. i would say they are full of sh!t.
 

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Don't blame Nissan for a crappy dealership!! Call your Nissan regional rep and log a complaint with them. Let them know the BS the dealership is pulling. I'm sure they will want to know how their product is being represented. They can also make the final determination on the warranty coverage. A dealership cannot simply say, "sorry, not covered because of......" and throw out BS excuses. Nissan needs to get involved at some point. I had both my seals replaced on my truck by my dealer no questions asked. Something is rotten with your dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Total bill was $285. They replaced the passenger rear diff seal, bearing and spacer, replaced the diff fluid, and replaced a lug and nut on the rear wheel that had started to strip when I was rotating the tires. They tried at first to say "you have some purple oil in there" and that is not compatible with the seals. I reminded them it was Royal Purple and about Magnesun-Moss, so they turned to over filling. I called them on this, but of course, their "repair engineer" was already gone. The service manager and this guy are supposed to call me today. I asked him if he thought it was really worth $285 to have another customer person never consider a Nissan again. He didn't seem to know how to respond to that. They put their crappy fluid in, at $17.85 a quart, so if I still have this truck, I'll have to replace that in 7,500 miles.
In case anyone cares, the gear oil they use has approximately half the dithiocarbamate and dialkyl dithio phosphate as Royal Purple or Mobil. Heck, the Supertech synthetic from Wal-Mart has more additives than the stuff they use. These two items are in oils for extreme pressure wear, and sliding wear. All gear oils use some form of these additives, whether petroleum or synthetic.
I made it clear to the service manager that it would all be brought up in complaint form to Nissan USA. We will first see if they call me today like the service manager promised.
 

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best of luck. sounds like you are dealing w/ some gold-plated pen!s wrinkles.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just got a call back from the Service manager and his top level mechanic. They were firm on the seal leaks being ENTIRELY due to over filling the diff.
Of course, the mechanic says they can only do what Nissan tells them. He did admit that the fluid they use is crap, but Nissan requires it. He also started to give me some crap about the PML cover and the Royal Purple fluid. I argued with him for about 10 minutes about the crappy vent, but he stood firm that over filling was the cause. I hope $285 was worth losing a customer for life!! The service mangaer didn't seem too concerned either.
 

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nissan does not require their fluid....they require, much like engine oil, that it be the proper spec and weight but other than that, its all up to you. now, i did not know that you had an aftermarket diff cover, but honestly that shouldnt make a difference either.
 

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I am firmly convinced that the seal problem is caused by the check valve vent. Either by some crap plugging the tiny hole in the check valve, or by the vacuum created when the hot diff is cooling sucking in the seals. AFAIK, nobody who has replaced the check valve with a hose vent has had any subsequent axle seal problems.
 

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Of course, the mechanic says they can only do what Nissan tells them.
Ask them for a copy of what Nissan "told" them. I will bet dollars to doughnuts they don't have anything on record. If NIssan is contacted in a warranty dispute, you should be contacted by Nissan as well. The dealership has to show proof of abuse. They have none. Their own service directions have the oil filled to the bottom of the hole. Call your Nissan region rep and let them know what is going on. The dealership is playing you.
 

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KYDeepwater said:
Just got a call back from the Service manager and his top level mechanic. They were firm on the seal leaks being ENTIRELY due to over filling the diff.
Of course, the mechanic says they can only do what Nissan tells them. He did admit that the fluid they use is crap, but Nissan requires it. He also started to give me some crap about the PML cover and the Royal Purple fluid. I argued with him for about 10 minutes about the crappy vent, but he stood firm that over filling was the cause. I hope $285 was worth losing a customer for life!! The service mangaer didn't seem too concerned either.
I had my rear axel seal replaced with the PML cover on with no questions asked. I did check the vent after the seal was replaced and it seemed to be stuck and the cap would not move. Sprayed some carb cleaner on it and freed it up. I now check it every so often to see if it will move freely. Vent mod coming before winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I contacted Nissan Corporate Friday after talking to the butt biscuits at the dealership, I have a claim number and an engineer is supposed to contact me by 5 PM Monday. Drove the truck to work and back the day after getting it back, 50 miles total, and there is already some oil coming from the vent. So much for their over fill diagnosis. We will see what Nissan has to say Monday. It is such a shame that this good of an engine and transmission has to be wasted on crappy dealerships and crappy parts!
 
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