2009 Nissan 370Z Long-Term Road Test


2009 Nissan 370Z Touring: Oil Cooler Install and First Service

April 15, 2009

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Back in November we ran our first Full Test of a 2009 Nissan 370Z. That test car was a short term loan, it was red, and, unlike our long-term test car, it wore aftermarket, Nissan developed oil and differential coolers. During extreme usage, especially track use, oil gets hot. If the VQ in our 370Z senses things getting too hot-- which can happen in as little as 10 minutes-- it sends the car into limp-home mode limiting revs to only 5,500. Limiting this car to 5,500 is like limiting Barry Bonds to bunting, we've never experienced limp-home mode, but we never want to. "If you plan on doing any track driving" our contact at Nissan said, "you'll need one."

So we made some calls and got one and had it installed by Nissan of Santa Monica while the car was in for its 3,750-mile service.

Follow the jump for the full shake-down.

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The unit we got was recommended by Nissan as it was designed for the 370Z by Nissan Motorsports. This is not the upcoming NISMO unit, nor will you be able to buy one or have it installed from your local Nissan dealership. The cost of the kit you see here is $780.

Installation was handled by Nissan of Santa Monica working closely with Nissan's North American operations and took about 4-hours at a labor rate of $115/hr. That's $460 for labor and $780 in parts. Total cost for oil cooler and install: $1,240.

Overheating oil was a problem on the last generation Z, too, so this isn't much of a surprise. One of the by-products of bigger power and bigger displacement is bigger heat production. Plus, this new car is stupid fast and with that SynchroRev Match system we're bouncing the revs all over the place. $1,240 might be a hard pill to swallow, but have you priced a new 3.7-liter VQ? We haven't and don't want to.

The 370Z, on the premium maintenance schedule, requires an oil change -- which already had to be drained to install the cooler-- and a new oil filter. They inspect a bunch of other stuff, too, but it's little more than an oil change. Our service advisor at Nissan of Santa Monica remembered us fondly from our recent $2,009.67 GT-R service. He gave us a hand-out on this one, told us to bring the GT-R in again soon and comped the 370's 3,750-mile service cost.

So now we've got new oil and a new oil cooler...which way's the race track?

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 Nissan 370Z in NJ is:

$227 per month*
* Explanation
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