2009 Nissan GT-R: One Sick Machine
August 15, 2008
Just this morning I was chided by an alert reader that my use of the word "sick" to describe our 2009 Nissan GT-R's awesome performance in yesterday's post was misleading.
"For a moment there I really thought your GT-R needed a doctor," was the exact text.
Well, anyone who has watched an episode of "My Name is Earl" knows that karma is a powerful thing. Perhaps I souldn't have been alarmed when the above dire warning flashed before my eyes as I merged the GT-R from the Marina freeway onto the 405 south with a downshift and a squirt of throttle.
It must be serious. After all, three warnings came on all at once: a big yellow warning declaring an "engine system malfunction," (which, in a double-karmic move, obscured the digital speedo I spoke of in the "sick" post), a "service engine soon" lamp and, worst of all, a triangle containing the dreaded exclamation point.
I finished the drive home since the words "visit dealer" and "soon" appeared, instead of "pull over" or "now". I was further encouraged by the normal status of the plethora of gauges that can be called-up on the navigation screen, four pages worth.
At home I have a ScanGauge, a useful device that plugs into a car's OBD port and, among other things, reads trouble codes. Some of the more benign ones can even be reset with the thing.
It told me that our GT-R was suffering from a classic case of P0455, which stands for "Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected." Oh dear, not that!
Relax, it's probably just a "loose, improperly affixed or non-conforming gas cap." It could also be an honest-to-god leak in the EVAP system itself, but I don't smell any fuel. In that instance, standard procedure is to remove and reinstall the gas cap, clear the code and drive it for another day or so to see if it recurs.
So, with the help of my ScanGauge, that's exactly what I've done. But it seems odd that the warning didn't come until 175 miles after the last fill-up--and that happened before I appropriated the keys to this beast, so I don't know how that last pit stop was handled.
Karma can be a real pain in the butt.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,511 miles
PS: The car will be at Cars and Coffee, 7:00 am this Saturday in the parking lot between Ford's Premier Automotive Group and Mazda North America HQ, near the Irvine Spectrum.
PPSS: No it won't. See comments below.