2009 Nissan GT-R: Fixed (again)(again)
September 24, 2008
After almost two weeks out of service, our 2009 Nissan GT-R is back on duty.
Follow the jump (and be prepared) for the full run-down of the fix(es).
Last Monday, Sept 15, our GT-R went back to Nissan of Santa Monica after only three days back in our hands. The trouble this time was, again, related to the evaporative system and the fuel system. It wouldn't take gas.
The following is taken directly from the Nissan GT-R's owner's manual. "REFUELING STOPS BEFORE THE TANK IS FULL The fuel tank pressure is higher when the vehicle is hot. If the vehicle is refueled when the vehicle is hot, the fuel pump may automatically shut off before the tank is full. This does not indicate that there is a malfunction. This will not happen after the vehicle has cooled."
This "quirk" results from the tank set-up, a saddle-bag design with two resevoirs and, obviously, only one inlet that sits atop the transaxle. As the temperature in the tank rises, the gases fill the void and limit the amount of fuel that can be pumped in.
The EPA frowns upon (read: won't allow) the free release of gaseous fuel. When working properly, excess pressure (as unburned hydrocarbons) are vented into a charcoal canister and dumped back into the system to be burned in the engine. This was where our car went wrong. A ventilation tube from the fuel tank wasn't venting. Pressure built up and wouldn't allow any more fluids to be added. (Air bubbles are nasty critters when they have nowhere to go.) In our situation, however, there was a malfunction. The vehicle had plenty of time to cool and yet the tank would not fill. Nissan of Santa Monica again flew out a specialist (wonder if they're regretting moving HQ out of California yet) to diagnose and fix the issue. The tank was vented and the seals were replaced.
After 5-fills, at least 2 of them on E, there has been no repeat of the issue. Though it must be said that we are still on break-in mileage for the new transaxle and the miles have been gentle. While we can't be sure of this, it stands to reason that this failure had something to do with our recent repair involving a fuel leak. For that repair the follow was replaced:
Fuel tank assembly
Charcoal canister (evaporative system)
Fuel filler tube
Purge control solenoid
During this repair-- one that required the removal of the transaxle-- Nissan's techs found some moisture on the removed driveline parts. They cleaned the part, road tested the car and then, when it failed to repeat, requested to exchange the ($13,690-- according to Courtesey Nissan of Texas) part for a new one. This, they said, wouldn't add any time to the repair as they were still waiting on parts to arrive. We've never had any problem to the transaxle, but it wouldn't add any more time so we agreed. (This also prolonged our first transmission oil change, an event that, according to some at NAGTROC.ORG, runs about $1,000.) The only downside to this replacement, on our end, is the repeat of the initial 1,000 mile break-in period.
The final reason for our GT-R's absence was its six-thousand mile service. Total time for this was less than a day and cost $75 in 0W40; $6.95 in filters; $2.65 for a drain washer; and a whopping $248 in labor. Plus tux the total was $339.58. While the service was done the same day, we had to wait until the following Monday to pay for the job; Nissan didn't have pricing information for the 6K service yet. We were, apparently, the first.
Total time out of service was 13 days.
As I said in one of the other GT-R blogs, Doug at Nissan Santa Monica is one of the better service advisors I've had to deal with. He's attentive and he understands the complexity of the GT-R and the level of service expected from the owner of an $80,000 toy.
Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 6,200 miles