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Old 12-02-2013, 11:43 AM   #1
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Cracked engine block in fairly new truck

Hi,

I have a 2012 Nissan Frontier with a 6 speed manual transmission and tow about 4 times a year, since it's less than 2 years old I've only towed with it a total of about 5 times. My AS is a 2003 22 ft. CCD. This past spring I took a 3 week trip to NM and totaled 5500 miles of driving. The truck did a great job.

Cut to now and a brand new engine (covered under warranty, thankfully) by Nissan. Started to notice coolant was disappearing about 2 weeks after I returned from New Mexico and didn't think anything of it until it started to overheat. Turns out the engine block had a crack and they replaced it with a brand new one. Truck is like new again. It only has 27k miles on it.

My concern now is will this happen again or was this just bad luck?

I'm under the tow ratings by well over 2000 lbs but am thinking I should just bite the bullet and get a new Silverado with a V8?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

thanks
J
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:50 AM   #2
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My opinion only: Just bad luck.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #3
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Hi, I have a 2012 Nissan Frontier with a 6 speed manual transmission and tow about 4 times a year, since it's less than 2 years old I've only towed with it a total of about 5 times. My AS is a 2003 22 ft. CCD. This past spring I took a 3 week trip to NM and totaled 5500 miles of driving. The truck did a great job. Cut to now and a brand new engine (covered under warranty, thankfully) by Nissan. Started to notice coolant was disappearing about 2 weeks after I returned from New Mexico and didn't think anything of it until it started to overheat. Turns out the engine block had a crack and they replaced it with a brand new one. Truck is like new again. It only has 27k miles on it. My concern now is will this happen again or was this just bad luck? I'm under the tow ratings by well over 2000 lbs but am thinking I should just bite the bullet and get a new Silverado with a V8? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks J
Sounds like GOOD LUCK to me! I wouldn't worry, but I would keep an eye on things. Make SURE you have all services on drivetrain done by the dealer.... Let's just say I have heard rumors that things may not go smoothly if you don't.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:13 PM   #4
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I would not think your use caused the cracked block.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #5
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Just a case of bad luck-
I have had 2 Nissan pickups and I now own a Pathfinder.
My sister has had a Sentra and an Exterra and now owns a Rogue.
I know many people who own Nissans- I have never heard of another cracked engine block.
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Old 12-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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Cracked block is very rare. Usually caused by freezing with no antifreeze. Or the connecting rod making a hasty exit.

So, it was probably one of those things. You could do a web search and see if your truck is known for faulty engines, or has a recall.

Probably a one in a million defective part and with a complete new engine, no chance of it happening again.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:41 AM   #7
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Smile Thanks

Thanks for all your replies. I need to be more of an optimist!

James
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your replies. I need to be more of an optimist! James
Pessimist: things can't get any worse!

Murphy the OPTIMIST: Sure they can!
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:35 AM   #9
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I never hear of cracked blocks unless they froze or got really overheated or the engine threw a rod. I would not worry. It is fixed and most likely will stay that way.

Perry
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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I believe it was Mark Twain who said:

"Optimists go through life being continually disappointed. Pessimists, however, are at least once in awhile pleasantly surprised."
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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Probably a casting defect which is not unknown but very uncommon. You would not have gotten very far with a thrown rod which today is even more uncommon. Your towing had nothing to do with it. You will be fine with your new motor.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:05 AM   #12
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I agree that it was probably just a faulty casting, and it can happen to all breeds. I once got a new company car (in the mid 70's, a Chevrolet with a 350 engine) and it could not be delivered on time because of a faulty engine block casting. Yes, they changed only the engine block transferring all internal parts to the new block. Drove that car over 100K miles and had no problems with the engine except for having to get the torque plate re-torqued to the crankshaft once because the mechanic obviously did not do it right at the dealership.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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It can happen to any brand but typically it is a casting issue but sometimes it is a design issue.
From 1999 to 2001 Cummins had a B series engine which was known as the "53" casting block could develop cracks.
Cummins # 53 Block Casting | Identification, History, & Repair

Another engine that was known for cracked blocks were the Cadillac Northstar engines. A member in our family had one of these infamous cars that developed a crack.

It wouldn't surprise me that there isn't more trouble with cracked blocks as auto manufacturers are always trying new methods/materials to get costs down. Most engine troubles seem to show up with warped cylinder heads where an aluminum alloy is used or the manufacturer doesn't use enough or the correct type of fasteners to keep the cylinder head from warping.

I would keep driving the vehicle with the new engine but one thing you may want to do is let the engine idle for a couple of minutes after making a particularly hard tow or driving the interstate - this helps to cool down the internal components or other hot spots in the water jacket.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
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And it might have been easiest to warranty the complete motor as cracked block than something else that would've required more man-hours from the dealers line crew...

On the same convenience theme I've seen on F-150s, once engine repair gets involved, they'll lift the body off the frame rather than work in the engine compartment.
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