If you're in the market for second hand EXA/Pulsar NX there's just a few things you should keep in mind when it comes time for an inspection. I had highlighted these out to one of our members (Nismobaby - Vi Pham) in order to prevent her going through what I have and other members have gone through. The list got so big I decided to share this with everyone else.
Here are things to look out for or do when it comes to the inspection:
- Get a mechanic to check your vehicle before you put any money down (or unless someone you know has some mechanical knowledge, however EXAs are finnicky little cars and even some mechanics can't figure them out).
- check out the power steering rack (they cost a fortune to rebuild.. actually around $400-500 for recon in my area).
- check for any hesitation or misfiring (this indicates a worn coil pack.. there are four coil-packs in your car and they cost $250 each from nissan).
- check for a slick gearshift (i.e. no crunching or missing gears, a single gear on your car can cost anything up to a grand to replace).
- check for accident damage of course.
- check for previous modifications and that they were done properly.
- check your boot and if it smells like petrol after a drive (this was recalled defect I heard about.. my does it but it's not dangerous so I haven't had it fixed).
- check if fuel/temp gauges work properly (a shorted power transisitor is a common problem on EXA's.. not expensive to fix but frequently happens at least once to the majority of owners).
- check oil gauge in centre console works properly (often these things go.. they aren't worth fixing.. mine isn't so i left it there.).
- check the pop up headlights.. make sure they go up and down without any clicking sort of noises or grinding noise (better to get someone else to stand closely to the front of the car and listen for this).
- if the car has done 100,000kms check that the timing belt has been changed (these are darn expensive but must be changed, if not the car can lose compression when it snaps and you can say bye-ye to your engine)
- and then check for the usual stuff, air/con, radiator, targa roof, exhaust......
Just remember, once you get your EXA check your fluids regulary and also service your new car every at max every 5000kms. If you look after the EXA, it will look after you.
Check for Private Import
Private Imports aren't all that common but with more deregulations of import laws in Australia more and more people are privately importing EXA's into Australia.
A dead give-away that an EXA is a private import, is that it will be a 1.6 L and have rear end disc brakes (with ADH7 embossed into the rear drivers side caliper).
Another clue is, next to the cigarette lighter will be diagonal slotted holes similar to the shape of the brake lights.
Also there may be various Japanese stickers in the engine bay, sunshade and warning sticker for the targa roof.
Best bet is to buy an original Australian import, that way insurance won't hassle you about having a private import and you'll probably get a 1.8 L.
Although there is nothing wrong with buying an import, remember you do get the high compression 1.6L motor which derives it's power much earlier than the 1.8L, you should at least know what you're getting to knock the price down a little.
Crank Angle Sensor
This item is connected to the exhaust camshaft on the twin-cam engine. It regulates the timing on the CA18 engine depending on input from other sensors (such as air-flow sensor, EGO sensor, temperature sensor, etc). A good Crank Angle Sensor allows the EXA to acheive optimum performance and fuel consumption. The CAS can be worn out when mileage is high, this leads to inaccurate timing of the exhaust camshaft.
You know when the CAS is stuffed when the EXA seems to detonate at certain points (eg. choke turns off, soft to hard driving, warm and cold driving). It will seem to chudder and spit irregularly.
This goes for basically all cars with pop-up lights. From time to time the pop-up headlights will fail to "pop-up" or "fall-down". Hitting it won't help, but there is a knob behind the headlights located in the engine bay which can assist the headlights in functioning properly again.
Check that the lights pop-up and on, from turning on the lights. And push the "stay-on" button in the cabin a few times, to see that it functions without turning on the lights.