Top 5 Nissan 350Z Problems: 5th Generation (2002 to 2008)

The 350Z is the 5th generation of Nissan’s Z sports car, which lasted from 2002 to 2008. This post reviews the most common Nissan 350Z problems owners have run into.

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Top 5 Nissan 350Z Issues (2002 to 2008)

1. Timing Chain Guide and Tensioner Failure

Symptoms of Bad Timing Chain Guide and Tensioners

  • Loud ticking noise from the front of the engine, especially when the outside temperature is cold

Causes of Bad Timing Chain Guide and Tensioners

A loud ticking noise from the front of the engine on the 5th gen 350Z is usually from looseness in the timing chain.

How to Fix Timing Chain Guide and Tensioners

The timing chain is located at the front of the engine. It connects the top of the engine to the bottom of the engine. It’s important to fix this problem as soon as possible since ignoring it could cause more engine damage. This job is detailed and requires removing the entire front of the engine and the front cover to access the timing chains.

You can extend the life of the timing chain by changing the oil regularly, and by checking and maintaining the oil level consistently.

2. Throttle Body Problems—Erratic or High Idle

Symptoms of Throttle Body Problems

  • Erratic or high idle after cleaning the throttle body

Causes of Throttle Body Problems on the 5th Gen Nissan 350Z

Over time, carbon builds up on the throttle body. This can affect the throttle body blade’s ability to function, which affects and changes the computer’s readings. Once the throttle body is clean, the computer will continue to take readings as if there is carbon build-up on the throttle body.

How to Fix an Erratic or High Idle

When cleaning the throttle body, don’t open the throttle body blade. Wipe it as lightly as possible without moving the blade in any way.

If this problem occurs, disconnect the battery for awhile. Reconnect the battery and drive the Z around for some time so the computer can relearn all the positions of the throttle body and the other electronics.

3. Crank and Camshaft Position Sensor Failure

Symptoms of Crank and Camshaft Position Sensors

  • Engine is stalling while driving

How to Fix Crank and Camshaft Position Sensors

The camshaft position sensors are located at the back of the engine on top of the heads and the driver side underneath the throttle body. The crank sensor is on the backside of the engine underneath the car. To replace them, remove the single 10 mm bolt and disconnect the electrical connector.

4. Fuel Damper Failure

Fuel damper on a 5th Gen Nissan 350Z

Symptoms of Fuel Damper Failure

  • Loud ticking noise coming from the fuel damper

How to Fix Fuel Damper Failure

Replacing the fuel damper is a simple repair.

5. Rear Wheel Hub Bearings

Symptoms of Bad Rear Wheel Hub Bearings

  • Howling or humming noise coming from the rear of the vehicle which may change in pitch when turning

How to Fix Bad Rear Wheel Hub Bearings

The wheel hub bearing attaches the wheel to the vehicle. You can inspect the condition of the wheel bearing by raising the vehicle, grabbing the tire from the 12 and 6 o’clock positions, and shaking it back and forth. If you feel excessive play, the hub bearings have failed and need to be replaced.

5th Generation Nissan 350Z Model Years

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Top 5 Nissan 350Z Problems - 5th Generation (2002 to 2008) - 1A Auto
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Top 5 Nissan 350Z Problems - 5th Generation (2002 to 2008) - 1A Auto
This post reviews the top 5 Nissan 350Z problems owners have experienced with the 5th generation, years 2002 to 2008, and how to fix them with expert advice from real mechanics.
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1A Auto
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