The Sunday News
JAPAN has engineered some of the best looking cars of all time. Cars that tickle the right nerves with aggressive styling that will make you buy them.
Nissan is no exception, Nissan designers are always busy at work trying to bring out the best and their Nissan liberty is with no doubt a good looking family car. Introduced in 1998, it ran its mile up to 2004.
It has some niceties like the electrically controlled rear sliding doors, digital speedometer and of course — that Japanese comfort.
The big question is whether this nice piece of artwork is really as good as it looks or just a bag of sour lemons. Many people are crying with them and one reader doesn’t want to fall for the nice from afar but far from nice.
The Nissan Liberty comes with the SR20 engine which was later replaced by the qr20.
The SR20 is the better one of the two, it is the engine that has stood the test of time. You will find it in the Nissan Primera, Nissan XTrail, Nissan Sentras and many other Nissans so parts for these aren’t so hard to come by. It has been proven its reliability many years.
It can be either a DE or DET. The DE stands Dual Overhead Camshaft with Electronic fuel injection. The DET on the other hand is the same but the T means that it is turbo-charged and it’s quite a bit of fun to say the least.
The SR20 engine has proven itself reliable over the years in the motorsport industry and the DET has been used in sports cars like the Pulser GTir and the Silvia. These are some of the most iconic sports cars to come out of Japan.
The QR20 motor replaced the SR20 on later models but it has not proven itself as reliable as the SR20. It became more advanced and that is the problem with modern automotive technology, everything has become more advanced, less reliable and lacks simplicity. The end result is more problems.
Much of it however, is the disadvantage of grey imports. When all is put together modern technology makes for more efficient engines with less emissions that are harmful to the environment but without dealership backup on service and spares . . . the cars just become a big problem.
The Liberty has a Front Wheel Drive setup with 4WD options. The FWD liberty is driven by a CVT transmission — walk away from itif it has a big CVT badge at the back. If you get the 4WD, you get the 4speed automatic transmission.
It’s kind of funny that Nissan knew from the start that the CVTs cannot handle that much strain that a 4WD setup brings. If you get the 4WD you are better off because its the Automatic and not the CVT. The CVT is good and offers better fuel economy and smoother acceleration but for reasons better for your pockets, you are better off without it.
Cvts are totally different from automatics and are more expensive to service and replace. Others confuse them for automatics and service them with Automatic transmission fluid which ultimately spells disaster. The automatic will give you a longish lifespan.
The problem with this car is that when the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) decides to give up the ghost, it plays an unpleasant and unthrilling horror movie right in front of you.
The most common problem being that after a while it goes into limp mode when hot and consequently loses power. Not much can be done to it when it starts acting shady like this except for replacement or repair, the latter is quite a long short considering we are in Africa and again this is poached technology, most of us here are still guessing and trying to find our way around it. Replacement is usually the most feasible route.
Considering that CVT technology was significantly new in the early 2000s, these CVTs were and still are very sensitive and with slight mistreatment, they malfunction.
Nissan recommends the use of Genuine Nissan CVT Fluid for their CVT gearboxes — but again these are grey imports and you will not find this fluid by your local Nissan dealership and eventually you just have to settle for generic oils.
So whether it is a bag of sour lemons or not boils down to understanding new technology, sticking to using the correct oils at correct intervals, less abuse and leaving the rest to the manufacturers word.
@lovert116/ Automart Used Spares Centre — Quality Used Japanese Spares/+263 772 33 99 38/[email protected]/ Facebook: @automartusc