What kind of problems does a second-generation Nissan Titan have? In this blog, we’ve outlined all the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for a Titan. However, let’s first start with a quick answer.
2016 – 2019 model years of the Nissan Titan have significant problems with the 5.0L Cummins engine going into limp mode and problems with the fuel pump, EGR cooler, and turbocharger. Furthermore, 2016 – present-day models of the Titan have problems with hard shifting, slippage, or complete transmission failure.
That was the most straightforward answer possible. In the article below, we’ll discuss every problem in detail. This includes identifying it, fixing it, and how much it costs to fix. Read on!
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1. The 5.0L Cummins Engine Goes Into Limp Mode
One of the main problems of the Nissan Titan is its 5.0L Cummins engine. These problems were predominantly present in the 2016 – 2019 models of the. Having the Titan going into limp mode, which means it’s only capable of going 10 miles per hour, is a well-known problem. One owner describes this problem as follows:
Returning from Florida and 30 miles out of Montgomery, Alabama and my truck went into limp mode because of not being able to perform a DPF regeneration (editor note: a process in which the DPF filter cleans itself while on the road which is a common mechanism in diesel cars).
Pulled over to check and it said to go to the nearest dealer. I then limped to Jack Ingrams Nissan and after 4 hours got back on the road. They ended up doing a static regeneration and it had the following fault codes: P0471, P1451, P008A, P2263. All codes related to excessive spot buildup. I have 20,000 miles of mixed driving some trailers 5-7KSource
Spot buildup means there’s excessive carbon buildup within the engine, and the engine cannot clean itself sufficiently. As a result, the engine protects itself and reduces power significantly. In the case described above, the dealer had to clean the engine of this excessive buildup, but this is not a long-term solution. Other people on the forum have suggested doing a truck delete, but this is not a legal solution.
The problem with the 5.0 Cummins is that it has multiple problems (we’ll discuss it more in the following subheadings) and that Nissan never fixed these issues properly. As a result, a class-action lawsuit was started for the 2016 – 2019 Titan regarding the 5.0 Cummins.
2. Problems With The Fuel Pump
Other problems that seem to be widely spread in the 2016 – 2019 Titan are related to the fuel pump. One owner reports having a 2018 Titan with 37,000 miles on it, that’s already on its fourth fuel pump. This is, of course, a bit excessive, but having to replace the fuel pump on the Titan is definitely not. Symptoms of this problem mainly include not being able to start the car and not hearing the pump running when attempting to start it.
The most likely cause of fuel pump failure is that the pump cannot handle the contaminants that are more present in diesel fuel than they’re in gasoline. Therefore, many people report that upgrading the fuel pump for a FASS (Fuel Air Separation System) is a solution that can fix this.
A FASS system makes sure that the diesel fuel is much cleaner before entering the rest of the fuel system. The only problem here is that this is not an official Nissan solution (because they haven’t provided one, hence the class-action lawsuit we discussed earlier). This means you’ll need to have it replaced out of pocket. Since the system already costs $700 – $750, this is not a cheap fix.
3. Premature Transmission Failure
In this blog post, we wrote about the problems Nissan Titans have with their transmission (there’re quite a few). In there, we also learned that the Titan from 2016 to 2019, uses a 6-speed automatic Aisin A466ND or a 7-speed Jatco RE7R01B automatic. From 2020 onwards, these transmissions were replaced with a 9-speed Jatco JR913E automatic.
These transmissions have had their particular problems in the Titan. We’ll summarize here, but please read the article we just mentioned if you want to go more in-depth.
- Aisin A466ND: complete transmission failure because of premature wear-and-tear, vibrations in the steering wheel, hard shifting, loud rattling noise in reverse gear.
- Jatco RE7R01B: slipping transmission and RPM surges because of a failing line pressure solenoid valve, direct clutch solenoid valve, and low brake solenoid valve. Also, transmission range switch failure means the vehicle can drive backward when the transmission is in the D-position.
- Jatco JR913E: unexpected switch into neutral while driving, hard shifting overall, high pitched noises, and front-axle vibration in lower gears.
Again, Nissan never issued recalls for these problems, and therefore they haven’t been adequately fixed. Furthermore, this means running into any of these problems can get expensive. For example, the Aisin transmission costs $1,200 refurbished, whereas the 7-speed Jatco sets you back $3,200, and the 9-speed costs $5,200. That’s without the labor costs that are involved.
4. EGR Cooler Failure
There are two other common problems related to the exhaust system of the vehicle. They’re both related to the failure of a specific part of the EGR system (mainly in the 2016 – 2017 models). This system is equipped on almost every car; however, they’re deemed more important in diesel cars because diesel produces more of the harmful NOx gas.
An EGR reduces NOx by lowering the concentration of oxygen in the combustion chamber. Furthermore, it lowers the heat within the engine by recirculating the gases from the exhaust system through the EGR cooler before sending them back to the engine. The combination of less oxygen and less heat means the fuel burns slower, which results in less output of NOx.
However, in the Titan, the EGR has shown to be quite a problematic part. In most cases, owners report the check engine light coming on and a substantial reduction in power output from the car. In several cases, this problem was caused by a failing EGR cooler. Specifically, the EGR cooler would crack, as described by one owner:
When I picked my truck up, I was informed that the EGR cooler had failed internally and was losing coolant into the exhaust system and had to be replaced. I did a search of the internet for other owners who had this problem with their truck and found lots of other owners who had the same problem reduced engine power and most were due to the egr cooler leaking and causing a loss of coolant.Source
The main culprit here is that Nissan never provided a suitable solution and that a new EGR already costs $950 without installation. Given that some owners have had to repair these multiple times, they were less than pleased.
5. Delay In Acceleration
This is a tricky issue to discuss. Mainly because this is not so much a problem as in there’s something wrong with the car, but instead, it’s the way the car is designed that shows to be troublesome for many owners. Owners of 2016 – 2020 Titans have repeatedly complained about a severe lag in throttle response when wanting to accelerate quickly.
This situation mainly occurs when drivers accelerate while they’re already slightly in motion. Owners describe their problem like this:
Anyone got thoughts why the throttle response is so slow, I hammer the gas and its litterally a couple seconds before it decides to get movingSource
As one can imagine, this can lead to scary situations in traffic when rapid acceleration is needed. However, because there’s nothing inherently wrong with the car, Nissan has never provided a solution. Therefore, owners have found aftermarket solutions like a Pedal Commander, which is a $400 throttle controller which eliminates the response delays from your electronic accelerator pedal, thereby increasing acceleration.
6. Replacement Of The Turbocharger
At the end of 2016, Nissan put out a ‘voluntary service bulletin’ for Titan from the same model year. The goal was to inspect and replace the high-pressure turbocharger assembly. The recalled models supposedly had a P0524 fault code. This meant the oil pressure within the system was dropping too low, causing lubrication problems within the turbocharger.
If the P0524 fault code was indeed displayed, then the procedure dictated both the long block assembly, the high and lower pressure turbo assembly, and specific intake/exhaust components based on the inspection that needed to be replaced.
If the fault code was not displayed, but the technician was still able to detect problems with the turbocharger, replacing the high and low-pressure turbocharger assembly with engine oil and filter was deemed necessary, together with other components of the intake/exhaust system the technician thought should be replaced.
If no code was displayed and the component passed the technician’s inspection, replacing the high-pressure turbocharger assembly with engine oil and filter was carried out to prevent future problems.
7. Faulty Tires
Nissan Titan manufactured between 2018 – 2021 that were equipped with Continental tires were recalled under recall number 21V169000 because of problems with the tires. These tires were over-cured (which means the shaping process was done too thoroughly). This meant the tires had increased tread/belt loss which could result in losing control over the vehicle.
8. Backup Camera Malfunctions
Over a million 2018 – 2019 vehicles that were part of the Nissan and Infiniti brand were recalled under recall number 19V654000 at the end of 2019. The reason for this was that the backup camera had a function in which it could disable the image it displayed. The system would then remember this setting every time the vehicle was placed into reverse, increasing the risk of a crash. The solution involved having dealers update the backup camera settings.
9. Dysfunctional Seat Belts In Case Of A Crash
In April 2017, around 44,000 Titan Crew Cabs were recalled for problems with the seat belts under recall number 17V268000. It was discovered that the rear seat belt assembly wouldn’t protect passenger heads well enough in the event of a crash.
Heads would contact the D-ring bolt trim cap, leading to injuries. The recall involved adding padding to the c-pillar finishers and replacing the seatbelt bolt and bolt cap.
10. Electrical Shorting Results In Engine Stalling
At the end of 2020, Nissan recalled around 7,500 Titans and Titans under recall number 20V759000. This recall was done for faulty engine harness wiring, which may have had an exposed wire. This exposed wire could cause electrical shorting or arcing. This would impair the engine’s performance, transmission, and/or fuel pump and cause engine stalling. The solution involved inspecting and replacing the engine harness if necessary.
11. Wrong Fuel Gauge Readings
A factory mistake caused 2016 models of the Titan (manufactured between August 2015 and September 2016) to still have the temporary fuel tank breather tube cap. This also meant the fuel tank breather tube wasn’t correctly connected.
This is a problem because tanks need to ‘breathe’ to prevent rupturing and to provide correct fuel gauge readings. In the case of the Titan, the fuel gauge and the distance to empty meter started displaying wrong information, leaving passengers stranded on the side of the road.
12. Wrong Indication Of Load Capacity
Specific 2016 – 2018 Titans were recalled under recall number 18V240000 because their load capacity was not correctly displayed on the labeling that was on the car. These cars had certain accessories installed, which reduced the load capacity. This allowed the vehicle to be overloaded in some cases. The recall simply included replacing the labeling that was on the car.
13. Failing Front Turn Signals
Around 30,000 Nissan Titan made between 2020 – 2021 were recalled because the front right or left turn signal bulb could crack and stop illuminating. This would cause dangerous situations on the road because of other traffic users not seeing where the Titan was going.
The recall was issued under recall number 21V471000 and involved replacing the turn signal bulbs for ones that wouldn’t crack.
What’s The Best And Worst Year Of The Titan?
Now that we’ve talked extensively about the problems you may run into when owning a Titan, we feel it’s also important to draw some conclusions. So, what are the worst and the best years of the Titan and which one should you get?
The worst model years of the Nissan Titan are the trucks manufactured between 2016 to 2019. These model years have extensive problems with the 5.0L Cummins engine and other components of the fuel system and the EGR cooler. These model years also have Aisin A466ND or Jatco RE7R01B transmission, known for hard shifting, slippage, and complete failure.
The best model years of the Nissan Titan are the trucks manufactured from 2020 onwards. These trucks are equipped with the 5.0L Cummins engine, although it’s far less complained about than in previous model years. However, the 9-speed automatic Jatco JR913E is known for hard shifting, noises, and vibrations.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
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