Nissan 350Z Reliability and Common Issues

When searching for a dependable car, the Nissan 350Z is an excellent choice. Although it may not be the first car that comes to mind when considering a used sports car, it stands out due to its exceptional comfort and impressive functioning. The 350Z also has a good resale value, depreciating by only 41% in 5 years, according to This article deeply explains the Nissan 350Z.

Are Nissan 350Zs Reliable?

The Nissan 350Z boasts above-average reliability and is widely regarded as a highly reliable and long-lasting vehicle. With proper maintenance and repair, these cars can last between 180,000 and 220,000 miles on average.

Nissan 350Zs

Customers highly recommend the 350Z not only because of its strong consistency but also due to its relatively cheap maintenance cost.

Nissan 350Z Problems

The Nissan 350Z has the following problems:

1) Throttle Body Issues

Throttle Body

Some 2003 to 2009, Nissan 350Z units experience issues with the throttle body. The owners of these models have noted that the throttle bodies of these models are susceptible to carbon buildup, necessitating regular cleaning to ensure optimal performance.

But after cleaning the throttle body, some have encountered problems such as intermittent power surges, erratic idle, and high idle.

These problems arise when the main computer of the Nissan 350Z detects excessive air and takes time to adjust.

During the adjustment process, the idle may fluctuate between low and high, and the vehicle may experience surging. Disconnecting the battery for an hour and resetting the computer resolved the problem for some owners, while others needed to replace the throttle body.

2) Engine Problems

The 2005 Nissan 350Z experiences several engine-related issues, including stalling, misfiring, overheating, camshaft and crankshaft sensor failure, excessive oil consumption, and tapping sound from the engine compartment.

Some vehicle owners reported hearing the engine knocking at around 40,000 miles, which coincided with camshaft position failure at approximately 38,000 miles.

Despite being told that the noises were “normal,” many chose to replace their transmissions. However, this solution proved to be inadequate, as the tapping sound either persisted or reappeared after a few minutes.

Read More: Bad MAF Sensor Symptoms and Causes

3) Worn Fuel Damper

Many 2003 to 2009 Nissan 350Z owners have also reported worn fuel dampers causing knocking sounds. Few people mentioned hearing strange sounds from the engine cabin while idling, and others complained about a persistent airbag warning light accompanied by a ticking sound from the engine.

Replacing the worn fuel dampers on both sides typically resolved this issue for most owners.

4) Bad Crankshaft or Camshaft Sensor

Camshaft Position Sensor

Engine stalling due to bad crankshaft or camshaft position sensors is one of the most common issues reported by 2003 to 2007 Nissan 350Z owners.

Many drivers have experienced unexpected stalling, with vehicles struggling to start or stalling unexpectedly while driving. The service engine light often activates when the engine stalls.

Read More: Bad Camshaft Position Sensor Symptoms and Causes

5) Low Oil Levels

Low Engine Oil

For the 2003 Nissan 350Z, oil consumption issues have been frequently reported. Although the vehicle does not emit smoke or leak oil, it consumes a quart of oil every 10,000 miles. In some conditions, the engine combusted even more oil when using synthetic oil.

Read More: Low Engine Oil Causes

6) Failing Navigation Unit

Different 2004 Nissan 350Z drivers reported issues with their navigation units. Common problems included the navigation screen turning black erratically, intermittent disc errors displayed on the screen, and the navigation door not opening or closing as intended, even after turning off the vehicle.

Some units also failed to read the navigation CD. These issues were not limited to the 2004 model, as reports indicate that some 2003 to 2005 Nissan 350Zs were similarly affected.

7) Tire Wear and Tire Noise

tire wear

Tire wear is another concern for 2003 to 2005 and 2007 Nissan 350Z owners, with some reporting tires wearing out by 17,000 miles and others experiencing extreme rumbling sound from the front tires, similar to a failing wheel bearing.

Factory service bulletins have been delivered to address these problems, but some owners reported recurring issues even after camber realignment. Tire wear may also appear as early as 15,000 miles, and some drivers were recommended to have four-wheel alignment every 10,000 miles.

8) Chipped Plastic and Faded Paint

Different 350Z drivers have reported that their front bumper paint fades more quickly than the rest of the vehicle’s external paint, with some colors being worse than others. Furthermore, Nissan opted for plastic in the 350Z’s interior, which is prone to chipping and cracking, particularly in weather with extreme cold and hot conditions.

Features of 350Z

  • All 350Z model years include front airbags as a standard safety feature, while curtain airbags and supplemental sides are available as optional additions. Starting from 2005, the 350Z vehicles have been equipped with hood buckling creases and Zone Body construction, featuring rear and front crumple zones to effectively absorb impact energy.
  • The 350Z is offered with automatic or manual transmission options, providing flexibility to drivers.
  • Powered by a V6 engine, the 350Z delivers strong performance and an exhilarating driving experience.
  • In the earlier models of the 350Z, the interior predominantly consists of tastefully designed plastic panels, as highlighted by a driver in a review of the 2002 edition. But it’s worth noting that the design of the roof pillars may create blind spots, and the slope of the rear window can limit the driver’s visibility from certain angles.
  • The Touring model introduced Bluetooth phone connectivity as a standard feature from 2007 onwards, allowing for wireless connection of cellphones.
  • Starting from 2006, the Enthusiast model of the 350Z includes an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, enhancing nighttime driving visibility.

FAQ Section

Is a 2004 350Z reliable?

The Nissan 350Z is an affordable and enjoyable sports car. It is well-built and reliable, but being a sports car, it has a somewhat stiff ride. However, it offers great control, predictability, and handling.

Do 350Z have transmission problems?

Transmission issues in the Nissan 350Z may manifest as the car shaking while driving, shifting delays, a burning smell coming from under the engine compartment, a whistling sound, or jumping during acceleration. 

Are Nissan 350Z expensive to maintain?

Nissan’s Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 9th out of 32 car brands. This rating is according to the average across 345 unique models. The average annual repair cost for a Nissan is $480, indicating above-average ownership costs.

What year is the best 350Z to buy?

The most reliable years for the 350Z are generally considered to be 2007 and 2008. These post-refresh cars contain better-performing and more reliable VQ35HR and other VQ engines, along with a range of other developments.

Why does my 350Z hesitate when accelerating?

Over time, fuel injectors can be clogged and unable to supply the needed fuel to the combustion chamber. This can cause the engine to run lean, resulting in hesitation during acceleration.

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