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2011 Nissan Juke SL
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My old, creaky Juke has 135k miles on it. I recently took it to a private car mechanic who specializes in Asian cars (best rated in SoCal), and after a thorough inspection he recommended the following repairs to prepare for a 7-hour drive from SoCal to NorCal, with stretches of hill ascent and descent (price includes parts + labor + tax):
  1. Replace axle seal: $287 (this was the original reason I brought the car in, as it was leaking fluids; the seal they need is some cryptic part that has to be ordered from Nissan since even Nissan dealership doesn't have it in stock)
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  2. Replace front & rear struts/shocks: $1292
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  3. Resurface front & rear brake rotors: $386
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  4. Replace all four control arm bushings: $965
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  5. Replace spark plugs: $337
  6. Flush transmission fluid: $487
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  7. Flush brake fluid: $137
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The total comes out to be $3893 - 3% if paying by check = $3777

I dunno, this seems like a lot to me. Any car mechanics here who can comment on the estimates? I was going to bring the car to a Nissan dealership to get a quote from them to compare.

#3 and #5 are listed as "non-urgent" fixes, so I think I can skip on those to save a big chunk of change. (I think I should be able to replace the spark plugs myself, but the car has never had any issues starting, so not sure if they even need replacing at the moment. I do not know when the spark plugs were last replaced.)
 

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It really depends if you know the service history of the Juke. I would agree the brakes and spark plugs are non-urgent. Honestly the brake rotors look in decent shape. You should be asking how much life the brake pads have left in them. It’s usually the same price to replace rotors as it is to resurface them, so just replace the rotors when you do.

DO NOT do a transmission flush on a CVT. Just do 1 or 2 drain and fills (spaced a couple hundred miles apart). Each drain gets about half of the fluid out (the rest is sitting in the torque converter and valve body). You have a gen 1 CVT, so make sure they use NS-2 fluid or equivalent.

shocks and struts really depend on your level of ride comfort you want. Mine (original) are absolutely shot and worn out at about 87k miles. But I drive about 10 miles round trip a day with the occasional 20-30 mile trip. In my case, I don’t care about the bumps, squeaks, or otherwise harsh ride.

Replace the whole control arm instead of just the bushings. Yes it’s more expensive, but there is way less risk of damaging a bushing trying to press them in. Plus replacing the whole control arm not only gives you new bushings but also new ball joints which at that mileage are probably very sloppy. Replace the control arms at the same time when you replace the shocks and struts.

spark plugs should not cost that much. At most it’s an hour job and the spark plugs can be found for about $30 aftermarket NGK or $80 OEM for a pack of 4. The intercooler piping does have to be removed and there’s a gasket on the turbo compressor outlet that needs to be replaced when the upper pipe is removed. Unless the engine is having hesitation or performance issues, spark plugs are usually every 80k-100k mile service. The coils don’t need to be changed unless they’re out of spec or there’s visible damage to the boots.

My honest opinion is if you’re going to do anything with the brakes (fluid flush, rotors, etc) then just do it all and you’re good for another 60k-80k miles. Doing that long of a road trip I’d say you should do the CVT fluid drain and fill, brake job, and axle seal. You could possibly wait on the suspension and control arms, but if they’re already going to replace an axle seal, you’re kind of halfway to replacing the struts too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@squirtbrnr thank you for the insights! Your explanation sounds a lot more reasonable -- you should open up your own car shop ^^. Yeah, I had a feeling the spark plugs bill alone was a bit on the high side since Juke-compatible spark plugs are listed for less than $30 online (pack of 4), and from the YT tutorials I've seen it seems like something even I can do with a few basic tools. I called up the local Nissan dealership and they charge $554 to do a 120K mile inspection, which doesn't include any repairs or diagnostics. I think for now I'm going to garage the Juke and think about my plans after the holidays (maybe bring it to CarMax because it's getting to be a money sink that I can't afford). In the meantime, we'll fly or take the bus up north.
 

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Hate to say it, the car is probably a write off for you.

Not everyone is mechanically inclined. So go find a more reliable mechanic that isn't going to screw you. Or learn to do this yourself.

Things you might need and all this crap is available from Big Box Automotive stores or online cheap:

A set of mechanic tools from Harbor Freight.
A good mechanics jack. w/Jack Stands.
CV Joints
Brake Pads
Brake Rotors
Spark Plugs
DoT 3 Brake fluid.
Control Arms w/new joints
Full Coil Over set
Willingness to learn.

Order of difficulity:

1. CV Joints, Rent a seal puller, buy Nissan Seal, watch some youtube vids.
2. Control Arms, Do these whist you do the CV Joints. Get a cheap Impact from harbor freight and a Torque Wrench. Torque specs are available online.
3. Strut replacement with Coil Overs will be cheaper than what that mechanic wants. DIY son.
4. Brake Bleed
5. Spark Plugs, check for oil in the spark plug hole, this means the gasket needs to be replaced, not the end of the world.
 
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