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Discussion Starter #1
My wife has a 2011 SV that busted its timing chain a month back. Dealership replaced it and tensioner, also while there replaced CV joints (tie rods are next in line)

One hefty price tag later she picked up the car and noticed terrible performance. Returned to the dealership same day. Next day receive a call that they could not replicate the issue but noticed the air cleaner was damaged. So I went to pick it up and all seemed OK. During this quarantine we do not drive as often but when I do I noticed the idle would rest @ 600 (considered in range according to service manual) but would drop occasionally to <500 and the car would shudder momentarily and pick back up to ~600. Accel curve seems irregular (not my daily driver so I may be wrong on its typical curve) with high accel from stop to ~1400 and then slowly back to >2000, all while keeping the same pressure on the gas. Seems to struggle to get to 60mph considering it has a turbo. No Service Engine light has come up.

Shortly after the timing chain & CV joints replaced:
  • Serpentine belt & oil change (regular maintenance, not solution for the problem)
  • Replaced engine air filter, repaired air cleaner, cleaned the MAF
  • Pulled negative from battery for a day then reconnect, then did an idle re-learn, let idle in the driveway for nearly 10 minutes after that
Idle issues are now less apparent unless towards the end of a long drive. Hard braking also concerns me with stalling (vacuum line to brake booster appears proper). I am thinking of doing a CRC Intake & Turbo cleaning next.

Is there anything I should be checking for? I suspect an intake leak since the engine had to be raised to get to the timing chain but a quick inspection of most any hose I could see from air cleaner to throttle body is proper. Openning the hood after a drive I notice a slightly stronger smell of "hot metal" than usual but the oil level has been the same since the oil change. Will inspect the PCV valve soon but doubt to be the cause of all this, right?

Thanks in advance for any help
 

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Idle problems are usually due to the alternator/voltage regular (built into the alternator) and/or the A/C compressor. The A/C is on a 12 second cycle time, regardless of whether the A/C is turned on/off, and when it cycles on, it will cause the RPM dip and then correct as you describe.

Given that it is a 2011, have you had the battery replaced? This could give a little improvement on the idle/stall feeling, although what you describe is actually pretty normal for the juke. Often, it is recommended to have a dealer (or if you can do it yourself with aftermarket tuning) raise the idle rpm to ~750. It will still dip, but it won't feel so harsh.

As far as the acceleration and throttle, I am betting you have a CVT juke, which behaves very differently than most people are used to. Between the CVT programming & turbo/boost kick-in and "lag", the juke will appear to be very weird vs most other vehicles. But chances are that it is normal juke behavior. To add to this, it is necessary to understand that the turbo doesn't "kick in" until certain parameters are met, a simplified description would be that it doesn't kick in until 2200-2500 rpms. So if you are babying it, then you aren't getting any turbo. One of the best ways to diagnose problems is to beat on it a little. Floor it and see what happens. It can take it and it's meant to be driven that way. If it can't take it, then that means there are problems, and they should make themselves quite apparent.

At the age of your juke, depending on mileage to some degree, you should have the following replacements/service already completed:

CVT fluid change (factory recommended @ 60k mile intervals, forum recommended @ 35k intervals)
New battery
Spark plug change if above 70k (open for debate or other suggestions on the actual mileage)
Direct injection cleaning service (throttle body & whole system service, completed professionally. Not just a fuel additive)
Premium synthetic oil for all oil changes

If you had a boost/intake leak that caused any sort of driveability problems, it would have thrown a code. So, the fact that you have no codes or CEL suggests that you don't have a MAJOR air leak.

With additional info tailored towards that vehicle info and history, I'm sure we can provide some more input.

(edited to add the "beat on it" suggestion)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the fast response!

Idle problems are usually due to the alternator/voltage regular (built into the alternator) and/or the A/C compressor. The A/C is on a 12 second cycle time, regardless of whether the A/C is turned on/off, and when it cycles on, it will cause the RPM dip and then correct as you describe.
Battery died after timing chain broke, my guess was from trying to turn over the car in desperation too many times when it happened. Battery has been replaced, will check alternator voltage next.

Often, it is recommended to have a dealer (or if you can do it yourself with aftermarket tuning) raise the idle rpm to ~750. It will still dip, but it won't feel so harsh.
Heard this too, was not sure if this was a "treating the symptom and not the problem" kind of thing. Especially since I never noticed this rough idle before when I would drive it.

I am betting you have a CVT juke {...} it is normal juke behavior. {...} if you are babying it {...}
Yup it is CVT. I figured it could be turbo lag but it felt more pronounced that I remember for this vehicle. I have been babying it since its felt so odd and had major surgery. I'll dog it after the alternator check.

Currently it's @ 76k miles (low for a 2011 to be sure) but up there in age
Last CVT fluid change was at ~50k, fresh battery from the timing chain repair
Oil has been full synthetic since birth, will probably change to "high mileage" when it is needed again
Spark plugs were my next focus but only after an intake cleaning as I hear it could leave a sludge on them. Plus, I hear they are pricey for this engine compared to most. Figured I could get an OBD-ii to check for misfire codes

{...} the fact that you have no codes or CEL suggests that you don't have a MAJOR air leak.
Noted, but I am not sure of codes, just no CEL (guess it's time to invest in a OBD-ii). Would it be advisable to return to the dealership to inspect hoses anyway? Or am I wrong about hoses being removed for timing chain replacement and be wasting my time?
 

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For the record, I have a 2012 SL AWD CVT with 59,600 miles, so I'm in the same mileage/age boat as you (y)

The juke direct injection engine is more prone to "carbon buildup" (hard, caked on) underneath the injectors, not really sludge (juicy, oily deposits). The same treatment should help regardless, just wanted to throw that out there.

I'd wait to hear about some of the other members' recommendation on spark plugs, as my low mileage hasn't given me a lot of experience with it, nor have I paid too much attention to the topic. It's actually not discussed very heavily. I am betting plugs are not a problem until 100k+ miles, but lets get some other opinions.

As far as an OBD2 reader, the best value is to get the Torque Pro App ($5 paid version) and a Bluetooth mini-elm 327 OBD interface (not necessarily the one i linked, but do some shopping on it and get one you are comfortable with, they are mostly all Chinese copycats anyway). They are usually between $10-20 on amazon. Others have recommended the CVTz50 app for adjusting idle and some other things, but I have no experience with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well.. alternator seems to be flaky. Starts @ 14.4v while at idle, but after a little revving and letting it back down to idle I only got 12.2v.
To stress the system I turned on the AC and noticed almost no change in RPMs. However trying to raise a window created a drop in RPMs...
Bargeld, you may be on to something. Once the car cools down I'll double check the connection to the alternator, make sure it isn't loose or damaged. If it continues to be flaky I'll have it replaced.
Before I get my hopes up feeling this is the source of the problem, could you explain to me how this could cause the issues I am seeing? Fuel pump not getting enough juice?

Couldn't find any loose hoses or vacuum lines, will check again to be sure later with fresh eyes
 

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It's funny because you are the 3rd person this month with the same voltage symptoms. It's even more simple than voltage @ fuel pump causing erratic rpms.
The first guy reported that the alternator plug was the problem and that unplugging and replugging fixed his issue. Then he came back a couple days later and said the problem had returned.
In the meantime, i had recommended the same solution to the second guy. I dont remember if that resolved the problem.
So I'm still approaching this from scratch...
As mentioned, the a/c compressor always runs, on a cycle. So turning on the a/c would not prompt an rpm drop as you may have expected. So that is normal. The windows causing the rpm drop is normal as well, that's a well documented juke behavior and I can attest to it personally.
But seeing the voltage go from 14.4 to 12.2 is not normal. Those voltages are informational as well: 14.4 is standard output of a vehicle with alternator functioning and 12.2 is standard for when the alternator is off (basically raw battery).
With that knowledge, I would inspect the ground wire(s) in the engine bay. More specifically, the engine ground as well as the alternator ground. It sounds like the alternator has either erratic output or it's output is being interrupted/not flowing correctly. So, main ground wires.
 

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I'll add that it could be the voltage regulator, which is built into the alternator (not an independently replaceable part). But hopefully the recent major services just resulted in a bad ground.

If there is a bad ground, the BCM and voltage regulator will be fighting a battle because it thinks that it has output but the measured output is different. And erratic.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
3rd in a month? Yikes.. I did search the forums and found similar issues but did not get confirmation if fluxing voltage was the culprit (plus the added accel. strangeness)
I drive a CVT myself ('13 CR-Z) and do not get anywhere near that much rubber-banding as this Juke is doing. Turbo making it more pronounced?

Started this morning, 12.2v while idle, no change when revving. All ACC are off including AC, steering pointed straight
However the idle RPM did not fluctuate anywhere near as much as it did through the last few weeks. Maybe the voltage being steady, though low, is helping that situation?

Ground connection to negative battery post is < 1ohm, same with alternator post to positive battery post. Little to zero corrosion on battery terminals. Fuses on positive battery terminal are all good
There any fuse I should check for alternator function?

My hands are too big to remove the wiring harness so I'll have to wait till I have time to remove intercooler hose to inspect it
OBD-ii coming tomorrow to further inspect
 

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I'd wait to hear about some of the other members' recommendation on spark plugs, as my low mileage hasn't given me a lot of experience with it, nor have I paid too much attention to the topic. It's actually not discussed very heavily. I am betting plugs are not a problem until 100k+ miles, but lets get some other opinions.
I did my plugs at around 70k km, and had a cleaner idle at cold start as well as felt better driveability. My plugs were fairly fouled and the gap had increased slightly (I forget to what degree). I run 94 octane and beat the crap out my car, not sure about the previous owner though.
Replaced with Ngk laser iridium, they cost about $120CAD for 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Alternator to ground was fine too, but apparently I was performing my alternator inspection wrong.. According to non-dealer shop (trusted, not just "some guy") the alternator is fine, it was only dormant because the loads I was applying were minimal. He did a test with all lights on and radio and window triggers and the voltage increased to 13.6v for a while. Shutting down accessories for a little then dropped down to 12.2v. So the alternator is active only when necessary and I guess I was not pushing it enough during my inspection. False alarm.

OBD-ii hooked up, "No codes from ECU0" from the Torque Lite app

But the headache continues
Spark plugs was suggested by the shop as well, will probably do an intake cleaner first and then do fresh spark plugs
Or the Idle Air Control is fouled up causing the engine to respond poorly to when the alternator begins to generate (or hard breaking causes the booster to draw more)

Since this is after a timing chain replacement how unlikely is it that the valves are improperly timed (off a tooth)? I believe it is a non-interference engine so even if valve timing is off it won't stop the engine but it could affect power?
 

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Timing can always effect performance.

What are the exact symptoms now........
 

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Guys, alternator voltage output is variable as a design function, this is totally normal operation. It'll fluctuate from say 12.6-14.4, I can check my datalogs but this standard operating condition. Below 12.2-12.3 volts then the battery isn't holding the full charge. If I can find the spec in the Service manual I'll post it up.
 

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Guys, alternator voltage output is variable as a design function, this is totally normal operation. It'll fluctuate from say 12.6-14.4, I can check my datalogs but this standard operating condition. Below 12.2-12.3 volts then the battery isn't holding the full charge. If I can find the spec in the Service manual I'll post it up.
Yuo thats for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, old-school me remembers alternators without voltage regulators and an either "it works or it doesn't" operation
Was assured the valve timing was not off because the engine behaves too smoothly for that to be a possibility (all feel, no confirmation as there is no timing window/marking)

Friend of a friend has a 2013 Juke, was gracious enough to allow me to drive their car to compare.. near identical accel curve. However, it also had the timing chain replaced some years ago

Idle still seems too low so I bought CVTz50 and tried the idle adjust, now says 650 +50 adj but even after shutting off and restarting the car the idle is still ~640, no change from before. Am I doing something wrong?

CVT det. shows a very low number but for peace of mind I'll be doing a drain & fill, with NS2
CRC GDI Intake & Turbo Cleaner once I feel comfortable with the idle adjustment (afraid it will die during the process with such low idle)
Replace spark plugs after a week or so of driving after intake cleaning
 

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I talked with the App designer before. Send him an email. He usually responds.
 

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If the timing chain busted on you that engine needs to be overhauled/ torn down and built from scratch period.
If you took the initiative to just replace the timing chain and do like an oil change and a few services more like a belt replacement. I’m going to be honest with you , that car won’t run properly ever. Once a chain snaps the cylinder head train is done (completely) . If you pickup the car and signed for the repairs already well there’s nothing you can do now.
Also after a snap chained the HFP Pump tends to die out and so does the alternator internal bearing. Before you start tearing stuff down I want to confirm something with you first.
Is the juke shooting any obd2 codes ? if yes can you post them and add a message like “refer to bulldog281” so I can email you back.
I’ll try to give you guidance from there to start. Sorry to hear about your engine problems man.
 

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I work on rebuilding Nissan dealerShip engines just Incase you need some kind of evidence base practice to support what I’m telling you buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Once a chain snaps the cylinder head train is done (completely)
Hey Bulldog, thanks for the insider help.
I am aware of the typical valve gnarling that a broken timing chain does but I believe these engines are zero interference. Even mentioned it to the dealership and they said it wasn't needed to replace (and I don't think they would pass up the opportunity to make more money on a service, but that may be judgmental.) The engine does run smooth but I could check compression on each cylinder for some insight on whether the valves are damaged. The only rough is a dipping below typical idle range (CVTz50 showed a 480RPM at one point stopped at a light).
No codes, the accel. graph from CVTz50 also seems typical now that I am not babying it.


I talked with the App designer before. Send him an email. He usually responds.
Sent an email, fingers crossed.
 

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I work for the dealer Nissan as well. Where I work at if a customer comes in with a busted chain / or on its last half life. At least 1 or 4 cylinder valves in the head are always bent and the head needs to be machine and bench tested. Also the timing guides and retainers need to be replaced due to wear an tear. Usually the client replaces the entire engine and the old parts go to the recycle dumpster due to the cost in parts surpassing the engine cost.
 
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