Nissan Murano Forum banner
1 - 20 of 53 Posts

Registered
Joined
384 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

Been on here for a short while now and its just dawned on me how difficult it really is to work under the hood of the murano. I have had to do a couple jobs so far and can't help but feel like I would never buy a Nissan again because of it.
I realize many brands and models don't take space into account, however, Nissan and this murano in particular have got to be the most poorly designed piece of trash I have ever had to work on. Don't get me wrong, its not bad quality but the thought process that must have went into where to locate parts under the hood is the worst I have ever seen. I actually hate it! 馃槅
I wouldn't mind if the engineer that designed the engine bay, choked on a bologna sandwich and no-one was around to give him/her the heimlich!
Thanks for letting me vent!
 

Administrator
Joined
9,990 Posts
This is one reason that so far, the Murano was the only transverse engine vehicle I have ever owned. I agree, it was a pain in the butt to work on. My BMW inline-six 3-series are definitely easier to work on.

Transverse engines in general pack too much equipment into the limited space under the hood for service to be an easy project..
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2ndGenMaintainer

Registered
Joined
384 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited by Moderator)
This is one reason that so far, the Murano was the only transverse engine vehicle I have ever owned. I agree, it was a pain in the butt to work on. My BMW inline-six 3-series are definitely easier to work on.

Transverse engines in general pack too much equipment into the limited space under the hood for service to be an easy project..
To be fair, my lifestyle calls for a truck as my next vehicle purchase. Hopefully its a while before I need to though.
I could not believe just how assanine the radiator was packed in there. By the time I was done, I felt like I had just taken the whole dash apart and swapped out an evaporator coil or something like that. I remember even the hoses were buried so deep I had to pull a million things apart to get at the clamps. They were installed with the tabs facing away from where I could get at them easy.

I have changed out a few radiators in my day and always thought of it as no big deal until this murano lol. Kinda made me contemplate life there for a moment and a few curse words later. Lol good times!
 

Registered
Joined
2,314 Posts
the hoses were buried so deep I had to pull a million things apart to get at the clamps. They were installed with the tabs facing away from where I could get at them easy.
Yeah, sometimes I wonder if the factory techs do that on purpose. :mad:
 

Registered
Joined
3,438 Posts
I think car manufactures put more thought into an efficient assembly line operation than they do for future under the hood repair work...
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulDay

Registered
Joined
384 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think car manufactures put more thought into an efficient assembly line operation than they do for future under the hood repair work...
Yeah and its sad. I would gladly pay more for a vehicle where more thought was put into it. Its too bad this isn't a category for price and that as consumers we don't demand it in some way. I realize that may be difficult to do, but you never see an add for a new car where they talk about how easy it is to work on. You usually have to wait for reports and reviews and your own experience with it. I think "right to repair" should encompass this factor a little more than it does. Hopefully it takes off. I see both sides but have always felt that "right to repair" is more inline with our values.
 

Registered
Joined
400 Posts
Yeah you have to wonder about the many forums for the various cars / trucks made from say 2000 to present, that have the braggers that say "this car or engine, is so easy to work on".
Every time I see that I think and what are you comparing it to? From many years experience I can say absolutely none of these cars from maybe in the 80's to now are easy to work on.
I actually enjoy working on the ones from the 50's, they are and were the most easy to work on. Plenty of space, simple design, engineers back then used their brains, and wanted the end user or consumer to like and trust their designs, unlike now.
With all the years of manufacture of vehicles they still have not figured out the simple things, and agree with the price paid now for a car there is no excuse for not improving some things especially when it comes to mechanical repairs. The whole auto industry is full of monkey see monkey do, when it comes to all aspects of auto design, all the brands now are built the same way and all look so very similar.
Back when all the hype was transaxle front wheel drive and how so many including my ex father inlaw praised the concept and handling etc. the first words out of my mouth was, "yeah everyone thinks its cool now, just wait till you need a transmission rebuild or have some transmission problem that needs transmission removal." No longer was it a 30 or 40 minute job to remove a transmission. Just think
2004 murano what is shop time for that? 8 hours I think.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
1,688 Posts
Yea, the cars of yesteryear were much easier to work on.

That said, those cars needed to be worked on frequently, at least twice a year, spring and fall, if you wanted the best engine performance year-round. Car needed a clutch at 30K, and the owner would moan about $200 repair in the 80's, after watching him ride the clutch every time he left the station after filling up. Today he'd make to 60K and be moaning about a 2K repair. Not much difference when you look at it that way.

A good driver, with a standard would need a clutch replacement before 60K on those cars, with the average about 40K. A standard driven by a good driver now a days can go 120K before needing a replacement. Development of much more durable materials has greatly lengthened the life of clutches and brake pads.

These days, it's about getting the vehicles out to the consumers in the cheapest possible way. Unfortunately, this means automation, with the overall assembly being designed with this thought in mind.

After quite literally watching more hours than I can remember of the assembly line processes used while working for a robotics company that supplied the big three during the late nineties for their assembly lines, I can tell you that aftermarket mechanics are the last thing on the manufacture's agenda. Even when suggestions were made that would have possibly made service easier on an assembly, if it cost more time or money to implement, it was tossed out.

The reality is now a days it's easier to remove a few wiring harnesses, hoses, mounts, maybe a rear drive shaft and drop the whole engine/tranny cradle in one go to work on the heads or timing chain. Ease of access makes for a shorter and a more likely error free repair.

Have no fear though! Most of us will be too old to want to work on our cars, or should I say perished. Not much to work on with those electric cars. Might be able to change a cabin filter, but I don't think that the average person will be messing with a battery issue.

Have a good day.
 

Registered
Joined
384 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree with all of the comments so far. Its sad but true. In a perfect world us consumers would have a better choice based off of things like ease of maintenance and access to literature, tools etc. I know not everybody works on their own cars so it would be a niche market. That they are able to mass produce, but then charge a heavy book price for service. Either way they win even if you DIY or not. Its why I say "I would pay more for a car with the DIYer in mind" when it comes to the mechanical design. Cars may need less often maintenance but everytime I pop the hood and see plastic everywhere, especially these POS rivets, Its cheap. I wish we didn't let it get this bad, I wish headlights were still glass and that manufacturers didn't have so many efficiency regulations. But again we don't live in a perfect world and everybody's idea of utopia is different. As far as electric, thats somebody else's dream, not mine. I'd like to see more research go into hydrogen and would probably purchase that instead when the time comes.
 

Administrator
Joined
9,990 Posts
One factor is simply the way cars are packaged. In order to be aerodynamic, all sheetmetal dimensions around the engine have shrunk. There is less space in general. You used to be able to lean in around the engine and reach all critical components (I remember my 1966 GTO...)

Now there's no room because of tight packaging. For that reason, as @PaulDay pointed out, it's good that today's cars generally require less frequent repairs and maintenance. My 240Z and 280Z both required spark plugs every 10,000 miles; if you drove them 11,000 miles you usually had a miss appearing. Now they're 100K mile items.

Another factor is front wheel drive. I have never liked it, don't really like the way that FWD cars handle, and prefer rear-drive based cars. There's a reason that RWD based vehicles like the BMW 3-series have a great handling reputation. Along with that, FWD generally requires a transverse engine design, which I quickly grew to dislike when I worked on one. I will admit that changing the plugs on my daughter's Mini was easy, but once you get past 4 cylinders it gets difficult.
 

Registered
Joined
384 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That video is an example of why I don't like anyone else touching my cars unless I have no choice. Absolutely awful.
I think he did a decent enough job with what he had to work with, but I'm the same way about my cars. I wish I had that nice clamp remover tool. Would have made life a whole lot easier. I'd rather do it myself as well, but it was definitely a chore.
 

Registered
Joined
400 Posts
I have so many ideas to make a techs job so simple. I doubt any manufacture would ever implement them though. Its just hard to believe the things never done to improve things on cars, and how long have they been built now? No excuse.


So what is wrong with the way he is doing it? I don't want anyone touching my stuff either. But I thought it looked okay he wasn't a total hack like some are.
 

Registered
Joined
384 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes its just sad. I wish they manufactured a vehicle with the DIYer in mind. It would def be a niche market at first but I think it would take off eventually. I understand parts last longer before needing changed these days and this says a lot. Take this murano for example if they would have just made the engine bay larger, it would have solved a ton of issues with clearances. Even the battery braket is so overengineered that it looks like an afterthought. As a matter of fact, everything in the engine bay looks like an after thought. I realize they design the vehicle around the engine but I counted 12 bolts to get just the battery and bracket out. 2 of which required getting under the vehicle to remove and even then it was tough to get a wrench in there. I think I just need a hobby build car, but do it differently. Build it to be a daily driver and not just a weekend warrior lol.
 

Registered
Joined
2,314 Posts
My problems with what he was doing basically boil down to recklessness, but let me explain further:

REMOVAL: Rather than drain the radiator using the petcock with the car on the ground, he raises the car and removes the lower radiator hose letting the coolant fall 6 feet into the drain pan and making a mess on the floor. To remove the radiator (made of aluminum and plastic), he literally tried to pry it out with a 3 foot steel pry bar. And, it wasn't working. One would think that at some point he would realize, "Hey, I can't move this radiator with my 3-ft pry bar so maybe I should take a step back and see what I'm missing?" But, he just kept plowing on. In the process of all that prying, he broke both of the plastic brackets on each side of the condenser that fastens it to the radiator and who knows what else that isn't shown. You can also see visible damage to the condenser being done and when he finally got the old radiator out it was absolutely mangled and then he goes on to complain about the mess of coolant and WD40 (that he made) that's all over the core support that needs to be cleaned up. But, rather than lifting the car and wiping it down with a rag from underneath (there's enough space), he drops a rag down to the bottom and uses his 3-ft pry bar (his favorite tool?) to push the rag around. The pry bar periodically slips and knocks into the condenser. The customer probably came back a month later complaining his A/C isn't blowing hot any more with the end result being a leaking condenser diagnosis--Gee, I wonder how that could have happened?

INSTALLATION: While re-insalling the new radiator the hood latch assembly kept getting in the way (and damaging the cooling fins on the brand new radiator), but rather than tying it back with some bungee cord he keeps plowing along. At one point, he is banging his fist on the top of the radiator trying to force it in. In the end, the video never shows the radiator actually going in to it's properly seated position--it just cuts to when everything is back together. Although he tries to "explain" what he did--yeah, right. He probably used the same pry bar to shoe horn the new radiator in, but didn't want it shown on camera for all to see what he broke. The whole time he's cursing at Nissan.

The trouble this tech went through can be traced to him not being familiar with the car and not reviewing service data (...or if he did, ignoring it to cut a corner and save time, which in the end he didn't). The proper procedure for radiator replacement in the 2nd generation Murano is to evacuate the A/C system and remove the condenser first. I can understand why a DIYer might skip this for lack of proper equipment, but there's no excuse for a professional as he surely has an A/C machine in the shop. Sure, it may add time to the job, but that's time the customer should pay for if it's required to properly do the job (...it likely is already built into the book time). And, he could have maximized that time by doing other things while evacuating the system (e.g. draining the radiator and removing the grille) and likewise while recharging the system (e.g. bleed the cooling system since the engine needs to be running anyway).

When the tech was moving the radiator in the video you can see the condenser moving with it in lock-step. That's because the condenser itself is fastened to the radiator via the two plastic brackets on each side at the top (which he removed--broken) and also two plastic hook clips on the bottom where prongs on the sides of the condenser seat (see pics below). I don't think he realized there were bottom clips that were keeping the radiator from being pulled up since pulling up on the radiator also pulls up on the condenser and since the refrigerant piping of the condenser was still intact the radiator core support was holding everything down. My guess is all the prying eventually broke the plastic clips and he was finally able to pull it out. He should have pulled the condenser up off the clips and forward and then the radiator should come out "easier." He would still have to deal with the clips catching onto the back of the condenser. There are some other videos out there that talk about the clips and also how to remove the plastic brackets without breaking them. People have successfully replaced the radiator with condenser still in the car without the butchery in this video. Those that also removed the bumper to get the horn brackets out had an easier time of it because it gives you an extra 2 inches to work with.

If anyone wants to grill me for Monday-morning quarterbacking when I don't wrench for a living that's fine. But sorry, I expect better from those that do get paid to wrench for a living.

Rectangle Font Gas Automotive lighting Auto part

Gas Automotive radiator part Rectangle Font Auto part
 

Administrator
Joined
9,990 Posts
You absolutely are justified in expecting anyone who is working on a car for pay to have checked the service manual and to avoid causing damage.

And that is an incredibly LOW bar.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top