Four-year-old Nissan Qashqai engine cracked and firm wants £7,500 to fix it

In September 2020 we bought a used 16-month-old Qashqai from the local Nissan dealer. It had done just 4,662 miles and we paid £17,147 cash.

We have had the car serviced regularly as per the advised schedule, but at a local garage rather than the dealer. We were keen to support local independent services, and it was cheaper.

In November 2023, with 46,000 miles on the clock, the car broke down. Our local garage identified a serious fault with the engine, and quoted £4,000-£6,000 to repair it.

We arranged for it to be sent to the main dealers and have since spent hours on the phone to Nissan’s customer services trying to get this resolved.

At one point, we were advised to pay £1,500 for the garage to undertake diagnostic testing. Fortunately, the dealer advised us not to do this as it was a waste of time because its tests clearly showed that the engine was cracked.

The dealer has indicated it will charge £7,500 to fit a reconditioned engine. Nissan customer services is refusing to make a contribution as we had not used the dealer for servicing, claiming it cannot ensure the right oil had been used.

We feel very badly treated by Nissan and don’t believe a car of this age and mileage should fail in this way. With a functioning engine, it is only valued at £9,000.

HJ, Tyneside

In 2017 I revealed how Nissan Qashqai buyers were suffering engine failures and facing huge bills to fix them.

Problems centred around the Renault-supplied 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol engines, introduced in 2014. One reader had three rebuilds on the same car, and thousands of others have been affected. Your car has a similar, but more recently introduced, 1.3-litre engine.

Previously, Nissan was repairing engines that were inside the three-year warranty, provided they had been serviced by one of its dealers. Owners who were outside warranty, or had taken their cars to be serviced elsewhere, faced similar bills to you.

You are both out of warranty and without a dealer service history. Despite this, Nissan has now agreed to make a contribution. It says: “Customer service is a high priority for Nissan and we have been working with HJ to reach a satisfactory outcome.

“Her car has now been repaired by a Nissan dealer at a discounted rate, and she will be offered a 50% reduction to the cost of the parts as a gesture of goodwill.”

Had it not done so, in your shoes I would have found a reliable independent engine rebuilder to do the work. Had I been able to show that the local garage had serviced the car on time, and used the correct grade of oil, I would have brought a small claim against the supplying dealer (not Nissan).

I would have expected the court to order you to pay half the repair cost, given the car’s age, and so on. You have been spared this.

This shows why it makes sense to get cars serviced by a main dealer – while in warranty, at least.

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