Common Nissan Juke Problems

From time to time, AutoGuide will peer into dusty corners of the internet, wading through poor grammar and incomprehensible rants looking for information about common problems reported on a particular make and model. We do this in hopes it will help you, the reader, on your quest to buy a used machine or perhaps to fix the one you already have. Most information listed here is gathered from anecdotal evidence but, to take liberties with an old saying, where there’s smoke there’s probably a little bit of fire.

The insectoid Nissan Juke appeared in dealer showrooms during the 2010 calendar year. Designed at Nissan’s London studio and refined in Japan, the Juke stood out in the compact crossover with neat touches like under-floor storage and a center console styled to resemble the gas tank on a motorcycle.

It will be replaced in North America by the Nissan Kicks this year. Although you won’t be able to buy a new Juke, here are some common Nissan Juke problems to be aware of if you’re buying used or perhaps are experiencing some trouble in your own little bug-faced crossover.

Please note these are common Nissan Juke problems, not recalls. For information on Nissan Juke recalls, we have a whole other article on it!

Electrical Gremlins

Often tough to diagnose, electrical problems can rear their ugly head at the most inopportune times. Some Juke owners report the battery in their car going flat for no apparent reason, leaving them with a fistful of no-go. It is unclear if the issue stems from a battery that is too small to service the electrical needs of the car or if there is a power drain somewhere deep in the bowels of its wiring.

A suggested reason for this problem occurring is the proclivity for Juke owners to plug accessories into power outlets in the car’s cabin. Hardly a federal offense, the utilization of nav systems, radar detectors, and phone chargers are commonplace. Knowledgeable mechanics seem to think there is a parasitic draw of electricity somewhere in the car’s accessories.

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Turbo Issues

Maladies with turbocharged versions of the Juke have been cropping up as these machines age and accumulate mileage. It is widely reported that a clogged oil feed tube leading to the turbo is a possible and likely culprit of turbocharger failure in these cars.

Service bulletins exist on this topic, so Nissan mechanics should be able to draw upon that resource to fix the problem. Despite the catastrophic and expensive nature of a turbocharger failure, the repair may not be covered under warranty. Signs a Juke is suffering from this problem are, first and foremost, extremely sluggish acceleration. Look for dashboard warning lights, too.

If the turbo is inoperative, there is a chance that one of the hoses or lines feeding the unit has popped off thanks to a loose clamp. This, unlike the above problem, is a relatively easy fix.

CVT Transmission

As with most Nissan products, the Juke is available with a continuously variable transmission. These units are unique in that they have no actual gears, rather choosing to employ a robust steel belt between two pulleys to vary the transmission ratio while accelerating and decelerating. Some drivers are not used to this setup, which does not act like a traditional gearbox, thinking it is ‘slipping’ when it is actually functioning exactly as designed. Some reports of Juke transmission problems can be traced back to owners simply being unfamiliar with its operation.

ALSO SEE: CVT Transmission Pros and Cons

There are reports of actual mechanical problems. Some Juke CVTs are said to cause a stalling under acceleration issue due to a collapse of an internal bearing. This blocks off critical parts that are supposed to feed fluid to the transmission, causing damage to internal components.

Issues with the CVT can also appear if incorrect transmission fluid is added to the unit during servicing. It is important one use the recommended fluid lest it overheat, thin out, and damage the transmission.

Front Suspension

Numerous customers have complained about the Juke’s appetite for inner tie rod ends. These are important parts of the front suspension since they, y’know, keep the wheel attached to the car. A sure-fire way to identify this problem if you’re buying a used Juke is to perform a third-party inspection prior to purchase. Those owning a Juke can ask their trusty mechanic to give their car’s tie-rods the critical eye during each oil change.

Timing Chains

This potential issue can be diagnosed by the car shopper with a good ear. Stretched timing chains have been reported by some, an issue which can lead to engine problems. Fortunately, those with sharp listening skills can pick up on the glitch before it turns into a full-blown complication.

ALSO SEE: Nissan Juke Recalls: Is Yours on the List?

Listen for is any sort of rattle or lashing noise from the engine during a cold start. For this reason, customer considering a used Juke need to insist on hearing the engine while it is being started for the first time that day, not after it has been warmed up. An illuminated check engine light is another early sign of timing-chain stretch but, as with all cars, that light can be on for any number of reasons including something simple as a loose gas cap.

Fuel Pressure Sensor

No fewer than three recalls have been issued for the Juke’s fuel pressure sensor, a unit that may cause a leak. As gasoline is extremely flammable, one should check to make sure the used Juke they want to buy or the Juke they have in their driveway has this recall work completed. The NHTSA has identified the 2011 – 2013 model years as the ones with this potentially fiery problem and have alerted owners about the issue as recently as March of this year.

ALSO SEE: Where is Nissan From and Where are Nissans Made?

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