Service FAQ’s

Have you ever had that yellow check engine light appear in your vehicle’s display cluster, seemingly at random? You hope it’s just a mistake that it’ll go away with the next engine start; But it persists, catching your eye and making you nervous. What could possibly be wrong with your car? The trouble with the check engine light is that it’s the catchall alert to bring your vehicle in for service. The issue could range anywhere from a loose fuel cap to costly powertrain repairs. That’s why it’s important to make a maintenance appointment at your soonest convenience should that check engine light remain for a few days. However, if you want to know why your car is throwing a code before you book it in for repairs at River City Nissan, it’s possible to connect to your vehicle’s OBDII (on board diagnostic) computer system using an OBD code reader, provided your car. Truck, or SUV was manufactured after 1996.

How to read OBDII codes

The first step is purchasing an OBDII code reader online or at your local auto parts store. They typically range from $20-$30. Plug the code reader into the OBDII slot (usually located under a plastic cover beneath the steering wheel or on the left side of the foot well). Follow the menu prompts and then you will be supplied with a number representing the check engine light code.

What do the codes stand for?

With so much high tech equipment to monitor in today’s cars, there are literally hundreds of codes that can fall under the check engine light alert. A quick online search will show you all of them for free, but we’ve supplied details on the most common ones below:
  • P0130 – P0177: Relates to your O2 sensor. This part measures the oxygen in your exhaust, so that it can tell your engine management computer to inject more or less fuel.
  • P0440: This is the most common code we see at our dealership. It simply means that the driver needs to tighten their fuel cap, since a loose gas cap allows gasoline to evaporate out over time.
  • P0171 – P0174: You’ll get this code when the engine monitor senses a drop in your catalytic converter’s efficiency. While you may need a new exhaust catalytic converter, this code could also indicate other problems in your engine.
  • P0300 – P0312: This code range represents problems in your cylinder ignition firing. The number after the 3 signifies the cylinder number and can mean you need a new coil pack or spark plug.
  • P0101: Problems with your mass air flow sensor, which monitors how much air is entering your engine, throws this code. This can seriously affect your fuel efficiency because the MAF sensor tells your computer how much fuel to inject into the combustion chamber.
  • P0449: This code represent a fault in your Evaporative Emission Control System, usually caused by leaky hoses.
  • P0401: This code relates to your Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve. A problem with your EGR valve will likely cause your car to idle roughly and/or choppy.
  • P0217: This code means that your engine is overheating, and can indicate that your low on coolant or your radiator is leaking, etc.
  • P0463: This code is triggered by the fuel level sensor in your car’s gas tank.
  • P0115: This code will arise when the Power Control Module is detecting a voltage condition that is too high or too low. You might start to notice your car smoking, backfiring, or being difficult to start.

I have my code now what?

That all depends on the code you found. If it’s a quick fix like tightening your gas cap or swapping out a spark plug, you just saved yourself a trip to the shop! If it’s a more involved repair you can’t do at home, then it’s nice to have the knowledge before you get it serviced. To get your check engine light fixed in Kamloops, BC, book your vehicle in for service at River City Nissan. We’re certified to repair all makes and models, not just Nissan and Infiniti vehicles.

Your engine oil is one of the most essential contributors towards the long-term health of your vehicle. It serves to lubricate the various engine components, keeping them running smoothly. Too little oil may result in excessive friction and abrasion, permanently damaging engine components, which often leads to costly repairs. Too much oil can also be damaging and pricy, allowing excessive oil pressure to build up and harm your motor.For that reason, checking your engine oil level is one of the most important things you can do for your vehicle. It’s easy enough to do yourself! And like most car owners discover, it can feel extremely satisfying to do so, creating a strong bond between you and your automotive investment. When everything seems to be running properly, a good rule of thumb is to check your oil level after every second re-fueling.

How to Check Your Oil:

  • Prepare your vehicle for an accurate reading: The engine should be warmed up, parked on an even surface, and left to sit for about ten minutes before taking a measurement.
  • Prop open your hood and search for the oil dipstick. It should stand out from your engine, a brightly coloured handle, often with an oil drop icon on it.
  • Pull out the dipstick and wipe it off with a rag or disposable shop towel. Then reinsert it fully (this is important). Wait a few seconds before removing it once more.
  • There will be two markings (lines or holes) down towards the end of your dipstick. The oil level should be between these two markings. Be careful when pulling out the dipstick not to turn it upside-down in a manner that could cause the oil to run and skew the results.

So now that you’ve checked your oil level, what’s next?

  • If the oil level falls between the two markings, then everything is fine. Proceed as normal until it’s time to check once more.
  • If the oil level falls below the lower marking, you need to add more oil. Add a quart at a time until the right level is achieved. Wait a few minutes between adding more oil and taking another measurement. It’s best to use the same type of oil are your engine is currently using, when possible. But if you are running low, it’s still best to top it off with whatever you have on hand before driving to get your next oil change, rather than continuing to run low and potentially doing further harm to your engine components. The River City Nissan Service Centre keeps track of what oil you’ve been using in the past, in case you don’t remember.
  • If the oil level is above the upper line, do not add more oil. It’s possible that your motor oil was accidentally overfilled, but it is more likely a sign of some other engine issue, like a blown head gasket. Bring your vehicle in for an inspection.

Finally, regular oil level checks are important for monitoring changes in your vehicle’s performance over time. Oil is normally consumed slowly (typically 1L per 1,600 km), so any dramatic changes within a month or another shorter period could be a symptom of a greater problem. In this event, you might wish to request a service appointment.

You already know that oil is the lifeblood of your automobile; it protects the various components from abrasion and breakdown. But since all engine oil looks black and murky after about a couple days of driving, how are you supposed to know when it’s time to change your oil?

Why Do I Need to Change My Oil?

There is a big difference between fresh oil and oil that needs to be changed. Over time, the oil in your engine naturally collects water, various contaminants. The water mixes with your oil to make it sludgy, affecting your engine performance, especially in very cool conditions. It can evaporate from the heat of highway driving conditions, but is especially prone to building up in winter weather and stop-and-go city driving. The contaminants include corrosive substances and metal particulates that cause abrasion and wear down your engine components. Either way, after a while, that dirty oil needs to go!

But here’s the most important reason not only why you need to change your oil, but to change it regularly:

  • If you change your oil regularly at the proper intervals, it can double the lifetime of your engine.
  • That’s important to keep in mind, especially since like a frog in a pot of gradually warming water, you won’t notice the effect much during the early stages, but you’ll be devastated later on down the line when your engine gives out and you’re left with a bill on your hands that might be as much as the cost of a low-end used car.

Pro tip: Keep the receipts to record all of your vehicle maintenance, including oil changes. When it’s time to sell your vehicle, this evidence of proper maintenance could fetch you a higher resale value. It’s also a good practice to inquire into the maintenance history when you’re purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.

So How Often Should I Change My Oil?

Depending on the type of vehicle you have and your driving habits, there is not a precise measure of how often you should change your oil. The classic rule of thumb is to change it every 6 months or 5,000 km, whichever comes first. It’s best to check with the recommendation listed in your owner’s manual, though online vehicle forums are often quite helpful to find out how other drivers have fared with a vehicle similar to yours.

Driving in especially dusty conditions, cold weather, or stop-and-go city traffic will require more frequent oil changes than “optimal” driving conditions, which typically include plenty of even-speed highway driving, with minimal cool-down intervals.

Don’t Neglect This Essential Service

Lastly, oil changes are some of the most important services you can get for your vehicle, and some of the least expensive. Yet they’re also some of the most neglected. In fact, you can quickly jump to among the higher percentiles of diligent owners by getting this procedure done regularly.

Whether some drivers are unfamiliar with the garage and feel a bit intimidated by the experience; whether it’s just hard to find the time in your busy schedule; or whether you’re worried about the cost, don’t let these weak barriers prevent you from giving your vehicle the love it deserves. For around the same price that it costs to fill up your gas tank, and it under half an hour, you can get your oil changed and be ready to take on the next season with total confidence in your engine.

Is it time to get an oil change? Request a service appointment at River City Nissan online today!


There aren’t many annoyances that quite compare to a flat tire. They can even become dangerous if they occur during cold winter conditions. But then again, there are few feelings as confidence-inspiring and satisfying as being able to change a tire. So if you want to learn a new skill and rely a little less on your CAA membership, you’re just five simple steps away from competent do-it-yourself pride.

Steps to Change a Tire

Thankfully, the manner in which you change tires remains fairly similar between different automotive brands. You may even want to practice these skills in your garage or a safe, level surface so that you develop some experience before you’re forced to try this out on the road during a rainy day.

  •  Ensure the vehicle is on a level, firm surface

To remove the tire, you will need to separate it from the ground through the use of a jack. It can be extremely dangerous to jack up a car on a sloped or uneven surface, so never try this on ground in which a pop can left on its side would roll away. You also need the ground underneath the jack to be firm, or else the weight of the vehicle will simply push the jack deeper into the ground instead of the car up in the air. When attempting to jack up a car on a soft or snowy surface, it can help to place something long and solid underneath it, like a piece of lumber or plywood. Use your discretion here.

  •  Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel

Why do this before jacking up the vehicle? Because if you raise the vehicle and then try to use your tire wrench to loosen the tightly screwed lug nuts, you’ll simply spin the wheel instead of loosening them. Release the lug nuts just to the point where you could spin and remove them later with your fingers.

  •  Use the jack to raise the vehicle

The majority of vehicles these days come with a car jack, normally placed along with the spare tire in the trunk, beneath a mat or liner. There will be instructions in your owner’s manual if you are unsure about how to use the jack. First, locate the solid underbody portion of the vehicle frame (the chassis) near the tire that needs replacing. Most vehicles will even have markings to indicate the ideal jack placement. Once in place, operate jack until the tire is safely above the ground; you’ll want to leave enough space for clearance for the fully inflated tire.

Side note: Don’t select for a jack point a portion of the car’s underbody that is a thin metal or fiberglass. Common sense typically prevails in selecting a sturdy enough spot, but the results can range from comical, to expensive, to tragic if a weak jack point is chosen.

  •  Remove and replace the tire

Now it’s time to fully remove the lug nuts. Be sure to keep them somewhere they won’t get lost or fall under the vehicle (a reliable pocket or small cup/container does wonders). Once all the lug nuts have been removed, pull off the flat tire, and line up the replacement tire with the bolts. With the new tire in place, hand tighten the lug nuts.

  •  Lower the vehicle and tighten the lug nuts

Slowly and carefully lower the vehicle back to the ground. Most wheels have five bolts arranged in a pentagon or star shape. It’s critical to tighten the lug nuts following a diagonal star pattern. Not doing so will result in some bolts remaining loose. After one star rotation, try each bolt again (in the same star pattern) and ensure each is tight to the point where it won’t move any further. Finally, give your vehicle a quick visual inspection before cleaning up your tools and driving.

Remember: Spare tires are not meant to act as replacements for your true tires. They are designed simply to take you to the nearest tire shop or garage.

Rather leave your tire rotation or flat tire replacement to the pros at River City Nissan? Book a service appointment with us online today!

Today, nearly every Nissan car, truck, or SUV comes standard with Bluetooth wireless streaming technology. Bluetooth allows you to connect your phone or tablet to your vehicle’s infotainment system so that you can play music (whether stored on the device or over the internet), make phone calls, or receive texts.

To find out which Nissan model trims come with Bluetooth and what cool, hands-free features it gives you, check out our Nissan Showroom Page.

Please read below for the easy steps on how to pair your Bluetooth-capable iPhone or Google Android device to your car’s stereo. But if you’re still having trouble getting it to work, give our friendly service advisors a call at 1-888-797-8032.

  • Step-By-Step Guide to Pairing Your Phone
  • Sit down in the driver’s seat and close all your car’s windows and doors as surrounding noises can cause interference
  • Click on your phone’s Settings menu and make sure that Bluetooth is activated and stay on the menu
  • Press the button that shows a face speaking into a phone on your steering wheel and wait for the tone
  • Say, “setup”
  •  Wait for the tone, and then say, “pair phone”
  • Wait for the tone, and then say, “new phone”
  • Your car will then send a code to your phone. Enter that code into your Bluetooth menu
  •  You can then provide a name for your phone

Now you’re connected! You can repeat the above steps for up to 5 other Bluetooth capable devices

More so than any other safety consideration when driving, having proper visibility ranks atop the list. Your windshield wipers play a large role in this function, keeping your glass clean and free from debris, snow, rain, and mud.

Thankfully, replacing or upgrading your windshield wipers is one of the simplest and more affordable car maintenance tasks you can perform on your own.

Purchasing Replacement Wiper Blades

Windshield wiper blades can be found at most automotive parts stores. They will have a booklet on hand helping you to find which size of wiper blades are required for your vehicle. They may also have a variety of blades for different weather conditions, such as snow or summer, as well as all-purpose blades that can handle the majority of conditions fairly well. Often one wiper blade will be longer than the other, so make sure you double check the sizes of both the driver and passenger side blades before buying.

If you drive a Nissan, then you may wish to purchase your next set of wiper blades from our Parts Centre. We often have advertised Parts Specials on wiper blades, so be sure to check to see if there are further ways you can save.

How to Change Your Wiper Blades

Wipers are made up of three parts:

  •  A lower arm that attaches to the vehicle. It is typically made of metal and has a hook end.
  •  The metal housing of the wiper blade. This attaches to the hook end of the wiper arm, and is connected to the rubber blade itself.
  •  The rubber blade that wipes the windshield.

Begin by removing your old wiper blades:

Pull them up and away from the windshield (be careful that they don’t slam back down onto the glass)
Unhook the metal housing from the wiper arm:

There is typically a plastic tab you must pull back; from this point you can pull the blade down onto the wiper arm so that the blade unhooks. Remove the blade while noticing its orientation. (This can save you time so you don’t install the replacement blade in the wrong direction.)

Do a side-by-side comparison between the rubber on the old blade with that of the new blade. This is a good way to appreciate how a wiper blade wears down over time, and will be valuable in identifying down the road when it’s time once more to replace your wipers.

Install the new blade:

  • Make sure you are using the proper blade for each side of the windshield
  • Place the new blade into position over the hook end and gently pull upwards to secure it. (This may require some finesse; don’t force it if the blade doesn’t latch at first. Rather, readjust until the blade attaches more easily.)
  • Once the blade is in place, secure the plastic clip to hold the blade in place. There may be additional clips depending on the make of the blade, so be sure to consult the instructions in the packaging.

You’ve done it! You’ve taken care of your own maintenance project, and made your vehicle safer and easier to drive.

You need your car battery for a variety of functions, from starting your vehicle to powering your lighting and accessories. It’s never fun when your battery fails to function properly. So if it’s struggling to hold a charge or turn over the engine in lower temperatures, it may be time for a battery replacement.

But don’t jump the gun. Before replacing your battery, you’ll want to be certain that the battery is in fact the weak link in your start-up system. Here are a few ways to tell:

  • Visual inspection: Look at your battery for signs of acid buildup. This will be a blue or white film developing around the terminals. It’s often possible that cleaning your battery and removing this film is enough to regain battery function or at least extend its lifespan.
    • How to clean it: Wearing safety gloves, first disconnect the battery terminals, then use a battery terminal brush to scrub off the residue. You may use an abrasive mixture of baking soda and water to remove the film and neutralize the sulphuric acid.
  • Charging: Use a battery charger to recharge the engine for a few hours at a low charge rate. Try the engine or test for a charge. If the condition fails to improve, your battery may be the culprit.
  • Alternator check: If your vehicle has a battery level meter on the dash panel, check the rating. If the dial is outside of the normal range, there may be an issue with the alternator, rather than the battery.
  • Electrolyte level check: You can inspect the electrolyte levels within the battery through the following procedure. Be careful, though, as this involves a mixture with corrosive sulfuric acid. Be sure to where both safety glasses and gloves.
    • Clean off the area around the battery terminals and wipe dry the area with a shop towel.
    • Open the battery ports two plastic covers that seal each battery cell port. These can be removed by hand by may require a flat lever like a putty knife for leverage.
    •  Check and assess the fluid level in each port. They should be roughly equal. If the level appears slightly low, you may top it off with distilled water. If the fluid is pretty much gone or evaporated, it may be time for a new battery.
    • If you have access to a hydrometer, you can measure the level of sulphuric acid in the electrolyte fluid. A low reading indicates a weak battery.

Does you battery fail these tests? Then you have two options: You can change it yourself, or you can have it swapped out by a service technician. Considering the overall low cost of a battery replacement, the latter option is preferable for the majority of people who are not avid do-it-yourselfers.

If you opt to swap out your battery on your own, your owner’s manual will have instructions for removing and replacing the battery specific to your vehicle.

Removing Your Battery

To remove your battery, first make sure your vehicle is resting on a flat, level surface, one that isn’t near an open flames or things that may create sparks. Be sure to wear safety gloves and goggles when you are working near the battery.

If you don’t use a memory keeper tool in your cigarette lighter outlet when you remove your old battery, your electronic equipment may reset in the process. To prevent any annoying reset issues, be sure to have all of our PINs recorded beforehand.

Steps involved:

  • Locate your battery. Its whereabouts will be listed in the owner’s manual.
  • Disconnect the negative terminal with a wrench and slide it off. It’s important to follow this order so that you don’t suffer a short.
  • Disconnect the positive (+) terminal in the same way.
  • Loosen any other bolts or braces that may be attaching the battery to its tray. This will vary between vehicles.
  • Remove the old battery and install the new one. Reattach any bolts or braces.
  • Install the terminals in the reverse order of how they were removed: begin by securing the positive (+) terminal, then follow up with the negative one.
  • Replace battery cover and lower hood before attempting to start the vehicle.
  • Test to see whether all electronic devices are working properly. Reset as needed.

What to Do with Your Old Battery

Your car battery contains many chemicals and substances that are environmentally detrimental if not disposed of properly. Do not place it in the trash. Rather, bring it to your nearest Eco Station. If that is too far or out of the way, you can also bring it in to River City Nissan, where we will recycle your old car battery for you.

Book a Battery Test or Replacement

Rather leave the diagnostic or replacement work to the professionals here at River City Nissan? It’s a quick procedure, and quite affordable. Request a service appointment and one of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly to book a time.

Although fuel prices rise and fall over the years like any other commodity, we’re guessing that you don’t instinctively change your driving habits once the price falls below $1.00 a litre. Instead, we’re here to help you maximize your car’s fuel efficiency using these 10 clever tips, all year long. Want to know how economical the new lineup of Nissan cars, trucks, and SUVs is? Browse our New Vehicle Showroom get the latest gas mileage statistics in city and highway driving. Ways to Get 30% Better Fuel Economy
  • 1. Slow down!
  • Want another reason to obey the posted speed limit aside from general safety and avoiding costly photo radar tickets? It turns out that most cars, trucks, and SUVs operate in a fuel consumption “sweet spot” between 50 and 80 km/h. How significant is this reverse bell curve? For example, traveling at 120 km/h uses 20% more to reach your destination than at 100 km/h.
  • 2. Plan your trip
  • Take some time to optimize your commute so that you can accomplish your errands driving the shortest distance and by avoiding traffic. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that a better route exists, out of habit. Try using Google or Apple Maps to find alternate routes before you set out.
  • 3. Drive smoothly Focus on accelerating smoothly, looking ahead to stop lights, coasting and braking gradually to minimize fuel use and wear and tear. Leave drag racing to the track!
  • 4. Don’t idle more than 30 seconds Have you been told that you need to let your car sit and run to warm up in the winter? Idling for more than 30 seconds really isn't necessary to protect your engine, particular in relatively mild Kamloops, BC winters. Plus if it’s really cold, your car’s interior heat up much faster once you’re in motion. What about fuel use starting vs. idling your car? If you’re sitting in the drive-thru for more than a minute, turn off your car.
  • 5. Drive with the windows up and turn off the A/C Driving at highway speeds, using air conditioning or having the windows down can decrease fuel economy approximately 30%. Taking comfort into account, drive with your windows up and keep the A/C off whenever possible.
  • 6. Use your cruise control if your car came with it, might as well put it to good use! Using cruise control helps prevent wasteful speeding up and slowing down, and thus extra engine strain, on long stretches of highway.
  • 7. Clean out your car! Did you know that having an extra 100 pounds of gear in your vehicle can reduce fuel economy up to 2%? Lighten the load and clear out your trunk full of gear that you don’t need.
  • 8. Use the right fuel grade If your car takes Premium gasoline and you’re filling up with Regular, your engine has to retard its timing, causing a lower power output and worse gas mileage. Always use the octane of gas recommended in your owner’s manual or printed on your gas cap. Also, using a higher-grade gasoline than recommended does not increase fuel efficiency—despite what the TV commercials might claim.
  • 9. Drive in a higher gear if you’re driving a car with a manual transmission, shift into a higher gear and keep your revs around 2500 rpms for optimal fuel efficiency.
  • 10. Drive smooth roads Gravel country lanes and unpaved, snowy roads sap your fuel economy up to 30%. If you can, choose roads that have smooth, clear pavement.
  • 11. Check your tire pressure once a month Big temperature swings can create fluctuations in your tire pressure. Make sure that your tires are filled to the manufacturer’s recommended psi by checking the guide printed on the side of your door or in the owner’s manual.
  • 12. Keep up with preventative maintenance Follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule to make sure that you’re not losing MPGs to old, sludgy oil, a dirty ait filter, a faulty O2 sensor, or misaligned suspension.
  • 13. Drive on less aggressive tires Unless you regularly like to drive off road in your truck or SUV, a smaller, narrower set of tires with a less aggressive tread pattern will give you much better fuel efficiency not to mention less road noise.

Coolant (also know as antifreeze) is a very important engine fluid that helps your vehicle stay at an optimal running temperature no matter the climate. Whether winter or summer, a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water works all year round. (Pre-mixed jugs of coolant can be found at all auto supply stores, but you can mix your own, too.)

Some signs that you may be low on coolant are that the temperature gauge is in the hot range and that your vents won’t blow hot air.

CAUTION! Never open your radiator or coolant reservoir when the engine is hot and running because the pressurized contents could eject and seriously injure you. 

Step 1 Visual Inspection

With your car cold and resting on even ground, open the coolant overflow reservoir (typically a translucent tank on the side of your engine bay) and check to see that the fluid level is between the “Hot” and “Cold” lines.

Also take note if there is any off-coloured residue or impurities floating in your tank, as this would determine that you need a coolant flush. (Note: coolant is usually red, green, blue, or yellow coloured.) Furthermore, oil in your coolant might mean that you have a head gasket leak.

Step 2 Time to Top Up

If the level is low, pour your pre-mixed coolant into the reservoir until it reaches the “Cold” line. And don't forget to put your cap back on once you’re done!

Step 3 Clean up Any Spills

Since coolant is poisonous to animals, make sure you clean up any spilled coolant on the ground and around your engine bay. Then be sure to recycle that empty container!

Step 4 Inspect Your Hoses

Before you shut your hood, give the hoses coming from the top and bottom of your radiator a look. If you spot any cracks, bulges, or the hoses feel particularly “squishy,” they will need to be replaced.

Your coolant system is supposed to be a closed system, so if you find yourself having to regularly top up your coolant, you probably have a coolant leak. Get your car, truck, or SUV repaired fast by booking an appointment online at River City Nissan in Kamloops, BC.

Checking the quality and level of your transmission fluid is another one of those maintenance services you can do on your own if you know how. The fluid helps you to shift smoothly and is another important aid in maintaining your powertrain, though it is changed much less frequently than your engine oil. But unlike with an oil change, your vehicle needs to be running in order to inspect the transmission fluid. Why’s that? Because an automatic transmission has its own fluid pump what must fill the torque converter in order to get an accurate reading.

Checking Your Transmission Fluid: The Steps

  • Parked on a level surface, with your engine running and in park or neutral, pull out the transmission dipstick. Consult your owner’s manual if you are uncertain where this is located.
  • Wipe the dipstick clean, then reinsert it fully, wait a few seconds, then remove it once more.
  • Inspect the dipstick to see if the fluid level reaches the “Warm” mark.
  • If the level falls short, you will need to add more transmission fluid. Ensure to use fluid with the proper viscosity or type of lubricant.
  • Use the owner’s manual to find the recommended transmission fluid type, along with the location where to poor in additional fluid. After topping off the tank, replace the clean dipstick and take another reading after waiting a few moments.
Elsewhere, when checking your transmission fluid, check for any metallic flakes or other visible impurities. Typically automatic transmission fluid is rosy or red, so if it is murky and brown, it may be time for a fluid flush. If so, schedule a service appointment with River City Nissan. Please contact us with any other questions you may have on checking your transmission fluid.
Wanna be cool? There are many reasons why your air conditioning might be blowing warm air instead of the cold stuff you desire. If you’re reading this tip sheet, we assume that your vehicle does in fact have air conditioning (and not just the controls) and that you have already experimented with the controls. If things are still not working, it’s likely for one of these three reasons:

1. A/C Compressor Failure

Do you hear a loud noise when you turn on your air conditioning? It could be a problem with the A/C compressor. This component is responsible for pressurizing the system. How can you be sure? Open your hood and observe the compressor as someone turns on the A/C. (You can locate it in the owner’s manual.) Check to see if it engages: its clutch will begin spinning shortly after you turn on the A/C. If this doesn’t occur, the compressor is likely in need of replacement.

2. Clogged System

Between the condenser near the front of the radiator and the evaporator in the passenger compartment, there is a part called the orifice tube. It can become clogged on occasion a small obstruction can prevent the refrigerant from reaching the evaporator resulting in a malfunctioning air condition unit. The system will keep air circulating, but it will be warm air.

Refrigerant Leak

Have you noticed a gradual change in the effectiveness of your air conditioning over time? This might be due to a refrigerant leak, which can occur at any part of the system line. Here’s how to check for a leak:
  • Check for wet, oily pools or streaks coming from the seal or compressor shaft. This is evidence of a refrigerant leak.
  • Find the sight glass under your hood. This is a small glass window near the accumulator that lets you peak inside the system. When the glass is clear and there is no cold air, this is often evidence of a leak. If you seem bubbles or foaming under the glass, you may be due for a refrigerant flush or recharge.
If there is a refrigerant leak in your air conditioning unit, it is fixed by replacing the leaking part. This is best left to a qualified mechanic, like the ones here at River City Nissan. Please note that it is also common for the level of refrigerant to reduce or leak over time. It’s normal to need an air conditioning recharge every five to six years, and this may not indicate a leak.

Diagnose & Repair You're A/C System

Do you suspect something is malfunctioning within your air conditioning unit? Bring it in to the River City Nissan Service Centre for fast diagnosis and expert replacement services. Request an appointment today.

Much like a person’s breathing and heart rate, a vehicle’s idle is a good general indicator of its health. If your idle seems off—if it seems unusually fast, choppy, rough, etc.—then it is a good time to identify and diagnose its issues.

Some issues are minor and easy to fix, others require expensive repairs or weeks in the shop. Here are some of the most common causes of a rough engine idle:

  •  Worn or Loose Vacuum Hoses

    Your engine’s vacuum lines control many functions under the hood, and this causes them to wear down over time. Inspect each hose for signs of excessive wear or loosening, and replace damaged sections as needed.

  • Worn Timing Belt

    Some vehicles use timing belts that can cause engine damage if they get worn down or off kilter. Consult with your owner’s manual to see how often your timing belt should be replaced.

  •  Poor Compression

    A ring or a seal may need to be replaced if your vehicle’s compression system is performing poorly. Compression ignites the mixture of fuel and air in your engine, and poor compressions not only increases oil consumption, but can result in several other drivability issues.

  •  Plugged or Dirty Filters

    Your engine needs the right mixture of air and fuel in order to run properly. However, each of these filters can become blocked or clogged with debris over time. Check your owner’s manual to see how often each can be replaced. This is often one of the simplest and least expensive maintenance functions you can do on your own, but it can be damaging if you neglect either system.

  •  Dirty or Partially Plugged Fuel Injectors

    These can cause rough or uneven idling, since your engine needs a proper stream of atomized fuel to the cylinders. Fuel injectors can be cleaned at our River City Nissan Service Centre.

  •  Low Fuel Pressure

    It could be your fuel pump that’s at fault. Low fuel pressure resulting from a faulty fuel pump can also be diagnosed from difficulties turning over your engine.

  • Troubles with the Electronic Engine Control System

    If you’re engine is idling rough AND your check engine light is on, you can attach an onboard diagnostic tool to check the error code and diagnose the issue. If you don’t have such a tool at your disposal, bring in your vehicle to River City Nissan.

  •  Malfunctioning EGR Valve

    The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve sends heated exhaust gases back into the cylinder for greater combustion. When the valve is blocked, dirty, or damaged, it can result in rough engine idle. The solution is usually to clean out or replace the unit.

  •  Faulty Oxygen Sensors

    The O2 sensor tells the computer how much fuel to inject in order to have optimal and clean combustion. If it’s time to swap out the O2 sensor, you will first notice a rough idle and lowered fuel economy until it is replaced.

  •  Worn Spark Plugs

    Finally, regardless of what type of vehicle you drive, once the spark plugs start to go, your engine will have trouble idling normally. Excessive wear, mineral deposits, or damage to the wiring are all signs that these crucial parts need to be swapped out.

This is another commonly asked question, as well as famous last words! Brakes are some of the most vital components in your vehicle when it comes to safety. If they are worn down or are no longer functioning properly, then your stopping distance will increase, allowing you less time to react to road hazards. More importantly, having worn down or malfunctioning brakes isn’t only a hazard to the driver, personally, but to everyone else who shares the road. There are many other reasons other than regular use over time that can reduce braking performance. Regardless, brake repair should be performed as soon as possible once its first symptoms are noticed. If you recognize any of the following symptoms of poor-performing brakes, schedule a service appointment with River City Nissan for a full brake inspection.

Common Reduced Braking Performance Symptoms and How to Correct Them

Pulsing or vibrating brakes Do you feel a pulsing or vibrating sensation under your foot when you press down on your brakes? Does the steering wheel jerk when you slow down your vehicle. This can be due to a malfunction anti-lock braking system, or often warping in the rotors or drums. Solution: Smooth the surface of the malfunctioning rotor or drum until it is smooth once more. Depending on the level of warping, it may be more cost effective to replace the unit entirely. Sticking brakes This is more common in older vehicles with drum-style braking systems. When your brakes fail to retract then it could be a sign that your brake springs need to be replaced. If your vehicle experiences sticking with disc brakes, then it is much more likely that the issue stems for old or damaged caliper seals. In either case, it is best to replace the malfunctioning part. If you feel that the sticking is not a frequent or severe enough problem to require immediate maintenance, do keep in mind that sticking brakes dramatically reduces the lifespan of your brake pads. Fixing the issue is always the more cost-effective solution. Squealing brakes If you hear a wince-inducing squeal every time you press down on the brakes, this may be a sign that it’s time to swap them out. The majority of commuter brake pads are designed with a metal wear indicator that scratches against your rotors to make a high-pitched squeal once your brakes have reached the level of wear where it’s time to replace them. If you carry on driving for two long after this warning sign, you may damage your drums or brake rotors, creating a more costly replacement. However, there are some other, more innocuous and innocent reasons why your brakes may be squealing. This is a common effect in dry climates after plenty of moisture or rainfall; typically the squealing disappears within the first minute of driving. It’s just a natural reaction to the elements. Once again, being familiar with the habits of your vehicle will help you to identify which issues are more in need of addressing. If your brakes are acting differently than usual, book an inspection with your local service tech. Brake pedal goes all the way to the floor Are your brakes nonresponsive? Are they limp, pushing right to the floor without any resistance? You may have a leak or air in the brake lines. The first step is to open the hood and inspect your vehicle’s brake fluid level, details of which will be listed in your owner’s manual. Wipe off the area around the brake fluid reservoir and remove the top to inspect the fluid. Does it look low, or dirty? If so, it may be time for a brake fluid flush. Nonresponsive brakes may also be due to a leaking master cylinder. This is more difficult to inspect and identify, and is usually diagnosed by eliminating all other common causes.

How much do brake replacements or repair services cost?

The cost of a brake job varies greatly depending on the procedure and which parts need repairs or maintenance. Typically the least expensive procedure is replacing the brake pads without also replacing the rotors. That’s why it’s highly encourage to have your braking system inspected as soon as your notice problems or sudden changes to their performance. River City Nissan offers competitive prices on all brake repair or replacement services, using the best diagnostic tools and equipment to get the job done right. For a quote or to request a service appointment, fill out our online request form today.

A vehicle’s powertrain is a system made up of key components that act in tandem to propel and drive the vehicle. Though this term is often a catch-all description to cover many different parts of an automobile, it typically covers the engine, the transmission, and the drivetrain.

A Powertrain Warranty is a limited warranty that covers the mechanical components of the powertrain and covers the repair costs if they should fail for any other reason than driver failure during the listed term period. Nissan guarantees the reliability of their vehicles for set periods. That means you don’t pay if something goes wrong.

If the basic warranty period is not long enough to satisfy your needs, you may also consider purchasing an extended powertrain warranty.

What specifically is covered with a Basic Nissan Powertrain Warranty?

Unfortunately, which parts are covered varies greatly between vehicles, even ones of the same make. The reason why is because there are many different engine types (standard, diesel, hybrid, etc.) and also many different transmission types (FWD, RWD, AWD, 4WD, etc.), all of which include different sets of parts. For this reason, there is no set standard. Ask your service professional what components are included with your powertrain warranty.

Think something in your powertrain is having troubles. Schedule a service appointment at River City Nissan and we will investigate the issue and verify your warranty status.

All new vehicles come with warranties. In fact, Nissan offers the best basic warranty coverage in Canada. When part or system fails due to unforeseen reasons (not due to aggressive or reckless driving habits), if it is covered under warranty, the owner will be reimbursed for the cost of repair or replacement.

Warranties vary, and all are subject to a time period or pre-determined amount of kilometers. Typically the warranty expires once either of these measures is surpassed. Once this happens, the manufacturer is no longer responsible for the cost of mechanical malfunctions or vehicle failure.

Extended Warranties

It’s possible to extend the term lengths of the basic warranty, or even expand the list of parts covered, through an extended warranty. Typically these are offered in bundles, but they can often be picked up piecemeal.

Is an Extended Warranty Right for Me?

Wondering whether it’s worth it to pick up an extended warranty? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Rather, consider the following conditions to determine whether it is the sensible choice for you:

  • Are you familiar with what is covered with the standard manufacturer warranty, and are you satisfied with this coverage?
  • Is the extended warranty transferrable, and might you possibly sell your vehicle before the end of the warranty terms?
  • Am I familiar with and do I trust the institution offering the extended warranty?
  • How reliable is the vehicle you’re looking to purchase?
  • Am I set financially to cover the cost of an expensive repair or replacement outside of my warranty coverage?
  • Will other drivers besides myself be using the vehicle, and if so, do they have sensible driving habits?

Get an Extended Warranty at River City Nissan

If you’re wondering which packages are available or how much they will cost, contact one of our financial representatives. They will be glad to assist you through the warranty process.