Nissan 200SX: a Guide to Common Problems by Model Year
The Nissan sports cars of the 1980s and 1990s were a pure pleasure to drive. Your 200SX? No different --everything you love about them. Sought after as the coupe and hatchback duo were -- and still are -- it wasn't without its issues. Good thing you came to us here at Nissan Wholesale Direct for maintenance advice. Here's a few from each generation that you might run into, and what to do about it if you do.
The "S12": 1984-1988
200SX models from the mid-80s had thinner metal with inadequate rustproofing. So, you might end up with rust on the wheel arches and around the doors and sunroof. If sealing trouble spots, putting on a coat of rust inhibitor, and regular body inspections don't help prevent it, you'll have to replace the affected parts.
Does your 200SX steering seem sluggish when speeding up? A loose steering rack might be the issue, or damaged ball joints, or even worn-out tie rod ends. This is most likely on models from '84 or later. You can try to avoid the worst with regular steering inspections, but if that's not enough, replacing steering parts is recommended.
Faulty Engine Parts
80s 200SX engines were known for stressed engines that caused rod bearing failures, often during track driving or aggressive acceleration. That happens, and you'll want to replace both the rods and bearings with stronger ones. Also, timing chain tensioners from the era can slacken from wear; yours fails, and it'll further damage the engine for sure. You'll want to replace that as well.
The "S14": 1995-1998
Engine Sensor Failure
200SX from the later 90s stalling, or not starting at all? The car had a known issue with its crankshaft position sensor failing. There's no fixing the problem; it'll need replacement.
Bad AC Compressor
Driving a 200SX model from '95 or later? It can end up with AC problems, where no cool air comes out of the vents. Usually, a failed compressor's the trouble. Replacement is recommended, as that's not a part generally fixed. As with any service, if you're not quite sure what to do, it's best to have it taken care of by a pro, at a Nissan dealer or an authorized Nissan service center.
Fuel Injector Clogs
This was a known issue for 90s 200SX engines. They'd stop running right, and fuel economy would get worse. Keep up with regular maintenance, and replacement shouldn't have to happen. If you've already got the signs, though, it's advisable, and ASAP.
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