Nissan is a well-respected Japanese car manufacturer. They have had some hits with big cars like the Skyline as well as smaller city faring vehicles like the Nissan Micra. With over three decades of history under its wheels, this is one car that is both economical to run and simple to drive.
If you are thinking of purchasing a second-hand Nissan Micra, then what are the potential faults? In this article, we explore some of the widely reported issues.
Inspect the brakes on any potential purchase. If there is fluid leaking from the callipers or an abnormal sound coming from the front of the car on braking, then the most likely cause is down to seized callipers, which will require replacing. Also, be on the look-out for strange sensations whilst out on the road.
Worn Velocity Joints
Another common issue with this small Nissan city run-around is with the steering. Does the car shake from side to side on a test drive? Is there a generally shaky feeling coming from the steering wheel when you accelerate? If this is the case then you are probably looking at worn constant velocity joints in the wheel, which can be quite expensive to fix.
The engine on the Nissan Micra needs to be regularly pushed to its upper limits of performance out on the open road. Be suspicious of any car that’s owned by an urban driver. If the vehicle does not receive sufficient anti-freeze then the head gasket can blow when out on the road. Danger signs include a lack of performance, rough idling and slow response from the accelerator.
There are several problems with the electrical system in the Micra. Glitches with the
immobiliser, software and keyless entry system can cause the battery to drain prematurely. There are very few obvious signs of this issue, which will require an overhaul of the electrical systems, so question the owner and find out if they have found the car to suffer difficulties with charging and starting.
Certain Nissan diesel engines on the Micra are known to have problematic turbos, which can blow up. If the turbo has been replaced check that the exhaust gas recycling valve, which is often the culprit, has also been replaced on the vehicle by reviewing the service history.
Mass Airflow Sensor
When you are taking your second-hand Nissan Micra for a test drive be aware of a sudden loss of power whilst out on the open road. This could well be down to issues with the mass airflow sensor, which is known to cause some significant performance issues, requiring a complete replacement of the part.
Be sure to check all the door locks on any Nissan used car that you are thinking of purchasing. On the Micra there is a specific known fault with the lock on the car boot, which is prone to failure. If the car is still under warranty then the dealer will fix this, otherwise you will have to spend on the replacement part and labour.
This is one of those make or break problems that should completely inform your purchase. If there is a thumping sound when you move the lever or any stiffness then this should be a big red flag that the clutch is on its way out and this is not the second-hand car for you.
The Micra is a good purchase especially for anyone after a second car or for a first car for a new driver. Its combination of roadworthiness together with the huge number of spares available mean that it will never cost you too much when it comes to repairs and with a good fuel economy to boot – it’s an attractive option on the pocket.
For affordable replacement engines, gearboxes and more, check out our new and used Nissan Micra parts page.