UPDATED INFO BELOW!!
Since I couldn’t find any solid help on how to replace this often failing part, I wanted to post this for everyone else who’s engine stalled and got code PO335, which is a crankshaft position sensor failure. I’ll show you quickly where to locate it so you can easily change it yourself.
Here are other known issues with 2005 – 2011 Xterras/Frontiers/Pathfinders:
$$$$$ Your transmission is both air and liquid cooled. There is a hose that runs through the radiator from the transmission and back to it to cool the fluid. Stock radiators on these year models are known to crack where the transmission line runs through which compromises the transmission by leaking radiator fluid into your transmission. Nissan has acknowledged this defect, but will only warrant the vehicle if under 100,000 miles AND will only pay for half of the cost, leaving you to foot a $3000 bill to completely replace both the radiator and transmission. It ain’t worth it folks. TELL TELL SIGNS OF FAILURE: Is your engine temp constantly rising and staying hot unless you accelerate, temporarily cooling the engine until stopped again even though you’re completely topped off? Worse yet, has it felt like your riding on rumble strips unless you release the gas or quickly accelerate? As soon as you can, bypass the radiator completely by looping the transmission to radiator hoses into themselves (i.e. the radiator hose will come out and back into the radiator and the transmission hose will go out and back into the transmission rather than from the tranny to the radiator & back to the tranny) and have your transmission flushed, then buy a quality after market radiator and install it, then correct the hoses. That’s the worst known issue to date. A radiator is about $250 if self installed, a flush is about the same. Save yourself $250 and go ahead and put in a new radiator before it’s too late.
$$$$ Timing chain guide failure – There are little plastic guides that put pressure on the timing chain to keep it nice and tight, but as the chain runs across the guides, they wear out causing a very obvious whine noise when you accelerate that generates from the engine bay. Just press the gas while parked to verify that it’s not transmission whine. You can do this yourself, but expect it to take days and be a major pain in your ass, because though there are access points behind your pulleys, to make life easier it’s best to pull off the front of the engine, which requires a lot more time & effort. You’ll also need the right tools, plus radiator fluid, plus oil. It is a major headache and though more expensive, it’s honestly better to bite the bullet and let a mechanic do it for you.
$$$$ Catalytic Converter failure – there are not one, but three catalytic converters on these Nissan vehicles. If any one of them go bad, it’s relatively costly to have repaired. You’ll get a check engine light that comes and goes as the oxygen sensor reads right, then wrong and so on, and when you get your codes checked it will be a bank 1 or 2 failure.This again can be a DIY job, but I don’t recommend it for the common man. Due to the extreme heat, the bolts are pretty much impossible to remove without breaking, which means you’ll loose your manifold heat shields unless you spend the extra time tapping out for new bolts. The converter filtration system is made of gold, which also adds to the cost. The shop will charge around $1000 to $1200 to do it for you for one catalytic converter. Let’s hope it’s not two.
$$$ oxygen sensor failure – check engine light comes on, but everything is running fine? It’s probably a failed oxygen sensor. Have an auto parts store check the code to verify. It’s close to $300 just for the sensor, but there are three total so you may have to bite the bullet and have a service center diagnose and tell you which one failed, which they charge for – then self install if you don’t mind tight spaces, hand cramps and smashing your fingers with a wrench. These are rare failures, but it can be ruined if your catalytic converter goes bad and isn’t fixed soon enough.
$ Oil gauge failure – The easy way to tell if its a failed sensor is by turning your key to the 3 position (where your radio and power steering works, but the engine isn’t on). If your pressure gauge goes all the way up to high, then it’s failed, so don’t freak out like I did the first time that I noticed (while driving). A sign that your oil pressure actually is really high is either A. Your oil filter is crushed in like an aluminum can because you never change your oil, but rather simply add oil “here and there” and the pump is clogged, or B. Your engine blows up. This is a self install as well; doesn’t cost too much, but I don’t have exact pricing. An adjustable wrench and some silicone gasket sealant will do the trick, but you’ll also need an oil pan and a rag. This sits just a few inches from the bottom of the oil pan on the passenger side.