A spacious and well-furnished interior, a strong drivetrain, and responsive road handling make the Infiniti QX56 a superb choice for a full-size luxury SUV. Whether you’re thinking of buying a QX56 or already drive one, it pays to know its reliability ratings and the issues it may develop as it racks up mileage.
Are Infiniti QX56s Reliable Cars?
The Infiniti QX56 is considered average in terms of reliability. RepairPal.com rates it as 2.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 12th out of 19 full-size luxury SUVs. Meanwhile, JD Power gives the 2011 Infiniti QX56 a quality and reliability score of 75 out of 100, which is considered average.
This model has higher than average ownership costs. It’s more likely to develop a problem that requires fixing or replacement, and there’s a higher chance that the issue is serious and needs major repairs. It can reach 100,000 miles or more with regular maintenance and immediate replacement of bad or old parts.
Top Infiniti QX56 Problems
The QX56 saw production from 2004 to 2014 before Nissan redesigned and rebadged it as the QX80. And Infiniti QX56 reliability issues vary in severity and frequency between model years.
CarComplaints.com reported that the 2011 Infiniti QX56 received the highest number of complaints. Meanwhile, the 2005 QX56 is considered the most unreliable model year. Below are some of the QX56’s most prevalent issues across its model years:
Strange Noises from Timing Chain
The 2013 Infiniti QX56 timing chain is an important part of the engine system, and it usually can’t be heard over the other sounds made by the engine. However, some drivers have reported hearing loud hissing, whining, or whistling sounds when they started their SUV.
The strange sounds would last for several minutes and the engine didn’t produce as much power as it should. Reports show that the noises can appear as early as 31,000 miles.
Replacing the timing chain usually fixes the problem. It might also prove necessary to replace the variable timing camshaft shaft sprockets. Some owners of the 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2012 Infiniti QX56 have reported this problem as well.
Chipping and Peeling Paint
The paint job of the 2011 Infiniti QX56 amplifies its sleek, luxurious style. That’s why some drivers were disappointed when the paint job on their SUV has a tendency to peel off.
Affected owners have reported bubbling, peeling, and flaking paint on the roofline above the windshield, the hood near the windshield, the rear tailgate under the window, and both sides of the rear hatch.
At first, the drivers thought something hard (like hail or debris) had struck the QX56’s body panel, allowing moisture to seep underneath the paint and reduce its adhesion. However, upon inspection, the peeling problem actually stemmed from a manufacturer’s defect. Air bubbles formed underneath the paint during the painting process. These made it much more likely for the paint to peel off the body panel.
Faulty Rear Power Door
One of the best features of the 2010 Infiniti QX56 is its plentiful cargo space, especially after folding the second and third row seats. A rear power door makes it easy to access the cargo space, but several drivers have reported that their gate stopped working properly.
The bad rear power door couldn’t close completely or open again, which would set off warning noises. The automatic openers and closers may stop working. In some cases, pressing the control button led to a grinding noise while the hatch stayed closed. The rear door could also fail to lock.
Other Infiniti QX56 model years where the same problem has been reported include the 2004-2009, 2011, and 2013 models.
Radiator Fluid Leaks Into the Transmission
The 2008 Infiniti QX56 radiator helps keep the engine running at a safe temperature. However, some drivers have reported that their radiator leaks coolant fluid into the transmission.
The radiator stores both engine coolant and transmission fluid. If the barrier between the two fluids cracked from wear or damage, the coolant and oil could mix together.
The increased friction and resulting heat will wear out transmission parts faster and reduce the excellent performance of the Infiniti QX56 transmission. When this happens, both the radiator and the transmission must get replaced.
Some drivers of the 2004 and 2005 Infiniti QX56 model years have reported similar problems with their radiator and transmission. In at least one case, the transmission failed while driving and the driver lost control of his vehicle.
Front Suspension Makes Clunking or Popping Sounds
The 2007 Infiniti GX56 usually keeps a smooth ride over all but the roughest terrain. However, the coil springs in its front suspension could wear out, resulting in the suspension making clunking or popping noises whenever the vehicle hit a bump or dropped into a pothole. Many owners had to replace their coil springs to fix this issue.
Cracked and Noisy Exhaust Manifolds
The exhaust manifolds transferred the gases produced by the 2006 Infiniti QX56 engine to the exhaust system. In some cases, the manifolds could develop fractures that leaked exhaust gases and made noise. Drivers of the affected units have reported hearing a ticking noise while speeding up with a cold engine. Some compared the sound to a diesel engine.
Faulty Fuel Gauge
Several drivers have complained about problems with the 2005 Infiniti QX56 fuel gauge. When they filled up the fuel tank, the gauge took a lot of time to update. It could also show inaccurate readings, such as indicating the fuel tank was 1/4 full when it’s actually running empty.
The Infiniti QX56 is a good choice for an SUV and can serve for many years if it’s maintained well. Whether you’re a new driver or a veteran of the road, it pays to read up on the most common Infiniti QX56 problems. This’ll help you keep issues from escalating and make the most of your SUV’s service life.