The Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV. The Armada showcases a lot of performance with its 5.6-liter V8 engine that makes nearly 400 horsepower. But its resale value isn’t the best compared to other SUVs because the Armada caters to a niche market. According to CarEdge.com, a Nissan Armada will depreciate 54% after 5 years. Generally speaking, Nissan vehicles tend to depreciate more compared to other vehicles.
Is the Nissan Armada Reliable?
The Nissan Armada has gotten a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 from RepairPal, which is above average for a full-size SUV. Interestingly, the full-size SUV category doesn’t often get good scores because repairs are more expensive and mechanic visits are more frequent. But the Nissan Armada is one of the best in the category despite its seemingly average rating, ranking second out of 14 in the full-size SUV category.
Despite its above-average reliability, there are several unsatisfied owners posting inflammatory reviews of the Armada on ConsumerAffairs. Many of the owners have reported that they kept encountering annoying issues one after another. One owner has reported that his vehicle simply stopped working in the middle of a freeway, and one week into repairs he was told that it merely needed a software update. Two users are furious because the Armada’s paint is starting to chip after only eight months of use.
Numerous Armada owners were disappointed because the problems seemed to be occurring because of poor construction and careless design on Nissan’s part.
Nissan Armada Problems
The Nissan Armada has many unsatisfied customers complaining about various issues. Here is a list of problems that have recurred the most in its 17-year history.
Early Nissan Armada models, particularly the ones made from 2004 until 2008, have issues with their brakes. The issue would start when the ABS light would turn on in the vehicle’s gauge cluster and shortly after, its brakes would grind and eventually stop working.
One owner of a 2006 Armada was driving one day when he pushed down on the pedal and noticed that it got pushed further than it normally did. Shortly after, the ABS light came on and the brake power slowly faded. Many owners have narrowly avoided accidents as a result of the brake failure that this issue caused. Some used their manual handbrake, while others were lucky to have a lot of space to slow down.
This issue is even more puzzling because no leaks or problems with the brake fluid were found after an inspection. The problems stem from an electrical system issue as well as a defective delta stroke sensor. The number of complaints prompted a lawsuit against Nissan. Nissan settled in 2014 by reimbursing Nissan Armada owners $20 to $800 depending on their circumstances.
Overhead Console Falls Down
Another frustrating issue for owners is the tendency of the overhead console to fall. This has been known to happen to the 2008 Nissan Armada. One owner has reported that his overhead console fell and surprised him to the extent that it almost caused an accident. Another owner observed that the plastic easily became brittle after a while and he noticed plastic bits falling off from the ceiling after some time. One day, he just opened his door and saw that the overhead console was hanging from the roof of his cabin, where it was only held by some wires.
Owners are infuriated because the overhead consoles that house sunglasses and the cabin light aren’t supposed to wear out at all. The less than stellar overhead console could have been one of the compromises Nissan made to make the car less expensive to produce. However, this has come at the cost of dissatisfied customers.
Catalytic Converter Failure
Several owners of the 2005 to 2014 Nissan Armada have reported that their check engine light turned on because of a faulty catalytic converter. However, the reason why their catalytic converter failed would vary. According to RepairPal, a faulty fuel pump caused lower fuel pressures that resulted in a leaner air to fuel mix. A lean air to fuel mixture causes the Nissan Armada’s catalytic converters to fail prematurely. Replacing the fuel pump alongside the faulty catalytic converters will fix this issue. However, a few owners have blamed a faulty oxygen sensor, which also causes the engine to screw up its air to fuel mixture.
Brake Pads Pulsating
Several owners have reported that their brakes would develop a tendency to pulsate or judder during light and moderate braking. Owners can feel this vibration either in their pedals, steering wheel, or whole vehicle body. Repairing this issue required all four brake rotors to either be resurfaced using a brake lathe or replaced. Also, updating the brake pads and other brake components should fix this issue. This problem appears in the 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2011 Nissan Armada models.
Replacement Nissan Armada brake pad sets can cost anywhere between $25 and $250.
Difficulty Starting Due to Rusty Engine Hardness
A design issue can cause water to accumulate between the engine and transmission wiring harness and corrode it. This will make starting the engine difficult. The engine would either crank but not start, stall after starting, or the transmission may not shift correctly. To fix this issue, replace the rusty engine harness.
The Nissan Armada’s tendency to run into catastrophic problems with its brakes, as well as numerous small problems, point to a clear oversight by Nissan. The sentiment of numerous owners in forums points to the conclusion that the Nissan Armada may not be an attractive option compared to other models in the used car market. Searching for common issues in a vehicle can be helpful because once you’re aware, you can look for them before you purchase a used car.
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