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The 10 most COMMON and COSTLY problems to look for 

when buying a used Nissan GU Patrol

You work hard for your money and making the decision to invest your money in a Nissan Patrol is a big decision. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way when it comes time to make that purchase so we have put together a list of key points to look for when buying a used GU Nissan Patrol.

By following these key points you can avoid the costly mistake of buying a lemon.

Nissan GU Patrol Problem Summary

Chassis Cracking

Dash Pad Blistering

Rear Barn Door Cracking

Steering Wheel Wobble

Radiator Support Panel Cracking


Front Swivel Hub Leak

Transfer Case Noise

Seat belt sticking

Dust Entry

Log Book Check


Chassis Cracking

Although the Nissan Patrol is a tough beast it can sometimes suffer from chassis cracking due to being overloaded or poorly designed aftermarket suspension being fitted. Generally the cracking occurs around the rear suspension upper spring seat and the side of the chassis rail where it kicks up over the rear axle.


The cracks may start off as small hairline cracks but left unattended can develop into much larger cracks and potentially complete chassis failure. When inspecting the GU Nissan Patrol it's always a good idea to wash the chassis first as the hairline cracks can easily be overlooked when covered in road grime.


Dash Pad Blistering

Acknowledged by Nissan Australia as a problem, blistering of the GU Nissan Patrol dash pad is common on vehicles that are subjected to high cabin heat over long periods of time. Nissan Australia has a service campaign to replace blistering dash pads on GU Patrols up to 6 years old.


More information on this subject can be found within the Patrol forum pages of nissanpatrol.com.au and 4WDaction.com.


Rear Barn Door Cracking

Cracking of the right hand rear barn door on the GU Nissan Patrol is quite common especially on vehicle that have had a larger spare wheel fitted, for example changing to 33" or 35" tyres. It can also be due to carrying heavy accessories like high lift jacks, jerry cans or water containers on the spare wheel.


Acknowledged by Nissan Australia as a problem, blistering of the GU Nissan Patrol dash pad is common on vehicles that are subjected to high cabin heat over long periods of time. Nissan Australia has a service campaign to replace blistering dash pads on GU Patrols up to 6 years old.


Steering Wheel Wobble

Steering Wheel Wobble or steering vibration can be an issue on both the GQ and GU Patrol models. There are many reasons wheel wobble can be present. Some causes are easy and cheap to fix whilst other can be expensive to fix. This YouTube video has some great advice for determining the cause of wheel wobble.

Radiator Support Panel Cracking

Although rare on the Nissan Patrol, it is worth checking the radiator support panel for cracking. most commonly caused by serious off road use, if ignored can lead to radiator failure and even loss of air conditioning due to cracking of the air conditioning condenser and pipework.

Front Swivel Hub Leak

The front swivel hubs allow the power from the front differential to be directed to the front wheels whilst still allowing the wheels to turn into corners.

Server off road use or lack of maintenance can lead to leaks developing around the hub and if not repaired can lead to a potentially costly repairs.


Transfer Case Noise

Steering Wheel Wobble or steering vibration can be an issue on both the GQ and GU Patrol models. There are many reasons wheel wobble can be present. Some causes are easy and cheap to fix whilst other can be expensive to fix. This YouTube video has some great advice for determining the cause of wheel wobble.

Seat Belt Sticking

Although not a safety issue or costly repair, this problem can tell a lot about the GU Patrol you are about to purchase. Owners who tend to be a bit lazy with maintenance will for sure forget about cleaning the seat belts. Seat belts that haven't been cleaned will be slow to retract and in some instances will not retract at all.

This is more common on high mileage GU Patrols so if you are looking at a low KM vehicle you may need to ask some questions.


Dust Entry

An often overlooked aspect when looking to buy a used Nissan Patrol is Dust Entry. Vehicles that have been subjected to lengthy off road trips tend to suffer dust entry around the rear barn doors. The dust ends up settling behind the trim in the rear cargo area. By removing the tail light globe access panel and using a light you can see the dust that has accumulated. If excessive question how much off road driving the vehicle has done.


An even bigger tell tale sign is dust accumulating in the tail light assembly.


Log Book Check

The Nissan Patrol Log Book is a great source of information. It will tell you when the vehicle was last serviced and how regularly it has been serviced. At a glance it is quite easy to tell if the vehicle has been poorly maintained and what warranty issues it has suffered from.


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Conclusion

When inspecting a used vehicle it is imperative you go prepared so take a torch, and overalls. A camera is also a good idea so you can remember what the Patrol looked like once you get home. You will also want a pen and note pad to record your findings. Better still download our free 60 point Pre Purchase Inspection Checklist so you don't miss a thing.

Don't forget to list any accessories fitted to the vehicle. Accessory products like bullbars, towbars, winches, driving Lights, etc. can be quite expensive so buying your Patrol with them fitted in the first place will save you a lot of money in the long run.

If after all of this you are still in doubt about the condition of the Patrol it is a good idea to have a vehicle inspection performed by one of the motoring bodies like the RACV or NRMA

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