I certainly am not one to mince words when it comes to NEW CARS these days. Especially when the trend in almost everything these days is replace not repair. I just hate to see the hard working average man, who was accustomed getting 20plus years out of a good ol fashioned all cast iron motor, before a rebuild....spend his precious few dollar$ on something that makes him want to take a hammer to it.
Well, times have changed and many now opt for gadgets, comfort, style and metallic paint instead of grey and "brung"...and "it'll run til the doors fall off".
That being said, allow me to relate a personal experience with the Serena....Q-whatever you wanna call it.
My father decided to get one (Serena) as he was retiring and working one as taxi would help put bread on his table as he could not work as he used to.
The first 3mths (he bought it from Rally Mac at the time)....he was always glowing in appreciation of the "ride, the power and the 7 seats".
Then it started to waste fuel, and one day....he neglected to OPEN the rad to check for water...instead just lookin into the reservoir. From day one tho, he would tell me "son, come put your hand here....see? The bonnet hot like fire, even the fenders...you cant touch them they so hot...that's normal?"
I allowed it to cool and topped up the rad, and realised the top of the rad...PLASTIC of course, had a hairline crack...so he couldn't SEE the loss of coolant. And that was due to the original fans not being able to cool the motor.
1 week later , new fans, new rad (metal top & bottom) and it was still frothing.
And of course when I couldn't help he had to face the Grande Mechanic$.
We had to change the gasket....I thought. So, to save time I thought I'd just take the head off from on TOP and send it to shave.
Eh heh? Took me all day just to get that front engine cover off, by loosing all the mounts, canting the motor, and contorting my body. Well, off the Anil's Machine shop...took a few thou off and another gasket.
I almost made the mistake of turning the head upside down and let all the valve cups fall out...and oye...they are weighted and specifically set for each blinkin valve eh..and NOT numbered in sequence by the factory.
So, many hours later with more contortioning it was back together. It was just 4 days later Dad was back...frothing, hissing and misfiring. We changed a few coils, and that in itself took a few hrs...but eventually it was the block....
This over-designed-under-engineered Japanes master piece was an ALL alluminum high compression...gasket-less motor....I mean besides the head gasket the JAPS assembled this thing with the 3 part break away block and head with NOT ONE BLOODY paper or Teflon gasket...it was all metal to metal contact with a factory black silicone to seal the surfaces.
So, out came the motor...and my poor Dad, had very little money to get someone else to do it, or afford another motor which would have cost him about $9000.
The block was indeed warped as well, and so was the head,,,again.
THAT ENGINE HAD PARTS TO UNBOLT BOY LORD!
and it had to be dropped from "below-neath"
So, up it went, all silicone and meticulously assembled by me. And it worked well for a few weeks...and Dad was nervous to drive it but had to, poor fella.
He used to drive with the bonnet "released" so the damn thing would cook itself. And I actually followed someones advice to take out the catalytic converter....and that in itself drastically reduced the under the bonnet heat and from under the car as well.
He listened to me and got rid of it before it drove him mad. And if there was anyone who cared for all of his vehicles as if they were his only child it was my Dad. Meticulously clean and always serviced.
Just before he sold it to another Grande Taxi man, we changed the rubbers under the engine cradle...and chassis mounts for the sub-frame...they were ALL shot. And this thing was even doin 75,000km yet.
The most ironic thing is is that Nissan always had temperature gauges in their vehicles...always...except for this Serena their pride and joy for the commuting public.
So by the time that LIGHT on the dash lit up...the damage would have already been done.
That's what they did for their loyal customers,, and Neal & NAsty to this day do not inform their customers that the XTrails that carry a similar motor (Cash-Qui too) that the motor has overheating issues.
I have looked at the motor in depth and have come to the conclusion that it was the first of the "throw-away" 5yr life-span motors that Japan was putting out because of there philosophy that ppl were now onlky keeping their new vehicles for 5yrs or less in Japan,,,so hence the Intentional Shortened Work life of their motors. It is way too a high compressioned motor for such a small block and pistons...and the all allum construction and girdle was never well thought out.
Cous'? Doh make the mistake and buy no Serena just because yuh could make more money on the hustle eh...you'll kick yourself.