Looking at buying a used B17 sylphy.
Looking at a PDL & PDU series
Any advice on reliability and cost of maintenance?
My PDL G Spec is a December 2012 and has proven to be reliable (knock on wood). Now doing 127,000 came with 23,000 which I doubt was the real mileage. Disclaimer: most of the long trips were done on the Rio Claro Tabaquite/ Caparo Brasso Roads, with some being the Naparima Mayaro Road. Notable bad surfaces.
Issues at 100,000 on Trini roads:
- The steering rack is leaking
- Back left shock leaking
- One engine mount starting to go
- Two coil packs went bad
- Radiator fan went at 109,000
- HVAC blower motor replaced at 110,000
- Breaks pads needed changing (done before at 54,000 from OEM)
- Hood fading (parked roadside since she came in 2016)
- Driver-side door outside handle fascia lose - not falling off, but loose
- Fuel gauge stuck on "E"
I've had an issue with injectors because of bad gas. Other persons with the same model got similar problems after filling in Piarco NP. Brought in a US spec rail, replaced, and works well so far. At the same time, the fuel gauge got stuck, which seems to be an issue with most Nissans of the period. When I have some time I'll get it checked.
Tranny fluid changed every 50,000 with the sump coming down and the filter replaced. Rayotech is the preferred tech for this.
Parts are available. The MRA8DE is the same engine as the US spec, so eBay, as well as major US parts retailers, have OEM and imitation parts. I got Hitachi (claimed) ignition coils at Walmart for US$44. The blower and rad fan were replaced with f/used but seem to be holding up.
The parts which are bad are available at Massy (OEM) and Bamboo. Just waiting on some time to get the mechanic to get them as I don't know much about suspension and may buy bad parts
Mileage averages about 600km/ tank with mixed heavy traffic and free drive. If highway, or no traffic, the mileage is way, way better. I've got almost 750km/ tank.
The only real issue with driving is the rubber band effect with the tranny. From a complete stop, the power delivery is not instant. The transmission has to spool up before the power goes to the wheels. Kinda annoying, especially in traffic with someone giving you a chance to make a right turn, or when immediate speed may be nice.
The interior is cool. I like the flowing dash. Could live without the fake wood, though, but that's a give and take. Most people seem to like it. Climate control in the G Spec is great. Set a temp and forget it. The main issue with the cabin: no clock. The OEM radio seems to have been the clock, but a dedicated timepiece like every other car would have been nice. The OEM deck is 7" and sits within a fascia. Any 7" deck could fit in, but there are some larger 8" and 10" Android-based radios which just slot in with the finisher removed and connect to the OEM harness. I went with an 8" with a DVD player. It looks like the original, with proper English and many other features. Speakers are acceptable, with this model having pillar tweeters. The seats are comfortable, but the headrest with the anti-whiplash shape could be annoying at times. The door sills are wide and could result in dirty pant legs if not careful.
I had a 2006 Singapore EX Sunny (N17 Almera) before. The B17 was a worthy upgrade, with a more reliable suspension and, of course, more power for not more gas consumption.