Eventually, it’s common for a VQ35DE Nissan engine to have problems like timing chain failure. While the 3.5 liter V6 VQ35DE engine found in the 2004 to 2008 Nissan Maxima and other Nissan vehicles is known for being reliable, no engine is perfect. This post and video reviews the top 3 problems this engine runs into and how to fix them yourself.
Top 3 Nissan 3.5-Liter V6 VQ35DE Engine Problems
1. Ignition Coil Failure
Symptoms of Failing Ignition Coils
- Rough running engine
- Check engine light on that’s possibly flashing
How to Fix Bad Ignition Coils
Three ignition coils are on the side of the engine located closer to the front of the car. You’ll need to remove the intake to access the coils on the other side.
If the VQ35DE engine has a bad ignition coil, replace it as soon as possible. Not fixing the bad ignition coil could cause damage to the catalytic convertors and other ignition coils. We recommend replacing all of the coils and spark plugs at the same time, which are located underneath the coil.
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2. Camshaft Position Sensor Failure
Symptoms of Failing Cam Sensors
- Engine stalling while driving
- Oil leaking from the sensor
Causes of a Bad Camshaft Sensor
The camshaft sensors read the position of the camshaft as it’s spinning, but these are known to fail on the VQ35DE engine.
How to Fix a Defective Cam Sensor
The cam sensors are on the back of the head. There is one on bank 2, and one on the other bank.
The cam sensors are fairly easy to replace. Press the tab on the connector and disconnect it. Remove the 10mm bolt and remove the sensor.
3. Timing Chain Failure
Symptoms of Timing Chain Failure
Causes of a Bad Timing Chain
The timing chain is underneath a protective cover. It’s not usually the timing chain that fails, but the tensioner and guides wear out and loosen the chain. This can cause the timing to jump, which can cause internal engine damage. You want to fix the timing chain as soon as possible.
How to Fix Timing Chain Failure
It’s a detailed job to fix the timing chain with this engine. You’ll have to remove all parts in front of the timing chain, the timing remove cover, and the chain, guides, and tensioners. The timing chain is not a maintenance item, but you want to fix any problems with it right away.
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