Prepping for road trip - 2006 with 130K miles

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Hey guys, my wife's 30th high school reunion is this summer and she wants to drive back for it (SLC, UT to Fargo, ND). I can't take that much time off in July, so the plan is for her to drive back there solo, and then I'll fly to Fargo, spend a couple days there, and drive back with her. Since she'll be driving back alone I've been trying to get the truck ready to minimize any chances of a breakdown. The last thing I want is for her to get stranded by herself with a mechanical problem. Currently it's running great but it is 16 years old.

Recently replaced:
Battery
Spark plugs
#1 and #3 ignition coils (had a P0301 that appears to be resolved)
Cam position sensors (preemptively replaced due to age and miles)

New tires and TPMS about a year ago
Replaced UCA, LCA, tie rod inners and ends about 10K miles ago
Brakes replaced <20K miles ago

ETA just did ATF drain and fill since it was just over 30k miles since the last

Planning to do before the trip:
Replace crank position sensor (preemptively due to age and miles)
Replace / upgrade the heater hose thingy in front of the firewall that apparently breaks easily

Any other suggestions that I haven't thought of? I believe the IPDM is original and I need to check my notes to see how old the serpentine belt is. I know it's not original but it might be getting up there.
 
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westslope

First Fill-Up (of many)
LOL! Here you are worried about your vehicle breaking down, and here I am reading and thinking, sheeet! I should do that too (e.g., the pre-emptive cam position sensors).

OCD a little? @outback, been reading your stuff for a while now. Your X is probably in better shape than 95% of the vehicles on the road! FWIW, and for context, all the successful small entrepreneurs and professionals I have known are at least a little OCD. Perhaps not clinical but certainly heading in that direction. My med student bound for psychiatry room mate in the undergraduate days way back when used to describe me as OCD. Not that Bertrand had any intimate experience with the condition. He used to fall asleep on his massive medical texts on a regular basis.

The only thing that comes to mind is to clean the air intake throttle body and butterfly valve. For the sake of smooth idling, dependable starts and smooth, steady acceleration.

Run your fingers over the serpentine belt and if it is not cracked or otherwise warn, I would keep it.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
LOL! Here you are worried about your vehicle breaking down, and here I am reading and thinking, sheeet! I should do that too (e.g., the pre-emptive cam position sensors).

OCD a little? @outback, been reading your stuff for a while now. Your X is probably in better shape than 95% of the vehicles on the road! FWIW, and for context, all the successful small entrepreneurs and professionals I have known are at least a little OCD. Perhaps not clinical but certainly heading in that direction. My med student bound for psychiatry room mate in the undergraduate days way back when used to describe me as OCD. Not that Bertrand had any intimate experience with the condition. He used to fall asleep on his massive medical texts on a regular basis.

The only thing that comes to mind is to clean the air intake throttle body and butterfly valve. For the sake of smooth idling, dependable starts and smooth, steady acceleration.

Run your fingers over the serpentine belt and if it is not cracked or otherwise warn, I would keep it.
Thanks for the reply. Maybe a bit OCD, maybe more accurately "BPC" (Being Prepared Compulsive). I just made that up, maybe it'll end up in the DSM one day!

The cam position sensor thing was one of those "while I'm in there" kind of deals. It was easier to do while I had the intake plenum off. Other than that, I must confess I have rarely fixed something before it was broken.

We take our Xterras on a lot of solo trips to out of the way places, and a tow truck would be pretty costly. So, while this trip is the main motivation to get these things taken care of, I like the idea of not worrying about them when we're away from pavement too.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Yes the "heater hose thingy" I mentioned has a good writeup by @TerryD here:

 

CAchief

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Only thing that comes to mind after reading your list is U-joints/CV Joint. Otherwise, looks like you got everything covered.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Why did you not do the PMF?.... it's so easy and quick and you get all the fluid changed.

A few reasons, none of them really compelling, but here we go:

1) Familiarity. This is the way I've done it (drain and fill) with both Nissans and Subarus and it's worked fine for me so far. I recognize I'm not getting 100% of the old fluid out but the old fluid was performing and shifting fine, this wasn't to fix a shifting issue.

2) I was working alone and figured with the luck I sometimes have, I'd have some kind of ATF fountain in my driveway and didn't want that.

3) A misperception on my part. I thought I'd have to remove the Shrock rad skid to even have a chance of doing the PMF. That is a task I loathe even after I hacked some larger holes in it to make it slightly less of a PITA. Turns out that maybe I could have removed the grille instead for access.

Maybe I'll try the PMF next time and say (not for the first time) looks like Rob was right!
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
LOL... There is no need to bother with drain plug doing the PMF. It's better with 2 people, but super easy with one regardless. It's the only way I've ever done it. Every two years.

Yeah based on some stuff I read / watched online I was thinking that to do the PMF I needed to access the lines from underneath, and so would need to remove the rad skid. But it looks like it might be possible to accomplish it without that. When you do it, are you just accessing the lines from the front through the grill?

It's gonna be a bit before I need to bother with the ATF though... with the exception of this upcoming trip, we're only driving this thing around 3K - 4K miles a year.
 
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