Key Takeaways

  • The Nissan 370Z is a sports car made by Nissan since 2009
  • The 370Z has had its share of mechanical issues
  • The Z takes the place of the 370Z in the Nissan lineup as of 2022.
  • There are several reasons to consider the Nissan 370Z

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The Nissan 370Z sports car has a great history that has stood the test, but is it worth buying? What are some of the problems and complaints?

The most frequent concerns about the Nissan 370Z are centered around the engine and transmission.

  • Engine Issues
  • Oil Consumption
  • Galley Gasket Seepage
  • Clogged Catalytic Converter
  • Fuel Issues at Excessive Speeds
  • Rear Axle Issues
  • Master Clutch Assembly Failure

As a lover of fast cars that are fun to drive, I have always admired the Nissan 370Z. Since its inception in 2009, I have watched this sixth generation of the Z-line capture the hearts and minds of millennials across the globe. But then, in 2020, Nissan discontinued the sports car, and the world barely noticed. That’s unfortunate. The Nissan 370Z was a well-designed car that loved to have the throttle pushed to the floor. Its design and low profile slipped through the air like a hot knife through butter. That being said, the 370Z also had its share of hiccups that fostered an intense love/hate relationship with the car. Most owners of high-mileage 370Zs know that feeling because these are problems taking big bucks out of their wallets.

Table of Contents

What Are The Issues of Concern with a Nissan 370Z

The Nissan 370Z is a two-door, two-seat sports car manufactured by Nissan from 2009 - 2020. While many variants and tweaks to the car have occurred over the years, including a facelift for the 2013 models, the 370Z has continued to impress with its design and performance. The car has a 3.7L V6, and the 0-60 time was 4.9 seconds is slower than its cousin, the GT-R, but still pleasantly fast for the average American driver.

Heavy Oil Consumption

Most high-mileage Nissan 370Z tend to burn oil at an alarming rate. This should come as no surprise because the car's predecessor, the 350z, suffered from the same issue - (they had a very similar V6 engine to the current model). The issue was a headache for most owners who failed to understand why such a highly tuned engine should go through a quart of motor oil every 1 - 2 k miles. (It is not unusual to see an older car consume more than its fair share of oil), but this was more than owners wanted to spend time having to hassle with.

The trouble with low oil is that it can create damage to other vital components like the timing chain. If there is not enough oil in the drip pan to be circulated through the engine and lubricate the timing chain, then the chain has to endure more tension and eventually fails. In addition, low oil pressure can cause power loss, weakened acceleration, and even blue smoke pouring out of the tailpipe.

Seepage from Gasket on Timing Chain

The issue with oil consumption could also be attributed to the leaking from a worn gasket. Unfortunately, gaskets tend to dry, crack, and seep when a car's oil reservoir gets low. The galley gasket surrounding the timing chain was known for its excessive seepage. To fix the gasket (which cost about $25), the whole front of the car had to be dismantled, including the bumper, radiator, AC Condensor, headlights, and anything else that was in the way. So, imagine the consternation of owners who had to pay exorbitant amounts of labor charges just to replace a gasket.

Clogged Catalytic Converter

One of the issues that plague most 370Zs is the tendency for the catalytic converter to become clogged with debris and dirt. Over time, most cats tend to rust from the inside out as the car continues to flow exhaust through the pipes. Pieces of metal, along with the dense carbon from the fumes, tend to break off and impede the exhaust. The result was engine loss of power, rough idling, fouled plugs, and various other performance issues. Many owners opted for customized tailpipes, so replacing the cats was not a big deal, but it still cost them time and money.

Master Clutch Assembly

In 2017, owners had so many problems with the master clutch assembly failing that they filed a class-action lawsuit. The response from the company was to issue a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) instructing technicians on how to resolve the issue. The most common complaint was a leak of fluid from the clutch and a complete failure of the clutch assembly. The repair cost was less than a thousand dollars, but it still created issues for Nissan customers everywhere.

Lack of Fuel On Race Day

The fuel pump is located on the right-hand side of the fuel tank. As the fuel sloshes from side to side, there were times when the fuel pump would not receive enough fuel. Nissan 370Zs saw the track. Complaints came from owners who were trying to set track records.

Rear Axle Issues

As the 370Z ages, the wear and tear on the rear axle increases. The rear axle nut tends to slip away. Then as the car is turning, the nut slaps against the wheel, producing a clicking or tapping noise coming from the back of the car. The repair is straightforward, with the nut and appropriate washers needing replacement. While the cost is relatively minor, there were still plenty of headaches on the part of Nissan customers.

What are the Positives of Purchasing a Nissan 370Z?

Despite the issues listed above, the Nissan 370Z had plenty of owners who loved the thrill of the drive. There are several reasons to consider the purchase of this beautiful, peppy little sports car.

The Low Cost of Ownership

Owning a sports car is not for everyone, but for many enthusiasts, Nissan’s low entry price (just above $30k for 2020) made ownership possible. The American consumer loved the performance of the V6, a pretty well-designed engine, and enjoyed not having to mortgage their kids' college education fund just to experience the thrill of the drive.

Owning a Piece of History

There can be no question that the Nissan 370Z stands in a long line of Z-style cars made by Nissan. With its long snout and jaguar-Esque cockpit, the athletic stance appealed to car buffs who wanted to know that they owned a piece of automotive history. While the 370Z wasn’t perfect, the reality is that most of the issues happened in cars that had excessive miles on them.

Low Depreciation

A Nissan 370Z holds around 75% of its original value. The average for sports cars is around 50%. Many potential owners are snatching up the car as an investment, meaning their value will only increase over time. The Nissan 370Z will be a coveted sports car for years.

Reasonable MPG

The turbocharged V6 in the 370Z gets a respectable 26 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city. This gas mileage is one of the best in sports cars and works for owners who have made the Nissan Z their daily driver.

What is the future of Nissan’s 370Z?

Recently, the Nissan company decided not to make the 370Z anymore.

A New Z for a New Generation

In 2023, Nissan introduced their new Z car, dropping the number off the nameplate and calling the model the Nissan Z. The car is powered by a 400 hp thrusting twin-turbo 3.0 V6 engine. With a choice of transmissions, Nissan may well be on to improving the Z for a whole new generation of car buyers.

Where the new Z has made the most improvements is in the interior. The older 370Zs tended to be stiff riding, lots of plastic and just basic comfort cars, as you would expect to find in a sports car. But the new Z has made some refinements, like larger display screens, Android Auto and Apple Car Play standard, and better cup holders. The seats are also heated in the Performance package, which is a definite upgrade.

Who knows how long the new Z will last, but we are hopeful that it will stick around long enough for lots and lots of car lovers to get the chance to drive or even own one.

In the Not So Distant Future, EV will Push the Z out.

Nissan has committed to producing 50% of its global sales as EVs in 2030. While that also means that half of their fleet will continue to be made with internal combustion engines, which at the moment includes the new Z.

There continues to be tremendous pressure on auto manufacturers to electrify their fleets. Ford has had outstanding success in marketing the Mustang Mach-e, and while the sports car market might be one of the last bastilles of the internal combustion engine, it seems as if its days are drawing to a close. Eventually, even the mighty Z - line might fall, but we hope that it doesn’t for a long, long time.

Nissan 370Z Problems & Complaints: Are The Issues Worth Buying?

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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