Frequently Asked Questions

The Xterra "Frequently Asked Questions" or F.A.Q. The first step in finding an answer to the most common questions.

General (5)

A collection of general questions about the Xterra that do not fall under any of the other categories.

Quite a few over the years, with the biggest changes occuring in the 2002 model year, including the addition of a supercharger option and a new front-end design for all models. This includes a new hood, grille, front bumper and fascia as well as headlights and foglights.

Other changes include a new dashboard(*) design (with small changes to the door panels), the addition of traction control and air pressure systems, a new wind deflector and modified ceiling hooks.

* One thing that has changed often is the dashboard. The 2000, 2001 and 2002-2003 (combined) model years each have a unique dash.

The next revision to the Xterra is expected to be in 2004 or 2006.

You can do either, or both - a suspension and a body lift. Using both, a total of 6" of lift can be achieved.

The Xterra, like any SUV - or higher-than-average vehicle for that matter, can roll over. This can happen during an accident or because of driver error. Drive responsibly, reduce speed when cornering and just be aware.

An SUV is not a sports car, and handles differently than even a regular car - most notably during cornering/turning. Since more weight is placed above the vehicle's center of gravity, inertia can have an adverse effect when vehicle direction is suddenly changed (moving or not).

A "mod" or modification is something you do to your Xterra that alters something from it's stock (factory) specification. Some examples include upgrading shock absorbers, installing an aftermarket air cleaner or exhaust, etc. Any way in which you customize your Xterra is a mod.

Extra points for custom, or one-off mods.

Gas mileage on the Xterra is often asked about. The true answer depends on a lot of variables, including driving habits, altitude, load carried, even the temperature on a given day.

The EPA estimate for the Xterra is not a guarantee or written in stone. V6 owners, for example, have reported a range anywhere from 13 to 22 miles per gallon - with the most getting around 14 to 18.

Engine (3)

While it theoretically can be done, the cost would be greatly prohibitive. You would need to switch the driver's side valve cover, the SC unit itself, and various other parts, as well as the ECU.

It would be wiser to trade in, and purchase an SC model, or a NextGen X, which comes standard w 265 Horsepower. The 2000-2004 crank out 170 to 180, and the SC only brings you to 210.

The "governor" is built into the ECM (Electronic Control Module) and cannot be easily disabled (you'd have to reprogram it). 95mph in an SUV is fast enough - don't become a statistic.

Torque is usually measured "at the wheels" so through a change in gear ratios in the transmission, torque is effectively changed at the wheels. There is nothing a manual transmission owner can do to change this except to change the rear-end/diff gears.

The 6cyl engine (VG33E) takes 3 1/2 quarts with an oil filter change, 3 1/8 quarts without.

The 4cyl engine (KA24DE) takes 4 1/8 quarts with an oil filter change, 3 7/8 quarts without.

Always confirm by viewing crankcase dipstick and maintaining levels between "L" (low) and "H" (high). Do NOT overfill!

One should always change the filter when changing the oil and a new copper crush washer used on the drain plug. Hand-tighten oil filter only (22-29 ft-lbs. of torque) after applying fresh oil to gasket.

Only recommended once the parts have broken in and never when new. Generally after 7.5k miles for engines and 10-15k for transmissions and differentials.

Use any premium SAE 5w30 weight oil (preferred) or SAE 10w30 if temperatures will remain above 18ºF. Some owners have switched to straight synthetic or blends after the engine has broken in (which is after at least 7.5k miles).

The oil filter is at the bottom front of the engine, behind the skid plate, which has to be removed first (six slotted bolts). When using a socket to reinstall the slotted bolts, be careful not to snap the heads off through excessive torque!

Instead of lengthening the gas filler as with most kits, you can raise the whole gas tank up. In the front, use two 2x2" spacers like in the kit and use 2" longer bolts. In the back, drill two new holes on the bracket and rebolt it.

As with performance exhausts, yes - absolutely. Increasing efficiency provides increased engine power regardless of engine type.

Purchase a K&N air filter cleaning kit from your favorite vendor. It is comprised of cleaning solution and spray-on oil. Follow the directions on the box - basically, soak the filter with water/solution mix, rinse and allow to dry naturally. Then apply the spray-on oil lightly and evenly until cotton gauze is red in color on both sides. Reinstall.

Never force dry the filter using compressed air, heat, etc. Also, never brush the filter in an attempt to clean it. This will damage the cotton gauze. You shouldn't need to clean the filter until you can no longer see light shining through the cotton gauze when held up against the sun or a bright light.

Stock paper filters should never be cleaned or re-used. Replace with a new unit.

Check your gas tank sender and/or fuel pump. After some amount of time/mileage, they have a history of failing possibly due to corrosion on the wiring. You can access the sender from underneath the back seat (giving you access to the top of the fuel tank). The fuel pump should be heard running for two seconds when the ignition key is first turned to the "on" position.

Check out this article for more information.

The non-supercharged Xterra uses 87 octane fuel whereas the supercharged models require 93 octane fuel.

No - it's pure snake oil. Save your money.

The direct air cleaner replacement from K&N comes with open-cell foam strips, which are NOT needed in the Xterra application. This cleaner fits multiple vehicles, and is for use on those.

The fuel filter only needs to be changed when symptoms indicate that a replacement is necessary, but folks have found varying amounts of debris as early as 20k miles. Your mileage may vary, and every 50k miles wouldn't be a bad schedule.

Typically a small rubber snubber that cushions suspension contacts (or prevents them!). Often replaced with polyurethane ones for better longevity and different characteristics (lower/higher profile, hardness, resistance to elements, etc.)

You can use 4wd (4x4 Hi/Lo) whenever you need additional traction when accelerating - 4wd will not help you stop in slippery conditions. You can safely use 4wd on sand, snow, ice, mud, etc. - do NOT use on dry pavement or even in the rain. Your drivetrain may bind and be damaged if the wheels cannot slip to relieve tension.

Yes, an incredible advantage. Lockers ONLY provide extra traction IF one tire will LOSE traction. With the front (IFS) suspension on the Xterra, the limited front wheel travel increases the number of situations where one tire will lose traction.

For this reason, a front locker makes an enormous difference, by helping to keep the front end pulling.

People who have added a front locker have experienced a giant leap in their capabilities, without additional breakage over rear locker applications.

Front locker equipped rigs in general are more capable than rear locker equipped rigs, despite the old fashioned tradition of rear lockers first, based mostly upon the steering difficulties the older systems used to present on a front application.

As with ANY locker, judicious use of the go go juice is required to prevent breakage.

Stop your Xterra. Push down on the transfer lever, and pull back towards you.

Reduce your speed to under 25mph (40km/h) and move the transfer lever sharply to 4H. You do not need to depress the clutch pedal and you may experience a "clunk" which is normal.

Overdrive is used when on the highway or any time you're driving extended periods at a relatively steady speed. Overdrive effectively lowers your engine speed by roughly 1,000rpm and is thus more fuel efficient when cruising.

It does not increase your performance and can actually reduce efficiency in stop and go traffic - using more, not less fuel. It is only available on automatic transmissions.

Unfortunately, yes - this is normal. The manual transmission is geared such that it provides tremendous torque at the low-end but with higher RPMs as a result at the high-end. Manual transmissions lack the "overdrive" feature of the automatic transmission, and a sixth gear. They're made for power, not speed essentially.

If running larger tires than stock, your gearing and (hence) engine RPMs will be affected (which in turn causes the speedometer to be altered slightly as well). One solution is a different ring and pinion set in the rear differential.

The manual transmission in the Xterra has five forward gears and one reverse.

Transfer (1)

Yes. When installing a body lift, the transfer case shift lever moves downwards about the height of the lift (e.g. 2" with a 2" body lift). Some body lift kits come with an extension rod, depending on the height of the lift (the 2" lift is less involved than the 3" lift).

Slang for differential.

Clutch (3)

Feathering the clutch is the proper way to activate the clutch pedal when changing gears. That is, rather than a sudden, jerky release of the clutch pedal, you ease-out when releasing it. This reduces stress not only on clutch components, but the entire drivetrain. The engine RPMs should match closely to that of the selected gear you're shifting into as well (see "double clutching").

There is a fine line between sudden release, feathering and letting the clutch slip. Practice this and prolong the life of your clutch! If you smell something burning, or the engine wails as you release, the clutch is slipping.

To double clutch means simply that you're raising engine RPMs to match your selected gear when downshifting. That is, when you downshift from 4th to 3rd, the engine RPMs won't be much different and your downshift will be relatively smooth with no "lurch." If you downshift from 4th to 2nd however, without double-clutching or bringing the engine RPMs up to match 2nd gear, the rear wheels will lurch and you'll place increased stress on the synchronizers in the transmission.

To double clutch, first depress the clutch and move the shift lever to neutral. Release the clutch and rev the engine to desired RPMs. Depress the clutch once again and shift down to selected gear. Since the engine is already turning at the selected RPMs, the shift will be smoother and you'll save yourself some wear-and-tear.

Odors can come from a variety of sources, but one such source is the clutch. If you smell a burning metal odor, it could be your clutch slipping/burning. Do not allow the clutch pedal to sit in the middle of its range of travel for any length of time. Either engage or disengage the clutch quickly and smoothly, with a little "feathering" as the transition. Allowing the clutch to slip will lead to burning/glazing and premature wear - an extensive and costly repair.

Yes. Warn and Milemarker make hubs that fit the Xterra. You'll need to enlarge the hole in the wheel center caps, as the diameter of the hubs are larger than stock.

Nissan also offers a manual hub and fits nicely without modification of the center caps, but at an additional cost over the others.

The Xterra uses automatic hubs, so no manual intervention is required at the wheels.

To lock your hubs, engage either of the 4wd gears through the transfer case lever. A short forward-driving distance may be required to fully lock the hubs. This is one reason some owners replace their automatic hubs with manual ones.

The Xterra uses automatic hubs, so no manual intervention is required at the wheels.

Stop your Xterra and shift the transfer lever into 2wd. Back up in reverse at least three feet before moving forward again. Your hubs are now unlocked.

They are conventional 4340 torsion bars made by Sway-A-Way for Nissan Motorsports. The bars are 26.5 mm in diameter and are larger than OEM torsion bars, which are 24.5 mm in diameter. They are approximately 30% stiffer than stock. Comes as a set of two bars, generally painted with a white epoxy.

Axle wrap occurs usually on vehicles with the softer leaf springs commonly used for either a cushy ride or maximum articulation. As power is given to the rear axle in soft sand, the tires begin to grab. The springs twist into an S shape until they tighten up to the point that the force overcomes the traction. The spring "unwraps", causing a loud banging noise and causing the rear end to actually hop off the ground as the spring uncoils. It has been known to cause broken axles, especially in higher hp vehicles.

The causes of axle wrap are generally the soft leaf springs mentioned, traction aids (lockers, larger tires etc), hp or any combination of the above. In Xterras the magic combination seems to be tires and lockers.

As mentioned previously, some claim it doesn't exist in Xterras. But that is just not true. It does happen when you hit the magic combination.

The part number is 48560-3S525.

The part numbers are 40232-8b500, the same for both sides and you will need two of them.

For the upper, 54053M and for the lower, 54050M.

Absolutely - and a good idea, too. Disconnecting the rear sway bar gives you additional articulation (allowing the rear wheels to droop further, remaining in contact with the ground vs. up in the air). Another reason is when using aftermarket shocks, which tend to be thicker than the stock units. When off-roading, the sway bar could come into contact with the passenger-side shock, causing dents - or worse.

This is accomplished by removing the connecting rod end on the sway bar on each side and let the components hang. After off-roading, be sure to re-connect these items.

If you off-road often enough, purchasing a set of "sway bar disconnects" might save you quite a bit of time and frustration. They replace the stock setup with an easily removed version that utilizes captive pins rather than nuts. Pull these and the connecting rod out and go wheel!

Some folks swear that removing the rear sway bar altogether doesn't change the handling of your truck ON the highway. You'll have to be the judge of that yourself and based on how you drive.

Yes, absolutely. Solutions range from $60 for a pair of 2" shackles and a free tweak of your stock torsion bars all the way up to $1500 or more. The more lift you want, the more it will cost, generally also varied by the quality and source of the components. Check the various vendors mentioned here for their product offerings.

The Xterra can be lifted up to six inches by using both 3" body and 3" suspension lift kits. Tires also add lift (new diameter minus old diameter divided by two).

Body lifts are generally used to give clearance for larger tires alone whereas suspension lifts are often used to also gain wheel travel or "droop."

SAS, or Solid Axle Swap - is a means of replacing the IFS (Independant Front Suspension) that comes with the Xterra to allow for greater off-road capabilities including larger tires, less steering issues and greater lift. Essentially, a solid front axle like in the rear is installed in the front. Generally quite involved and can run around $5000+.

The Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) does not function under 6mph (10kph).

The ABS system performs a test the first time the vehicle reaches 4mph (6kph) after starting which produces a mechanical noise. This "click" is normal.

It is an indication your brakes are nearing their wear limit. The squeal tab on one of the pads is just barely dragging on the rotor and vibrating to produce the sound. When you apply the brakes you're deadening the vibration and the sound goes away. As the brakes heat up the clearance between the tab and the rotor increases a smidge and it doesn't drag with the brakes off and stays quiet.

hey contain the hydraulic pressure to a better degree than stock rubber hoses (thanks to the braiding, they don't expand as much when the brakes are applied). This gives a firmer pedal feel and increased pressure at the brakes, for better stopping.

The braided covering also serves to protect the hose against sharp objects and abrasion.

They typically come in sets of three - two for the front (one for each wheel) and one for the rear (located centrally on a "T" connector).

Any decent DOT 3 brake fluid can be used.

Always use fresh brake fluid and never re-use old brake fluid! Keep container tightly capped when in storage.

The front brake pads minimum thickness is 2mm and the rear brake shoes is 1.5mm. Any less and they must be replaced. Inspect regularly at 20k mile intervals.

Do not allow brakes to go unserviced or you will cause additional wear at additional cost to fix (such as scoring the rotors, typically happening at the stage where the front brakes squeal and screech when applied).


  • Carefully monitor brake fluid level at master cylinder during bleeding operation.
  • If master cylinder is suspected to have air inside, bleed air from master cylinder first.
  • Fill reservoir with new brake fluid (DOT 3). Make sure it is full at all times while bleeding air out of system.
  • Place a container under master cylinder to avoid spillage of brake fluid.
  • Turn ignition switch OFF and disconnect ABS actuator connectors or battery ground cable.
  • Bleed air in the following order (does not seem intuitive, but this is correct for the Xterra):
    1. Left rear brake
    2. Right rear brake
    3. Right front brake
    4. Left front brake


  1. Connect a transparent vinyl tube to air bleeder valve.
  2. Fully depress brake pedal several times.
  3. With brake pedal depressed, open air bleeder valve to release air.
  4. Close air bleeder valve.
  5. Release brake pedal slowly.
  6. Repeat steps 1. through 4. until clear brake fluid comes out of air bleeder valve.
  7. Tighten air bleeder valve to specified torque. 61-78 in/lbs.

If you just change the brake pads you normally shouldn't have to bleed the brakes. After changing the pads the pedal will be soft, pump it 4-5 times slowly and fully.

Normal soap and water will usually remove brake dust from your wheels. If a sponge doesn't remove the buildup, a brush may be used. Regular cleaning of the wheels will reduce buildup much better than occasional, harsher cleaning.

Use wheel cleaners only when absolutely necessary and take care to use the correct type. Failure to do so will lead to damage of the painted finish on the wheels and center caps. Flush wheels very thoroughly after application.

This is normal if the vehicle has sat for any length of time in a humid environment as the rotors will quickly form surface rust. It will quickly vanish with use of the brakes under normal driving circumstances.

The brake drums will also behave in this manner, but these surfaces are out of view.

Typically, every 20,000 miles the brakes (e.g. pads, rotors, shoes and drums, etc.) should be inspected for wear and replaced/repaired as needed.

Aftermarket components include a rear disc brake conversion kit, upgraded rotors and pads as well as stainless braided brake hoses.

The Xterra features disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear with power assist and anti-lock (ABS).

The nylon pads on your steering stops may have worn through, allowing metal-on-metal contact. Apply a light coat of grease to the adjuster bolts and contact pads (four surfaces per side) which are found on the LCA (Lower Control Arms).

A steering stabilizer is essentially a "neutral" shock absorber - that is, it exerts no pressure in either direction as somel wheel shocks do. They do function similarly in that they absorb rapid movements resulting from driving conditions.

It is attached through custom brackets behind the skid plate at the front of the Xterra, located just ahead of the engine. One end attaches to the frame, the other to the steering center rod.

Several manufacturers have created kits (which include all necessary mounting hardware).

Depending on your needs and how much off-roading you do, modifying your steering system might not just be a good idea - but mandatory.

Stock components in several areas are either known to be weak or require modification as in the case of lifts. Good examples include tie rod adjusters (weak and prone to breakage/bending when off-roading) or modified centerlink/steering systems as a whole when more aggressive modifications like lifts and tires are installed as the stock part, again - is subject to twisting and quick wear, requiring frequent (and costly) replacement.

Less obvious solutions that also benefit the non-offroading crowd include steering stabilizers. These serve to make the left/right (lateral) movement smoother when encountering rough terrain, potholes or running larger tires/lifts.

There are several products available to clean and preserve exterior plastic trim. A good choice would be 303 Aerospace Protectant or Meguiar's Gold Class Trim Detailer. Mother's Back to Black also works, but doesn't last as long as the others.

The Xterra is body code WD22, whereas the Frontier is D22.

More postitive backspacing moves the rim's centerline outwards, making for a larger track - which increases the truck's stability. The stock rims are 5.25" whereas with body lifts, 3.75" is recommended.

It is not absolutely required, but a very good idea - especially on 3" body lifts. Lifting raises the truck's center of gravity, and increasing the truck's track compensates for it.

Interior (1)

The "shelf mod" is a form of shelf or netting, suspended underneath the ceiling in the rear of the truck. It can be made from regular shelving yourself, using a little ingenuity in mounting to the ceiling hooks... Or you can get an aftermarket product such as Raingler nets.

Under no circumstances should heavy objects be stored in this location. Strictly meant for soft or irregular items such as towels, jumper cables, tow straps, etc.

Exterior (12)

Not at all. The Nissan receiver/trailer hitch as well as aftermarket units all bolt on just under the rear bumper. Note that this affects your departure angle if you off-road.

Dupli-Color T177 Gunmetal is a near perfect match.

BSM or "Body Side Moulding" is a four-piece set of plastic trim, with a piece applied to each of the four doors in a horizontal fashion. It is meant to protect the doors from impacts, such as in a parking lot by a shopping cart, for example.

Apply peanut butter with a rag and rub briefly! Yes, this actually works. Be sure to remove the peanut butter when done, and no - the chunky kind isn't better.

Some exterior protectant products also serve to remove wax, or at least hide it.

Wash the vehicle as normal and consider applying a product such as Meguiar's "Back to Black" or similar to restore color and luster to external trim.

These products are best applied to dry trim with a slightly damp sponge, much like when painting with a brush. Long, even strokes. Allow the product to dry, then buff with a clean cloth. Apply a second coat if necessary.

Look under the carpet in the rear cargo area - there is a tool for removing the special screws for the wind deflector.

If you have a nick or chip in your paint, especially if it goes down to the bare metal - you should apply touch up paint ASAP. Allowing exposed metal or even primer continued contact with the elements will lead to rust.

The bottom few inches of the doors and body on the sides of the Xterra have a rough, or "orange peel" appearance due to anti-chip additive in the paint used on these areas. This prevents kicked up rocks or road debris from easily marking the paint and is completely normal.

The Xterra is fitted with 19" blades in the front and 13" blades in the rear. Owners have used 20" blades in the front with great success for a little extra coverage.

Yes you can install 2002 or later mudflaps on earlier models. The mounting method differs, so you'll most likely need to drill new holes. You might consider also getting the plastic trim piece that the front mudflaps mount to which is both compatible and pre-notched for larger tires. If you have 32+" tires, you may still need additional trimming.

Yes, you can. You can purchase just the deflector separately from an aftermarket parts distributor or your local dealer. You'll also need two longer screws to replace those two in the front, which aren't long enough stock.

First, if you have an in-cabin microfilter, ensure that it is clean and functional and not backed-up by debris, which can retain water, causing the musty smell.

Next, with the Xterra running, and the A/C on with moderate fan (disable "re-circ" mode) - spray Lysol Disenfectant into the grille/openings on the windshield cowl, just below the bottom of the windshield. Apply a liberal amount, then shut down the truck and A/C and allow to sit for a while. Repeat if necessary.

The in-cabin microfilter passes all air when in A/C mode (whether external/recirc mode is selected) through a medium similar to an engine air cleaner. It removes most dust and pollen from the airstream.

They are under the front driver/passenger seats, and are difficult to see from glancing underneath. Open the door and look in from the side, they're black plastic and about 1/4" tall by 3" wide.

The in-cabin microfilter is installed behind the glove box, and should be replaced every six months. It comes in two identical pieces - filter elements. The instructions that come with the replacement filters is for a Frontier and are incorrect. Instead, follow below:

You will need to remove four screws holding in the glove box and two additional screws for the metal latch. Remove the small black clip at the bottom of the two filters to remove and re-install new filters. Reverse removal procedure.

A relay is an electrical device that allows you to activate accessories (such as head/taillights, horns, etc.) which require a high amperage to run smaller gauge lengths of wire carrying less amperage to switches inside the cabin. One should always be used if installing accessory lighting such as off-road, reverse/back-up or fog lights.

Lighting (5)

There are three ways of making your foglights brighter. The first is to purchase brighter bulbs, which will also require glass lenses to replace the stock plastic ones. Another option is to remove the glare guards from around each of the bulbs and requires disassembly of the foglights. The third option is to replace them entirely with much better aftermarket units.

They are of the H3 halogen variety, typically 55w.

The stock fog lights are notoriously "inexpensive." If you see moisture within the fog lights, remove the lens and dry/clean - allow the reflector and bulb to dry naturally. Do not use cloth or paper towels as you may damage the reflector. Clean or replace the lens gasket if necessary and re-assemble. Replace broken lenses or seal holes with clear silicone temporarily.

Consider replacing the stock fog lights entirely.

The replacement halogen bulbs are the 9004 series for the 2000-2001 model years and the 9007 series for the 2002-2003 models years.

New bulbs are very popular "upgrades" but some exceed the stock wattage rating. Without upgrading your headlamp wiring harness or at the very least, replacing the stock ground run with higher gauge wiring - you will burn out the connector, generally.

An Optima battery is a specialized battery favored for use in heavy duty conditions such as off-roading, racing, audio competition or constant service and emergency vehicle use. They are a "dry" or gel battery as opposed to the standard liquid/acid battery found in most vehicles and as such, can be mounted in a number of positions (sideways, etc.). Also, they do not require any maintenance and will not leak if punctured. The "red top" is for most applications whereas the "yellow top" is for deep-cycle applications (repeated cylcles of full discharge/charge). The body comprised of six cylindrical volumes forming the standard rectangular shape and grey in color.

They usually have a lifespan of 2-3 years and have a tendency to die in cold weather and the stock batteries are notoriously weak.

Consider replacing your stock battery with an Optima Gel battery if you off-road. Generally, the "red top" model is chosen, unless you run large stereo systems where a "yellow top" (or deep cycle) is used.

When charging, your battery posts should read 14.3v DC with the engine running.

With a DMM (Digital Multi-Meter) measure the DC voltage at the battery terminals while the engine is running. You should see a nominal voltage of 14.3v.

If you're having issues, check your battery as well. They usually have a lifespan of 2-3 years and have a tendency to die in cold weather and the stock batteries are notoriously weak. Consider replacing your stock battery with an Optima Gel battery if you off-road.


Open hood and remove the stainless steel screw holding the blinker assembly in. Pull out assembly where the bulb is contained within.


Open the rear hatch and undo the two screws holding in the tail light assembly. Pull off assembly where the bulb is contained within.

For the 3.3L V6 (VG33E) engine, the standard plugs are NGK "Double Tip Platinum" PFR5G-11 (nominally gapped at 1.1mm/0.043in).

For colder, use PFR6G-11 and for hotter use PFR4G-11 plugs.

Clean out the rubber window channels of any debris (including the felt wipers at the bottom) and then wipe down the insides of the channels with baby powder. Clean off the visible/outsides with a damp sponge.

Should help in most cases, and certainly help prolong the life of your weatherstripping. Won't hurt the window regulators, either... They're notoriously sensitive to debris in the channels.

You could also use graphite, which is a little less visible since it's black... But it is *really* messy and can get onto stuff (interior, clothing, etc.). The baby powder is barely visible anyway, and no harm if it gets onto something.

Do NOT use silicone. While it's good for the rubber, it'll make your windows stick/chatter even more and leave a nice goo on your glass.

Occasionally (once, twice a year) spray some powdered graphite (lock lubricant) into the keyholes and insert the key... Use the lock a few times to distribute the graphite. Use care as the graphite can be messy.

Also useful on Stant locking gas caps, Yakima locking cores, etc.

Every 3,750 miles, using original Nissan (or better) components.

Check out the "Sixth Spark Plug Removal (VG33E)" article for in-depth information on this tedius procedure.

See this entry under Lubrication and Cooling Systems.

Wheel lugs/nuts share a thread of 12mm x 1.25 - the rest differs from earlier wheels:

2000-2004 wheels use a 6 x 5.5" bolt circle with a 40mm offset, while
2005+ wheels use a 6 x 4.5" bolt circle with a 30mm offset.

Yes, they will. SE models featured 16" wheels on these earlier model years. 17" wheels and tires will not fit without modifying the mud flaps, however.

The Xterra over the years has been available with 15", 16" and 17" wheels. All are 7" wide (except for the 17" size, which is 8" wide). The bolt pattern is 6 x 5.5" with a thread of 12mm x 1.25.

To accommodate larger wheels and tires on the 2002 and up model years, Nissan has switched mudflap design.

Nissan 15x7" and 16x7" wheels have a +40mm offset (5.50" backspacing, some say 5.25"). No data on the 17" wheels.

Frontier rims also have this convention, including the "Desert Runner" rims.

There is quite a complete reference on wheels available.

The cargo cover is a retractable plastic cover that fits over the rear cargo area to obstruct view of same, offering added security by concealing cargo.

Nissan offers an excellent 4-piece set of rubber floor mats for a stock appearance and decent protection. Husky also makes a set of floor mats for the Xterra, but feature a higher edge than stock to offer slightly better protection from slush and mud.