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2010 Nissan Xterra brake or ABS issue

A month ago, after a stop sign on a cold icy day, my car seemed not able to brake properly. I needed to stretch my leg all the way and it felt like it would not stop. I took it to dealer and changed brake pads, which were close to need to be replaced. The brake seemed as sensitive as it was in the old days. However, this week, after another stop sign on a cold day, this happened again, just not as bad. But I need to stretch my leg quite some distance to feel the brake effect. Just wondering what could be the issue? Thanks!

If you mean your pedal is going far down when you brake, that would indicate a problem with the hydraulic system.
If you haven’t had the system flushed with fresh brake fluid in three years it is over due,.
You may need new flexible brake lines.
They may not have serviced the calipers correctly.
We’re the rotor thickness measured?
If the above has not been done, it is time. Your vehicle is out of warranty, you can use a good independent, non-chain store, mechanic.

If you mean the pedal requires more pressure, there is likely a problem with the power assist.

Either way, take it in.


Thanks, Purebred!
I meant that my pedal needs to go far down when I brake, and the pedal felt very light to push down. I have no clue if the system has been flushed or not in the regular dealer maintenance package. No clue about the rotor thickness. BTW, the driver side window sometime cannot move up/down and power door often does not respond particularly in a cold day. Are these also signs for an issue with Power Assist? Will find a mechanic and start from there.

I’d suggest the ABS was cycling because the pavement was cold and ice had formed and maybe your your tires were very old or very worn. There should have been a yellow “ABS” light on the dash when this was happening.

Test it yourself before spending money with a mechanic who will tell you they can find nothing wrong. Find a big empty wet parking lot. Accelerate to 25-30 mph in a straight line and stomp on the brake pedal and hold it as hard as you can. You should feel exactly the same thing you felt before with the pedal. Try and look for a yellow ABS light (hence the “empty” part of the parking lot).

I’ll bet that is what you are feeling and it is perfectly normal ABS operation. If your tires are more than 6 years old, they need to be replaced even if they have enough tread. They are old and hardened and won’t provide proper traction.



Thanks for the suggestion. I did not notice a yellow ABS light although I am yet to do the test you suggested. The problem persists all the time after that stop-sign stop, even at low speed. I changed new tires maybe 3-4 years ago. One thing I noticed right after that was that my car skipped noticeably more. I thought that maybe the dealer did not put on good new tires.

All tires are not created “equal”. My 2002 Outback came from the factory with Bridgestone RE-92 tires that were downright hazardous on slippery surfaces, and it is possible that the tires sold to you by that dealership are equally bad.

If you go to the Tirerack website, you can view all of the makes and models of tires that are available for your Xterra. I think you might find it… instructive… to see how your tires are rated on that website.



It is YOKOHAMA GEOLANDAR H/T G056. Just checked, its rating does not seem too bad on the website. But the dealer did charged me more. My original tire was bf goodrich owl long trial.