See THIS VCDdriver…is something I never considered. My wife drives it to/from work. Def could be an elapsed time thing. Thanks for that input. I’ll keep that in mind going forward
Nevada_545 I will check that out thank you.
I will report back when I either figure this out or give up
Please check the Nissan Maintenance Schedule to see exactly what they specify in terms of both elapsed time intervals and odometer mileage intervals for oil changes.
For reasons that I will probably never understand, most motorists focus solely on the odometer mileage factor, but their eyes seem to glaze over about the elapsed time factor for oil changes, and that can lead to some serious oil sludging issues.
While I will defer to Nissan’s recommendations, most times one should not go longer than 6 months between oil changes, no matter how few miles have been driven. Yes, I am aware that BMW and other European mfrs may specify longer intervals, but they also specify different oils than US, Japanese, and Korean mfrs.
I will throw another comment into the mix.
I used to have a car with VQ40DE, which is definitely the older and bigger relative of VQ35DD, but seems to be direct predecessor.
I bought this beast with 150K miles on it and on the shallow check it was not sludged at all, even when inspected with snake-cam via the oil-fill port.
I had to fix timing chain myself due to secondary chains over-stretch and eating into the plastic tensioners - it’s the VQ40DE “birthmark” of the era
my comment #1 for @tronious_177195 is: the area behind the front/timing cover was covered with heavy oil deposits… not sludge per se… but it was nasty heavy… and this is not the first engine I open, so I had references to compare.
you may simply do not see the extent to which it is sludged on the shallow look
my comment #2 is: while my SUV ran “great”, I found substantial wear on the back-sides of the exhaust valve camshaft lobes, due to the secondary chains over-stretch and “jumps” as valve springs were “rushing” the camshafts with their tension and chains were “giving up” to as much as free-play they had
I did not get this car to the point where it was throwing any codes, yet I can assume it was just not “smart” enought for that as only one of valve sides (intake? don’t remember…) has the VVT controls
when I finished my repair, I finally understood how far my perception of “runs good” was from the real thing… it was like a new engine!
one thing to add: my VQ40DE managed to get oil dirty quite fast - by 2-3K miles it would be dark and I would not venture to exceed the recommended 3750…7500 interval, even although I used full-synthetic oil, I changed at no more than 5000 and no more than 6 months
It may in fact not be damaging to the motor. The problem may be that this problem could increase emissions. In other words it might be message from the EPA telling you to get the problem repaired otherwise you have to drive in low power mode. My guess, the transmission judder code is not related. I concur w/Nevada’s advice above, replace the exhaust VVT solenoid.
If you like you could use the forum search feature here, link upper right this page. Problem reports about VVT solenoids are not uncommon, and often related to oil sludge. Your oil chane schedule may not be the cause, could have nothing todo with the problem. However w/VVT engines, common sense says error on the side of replacing the oil/filter too often than not often enough.