How Long Do Nissan Engines Last?

Proven heavy-duty and resistant to major breakdown causes, Nissan engines take durability up a notch. But as much as we want them to last forever, they have a lifespan that denotes their decline. So how long exactly do they last? We’ve researched the topic to find out the answer.

Nissan engines last approximately 200,000 miles or up to 10 years. But with proper maintenance, you can extend their life expectancy to 300,000 miles or 15 years.

This post will solely focus on Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE, the latest engine used in the most popular Nissan vehicles available today. Keep reading to learn about how to get the most of your Nissan engine.

A detailed photo of a Nissan engine, How Long Do Nissan Engines Last?

Is Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE Engine Reliable?

Mention Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE, and a top-rated engine is the first thing that comes into mind. Since its production in 2000, it has long been used in high-performance Nissan cars, and has become relevant on the market. So reliability isn’t the question, but what else can you do to extend its lifespan? 

A huge black Nissan QX60 at the highway

Engine Specifications: Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE

Let’s go over the Nissan 3.5 engine specification. Typically, it offers 230 up to 300 horsepower, depending on the vehicle it runs in.

Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE 

Displacement 3,498 CC
Engine configuration  V engine configuration
Total valves 24
Horsepower 230-300
Torque 235-274
Engine weight 315lbs
Cylinders  6

Nissan Vehicles That Run On 3.5 VQ35DE Engine

Dozens of vehicles utilize the Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE engine, but we only included the top choices: 


Specs & Power 

Nissan Pathfinder 284 hp, 240 lb-ft 
Nissan Murano 284 hp, 240 lb-ft 
Nissan Altima 182 hp, 178 lb-ft
Nissan Maxima 300 hp, 261 lb-ft
Nissan Quest 284 hp, 259 lb-ft 
Nissan 350Z 306 hp, 268 lb-ft
Infiniti QX60  284 hp, 259 lb-ft 
Infiniti JX35 265 hp, 248 lb-ft 
Infiniti QX4 240 hp, 240 lb-ft 
Infiniti G35 260 hp, 260 lb-ft 
Infiniti M35 275 hp,  268 lb-ft 

Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE Engine Oil Capacity 

Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE can hold from 4.4 up to 5 quarts of oil. The recommended engine oils to use are 10W-30 and 5W-30, but SAE 5W-30, such as Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, makes the best choice.

The reason is that 5W30's viscosity is unbelievably flexible. It starts and operates the car smoothly no matter the weather condition. 

A detailed Nissan engine

But, make it a habit to refer to your car’s manual when it comes to the recommended engine oil. Take note of the Winter Grade and Temperature Grade. The first one refers to how thin the oil should get at cold temperatures, while the second one is how thick the oil should be at extreme temperatures.

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Advantages Of Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE Engines 

Here are some notable advantages of Nissan Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE that you might want to know if you are planning to buy a Nissan vehicle that runs on it: 

Solid Performance

Those who have tried 3.5 VQ35DE can prove that it's a high-performance engine. Its power and impressive speed give you a fantastic driving experience. Indeed a great companion along the road that can take you to your destination hassle-free!

Also, Nissan announced that it has improved thermal stability, making it more resistant to breakdown even under extreme heat! Overall, there’s not much to complain about Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE engine.    

Fuel Economy

Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE engine is engineered to be fuel-efficient. You can run 62 miles with 2.6 gallons of fuel which is minimal compared to other cars. Not only can you more with less gas and save money, but you can also help the environment by cutting back CO2.

Less Expensive Maintenance

Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE is low maintenance. For 10 years, you can spend approximately $5,000 to $6,000. That’s already way cheaper compared to other brands.


Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE exceeds the value of your money! The great performance, low maintenance and repair, and durability are simply worth what you’ve paid for!

What Are The Common Problems With Nissan 3.5 Engine? 

Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE is great, but not perfect. We’ve listed some of the common problems you might encounter with this engine, particularly as the car ages.

High Oil Consumption

This is one common problem with Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE, and it becomes noticeable after running 60,000 miles. This might be due to a bad catalytic converter. As the engine gets old, it produces sand-like materials during the negative cycle.

The result is a comet-like substance that causes corrosion on the component. In turn, the motor oils are drawn into the parts it shouldn’t be to lubricate them, then burn off. If not addressed properly, it can take out the life of your vehicle early. 

Oil Leaks

This is common with other vehicles as well. It’s caused either by a burnt gasket or a worn-out oil filter. So check out those components regularly.

Burning Smell

This is related to the catalytic converter design failure. As mentioned, when the oil gets sucked into the parts where it shouldn’t be, it burns. It smells like burning rubber.

Carbon Build Up

Carbon buildup is another known issue with Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE. This can result in sap power or worn-out tire treat section, also known as flat spot.

Timing Belt Tensioner

This can be caused by an overstretched timing chain or worn-out internal components. The first sign of the problem includes rattling noise. It can get worse after 90,000 miles. 

Best Upgrades For Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE

A detailed photo of a Nissan engine

  • Mapping or remapping is the process of configuring the car’s microchip or Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to maximize your car’s full potential. However, it will overwrite the manufacturer’s setting. 
  • Fast cam road gives your ultimate power and speed. But this must be performed by someone who is knowledgeable about mechanical upgrades. 
  • Intake and exhaust modifications make your car looks cooler. Also, it can improve horsepower by 2-5%.  
  • Turbocharger and supercharger upgrades improve air supply. This allows your engine to burn more fuel, hence greater speed, and power. However, it’s one of the most expensive upgrades.
  • Head work helps air flow into the engine more smoothly while reducing turbulence.

Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE Maintenance And Cost

Nissan maintenance costs $500 a year, depending on the model. See the price differences below: 

Nissan Car Model Maintenance Cost Per Year
Nissan Pathfinder $542
Nissan Murano   $507
Nissan Altima  $483
Nissan Maxima   $467
Nissan Quest $659
Nissan 350Z $452
Infiniti QX60   $639
Infiniti JX35 $837
Infiniti QX4  $472
Infiniti G35  $476
Infiniti M35 $605

Infiniti JX35 is a high-performance car with improved reliability; hence, its maintenance costs higher than that of the other models.

What To Expect With Nissan Car Routine Maintenance?

As your car ages, the more advanced the maintenance becomes. Check out the service mileage inclusion: 

Service Interval Repair Parts
5,000 miles to 7,500 miles Tire rotation, oil change, and oil filter change 
15k miles  Cabin air filter swap/replacement
30k miles  Air filter replacement and brake fluid refill
60k miles Sparks plug tune-up, battery, and disc brake pads replacement
90k miles Timing belt replacement, power steering fluid change
100k miles Transmission fluid and coolant change

This is the general maintenance schedule for Nissan vehicles, and your car might be different, so please refer to your manual for a specific interval. 

Why Is Regular Car Maintenance Essential?

A Nissan GTR with the hood open showing the engine

Periodic maintenance not just maximizes the performance of your car, but also improves its lifespan. Here are some more reasons not to skip it: 

  • Makes you feel safe: Car maintenance prevents car components from wearing out and serious problems. It takes away your worries while driving on the road. 
  • Maximizes car performance: This includes basic and critical parts repair that are crucial to your car’s operation. With improved components, your can function at full potential. 
  • Saves money: Regular car maintenance deters costly repairs, allowing you to save up money and allot it to other important things.   
  • Saves you time: When your car breaks down in the middle of the road, it will consume much of your time. But by keeping up with the car maintenance, problems will be detected early, and you won’t get stuck on the road.
  • Keeps your car value: As car ages, they lose value due to wear and tear. But by maintaining your car, you can set it at a good price in case you plan to sell it in the future.


A line up black Nissan Altima

Nissan Nissan 3.5 VQ35DE is one of the most dependable car engines in the market today. It can last up to 10 years or 200,00 miles. But with proper maintenance and repair, you can stretch its life expectancy to 15 to 20 years.

If you liked this post, you might also like: 

How Many Miles Can A Honda Accord Last?

How Long Will A Hyundai Ioniq Last? 

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