engine coolant NISSAN FRONTIER 2016 D23 / 3.G Towing Guide
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2016 NISSAN Towing Guide 17
WARNING - DO NOT modify your vehicle beyond those required for proper hitch
installation, wiring hook-up, or adding extended mirrors on any NISSAN vehicle being used
for towing purposes. Changes to the drivetrain, suspension, exhaust systems, frame
structure/unibody, or other vehicle components are not necessary for towing within the limits
described in this guide. These changes may diminish the reliability and longevity of your
vehicle, void warranty coverage or possibly result in loss of vehicle control and cause an
accident, personal injury or death.
When towing, bring tools including, flares, a flashlight, emergency reflectors, jumper cables,
extra fuses, extra radiator coolant, oil, and easily replaced spare parts such as taillight bulbs.
You should also carry spare tires for your tow vehicle and trailer, as well as a jack suitable for
use on the trailer. A trailer jack is an important part of safe towing. Choose a jack that can
raise and lower the trailer so that you can connect the coupler to and disconnect it from the
ball of your hitch. Choose one with a weight capacity that matches or surpasses your trailer
WARNING - Be aware that your automotive jack is designed for lifting only your vehicle
during a tire change. Using an automobile jack to lift a trailer-bearing load may be unstable
possibly causing it to fall off the jack stand which may result in property damage or serious
injury or death.
BEFORE STARTING OUT
Before starting out on a trip, make one last inspection of the tow vehicle and the trailer. Are
the tire pressures correct? Are the safety chains/cables securely in place? Has the cargo
been tied down securely? Do all the lights work? Is the coupler properly attached over the
hitch ball and secured using a locking pin? Is the breakaway switch hooked up and
functioning properly? Are vehicle and electric trailer brakes working properly?
Make a checklist of key items to inspect. Before towing, always check the tow vehicle’s
engine oil, transmission oil, and coolant before starting out. Finding a potential problem while
in your driveway is better than discovering it miles from home.
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2016 NISSAN Towing Guide 20
TOW MODE (IF EQUIPPED)
Tow Mode is recommended when towing a heavy trailer or hauling a heavy load, in stop-and-
go traffic, rolling terrain, or a busy parking lot. Driving the vehicle in Tow Mode may affect fuel
economy and transmission/engine driving characteristics. See your vehicle owner’s manual for
additional information about Tow Mode.
HILLS – UPGRADES
As the incline increases, if your vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission — it is
designed to select automatically the correct gear for the best towing comfort and
performance. To maintain speed or avoid up and down shifts, manually shift to a lower gear as
The added weight of a trailer places an increased load on the engine and cooling system, so
monitor your coolant temperature gauge and automatic transmission fluid temperature gauge
(if equipped) carefully. At the first sign of overheating, pull to the side of the road. See IF
YOUR ENGINE OVERHEATS later in this section for more information.
HILLS – DOWNGRADES
WARNING - While going downhill, the weight of the trailer pushing on the tow vehicle
may decrease overall stability, and may deteriorate overall handling characteristics, which
could result in an accident, property damage, serious injury or death. Therefore, to maintain
adequate control, reduce your speed and shift to a lower gear. If your vehicle is equipped with
Tow Mode, see your vehicle owner’s manual for information about the use of this function.
Avoid long or repeated use of the brakes when descending a hill, as this reduces their
effectiveness, and could cause overheating. Shifting to a lower gear instead provides “engine
braking” and reduces the need to brake as frequently.
AUTOMATIC CRUISE CONTROL
WARNING – In order to maintain a safe distance to the vehicle ahead to avoid the
possibility of accidents, property damage, serious injury or death, never use the Intelligent
Cruise control (ICC) system while towing a trailer or other vehicle. If the ICC sensor cannot
detect the reflector on the vehicle ahead, the system may not function properly.
IF YOUR ENGINE OVERHEATS
“A moderate increase in engine operating temperature is normal when towing a trailer.” If,
however, the coolant temperature gauge reading is abnormally high, if you are experiencing a
significant loss of power, or if you hear unusual engine noises,* the engine may be overheating
and you should immediately take the following steps:
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2016 NISSAN Towing Guide 21
1. Carefully pull your vehicle safely over to the side of the road, out of traffic. Apply the
parking brake and move the gearshift lever to NEUTRAL (manual) or PARK (automatic).
DO NOT STOP THE ENGINE.
2. Turn off the air conditioning and, after opening all the windows, turn the heater on to
maximum hot and the fan to its highest speed, and exit the vehicle. The heater core in your
vehicle is just like a miniature engine radiator and will provide an extra cooling surface to
help reduce engine temperature.
3. If the temperature does not drop or continues to increase, stop the engine immediately.
4. Being cautious of traffic, step out of the vehicle and, from a safe distance, look for steam
underneath the engine. If you see steam or leaking coolant, stand clear to avoid being
burned and shut off your engine immediately and allow it to cool. If there is no steam, open
WARNING - To avoid the danger of being scalded, do not open the hood if steam is
coming out. Never remove the radiator cap when the radiator is hot. If the cap is removed
under these conditions, pressurized hot water/coolant may spurt out, possibly causing
5. As soon as the engine has cooled to its normal operating temperature, visually inspect the
drive belts for damage or looseness. A loose belt reduces water pump efficiency.
WARNING - Be careful to keep your hands, hair, jewelry, and clothing clear of the
running drive belt and other moving parts when inspecting the engine and radiator to avoid
being burned and to avoid personal injury, or death. Keep in mind, too, that if your vehicle is
equipped with an electric fan motor, it may start without warning any time the coolant
temperature is high. Also, check to see if the cooling fan is running, and inspect the water
pump, radiator, and radiator hoses for leaks.
If you find leaking coolant, a loose or missing drive belt, or an inoperable fan, turn off the
6. If no leaks are apparent and all other components appear to be operating properly, when
the engine has cooled to its normal operating temperature; check the coolant level in the
reservoir tank with the engine running. Add coolant to the reservoir tank in accordance to
owner’s manual, if needed. At this point, if repairs are needed, go to the nearest NISSAN
dealer. See the IN CASE OF EMERGENCY section of your vehicle owner’s manual for
additional information on overheating.
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2016 NISSAN Towing Guide 22 NOTES – All NISSAN vehicles have an engine protection mode, which helps reduce the
chance of engine damage if the engine coolant reaches a specified temperature. See your
vehicle owner’s manual for details.
1 Maximum Trailer Weight values are calculated assuming a base vehicle with driver and any
options to achieve the rating. Additional passengers, cargo and/or additional optional
equipment will add weight to the vehicle and reduce your vehicle’s maximum towing
capacity and trailer tongue load.
2 Use of a weight-distributing hitch system is required when towing over 5,000 lbs.
3 The Maximum Trailer Weight and Gross Combined Weight ratings for 5th wheel and
gooseneck trailer towing are the same as specified for conventional trailer towing.
4 Most states require a separate braking system on trailers with a loaded weight above a
specific amount. Check local regulations where you plan to tow. A 4 or 7-pin type
connector trailer wire harnesses may be required for use with trailer brakes (available
Other Recommendations and Information – Towing performance and speed are affected by
vehicle payload, tow weight, road grades, and weather conditions, including high
temperatures. See your vehicle owner’s manual for details.
HITCH Located just forward of the rear axle centerline, this hitch uses a king pin to
serve as the pivot point for the trailer.
BALL MOUNT A bar that holds the hitch ball and is inserted into the hitch receiver. Also
commonly called a drawbar.
BREAKAWAY SWITCH A safety device using a trailer battery that automatically applies the trailer’s
brakes if the trailer accidentally becomes separated from the tow vehicle.
A breakaway switch may be used with both electric or surge trailer brake
BUMPER HITCH A reinforced bumper designed to accommodate a hitch ball.
BRAKES When the brakes on a tow vehicle are applied, an electric current is sent to
an actuator, which applies the trailer’s brakes.
BRAKE CONTROLLER A device that controls the electric trailer brakes.
GOOSENECK HITCH Located just forward of the rear axle centerline, this hitch uses a ball to serve
as the pivot point for the trailer.
WEIGHT RATING (GAWR) The maximum amount of weight each vehicle axle (front and rear) is
designed to safely carry.