brake fluid NISSAN VERSA 2008 1.G Towing Guide
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2008 Nissan Towing Guide 10 SWAY CONTROL DEVICE
Sudden maneuvers, wind gusts, and buffeting caused by other vehicles can affect trailer
handling. Sway control devices may be used to help control these affects. If you choose to
use one, contact a reputable trailer hitch supplier to make sure the sway control device will
work with the vehicle, hitch, trailer and the trailer’s brake system. Follow the instructions
provided by the manufacturer for installing and using the sway control device.
GENUINE NISSAN PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
Whether you’ll be towing occasionally or on a regular basis, Nissan offers a full range of
Genuine Nissan Parts and Accessories to help you tow with confidence.
Every accessory is thoroughly tested and inspected for fit and workmanship. Therefore, you
can be certain that every item is designed to be compatible with the standard features of your
vehicle and designed to assist you with your towing needs.
Contact your Nissan dealer for more information on accessories or towing-related parts for
your Nissan vehicle.
BREAK-IN AND MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
Nissan recommends that you allow a sufficient “break-in” (500 miles) of both the engine and
drivetrain before towing with your new Nissan vehicle. In addition, for the first 500 miles that
you tow a trailer, do not drive over 50 mph and do not make starts at full throttle.
Keep in mind, too, that towing places higher demands and added loads on vehicle
components, so more frequent maintenance is called for. Your Nissan Service & Maintenance
Guide provides the accelerated maintenance schedule for towing purposes. Engine oil, filter,
transmission oil, and possibly other fluids should be changed more frequently when towing.
MEASURING VEHICLE WEIGHT
The key to safe, efficient towing has to do with weight. Your vehicle — SUV, truck, minivan, or
passenger car — is capable of carrying and towing only a certain amount of weight. You must
compare your vehicle’s tow weight ratings with the combined weight of the vehicle, trailer, and
their contents. This will help ensure that the total weight does not exceed any of your vehicle’s
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2008 Nissan Towing Guide 15 Always make sure your vehicle’s towing capacity is adequate for the trailer you intend to tow.
Buy or lease only quality equipment, and have it installed only by professionals. In addition, be
certain that you have all of the equipment needed for safe towing, including safety
chains/cables, electric trailer brakes, electric trailer brake controller, breakaway switch,
extended rear view mirrors, and so on. All of these items have been discussed in a previous
section of this guide.
With regard to vehicle maintenance, you should follow a more frequent schedule and
check fluid levels, pressures, tire condition, etc., more often when on the road. See your
vehicle owner’s manual for details.
LOADING YOUR TRAILER
Taking the time to load and balance your trailer properly will improve overall handling and
minimize the strain on your tow vehicle. Incorrectly loaded trailers tend to sway or swing from
side to side, upsetting vehicle handling. Careful loading and balancing can help eliminate
As mentioned earlier, conventional trailer tongue load must fall between 10-15% of the
total trailer weight. King pin load — if using a 5th wheel or gooseneck trailer — must be
between 15-25% of the total trailer weight.
Excessive tongue/king pin load can actually
push down the vehicle in back, lifting the front
wheels to a point where traction, steering
response, and braking are severely reduced.
Insufficient tongue/king pin load can cause
instability, which may lead to “tail wagging” or
With this in mind, proper loading is extremely
important. When loading a trailer, 60% of the
total cargo weight should be positioned in the
front portion of the trailer and 40% in the back.
Then, the load should be adjusted until the proper
tongue/king pin load ratio is achieved.
The trailer load should be balanced equally
from side-to-side. Unequal side-to-side loading
can negatively affect handling and braking. Once
in place, all cargo should be firmly secured to
prevent shifting. If the load should shift abruptly
during braking or cornering, it could quickly affect
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2008 Nissan Towing Guide 20 automatic transmission fluid temperature gauge (if equipped) very 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
While going downhill, the weight of the trailer pushing on the tow vehicle may decrease
overall stability. Therefore, to maintain adequate control, reduce your speed and shift to a
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
Do not use cruise control while towing a trailer.
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, or 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:
1. 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
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. The heater core in your vehicle is just like a
miniature engine radiator and will provide an extra cooling surface to help reduce engine
3. Run the engine at a fast idle (approximately 1,500 rpm) until the temperature gauge returns
to a normal reading. If the temperature does not drop or continues to increase, stop this
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
the hood. Never remove the radiator cap when the radiator is hot. If the cap is removed
under these conditions, hot water under high pressure may spurt out, possibly causing
*See your vehicle owner’s manual for additional indications that your vehicle may be overheating.