check engine NISSAN VERSA 2010 1.G Towing Guide
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2010 Nissan Towing Guide 15
Towing can significantly alter the handling and performance characteristics of your vehicle.
Plus, it puts increased strain on the engine and drivetrain. Therefore, it is always a good idea
to approach towing from the standpoint of safety — whether you are purchasing equipment or
actually pulling the trailer.
Always make sure your vehicle’s towing capacity is adequate for the trailer you intend to
tow. Buy or lease only quality equipment. In addition, be certain that you have all of the
equipment needed for safe towing, such as safety chains/cables, electric trailer brakes,
electric trailer brake controller, breakaway switch, and extended rear view mirrors.
You should follow a more frequent maintenance 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, or within the limits of the maximum trailer tongue load specified by the
trailer manufacturer. 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.
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2010 Nissan Towing Guide 16 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
the handling of your vehicle and cause a very
Finally, do not carry flammable materials, such
as gasoline, in your trailer. In the event of an accident, an explosion or fire could occur.
ENSURING VEHICLE/TRAILER STABILITY
Improper loading, excessive or insufficient trailer tongue/king pin load, overloading, excessive
trailer weight, poorly designed trailer suspensions, crosswinds, and poor maintenance are all
things that can affect the stability of your vehicle and trailer combination.
If swaying does occur, check the cargo load for proper balance and distribution to ensure
proper trailer tongue/king pin load. In addition, check the condition of the suspension and
shocks, as well as the tires, tire pressures, and wheel bearings on both the tow vehicle and
If the swaying continues and your trailer is suitably balanced and within the towing capacity
limits of your vehicle, discontinue towing and consult your Nissan dealer or trailer
manufacturer to determine the problem.
Please note that some states have specific regulations and speed limits for vehicles that are
towing trailers. Remember to reduce your speed in unsafe or less-than-ideal road conditions
or weather. When towing a trailer, braking distances increase while handling agility decreases.
Always leave yourself an extra margin of distance to respond to emergency situations.
Never allow passengers to ride inside a trailer while it is being towed. Not only is this
unlawful in most areas, passengers could be seriously injured during sudden trailer movement
or in an accident. In addition, trailers may allow fumes from the tow vehicle to leak inside. This
could result in carbon monoxide poisoning from the engine exhaust.
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2010 Nissan Towing Guide 17 VEHICLE MODIFICATIONS
Vehicle modifications — beyond those required for proper hitch installation, wiring hook-up,
and necessary cooling system upgrading — are not recommended for 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 and possibly void warranty coverage.
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. Be aware that not all automotive jacks can be used safely on a trailer.
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? Is the cargo 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 be inspected. When towing, vehicle engine oil,
transmission oil, and coolant should always be checked before starting out. Finding a potential
problem while in your driveway is better than discovering it miles from home.
If you have never towed a trailer before, be aware that it does take getting used to. To begin
with, towing noticeably affects your vehicle’s performance:
Š It will not accelerate as quickly — an important point to keep in mind when merging onto a
Š It will not stop as quickly. Leave more room than usual between you and the traffic ahead,
and brake sooner when coming to a stop.
Š Abrupt maneuvering can unbalance the load and reduce the handling and stability of your
tow vehicle. Plan ahead and make lane changes and turns smoothly.
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2010 Nissan Towing Guide 21 the hood. Never remove the radiator cap when the radiator is hot. If the cap is removed
under these conditions, hot water/coolant under high pressure may spurt out, possibly
causing serious injury.
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. 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. Also check to see if the
cooling fan is running, and inspect the water pump, radiator, and radiator hoses for leaks.
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. If you find leaking coolant, a
loose or missing drive belt, or an inoperable fan, turn off the engine immediately.
6. If no leaks are apparent and all other components appear to be operating properly with
the engine cooled to its normal operating temperature, check the coolant level in the
reservoir tank with the engine running. Add coolant to the reservoir tank if needed. At this
point, if repairs are required, go to the nearest Nissan dealer. See the IN CASE OF
EMERGENCY section of your vehicle owner’s manual for additional information on
NOTE – 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.
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 it should accidentally become 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.
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2010 Nissan Towing Guide 25
Passenger Vehicles – The towing capacity for Altima (Coupe, Hybrid, and Sedan), Maxima,
and Sentra vehicles is 1,000 lbs.; the maximum trailer tongue load is 100 lbs. DO NOT
trailer with 370Z (Coupe and Roadster), cube, GT-R, or Versa.
NOTE – For passenger vehicles, the trailer tongue load must be subtracted from the GVWR
as shown on the F.M.V.S.S. certification label located in the driver’s-side door area.
2010 XTERRA TOWING DATA
Engine Type 4.0L V6
Transmission A/T & M/T
Model(s) 2WD & 4WD
Maximum Trailer Weight1 (lbs.) 5,000
Maximum Trailer Tongue Load1 (lbs.) 500
Gross Combined Weight Rating (lbs.) 9,656
Maximum Trailer Frontal Area 60 sq. ft.
1 Maximum Trailer Weight values are calculated assuming a base vehicle with driver and
any options required to achieve the rating. Additional passengers, cargo and/or optional
equipment will add weight to the vehicle and reduce your vehicle’s maximum towing
capacity and trailer tongue load.
2 The Maximum Trailer Weight when using the Genuine Nissan step bumper in this
application as a ball mount is 3,500 lbs.; the Maximum Trailer Tongue Load is 350 lbs.
3 Use of a weight-distributing hitch system is recommended when towing over 5,000 lbs.
4 The vehicle tow package does not include a ball mount. Ball mount options are available
through your Nissan dealer:
Š Class III hitch ball mount for trailers with a Maximum Trailer Weight of 5,000 lbs.
NOTE – A hitch ball is not included with the Class III ball mount.
Š Class IV weight-distributing hitch ball mount for trailers with a Maximum Trailer
Weight greater than 5,000 lbs. This ball mount can also be used with trailers
under 5,000 lbs. Maximum Trailer Weight.
NOTE – The Class IV ball mount includes a 2
5/16” hitch ball rated for 10,000 lbs. NOTES:
Š Most states require a separate braking system on trailers with a loaded weight
above a specific amount. Check local ordinances.
Š A/T – Automatic Transmission, CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission