winter tires NISSAN XTERRA 2012 N50 / 2.G Owners Manual
Page 233 of 341
●Do not modify the vehicle’s suspension.
If suspension parts such as shock ab-
sorbers, struts, springs, stabilizer bars,
bushings and wheels are not NISSAN
recommended for your vehicle or are
extremely deteriorated, the VDC system
may not operate properly. This could
adversely affect vehicle handling per-
formance, and the
flash or both the
cator lights may illuminate.
● If brake related parts such as brake
pads, rotors and calipers are not
NISSAN recommended or are extremely
deteriorated, the VDC system may not
operate properly and both the
and theindicator lights may
● If engine control related parts are not
NISSAN recommended or are extremely
deteriorated, both the
andindicator lights may illuminate. ●
When driving on extremely inclined sur-
faces such as higher banked corners,
the VDC system may not operate prop-
erly and the
indicator may flash or
lights may illuminate. Do not drive on
these types of roads.
● When driving on an unstable surface
such as a turntable, ferry, elevator or
indicator may flash or
lights may illuminate. This is not a mal-
function. Restart the engine after driv-
ing onto a stable surface.
● If wheels or tires other than the NISSAN
recommended ones are used, the VDC
system may not operate properly and
indicator may flash or both
andindicator lights may
● The VDC system is not a substitute for
winter tires or tire chains on a snow
● Never rely solely on the hill descent
control system to control vehicle speed
when driving on steep down hill grades.
Always drive carefully and attentively
when using the hill descent control sys-
tem and decelerate the vehicle speed
by depressing the brake pedal if neces-
sary. Be especially careful when driving
on frozen, muddy or an extremely steep
downhill roads. Failure to control ve-
hicle speed may result in a loss of con-
trol of the vehicle and possible serious
injury or death.
The hill descent control may not control
the vehicle speed on a hill under all load
or road conditions. Always be prepared
to depress the brake pedal to control
vehicle speed. Failure to do so may result
in a collision or serious personal injury.
The hill descent control system helps maintain
vehicle speed when driving under 15-21 MPH
(25-35 km/h) on steeper downhill grades. Hill
descent control is useful when engine braking
alone in 4H or 4L cannot control vehicle speed.
Hill descent control applies the vehicle brakes to
control vehicle speed allowing the driver to con-
centrate on steering while reducing the burden of
brake and accelerator operation.
HILL DESCENT CONTROL SYSTEM (if
5-36Starting and driving
Page 235 of 341
FREEING A FROZEN DOOR LOCK
To prevent a door lock from freezing, apply de-
icer through the key hole. If the lock becomes
frozen, heat the key before inserting it into the key
hole or use the remote keyless entry keyfob.
In the winter when it is anticipated that the tem-
perature will drop below 32°F (0°C) , check the
anti-freeze to assure proper winter protection.
For details, see “Engine cooling system” in the
“Maintenance and do-it-yourself” section of this
If the battery is not fully charged during extremely
cold weather conditions, the battery fluid may
freeze and damage the battery. To maintain maxi-
mum efficiency, the battery should be checked
regularly. For details, see “Battery” in the “Main-
tenance and do-it-yourself” section of this
DRAINING OF COOLANT WATER
If the vehicle is to be left outside without anti-
freeze, drain the cooling system, including the
engine block. Refill before operating the vehicle.For details, see “Changing engine coolant” in the
“Maintenance and do-it-yourself” section of this
1. SUMMER tires have a tread designed to
provide superior performance on dry pave-
ment. However, the performance of these
tires will be substantially reduced in snowy
and icy conditions. If you operate your ve-
hicle on snowy or icy roads, NISSAN recom-
mends the use of MUD & SNOW or ALL
SEASON TIRES on all four wheels. Please
consult a NISSAN dealer for the tire type,
size, speed rating and availability informa-
2. For additional traction on icy roads, studded tires may be used. However, some U.S.
states and Canadian provinces prohibit their
use. Check local, state and provincial laws
before installing studded tires.
Skid and traction capabilities of studded
snow tires on wet or dry surfaces may be
poorer than that of non-studded snow tires. 3. Tire chains may be used. For details see “Tire chains” in the “Maintenance and do-it-
yourself” section of this manual.
SPECIAL WINTER EQUIPMENT
It is recommended that the following items be
carried in the vehicle during winter:
● A scraper and stiff-bristled brush to remove
ice and snow from the windows and wiper
● A sturdy, flat board to be placed under the
jack to give it firm support.
● A shovel to dig the vehicle out of snowdrifts.
● Extra washer fluid to refill the windshield-
washer fluid reservoir.
DRIVING ON SNOW OR ICE
● Wet ice (32°F, 0°C and freezing rain) ,
very cold snow or ice can be slick and
very hard to drive on. The vehicle will
have much less traction or “grip” under
these conditions. Try to avoid driving on
wet ice until the road is salted or
● Whatever the condition, drive with cau-
tion. Accelerate and slow down with
care. If accelerating or downshifting too
fast, the drive wheels will lose even
COLD WEATHER DRIVING
5-38Starting and driving
Page 256 of 341
Remove tar and oil spots, industrial dust, insects,
and tree sap as quickly as possible from the
surface of the paint to avoid lasting damage or
staining. Special cleaning products are available
at a NISSAN dealer or any automotive accessory
In areas where road salt is used in winter, it is
necessary to clean the underbody regularly in
order to prevent dirt and salt from building up and
causing the acceleration of corrosion on the un-
derbody and suspension. Before the winter pe-
riod and again in the spring, the underseal must
be checked and, if necessary, retreated.
Use glass cleaner to remove smoke and dust film
from the glass surfaces. It is normal for glass to
become coated with a film after the vehicle is
parked in the hot sun. Glass cleaner and a soft
cloth will easily remove this film.
When cleaning the inside of the windows,
do not use sharp-edged tools, abrasive
cleaners or chlorine-based disinfectant
cleaners. They could damage the electri-
cal conductors, radio antenna elements or
rear window defroster elements.
ALUMINUM ALLOY WHEELS
Wash the wheels regularly with a sponge damp-
ened in a mild soap solution, especially during
winter months in areas where road salt is used. If
not removed, road salt can discolor the wheels.
Follow the directions below to avoid
staining or discoloring the wheels:
●Do not use a cleaner that uses strong
acid or alkali contents to clean the
● Do not apply wheel cleaners to the
wheels when they are hot. The wheel
temperature should be the same as am-
● Rinse the wheel to completely remove
the cleaner within 15 minutes after the
cleaner is applied.
Clean all chrome parts regularly with a non-
abrasive chrome polish to maintain the finish.
NISSAN does not recommend the use of tire
dressings. Tire manufacturers apply a coating to
the tires to help reduce discoloration of the rub-
ber. If a tire dressing is applied to the tires, it may
react with the coating and form a compound. This
compound may come off the tire while driving and
stain the vehicle paint.
If you choose to use a tire dressing, take the
● Use a water-based tire dressing. The coat-
ing on the tire dissolves more easily than
with an oil-based tire dressing.
● Apply a light coat of tire dressing to help
prevent it from entering the tire
tread/grooves (where it would be difficult to
● Wipe off excess tire dressing using a dry
towel. Make sure the tire dressing is com-
pletely removed from the tire tread/grooves.
● Allow the tire dressing to dry as recom-
mended by the tire dressing manufacturer.
Appearance and care7-3
Page 298 of 341
For additional traction on icy roads, studded tires
may be used. However, some U.S. states and
Canadian provinces prohibit their use. Check
local, state and provincial laws before installing
studded tires. Skid and traction capabilities of
studded snow tires on wet or dry surfaces may be
poorer than that of non-studded snow tires.
Use of tire chains may be prohibited according to
location. Check the local laws before installing
tire chains. When installing tire chains, make sure
they are the proper size for the tires on your
vehicle and are installed according to the chain
manufacturer’s suggestions.Use only SAE
class “S” chains. Class “S” chains are used on
vehicles with restricted tire to vehicle clearance.
Vehicles that can use Class “S” chains are de-
signed to meet the minimum clearances between
the tire and the closest vehicle suspension or
body component required to accommodate the
use of a winter traction device (tire chains or
cables) . The minimum clearances are determined
using the factory equipped tire size. Other types
may damage your vehicle. Use chain tensioners
when recommended by the tire chain manufac-
turer to ensure a tight fit. Loose end links of the
tire chain must be secured or removed to prevent
the possibility of whipping action damage to the
fenders or underbody. If possible, avoid fully load-
ing your vehicle when using tire chains. In addi- tion, drive at a reduced speed. Otherwise, your
vehicle may be damaged and/or vehicle handling
and performance may be adversely affected.
Tire chains must be installed only on the
rear wheels and not on the front wheels.
Do not use tire chains on dry roads. Driving with
chains in such conditions can cause damage to
the various mechanisms of the vehicle due to
Use only the 2WD range when driving on clear
CHANGING WHEELS AND TIRES
NISSAN recommends rotating the tires
every 7,500 miles (12,000 km) .
See “Flat tire” in the “In case of emer-
gency” section in this manual for tire re-
As soon as possible, tighten the
wheel nuts to the specified torque
with a torque wrench.
Maintenance and do-it-yourself8-39
Page 301 of 341
If excessive tire wear is found, it is recommended
that all four tires be replaced with tires of the
same size, brand, construction and tread pattern.
The tire pressure and wheel alignment should
also be checked and corrected as necessary.
Contact a NISSAN dealer.
Unbalanced wheels may affect vehicle handling
and tire life. Even with regular use, wheels can get
out of balance. Therefore, they should be bal-
anced as required.
Wheel balance service should be per-
formed with the wheels off the vehicle.
Spin balancing the wheels on the vehicle
could lead to mechanical damage.● For additional information regarding
tires, refer to “Important Tire Safety
Information” (US) or “Tire Safety Infor-
mation” (Canada) in the Warranty In-
Care of wheels
● Wash the wheels when washing the vehicle
to maintain their appearance.
● Clean the inner side of the wheels when the
wheel is changed or the underside of the
vehicle is washed. ●
Do not use abrasive cleaners when washing
● Inspect wheel rims regularly for dents or
corrosion. Such damage may cause loss of
pressure or poor seal at the tire bead.
● NISSAN recommends waxing the road
wheels to protect against road salt in areas
where it is used during winter.
8-42Maintenance and do-it-yourself