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2003-2009 Nissan 350Z

Prospective Z owner (NOOB)

Old 12-25-2018, 08:44 AM
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Prius1Sentra0
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Greetings! I've been lurking here the last week or so as I am looking at purchasing a 2003 350Z Touring AT with a smidge over 60k on it. It will stay stock except for audio (read, zero performance mods)and be a daily driver. I've been all over the forums on here looking at typical maintenance issues and common breakages and nothing major jumps out at me, though I could be missing something. I was hoping some of you fine folks could advise me on what I need to pay close attention to specific to a 350z when looking at buying one since every vehicle has its own quirks. I'm concerned with reliability of the vehicle mainly and not so much little things like crappy interior or things like that. I'll be doing all the maintenance I can do with what I have, so DIY is the best way for me to go, though I don't have a lift so I may be limited a bit. Anyway, please excuse the most likely noob questions above, I'm a gun and welding guy, me and cars are still getting acquainted.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:19 AM
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It's a great daily driver, has it quirks. Since it's an auto, just leave it and drive, really no point if modding an auto.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:29 AM
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a 2003 with 60k - wow ... whats the asking price?

do you have a link of where the car is listed?

The best things you can do is have a 3rd party mechanic take a look at it - formally or informally have a used car inspection before you cut the check. And if you want to go one step further you can get a 4 ounce sample of the oil currently in the engine (assuming it has some mileage on it) and send it off to oil analysis lab (such as Blackstone Labs) and have it analyzed.

Other than that if you like the car, go and buy it ... no matter the vehicle, things will break / wear-out and you gotta replace.

I love my z and it's since been a small part of my identity...
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:56 AM
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Hi. 60K isnít much mileage on a 2003. You can expect good service from this car. I have a 2003 Performance Model 350z purchased as a new car. It has 130K on it, and overall it has been a reliable car.
  • Some early 350z models had issues with the transmissionís synchromesh, but most of these failures were repaired under warranty.
  • The power window motors were prone to failure. Mine failed at about 80k.
  • I had to replace the crankshaft sensors and a couple oxygen sensors at around 90K.
  • I am replacing the clutch assembly this week, but thatís normal at 130k.
You definitely want to improve the audio, but you mention that is in your plan.
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Old 12-25-2018, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bealljk View Post
a 2003 with 60k - wow ... whats the asking price?

do you have a link of where the car is listed?

The best things you can do is have a 3rd party mechanic take a look at it - formally or informally have a used car inspection before you cut the check. And if you want to go one step further you can get a 4 ounce sample of the oil currently in the engine (assuming it has some mileage on it) and send it off to oil analysis lab (such as Blackstone Labs) and have it analyzed.

Other than that if you like the car, go and buy it ... no matter the vehicle, things will break / wear-out and you gotta replace.

I love my z and it's since been a small part of my identity...
Asking price is 7k, I don't think its a bad price based on my location and some other research I did. I pulled the dipstick and the oil is golden, so nothing to see there unfortunately. Thank you for that info by the way, I have never known about the oil being tested. I didn't initially start out looking for a 350z, but I drove one just because I'd never been behind the wheel of one and it was fantastic!! I'll post some pictures of the car if everything goes my way this week, probably by end of day friday I'll be in it.

Last edited by Prius1Sentra0; 12-25-2018 at 04:06 PM. Reason: Abhorrent spelling on my part
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Old 12-25-2018, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Spike100 View Post
Hi. 60K isnít much mileage on a 2003. You can expect good service from this car. I have a 2003 Performance Model 350z purchased as a new car. It has 130K on it, and overall it has been a reliable car.
  • Some early 350z models had issues with the transmissionís synchromesh, but most of these failures were repaired under warranty.
  • The power window motors were prone to failure. Mine failed at about 80k.
  • I had to replace the crankshaft sensors and a couple oxygen sensors at around 90K.
  • I am replacing the clutch assembly this week, but thatís normal at 130k.
You definitely want to improve the audio, but you mention that is in your plan.
Awesome information, that's exactly the type of stuff I was looking for. None of that sounds too bad and looks like it can all be done DIY, if I'm reading some of the other sub forums correctly.
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Old 12-25-2018, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Prius1Sentra0 View Post
Asking price is 7k, I don't think its a bad price based on my location and some other research I did. I pulled the dipstick and the oil is golden, so nothing to see there unfortunately. Thank you for that info by the way, I have never known about the oil bding tested. I didn't initially start out looking for a 350z, but I drove one just because I'd never been behind the wheel of one and it was fantastic!! I'll post some pictures of the car if everything goes my way this week, probably by end of day friday I'll be in it.
$7k seems legit.

Blackstone will examine the oil on a microscopic scale - they can test how much detergent is left (assisting with oil life expectancies), can find metal particulates originating from the engine architecture that should not be in the oil normally (suggesting excessive wear on engine components), can detect engine coolant in the oil (suggesting a breach in heads or water pump), among a handful of other tests. I think it's around $40.

I would rely more on a 3rd party mechanic - if all goes well pull the trigger!
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:01 PM
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The 3.5 VQ is one of the most reliable engines on the planet. It an take one hell of a beating..
maintenance: Iím at 118 miles on an 03 MT. Only issues have been a window motor, crankshaft sensor, and ignition coils. All diy and pretty easy. My 6mt grinds third sometimes but u will have an AT so I think youíre good
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:49 AM
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Well....I bought it.

Thank you to everyone who gave me advice, I really appreciate it!!!!

Last edited by Prius1Sentra0; 12-27-2018 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:42 AM
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Here's another durability endorsement.

Purchased my '03 AT Touring 5 years ago with 42,000 miles.
Intent was fun weekend cruiser...
It was so fun, it turned into the Commuter Car when roads aren't Icy or Snow Covered..
I'm at 93,000 miles on it today.
Besides oil changes, all I've ever done was:
Replace Tires.
Replace Brake Pads.
That's it...

I just noticed a small oil leak this week, looks to be from lower pan seal.
Oil Pressure Gauge Shows as Maxed Out, has done so for last month ( Sending Unit ? )
Will get these looked at and fixed before roads thaw out and before Spring time for full time back to commuting duty.
Other issues:
Passenger Power Window Temperamental ( Common problem )
Bose Stereo doesn't like CDs when cold, and that Big Speaker only plays when its in the mood to do so...( You'll replace, so no biggie )

Car looks great, handles great, is an absolute Blast to drive, and Nobody ever believes that its a 16 year old car.



Welcome to the Club ! Looking forward to your Pics.

Last edited by AX8; 12-28-2018 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:45 PM
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Lets see how long it stays stock, I said the same thing

350z lasted a couple months
z06 almost made it a year
ats-v has 23k miles or about 2 years left of bumper to bumper .....but after that, watch out
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