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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.

I am new here. I have not even came here before trying the Versa.

So, yesterday at -15C, i went for a test drive on a Canadian 2009 Versa SL hatchback. From what i know, it is a 1.8 engine, 6 speeds trans. 96000km. Very clean. The car is in the dealer yard since last fall and i don't think they started it a lot since then. I liked it a lot. I was surprised to like it in fact.

After letting it warmed for about 5 minutes, i drove slowly at first and went up to 120 km/h on the open road. I noticed a very very light ticking noise when accelerating between gear change. I had to listen very carefully to hear it. It seem to be almost gone after 20-25 minutes. I was thinking it could be snow and ice under the hood since snow was plentyfull on the engine when i started it (we had a snowstorm 2 days ago). I was not aware of Piston slap or anything when test riding it.

The dealer said they sold the car in 2009 and did maintenance on it since the beginning.

Now, since the engine is 96000km (about 58000 miles) and i don't think the dealer offer any warranty, is it safe to buy it? They sell it for 6500$. I could get a Versa S with 35000km for 75000$ (200km away so a bit harder to get a test drive before a few days) and several in the 7000$ range with about 75000km.

What do you think?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome!
My 2008 makes two typical 1.8L [MR18] engine noises.
One is the piston slap you mentioned. No doubt exacerbated by the minus 15C.
Also there is a light to mid throttle vibration, i believe caused by the plastic air intake duct. Others have made this go away by removing it and installing an aftermarket intake.
My V has made both noises since i bought it used w 78800km.
I just keep the oil in good shape, use minimal engine warmup, and away we go!
239000km and counting.
So the best test you can give it without going to a real mechanic [not me] is to start it stone cold, listen for obnoxious piston slap, and decide.
Imo, go for it. Manual tranny been flawless so far as well.
Also check if the air conditioning compressor kicks in [not just the A/C light coming on] when switching to defrost. If you're not a fan of the ac, there is surprisingly little wind noise with all the windows down at 120km/h
Can't beat the super size interior in a compact Versa, just don't expect to win many drag races lol. 08V
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome!
So the best test you can give it without going to a real mechanic [not me] is to start it stone cold, listen for obnoxious piston slap, and decide.
Imo, go for it. Manual tranny been flawless so far as well.
Also check if the air conditioning compressor kicks in [not just the A/C light coming on] when switching to defrost. If you're not a fan of the ac, there is surprisingly little wind noise with all the windows down at 120km/h
Can't beat the super size interior in a compact Versa, just don't expect to win many drag races lol. 08V
Thanks.

Now, i would listen very carefully. Maybe it is only the timing chain. The manual transmission and clutch were like new. I really liked driving it. I owned a Toyota Matrix XR 2009 (5 speeds automatic) until spring 2012 and i think the Versa is more fun. Didn't feel like an econobox to me. It was an SL maybe an S feel cheaper? I'll take a look at the AC. I remember the light coming on when pushing on the button.
 

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It's an early Versa which IMO were built with more care and quality. I have an 07 SL and it's great. Still looks good, not much rust, lots of space, and 332 000KM on my MR18. With regards to quality, i bought a used LR door (because old one had a ding and it was cheaper to just get a door and bolt it on), and noticed that the 2012 door skin has no padding on the upper part of the door skin, whereas mine all do and are soft. IMO there were many corners cut on the later model ones of first gen. You may notice the motor takes a while to warm up, takes a long time to get heat. Check all applicable TSB's. There is a couple for interior trim (like passenger side airbag cover/trim popping up), and the front strut bearings is a known problem, it will sound just like a spring winding up when turning, fuel pressure regulator is a common one. The lower windshield corner trim is an annoying thing, the covers use double sided tape, which inevitably (due to heat cycling) loses hold. So the edges will pop up. I have a thread on here wondering why the cowl and that corner finisher weren't molded as a single piece.
 

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Thanks.Now, i would listen very carefully. Maybe it is only the timing chain. The manual transmission and clutch were like new. I really liked driving it. I owned a Toyota Matrix XR 2009 (5 speeds automatic) until spring 2012 and i think the Versa is more fun. Didn't feel like an econobox to me. It was an SL maybe an S feel cheaper? I'll take a look at the AC. I remember the light coming on when pushing on the button.
I definitely prefer my SL seats to the S seats in earlier Versas, as well as the SL 15 inch alloys. If it's an SL manual, it's a bit rare, but not collectable...yet lol
My sister in law has a Vibe with 2.4L and 5 speed auto. It feels tinnier than my V and previous Vibes too.
 

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Plus the early SL 6 speeds didn't have an SL badge at the time. Everyone who's ever run my VIN for parts etc has always been dumbfounded.
 

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With the amount of people who have had problems with their 1.8 I would be very nervous about the ticking noise you are hearing due to it being out of warranty. If you do end up replacing the block, the cost will be on you.

Good luck! Hope you find one you like!
 

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MR20 swap with your tax money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
With the amount of people who have had problems with their 1.8 I would be very nervous about the ticking noise you are hearing due to it being out of warranty. If you do end up replacing the block, the cost will be on you.

Good luck! Hope you find one you like!
Before jumping on this one (i really like the black SL) i would do a second road test and be very carefull. In doubt, i would pass. And before that, i would try others. I found a 35000km S for a bit more money. Again, a good road test would be needed. This one have some warranty left.

Thanks!
 
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