Towing a trailer

Overloading or improper loading of a trailer and its cargo can adversely affect

Overloading or improper loading of a trailer and its cargo can adversely affect vehicle handling, braking and performance and may lead to accidents.

- Do not tow a trailer or haul a heavy load for the first 500 miles (800 km).

- Do not tow a trailer or haul a heavy load for the first 500 miles (800 km).

Your engine, axle or other parts could be damaged.

- For the first 500 miles (800 km) that you tow a trailer, do not drive over 50 MPH (80 km/h) and do not make starts at full throttle. This helps the engine and other parts of your vehicle wear in at the heavier loads.

Your new vehicle was designed to be used primarily to carry passengers and cargo. Remember that towing a trailer places additional loads on your vehicle’s engine, drivetrain, steering, braking and other systems.

A NISSAN Towing Guide (U.S. only) is available on the website at www.nissanusa.com. This guide includes information on trailer towing capability and the special equipment required for proper towing.

Maximum load limits

Maximum trailer loads

Never allow the total trailer load to exceed the value specified in the “Towing Load/Specification” chart. The total trailer load equals trailer weight plus its cargo weight.

- When towing a trailer load of 1,000 lbs (454 kg) or more, trailers with a brake system MUST be used.

The maximum GCWR (Gross CombinedWeight Rating) should not exceed the value specified in the following “Towing Load/Specification” chart.

The GCWR equals the combined weight of the towing vehicle (including passengers

The GCWR equals the combined weight of the towing vehicle (including passengers and cargo) plus the total trailer load. Towing loads greater than these or using improper towing equipment could adversely affect vehicle handling, braking and performance.

The ability of your vehicle to tow a trailer is not only related to the maximum trailer loads, but also the places you plan to tow. Tow weights appropriate for level highway driving may have to be reduced on very steep grades or for low traction situations (for example, on slippery boat ramps).

Temperature conditions can also affect towing.

For example, towing a heavy trailer in high outside temperatures on graded roads can affect engine performance and cause overheating.

The transmission high fluid temperature protection mode, which helps reduce the chance of transmission damage, could activate and automatically decrease engine power.

Vehicle speed may decrease under high load.

Plan your trip carefully to account for trailer and vehicle load, weather and road conditions.

Overheating can result in reduced engine power and vehicle speed. The reduced

Overheating can result in reduced engine power and vehicle speed. The reduced speed may be lower than other traffic, which could increase the chance of a collision. Be especially careful when driving. If the vehicle cannot maintain a safe driving speed, pull to the side of the road in a safe area.

Allow the engine to cool and return to normal operation. See “If your vehicle overheats” in the “6. In case of emergency” section of this manual.

Vehicle damage resulting from improper towing procedures are not covered by

Vehicle damage resulting from improper towing procedures are not covered by NISSAN warranties.

Tongue load

When using a weight carrying or a weight distributing hitch, keep the tongue

When using a weight carrying or a weight distributing hitch, keep the tongue load between 10 to 15% of the total trailer load within the maximum tongue load limits shown in the following “Towing Load/Specification” chart. If the tongue load becomes excessive, rearrange cargo to allow for proper tongue load.

Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)/maximum Gross Axle Weight (GAW)

The GVW of the towing vehicle must not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

The GVW of the towing vehicle must not exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) shown on the F.M.V.S.S./C.M.V.S.S. certification label. The GVW equals the combined weight of the unloaded vehicle, passengers, luggage, hitch, trailer tongue load and any other optional equipment. In addition, front or rear GAW must not exceed the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) shown on the F.M.V.S.S./C.M.V.S.S.

certification label.

Towing capacities are calculated assuming a base vehicle with driver and any options required to achieve the rating. Additional passengers, cargo and/or optional equipment, such as the trailer hitch, will add weight to the vehicle and reduce your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity and trailer tongue load.

The vehicle and trailer need to be weighed to confirm the vehicle is within the GVWR, Front GAWR, Rear GAWR, Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and Towing capacity.

All vehicle and trailer weights can be measured using platform type scales commonly found at truck stops, highway weigh stations, building supply centers or salvage yards.

To determine the available payload capacity for tongue load, use the following procedure.

1. Locate the GVWR on the F.M.V.S.S./C.M.V.

S.S. certification label.

2. Weigh your vehicle on the scale with all of the passengers and cargo that are normally in the vehicle when towing a trailer.

3. Subtract the actual vehicle weight from the GVWR. The remaining amount is the available maximum tongue load.

To determine the available towing capacity, use the following procedure.

1. Find the GCWR for your vehicle on the “Towing Load/Specification” chart found later in this section.

2. Subtract the actual vehicle weight from the GCWR. The remaining amount is the available maximum towing capacity.

To determine the Gross Trailer Weight, weigh your trailer on a scale with all equipment and cargo, that are normally in the trailer when it is towed. Make sure the Gross trailer weight is not more than the Gross Trailer Weight Rating shown on the trailer and is not more than the calculated available maximum towing capacity.

Also weigh the front and rear axles on the scale to make sure the Front Gross Axle Weight and Rear Gross AxleWeight are not more than Front Gross Axle Weight and Rear Gross Axle Weight on the F.M.V.S.S./C.M.V.S.S. certification label.

The cargo in the trailer and vehicle may need to be moved or removed to meet the specified ratings.

Example:
- Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) as weighed on a scale - including passengers, cargo and hitch - 4,133 lb. (1,874 kg).

- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) from F.M.V.S.S./C.M.V.S.S. certification label - 4,233 lb. (1,920 kg).

- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) from “Towing Load/Specification” chart - 5,136 lb. (2,329 kg).

- Maximum Trailer towing capacity from “Towing Load/Specification” chart - 1,000 lb.

(453 kg).

The available towing capacity may be less than the maximum towing capacity due

The available towing capacity may be less than the maximum towing capacity due to the passenger and cargo load in the vehicle.

Remember to keep trailer tongue weight between 10 to 15% of the trailer weight. If the tongue load becomes excessive, rearrange the cargo to obtain the proper tongue load. Do not exceed the 10 to 15% tongue weight specification even if the calculated available tongue weight is greater than 15%. If the calculated tongue weight is less than 10%, reduce the total trailer weight to match the available tongue weight.

Always verify that available capacities are within the required ratings.

Towing load/specification

1: All towing above 1,000 lb (454 kg) requires the use of trailer brakes.

1: All towing above 1,000 lb (454 kg) requires the use of trailer brakes.

2: Sway control devices are not offered by NISSAN. See a professional trailer/hitch outlet for a properly designed sway control device for your trailer.

Towing safety

Trailer hitch

Choose a proper hitch for your vehicle and trailer. A genuine NISSAN trailer hitch is available from a NISSAN dealer. Make sure the trailer hitch is securely attached to the vehicle to help avoid personal injury or property damage due to sway caused by crosswinds, rough road surfaces or passing trucks.

Hitch ball

Choose a hitch ball of the proper size and weight rating for your trailer:
- The required hitch ball size is stamped on most trailer couplers. Most hitch balls also have the size printed on top of the ball.

- Choose the proper class hitch ball based on the trailer weight.

- The diameter of the threaded shank of the hitch ball must be matched to the ball mount hole diameter. The hitch ball shank should be no more than 1/16´´ smaller than the hole in the ball mount.

- The threaded shank of the hitch ball must be long enough to be properly secured to the ball mount. There should be at least 2 threads showing beyond the lock washer and nut.

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.

Class I hitch

Class I trailer hitch equipment (receiver, ball mount and hitch ball) can be used to tow trailers of a maximum weight of 2,000 lb (909 kg).

- The hitch should not be attached to or affect the operation of the impact-

- The hitch should not be attached to or affect the operation of the impact- absorbing bumper.

- Do not use axle-mounted hitches.

- Do not modify the vehicle exhaust system, brake system, etc. to install a trailer hitch.

- To reduce the possibility of additional damage if your vehicle is struck from the rear, where practical, remove the hitch and/or receiver when not in use. After the hitch is removed, seal the bolt holes to prevent exhaust fumes, water or dust from entering the passenger compartment.

- Regularly check that all trailer hitch mounting bolts are securely mounted.

Tire pressures

- When towing a trailer, inflate the vehicle tires to the recommended cold tire pressure indicated on the Tire and Loading Information label.

- Trailer tire condition, size, load rating and proper inflation pressure should be in accordance with the trailer and tire manufacturers’ specifications.

Safety chains

Always use a suitable chain between your vehicle and the trailer. The safety chains should be crossed and should be attached to the hitch, not to the vehicle bumper or axle. The safety chains can be attached to the bumper if the hitch ball is mounted to the bumper. Be sure to leave enough slack in the chains to permit turning corners.

Trailer lights

When splicing into the vehicle electrical system, a commercially available

When splicing into the vehicle electrical system, a commercially available power-type module/converter must be used to provide power for all trailer lighting. This unit uses the vehicle battery as a direct power source for all trailer lights while using the vehicle tail light, stoplight and turn signal circuits as a signal source. The module/converter must draw no more than 15 milliamps from the stop and tail lamp circuits. Using a module/converter that exceeds these power requirements may damage the vehicle’s electrical system.

See a reputable trailer dealer to obtain the proper equipment and to have it installed.

Trailer lights should comply with federal and/or local regulations. For assistance in hooking up trailer lights, contact a NISSAN dealer or reputable trailer dealer.

Trailer brakes

If your trailer is equipped with a braking system, make sure it conforms to federal and/or local regulations and that it is properly installed.

Never connect a trailer brake system directly to the vehicle brake system.

Never connect a trailer brake system directly to the vehicle brake system.

Pre-towing tips

- Be certain your vehicle maintains a level position when a loaded or unloaded trailer is hitched. Do not drive the vehicle if it has an abnormal nose-up or nose-down condition; check for improper tongue load, overload, worn suspension or other possible causes of either condition.

- Always secure items in the trailer to prevent load shift while driving.

- Keep the cargo load as low as possible in the trailer to keep the trailer center of gravity low.

- Load the trailer so approximately 60% of the trailer load is in the front half and 40% is in the back half. Also make sure the load is balanced side to side.

- Check your hitch, trailer tire pressure, vehicle tire pressure, trailer light operation, and trailer wheel lug nuts every time you attach a trailer to the vehicle.

- Be certain your rearview mirrors conform to all federal, state or local regulations. If not, install any mirrors required for towing before driving the vehicle.

- Determine the overall height of the vehicle and trailer so the required clearance is known.

Trailer towing tips

In order to gain skill and an understanding of the vehicle’s behavior, you should practice turning, stopping and backing up in an area which is free from traffic. Steering stability, and braking performance will be somewhat different than under normal driving conditions.

- Always secure items in the trailer to prevent load shift while driving.

- Lock the trailer hitch coupler with a pin or lock to prevent the coupler from inadvertently becoming unlatched.

- Avoid abrupt starts, acceleration or stops.

- Avoid sharp turns or lane changes.

- Always drive your vehicle at a moderate speed. Some states or provinces have specific speed limits for vehicles that are towing trailers. Obey the local speed limits.

- When backing up, hold the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand. Move your hand in the direction in which you want the trailer to go. Make small corrections and back up slowly. If possible, have someone guide you when you are backing up.

Always block the wheels on both vehicle and trailer when parking. Parking on a slope is not recommended; however, if you must do so:

If you move the shift selector lever to the P (Park) position before blocking

If you move the shift selector lever to the P (Park) position before blocking the wheels and applying the parking brake, transmission damage could occur.

1. Apply and hold the brake pedal.

2. Have someone place blocks on the downhill side of the vehicle and trailer wheels.

3. After the wheel blocks are in place, slowly release the brake pedal until the blocks absorb the vehicle load.

4. Apply the parking brake.

5. Shift the transmission into P (Park).

6. Turn off the engine.

To drive away:
1. Apply and hold the brake pedal.

2. Start the engine.

3. Shift the transmission into gear.

4. Release the parking brake.

5. Drive slowly until the vehicle and trailer are clear from the blocks.

6. Apply and hold the brake pedal.

7. Have someone retrieve and store the blocks.

- When going down a hill, shift into a lower gear and use the engine braking effect.

When going up a long grade, downshift the transmission to a lower gear and reduce speed to reduce chances of engine overloading and/or overheating.

- If the engine coolant rises to an extremely high temperature when the air conditioning system is on, turn off the air conditioner.

Coolant heat can be additionally vented by opening the windows, switching the fan control to high and setting the temperature control to the HOT position.

- Trailer towing requires more fuel than normal circumstances.

- Avoid towing a trailer for the first 500 miles (800 km).

- Have your vehicle serviced more often than at intervals specified in the recommended maintenance schedule in the NISSAN Service and Maintenance Guide.

- When making a turn, your trailer wheels will be closer to the inside of the turn than your vehicle wheels. To compensate for this, make a larger than normal turning radius during the turn.

- Crosswinds and rough roads will adversely affect vehicle/trailer handling, possibly causing vehicle sway. When being passed by larger vehicles, be prepared for possible changes in crosswinds that could affect vehicle handling. If swaying does occur, firmly grip the steering wheel, steer straight ahead, and immediately (but gradually) reduce vehicle speed. This combination will help stabilize the vehicle. Never increase speed.

Do the following if the trailer begins to sway:
1. Take your foot off the accelerator pedal to allow the vehicle to coast and steer as straight ahead as the road conditions allow.

This combination will help stabilize the vehicle.

- Do not correct trailer sway by steering or applying the brakes.

2. When the trailer sway stops, gently apply the brakes and pull to the side of the road in a safe area.

3. Try to rearrange the trailer load so it is balanced as described earlier in this section.

- Be careful when passing other vehicles.

Passing while towing a trailer requires considerably more distance than normal passing. Remember the length of the trailer must also pass the other vehicle before you can safely change lanes.

- Down shift the transmission to a lower gear for engine braking when driving down steep or long hills. This will help slow the vehicle without applying the brakes.

- Avoid holding the brake pedal down too long or too frequently. This could cause the brakes to overheat, resulting in reduced braking efficiency.

- Increase your following distance to allow for greater stopping distances while towing a trailer. Anticipate stops and brake gradually.

- Do not use cruise control while towing a trailer.

- Some states or provinces have specific regulations and speed limits for vehicles that are towing trailers. Obey the local speed limits.

- Check your hitch, trailer wiring harness connections, and trailer wheel lug nuts after 50 miles (80 km) of travel and at every break.

- When stopped in traffic for long periods of time in hot weather, put the vehicle in the P (Park) position.

- When launching a boat, don’t allow the water level to go over the exhaust tail pipe or rear bumper.

- Make sure you disconnect the trailer lights before backing the trailer into the water or the trailer lights may burn out.

When towing a trailer, the transmission fluid should be changed more frequently.

For additional information, see the “8.

Maintenance and do-it-yourself” section earlier in this manual.

Flat towing

Towing your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground is sometimes called flat towing. This method is sometimes used when towing a vehicle behind a recreational vehicle, such as a motor home.

- Failure to follow these guidelines can result in severe transmission damage.

- Failure to follow these guidelines can result in severe transmission damage.

- Whenever flat towing your vehicle, always tow forward, never backward.

- DO NOT tow any continuously variable transmission vehicle with all four wheels on the ground (flat towing). Doing so WILL DAMAGE internal transmission parts due to lack of transmission lubrication.

- DO NOT tow an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicle with any of the wheels on the ground. Doing so may cause serious and expensive damage to the powertrain.

- For emergency towing procedures refer to “Towing recommended by NISSAN”in the “6. In case of emergency” section of this manual.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) models:

Do not tow an AWD vehicle with any of the wheels on the ground.

Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) models:

To tow a vehicle equipped with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), an appropriate vehicle dolly MUST be placed under the towed vehicle’s driving wheels. Always follow the dolly manufacturer’s recommendations when using their product.

    See also:

    Drive belt
    1. Drive belt automatic tensioner 2. Generator 3. A/C compressor 4 Crankshaft pulley WARNING Be sure the ignition key is in the OFF or LOCK position before servicing drive belt. The engine ...

    Warning signals
    To help prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly by erroneous operation of the Intelligent Key or to help prevent the vehicle from being stolen, a chime or buzzer sounds from inside and outsid ...

    BSW driving situations
    Another vehicle approaching from behind The Blind Spot Indicator light illuminates if a vehicle enters the detection zone from behind in an adjacent lane. However, if the overtaking vehicle is ...