Infiniti Q45 Problemsby Andy Joseph
Exported from 1990 to 2006, the Q45 was the flagship vehicle of Nissan's luxury line, Infiniti. The Q45 was sporty and performance-based, yet loaded with features characteristic of luxury vehicles. Although it was never a sales success, the Q45 was the first Japanese rear-drive luxury car to compete against the European sports sedans.
1st Generation (1990 to 1996)
Engine stalling is a common problem with the Infiniti Q45's first generation of vehicles. This can often be repaired by tightening the connection at the air-flow meter. Owners of the first two or three model-year vehicles could experience engine knocking, which can be resolved by tie-wrapping the ASCD cable to the bracket near the firewall. The fragile radiator filler neck was revised after 1992, and engine vibration can be corrected with replacement of two motor mounts and the engine-control computer.
2nd Generation (1997 to 2001)
A prevalent problem with the second-generation Q45 is the blower motor, which could make humming and/or ticking noises. A revised insulator cover can correct the problem. The 1997 and 1998 vehicles have common problems with the canister vent control valve, the failure of which can cause the "Check Engine" light to go on. Overall, though, the second-generation Q45 vehicles are a step up in reliability from the first few model years.
3rd Generation (2002 to 2006)
Problems with the third generation Q45 are comparatively minor, and mostly cosmetic. Some vehicles may have premature rusting along the door hems, and the plastic brackets securing the rear sunshade can break easily. However, there is the possibility of replacing headlight ballasts if the HID low beams quit working--including some parts of the engine (pulley, and its bracket and belt) when it starts producing noise.
Most Reliable Q45s
Q45s of the third generation, particularly the 2003 to 2006 years, would be the ones in best shape, and the most worthy of recommendation. This is because they are the newest version, have faced the benefit of history, and are more likely to have less problems than their predecessors.
Least Reliable Q45s
Older Q45s, of course, unless they are meticulously maintained, will tend to have more problems than the entries of later years. Also, be a little wary of debut models of each generation (1990 for the first, 1997/1998 for the second, and 2002 for the third), as they tend to have a few flaws usually ironed out with subsequent entries.
Based in the D.C. area, Andy Joseph works full-time as a data analyst and technical writer. He has been writing articles about technology, health, politics, music, culture and automobiles since 2007. His work has appeared in The Express, Congressional Report and Road & Track. He has a master's degree in journalism and technology management.