Nissan Interstar Problems: Are They Reliable?

The Nissan Interstar came on the scene in 1998. A large commercial van, the Nissan Interstar is basically the same as the Renault Master, or in Europe the Vauxhall/Opel Movano, but with Nissan’s branding. Hailed as a practical van with low running costs, the Nissan Interstar offers a spacious cabin and good fuel economy.

All of this sounds great, but what about Nissan Interstar problems? Let’s take a look at some common issues found with the Nissan Interstar, and assess how it fares when it comes to questioning if it’s reliable.

Is the Nissan Interstar Reliable?

Nissan Interstar

Nissan Interstar common problems

A fact of life is that no van is ever absolutely perfect. There are a few points to keep in mind when considering the Nissan Interstar, some of which might take the star out of Interstar. Here are some common Nissan Interstar problems.

Nissan Interstar immobiliser problems

There is nothing worse than your van not starting when you are in a hurry and have a tight schedule. Unfortunately, this is a common Nissan Interstar problem. A van not starting can be due to various reasons, like a fault with the battery, issues with the alternator, or issues with the wiring. But it is often the case with Nissan Interstar problems, that it is a fault with the immobiliser.

You can usually tell when it is the immobiliser causing the issue, by the van failing to start and the immobiliser light flashing or staying on. Or sometimes the Nissan Interstar likes to tease you by starting briefly but stopping soon after, with the immobiliser light illuminated.

Nissan Interstar starting problems

A lot of the time when a Nissan Interstar won’t start, it is due to an issue with the battery. It’s very easy to accidentally leave your headlights on overnight, and the battery can run flat. Or it can simply be a case of the battery being too old and needing replacing.

Though with the Interstar, other common starting problems can be because of a fault in the electrical wiring, or because of an issue with the alternator. Additionally, with the Nissan Interstar, problems starting can be due to the engine being flooded.

Nissan Interstar injector problems

A common annoyance reported with the Nissan Interstar is that the van loses power when driving, or it feels like the acceleration momentarily pauses. This is often due to a problem with the injector. The injector of the Interstar can become obstructed, preventing fuel and air from reaching the engine.

Also with the Interstar, the injection pump can seize up or have a leak. Though it seems that opting for good quality fuel when filling up can help prevent such Interstar injector problems.

Nissan Interstar diesel problems

Tying in with issues concerning the Nissan Interstar not starting, and problems with the injector, these concerns seem to be a common theme in particular with diesel engines. With Nissan Interstars having a diesel engine, it is all too often that the alternator and the battery and electrics prove to be OK, but it is problems with the injector clogging or leaking that cause the van to lose power.

Nissan Interstar 2005 problems

It was reported that some 2005 Nissan Interstar vans had an issue with the parking brake lever, potentially causing the parking brake to fail. This resulted in a recall to fix the issue.

Nissan Interstar 2008 problems

Nissan was forced to issue another recall in 2008, when an issue was found with the front righthand side seat of the Interstar coming loose. This meant that there was the possibility of the seat coming away from the floor.

What is the best year for Nissan Interstar vans in terms of reliability?

In 2004 the Nissan Interstar was awarded Van of the Year by the magazine What Van? For this reason, it is fair to say that the 2004 Nissan Interstar is a good pick for performance, value for money, and of course reliability.

How many miles will a Nissan Interstar last?

The Nissan Interstar comes with a 5 year, or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first) warranty. So it is reasonable to say that a Nissan Interstar is expected to last for at least 100,000 miles. But a reasonable estimate would be that a well-maintained Nissan Interstar, which will probably have had some parts replaced over the years, will last for 150,000 miles with a bit of luck.