Check used Nitro for transmission issues, leaks
Get your used Nitro candidate in the air on a hoist, and have a mechanic inspect for signs of oil leakage, particular around the rear of the oil pan, and at the rear differential. Be sure any leaks are remedied ahead of your purchase.
Sporadic idle, hesitation during acceleration or other drivability issues could be caused by the engine computer or any number of sensors that feed information to it. A ‘scan’ of the engine computer by a Dodge mechanic can reveal any potential issues with the Nitro’s electronic brain.
Check the ceiling liner and front footwells for signs of moisture that could be caused by a leaky sunroof (if equipped) and note any unwelcomed sounds or sensations coming from the front end while travelling over bumps. Any clunking or ‘popping’ sounds likely indicate a worn-out suspension component.
Finally, check for proper operation of the power door locks, both from the interior switch and remote.
The Verdict: Unique styling, good driving dynamics and a high degree of capability and utility are likely the largest draws to the Nitro as a used buy. But like any used ride, it’s not without its issues. Seek the advice and approval of a trained Dodge mechanic ahead of your purchase.
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2011 Dodge Nitro 4WD Specifications
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