Lately, all that I have been doing is somehow connected to small turbocharged engines. That involves both dealing with carbon deposit problems on my father’s 1.2 PureTech engine and doing constant research on engines like the Renault 1.2 TCe and now, the Nissan 1.3 DIG-T engine.
In this article I will reveal all the common pain points of this 1.3l Nissan engine and by the end of it you’ll know exactly what to look out for when buying a Nissan with this power plant.
First, we are going to learn more about the basic specs of the 1.3 DIG-T engine and learn more about the power numbers this engine makes. Then, we are going to focus on the Nissan 1.3 DIG-T engine problems and see what troubles this engine. Lastly, we will cover the models that have this engine. So, let’s move on and start elaborating.
Basic Nissan 1.3 DIG-T Engine Specs
The 1.3 DIG-T is a pretty new engine that was released not that long ago. Production started in 2017 and this engine is used in Nissan, Renault, Dacia, and Mercedes Benz models.
Although known as DIG-T, this engine has a real name. Which is HR13DDT. In Renault models, this engine is also known as H5Ht and in Mercedes models, it is known as the M282.
Although they carry different names, they are actually the same engine under the skin. Only the accessories might vary depending on the application and manufacturer.
When it comes to the design, this is an inline-4 engine with 1.3L in displacement. Although pretty small in displacement, this engine makes a lot of power and this is achieved by using a turbocharger.
This engine also has some new technologies like direct injection and variable valve timing, which make it run a lot more efficiently.
There is also a variable displacement oil pump, regenerative braking, Stop-Start system, as well as a Bore Spray Coating system. A system that was only used in the Nissan GT-R.
Now let’s learn more about the spec list of this engine.
- Engine Configuration: inline-4
- Displacement: 1.3L
- Bore: 72.2 mm
- Stroke: 81.3 mm
- Block & Head Material: Aluminum
- Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
- Variable Valve Timing: Yes
- Turbocharger: Yes
- Direct Injection: Yes
- Horsepower: 114 – 157 hp
- Torque: 220 – 270 N-m (162 – 199 lb-ft)
Common Nissan 1.3 DIG-T Engine Problems
Now let’s list the common problems with the 1.3 DIG-T engine.
- Spark Plug & Coil Failure
- Carbon Buildup
- Stop-Start Glitches
- Excessive Oil Consumption
- Turbocharger Failure
- Purge Valve Failure
We listed the common problems of the 1.3 DIG-T engine, now let’s move on and further elaborate on these issues in detail.
Spark Plug & Coil Failure
The first and most common problem with this engine is the problem with the spark plugs and ignition coils.
Problems with ignition components are prevalent on almost every engine that uses direct injection. So, why is this the case?
Well, this is the case because these engines are running really high fuel pressure and this can be somewhat damaging to the ignition components.
Direct injection is a lot more demanding when it comes to ignition and these engines go through a set of these components every 40,000 to 60,000 km.
Common symptoms associated with this problem include check engine light, engine misfires, rough engine idle, poor engine work, and poor performance.
Proper diagnosing of these components is only done with a special tool known as an OBD2 scanner. This scanner will give you the codes and then you can check which cylinders are misfiring. Then replace the faulty coils and plugs.
Now let’s move on to the next Nissan 1.3 DIG-T engine problems.
Carbon buildup is another very common problem with the 1.3 DIG-T engine. So, what is carbon buildup, and why does it occur in this engine?
Carbon buildup is basically deposits from oil vapors that have accumulated in this case on the intake ports.
This is a big headache for a lot of modern engines that use direct injection. So, how does direct injection affect this carbon problem?
Well, in older engines, fuel was injected through the intake ports. So, the intake valves were constantly washed by the gasoline.
In direct injection, this method is no longer used. These engines have a special injector that injects the fuel directly into the combustion chamber.
And the valves are not cleaned since there is no gasoline to wash them. In this case, the oil vapors are starting to stick to the valves and over time they will create a crust of carbon deposits.
Luckily, these deposits are not affecting the work of the engine. But if they become excessive, you will have issues. The valves can start to malfunction and you will start experiencing engine misfires and poor engine work.
There is a method known as walnut blasting that is effective at removing these deposits from the engine.
Another common issue that many owners reported is the problem with the Stop-Start system that was installed in vehicles with this engine.
Many owners described it as glitchy. In other words, it constantly malfunctions and almost never works properly.
That’s why we advise that you at least turn it off if you notice that something is wrong with it and visit the nearest dealership to get the problem sorted out.
This is probably caused by some electrical or software malfunction and it is not connected with the engine itself.
Excessive Oil Consumption
Another fairly common problem with this engine is excessive oil consumption. These engines tend to drink more oil than normal.
Usually, as the kilometers start to accumulate on this engine, the engine will start to consume more and more engine oil, and this oil consumption will become so excessive that you will need to either refurbish the engine or replace the engine.
This is why we advise that you avoid engines that have accumulated more than 150,000 km. These engines are probably nearing the end of their lifespan and consume engine oil.
Always choose an engine with lower kilometers in order to be safe from these problems. Since you don’t want to constantly top off the engine oil on your car.
Now let’s move on to the next Nissan 1.3 DIG-T engine problems.
Turbocharger failures were also noted on the Nissan 1.3 DIG-T engine. Not at a very high rate but they can happen.
For those who don’t know, the turbocharger is the component that compresses the air and redirects it into the intake manifold. This method creates a lot more power from these small displacement engines.
Without this turbo, the engine will feel very slow and unresponsive. And that’s what happens when these turbos fail.
There will be whistling noises, check engine light, loss of power, no boost, oil leaks from the turbo, and so on.
The solution to these problems is to replace the turbo with a new one and this will solve the problem permanently in your vehicle.
You can also opt to refurbish the turbo and this is another good option that is a bit cheaper than buying a new unit.
Purge Valve Failure
Another very common problem with this engine is the problem with the purge valve that is for the EVAP system.
For those who don’t know, the EVAP system is the system that collects the vapors created in the gas tanks and redirects them into the intake.
In this case, the valve fails and can end up in a closed or open position. This will cause the purge system to malfunction and the car could end up running lean and the check engine light will appear constantly.
Replacing this valve will solve the problem since these solenoids usually malfunction from the inside.
Which Models Have The Nissan 1.3 DIG-T Engine?
- 2018 – Present Renault Megane
- 2018 – Present Renault Scenic / Grand Scenic
- 2019 – Present Renault Arkana
- 2019 – Present Renault Captur
- 2019 – Present Renault Clio
- 2019 – Present Renault Kadjar
- 2019 – Present Renault Talisman
- 2020 – Present Renault Coleos
- 2021 – Present Renault Kangoo/ Mercedes Citan, T-Class/ Nissan Townstar
- 2022 – Present Renault Austral
- 2018 – Present Nissan Qashqai
- 2019 – Present Nissan X-Trail
- 2020 – Present Nissan Kicks
- 2020 – Present Dacia Duster
- 2018 – Present Mercedes A-Class
- 2019 – Present Mercedes B-Class
- 2019 – Present Mercedes CLA-Class
- 2020 – Present Mercedes GLA-Class
- 2020 – Present Mercedes GLB-Class
What Are Some Common Nissan 1.3 DIG-T Engine Problems?
Common problems with this engine include spark plug and coil failures causing the engine to misfire. There are also turbocharger failures, purge valve failures, oil consumption, and carbon buildup problems.
Is The Nissan 1.3 DIG-T Engine Reliable?
Well, this is a fairly new engine and its reliability score is good but as the engine ages this score will probably go down since the miles will start to accumulate on these engines.