Nissan Skyline GT-R Problems: 8 Common Issues

Ken Nakashima
January 5, 2023

If you are a car enthusiast who enjoys every bit of the nostalgic feeling and the one-and-only look on the road, you may want to experience the Nissan Skyline GT-R in no time.

With its name only, you can already think that this car is among the genius 10 of all time when it comes to performance and built structure.

However, Nissan Skyline GT-R problems are still available and need proper handling methods. With that said, here are some issues of Nissan Skyline GT-R and GT-R R35 plus their possible solutions coming from experts in the auto industry.

Before getting into the Skyline GT-R’s issue detail, look at some information about this model below to get to know it better for both good and bad characteristics.

Is Nissan Skyline GT-R A Good Car?

There are good reasons for the car model to gain the popular title for many years to pass by and many years to come.

Robust engine

The first advantage of Skyline is undoubtedly its engine. You may never go wrong with the powerful 6-cylinder engine, which is also turbocharged. As for the GT-R 2017 model, its engine could offer up to 467 pound-feet of torque with 565 horsepower. With that speed and power within, you can take advantage of this legendary roadie companion on every corner of the engine, whether new or old.

Moreover, with the ability to rise from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3 seconds flat, any GT-R generation throughout the history is not for weak drivers or any faint of heart.

Nissan Skyline GT-R engine
Nissan Skyline GT-R robust and powerful engine. (Photo: Flickriver)

Good fuel economy

The model offers reasonable fuel economy ratios for an original race car. Specifically, a model of this line can get up to 22 mpg on the highway, as well as 16 mpg on the traditional city road. While this isn’t ideal for those interested in hybrids or extending range as much as possible, it’s considered above average for a sports car compared to others.

The Nissan Skyline GT-R includes a powerful traction control system, which is ideal for most weather and climate conditions and allows you to control it with ease.

In all versions of the GT-R, owners can also enjoy the benefit of adjustable dampers that make driving it more enjoyable, regardless of the terrain.

Flexible in any weather performance

One feature that makes the Nissan GT-R stand out as a sports car is its ability to operate in all weather and climate conditions.

In addition, the Nissan GT-R is capable of handling snow, which is why it stands out among other sports cars currently on the market. For those who love sports cars or travel or live in an area where snow is likely, the Nissan GT-R could be the perfect choice for speed, comfort, safety, and reliability.

Modern technology in automotive systems

With newer versions of the Nissan GT-R, you can also take advantage of the high-tech components that come with the vehicle. As of 2017, the Nissan GT-R includes various high-tech components:

  • Built-in navigation system
  • A large touchscreen (8 inches ) can manage smartphone and vehicle apps from one central location.
  • Built-in Bose GT-R Sound System
  • The rearview camera helps manage navigation, parking, and reversing.
Nissan GT-R technology
You can take advantages of the high-tech components that come with the GT-R. (Photo: Aston Parrott)

>> Check more: Top 10 Best Nissan JDM Cars Of All Time

What Are The Downsides of The Nissan Skyline GT-R?

Aside from these highlighted advantages, the Nissan Skyline GT-R also bears several drawbacks, which can annoy drivers when commuting and maintaining at times.

The newest model of GT-R has only automatic transmission.

If you’re looking for a car with an automatic transmission, you’ll need to find a replacement for the Nissan GT-R. As this model only offers an automatic transmission through generations.

There can’t currently be a built or customized Nissan GT-R with a manual transmission, which may not be what an auto collector or racer is looking for. However, if you accept and feel okay with an automatic transmission, the Nissan GT-R could be a perfect choice.

Space shortage for any long-distance trip

As with any sports car or race car, this model doesn’t offer or deliver a luxurious smooth-to-the-core ride. If you want the feeling of driving in the clouds or the air, you may opt for vehicles such as luxury sedans or family minivans.

With the Nissan Skyline GT-R, you can anticipate a bumpier ride than usual, especially if you’re driving close to the ground or through city roads and densely populated areas.

Not offer a smooth ride, even on straight roads.

If you’re looking for a vehicle that offers plenty of storage space and seating for additional passengers, you might want to look elsewhere than the GT-R.

The car is designed with more emphasis on speed and class than luxury, comfort, and space. For those looking for and want to experience a Skyline’s fast and impressive ride, this car can meet all needs.

Skyline riding experience
Nissan Skyline GT-R may not offer a smooth ride, even on straight roads. (Photo: Torque GT)

Scrolling through all the characteristics above, while the Nissan Skyline GT-R line-up still has several minor potential issues, it has many more things to offer than only fame and look. The engine, features, and reliability can earn cravings from drivers and racers around the world.

Ultimately, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is the top choice for those who enjoy everything from standard travel with a bit of a unique bumpy feel to racing on the track.

Although the model is not classified as a family car, it can provide a variety of unique experiences and memories for anyone willing to drive in high gear.

Nissan Skyline GT-R Problems: The Most Frequently-Encounter Issues

We have just gone through some pros and cons of a fantastic JDM car in all core characteristics of its system. Rooting from the above downsides of the GT-R line-up, flaws in production, and the somewhat aggressive using process of drivers who overate the car’s performance, the problems can be listed as follows.

Brake issue

The first issue Skyline GT-R has to face from the beginning is its breaking issue. A pressed feel when braking will become a common issue for a GT-R as you drive it to the bearing point. Moreover, you may deal with an unstable or sudden swerving experience by applying the brakes or driving at a higher speed.

Other bad car brake symptoms are the high-pitched or annoying squeaking sound or the scraping and grinding feeling non-stop whenever you want to press or attempt to stop.

The issue also happens for other objective reasons like the excessive brake usage of drivers, causing extreme effects on the car’s wear and tear over time. This car is born with a racing purpose doesn’t mean anyone can use it much more than it offers in an unsuitable environment.

Forcing any car to do its job when it is unbearable is never a good idea. If you notice your vehicle performing an increase in braking distance to complete a full stop on the road, it may be time for you to further inspect every bit of the GT-R’s brake system.

nissan gt-r brake issue
Possible solutions for the Nissan Skyline GT-R brake issue. (Photo: GTR group)

Inspecting your car brake can start with any timely act of checking for cracks in the brake pad areas, both hidden and visible ones while inspecting deeper inside.

Regarding the graded and scraped feel when pressing the brake or the squeaking sound, you may need an adjustment on the worn-down brake itself or change the brake pads/the whole brake with brand new and qualified ones.

In addition, with this problem, your suspension can be in dire need of being replaced. Check the parts list for a new suspension system, and the car will soon get back to normal.

In the end, to prevent the brake from reaching its destructive point and affecting other parts within a system, you should always keep a close eye on the brake status on every mile on the road. Because even the brake on a Skyline GT-R is quite robust just like its engine, it will degrade over time.

Headlights issue

The condensation issue inside the headlights is the second problem we would like to discuss today. The headlights not working properly may result from a defect with the primary headlight controller or switch.

Moreover, some people also report witnessing the condensation within the bulb, causing irritation and disruption for drivers living and commuting in foggy or unpredictable cold climates throughout the year.

You can notice that your GT-R’s headlights are accumulating more steam than usual by observing the vehicle with the naked eye.

Nissan GT-R headlights
You should find optimal solution for the headlights issue to deal with it for good. (Photo: Rare Gallery)

So how can you solve the headlights problem of excessive condensation on the GT-Rs? Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to remove excess condensate from the Nissan GT-R headlights.

If you find that your headlights are accumulating too much water and condensation, you may need to invest in a brand new set of headlights that are more suitable for you based on where you live and your preferences.

You can also try to remove the switch and clean the contacts. In case the removal act doesn’t change anything about the problem, you may need a switch replacement for a better issue resolution.

While you are not required to change your headlights, doing so can reduce the overall effectiveness of your headlights and may put other areas of your vehicle at risk of water damage over time.

Rattling from the rear

This problem will present as a rattling noise during commuting or idling, coming from the rear.

The rattling from the rear is one of the most common faults on the Skyline throughout generations.

nissan skyline rear
This issue is often caused by a loose bearing found at the end of the flywheel shaft. (Photo: Mr GCC)

If you ignore or neglect the rattling, the bearing may have to face tons of damage and eventually cause more problems with related parts. You may not have to replace the entire flywheel. Instead, you can order a replacement bearing directly from reliable car shops nearby. It is a tricky task to execute, but it is still possible with more patience.

Transmission/Gearbox issue

Nissan GT-R’s several first generations encountered more problematic control solenoids compared to the latter. The issue often leads to broken down or damaged parts exponentially faster. As you should know, for any transmission problem including parts that have been worn down or broken, you will require a replacement or repair.

So how to deal with these gearbox and transmission issues? Overall, this question is a bit hard to answer, as it is not possible to turn to an official Nissan Skyline GT-R dealer in US, to order the supplies you need.

Nissan does not offer any gearbox supplies for this model, which is why it is imperative to understand what you are getting into.

Starting/idling problems

If you have problems when starting the car in a very bumpy/rough feeling and excessive vibration, or you have noticed that it is idling erratically, the cause often lies in the AAC valve.

Dealing with the starting or vibrated idling issue, you should immediately remove and clean the AAC valve.

Oil pump failure

Some of the older Skylines have the oil pump failing. So inspect or replace the oil pump as soon as possible to deal with the issue.

Power loss/poor running

If you’ve noticed that the car is running badly and there is a loss of power, the issue may come from the coil pack flaws. Check the guidelines on any online platform to see the live tutorials on dealing with the coil pack or replacing it. Doing so may fix the problem of power loss or poor running.

Engine bearing

Another potential problem for Nissan Skyline GT-R owners is its engine bearing. Many drivers complain and report that they often hear the sound of a bell housing rattle rooting from the engine.

Dealing with this downside, owners can be annoyed and irritated as in most cases, non-experienced ones can even find where the sound comes from or any good way to fix it.

GT-R engine bearing
Engine bearing can cause irritation to drivers. (Photo:

Fortunately, this issue with the GT-Rs is not typically the fault of the driver or owner. As the Nissan GT-R has engine bearing issues due to the manufacturer itself. Most often, this fault in the engine is due to the manufacturer and a loose bearing attached to the vehicle’s flywheel shaft.

While there are no severe issues with a vibrating bearing, it can become problematic if the bearing is so worn down that it can no longer work inside the car or near the engine.

Although this issue is likely the manufacturer’s fault, you may or may not have the ability to reach out and connect with a manufacturer to repair the noise and nuisance you are experiencing free of charge. But you can always opt for full support from a certified mechanic to remove any engine bearing failure inside or near your Skyline GT-R engine.

Wrapping Up

We have gone through 8 frequently-encountered Nissan Skyline GT-R/GT-R R35 issues during operating and commuting. Hope you will take some good insight on this topic whenever you intend to invest in a Skyline GT-R sporty coupe and base the knowledge for any discussion later on.

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