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Hi

I've been on the hunt for an Armada specifically the 2013-2015 Model and have been looking for the past 6 months. Many of my searches have fallen short and disappointed. I've only come across three of these SUV's that I actually tried to buy. First one was posted in Nor Cal and was a scam! I figured it out after the seller hadn't been willing to provide specific pictures I had asked for. There was other signs too so I moved on.

My next attempt was a dealership ad which was priced really well in UT. My wife and I made the appointment to see the Armada which was 2012 SV 4WD and had low miles. All I could see was pics from the dealers site leading up to our road trip. Hopped in a rental and drove 6 hrs to get a hotel and try a local Brewery which had good food. The next morning we would travel a half-hour to see this Armada I was excited to see. It was a total disappointment... The SUV was involved in an accident along with a slew of issues that were not disclosed. The dreaded Heater was blowing cold air and would not blow hot air. When trying to use the functions of the heater controls it made that dreaded clicking noise, the actuators needed to be replaced. Informed the sales rep that I would not buy it. I had to see it as that dealer was $3,000 less than any other I had seen. It was a hard pass! He did offer another one he had gotten on trade and I knew nothing about it. The recently traded one piked my interest as it was a 2015 SV 4WD in white which is the color I most desired. He mentioned that he would need a few days to prep it and get it ready for sale before letting me take it. I was really interested, so he showed it to me in its current state, dirty but not bad! He decided to fire it up, and it had 95k miles which it displayed a noticeable knock in the engine on the cold start. I said NO WAY! The rep tried to offer me a few other cars on the lot but nothing was clicking. I took and Uber back to the airport and rented another car to drive 6 hrs back home. The weekend was shot other than the good time at the Brewery and food we tried. My wife is always down for a road trip, so she liked the new city and drive.

The Armada I bought was the one I should've bought and not traveled north killing my weekend to be let down and disappointed. I found one listed on Carmax and was so worried about buying from them. I certainly thought the Armada I found I would never get my hands on seeing it was located in Socal and was so clean with a ton of options I found later it had that were not listed. I put in the request to have it transferred to our local dealer and that it was all a joke. In fact it was real! The local dealer reaches out to me with a rep who would be assisting me with my purchase. He lets me know that the transaction was real, and it was indeed being shipped to our local lot. So I had to wait 5 days, and I got the call the day before going to UT to see the dreaded one I shared above. My wife and I went to see the Carmax one and I was blown away by how nice it was. It was better than the pictures offered and had a slew of cool features that were not disclosed in the ad. After inspecting it and then a test drive I was SOLD! I was overwhelmed how well cared for this Armada was. It could pass as a near new car. The flaws were next to none. I went over it with a fine tooth comb and was looking at belts, fluids, tires, suspension and could not find a problem. I told my wife that I will not likely find one like it if I keep looking and should just buy it now. I asked the rep to hold to for 1 more day and I would let them know if I would buy it or not. They agreed and there was someone waiting to ask if they could test drive it when we returned from our test drive. The rep said this one was in a pending sale to the family. While in UT and on the dealer lot I called the Carmax rep and said I'm driving back and will buy it! Don't sell it to anyone! I was worried the whole way back it would be sold out from under me... The rep assured it was not going to anyone else.

I'm only a couple of days into ownership at this point and have the opportunity to return it if there are any issues. I made an appointment to have it inspected at my local trusted mechanic tomorrow and they only deal in Japanese Imports and we've known each other for almost 20 yrs. If he finds any problems, he will let me know but driving it a little it is bar far the best one I think I will find.

Just want to share that finding these Armadas in good condition and with low miles is extremely hard to do. For a while I was looking nationwide and just not finding White or Silver in 4WD 2013-2015 yr range, with the options I was looking for. There's a lot of 2WD units but 4WDs are not easy to come by. At one point I started looking for the Pathfinder 2010-2012 as I was not finding the Armada. The Pathfinders with low miles and 4WD get scooped up quickly too. I chased two of them only to have them sold before I could make a deal.

Sorry for the long read.
48369
 

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Good post... and that's how you car shop!
Great decision to have an independent mechanic go over it as well.
Very nice looking rig. Glad you found what you wanted.

Related to your second one where the dealer didn't disclose it was in an accident - I drove 3 hours to look at the Armada I currently own, a 2007 Blue LE. Had all the options I wanted and was the color I wanted. Did all the basic visual inspections and test drove it. Everything was fine. Told the dealer they could start the paperwork, but I also want to see the CarFax report on it. They seemed to keep stalling on the Carfax as they were working towards the signing of the deal. Finally, as they laid the contract in front of me to sign, the general manager came over with the Carfax which showed it had been in an accident. I don't recall it stating the severity, but the general manager told me that he had seen pictures of it from the accident and that it was just a softball sized hit to the back left corner. OK, I could deal with that.

Couple of months go by and I was going through the manuals and books in the glove compartment. Found a service receipt that had the previous owner's information on it, including their e-mail address. I shot off an e-mail to them and asked if they had any issues with the Armada that I should know about and mentioned that the dealer told me about the softball sized smack to the rear. The guy e-mailed me back and seemed shocked about the "softball sized" damage claim. He told me that a pickup truck was coming up behind them and his brakes failed. The truck swerved to try to miss the Armada and clipped the entire corner. Damage top to bottom.

It's unfortunate there are people like this general manager, but over the years I have upgraded and modded this Armada to where it is uniquely mine and I think it is probably running better than when it was new. I am at 117k miles on it now and hope to get another 150k+ out of it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is a lot of accidents that go unreported and some are minor and never get fixed. The ones that people don't have insurance to fix it or take it to a poor repair shop are the ones to look out for.

Its great to see you have bonded with your ride and you're still motoring on. Happy wheeling!
 

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Thought I would follow up with my inspection.
Overall was a good purchase according to the mechanic. We did the undercarriage inspection together. My rig showed minor rust on the rear control arms and rear camber bolts. The camber bolts were oxidized. This was a little annoying but the bushings were all excellent so the mechanic said it was good. The rear shocks were new or newer and were KYB EXCEL-G. The front shocks were also recently replaced but the brand was unknown. All fluids looked good and rear brake pads were a little worn. Tires were new and wear was non issue.
One noticable issue is the OEM lower air box part that supports the filter had one broken tab. The mechanic showed me that I had a K&N drop in Filter. The issue here is the box is not securing properly. The filter itself showed signs it was not in a secured environment.
Another issue I'm stumped by is the 2nd row bench seats not folding up when pulling the top shoulder release on driver or passenger seat. Entry to the rear is inoperable until I sort this.
I'm trying to adjust to the fuel economy at the moment but it's not much different than my previous Jeep Wranglers.
The Mechanic stated it was a great find. I was thinking of doing the spark plugs while doing all the fluids.
 

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One noticable issue is the OEM lower air box part that supports the filter had one broken tab. The mechanic showed me that I had a K&N drop in Filter. The issue here is the box is not securing properly. The filter itself showed signs it was not in a secured environment.
Sounds like a good reason to get an aftermarket CAI. These VK56 motors definitely have some extra horses and torque that can be unlocked with a good CAI, Exhaust and Tuner. I could never go back to driving a stock Armada.

If you want to stick with stock, you could try posting in the for sale section to see if anyone has a stock air box on the cheap, since a fair number of people have gone with CAI's.

You never mentioned... exactly what year you ended up getting and how many miles on it?

I was thinking of doing the spark plugs while doing all the fluids.
Best prices on NGK plugs will be at RockAuto.com. Stay away from places like Ebay or Amazon when buying plugs. We've recently seen a few problems on the forum here regarding that. Just not worth the headache.

The plug on the #8 cylinder can be a bear to get to. A 6" magnetic swivel plug extension socket will come in very handy for this. I also use another 3" extension and another short swivel adapter in conjunction with that.

Also, a couple of good places to do parts research and to purchase OEM parts are below. Courtesy Nissan gives a nice discount in most cases over what your local dealer will charge you.

Courtesy Nissan

Nissan Parts Deal
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like a good reason to get an aftermarket CAI. These VK56 motors definitely have some extra horses and torque that can be unlocked with a good CAI, Exhaust and Tuner. I could never go back to driving a stock Armada.

If you want to stick with stock, you could try posting in the for sale section to see if anyone has a stock air box on the cheap, since a fair number of people have gone with CAI's.

You never mentioned... exactly what year you ended up getting and how many miles on it?



Best prices on NGK plugs will be at RockAuto.com. Stay away from places like Ebay or Amazon when buying plugs. We've recently seen a few problems on the forum here regarding that. Just not worth the headache.

The plug on the #8 cylinder can be a bear to get to. A 6" magnetic swivel plug extension socket will come in very handy for this. I also use another 3" extension and another short swivel adapter in conjunction with that.

Also, a couple of good places to do parts research and to purchase OEM parts are below. Courtesy Nissan gives a nice discount in most cases over what your local dealer will charge you.

Courtesy Nissan

Nissan Parts Deal
The year I found and bought was a 2013 80k mile SV 4WD.

Previous owner Upgrades:

Leather seats which I think are factory but not 100% sure. They do have the Airbag tags on the front seats by the headrests/Shoulder area. Both driver and passenger seats are heated as well and both power equipped.

DVD Entertainment in the Driver and Passenger Headrests for the viewers in the back. Who ever installed them had experience with this as they are large low-profile units. In fact when I first saw the Armada in person, I was looking it over and none of the above features were mentioned on the listing for the vehicle. I struggled to figure how to play a DVD until discovering the entry point for a DVD was in the top of the headrests. It was very low-profile setup. I love it.

I did a lot of searching or so I thought and even called Nissan NA to provide vin numbers to see if this Armada had been equipped with the above features from the factory and they said No! It was a base SV and the previous owner did all those upgrades after taking ownership. (y)



Thanks for sharing the tips about Spark Plugs I will follow that info as my mechanic has informed me that 90k miles would be a time to do all new fluids on the rig. (y)

I've been doing searches about shocks as well and the difficulty in finding a good rear shock that is stock height. What I've found was Icon makes Rears and if paired with the Bilstein 4600's up Front, it should be a good solid combo. In my case I don't think I will be doing a lot of hauling but who knows.
 

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The year I found and bought was a 2013 80k mile SV 4WD.


I've been doing searches about shocks as well and the difficulty in finding a good rear shock that is stock height. What I've found was Icon makes Rears and if paired with the Bilstein 4600's up Front, it should be a good solid combo. In my case I don't think I will be doing a lot of hauling but who knows.
Is the Bilstein rear 4600 not stock height? I have the 4600 up front but haven't done anything with the back.

48379
 
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