The Infiniti QX60 is a midsize luxury SUV that first debuted as the Infiniti JX in 2013.
It boasts lots of standard features, a roomy and comfortable cabin, a punchy powertrain, and loads of practicality with its third-row seats.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common problems and issues QX60 owners have had over the years and provide possible fixes.
Table of Contents
1. Transmission Issues
Early model years of the Infiniti QX60 had lots of issues with its continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Owners reported problems such as:
- Shuddering or shaking at low RPM
- Grinding and humming noises
- Slipping during acceleration
- Burnt rubber smell
- Multiple transmission failures
Here’s how a few owners described their experience on InfinitiQX60.org:
‘I have a 2014 QX60 with 25,000 miles on it. (one of the first cars off the line) First noticed the “judder” at about 20,000 miles. Seems to happen at slow steady acceleration that is more violent when going up a hill.”
“My 2014 QX60 started the shudder at about 5,000 miles and I am now on transmission #3.”
“We have a 2014 QX60, approx 100k miles. It’s in the shop right now for its 3rd transmission. Transmission #2 lasted 22k miles. Not even a full year,”
Nissan has had a poor track record for reliability when it comes to CVTs. However, transmission issues are far more common in the early model years of the Infiniti QX60, as well as its predecessor, the Infiniti JX.
Nissan and Infiniti initially only reprogrammed the QX60’s transmission software, but eventually updated the CVT’s valve body some time in 2015, which resulted in much better reliability for the later model years. Despite this, it’s still best to change the transmission fluid at 30,000 to 60,000 miles to ensure the CVT’s longevity.
You should also avoid towing with the QX60 because this puts extra stress on the transmission which could shorten its lifespan.
The ZF 9-speed in the second generation QX60 is a traditional torque-converted automatic, which should be much more reliable.
2. Oil Sludge Buildup
Later model years of the first generation Infiniti QX60 can suffer from excessive oil sludge buildup inside the engine which can sometimes result in catastrophic engine failures.
Oil sludge issues only started appearing when the QX60’s 3.5-liter V6 engine was updated with direct injection for the 2017 model year.
The Nissan Pathfinder and Nissan Murano also used the same engine and many suffered from oil sludge problems as well, starting at around 50,000 miles.
In direct injection engines, fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure, which can cause carbon buildup. This can mix with oil to create a sludge-like substance that can clog oil passages and reduce lubrication.
Signs that an engine is suffering from excessive oil sludge buildup include:
- Blue or white smoke from exhaust
- Knocking noises from engine
- Check engine light
- Low oil pressure warning
- Poor performance and fuel economy
Here’s how a few owners described their dilemma on InfinitiQX60.org:
“I recently bought a used 2017 Infiniti QX60 with 45,000 miles. After a few weeks, it started smoking on startup. runs great 95% of the time. I took it to Infiniti and they said it is a “sludged” engine.”
“I purchased a 2019 CPO Infiniti QX60 at the end of February, after few days of having it engine light came on. Almost 3 weeks later low oil pressure light came on. A week and a half later it needed 3 and half quarts of oil. Couple days later dropped it off since it’s burning oil, they found sludge in engine.”
Most dealerships will deny warranty claims if they see excessive oil sludge in the engine because it’s a sign that you didn’t follow the recommended maintenance/oil change schedule.
To avoid oil sludge problems and future engine problems, it’s best to get your oil changed every 5,000 miles. You can look under the oil cap to check for oil sludge, but the best way to do it would be to inspect the oil pan and look under the valve cover.
Unfortunately, once the engine has excessive oil sludge in it, you’ll either have to replace it or rebuild it entirely. Both options will cost several thousand dollars.
Using Sea Foam and other engine cleaners might make the problem worse because once the oil deposits get dislodged, they can completely block the engine’s oil passages.
3. Transfer Case Failure
First generation Infiniti QX60s equipped with all-wheel drive can also suffer from transfer case failures.
Reports of failures are more common in the early model years, but it can also happen in newer cars as they get older.
Signs of a failing transfer case include:
- Leaks from the front of the car
- Shaking and vibrations
- Clunking noises
- Loss of power during acceleration
Here is how a few owners described their situation:
“I have a 2014 hybrid QX60 with transfer case issue. Dealer asking $6200 to replace.”
“A few weeks ago our car was driving with a clunking noise, we took it to the shop and the transfer case was found to have metal shavings in the fluid. Our car only has approximately 81,000 miles on it.”
“I bought this vehicle in 2019 with 16k on it they replaced the transfer case, with 73k on it I had to replace same transfer case again, now with 93k its has leaked again.”
To avoid early transfer case failures, you need to replace the transfer case and differential fluids every 30,000 miles.
However, the seals can also wear out and fail over time. When this happens, you still might need to have the transfer case rebuilt.
4. Noisy Radiator Fan
The QX60’s radiator fans are known to wear out early and make loud noises when the A/C is on.
The noise can be caused by worn-out bearings in some cases. However, the most prevalent issue is when the blades hit the plastic housing due to warping and deformation.
Many QX60 owners say that it’s fairly common for the fan to fail at around 60,000 miles or just after the warranty fails.
Here is how a few owners described their experience:
“My 2015 QX60 has only 58K miles. One of the fans is making knocking sound and I can see that the fan is wobbling in its operation.”
“Very annoying sound. It just happened to my 2017 qx60 on 42k miles. When I stand by the engine by turning on the AC, it makes a flapping noise and from the driver’s seat it sounds like someone is riding lawnmower next to my car. The sound goes away when i turn off the AC.”
“I had a fan housing/shroud that became slightly warped on my 2015 around the 42k mark… made this super annoying ticking sound as the fan blade barely nicked the shroud constantly.”
Replacing the fan shouldn’t be too hard but the dealer might charge you around $600 just for the part. Aftermarket fans cost around $200 to $300, but some have reported that they can be noisier than the OEM part or not turn off when they should. But a fan that has lots of good reviews should work just as well as the original part.
5. AC Problems
Some QX60 owners have had issues where the HVAC system stops blowing cold or hot air through the vents after driving for 15 minutes.
This usually affects the 2015 model year of the QX60 and only after the A/C compressor is replaced.
Here is how a few owners described their problem:
“I have had the AC compressor and condenser replaced due to my AC stopped working, after all that my heat is still not blowing consistently through the vents inside the cabin area.”
“My ac compressor went on my 2015 Qx60, local mechanic replaced it. Right after that, I started experiencing the no air flow after 15-20 minutes of highway driving.”
The problem will only arise if an incorrect AC compressor is installed. Infiniti used a different AC compressor for the 2015 model year, but many mechanics assume that all compressors are the same and fit an older part instead.
Similar issues have also been reported for the Nissan Pathfinder.
To fix this, you’ll also have to replace the HVAC control module with one that’s compatible with your compressor.
For example, if you installed a 2014 AC compressor in your 2015 QX60, you’ll have to get a 2014 control module as well to make the climate control work properly.
The control module costs around $300 brand new, but there are also lots of used options for much less. Replacing the HVAC module isn’t too difficult, but you’ll have to take apart the center console to get to the old unit behind the radio.
6. Seat Sensor Problems
Issues with the first generation QX60’s seat sensors are fairly common, especially with the passenger side seats.
When the seat sensor detects a passenger, it arms the airbag and also alerts the driver if the passenger’s seat belt isn’t fastened.
However, QX60 owners have reported issues such as:
- Seat belt warning chimes even if there is no passenger
- Seat belt warning doesn’t go off if there is an unbuckled passenger
- Airbag light indicates it’s off when passenger is seated
Here’s is how a few owners described their issues:
“2018 QX60. When driving with my seat belt on and an empty passenger seat, the seat belt indicator light stays on. It only goes off if I buckle the empty seat.”
“Since we have purchased our car brand new in 2014 we have had ongoing problems with the passenger side airbag. Randomly, even though there is a person sitting in the passenger seat, the air bag indicator is lit “off” as if no one is sitting in the car seat.”
Infiniti did have a recall for the 2014 to 2016 model years QX60 to replace the faulty seat sensors, but other model years have also been affected by seat sensor problems, especially as they wear out and break over time.
A new seat sensor costs less than $100 and it’s fairly easy to install. However, you may still need to visit the dealer to get it recalibrated.
7. Seat Issues
Several second generation QX60 owners have reported that the heated seats don’t get warm enough when the weather gets really cold.
Here’s how two owners described their experience:
“Just purchased 2023 Infiniti QX60 a month ago. Back then it wasn’t cold enough to utilize heated seats too often. However, the weather definitely got colder and started to use more often. Heated seats never got warm enough, took it to the dealer several times already. but the dealer couldn’t make it anything better. both driver seat and passenger seat does not work, but the back seats working fine.”
“I have a 2022 QX60. Both the heated and cooling function in the front seats don’t work. Brought it to the dealer and they did not do anything.”
Other owners have also noticed that the leather seats start looking worn after just a few hundred miles.
“I got a QX60 2022 pure and my driver seat (usually driving without passengers) started to have stretches.
I am 188 pound… nothing special about my body, but seat already looks like car is three + years old.”
“I have the same problem with my 2022 QX60 Sensory trim. Mine has just over 1000 miles but I noticed the driver seat bottom was stretching several hundred miles before. Note I noticed the same in my previous Infiniti, a 2019 QX50 Essential.”
This premature wear seems like a fairly common issue with Infiniti’s seat upholstery. Some owners were able to get their seat replaced after getting approval from Infiniti’s corporate representatives.
Treating the seats with leather conditioner every few months should also keep them in good shape for much longer.
8. Infotainment Screen Issues
Many first and second generation QX60 owners have complained about different electrical issues, as well as bugs and glitches with the car’s electronics.
Some of the more commonly reported issues include:
- Navigation screen goes blank
- Infotainment restarts or freezes
- Rear entertainment screen flickers
- Wireless charging doesn’t work
- Bluetooth connectivity issues
Many software glitches can be solved by rebooting the infotainment system. This can be done by holding down the volume button for about 10 seconds. You can also disconnect the negative battery terminal for 5 to 10 minutes to force the car’s computers and electronic modules to restart.
If the issues persist, take the car back to the dealer for a proper diagnosis. They can hook up their diagnostic computers to check for any hardware issues.
Aside from hardware issues with the AV unit, freezing problems and connectivity issues can be caused by a faulty telematics module. This part handles the car’s connectivity features and is integral to the infotainment system.
9. Automatic Braking Issues
Both first and second generation models of the QX60 can suffer from automatic emergency braking (AEB) problems.
Some cars have a constantly blinking AEB light for no reason, but they still drive normally.
However, a few QX60 have also complained about the car’s AEB or forward collision system triggering on its own even if there are no other vehicles or obstructions around.
Here is one such example:
“While driving 40-50mph, my 2023 QX60 malfunctioned sensing the car was in a front end collision forcefully stopping the car. The force was so strong that I thought a large truck hit me from behind. After realizing I was not in an accident, the dashboard was lit up with malfunction warnings.”
Automatic braking systems are still in their infancy and many implementations from lots of other car brands can get confused by changes in light or reflections, so problems like this are not exclusive to the QX60.
If you’re always experiencing automatic braking issues, it could also be caused by one of the following:
- Outdated software
- Faulty hardware
- Dirty sensors
Prior to bringing your vehicle to the dealer, inspect the windshield for any dirt or cracks that may interfere with the lane camera mounted near the rearview mirror. It is important to note that fog or frost on the windshield can also impact the functionality of the automatic braking system.
Have your dealer scan for codes that could point to what’s causing the blinking AEB warning light to flash or unintended braking problems. If the car’s lane camera is defective, the dealer can replace it under warranty.
Your dealer should also be able to reprogram the car’s driving assist system with the latest software to eliminate any false positives or bugs in the system.
Infiniti QX60 Pros & Cons
- Upscale styling
- Nicely appointed interior
- Quiet and comfortable ride
- Lots of standard features
- Third-row seats
- Decent towing capacity
- All-wheel drive
- Good value for money
- Engine and transmission issues in older models
- Lacks driving dynamics
- Poor resale value
What Do The Reviews Say?
“The Infiniti QX60 is the Japanese brand’s offering for shoppers searching for a luxury three-row SUV. As such, it faces off against rivals such as the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, Lincoln Aviator and Volvo XC90.”
“With classy styling and a well-appointed interior, the Infiniti QX60 makes a strong first impression. And when compared to some of the front-runners in the segment, the QX60 seems to be a bit of a bargain.”
“The QX60’s V6 engine sounds good when you stomp on the gas pedal, and it delivers smooth power. At our test track, the QX60 sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, putting it comfortably in the middle of the class. Shifts from the nine-speed automatic are smooth and largely imperceptible in everyday driving, but the transmission can be slow to downshift when you need a bit more acceleration.”
“Handling isn’t a strong point for the QX60. Around turns, the QX60 feels big and heavy. Additionally, the steering feels disconnected and doesn’t give you a good sense of control of the vehicle.”
“The 12.3-inch center display screen responds quickly to touches, but the menu layout and some of the graphics look a bit unsophisticated for a luxury vehicle. Apple CarPlay smartphone integration works wirelessly as well as with a USB cable, but Android Auto is USB-only. The QX60 features plenty of charging ports for front-seat and second-row passengers. Sound quality from the available 17-speaker Bose audio system is unremarkable for a premium system.”
“Fit and finish, as well as the quality of materials, is very good not only for Infiniti but also for the highly competitive class.”
What’s the Resale Value of an Infiniti QX60?
Here’s a quick look at used car pricing on Edmunds at the time of writing.