It was announced in December 2015 that the Nissan VR30DDTT engine would be coming to the Infiniti Q50 in 2016. The car’s powerful 3.0L twin turbo V6 engine makes for a thrilling driving experience. The VR30 engine comes in two power outputs: 300 and 400 horsepower. Designed to be efficient while also being robust, the VR30DDTT engine was named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines in both 2017 and 2018.
The truth is, no engine is faultless, and this one is no exception. There are a few common issues with the Nissan VR30DDTT engine that will be discussed in this article, along with the engine’s specs and performance.
What Cars Use the Twin Turbo VR30?
The following Nissan and Infiniti models use VR30DDTT engines:
- 2016-present Infiniti Q50
- 2017-present Infiniti Q60
- 2019-present Nissan Skyline (non-US)
- 2022- Nissan Z Proto
Foreign-market Nissan Skyline models resemble the Infiniti Q50. The VR30 engine is currently only found in a small number of vehicles, but this is likely to change in the near future. The new 2022 Nissan Z Proto will have a 3.0L twin turbocharged V6 engine.
Nissan VR30DTT 3.0L V6 Specs
Nissan’s VR engine family is represented by the letter VR, while the number 30 refers to the engine’s 3.0L displacement. The first D stands for DOHC, and the second D stands for direct cylinder injection of gasoline. Finally, the VR30’s twin turbo architecture is represented by the TT. Unlike the Nissan GT-VR38DETT, R’s this engine has no DETT designation.
VR38 engines use multi port fuel injection, which is why they have an E in their engine code. Anyway, the Nissan VR30DDTT engine’s specs are displayed in the following table:
|Displacement||2,997 cc (3.0L)|
|Valvetrain||DOHC, 24 valves|
|Valve Control||Intake & Exhaust VCT|
|Compression||10.3 : 1|
|Bore x Stroke||86mm x 86mm|
|Horsepower||300-400hp @ 6,400 rpm|
|Torque (lb-ft)||295-350 @ 1,600 – 5,200 rpm|
Modern high-performance engines typically have specs like these. A 3.0L twin turbo engine, like the legendary N54 and 2jz engines before it, appears to be the recipe for success. Aluminum is used for the VR30’s head and block to keep the overall weight low. Variable cam timing (VCT) and DOHC design help the engine put out plenty of power and torque.
Fuel injection is a great way to improve performance, efficiency, and emissions all at the same time. However, there are a few drawbacks to DI, one of which we’ll cover in more detail as one of the more common VR30DDTT engine issues. No matter how you slice it, the Nissan VR30 has a great look and performs admirably as a whole.
RS400 (Red Sport 400) models come standard with 400hp and 350tq. The 300hp and 295lb-ft of torque are only available on the silver sport models. Both engine options are available on every model. 400hp VR30 engines, on the other hand, use a second water pump.
VR30 Twin Turbo Tuning Potential
Because we’ll have a complete guide for VR30DDTT bolt-on performance upgrades soon, we’ll keep this article brief. The fact that it’s a twin turbo engine means there’s still a lot of untapped potential. Moreover, it appears that the engines are rated too low right out of the box. The VR30 3.0L twin turbo engine is capable of more with a tune and some basic upgrades.
Time will tell if the engine can handle the additional power now that it’s so new. More research and development is also required to determine their long-term potential. The VR30 engine’s maximum power and torque can be increased with a tune and aftermarket upgrades.
Nissan VR30DDTT Engine Problems
The Nissan / Infiniti VR30DDTT engine is prone to a variety of issues.
- Drive belt
- Carbon build-up
- Fuel injectors
We’ll go into more detail about each of these concerns in the following paragraphs. A few quick housekeeping notes, on the other hand, are critical. These are some of the more common flaws, but we can’t guarantee that we’ll mention them every time.
However, this does not imply that they are widespread in the true sense of the word. Instead, these are some of the most common places where things go wrong.
The Nissan VR30DDTT engine has proven to be quite dependable thus far. As with any new engine, there were a few hiccups to be worked out in the beginning.
Because the VR30 is so new, long-term dependability is still an open question. This article will conclude with a discussion on trustworthiness. For the time being, let’s dive right in and look at the issues listed above that are commonly associated with the VR30DDTT engine.
1) VR30 3.0L Twin Turbo Drive Belt Issues
In addition to the driving belt, accessory belt, and serpentine belts are all terms used to describe this particular type of belt. The Nissan VR30DDTT engine has a tendency to develop this issue quite frequently. However, these problems have hopefully been resolved now in the long run. A service bulletin from Infiniti addressed this VR30 failure, and it doesn’t appear to be a common problem with newer engines. For the most part, it only affects Infiniti Q50 and Q60 models manufactured in 2016 and 2017.
These kinds of failures are generally avoided because all new engines have minor design flaws. VR30DDTT drive belt problems were quickly addressed by Nissan and Infiniti. In spite of this, failure of the serpentine belt can lead to a variety of other, more serious problems.
One of the most pressing concerns is that the drive belts are coming undone on the pulley. You’ll notice power loss, engine lights, and other symptoms when this happens. In addition, it raises the risk of engine overheating, which could lead to even more damage. It’s safe to say that 2018+ VR30DDTT models won’t have problems with drive belts, but it’s also possible. The drive belt on a 2016 or 2017 engine should be checked as soon as possible if it hasn’t been.
Nissan 3.0 Twin Turbo Drive Belt Symptoms
The following are some symptoms of a Nissan VR30 engine drive belt/serpentine belt issue:
- Squealing/noisy belt
- Multiple dash lights
- A/C or Heat Issues
- Power loss
Some belt failure can be preceded by only hearing strange noises before the belt fails completely. The drive belt should be audible and squealing when you listen for it. If not, you’ll likely notice symptoms as soon as the Infiniti VR30DDTT belt breaks. The check engine light, as well as other warning lights, will almost certainly come on. Driving the engine further will result in power loss and overheating.
VR30DDTT Drive Belt Replacement
Nissan and Infiniti should pay for the repairs because the problem was addressed with a service bulletin. However, a service bulletin isn’t always a recall or an extension of the manufacturer’s warranty There is a good chance that the VR30DDTT will no longer be under warranty if you check now. Even if they don’t cover the repair outside of the warranty period, it’s better to be safe than sorry and call them anyway.
2) Nissan VR30DDTT Carbon Build-Up Problems
Once again, we’re discussing the accumulation of carbon. Since the Nissan VR30 engines are so new, this is probably not a common problem. However, carbon build-up is a possibility with nearly every direct-injection engine over time. The VR30DDTT 3.0L V6 engine may benefit from this in the long run.
Natural oil blow-by is produced by all engines. After entering the engine’s intake ports, the oil can form carbon deposits on the intake valves. With a port injection, this isn’t an issue because fuel is pumped through intake ports and valves instead.
However, direct injection is used by many modern engines, such as the VR30 twin turbo. Because fuel flows directly into the cylinder, there is no need for valve-to-valve flow.
The result is a buildup of carbon on the intake valves and ports over time. DI is a great technology in and of itself, and we’re happy to make the sacrifice for it in exchange for better fuel economy, emissions, and overall performance. Whatever the case may be, expect carbon build-up to become an issue with the VR30DDTT after approximately 80,000 to 120,000 miles.
VR30 Carbon Build-up Symptoms
Extra carbon build-up on the Nissan/Infiniti VR30 engine can cause a number of problems.
- Rough idle
- Power loss
As carbon deposits accumulate, airflow into the cylinders becomes restricted. Misfires, rough idle, stuttering, and hesitation while accelerating can all result from this. Because less airflow equals less power, one of the most noticeable symptoms is a loss of power.
However, power loss is extremely difficult to detect. There is a gradual increase in carbon build-up over 50,000+ miles, so the loss of power is not sudden.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some DI vehicles will continue to accumulate carbon for their entire lives without being addressed. Other problems or failures are extremely rare as a result of carbon deposits.
Once there is enough build-up, it does cause issues with drivability and performance. With a high-performance engine like the VR30DDTT, most people want to avoid this.
Nissan VR30DDTT Walnut Blasting
When it comes to removing carbon deposits from intake valves and ports, walnut blasting is the method of choice. A heavy-duty shop vac and walnut media shells are used in the procedure. Since the intake manifold must be removed to get to the intake valves, the majority of the cost is labor-based.
Walnut media shells for the VR30DDTT engine only cost $20-30 for the do-it-yourself crowd. Due to labor costs, a repair shop may charge anywhere from $300 to $600. Again, it’s a relatively minor issue, and some VR30 engines will likely be fine without walnut blasting for the rest of their lives.
3) VR30DDTT 3.0 V6 Fuel Injector Failures
Another common issue with the Nissan VR30DDT 3.0 V6 engine is failed fuel injectors. Fuel injector failures are also addressed in a service bulletin. A number of people attribute this to modifications, tuning, and the use of E85 fuel. VR30 twin turbo engines, on the other hand, have had numerous failures with no modifications.
It appears that metallic debris from the OEM fuel rail is causing the failures. This shows that VR30DDTT aftermarket injectors can still be affected by problems with the fuel rail. This means that the underlying problems with the fuel rail system need to be resolved.
To address these issues, Nissan and Infiniti released a new OEM fuel rail. I’m hoping this will work as a long-term fix. As long as Nissan is aware of the issues, we can assume that they’ll address them on all future VR30 engines. To put it another way, this appears to be a minor hiccup common to all new engines.
More information on VR30DDTT injector failures can be found in this article, which goes into greater depth.
Nissan VR30 Fuel Injector Symptoms
The following are symptoms of a problem with the Nissan VR30DDTT 3.0L twin turbo engine’s fuel injectors or fuel rails:
- Fault codes P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P0305, P0306
- Check engine light
- Rough idle
- Poor performance
If you have any symptoms that suggest a problem with the VR30 fuel injectors, look into the fault codes. If you’re experiencing misfires, the check engine light may come on. If the fuel flow isn’t correct, this can lead to a variety of other problems. Fuel injector failure on the 3.0L twin turbo V6 could explain the rough idle, stuttering, and poor overall performance you’re experiencing.
VR30DDTT 3.0L Fuel Injector Fix
Although we were unable to locate the complete service bulletin, it is available online somewhere. The VR30DDTT fuel injectors are a known issue for Nissan and Infiniti. In other words, they’ll probably help and cover you if you have any problems. Make sure you find the most recent OEM fuel rails if you must pay cash.
Even if you use new OEM or aftermarket injectors, the problem may still persist. Any new injectors can be destroyed quickly if the fuel rail is clogged with debris.
Nissan VR30DDTT Reliability
Reliability of the 3.0L Nissan VR30DDTT V6 engine? Yes, in general, we think this is a dependable engine. However, it’s difficult to judge the performance of brand-new engines like the VR30, which has only been around for five years. Any new engine has kinks and flaws that must be worked out in the beginning. Even the 3.0L twin turbo V6 has had some kinks to work out.
In terms of reliability, the VR30DDTT’s advanced age actually works in its favor. Some common issues don’t surface until engines are 6-8 years old and have traveled 100,000 miles or more. When an engine reaches that level of age and mileage, it’s inevitable that it will fail.
Despite this, the VR30 has proven itself to be a dependable engine thus far in its life. Make sure to use high-quality oils, perform fluid changes on schedule, and address issues promptly. If you follow these steps, the Nissan VR30DDTT engine should provide you with a pleasurable and dependable driving experience.
VR30DDTT Common Engine Problems Summary
The VR30 twin turbo engine found in Nissan and Infiniti vehicles is an enticing and promising one. It comes with a respectable 300-400hp out of the box, and with a few simple bolt-on upgrades, you can get even more power. There is a good balance between performance, efficiency, and reliability with VR30DDTT engines. The VR30 V6 engine isn’t perfect, of course, and that’s true of all engines.
Drive belts and fuel injectors are two common VR30DDTT issues. These are most likely the result of early design flaws that were ironed out over time. It’s encouraging that Nissan/Infiniti responded quickly to the issues and found solutions. Otherwise, carbon buildup is just a drawback of what we consider to be a superior technological solution.
It’s a work in progress, though. Longer-term reliability data for the VR30DDTT 3.0L V6 engines will most likely become available in the upcoming years. For the time being, everything appears to be going according to plan. The VR30 engines from Nissan are a compelling combination of power, dependability, and economy.
Have you used the Nissan VR30DDTT before? Are you thinking about it?
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!