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Nissan Sentra 2006 and earlier



  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    195/60 R15 tires are not that low in profile. It's a common size and is not the main reason why your ride is so harsh. My 02 Lancer has the same size tires and the ride is quite smooth and quiet. The harsh ride is a combination of the short wheelbase of the Sentra and the non-independent heavy rear suspension. 65 series touring tires will help slightly but just know your speedometer will be slightly off. It will read slower than what you are actually going. Didn't your Maxima have low profile tires? That was a commuter car wasn't it?
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I was told that 195/65/15 might not work on the Sentra and to stay with the 195/60/15's. When I changed the wife's from 205/60/15's to 205/65/15's, the tire shop put it on the receipt that I had requested the change, eventhough they were not the correct size for the car. They had to cover thier [non-permissible content removed] in case a problem cropped up later.
    I suggest you ask Bret in the tire forum as he helped me with the wife's car and is quite knowledgeable.

    The Sandman :-)
  • machaanmachaan Posts: 30
    I got my GXE Ltd for $13k in the spring of 1999.
    Since then, I have driven this car in 30 states in 2 countires.

    The car has has ZERO non-scheduled maintenece till now. So far I have
    replaced only front tires, front brakes pads/rotors and wiper blades.
    Last winter, the car has always started on the first crack in
    -10F temps with three year old battery.

    The interior looks in better shape than my friend's 02 Altima.

    Best mpg: 38 trip to Montreal from NY
    Worst mpg: 18 trip to Minneapolis @ temp 15F
    Longest trip: 1150 miles, 7 states NJ-PA-OH-MI-IN-IL-IA

    Since 30k service, all I have been doing is oil changes for $12 at walmart.
    The drivers seat feels flat now. Need to replaced/fix it.

    The thing than most impresses me is the engine. The car cruises interstates
    at 80mph in the low 3k rpm. It still has power to spare at that speeds. It
    can do 95 mph on uphills with a passanger at little over 4kRPM.
    The build quality is terrific. Not a single rattle! I hear some minor
    buzzes when the temps are in the teens.

    My biggest gripe has been floaty feel above 80mph; but it feels
    safe and secure upto 70mph

    Few months back I decided to replace it with 03 protege5 wagon. I changed
    my mind afer the test drive. The 5speed Mazda felt gutless when compared to
    my 4speed automatic which has 0.4L less displacement. Mine also gets better mpg.
    If Sentra comes with a wagon in the next redesign, I will get in a heartbeat.
  • mwcoxmwcox Posts: 13
    Plagiarism, I know....
    I got my GXE Ltd 5spd for $14k in March of 1999.

    The car has had ZERO non-scheduled maintenece. So far I have only replaced the tires, front brakes pads/rotors and wiper blades.
    The interior looks looks great. Paint still shines, despite my neglect.

    Best mpg: 41 interstate
    Worst mpg: 32 interstate with AC
    Longest trip: 850 miles
    Mostly interstate miles, commuting 2hrs/day.

    All I have been doing is oil changes for $12 at Walmart and tire rotation. Get tires at Wal-Mart, buy protection plan. I have only bought 2 of the last 4 sets of tires on this car. Those tires never last their expected thousands of miles. Kudos to Wal-Mart Service.
    The thing than most impresses me is the engine. The car cruises interstates at 80mph in the low 3k rpm. It still has power to spare at that speeds. It can do 105 mph on interstate.
    The build quality is terrific. Not a single rattle! I hear some minor buzzes in the dash when the temps are in the teens.
    Within the last week the clutch has developed a squeek and the exhaust has developed a rattled at 1400 rpm.
  • machaanmachaan Posts: 30
    Douglas XTRA Trac. $35 each - installed.
    After 20K miles of aggresive driving more than
    50% thread left. This have to be one of the most
    economical cars to own and maintain.
  • My sister's been wanting foglights installed on her '02 gxe, but the dealer price seems to be a bit too high (@ $250)..

    ..anyone know if these can be had for cheaper elsewhere?
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    I was looking around and I think the 2004 Sentra 2.5S may be the best deal going right now. With the same 165 HP engine found in the Altima, air, auto, CD and ABS as standard equipment, plus the added floor mats, splash guards and cabin micro filter, the sticker is $17,530. But, Edmunds says its TMV is $16,179--and after rebate ($1500)--you're looking at a selling price of $14,679. That's darn good, IMO, for the money! Of course, it gets better if you don't need the 2.5 engine. I'm interested in hearing the accounts of 2004 model owners.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I have the same vehicle, except its an 03 and its called the 2.5LE. At the time of my purchase, I received $1000 Cash Back and 2.9% Financing for 60 months. The current $1500 rebate, at least around my parts, can only be combined with a 4.9% rate for 60 months. Its about even, in terms of mo. pmt.

    After about 17K, I have had ZERO issues with the vehicle, it is quicker than any other auto equipped car at a similar price/size point, though MPG is only about 27 in a mix of city/hwy.
    Nice thing about the Sentras is that the side airbag protects head and chest, one of the few in the class that offers this combo. (ION has side curtains, but no chest protection, Civic and Corolla offer only chest....). Offhand, I belive only the Elantra, Accent, and possibly the Protege offer similar side airbag protection.
    I think its a pretty pert handler, tackles off ramps. Seats are supportive, cockpit comfortable and well designed, but the ride could be better.
    Rear seat seriously outclassed, in terms of room and comfort, by most other offerings of this size.

    Unless there is a significant need for added fuel economy, I strongly recommend the 2.5L in this car. Off the line, certainly surprises lots of unsuspecting posers in high peaking 140hp Celicas and 160hp RSXs, especially if they've got autos.

  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Thanks! I had a feeling it would be a good handler. You say the back seat is tight? Is putting 3 people back there one of those things that only works in theory? You say the ride could be better? What about the ride do you not like? I do think the 2.5S could be a great sleeper as 99% of the folks you run across would never guess it had 165HP! In 1991 I bought a new Sentra SE-R with (I believe) 140 HP and that thing would scoot--and it surprised many people as well. I can imagine how this would drive with 25 more horses.
  • I owe a 1993 Nissan Sentra 1.6 engine. It gave me nothing but quality. This car lasts 265000 miles until it starts to smoke. I work on my car for 1. brake job (no one touches my brake). 2. General maintenance such as every 5000 miles I change oil and oil filter. Every 20000 miles I change the PCV valve. 3. I do preventive maintenance such as check oil, air filter clean up or replacemtn, etc...

    Now, I have a Japanese used engine intalled for 850.00 dollars which include engine and labor. I do spend extra 200 dollars for water pump (new one not rebuild one), engine front and rear seals, EGR valve from dealer, transmission seal (good time to replace when engine is off the compartment), all hoses and drive belts, spark plug wires, spark plugs, rotar, etc.

    Now, my car has 305000 miles on it and runs like new.

    My Nissan made my every penny worth. Thank you Nissan!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Finally hit over 5k miles this week, and the mileage hasn't improved very much. Took the car up to Gainesville Florida last month and hoped the mileage would've started to improve after the 900 mile round trip. This did not happen. My city mileage runs between a low of 22 and as high as 26. Any suggestions from the Edmunds readers?
    Thanks for any help.

    The Sandman :-(
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    You've done the 3750 maintenance as per the owners manual, correct? If you dont see an increase in fuel economy after your 7500mi. servicing, you should speak to Nissan customer service and/or your service department. I usually average 26-27MPG in mix of city and (in all fairness, leadfooted) highway, BUT I have the 2.5L, so surely, something seems amiss with your fuel economy from the 1.8L. How are you calculating?

    Also- bad news. Sentra reliablity dropped to "Worse than Average" in Consumer Report's latest survey, and so, the model is no longer recommended. HOWEVER, I have had ZERO mechanical or trim issues with mine in the 17k miles and 10 months I've had it.

  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I had this performed at the dealer, as I wanted at least the first oil change on their books to avoid any future maintenance problems. I did speak to my service advisor at the time, and he assurred me the mileage would get better as I accumulated more mileage. I think he was pulling my chain now, but will give it until 8k to see if it does improve more.
    Very unhappy with this issue, but enjoy the car, as it drives very nicely with the 15" wheels, very similar to our '01 Altima.

    The Sandman :-(
  • My 2002 GXE with 15,000 miles has gotten a low of 31.6 mpg and a high of 39.6 mpg. The average mileage is 34.3 mpg which is ok with me. My vehicle has the 5 speed transmission with Mobil 1 in the engine and Redline synthetic oil in the transmission. Another thing is I am getting a little older and I drive like I want the car to last 200,000 miles.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Could your low gas mileage be a result of living in south Florida? Maybe you have to run your A/C a little more than the average person across the country? I live in metro Atlanta and I'm still using the A/C periodically as the temp is either still around 80, or it's raining. Plus, how much idling do you do? A lot of stop and go driving will lower that figure in a hurry. I know in the heat of the summer, the city mileage on my van will drop to about 14, but will get closer to 20 in the fall. I know there are other factors at work, but that A/C is a killer!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    That could also be the problem. Hasn't been cool enough yet to turn the a/c off. Funny though, my Corolla, which was a 1996 model with the 1.8 engine, got great mileage under the exact same driving conditions. Even the 2003 Corolla bests the 2003 Sentra by a substantial amount mileage wise.
    Guess this is something I'll just have to live with. Having had 2 Corolla's since 1988, I guess I just got spoiled with the great mileage. Otherwise, I really like my Sentra!

    The Sandman :-8
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    You are right there--the Corolla gets mileage like 32/40 where most other cars in the Sentra's class (like Protege, Elantra, and ION) get mileage in the 25/32 range. It does add up!
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Hello all ! I'm new to this board. ( actually
    own a 2k2 max.). My son is having a problem
    with his SE-R . Since he lives in Boston ,
    what dealer in the area has the best service
    dept. ???? Any positive experiences from you
    Bostonians ?
  • Hi,

    I bought my 1996 Sentra with 80K miles on it 6 months ago from a local small dealer. Since then I have been finding that I have to fill up a quart of oil every 300-400 miles. That is just too much. I also find that my tail lights and rear fender are coated with a black soot. It would mean that my car is burning oil.

    Recently the check engine light of my car came on. I brought it over to a mechanic who said that the EGr valve is clogged due to some residue (maybe burnt oil) and so he cleaned it. Now, to verify that truely the oil is burning I did a compression test at home. I removed the spark plugs, put the compression tester one by one in each cylinder and found a compression of 128,115,115,120 psi in each cylinder respectively.

    Surprisingly, contrary to what I had thought all the cylinders had the same compression. If there was an oil leak one of the cylinders should definitely show lesser compression. Either this or all the cylinders are leaking oil. Also, after 5000 miles I found that the spark plug were in excellent shape, no black coating, no oil residue, nothing. (only thing was the spark plug gaps were a bit wider which I adjusted) This has got me pretty much stumped.

    I haven't noticed any oil puddle underneath the car where I park. Does anyone have any suggestions what would be the possible reason for the oil loss? Do I need to do the compression test some other way? What is the ideal compression for a 1996 Sentra? Any comments/ suggestion would really be appreciated.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    First, you should really get underneath the vehicle and check for oil from the bottom side of the engine. The typical leak generator on a Nissan GA16 motor is the timing chain cover. I have also seen three Sentras that had a lot of oil all over the rear of the engines. This was later traced to the wrong oil filters being installed allowing oil to leak around the filter gasket.

    If there are no signs of wet oil dripping, I would say that your Sentra engine is not leaking oil, but burning it. Most modern engines will gather a lot of miles before the piston rings are the source of oil consumption. The majority of times you'll find that oil will be pulled into the combustion chamber past the valve guide seals either because they have worn or become brittle. Sometimes the valve guides themselves are worn badly and the valve guide seals cannot adequately keep oil off of the valve stems, allowing it to pass by the guide and into the chamber.

    Without checking the Nissan specs, the compression check seems low to me.

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