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Nissan Sentra Noises

Hey guys,
I just bought a Sentra about 4 weeks ago (posted in the buying experience forum about it) and overall I like my car, but there is this weird noise that is coming out of the dash area behind the steering wheel. It kind of sounds like a hissing or spraying noise, like when fluid or air is escaping from a small hole. I took it into the dealer twice, the first time they thought I was talking about the belts, so they fixed that, but then the next time they didn't hear the noise so they told me to bring it in and have one of their "noise experts" check it out. So I went in today, he sat in the car and right when I moved forward, the noise started up ever so slightly and he said immediately he knew what it was. He said it was the power steering fluid going through the system after the car warms up and it is a normal thing for all Sentras and it was not a defect. As a result, it isn't covered under the Lemon Law. Can anyone confirm that they have this noise with their Sentras as well and have you been getting the same response?

The noise is just really aggravating and I want it to stop! :confuse: :mad:


  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Drive another 06. If they all do it, then have the dealership let you drive a different Sentra to verify.

    I have no noise the way you describe the noise. The Sentra does have a fair amount of engine and road noise that are normal.
  • Thanks for the information, the car has been surprisingly quiet in terms of background road noise and engine noise, just that annoying "squeaking/hissing" noise. The background noise from the street, I would even say it is quieter than my fiancee's RAV4. I wouldn't mind if it was just the engine being loud, it just seems to be something totally different. I guess I'll go back to the dealership and do some test driving since it seems to not be present in other cars.
  • godot4godot4 Posts: 5
    I bought my Sentra 1.8s Special Edition three weeks ago and it also has a very annoying noise under the dashboard. It seems to be coming from behind the speedometer. But it sounds like more of an electro-static noise (sort of like scratching or interference on a radio). It happens every time I step on the accelerator after the car has warmed up. The noise is loudest when gas is being actively fed to the engine – it diminishes when I take my foot off the accelerator and stops completely when the car is idling. The dealer heard it but couldn't figure out what it was. They told me to bring it back if it gets any louder. It's not extremely loud but it is noticeable and irritating. I'm planning on taking the car back to the dealer in a week or two. I'm not sure if this is exactly what you are experiencing. But, this noise is definitely not normal.
  • godot4,
    I think the noise you have is exactly the same that I have. Tell the dealer that you heard it might be related to the power steering system. I think the way you describe it is correct, it does sound like electro-static noise.
  • godot4godot4 Posts: 5
    Thanks, Hawaii007. I’ll mention that to the dealer and will let you know what happens. By the way, several Nissan mechanics heard the noise I was describing and none of them told me that it was normal. So, I don’t think that this is something we should be expected to live with. I’ll keep you posted.
  • Definitely keep me posted. A guy who knows something about cars took a look at it and couldn't quite figure out what it was but did not think it was normal either. And we got the noise to come by pressing on the accelerator AND turning the wheel to the left a little, maybe about 5 degrees or so. The noise was not present if I only turned the wheel without the accelerator. So that would tend to debunk the power steering contention. If I have time today I am going to take it back down to the dealer and set up an appointment. No one else seems to have responded that they have this problem so I am taking a guess it is not a normal noise.
  • godot4godot4 Posts: 5
    hawaii007, don't necessarily give up on the power steering idea. After you mentioned it in your recent post I did some research and came across a Nissan Technical Service Bulletin for the 2003-2004 Sentra (TSB #NTB03096) that states: "An applied vehicle has a "HISS" noise from behind the dashboard after the vehicle has been driven for about 15-20 minutes." Furthermore, it tells the technician to listen for the noise while running the engine between 1500 - 2000 RPM and slowly turning the steering wheel. This just about exactly describes what I'm experiencing in my 2006 Sentra. It recommends replacing the power steering pump. I'm taking the car to the dealer on Thursday and will let you know how it turns out.
  • godot4
    I am going to have them replace the power steering pump as well. Can you provide me with a link as to the service bulletin? That way i can print it out and show it to the service people.

    Did I tell you about the person that listened to the car and said the noise was definitely NOT normal? Anyway...definitely let me know how it goes.
  • godot4godot4 Posts: 5
    hawaii007, unfortunately, the Nissan website only gives the title of the bulletin and a one sentence description of the problem. You have to have a paid subscription to get the full bulletin. But I happen to have a copy of the complete bulletin in .pdf format that I would be happy to send to you. Click on my username and send a note to my personal email address and I'll send the file to you. BTW, I'm taking my car in on Monday and they are going to replace the ps pump (I hope). I'll let you know how it goes.
  • I've got a 2003 Nissan Sentra and for the past two weeks I've noticed some noises. To start off, when I start the car it makes an awful sound like its coming out of an old car. Sometimes it takes 2-3 cranks to get it turned on. At the same time I notice that when I turn on my air condition or heater it makes a noise as well. Not to mention when I accelerate and brake in cold weather. One mechanic said that my starter was about to go out. Another mechanic said that it was my belts making the noise. The third mechanic said it was the compressor....Does anyone have a clue what could be wrong? :confuse:
  • I figured out what was wrong...the belts were cracked and had too much tension on them. Got it changed at the dealership and now my sentra is sound free--yipee :D
  • Congratulations agent on getting the car fixed. godot, it looks like we are the only ones having the squeaking/hissing problem, it makes me think we might have a :lemon: on our hands. Also, when i turn on the AC, there is a pretty loud CLUNK sound, I am afraid there may be something wrong with the motor or compressor.
  • sep1sep1 Posts: 3

    I too am having the same issue with a 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 special edition. I too notice it after about 20-25 min. of driving and it gets worse or better depending on whether you are turning the steering wheel. What did you ever find out when you took your car in? I am taking mine in on Friday. Also you mentioned that you had a PDF file of the service bulletin. Your e-mail was marked private so I could not contact you directly. Do you still have it? Thanks in advance for your help. I am just curious as to what you found our prior to me taking my car in to be checked.
  • sep1,

    I had the dealer replace the power steering pump, but it really didn't solve the problem (although it may have helped a little). I'm going to take the car to a different Nissan dealer in a few weeks to see if they can find the problem. Still, I would definitely recommend that you ask the dealer to take a look at your ps pump. This was such a common problem with earlier Sentras that they issued a technical service bulletin. I've unblocked my email address, so feel free to shoot me a message and I'll send you the .pdf file.
  • Hey guys,
    From what it looks like based on the fact it looks like more and more people are coming out of hte woodwork with the same complaint, Ithink that my dealer might be correct that the noise is normal. This blows, but the noise has gotten better on my car so that if Ihave the radio on at volume level10, Ican't hear it. Definitely can't hear it with the windows open.
  • my car pretty much makes weird noises wear the timing chain is can someone give me any ideas of whats going on">
  • I too have some noise complaints.

    My Sentra 2.0S is three weeks old, and the engine after it is warm and there is no other sounds, makes a ticking noise. It only noticeable when everything else is quiet.

    Also, when using the auxilary jack for my iPod, the speakers emit a squeal if you will.

    Anyone have similar issues?
  • Hey Guys,
    I just found this site--so back in september I bought a
    2006 nissan sentra 1.8 S, and I also have that dam noise behind the dash to--I noticed that when it is cold it does not do it,meaning cold weather or first thing in the morning
    but when it gets hot I can hear it--I use to be a mechanic--more on the older cars and I do not see how it could have anything to do with the power steering in any way---my car you do not have to turn the steering wheel,but I noticed that when you rev it up between 1000- and 2500 rpms is when it does it--like there is a slight rubbing from the needle???--I do know that it does not have a cable to it--it is electronic..
    So did anybody figure this out yet--or have the dealer fix it??????
  • sep1sep1 Posts: 3

    I had the same issue, I bought mine in July and bagan to notice it in the Oct. time frame. My issue sounds identical to yours. It did occur in the RPM range you speak of. But with mine the noise would get better or go away when you moved the steering wheel left or right and put it under a load. My dealer here in Florence Kentucky changed the Power steering pump in late Nov. However I have heard the noise on two different occasions. Both times when I had driven it for a couple of hours straight. Before I would hear it after about 20-25 min of run time. I am curious to see if it gets worse as the weather warms up. My dealer described the issue as the power steering fluid pulsing or surging as it was being pumped. I do know that if you remove the belt and start up the car the noise is not there. I feel it is an issue with the pump, but may be a problem we have to live with.But clearly mine is 80% better with the pump replaced!! I do have a service bulitin for a 94 sentra that describes the problem and suggests changing the pump. Give me your e-mail and I will forward it to you.
  • Having your speakers squeak when usung AUX is normal as long as it's not persistent.

    My 1.8S has squeaking problems as well, whenever I'm accelerating from rest there is a slight sqeak from behind the dash. Actually, I've identified 2 distinct squeaks. I also had trouble cranking the engine--that turned out to be a bad gas pump which they replaced under warranty. We also have an '02 Altima that is basically no good now and these cars are well kept. I've also passed a few '07 Altimas that broke down, one owner told me hers was apparently electrical but no one could figure out--a dalership that's not helpful--big surprise!!! Basically, nothing phases me now. Didn't these companies pioneer 'built to last?' Whatever happened to that? I can assure you that this will be my last Nissan which is too bad because I like their design direction.
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