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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair

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  • Vacuum leak in the intake. Nissan dealership spotted it right away.
  • I recently found that i had a mouse in my blower of my 1997 altima. My dad removed the glove box and did work under there and got the mouse out. Besides the mouse we found a lot of leaves, sticks, and other things. To my knowledge this the blower should be sealed and I shouldn't be getting this stuff in there. Is there anything I can do to seal it or fix this problem?
  • Well, the vacuum leak in the intake was fixed but I am still stalling! Now they tell me it may be the Idle Air Control Motor. Anyone ever have this problem?
  • I have a 2000 nissan altima. The other day I was driving and my boyfriend went to change the radio station and his hand accidnetally bumped the driving gear. The car went from Drive to neutral, it jerked and stopped and the car behind us almost hit us. I always thought that the gears were not supposed to change unless I had my foot on the brake. Can anyone give me any suggestions, I do not want this to happen again. I don't know what would have happened if I was driving faster or the highway.
  • My 97 Altima seems to be out of breath. It starts fine but sputters and stalls after several minutes of driving. I have encountered another message board that specifically addresses this problem. However none have found a solution. They have had major tune ups, they have changed the PCV valve, fuel filter, air filter, plugs, wires, distributor cap etc. and yet they failed to fix it. Could this problem be tied to the exhaust gas recirculation system, or oxygen sensor. Can anyone offer any more suggestions.
  • I purchased a 2002 Altima with 2.5 DOHC (variable valve timing engine) new and now have over 65,000 miles on the car. It has a very annoying intermittent cold start problem the dealer could not define under warranty, further more the dealer states that all the 2.5 DOHC engines have this problem and the only fix Nissan offers is to hold the gas pedal to the floor and crank the engine over until it starts. When the engine finally starts there is a lot of black smoke from the exhaust a result of unburnt fuel, the E.P.A. should decertify the car for this. The official explanation from Nissan for this no start in cold weather is that the vehicle floods, and if the customer writes to Nissan he is assured there will be NO written response.
    I have researched this problem and found the flooding is a result and not a cause of the no start condition! The real failure has more to do with variable valve timing.
    What really happens:
    1 During a cold start in cold weather the oil is very thick.
    2 The E.C.M. (engine control module) tests all the components – this happens every start cycle but this problem only occurs intermittently during cold weather cold starts.
    3 The I.V.T. (intake valve timing control solenoid) receives its test pulse but due to the thick cold oil can drive the intake cam to an over advanced condition.
    4 With the intake cam advanced for operation beyond 2,000 RPM and the starter motor cranking the engine below 500 RPM the near static compression is nil compared to the dynamic compression of a high revving motor with an advanced cam.
    5 Cold cranking an engine with low compression while injecting fuel results in a flooded engine.
    6 Holding the gas pedal down while starting from this failed condition causes more fuel to be injected, more air to flow through the engine and the throttle position sensor to tell the E.C.M. that the throttle is wide open. The E.C.M. senses the RPM of the engine is at cranking speed (too low for an advanced cam), The PHASE (camshaft position sensor) signals the E.C.M. that the cam is advanced and the E.C.M. commands the I.V.T. to retard the cam, however since the oil is still cold and thick this takes several cycles to work – resulting in more flooding until the engine finally starts.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,764
    My 03 Altima is sitting at 7400 miles so I downloaded the maintenance schedule here. Besides the oil change and tire rotation, is any of this stuff worth paying for? I mean, $20 to check the in-cabin microfilter? If I wanted to put a few hundred dollars into my car every few months, I would have bought used.
  • All you need is the oil change and tire rotation. The rest you can decide if you need it checked out. Unless you have weird smells or the air or heat doesn't work right. I wouldn't worry about the microfilter until about 12000-15000 miles and then you can change it yourself.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,764
    I know that they need to make money on service, but $20 to check the microfilter and another $20 to check the brakes? If they're rotating the tires anyway, won't it take them 5 minutes to check the brakes? I've got better things to do with my money.
  • I have dealt with different dealers for 30 years or more and they all try to enhance their so called preventive maintenance concept. With all new cars unless you have a problem with something oil changes and tire rotation are about 75% of the required maintenance. I usally get the coolant changed around 30000 miles. Most of the other checks I do myself.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,764
    I took my car to the local Great Bear shop instead of the dealer. The did the rotation and oil change for $26.00 incl tax. They gave it a good once over and gave it a clean bill of health. There is nothing like preventive maintenance to make a car last, but don't throw money away either.
  • Good to hear you didn't have to spend all that money for unessary checks on your car. good luck and happy motoring.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    The microfilter is easy to replace by yourself. I wouldn't pay the dealer to do it. Same with the engine air filter.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,764
    I've got an 03 2.5 S with conv package and fog lights. The conv package gives me the auto lights, a feature that I really like. If I'm driving around during the day and go through a tunnel or underpass, the headlights and foglights will both turn on. Once I get back in the sunlight, the headlights turn off but the foggies stay on. When I eventually turn the car off, the foggies remain on and the warning buzzer sounds. Have other people experienced this? Do I have something set wrong or is there an electrical problem with my car? I would expect that the foggies should turn off when the headlights do?
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    ...just want to give everyone a heads up about some changes taking place in an effort to organize and make it easier for members to find the most appropriate discussion for their question/comment.

    This discussion will soon be combined with the "Nissan Altima Owners: Problems & Solutions", which resides in the Nissan Maxima Owners Club. However, the combined topics will also appear here in M&R. If you are subscribed to this discussion, you will need to re-subscribe when the change takes place.

    If you have any questions/concerns, please address them to me in email, karen@edmunds.com.

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  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,764
    I've got an 03 2.5 S with conv package and fog lights. The conv package gives me the auto lights, a feature that I really like. If I'm driving around during the day and go through a tunnel or underpass, the headlights and foglights will both turn on. Once I get back in the sunlight, the headlights turn off but the foggies stay on. When I eventually turn the car off, the foggies remain on and the warning buzzer sounds. Have other people experienced this? Do I have something set wrong or is there an electrical problem with my car? I would expect that the foggies should turn off when the headlights do?
  • hcm32hcm32 Posts: 2
    Join other Altima enthusiasts in Edmunds.com Nissan Altima Owners Club!
  • I just bought an Altima 3.5 SE and it has 1200 miles. The fuel pump assembly needs to be replaced. Is this an item covered under warranty and have others experienced the same problem

    thanks smiley10
  • I recently bought a 3.5SE and now the fuel pump assembly needs to be replaced (it has 1200 miles). Has anyone else experienced this problem?

    smiley10
  • gf6gf6 Posts: 3
    What problem are you having? My wife's new Altima (1700 miles) has a bad fuel pump assembly too. The fuel tube is disconnected from the openning near the fuel door and we couldn't put the cap on. We are going to take it to the dealer. It just happened.

    Did anything unusual happen that caused your problem?

    Gang
  • I went out in the morning, and my fuel gauge read empty but I knew I had 1/2 tank of gas. After I put gas in my "service engine soon" light came on. I went to dealer and it was diagnosed with "bad fuel pump assembly". thanks for your post
  • I have a '02 SE and have not had a problem with the fuel assembly, but I did get a notice of a recall on a fuel filter that is freezing in cold weather.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,092
    There is a TSB on this issue, and what you describe is considered normal operation for the foglamps. I think the engineers (correctly) presumed that fog lights should only be operated (manually) when there is fog, and then turned off (also manually).
  • I have a 2001 Nissan Altima GXE. I started experiencing problems with the keyless-entry trunk feature a couple of days ago. The trunk keeps popping open even without me pushing the button on the remote. Even with the alarm armed, the trunk still pops and the alarm starts going off.
         It's going to be hard for me to take it to a dealer since I recently moved to England and the car is here with me. Before all of this happened, here's a little run-down on what I had to get done to the car for it to be roadworthy here in England:
         - I had to splice my wires from my turn signals to the corner amber markers so they'll act as turn signals as well.
         - My 3rd brake light is now a "fog light" with a switch. Since it gets very foggy in England, I was required to disconnect my 3rd brake light and it turns on when I hit the switch.
         - I also recently changed my rear brake lamps to the '00 model since they have the amber turn signals on them. I used the old sealant and put it on the new lamps, could water leakage cause the problem? Maybe water's getting into the wires and shorting it out?

         I would greatly appreciate any help I can get on this matter. I'm scared to drive my car to the malls for fear that my trunk will just pop open and anybody can break it. Luckily, this doesn't happen on the military base I work at.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,764
    Thanks for the heads up on the TSB, Corvette. I would take issue with the engineers assumption that the foggies would only be manually operated when there is fog. I find that the foggies cast a nice broad low beam. This extra illumination really helps to improve peripheral vision especially when making turns. I like to have them on whenever I'm drving at night. Ultimatley, this seems like a design flaw to me but one that I can live with reluctantly.
  • Hello, Has any one come up with any solutions to a 2000 altima idle problem such as message 580...My Altima;s idle jumps fom 500-1000rpm at idle when stopped after running for a while.Full tune up done and problem still persists...thanks ts
  • cheenah. 3 days after i got my car i went to a mCdonalds drive through and my auto window switch wasnt working, in a quick panic i pounded my fist onto the auto window switches (always worked on my old TV...) and i heard a snap and it started working again! Then a few days later it wouldnt work again, i fiddled with the switch pushing from left to right and heard a snap again and voila! It worked again! Now 11 months later it has yet to give me fits.
  • dalawdalaw Posts: 37
    I have a 97 Altima and every time the dealer changes the oil, they put in way more oil than the "F" mark as shown on the dipstick, like all the way to the next bend of the stick after that mark. Can this damage the engine?
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,764
    Manufacturers recommend an oil level for a reason: putting in more than is recommended can hurt an engine. Are you checking the oil on level ground with the engine turned off? Are you wiping the dipstick clean then reinserting it to check the level? If the oil is overfilled you run the risk of blowing out a seal which is usually a pricey fix.
  • Has anyone heard of their windshield wipers and windshield fluid operating and dispensing on their own?
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