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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "...coolant was always needing to be filled, (no leaks found)..."

    As you surmised, coolant loss has to be accounted for somewhere. If there are no traceable external leaks, the only other alternativie is passage past seals and into one or more combustion chambers. When this happens most of the loss is expelled through the exhaust. Most. But, some percentage is pushed past the piston rings where it mixes with and takes up residence with the motor oil. Since the process is cumulative over time, the contamination of ethylene glycol builds in the oil. The bad news is that ethylene glycol (the working component of antifreeze) is extremely errosive to bearings. Your engine may have been expelling oil past the main bearings, and if left to do so long enough, the excess oil confronting the main bearing seals at the front and rear of the engine may have failed. Free expulsion of motor oil out of the engine results in excess consumption. (Duhhh...) If it's not too late to have a sample drawn of the motor oil in the engine at the time the car was delivered to your take-yer-money-ship, do so (several ounces is sufficient) and send it to one of the oil analysis services* for a printout of the contaminants. You needn't be a gearhead to understand the results - they include a comments section outlining and explaining any problem areas they feel require immediate attention. But, if you're interested in learning more than you thought you'd ever want to know about motor oil and interpreting used oil analysis reports, "" is a good place to start. If ethylene glycol is present, you may have a basis for binding arbitration or legal action against Nissan. Good luck.

    *The one I use yearly is Blackstone Labs. Google the name for their website. Their basic analysis is well under $30.00; the results are sent as both snail-mail and an email. If they feel the situation warrants, they'll call you - although from your description, it sounds like it's already too late to save that engine.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "My 95 Altima GXE check engine light is on. I know there is an oil leak but I added oil. There is also loud knocking in the engine. I'm not really sure if the timing sesor needs to be replaced."

    You got trouble. The real question is how much trouble. The term "knocking" is used to describe two entirely different operation maladies. When applied to mistimed ignition, the "knock" sound is explosive detonation when the fuel-air mixture is ignited way prematurely while the piston is nowhere close to completing its compression stroke. If severe enough, it can break pistons. However, the same term is also used to describe the sound made when a connecting rod bearing has failed. In this scenario, the excess clearance between the worn rod bearing and the crankshaft's affected rod journal results in a deep, pounding sound. Pre-ignition knock is generally most pronounced when accelerating or pulling hard. Rod knock is more pronounced when coasting down, steady speed over flat terrain, or idling. If severe enough it can break a crankshaft and even put broken parts through the oil pan (where there weren't openings previously). Given the age of your car, I couldn't hope to hazard a guess by long distance. You could even have both. I can guarantee you one thing, though: it won't go away if you ignore it.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    At the very least, your take-yer-money-ship should have you bring the car in so they can check the on-board diagnistics system for stored fault codes, AND keep the car overnight to see if they can duplicate your hard-starting problem when the engine is bone cold. Sounds like your take-yer-money-ship is better at practicing, "YNAM" (you're not a man), than making an effort to deliver quality service. (BTW, if your car is still under Nissan's factory warranty, you have the RIGHT to have any Nissan dealership attend to warranty matters.)
  • The knocking can be a problem ... usually means you have a "rod knock" and if its not taken care of the rod can actually shoot up or down causing major problems . I would take it to a mechanic and see what they think .. dont tell them you think its a " rod knock " wait to see if they confirm . it could be as simple as changing bad bearings , but if they are going in that direction might as well get a new crank shaft and piston rings . I estimate about 900 - 1000 $ of work .. or save that $$ and put a down payment on new car .
  • houtx1houtx1 Posts: 1
    In the last month or so my car has stalled out on me two times when I slow down to stop or turn. It also has 51000 miles on it any one have a clue before I go to the dealership. $ $ $ $
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    I have a 98 Altima that has a small coolant leak. It seems to be leaking from the water pump. The dealer said that it would take over 10hrs to remove and reinstall a new pump. The pump itself only costs $125, but with labor the dealer is asking for $1400!! Is this reasonable? I would like to know if I can change it myself or is this a job that should be tackled by a dealer?
  • I have a 2000 Altima GXE that the SES light on. I already replaced the spark plugs, fuel filter, spark plug wires, AIR MASS FLOW Sensor, based on recommendation from Nissan authorized workshop and paid $800. However, after 4 days, the light was on again. And now the Nissan Workshop, suggest me to replace INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET, with total cost $820 (incl. 720 for labour). And they still would not guarantee the SES will off after that. They just said there are some water in the cylinders, so the engine too lean. What actually caused the SES light on? Does anyone know how to handle this problems? It costs me too much, now. Please help..... :sick: ..... Thank you.
  • :( This my first posting since joining. I have had a letter from Nissan. Dated December 2005. It is in regards to the 2002 to 2004 Altima and 2004 2005 Maxima. It is in regards to a "possibility of Corrosion and cracking of the rear Sub frame bushings that may occur" This mostly due to cold weather and salt on our roads. Nissan is going to fix this area of the car, but your car is going to need a 4 wheel alignment that the car owner has to pay for. Has anyone heard of this. And should the customer be responsible for the cost of the alignment? Can someone please reply in regards to this matter. Also is their anyone else that got this notice?
  • Thanks for the information. I have called multiple times now. I am going to insist they take my car in and run diagnostics . There is still a factory warranty . I have already asked them for written documentation of my calls and complaints. If you have any other suggestions they would be appreciated.
  • nickyjnickyj Posts: 1

    I am having the same problem. It takes me about 10 times before it will start and then black smoke comes from the tail pipe and I hear knocking nosies under the car. I brought it to the shop and they said nothing major was wrong and I needed a tune up and new battery. Once the tune up was done it stopped. Well after a few months it started it again and now my coolant tank is always empty. I changed it at least once every two weeks. My check engine light is also on but they can't find anything else wrong. Well what was your response from them (Nissan)?

    I need help please someone!
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "Well after a few months it started it again and now my coolant tank is always empty."

    If the knocking noises and the smoke are back, AND coolant has to be replenished too frequently, I suspect a blown cylinder head gasket. Major problem$ if your car's out of warranty. (Was this a franchised Nissan take-yer-money-ship's service department that did the initial diagnosis and tune up on your car?)
  • Hello folks, any suggestions?

    98 Altima SE, resonating grumbly "whump-whump" from front wheel area of car, varies propotionionally to speed of car regardless of whether clutch or gear is in or out. Gets to its very loudest at 20mph, significant at most other speeds. Just rotated tires, they've got 15-20% left, didn't make any difference. Car tracks straight and true, has faultless, quiet brakes with original pads at 92K and has not experienced reduction in MPG. Ideas?
  • I have read a few post about the Altima stalling out on the road.Has anyone recieved any definite answers.My wife drives the Nissan Altima to work which is about a 40 mile round trip.Just recently the car is stalling on the freeway,which is dangerous since she has no power steering.I am not sure if it is a fuel problem or computer.Thank You
  • Hello, we have a 2002 Altima. We love the car, but have noticed some trouble starting some of the time. Thanks for the info. We haven't seen black smoke yet, but we do smell gas once the car starts.
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    "We haven't seen black smoke yet, but we do smell gas once the car starts."

    If you mean the odor of raw gasoline, I'd be more suspicious of a leaking fuel injector or other source of gasoline leakage. Your car needs attention NOW to elliminate the possibility of fire.
  • thill1thill1 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem as message 1214 car died put in a new battery will crank has fuel weak spark. Will not start...
  • Dear, sir I too received a letter for this particular recall, I brought my car in last week & had it done, an alignement was done on the rear wheels only free of charge, if they are asking you to pay for the alignement they are trying to rip you off. Please call Nissan Canada & let them know about this.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    has a good, recommended mechanic looked at it? check inside distributor for oil. this problem may not be on the 99's, but it was a problem on my 94.

    good luck
  • You too... I bought my 2005 Altima 2.5S in August and have the same issues. I have been to a local Nissan Dealer twice and a 2nd dealer 35 miles away for a second opinion making it 3 alignments. Dealers state that the vehicle is in spec and that they "under warranty" can not go outside of spec while covering under warranty. The warranty on this type of repair is 12 months 12,000 miles "don't wait". Issue still not resolved - escalated to Nissan Customer Care 1-800-Nissan1 one month ago. I have had to do all of the calling back - I am told a specialist will call me this week as we exceed 1 month of trying for a resolution. What good is a car that wants to drive itself into oncoming traffic or into the ditch :lemon: I am still looking for the silver lining of foreign car ownership. Good Luck - I will post again if I can get anywhere..
  • gassygassy Posts: 1
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