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Nissan Altima Engine Failures

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  • E.D. in Sunny Florida,

    Thanks for all the detailed postings and pictures. It’s nice to have you here, knowing the inside of this Nissan engine and the problems with the oil consumption.

    I have an 02 Altima I purchased new and now has 100,000 miles. Have religiously changed oil and filter between 3-4,000 miles. Have had all the recalls done at the dealership when notified. Car was good to me for five years, requiring routine maintenance and normal wear parts. No significant oil consumption.

    Mileage got into mid 90’s in late 2007, car started to run rough occasionally, like when there’s condensation in the fuel. Problem was intermittent. Used isopropyl in fuel, but that didn’t fix it. Also, the heater started blowing cool when idle, which made me think low water or weak water pump. Took to my Goodyear mechanic, a good guy and capable mechanic. Looked at computer codes, suggested changing gas cap to clear the codes and radiator cap to see if that improved the heat . He also backflushed the heater core and it got better for a few thousand miles, but it still continued to run rough occasionally for short bursts of time.

    Then the excess oil consumption started. Maybe 1 quart / 1,000 at first. Took back to Goodyear January, 2008. Replaced PCV valve, but no change in consumption. Back to Goodyear again February, checked water for trace carbon, but zero. Checked oil for presence of water but none. Compression check yielded 149, 151, 150, 149 which he thought was OK (do you agree?). Did leak down test and pressure held good. Pulled the plugs but they were dry, with a little white powder residue. Replaced plugs. Mechanic found oil in line leading from PCV valve so he replaced the valve again in the unlikely event that the new one he installed the first time was bad.

    Car is now using about 1 quart / 200 miles. Mechanic thinks he should remove valve cover to see if oil return ports are clogged, allowing oil to accumulate in top side of engine, filling to the point where the PCV is located and allowing oil to escape there.

    I decided to call the local Nissan dealer to ask the Service Manager if this problem has presented with other cars. She indicated that she has seen a couple with excess oil consumption, that the cat was the problem causing the cylinder walls to score. When I asked her if a compression check should confirm her suspicion, she indicated that it may not (what do you think?). I don’t understand this, but she’s the mechanic. She said that if the cat was indeed my problem, a rebuilt engine was the only fix.

    So, my question to you – is there any merit in pulling the valve cover and checking the oil return ports, or is it a foregone conclusion that I have the dreaded catalytic converter problem?

    I called Nissan North America to see what they know, but they won’t talk to me until I have the problem diagnosed by their dealer. They said they would entertain Goodwill Assistance, but they needed dealer-provided diagnostics first.

    Your advice, sir?
  • That was certainly an interesting post. I will try to sort some of this out for you, but some of the information you gave conflicts.
    Since you seem to have read all my previous posts, I may refer to them during this post. Your oil comsumption of 1 quart in 200 miles is horrendous, a very serious problem. Referring back to my posts about my daughters 2002 Altima 2.5S, I just recently confirmed that you oil consumption now is about 1 quart in about 3000 miles, which is very good. Before I worked on the engine and had the head rebuilt, it was consuming about 1 qt every 1500 miles. I am now supposing that the oil consumption has improved due to having the head rebuilt and having new seals installed on the valve guides. I think that most of the oil was being sucked past the valve guides. The valve guides and springs sit in "pockets" in the head that hold oil, so the top of the valve guide with the seal basically run submersed in motor oil. So it is my belief that the valve guide seals are critical on this engine.
    Another thing that struck me about your engine was that the cylinder compressions were so close together, that is a good thing. They seemed a little low to me, but otherwise good. The eveness of the readings is very important.
    Pulling the valve cover is a very simple issue, just a few screws to take out and a few hoses to remove, and a few wires to take loose. Put it back on with a new gasket to prevent leaks.
    You gave a lot of good information, but here's a few things to closely check.
    1. Check the cooling system for any sign of external or internal leaks by doing the following:
    A. Do you have to add any coolant to the coolant resivor? I have suspisions about your cooling system because of the occasional miss and also because of the heater not heating. It acts like gas bubbles are getting into you cooling system, the gas rises to the top and into the heater hoses, making less or no heat. It possible for gas to seep or leak from the engine into the cooling system, and when that happens a small amount of coolant goes into the cylinder causing a temporary miss in the engine, usually on a cold start and lasts a short time.
    B. With the engine running, watch the coolant resivor for any trace of bubbles rising inside the tank. I was able to find the combustion leak on my daughters car by doing this. If you see small bubbles that continue to rise in the coolant resivior, it may mean that combustion gas is moving out of the radiator and into the coolant resivior. These head gaskets are very prone to leakage and the heads are very prone to warp if they have ever been overheated.
    2. Check out the exhaust system completely. With engine running be sure you get plenty of exhaust gas out the tailpipes. This will confirm that either of the Cats is not clogged up. When the exhaust is cool, disconnect the exhaust pipe from the precat, at the spring connector connections, and inspect the inside of the precat, looking through the bottom opening. You should see a clean unbroken screen. If not, the Cat is shot. If the lower screen is busted or gone, then the material may have moved down the exhaust pipe to the 2nd cat, and you would be getting a service engine soon light that says bad cat. Unbolt the precat and the exhaust manifold assembly from the engine head, hold it upside down over a clean table and shake it to see if anythihng comes out. Nothing should come out. If anything comes out, the cat is probably shot. If the screens are busted in the cat and the material has moved out of the cat, you can clean out both the cats to make sure that they are unplugged. If you put it together this way, the engine will run fine, but the service engine soon light will remain lit, due to the non-performance of the cat. The precat is monitored, the 2nd cat is not monitored.
    3. Please post what codes were displayed.
    4. The compressions seems fairly good and even, but the only way to tell the condition of the cylinders is to pull the head, and that is a last resort for now. Please do what you can of what I asked in the preceeding and then we will go from there.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I have been viewing these boards along with Accord forums, closely watching both cars. My wife is purchasing either an Accord 4 cyl or Altima 4 cyl by early April. Reading these forums on both cars is getting us nervous.

    Is the same engine/cat converter set up still used on 08 4 cyl Altimas or has this engine been motified? We tend to keep our cars long term. It would not suprise me if it was the same set up since these cars would be long out of warranty.

    Any advise.
    Thanks
  • E.D - thanks for the reply. I'll answer a little here but will need time to chase the other questions.

    I suspected the head gasket at the onset of the oil consumption problem. But I instructed the mechanic to ensure this was the problem before spending the money to replace it. He did the carbon test on the coolant and found zero trace and concluded there was not a head gasket problem. I have added water to the resevoir a couple times in the past weeks, which still points to a head gasket. I will observe for bubbles as you suggets and let you know. The engine has never overheated, at least not yet.

    Like you, my mechanic also thought it was a good thing that all four cylinders had compression that was +/- 2 PSI of each other. I'm guessing he used a plug gauge, not a threaded guage, which may explain why the readings are lower than expected. I'll confirm his method and let you know.

    My mechanic also mentioned the importance of valve guide seals. If you remember, he would like to open the valve cover to see if I have a plugged oil return port that is causing the oil to accumulate in the top side and leak out the PCV valve (by the way, what do you think of this theory?). He also indicated that the valve guide seals have an umbrella shape, designed to shed oil coming from the top side, and if the oil was accumulating, the oil would rise under the guide seal and possibly escape. This sounds different than your description of the seals, which you indicate is submerged in oil. Can you say if his theory has merit? I've used him for years and he's very reputable, but perhaps he's not seen this engine torn down like you have.

    One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post, the engine oil is black, real black. It gets black very quickly, even after a complete change. And it stays black, even though I'm replenishing it with a fresh quart every 200 miles.

    How difficult is it to get the precat and exhaust manifold unbolted from the head? In the past, I've had bad luck with head bolts - they are usually pretty stuck and I'm afraid of twisting one off. I'd like to disassemble the precat and inspect it for integrity and see if any material inside is loose. And will the 2nd cat disassemble pretty easily? If either cat is shot, I'll have to replace because PA tests annually for emissions. But I don't want to replace the cat if I've already damaged the cylinder walls badly. I guess I could clean the debris out of the cats and run them "empty" for a while to see if that solves my oil consumption problem before replacing with new cats. I'm a weekend mechanic, more of a do-it-yourselfer, and not sure I should attempt to take the cats apart at home.

    And finally, please help me understand how a bad cat causes cylinder wear and oil consumption. Does a clogged cat cause the exhaust and cat chemicals to back-up into the engine? Does that corrode or wear the cylinder walls? Since I'm now using 1 quart / 200 miles, does that sound to you like it's too late to save it? And if I'm burning 1 quart / 200 miles, whether it's from scored cylinders, bad head gasket, or leaky valve guide seals, why don't I have a sooty black carbon buildup at the tail pipe?

    Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope your weather is better in FL than here in NW PA.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    Yes, the 08 altima uses the same QR25DE engine that has been in the altima since 2002. but you need to keep a couple things in mind, if you are seriously interested in an altima.

    1, not every altima, actually a pretty small amount, suffer from the oil consumption problem.
    2. It is almost exclusive to the 2002 model year
    3. The QR25DE engine was first used in 2002. There were, like with anything else new, some issues with it. those issues have been taken care of.
    4. then engine itself is solid. its the cat, actually the precat, that was causing the problems.

    If your not really interested in the altima, or are just looking for a reason not to buy one, then don't get one. you'll just worry about it all the time. But, If you really like the car, and are really interested in one; I wouldn't let the problems with the first year of the 2002-2006 (3rd generation) redesign featuring a brand new never before used engine keep you from getting one.
  • Thanks for asking about the weather down here, It was really nice today, beautiful blue sky and the high temp today was about 74, and they predict high of 76 this weekend and high of 80 on monday!
    I'm really busy tonight, so I'll answer the rest of your questions tomorrow.
    Many of the questions that you ask are answered in my previous posts from #75 until now.
    I'll address just one issue right now, the valve seals, and this could apply to most engines, but especially to this one. Your mechanic is saying the same thing I said, it's just your interpretation that is different. Yes the valve seals are unbrella shaped, I knew that, and 99.9% of them are, because they fit over and cover the end of the valve guide like an umbrella, this is a very normal and usual fit. But imagine if an umbrella gets submersed in water, it wont do you any good, you'll still get wet! In other words, if you are under water, an umbrella won't do you any good, unless it's seal tight around you. And as I said before, the valves, guides, springs & seals are located in pockets in the head, so the valve seal runs largely under oil, and does shed oil that falls from above it, but most of the oil is running down the sides of the pocket down to the valve guide. This valve guide depends more on the seal itself fitting tightly onto the stem. As the valve seal gets old from age and hardens from the heat, the valve stem slips up and down on the seal and the seal between the valve and valve seal becomes less of a good seal, it gets loose. Once oil can leak between the valve and the valve seal, it can reach the valve guide where vaccum around the intake valve can suck some oil through the valve guide and into the combustion chamber on the intake stroke. It takes a special tool to remove the valve springs from the head, that why it needs to be done by a professional machine shop. The bottom line is you may need valve seals, and the best way to do that is to pll the head off and get it professionally rebuilt like I had mine done, then there is no more problem. I suppose that you looked at all the pictures of the teardown and rebuild of the engine that I linked in previous posts. You can also download those pictures, they will be very helpful if you need to tear down your engine. But before tearing down anything, we need to do all the diagnostics first. I'll answer more later. Yes, be sure the oil drain pockets in the head are clear and open.
    More to come soon.
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • Thanks for the info on valve seals.

    A little more info for you today. I warmed the engine up today (25 degrees here) to make sure thermostat was open, then opened the water reservoir to watch for bubbling. Had to add water first because it was empty again, indicating either a leak or head gasket, correct? Had the engine running constant at 3,000 RPM, but no sign of bubbles, at least not for the 15 minutes I observed.

    Had the oil changed three days ago, so I checked the dipstick today to see its condition. It showed full, but I've only put a few miles on it. However, the oil is black again, so it's being exposed to combustion somewhere. This is the reason my mechanic thinks the oil drain pockets may be plugged. What else do you think could be causing fresh oil to blacken almost immediately after a change?

    Sure wish I could figure this out. Don't mind spending the money to replace head gasket and valve seals; just don't want to put it back together only to find out the oil consumption is still bad.

    One more item of interest. While I was observing the reservoir for bubbling at 3,000 RPM, after about five minutes, the engine suddenly went to idle RPM but did not idle smoothly. Instead it would run at idle, then run up to 1,300 RPM, then idle again. I thought maybe my prop on the accelerator pedal slipped, but it was firmly in place. I reset the prop, watched for bubbles, five minutes later, the engine did a repeat performance of dropping down to idle. Any idea why it cut out like this?

    Thanks for spending the time with this. I appreciate your insights.
  • Going back to some former messeges:

    1. "Mileage got into mid 90’s in late 2007, car started to run rough occasionally, like when there’s condensation in the fuel. Problem was intermittent. Used isopropyl in fuel, but that didn’t fix it. Also, the heater started blowing cool when idle, which made me think low water or weak water pump. Took to my Goodyear mechanic, a good guy and capable mechanic. Looked at computer codes, suggested changing gas cap to clear the codes and radiator cap to see if that improved the heat . He also backflushed the heater core and it got better for a few thousand miles, but it still continued to run rough occasionally for short bursts of time." The occasional rough running, heater running cool, and loss of coolant all point to a head gasket leak. You must check out the cooling system as I outlined in my post #214, point #1.
    "I warmed the engine up today (25 degrees here) to make sure thermostat was open, then opened the water reservoir to watch for bubbling. Had to add water first because it was empty again, indicating either a leak or head gasket, correct? Had the engine running constant at 3,000 RPM, but no sign of bubbles, at least not for the 15 minutes I observed." You said that right, having to add water to the coolant reservoir is a sure sign of a leak, and if it is not and external leak, then it is likelly a head gasket leak. I found the bubbles with the engine idling, that is the way you should check it. If it is real cold, the fans probalby wont come on anyway, if they do that means the engine reached full temperature, usually about 200 to 202 degrees, then the fans cut off when the temp drops down to about 188 degrees.

    2. "Then the excess oil consumption started. Maybe 1 quart / 1,000 at first. Took back to Goodyear January, 2008. Replaced PCV valve, but no change in consumption. Back to Goodyear again February, checked water for trace carbon, but zero. Checked oil for presence of water but none. Compression check yielded 149, 151, 150, 149 which he thought was OK (do you agree?). Did leak down test and pressure held good. Pulled the plugs but they were dry, with a little white powder residue. Replaced plugs. Mechanic found oil in line leading from PCV valve so he replaced the valve again in the unlikely event that the new one he installed the first time was bad. Car is now using about 1 quart / 200 miles. Mechanic thinks he should remove valve cover to see if oil return ports are clogged, allowing oil to accumulate in top side of engine, filling to the point where the PCV is located and allowing oil to escape there." Compression low but even, may be ok. Yes, check oil return holes in the head.

    3. "So, my question to you – is there any merit in pulling the valve cover and checking the oil return ports, or is it a foregone conclusion that I have the dreaded catalytic converter problem?" Yes, check oil return holes in the head. And you MUST check the exhaust and Cats as I outlined in my post #214, point #2.

    4. "How difficult is it to get the precat and exhaust manifold unbolted from the head? In the past, I've had bad luck with head bolts - they are usually pretty stuck and I'm afraid of twisting one off. I'd like to disassemble the precat and inspect it for integrity and see if any material inside is loose. And will the 2nd cat disassemble pretty easily?" The Precat comes off fairly easily, you need to squirt WD40 on all the bolts and threads that you will need to loosen, to help them come off, the heat shield may be the hardest thing to get off, the little bolts can be tight to get off. Once that is off, use a special oxygen sensor socket to remove both the oxygen sensors, then underneath the car, disconnect the exhaust pipe from the Precat/Exhaust manifold, remove the studs, as it makes removing the exhaust pipe easier. One of the studs was stuck tight and I had to use a torch to heat the area of the manifold near the stud red hot before I could get the stud loose. Once that pipe is loose at the front end, you can unbolt the back end of the exhaust pipe at the bolted flange in front of the muffler (it has 2 bolts with 2 nuts, very tight, use lots of WD40). Remove this pipe, it has the 2nd Cat in this pipe. If this cat is plugged or restricted, you can unplug it at this time, using a metal bar or rod and a large hammer you can knock the stuff loose out of the end of it to clear the pipe. Now back to the Precat/Exhaust manifold, Loosen and remove the bolts and a small metal support bracket at the bottom of the assembly, it connects the precat to the engine case to give the manifold some lower support. Once all that is taken loose the only thing that should be holding the manifold are the nut and studs bolting it to the head. Soak them with WD40 and the nuts should come off with no problem. The Exhaust manifold gasket is a very nice metal gasket that can be reused it you don't damage it. Once the nuts are removed, put the manifold off the studs and lift it out and check it out completely. If it is damaged or plugged, you can unplug it at this time. Putting it back on with the cat unplugged will cause the service engine soon light to come on with the code that says catalyst efficiency below threshold or simply "bad cat".

    5. "One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post, the engine oil is black, real black. It gets black very quickly, even after a complete change. And it stays black, even though I'm replenishing it with a fresh quart every 200 miles. " "Had the oil changed three days ago, so I checked the dipstick today to see its condition. It showed full, but I've only put a few miles on it. However, the oil is black again, so it's being exposed to combustion somewhere. This is the reason my mechanic thinks the oil drain pockets may be plugged. What else do you think could be causing fresh oil to blacken almost immediately after a change?" This is not a good sign, it could mean that the cylinder walls are damaged and that the rings are not sealing. The only good way to tell is buy pulling the head and actually inspecting the cylinders, checking the finish of the clyinder walls and measuring them with an inside micrometer. In the case of my daughters 2002 Altima 2.5S, I was lucky, as the cylinders looked in good shape and they were not worn. The oil consumption in my case was fixed with the new valve seals, and the head gasket leak was fixed with a head rebuild, milling the head flat and new gaskets.

    6. Continued in the next messege.
  • Continued from Messege # 220 above:

    6. "And finally, please help me understand how a bad cat causes cylinder wear and oil consumption. Does a clogged cat cause the exhaust and cat chemicals to back-up into the engine? Does that corrode or wear the cylinder walls? Since I'm now using 1 quart / 200 miles, does that sound to you like it's too late to save it? And if I'm burning 1 quart / 200 miles, whether it's from scored cylinders, bad head gasket, or leaky valve guide seals, why don't I have a sooty black carbon buildup at the tail pipe?" The chemical ceramic material (like sand) comes out of the cat and into the exhaust ports and into the cylinders and eats up the cylinder walls and piston rings, allowing oil to leak up past the piston rings into the combustion chamber and burn up with the gasoline. The oil burns clean, so you don't get much soot, I'm not sure why it burns so clean, maybe computer controls helps it to burn more completely by advancing timing and adjusting the air/fuel ratio.

    7. Finally, give me what ever information that you can, but it appears to me at this time, if you want to keep driving this car, you will need to set aside a pile of money and set some time aside out of your schedule and put your car on the calendar to do some major work on it. After everything else externally is checked out, you will need to tear down the engine and remove the head for an "Exploratory Teardown", send the head out to be resurfaced and rebuilt (New valve seals and check for cracks or leaks), And check the cylinders very carefully, lightly file the top of the engine block with a long straight file to be sure the deck is flat. If cylinders are good, you may put the whole thing back together like I did, but if cylinders are bad, the engine has to come out. Then you can decide to either rebuild that engine, or replace it with a rebuilt engine.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • E.D.
    Thanks for the detailed reply. I have been off line for a couple days. I will read thoroughly and get back to you.
  • seanakioseanakio Posts: 4
    Hello all,

    I wanted to let everyone in on what is going on with my very own 2002 2.5 altima with 85,000 miles. About 3 weeks ago I was driving home from work and the OIL light came on. I thought it was just from driving the car from Indiana to Florida and putting so many miles on it in a short time that may have burnt off some oil. I checked it and there was no oil on the dipstick. This freaked me out a little bit and I took it to get the oil changed. About 10 or so days later the OIL light and also the SES light came on. I checked the oil again and there was once again no oil on the dipstick. I put more in it myself and checked to make sure the level was correct after running it for a bit and the oil was BLACK. Very strange after putting brand new oil in. My dad looked around the Internet and found the forums on this problem. I took my car to NISSAN to get it diagnosed and they said the oil was mettalic and that showed signs of wearing on the cylinders. Now that it was diagnosed I called Nissan and after around a week or two ago got an answer back saying they couldn't do anything about it since it was out of warranty, which is understandable but something doesn't seem right about the whole ordeal. Now I am stuck in a perdicament to either rebuild, replace or trade. Any suggestions?
  • About 2 months ago, My girlfriend who owns a 2002 2.5.. Well her car abruptly started to run like pooo..We ended up having it towed because there was loss of power and it couldnt make it up the hill.. Took it to the mechanic and his computer showed it was the trans slipping,, That was mis diagnosed. I told him it was the Cat converter.. He took the o2 sensor out and started the engine.. debris came out of the hole and the car did run better but not perfect for a bit..The car started acting up again, Oil was very low, Very fast.. I changed the oil and within a week it was black but only about 1/2 quart low.. I took it in a few days ago and had them change out the Cat converter at a price of $700.. The car now runs like new, I just need to keep an eye on the oil consumption..I was just curious about the dumb design of having the catylitic converter built on the exhaust manifold, A dealer only part at $500..
  • laura19laura19 Posts: 7
    I am going through the same exact thing! Although my car has 118K miles on it. I am losing a quart of oil every 100 miles. I was told the oil issue was "all set" since I recently had the following repairs w/in the last 3 months: coil pack, titanium plugs, cam shaft sensor, crank shaft sensor, fuel pump, O2 sensors, cat and manifold, oil pressure switch/sender, gasket under valve cover, tune-up... it keeps going. yesterday, I decided to give up. I am going to get rid of the car. My issues go right along with so many of the postings I see regarding the same Model/Make/Year. It's not "all set", in fact is appears worse. I have dumped $2600 into this car - could have had a new engine put in, but expect the same from another 2002 2.5 engine. I'm so sorry to hear you are going through it as well. Nissan will not even discuss the matter w/me - they just keep saying it needs a new engine (which I'm sure is true at this point). I will NEVER buy another Nissan.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and I hope it works out for the best for you.
  • 3 more messeges about the faulty engines in the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S, they just keep coming. These messeges really get to me, it is very obvious to me that you DON'T want one of these cars. I wish there was a good way to warn people not to buy these cars. There are many of them for sale right now as I type. Tonight, I searched a popular online cars for sale site, and I found 155 2002 nissan Altimas with the 2.5 engine for sale within 500 miles of me, ranging from $6000 to $11,000. Too many innocent people have bought these cars and have been had!
    Once the rapid oil consumption starts and the oil turns black quickly, it is TOO LATE, the engine is TOAST! The Pre-Cat has already eaten the inside of the engine, ate out the clyinder walls and piston rings! A new Precat or parts will NOT fix a toasted engine, only a new engine will, and eventually the same thing will happen again, given enough time and miles.
    It looks like laura19 got the right idea and decided to get rid of the car, no sense in throwing good money after bad. I'm sorry she spent so much money trying to fix it, but you get to a point that you must throw in the towel, because you simply can not afford to lose anymore money.
    It's just too bad that many people buy cars without first researching them on the Internet. Researching on the Internet saves so much hassle and money! Warn everyone that you can about problematic cars!
    Well, good luck to all you guys, and I hope the best for you or at least better luck next time.
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I red online that back in 2003 there was a recall on the Pre cat. They replaced it with a hollow one this recall was for the 2002 altimas. That is Y manally Verry few of those mottal Year cars are having sum problems. The recall was NOt that whell noen. Has anyone elce Heard about this recall. Happy MOtoring. The altima is Not a bad car. Thankyou guys for reading My posting. Sorry about sum of My spelling. I am Leaguly blind I try my best cant drive the cars lov beeing around Them. Thankyou for taking the time to reed Marco.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    The altima is Not a bad car

    of course its not, it's actually one of the best selling cars out there right now. 4or 5 people complaining on a MB about problems they had with theirs doesn't make a car a lemon. But I do understand their frustration. If I bought a car and it needed major work before it even hit 100k I'd :
    1. Be pissed off
    2. refuse to ever buy a car from that company again.
  • Hello E.D. Been working with my mechanic on the 02 Altima engine with excessive oil consumption. He got access to Nissan's technical database and discovered there is a voluntary recall on this engine, for a certain range of VIN's, with excessive oil consumption. I'm guessing "voluntary recall" means it's not mandatory, and if you find out about it, Nissan will fix it. There is a four part process that the dealership has to go through to qualify your car for a complete engine replacement, paid for by Nissan North America. Prior to this, I have been in touch with both the local Nissan dealer and Nissan NA, neither of whom offered up this information. I'll be getting the actual printout of the database Wednesday so I'll have more info then. Sounds hopeful, but we'll see if I'm getting my hopes up for nothing. I'll post here what I find out, including the VIN # range. I'll also try to point you to the tech bulletin number so you can take it to your mechanics at the dealerships. More later.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    everything you want to know about the precat problem.

    link title
  • jd10013,
    Thanks for the link. You've obviously read the same bulletin I received. Called the dealership where I bought the car new in '02 and they informed me I already had the recall work done back in '03. And yes, you are correct, they did the reprogram, "checked" the precat, replaced the heat shield (which has rattled incessantly since) and changed oil/filter. I asked "what happens now that it's obvious that the precat has failed and I am using 1 quart/200 miles?" Dealer got a little testy, said once the recall work was done they had no further responsibility, and suggested I bring it in for yet another $164 diagnostic. I'm really tempted to trade this car in, but have too much of a conscience to stick the next owner with this problem. Besides, I really like the car but know it's going to quit on me eventually. A quandary!
  • If you have to empty out the pre-cat to keep it from eating up the engine, you can do a mod to the second oxygen sensor to make it not light the CEL.
    Here is the link:

    http://forums.evolutionm.net/showthread.php?t=208195
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