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Nissan Altima Engine Failures

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  • I had GAP insurance...I had an extended Service Warranty..and of course, Full Coverage insurance. The bad part, is my sister and her boyfriend was taking his daughter back to her mother's house. And all the girl's christmas was in the trunk of the car, everything was destroyed. My insurance company will pay the value of the car...and Gap will cover the rest...but what about all my personal items in the car..and the little girl, what about her christmas that was in the trunk...my insurance company doesn't cover that. It's been a bad ordeal all the way around. I believe Nissan should be responsible for SOMETHING..it's very disappointing to say the least..
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    How could it be the owner's fault, do you think? I"m trying to come up with something. I guess they could have set it on fire on purpose

    I knew a guy when I was in HS who decided to replace his fuel filter, but failed to tighten everything. the leaking gas caught fire and totaled his car.

    there are lots of ways a car can catch fire other than a defective car.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    depending on the amount of damage, it could be impossible to determine the cause. To me, it sounds more like a freak accident than anything else.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    But this is a NEW car. I would think Nissan would be freaking out about this.

    I think the owner needs to send a letter to the Zone Office and use strong but respectful language as to what happened. The dealer won't care about this, just by-pass him.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    considering the volume of altima's sold, I can't imagine them freaking out over one catching fire. especially considering that there are numerous ways for a car to catch fire that don't involve manufacturing defects

    as I said in my previous post, sounds more like a freak accident/occurrence than anything else.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    Well the original post says that he reported the car smoking to the dealer prior to the fire and he apparently has record of this. One would not be unreasonable to suggest that 2+2=4 in this case, although proving it might be difficult.

    Perhaps settling it all by insurance is the best way but it is my understanding that all engine fires are taken quite seriously by manufacturers.

    I know when I worked for Benz this got our attention right away.

    Of course, this Nissan was a 2007, so that perhaps does muddy the waters considerably, that's true.
  • kcvabkcvab Posts: 3
    I met a mechanic today who fixed 2 Nissan Altima for the same problem: loss of power and high oil consumption. All he did was hollow out the main cat converter.
    He showed me the honeycomb chunks that were filthy on one side and clean on the back side. He explained that the exhaust was being backed up with pressure causing the oil to spew out of the engine. That explained each time opened the hood I saw oil everywhere.
    I was consuming 4 qts of oil every 220 miles. I'm lookng forward to see what my oil consumption is now. Note that hollowing out the main cat will cause the SES light to stay on. I understand that $5 O2 sensor should take care of that, but that is the least of my worries now.
    Just thought I would share my story. Good Luck!
  • Interesting solution. The advantage to that is you don't have to worry about it going bad again...
  • that is a pretty clever solution. 4 qts every 220 miles? is that on a V6 or V4? what year?
  • To all those who have posted latey in this forum, I suggest to anyone who has an Altima 2.5 to be sure to read ALL the messeges in this forum starting from #1 to the very end, they are all important. My first messege in this forum was #75. Please tell anyone you know that has an Altima 2,5 about this forum, and warn them of the possible problems that they may face. It is MUCH better to address this problem, BEFORE you need to buy a new engine.

    Please read message #357, or go to or click on the link below:

    electricdesign, "Nissan Altima Engine Failures" #357, 31 Jan 2009 11:31 am

    Then read all the rest of the messages. It will open your eyes.

    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I own a 1995 Nissan Altima ans just about a week ago my cruise control went out. The cruise control light, I noticed, was flickering for a few months and now it doesn't work at all. Could it be my fuse.
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    I had replaced the head gasket 10k miles/1 year ago. My 2002 altima 2.5 consumes 0.5 quarts per 1k miles since my last oil change (5k miles interval) with Super Tech full synthetic, Florida weather. The pre-cat was new just before I noticed oil consumption. Now runing 10w-30 Synpower and the the engine run smoother but still consumes oil at the same rate and even more at highway speed (60mph). I don't feel any power loss and can speed up to 100+ mph and 5k rpm on neutral.

    I want to keep this car for a while since I already dumped $3k for all the repair: 3 New engine mounts, struts, head gaskets, brakes. Will the car run for another 50k miles? What is your suggestion Electricdesign?
  • Hmmmmmmm........well that puts me on the spot, as I can't predict the future, and these Altimas seem to be unpredictable. Some seem to run with little or no problems and others have a host of problems. I have used both the Mobil One and the Syn Power synthethic oils, both do very well. I never tried Super Tech oil. How many miles on the car, and how many miles on the CAT? The best I can say is to keep up all the normal maintenance, and keep a close eye on the oil. Do you have any oil leaks from the engine? You also need to check to see if your engine oil is getting sucked through the PCV valve. If you have serious concerns, you can test, or have tested, the engine cylinders compressions to determine the general health of the engine. Never let the engine overheat, as that will kill it faster than anything. Your engine may last another 50K if you keep a close eye on it and maintain it well.
    Good luck,
    E.D.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    1 quart per 2,000 miles is nothing to worry about as long as that remains constant. There's hardly a Subaru 2.5L engine on the road, for instance, that doesn't do that.

    It's when you start to use oil, and you notice that this consumption steadily declines, and then starts to hover around a quart every 1,000, that you need to be concerned IMO.
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    Thanks for the input for 75k miles engine (have it since 65k miles). The pre-Cat is installed 7k miles ago, I don't see any trace of oil in the engine except very thin oil film on the valve cover gasket after a long trip. The inner side of PCV valve hose is dry.

    I will check my car regularly. Swooshing noise caused by air pocket was fixed after changing the swelling radiator cap. With a long wheel base, the ground clearance of this Altima is too low . Sometimes the bottom of the car touch the large bump when 3 people on the back seat.

    I will post the update of the next oil change (Mobil 1 0w-40/ GC 0w-30).
  • Following-up with post 370. THANKS BE TO GOD. He deserves the glory. I prayed and God answered. With the 2007 altima transmission, they replaced it with NO CHARGE. They did not openly tell me that it was a manufactured defect. However, I agreed to pay half the cost because I needed my car fixed. After speaking with consumer care which denied the claim, I spoke personally with the service manager at the dealership. He contacted the regional manager which only agreed to pay half the cost. Another regional manger was assigned to this dealership and the new regional manager agreed to cover the cost - "NO CHARGE".

    I must say the service manager at the dealership willingly worked with me and tried to ensure I get what was right and fair. This was my 3rd nissan. So therefore, to keep me as a customer, they agreed to cover the cost. I thank God for the new regional manager and the service manager. By the way, customer care did not contact me after numerous attempts to request for another review of my case.

    I still believe that Nissan need to do a better job of reviewing cases and hearing customers when problems are discovered with their vehicles. They were known for longevity and quality. Both of these areas are no longer a factor in producing a dependable vehicle. Hopefully, if they are reading forums such as this, they may see the errors and become the great manufacturer that they once were years ago.
  • altilove89altilove89 Posts: 6
    New to the forum. I recently purchased a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S fore $8000 down here in Orlando. Car has been running really great but it had problems and after reading this forum I have a lot of the same problems you guys do.

    The car burnt through 4 quarts of oil after about 2000 miles (7 weeks) and was puffing blue smoke out the exhaust when I would start the car. I took my car to a local nissan dealership today and found out my car's cat is covered for 80000 miles (my car has 61000)

    A mechanic who overheard my conversation with the service manager said asked me "Does you car puff blue smoke when you start?" And when I said yeah he explained that I needed a new engine. All the problems you people have had, but I got luck to still be covered by that 80000 mile warranty and I will not have to pay $6500 in repairs) :sick:

    I plan to keep the car as I have only had it for two months (and I owe probably 95% of what I paid) Plus I love third and fourth gen Altimas. This is also my first car (Im 19)

    Once the new cat is put in I'd like to have it hollowed out so this problem doesnt happen again. If ED stil lposts I'd like to know what he thinks.

    Third gen altimas might be crap but I still love them ;)
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    QR25DE is not bad engine. Without pre-cat it will last hundred thousands of miles as other Nissan engines. My oil consumption is less than 1 quart per 3k miles with Synpower 10w-30. Small oil consumption is normal if you have short trips <9 miles per trip caused by fuel dilution. My Used Oil Analysis is pretty good with 5k miles even with fuel dilution.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    QR25DE is not bad engine. Without pre-cat it will last hundred thousands of miles as other Nissan engines.

    even with the pre-cat it will probably last hundreds of thousands of miles. if you compare the number of QR25DE engines sold to the number having problems and your odds are pretty good. on top of that, its mostly limited to the 2002 model (first use of QR25DE) year. once the problem surfaced, it was corrected and a recall issued for the effected vehicles. there was probably some carry over into the 2003 model, but anybody owning a mid to late 2003 and up really has nothing to worry about.

    the problem was never with the engine, and not really with the pre-cat either. it was primarily with the fuel mixture, or more precicesly, the programing of the ecu that controlled it.

    I'll share a story with you from a couple weeks ago. First off, I work for a company that provides products and service to business. about 65% of our customers are automotive repair shops and dealerships. A couple weeks ago I was in one and talking with the owner. I couldn't help but notice he was working on a 3rd gen altima. I asked him what was wrong with it, and he said he wasn't sure, but that it needed a new engine. It was burning massive amounts of oil. He hadn't finished checking it, but had seen enough to know it couldn't be fixed. Anyhow, I told him about the pre-cat and oil consumption problems, and suggested he look at the pre cat when he removed the engine. To make a long story short, when I was back in his shop a week later I asked him if he had looked at the pre-cat and if it was all broken up.

    He said no, it was in pretty good shape. normal for the 80k miles that were on it.

    Now I'm not saying the pre-cat problem isn't real, or that it doesn't happen. But there are a lot of things that can damage an engine and cause it to burn oil. Primarily taking care of it. and when your dealing with (as many people here are) used cars, you don't know if it was taken care of, or even how hard it was driven by the original owner. Heck, you don't even know if the recall to correct this issue was performed.
  • altilove89altilove89 Posts: 6
    My car according to carfax was manufactured in july 2003 so its a later 2003 model, still had the problem.

    just got the engine fully replaced 2 days ago at 61000 miles along with the pre cat

    car drives beautifully now, still plan to have the pre cat hollowed out, i dont want to take any chances on this thing happening another 61k down the road. a car should not need a 3rd motor at 122k miles, nonetheless even a 2nd one at that many miles

    me being 19 however and wanting my first car right away i didnt even do the carfax report before i bought my 2003 altima 2.5 s

    i had actually done the report a few weeks ago and found out my car was once a rental car back when it was brand new :mad:

    mechanically speaking even before the engine was replaced the car seemed fine and drove fine

    i will need an alignment sometime in the future but it is not a major issue at the moment. i also may need to change the timing belt

    since ive had my new engine though i hear a weird noise that sounds like water rushing through some kind of pipe when i start the car, and also when i accelerate. does anybody know what that might be all about? :confuse:
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