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Nissan Altima Engine Failures



  • The exhaust system might have plugged up again. With the engine idleing, go to the back of the car and feel how much exhaust gas is coming out of each tailpipe. You should feel some warm gas blowing out on your hand. Then have someone in the car rev the engine up to 4,000 to 5,000 RPM while you are checking the flow of exhaust gas out the tailpipes. You should feel a rush of exhaust gas blowing out the tailpipe. If not you have a plugged or restricted exhaust system, which could be either of the CATs or the muffler. If you have had both CAT's cleared out, some of the CAT material could have blown back into the muffler and plugged the muffler. Once the exhaust system is opened up, it will run much better.
    What happened to me is that material from the first CAT broke loose and blew down to the 2nd CAT and plugged the second CAT. After I cleared it all out, it ran good.
    My first messege was #75, go back and read that and the ones after it to find out what to do.
    E. D. in Sunny Florida
  • I am currently having this problem with my 05 Altima, what was the outcome with your experience? Thanks
  • I have a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5. I had the headlight bulbs replaced at the dealership and while it was there the dealership sideswiped something on the drivers side near the gas filler. I have begun to notice after driving the car and then parking it in the garage i can detect a strong smell of gas. I took it back to Nissan dealer and they put it up on the rack but could not see anything that would cause the fumes. They showed me that there was no work done around the filler neck and the charcoal canister was not flooded with gas but could not determine where the smell was coming from. They noticed that the fuel cap was not a OE one and said that could be it but wasen't sure. Well i haven't noticed the smell before i had it in the shop but i bought a new cap today but don't think that is the problem. Is there anything under the hood that might be causing this problem that they would have had to undo changing the bulbs? The car has 90,000 miles but just developed this problem. Any comment would be gratefully appreciated! Thanks
  • I have a 2003 Altima that had the precat die at 145,000 miles. Luckily, I caught it and after talking to the dealer I replaced it with an OEM replacement. then about 3000 miles later it did it again. Once again I got lucky on it and didn't suck any of the ceramic catalyst into the engine. Figured out after some research that the only real solution is to replace the precat with an aftermarket race header and install a test pipe on the number one O2 sensor. BTW, the reason that the exhaust can go backwards into the engine is that the EGR system on these engines is set up to hold the intake and exhaust valves open at the same time on the intake stroke for just a little while. Supposedly this makes the engine run cleaner by re-burning the exhaust. Of course the flip side is when the precat dies thanks to a bad design, some of the abrasive material can get pulled back into the engine.
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Posts: 677
    edited December 2012
    The EGR has nothing to do with valve timing. No exhaust is "reburned". The exact explanation is given in the messege that your replied to.
    "the pressure was high in the exhaust pipe all the way from the engine exhaust ports to the 2nd catalytic converter. This section of precatalyst/exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe has a volume and acts like a pressure tank holding high pressure when the engine is running, having higher pressure when the engine runs faster. So this is what happens, the exhaust coming out the engine exhaust ports is not a constant flow, as the exhaust valves are opening and closing very fast, so the gas comes out pulsating, pushing against the already high pressure in the precatalyst. At the END of a strong Exhaust Gas pulse, the high pressure in the precatalyst can actually push some gas BACK UP into the exhaust port, because of the high gas pressure in the precatalyst. So, the Exhaust gas is exhausting into high pressure, and some of the high pressure can PUSH BACK UP into the exhaust ports in between the high pressure pulses of exhaust gas coming out of the exhaust ports. Under "certain conditions" it is possible for material to blow from the precatalyst back into the engine causing engine damage.
    The problem doesn't seem to arise until there is backpressure in the system that can cause the precatalyst material to blow back into the engine."
    That is why this problem does not appear early in the engines life, but only after the milage is high(varies a lot). Only after the Catalytic Converter starts to clog the exhaust system and raise exhaust pressure at the outlet of the exhaust ports does this problem arise.
    E,D in Sunny Florida
  • biophilybiophily Posts: 1
    edited April 2013

    I have a 2000 Altima, 96k, 2.5L 4 cylinder, and suspect I have a precat failure which previously caused a failed head gasket. Gasket was replaced and aluminum head was resurfaced. SES light was on prior to discovery of head gasket failure. SES light remains after replacement of head gasket. I'm not sure exactly when the gasket failed. Started it up one day and the parking lot turned into a cloud. So I suspect the precat has been bad for several months. Then head gasket failure. Now further symptoms of precat failure.

    (One question before continuing. I assume it is possible for the head gasket to blow even when temp gauge reads normal? Was it simply too much pressure?)

    Continuing... recently I have begun to have the poor acceleration/power problems often described as symptomatic of precat failure. I have driven it about three weeks under such conditions. I have finally looked into it. I will check oil level and consumption today. I have checked all fluids every week since symptoms began and all levels appear normal. I suspect I might dodge this problem if I eliminate the precat immediately? Am I on track here?

    Also, could someone provide a quick list of common Altima problems. So far: precat, intake manifold, sensors (which?), and head gasket. More specific? Anything else?

    Thanks so much. Especially electricdesign!
  • phxablephxable Posts: 1
    Recently, I have same happen.. just engine stopped...Cant turn on the engine right away.
    I reserched from google. Mostly Cam and Crank shaft position sensor problem.
    I contact to nissan, this guy said I must dignostic and charge me $150.
    Iam thinking about buy the parts from autozone..
    Now ur altima is still ok? since changed cam and crank?
  • I have replaced my motor at 121,000 miles it was burning oil. Now arter 12,000 The motor has failed again. It had 121,000 miles on it when it was put in. I also have a p0340 code and my engine wont start. It has 90 psi compression. Is my motor bad?
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Posts: 677
    edited July 2013
    Why all the questions? This forum contains a wealth of information. It amazes me how people come on here and ask the same questions over and over, on subjects that have already been discussed to death here! All you have to do is go back and READ the previous posts in this forum. It is amazing, what you will learn if you start at the beginning and read through the whole thing, or use the search feature to find what you are looking for!

    And YES, you engine is shot. YOU especially need to read all the info in this forum.

    And the guy in the post above, the one who replaced his engine at 121,000 miles, YES, your engine is shot too! Was that a used or rebuilt engine that you put in? Either way, it's all junk. Get rid of the car and never buy another Nissan is the best advice I can give you.

    After I went through this NISSAN ALTIMA FIASCO in 2007 & 2008, I swore never again to have anything to do with ANY Nissan of ANY kind. I am now a happy TOYOTA driver, driving everywhere, all the time, having NO trouble whatsoever. All I do is put gas in it and drive & change oil when required, that's all, and I LOVE IT!

    Sorry for all you guys trouble, but buy a good car, and life will go so much better for you!

    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • lewant2lewant2 Posts: 1
    I have code p0010 on my 2.5 altima how hard is it to get to actuator. Car stalls out occasionally ses is on now.
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