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Nissan Altima Engine Failures

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  • Thank you very much for rhe info, Trust me it helped.. I called Nissan Headquartes and they did say there was a recall on the sensors.. Right before I was going to take the car, The mechanic and I decided to take out the 02 sensor, The car was loud but then it ran fine, Some stuff blew out of the hole, Put the sensor back in and it ran fine.. I still am going to have the Cat converter changed but Nissan made the exhaust manifold and converter as one part, In the tune of $494, Just for the part..
    Thaks again!!!!
  • Your power loss was due to an exhaust restriction in the precat and/or exhaust. We have had long discussions on all this before. I would suggest you look back over earlier posts and you can glean much useful information from them. You can use the SEARCH feature to find what you are looking for. I posted extensively on this particular subject of the precat and the lower second cat failing and clogging in this forum in Post #75 through #77. Be sure to read them. Removing the oxygen sensor relieved the backpressure in the cat, but the problem still remains. The contents of the precat can break free and blow down the exahust pipe to the next part, which is another cat under the car, right before the muffler, it's about 4 feet back from the connection of the exhaust pipe to the bottom of the precat. This second cat under the car can clog up and plug the exhaust. Go behind the car when the engine is running and feel how much exhaust gas is coming out the tailpipes. If not much, the cat may be cloged. I was able to take the exhaust pipe with the second cat out from under the car and unclog it, and put it back on. It worked fine after that.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • What an eye opener. I have 2 Altima's-- 2002 with 80,000 miles and a 2003 with 75,000 miles. Well, the 2002 started a problem with engine noise, then the catalytic convertor went out, now the oil comsumption problem. I have contacted Nissan, with no response so far. Does anyone know if Nissan is recognizing this is a problem?? I've read all the recalls and tech service reports on this Nissan. Only see one that might come close to acknowledging an issue. I have not been to the dealer yet, wanted to gather as much information as possible first. Any suggestions?
  • I am done...I have never been through so much with a car in my entire life. Its like when it hit 80,000 miles it just gave up and decided to break every other day. As soon as i hit that millage i noticed that my oil of very low for changing it a week before. And then i was adding a quart every other week.Then it was the converter. My warranty didnt cover it, it had a list of things not covered and that was 1 out of the 3. After that it seemed to be ok (for about a week). Then boom check engine light came on. I took it there they reset the system and they said it was fine. Then im driving about a week later light came on again and i had so much to do around the holiday i said ***** it and i ignored it for about 3 days. I was on the highway driving my grandma over for Christmas. I was going about 70 and the car died in the fast lane. Thank God that i put my forways on put the car in park tried restarting it 2 times and it kicked over and i was able to get off the highway. I mean come on the car indangered my life...what kind of crap is this. Then i took it to get fixed and they said the crankshaft sensor went that that cause all the problem. So i was happy drove it home, woke up this morning went to get breakfast and the light came back on. I got out of my car and was screaming at the top of my lungs kicking my tire and making a complete fool out of myself at my local bagel shop. So now i am furious i am over the edge and cant take it anymore. i Should have spent the extra money and just brought a nicer car when i had the chance. I mean come on nissan this is redic. There has to be a way to sue these sons of ***** and we can get are money back. (i spent just about a grand fixing this car)....God,Jesus,Muhammad, Someone HELP ME
  • I have the same problem which occurred approx a month and half ago. I did a quick search online and there was a news article posted on the 26th of Nov 2007 about a major recall on nissan altima 2002 to address this problem. I'll post it if I find it again. I also know there is a major recall for the 2006 models. Also, from other internet searches, it looks like that there are a lot of people out there with this same exact problem. (2002 models). And on average, most people had this problem at approx 100000 miles. Also, there was a internet hit about about the specific engine type that was on recall. I think it was QR25DE engine type (not sure if this is the engine type or model). May someone can shed more light on this?

    Unfortunately, for me the problem has already occurred but I've seen some postings on the internet saying that even the recall didn't fix the problem.

    Anyways, I took in my car to the local dealership and they said something was leaking into something that causes the engine to use up too much oil. Bottomline, they said I need a new engine. I asked them if this was a common problem, and they said I had a unique problem, and that it was very rare. I told them ok, and in other words manufacturer defect. I told them to replace it and pay for it since my car is only at 100500 miles. And in addition to this I've brought my car in several times before that (month after month including the month the problem occured) and at most times paid them on average over $1000 to fix a problem. And if I remember correctly, this problem occurred approx 23 days after dropping over $1000 for them to work on another problem. Anyways, as you expected, they did not want to pay for it.

    So I have case with corporate and its in a waiting for the customer to call status. Actually, they've been calling me early in the morning when I'm still sleeping knowing that they won't talk to me. But I've done my part and called them back 4 to 6 times a day and left a message but they've never called me back twice in a day.

    Anyways, I've been out of town on work and vacation and just got back, so I'm going to address this issue.

    This is what I'm going to do. I am going back to the local dealership and make one last attempt to have them fix my car at their expense. If they refuse, I will have them give me a detail description of what the problem is. And also a detail description of what they've done to my car in the last 6 months. Then I'm going to tell them that that nissan armada I was planning to get in 2008 will be something else, non nissan (seriously, I am planning to get an armada). Then last but not the least, I'm going to tell them that I will take them to court. It's about time someone slapped this company on the face to take ownership of these issues.

    Anyways, I've been frustated like most of everyone on this forum
  • Also have a 2002 Altima with 105,000 miles. In Oct 2007 started hearing engine knocking noise. I noticed that my oil was very low and began adding oil every few weeks. But it was not enough. By the end of Nov 2007 the engine had been damaged so badly that it had to be replaced at a cost of over $4,000.

    Has Nissan issued a major recall on Altima 2002 engines yet to address this problem ?
  • Message 135, Research the recalls of Nissan. There is a memo from the news bureau from corporate Mar 18,2003 with a voluntary safety recall campaign on models of 2002 and 2003 Altima regarding the exhaust problems with the 2.5 Liter engine. (This is what starts the oil problem). File a report with Nissan and get a file #, then go to your dealership and follow direction from Nissan. Mine is in the shop now, no verdict what will be said but the recall states and Nissan states "it will be taken care of." I'll let you know.
  • Noticed the transmission was slipping in between 2 and 3rd. Had our mechanic check it out. Ruled out the valve body/controller. Took it to the dealer yesterday and was told it needs a new transmission. 78xxx miles. Estimated cost $3500. The icing on the cake! Six days ago the SES light comes on. Take it to my mechanic. Code says "misfire #4 cylinder". With much effort he is able to remove the plug. Antifreeze is evident. Says most likely the head gasket is leaking. Check the oil and is a quart low. Was full two weeks ago. Having read all the posts on this and other forums about this vehicle makes me sick. I'll never buy another Nissan.
  • Has anyone had Nissan pay for catalytic convertor replacement or replace a motor involving any of these problems? Mine is at dealership now and the district rep is to call me on Mon. 01-07-2008
  • czanderczander Posts: 10
    I have read and heard at least 25+ valid complaints on oil burning and engine failure/replacements on the 2002 Altima to-date from vairous websites and from Buick and Dodge dealer servicemen. Clearly, Nissan won't do anything until someone else does. I have a 2002 Altima S as well, also had the same engine/oil problem in September 07. I changed my oil on 9/4/07, had to refill it again on 9/10 and again on 9/19. I was out of town for five days, a friend of mine drove the car (had her 8 yr old daughter with her at 8pm in the evening on a highway) then the engine blew. It cost me $2400 and much inconvenience. How ridiculous that there are Nissan is not stepping forward to recall this vehicle. Please respond with your name and email address, and I intend to write the BBB and the Illinois Attorney General. Regards, C Zander
  • czanderczander Posts: 10
    I have read and heard at least 25+ valid complaints on oil burning and engine failure/replacements on the 2002 Altima to-date from vairous websites and from Buick and Dodge dealer servicemen. Clearly, Nissan won't do anything until someone else does. I have a 2002 Altima S as well, also had the same engine/oil problem in September 07. I changed my oil on 9/4/07, had to refill it again on 9/10 and again on 9/19. I was out of town for five days, a friend of mine drove the car (had her 8 yr old daughter with her at 8pm in the evening on a highway) then the engine blew. It cost me $2400 and much inconvenience. How ridiculous that there are Nissan is not stepping forward to recall this vehicle. Please respond with your name and email address, and I intend to write the BBB and the Illinois Attorney General. Regards, C Zander
  • czanderczander Posts: 10
    SAVE YOUR PAPERWORK, DOCUMENT ALL WORK AND SAVE YOUR FAILED PARTS! I have read and heard at least 25+ valid complaints on oil burning and engine failure/replacements on the 2002 Altima to-date from vairous websites and from Buick and Dodge dealer servicemen. Clearly, Nissan won't do anything until someone else does. I have a 2002 Altima S as well, also had the same engine/oil problem in September 07. I changed my oil on 9/4/07 (AND HAVE PAPERWORK DOCUMENTING THIS ON 9/4), had to refill it again on 9/10 and again on 9/19. I was out of town for five days, a friend of mine drove the car (had her 8 yr old daughter with her at 8pm in the evening on a highway) then the engine blew. It cost me $2400 and much inconvenience. AND I HAVE THE PISTON AS EVIDENCE. How ridiculous that there are Nissan is not stepping forward to recall this vehicle. Please respond with your name and email address, and I intend to write the BBB and the Illinois Attorney General. Regards, C Zander
  • czanderczander Posts: 10
    If we all take actions, in 3 months we should hear something. I have read and heard at least 25+ complaints about 2002 Altima to-date from websites and from Buick and Dodge dealer servicemen. Clearly, Nissan won't do anything until someone else does. I have a 2002 Altima S as well, also had the same engine/oil problem in September 07. I changed my oil on 9/4/07, had to refill it again on 9/10 and again on 9/19. I was out of town for five days, a friend of mine drove the car (had her 8 yr old daughter with her at 8pm in the evening on a highway) then the engine blew. It cost me $2000. How ridiculous that there are Nissan is not stepping forward to recall this vehicle. WHAT TO DO: Write the Better Business Bureau and the Illinois Attorney General. Remember to: 1) include reciepts and written testimony from mechanics, 2) Print as many complaints from others you can find on blogs, exchange boards, etc. and include them; and 3) write the number of hours and inconvenience and any safety concerns.
    Regards, C Zander
  • czanderczander Posts: 10
    If we all take actions, in 3 months we should hear something. I have read and heard at least 25+ complaints about 2002 Altima to-date from websites and from Buick and Dodge dealer servicemen. Clearly, Nissan won't do anything until someone else does. I have a 2002 Altima S as well, also had the same engine/oil problem in September 07. I changed my oil on 9/4/07, had to refill it again on 9/10 and again on 9/19. I was out of town for five days, a friend of mine drove the car (had her 8 yr old daughter with her at 8pm in the evening on a highway) then the engine blew. It cost me $2000. How ridiculous that there are Nissan is not stepping forward to recall this vehicle. WHAT TO DO: Write the Better Business Bureau and the Illinois Attorney General. Remember to: 1) include reciepts and written testimony from mechanics, 2) Print as many complaints from others you can find on blogs, exchange boards, etc. and include them; and 3) write the number of hours and inconvenience and any safety concerns.
    Regards, C Zander
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Posts: 749
    I have read and heard at least 25+ complaints about 2002 Altima to-date from websites and from Buick and Dodge dealer servicemen.

    First, you don't need to post the same messages 2 or even 4 times to make your point.

    Second, I just don't see why Nissan should pay for your repairs as your car isn't under warranty any more. I think it's a problem if they try to deny to fix your car if the car is still under warranty. There're defect cars with any manufacturers. Cars are not designed to last forever that's why most manufacturers only offer 5 years warranty.
  • czander, you don't need to post 5 messeges to say the same thing, just draft one messge, preview and edit it, add to it or subtract from it, preview it again, and when it finally looks like it says everything you want to say, hit the "Post My Messege" button. While you are drafting your messege, you can preview it an endless number of times, to be sure that it is exactly the way you want it. Even after you posted the messege, if you see something you want to change or add, you can still edit the messege for 30 minutes after you have post it.

    That being said, I understand your frustration, as all the Nissan Altima owners here with problem engines are equally upset. I'm sure everyone here expects the engine in their car to last over 100,000 miles if taken care of properly, regardless of the warrenty. I always expect my engines to last over 200,000 miles, and they do, because I always fully research and buy only vehicles that are known to be RELIABLE, and I take exceptionally good care of them. I DID NOT buy this 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5s, my daugther did, and I am trying to help her out. Her fight is MY fight! The Factory Warranty is needed to protect the customer because in mass production, there are bound to be some mistakes, and the warranty should protect the customer from such mistakes. But I believe that all modern vehicles have a "reasonable lifetime" based on the modern design practices, materials and technology of today. But the responsibilty of the Manufacturer ends at the end of the warrany, unless some sort of legal action could prevail against them (I'm not an attorny, so I can only give my opinion on that). I have been on many Web Sites about this and I have not yet heard of any attorny, action or court case prevailing against Nissan concerning these beyond warranty Altima engine issues yet. Nissan is apparantly NOT going to do anything about the problem, other than to tell you to check your engine oil level, maintain all required service and to keep the engine oil filled up to the proper level to "avoid an engine fire". How comforting that is! So, to build a case against Nissan, it would seem to me that you would have to prove a reasonable expectation of how long the engine should last, and somehow hold them to that, even if beyond the warrany period. The warrany period is legally defined, and as far as Nissan is concerned, that is how long the engine, transmission and the rest of the car is supposed to last. I am hoping that a sharp attorny, or team of Attornys will arise and file a class action lawsuit for the Nissan Altima Owners against the Nissan Corporation and prevail in this case using something like a basis of Nissans faulty design of the Altima's engine and exhaust sytstem, causing damage and suffering to it's customers. I have suffered enough with my daughters 2002 Nissan Altimas 2.5S, it has caused me much pain, suffering, time, money and has changed my life forever. This problem is now occuring on many of these Altimas everywhere, I am hearing about it every day all over the internet, more and more every day. If this gets large enough, I'm hoping it will attract national attention, and that some sharp attorny, or team of attornys will take an interest in persuing a lawsuit, if it looks like he or they might be able to prevail. I've been ready to jump on the bandwagon for a long time.
    To all that are reading these current posts (messeges), much has been said and posted here about all these problem engine issues in this Forum. If you have not done so, please read all the posts in this Forum from begining to end. That's going to be about 147 posts in this Forum so far. I started posting in this Forum with Messege #75 and on. Please read them if you can.
    I sincerely wish good luck to all of you. May the Force be with you!
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I have a 03 Altima S and am having the same problems. I just talked to Nissan about it yesterday and they are telling me there is nothing they will do about it.

    Nissan told me the cause of the problem is the catalytic converter went bad and the internal parts started breaking down into very small pieces. After that happens once you start the engine the initial suction on the exhaust system sucks the small pieces into the engine. If you don't have the converter replaced immediately after it goes bad
    it will damage the engine thus leading to oil consumption, noises, and possible loss of power. Nissan told me the only way to fix this problem is to have the engine replaced.
    The service tech on the phone admitted this is a common problem with these vehicles.
    Something needs to be done about this and Nissan needs to deal with it.
  • czanderczander Posts: 10
    Thanks for your email. I did learn from another website (automotive dot com) that some who works at a law firm has already began a Class Action Law Suit.
    So write your Attorney General and inquire if there is something already in progress so you can be included. Also include your story, your receipts and any statements, storys or websites that have posted complaints by others you can find on the internet. Good luck ~

    Clearly, Edmunds needs to have a database that also generates letters automatically to these state agencies and business bureaus. Many associations and lobbiests use these types of sophisticated sharable/exchange databases. I'll write Edmunds with my suggestion -- it certainly would be word $9.95 per letter just to be heard!
  • czanderczander Posts: 10
    Thanks so much for the information! I also located someone on automotive dot com that has a Nissan Altima, and works for an attorney. He has already began compiling a Class Action Suit.

    I will take your thougths into consideration when constructing my letter to the Attorney General (and copy Nissan) and inquire if there is something already in progress. Also will include your whole story, receipts and any other statements, stories or websites that have posted complaints by others.

    I've recommended to Edmunds -- to offer a database that services this process and generates letters automatically to state agencies, business bureaus, etc. Many associations and lobbiests use these types of sophisticated sharable/exchange databases. It certainly would be worth $9.95 per letter to have some confirmation that the information we are spending minutes compiling would be put in the hands of those who could do something with it sooner than later.

    thanks again ~
  • I am having the same problem. On Janurary 2, 2007 my car wouldn't start. I had it towed to Nissan they reprogrammed the ECM and replaced the headlights which was another recall. When I got my car back my car was smoking they said it is possible I have cracked heads. I had no problem until it wouldn't crank. It drove fine on the first. Now Nissan is telling me I will have to pay to get new heads.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Just a note about posting personal contact information - for your own safety and security, please do not do that.

    You can contact each other through your carspace email accounts and/or you can make your email address public in your profile. Doing either of those things provides you with a much higher degree of safety than posting any information on a public webpage such as this.

    Please also understand that we can't support solicitation for class action suits. We understand that there are reasons you'd like to be in touch with each other, but please don't associate it with anything that can be construed as solicitation for legal action. Take it off the boards.

    Thanks! :)
  • What engine does your Altima have? I noticed that you said "Now Nissan is telling me I will have to pay to get new heads". If you have more than one head, you must have the 3.5L V6 engine. I think the discussion here about the catalytic converter and oil buring is referring to the 2.5L I4 engines. I am not sure of how the catalytic converters are arranged on the V6 engine setup. The 2.5L engine has the pre-catalyst built into the exhaust manifold. I do not know it the V6 pre-catalyst is built or designed the same way. If someone reading here knows about this, please let us know.
    Concerning you car smoking, I assume that this smoke is coming out the tailpipe. Has this been verified to be smoke and not steam? Usually a cracked or leaking head will cause radiator coolant to leak into the engine, causing steam out the tailpipe, and cause combustion gas to leak out the radiator and also cause the radiator coolant level to go low, with the radiator coolant mysteriously disssapearing without any noticable leaks. I just had to remove and replace the head on my daughters 2002 Altima 2.5S, the head was warped and had to be milled, but no cracks in the head, just leakage past the head gasket due to the clyinder head warpage of .005". It may be possible for a cracked head to cause oil to leak into the clyinder, but it is not common for that to happen. If they pull the heads off, BE SURE that they are sent out to be checked by a reliable machine shop to check for any cracks or warpage. They can detect any cracks by doing a special pressure test and vacuum test on the head. Have Nissan VERIFY that the heads are bad BEFORE they replace them. After the heads are replaced, the cooling system must be flushed clean and new coolant added. The cooling system must be checked to be sure it is operating correctly, including the radiator, hoses, water pump, cooling fans, and cooling fan controls. On the Altima 2.3S I4 engine, the radiator fans come on when the coolant temperature reaches 203 degrees, and the radiator fans cut off when the coolant level falls to 188 degrees.
    Let us know what happens with your car.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • My car is the 2.5 S
  • Is your car also a 2002? Since your car is the 2.5S, then you have the 4 cylinder engine with one head. Referring back to messege 154, disregard the comments on the V6 engine, and note the comments on the 4 Cylinder engine. This engine is often referred to as the I4 engine, meaning "Inline 4 Cylinders". Before they pull the engine apart and take off the head, you should ask them how they know that the head is bad. There is a simple test that tests for the prescence of combustion gasses in the radiator. If there IS combustion gas present in the radiator, then the head or head gasket is bad. If there is steam coming out the exhaust pipe after the engine and muffler are fully warmed up, then the head or head gasket is bad. The head gasket is the most likely part to fail, and it fails for a reason, they just don't "go bad". The head gasket fails because the cylinder head has warped from getting too hot. Once the head warps a little bit, the head gasket is not held tight and it blows out or leaks. If it is determined that there IS a problem with the head or head gasket, then the head must be removed and inspected. As I said before, be sure the head is tested and proven to be bad before buying a new head. The machine shop that I went to said that it is a common problem for the Altima cylinder heads to warp. If the head is only warped, they can mill the head flat, do a valve job on the heads, that includes checking the valve guides, installing new valve seals, and resealing the valves. I had all that done for my daughters Altima 2.5S cylinder head. The cost for the head work was about $300, plus about $85 for new cylinder head bolts, plus about $100 for an engine gasket set, and $5 for a tube of gray silcone sealer. With tax the total machine shop cost was about $532, plus about another $100 for some miscellanious costs for new hoses, thermostat, new coolant, new motor oil and new motor oil filter. If it turns out that your cylinder head IS cracked, you should be able to find a rebuilt one for about $350. These prices are all cost of parts only. Add tax and add cost of Labor if done by the Dealer or a Shop. I would also suggest to use the phone and call around and get prices for the work from several sources, as there are many independent garages that can do the work as well and cheaper than the Dealer. Just check their reputation before letting them do the work. Take the car to who you are considering to do the work, and let them do a diagnosis on it to see what they say it needs. They can also do a cylinder compression test and other diagnostic procedures to find out what the problem really is.
    If you have any questions, just come back here and ask.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I am planning to buy a 2008 nissan Altima. reading all theses posts about the previous years nissans make me wonder if i Should go for a Nissan. My alternate choice is a 2008 Camry LE (basically as they have good financing specials).

    Any advice?

    Thanks in advance!
  • elishaelisha Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S as well that is having the same problem that apparently everyone else is. I am due for an oil change, but unfortunatley my car will not start!! I would love to know how you contacted the BBB in order to have a hearing. Nissan should be held responsible for their LEMONS they call cars.
  • I suggest you reasearch it completely and understand what you might be getting into. The style and built of the auto has not changed since 2002. When you hit 75-85,000 miles is when the problems start. Look at the recall on the 2006 for the exact same engine that is in the 2002-3-4-5's. What does that tell you?? If you like the auto, can afford to possibly put a new engine in about 3 years down the road, and do not mind the hassel, go for it! If you run the recalls in the older models and then check the corrections made by automakers, you can tell what you are up against. My personal oponion, with owning 3 of these, is I am going to Toyota or Honda.
    Hope this helps
  • I own a 2004 Altima 2.5S had 74,000. The check engine light was always on. Took it to a local and had brakes replaced and the light checked. The result of the check and a pre smog inspection, was a bad C Converter. Called Nissan about the possibility of the converter being in warranty, but they were unsure untill it was inspected by an authorized dealer. Nissan also informed me there were 2 recalls on this car that had yet to be done. They were a re-program of the engine computer and a check of some sort of power valve. The recall of importance was recall NTB05-058. The power valve is located under the intake manifold and it looses it's 4 mounting screws. As I understand it the screws have no where to go but into the combustion chambers. Also the C converters were bad but also had 80K warranties.
    The results for me were a complete new engine replacement, 2 new C converters, all done at Nissans expense, because of the recalls and the 80K warranty on C converters.
    If you are having the sort of problems I have been reading here it might be a good idea to contact Nissan, give them your VIN#, and perhaps, luck out as I seem to have done.
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