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Nissan Altima Engine Rattle



  • rayvalrayval Posts: 8
    Well, Nissan Canada finally admitted that the engine was faulty and replaced with a brand new engine. So far so good! but I only have about 500 mlies on the new engine. I am keeping my ears wide open for that dreaded rattle which is not there yet. I will keep posting.
  • b777girlb777girl Posts: 7
    My 2007 has had the same issue with the rattling noise at startup for almost the entire time I've owned it (May 07). I have had the heat shields replaced and the noise is still there. It's most definitely an engine problem, which is quite scary when you think about how much money this could potentially cost. I've taken it to two dealerships in the St. Louis area and neither one appears to actually know what the issue is.

    In addition, my passenger airbag deactivates all the time, even when my dad, who is well over 200 lbs sits in that seat. ANOTHER annoying (and potentially dangerous) thing this car does that dealerships either don't know how to fix or don't want to fix because NISSAN will not reimburse their costs.

    VERY disappointing.
  • jchd1340jchd1340 Posts: 13
    my 2.5 altima has been to 2 dealers 5 times in 6 weeks. i have had enough. they both say the noise is normal. i have filed a complaint with the BBB and suggest anybody who has this problem do the same. how can a car that sounds like its starving for oil at cold start up last?
  • rayvalrayval Posts: 8
    That's the way my engine was and after a battle with Nissan they finally replaced the engine. I am not sure that will eliminate the problem, apparently the 2.5 litre engine casting is bad and that is affecting other manufacturers who use this casting ie: MAZDA. My engine only has approximately 1,500 miles, and I am waiting until the weather gets colder to see if the dreaded noise comes back. If it does, another battle will start, this time I will be going for a buy back. I can assure you this will be my last Nissan.
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    I have 03 Altima that has that noise since 40k miles ago. The tapping noise comes from the "valve lifter" in qr25de that expand before the engine is warm. I only hear it during the winter (less than 50 F) and disappear after few minutes. This type of valve lifters"solid lifter" don't need adjustment in the entire life of the engine (Prius also use it). For instance, Honda need valve adjustment every 60k miles.

    That's the characteristic of QR25DE engine with noisy valve lifter.
  • Hello everyone.. Bought a 2009 in july and guess what I am hearing! yep temps are now down to low 50-40 range and I drove the car the other day, Fiancee drives it most the time. I heard what sounded like lifter rattle.. I asked her if she heard it she said no. So I took it to work the other day cause it was going in for some weird circles that were in the glass in the windshield.I mean perfect circles like in the laminating process? anyone else seen this? anyway I could clearly hear the noise right around the 2000 mark when under very light throttle and load! Yes it does finally sound like it goes away when warmed up ,but I know this is no good for long term!.. So I told them to listen to it, and this is all i get yes the mechanic heard it and thats normal for these engines in cold weather! I was like wtf?.. Brand new engine with 8000 miles and the tight tolerances these new cars have and its normal!. not!.. I then told her my Mom's 2007 avalanche doesn't do it with 40,000 miles! she's like I doubt that I worked for a Gm Dealer for 20 years and they all ticked when cold. I was like well her's doesn't and this car does! Kinda got mad with her. I told her well whatever i know cars work on them, race them etc its not normal and i want this documented.. she was like it is on the service record.I said well it better be cause I know this isn't the end of this problem.
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    Just bought a 2009 SL and noticed the same thing when starting the car on cold mornings. It sounds like a diesel engine under slight acceleration. Should I be concerned about this? I decided to buy an Altima instead of a Ford Fusion, I just hope I didn't make the wrong decision.
  • add me to this list of 2.5L owners with noisy lifters. only 17,000 km on new car. did not notice it until a few weeks ago when temp went down to 10 deg Celsius. in niagara region of canada. any fix for this or do we live with this until nice weather returns? i wonder if using 5w-30 oil would help much?
  • rayvalrayval Posts: 8
    To answer your question, there is no fix for this problem, it has to do with a bad engine casting. I bought an 09 Altima in October 2009 and when it reached 4,000kms it started making a knocking noise on cold mornings. The noise got to be so bad during the winter that the car sounded like it had a diesel engine. I tried changing the oil to synthetic, adding additives, having the heat shield checked and just about anything you can think of without success. I started a long battle with Nissan Canada and finally got them to replace the engine at 15,000kms. Needless to say that "I was happier than a pig in ????", I'm sure you know what I mean. Well, my joy did not last very long, after 4,000kms on the new engine the noise returned ( @ 10C temperature). I was not prepared to go through a second battle so I traded ( at some loss, of course) the Altima for a Maxima. I am now back to being a happy pig with $10,000 less in my pocket. You are lucky, being in Canada, as you have some remedy. I suggest you check out the following link : , or you can always choose to live with a diesel sounding Altima. If you decide to keep the car you may want to invest in an oil pan warmer, it is a pad that sticks to the bottom of the oil pan to heat the engine oil and reduce the noise. Good Luck! Ray
  • rayvalrayval Posts: 8
    I joined this discussion in the hopes of providing valuable information on the problem that I experienced with my Nissan Altima, not to be judged on decisions that I have made to resolve the problem. Although I still have information that could be of use to other owners of Nissan Altima, I will no longer be posting to this site. Good Luck everyone.
  • yeah, vq35de doesn't have that dieseling noise. Nissan needs to revise valve lifter design that shrunk after few thousand miles. QR25DE owners have to live with this diesel noise especially during the winter. Nothing we can do except wasting more money and time.
  • My skin has gotten thicker due to the cold weather in Canada, not thinner. The oil pan warmer sounds like a reasonable work around...I guess...thanks for the suggestion. Lighten up makes life a heck of a lot easier.
  • Ronhol, we're approaching end of warranty, do you know if this issue has long term ramifications for the QR25DE(I'm assuming thats the engine model)?

    Our service center is refusing to do anything about this. This is our 4th Nissan we have purchased, and this will be the absolute last if they refuse to do something about what appears to be a very serious problem.

    I'm worried that our car is just a couple of years away from its engine failing.

    I have always been the type to let things go, but I am UTTERLY disappointed in the response from our dealer along with what seems to be the company line from Nissan itself in this situation, it almost seems like cause for a class action if they refuse to address it in a recall of some sort.
  • I have an 08 Altima and agree with you the engine sounds very much like a diesel and too have been told this is normal. There is just no way this can be normal. On top of this I have had the AC compressor replaced, one front strut, and have just had the transmission replace. Have called Nissan Corp and this was a waste of time.

    My car has been to the dealership 4 times now to have what sounds like a tire rubbing in front end fixed and they still cannot find the problem.

    I will never buy another Nissan.
  • g35guy4g35guy4 Posts: 1
    I had a 2005 G35 Coupe and noticed the same thing as all you guys!!!! Some subtle, engine noise/rattle at low rpm, low load around 2000 rpm under acceleration and thought it was engine pinging or knock. Then I started having the issue at start up either when it was cold or mostly if the car had sat for a few days without running. Took to the dealer and of course they played dumb and didn't hear anything. Talked to a buddy of mine who knows motors really well...he knew right away it was a lifter issue when we talked about the start up rattling. Our theory was that the oil wasn't making it up into the lifters or had all drained down till they were dry after a few days so that caused all the noise. Here's what worked pretty good to at least solve the start up issue: If I hadn't started it in a few days I would use a process to pump up the lifters with oil before I actually started it up. Like at the oil change places where they can turn the motor over without starting....
    Usually the vehicles have a mechanism that will not allow them to start if the throttle is put all the way to the floor upon start up....So I would mat the throttle and turn it over a couple times without starting it up. Then when I actually did start it up there was no rattle because the lifters have oil in them. Try that. I'm in California so not sure about how it would work with really cold oil in low temperatures....that makes the oil thicker and even harder to pump up the lifters...

    Good luck.
  • My transmission has been doing odd things - revving at higher RPMs, and it drives kinda jerky around 35 mph. Not impressive for a new car. Dealership people said this is how Nissan designed their CVT transmissions - it's a design flaw, if you ask me. Kinda sucks. Don't know if I'll keep this car for more than a year. Buyer beware.
  • This is in response to your post above, and your post in the other thread "Prices paid & buying experience".

    First of all, the engine revving...that IS how the CVT is designed. Especially when pushed hard, a CVT in no way behaves like a "regular" automatic transmission. Yes, it revs, and yes, its normal. Most people who don't understand the technical side of CVT operation think its "slipping" and experiencing abnormal operation. Not true. It isn't. Not only does it rev in a unique fashion, Nissan has also programmed it to provide a small amount of engine braking when you take your foot off the gas - much more engine braking than any normal automatic transmission I've driven.

    Also, the jerky operation? Maybe, I obviously haven't driven your car, so I can't say. Mine is smooth, and compared to the 4-spd regular automatic in my other car, this transmission is silky smooth. I don't consider the 900RPM drop-off between shifts "smooth" as the engine in my other car "lugs" itself back up into the stronger part of its torque curve via its automatic transmission.

    Nevertheless, I think this is a great application for a CVT - a plain vanilla family sedan. Put a CVT in a sports car, and I'd scream bloody murder.

    Go enjoy your Altima, and remember - the CVT is now warranted for 10yrs or 120k miles. :)
  • My transmission was burning up 1 gear at a time when I started realizing the car was jerking! Definatly a flaw that you need to catch before all your gears are burnt up and you have to have your transmission rebuilt!! :( Sorry good luck!
  • For everyones information I thought I would let you know what I know. I just bought a 08 altima in jan. it has about 58k. about 2 weeks after we bought it it started making that lifter noise during low speed acceleration. I took the car into the dealer who could not figure it out so they had me bring it back March 16th so a factory rep could look at it and 2 other cars that were making the same noise. The factory guy said it was fuel injectors making the noise and that is was normal. I asked a mechanic if replacing the injectors would eliminate the problem he said no. That the injectors were "dry injector" as opposed wet. I do not know if that is correct or BS. I do know I am not happy about it. we are going to write some letters but from what I am seeing we are SOL.
  • utlax18utlax18 Posts: 4

    Please let me know how it goes with your letter writing campaign. I have an 08 with 10K miles and notice the same thing when accelerating under 2000 rpms. Took it to 2 dealers her in Denver and 1 never opened the lifter covers to take a look..waste of everyones time. The second says it was "normal" and every car makes it's own noise. Like you..I Call BS and have 1 more dealer to take it to, but I am not holding my breath. Basically, the car sounds like a sewing machine inside when I accelerate. But, after 2000 rpm, car rides like a dream.

    Good luck to all who have this problem!

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