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Nissan Altima Engine Failures

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  • I remembered another good reason to unplug the ECU. While the engine is all apart and all the sensor wires and plugs are loose, with the head gasket and head is bolted back on top of the engine, with the camshafts and timing chains reinstalled, you need to test the engine. Before doing all the work of installing all the manifolds and accesories back on the engine, you want to test the engine to be sure the compression is good, so do a compression check of each cylinder, which requires turning on the key and cranking the engine with the electric starter. If the ECU was still connected when you do this, the ECU would turn on and see that all the wiring was disconnected, and it would be needlessly filled with all kinds of diagnostic error codes, and could be damaged. So again I say, unplug the ECU to keep it safe. Don't plug it back in until everything is properly connected and you are ready to start the engine. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    Thanks for the complete answer. I found an unplugged vacuum hose on the throttle body. After reconnected it, the pinging is almost gone 80%. Will changing the Autolite double platinum sparkplugs with the NGK Laser Platinum (OEM) help? 87 Octane (no Ethanol) runs just fine but with 10%ethanol the pinging is more pronounced. The pinging noise is not getting worse under heavier load. Just a little pinging at 1500 rpm (lean condition).

    Is there any way to clean the combustion chamber without removing the head?
  • Question - "Is there any way to clean the combustion chamber without removing the head?"

    Answer - You could try a couple of things.
    First you can use a fuel system cleaner or fuel injector cleaner additive that is added to your fuel tank. This may help a little. This should be done on a regular basis anyway, at least at every oil change
    Second, you can run a small quantity of water through the engine for a short time, while running the engine in Park at about 2000 to 3000 rpm. You can introduce the water into the engine by removing the small hose that plugs into the top of the rubber air tube that runs from the MAF to the throttle body. Place a small funnel into the hole, have a container of water ready, start the engine, have an assistant sit behind the wheel and control the throttle, keeping the rpm at 2000 to 3000 rpm in park and parking brake on, while you slowly pour a small steady stream of water into the funnel, listening to the engine. The engine should continue to run ok, if it starts to choke, stop the water until it recovers, then start again with a smaller stream of water. This may help remove some of the loose carbon that causes the pinging.
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I've posted the question to Lawyers.com. We've had the same problem and I absolutely intend to pursue this. My son bought the 2002 Altima for $5250 with the money he has been saving since he was 12!!!! I'm so angry with Nissan, I could spit. Here is what I wrote to the class action forum....
    ************
    I have a significant problem. My son purchased a 2002 Nissan Altima with 98,000 miles from a Nissan Dealer off e-Bay in February 2009. Even though the car was sold to us "AS-IS", the dealer was sure to tell us what a great car it was and the only reason they were selling it on e-Bay was because they could not obtain financing for a 2002 vehicle with so many miles. Okay, I accept that. We test drove the car and it was in superior condition. The performance was excellent in every way and we bought the car for $5,250 cash (my son is 17 and had been saving for this car since he was 12).

    We drove the car home and immediately changed the oil. The honeymoon was over after two weeks when my son took his car into the local mechanic to rotate tires. A routine check of the oil showed it was 2 quarts low. Naturally, we thought the quick-lube place screwed up and we simply topped it off with more oil. After two more weeks, we checked the oil again... it was another 2 quarts low. There was no visual evidence of burning (smoke) and the car passed through NJ emissions inspection without incident... So what the heck??!!??

    Our mechanic told us that this problem could be significant, but that there was no way to tell unless the unit was put through an expensive wet-dry compression test. Anyway, we just kept putting oil in the car and assumed that would be the standard (I did it with my Rambler for years)... But the problem got worse. Smoke was beginning to billow from the exhaust. The day before the engine blew out, I took the car to a local Nissan dealer to run a full computer diagnostic evaluation... That's when I got the news that both the engine and catalytic converter needed replacement. Even though the CAT was replaced/serviced under recall from Nissan a few years ago. The cost to me would be over $7,000.00

    Here is the problem (and a simple Google of 2002 Altima Engine Problems will turn up hundreds, if not thousands of similar stories). Nissan issued a recall for a faulty sensor within the Altima's catalytic converter. Our Altima was taken by the previous owner in for service under recall shortly after it was issued. This sensor allowed for damage to the catalytic converter, which in turn damaged the piston rings in the engines causing excessive oil burning and ultimately complete engine failure. In cases where Nissan "reprogrammed" the sensor, nothing was done to address the CAT damage and what it was doing to the engine. In other cases, they replaced the CAT, but the engines were already burining oil and headed for doom. The damaged engines, in turn, damaged the new CAT... This is the situation I find myself in now after putting only 4,000 miles on the car since February. Bad CAT, shot engine and Nissan Consumer Affairs telling me "Sorry, it's out of warranty and there is nothing we can do"... The recall should have been for both CAT and engine replacement, but who in their right mind would assume Nissan to do this for tens of thousands of cars. All they did was put a quick patch on a festering wound and waited to address individual complaints as they arose, which is infinately cheaper than doing the right thing in the first place.

    My sons dream was crushed and Nissan says "tough luck, kid". The car sits dead in our driveway providing a daily reminder of what scum car manufacturers like Nissan can be.
  • It is very sad to see another very sad message about the Nissan Altima. There have been so many sad messages written in this blog, this should be complied into a book, and should be in the hands of anyone who owns an Altima, or is anticipating owning an Altima, or even anyone who owns a Nissan. Maybe the book could be titled "The Sad Saga of the Nissan Altima and the company that made it". I know for a fact that after knowing all of this, and going through all of this with a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S, I will NEVER own any Nissan for as long as I live, My experience with my daughters 2000 Nissan Altima has been nothing less than a horrible nightmare.
    I would recommend that each and every one of you that has been screwed by Nissan to spread the word and tell everyone that you can about this blog and encourage them to read it, This needs to be headline news. Read it from the begining, about all the people who have been so dissapointed and/or devestated by the Nissan Altima, people who wanted to destroy their Altimas or push them off a cliff, or worst. I just can't say enough about how bad these cars are, and how negligent the Nissan Company is to leave so many of their customers stranded with no hope. What they have done should be a crime, and they should pay back their customers dearly for it.
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    In 2001, Carlos Ghosn defied Japanese business etiquette, cut thousands of Nissan jobs, shut the first of five domestic plants to help $20 billion debt. So, most of well-trained workers (Japan and Smyrna,TN.) were replaced by cheaper labor (Canton, MI, and Mexico). He is a Hero for Nissan company that has serious financial crysis like GM and Crysler but not for us.
  • kcvabkcvab Posts: 3
    Well folks I had to buy a new engine. Costs were $5200. Unbeknownst to me, they replaced my precat. I had my main cat hollowed out. By still having the main cat hollowed out, is my new engine safe from debris if the precat fails? Should I get the precat hollowed out? I do not want to ruin my new engine. There is a 12 month/12,000 warranty. I have a 2002 nissan altima 2.5.
  • achaiahachaiah Posts: 2
    Yes...and I will never buy ANOTHER Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Mercedes, BMW etc. etc., since every manufacturer in the world has had problems with their cars at one point or another. I am already doing research on the best bicycle that I can get (hopefully I can find one that absolutely 100% population loves).
    I currently own 2002 Altima, 2007 Altima (drives like a dream) and 2008 BMW 525I and I came in here to find a solution to how to fix that damn 2002 vehicle and not all the whining about how bad Nissan is since that's ABSOLUTELY FALSE. 2009 Nissan Altima is Consumer Report's, Consumer Digest's and JD Power's TOP PICK not mentioning other Nissan/Infiniti products. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with that car. If that was a "lemon" car there is such a thing called "Lemon Law" and you can try to get the money for your car under it's umbrella.
    B.S.Chicago,IL.

    P.S. I just got my money back from Sony after fighting with them for over 2 years over faulty Sony Plazma TV. No more Sony for me? I don't think so..I love them. Welcome to the real world.
  • achaiahachaiah Posts: 2
    ..Hmmm..let me think..so erasing all this debt is bad?....saving the company that was worshipped by Japanese for decades was bad?......Let me tell you something...if the business practices currently employed within your company are outdated and bad, you have to change them!
    ...and talking about cheaper labor....if it's so true I wonder why Nissan is doing so great since Ghosn took over? All those Nissans: Versa,Rogue,Altima.....number one cars according to Consumer Reports and Consumer Digest and million other awards for Murano, Xterra,Titan, 370Z, GT-R etc. etc. And if not for all those changes tens of thousands US WORKERS employed by Nissan would be unemployed.
    HERE IS ALITTLE READ FOR YOU... In 2001 Brazilian-born Carlos Ghosn became the first non-Japanese person to head a major Japanese automobile-manufacturing corporation. As the president and chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Company, he broke the traditional Japanese business models that had stifled the automaker's growth. Within two years Ghosn had led the faltering company into a period of revival, breaking a ten-year string of losses or tiny profits. By the end of the first quarter of 2003, Nissan turned a profit of more than $4 billion. Involving himself in all aspects of the company, from designing to test driving, Ghosn made himself an icon for Japanese business culture by the middle of his second year in office.
    Within months of his arrival Ghosn had laid bare a plan that would not only revolutionize the way business was done at Nissan but challenge some of the basic assumptions that lay at the heart of Japanese business methods. By shutting down plants, laying off workers, and severing ties with underperforming suppliers, Ghosn demonstrated that radical measures could be effective in changing the conservative Japanese business system. He expected the process of making Nissan profitable to take three years; it took only two.

    Ghosn also changed the look of Nissan's line of automobiles. The leading Japanese automakers, Honda and Toyota, historically were cautious about altering the appearance of their cars. In contrast, Ghosn, according to Alex Taylor in Fortune, took risks by making over almost one-third of Nissan's product line within a couple of years. "Ghosn wants Nissan to stand for passionate innovation," said Taylor, "and insists that new products satisfy an unmet customer need" (July 21, 2003). The executive's record, the Fortune contributor concluded, seemed to forecast great things for the companies he headed
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    That's totally right. He is amazing but unfortunately Nissan doesn't care about the buyers after the warranty is over. 100k miles is the average lifetime of Altima 02 instead of 200k. The number of Altima 02 engine failure caused by pre-cat and bad head gasket is so big. More than 200 just from 1 website. http://www.carcomplaints.com/Nissan/Altima/2002/ They should issue a recall or there will be no altima 02s on the road several years later.
  • jophishjophish Posts: 2
    I own a 02 Altima 2.5 which my daughter took to SC. Last week Nissan replaced the pre cat under warranty. After the work was done the dealer called me and said that the head gasket needed replacement. It was then that I decided to fly down from New England to see for myself. I know a fair amount about cars and he was able to justify his diagnosis. The pre cat was covered with baked on oil, plugged up the engine and turned it into a blast furnace frying the head gasket on two cylinders. This is a car that never leaked a drop of coolant. Nissan claims that the pre cat had nothing to do with the gasket failure and was not responsible for repairing it. However they would pay for half. A generous offer since they had just replaced the pre cat. From what I know and read this could be the tip of the ice berg. I feel that Nissan has a responsibility to repair any and all damage caused by the pre cat. Am I crazy?

    Jophish.

    P.S. The service department at this family owned dealership gets an A+, a pleasure to work with.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    hard to say. believe it or not, head gaskets do fail. but don't go nuts after reading here. yes, when Nissan redesigned the atlima in 2002 they designed and used a new engine (QR25DE) in it. and yes, like anything else new, it had some problems. But here's the important part. Even though some people have had issues, Nissan has probably sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/4 of a million of those engines. may twice that if they're using them overseas. The people that have had problems with them (and I'm not denying they had problems) represent a small fraction of the QR25DE equipped vehicles Nissan has sold.

    so don't panic yet.
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    Head gaskets fail after 200k miles is acceptable, but not 61k miles, just after the warranty expired.

    The 2002-2003 pre-cat failure is the biggest issue but no "REAL RECALL" has been done. Voluntary recalls like power valve screws is only good for 04-05 model because 02-03 is not under warranty anymore even they have excactly same design and some of 02-03 owner got their engine destroyed by those screws.

    Crankshaft and Camshaft Position sensor is still problematic. It turns out the design was bad (plastic shield), and now Nissan have the revised version with aluminum shield. But, you will never get the free recall twice. You have to pay to get the revised sensors after the failure of the first recall. Many of 02-03 VQ35DE engine have timing chain guide and tensioner premature failure (cost $1500) and bad MAF ($600 part # 22680-8j000). MAF from maxima and G35 with part #22680-AM600 is the best replacement that will not fail again.

    Nissan Service is Real :lemon: . After 6 years/60k miles all 02 have bad engine mount, struts, pre-cat, tie rod end, MAF (3.5L model) and may be head gasket.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    a head gasket can go at any time. of course the more wear on a car the more likely it is to fail.

    and no, not all 02 nissan altima's have bad engine mounts, struts, precat tie rod ends, or maf sensors.

    the most important lesson here is don't cheap out on your warranty. people who are willing to spend 20k on a car but wont invest another 1000 on a warranty to protect their investment for 10 yrs or 100k miles are asking for problems. Its a stupid way to reduce your payment by $16 or so. and one I've never understood.
  • This discussion is about Nissan Altimas, but since you brought up other brands of cars, I have a 2004 Toyota Highlander with 120,000 miles, and it runs and drives perfect, no engine, no head gasket and no Cat converter problems. I also have a 2000 Ford Explorer with V8 and 170,000 miles, that is trouble free. I have never had to replace a Cat or hollow out a Cat, on any other car that I have ever owned. Maybe not all 2002 Altima 2.5's are lemons, but it seems a lot of them are, and if it happens to you, you would be as unhappy as the rest of us who have got screwed by Nissan. My daughters 2002 Nissan Altima has been a terrible pain, you can read about it in this blog in earlier messeges, I started with messege #75. Lemon laws or warranties won't help me because the miles are too high, it had over 90,000 before I had the Cat & engine problems, and currently has over 125,000 miles. I expect a good engine and transmission given good care, to run reliably for over 200,000 miles.
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    99.9999% Altima 02-06 will have bad passenger side and rear engine mounts after 60k miles. It is just bad design. The struts will fail at around 60-100k/6 years miles but we need to replace the struts every 5 years anyway.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    and I had a 1992 sentra with 212k miles on it, no head gasket, not cat converter, no problems at all and still running when I traded it in. I also have a 1998 200sx with 165k miles on it that has never had anything done to it but front brakes. It's still sitting in my driveway, and I usually drive it to and from work.

    every ford and chevy I've ever owned was more or less shot at about 120k.

    on the other hand, I had a VW Golf that lasted over 300k miles. But don't think your going to find a lot of mechanics that will say VW builds a good car.

    The point? there is no point. every manufacture of cars has built a lemon or two in their day. the engine sludging problems in the Camry was at least as common as the converter problems in the atlima. probably worse. ditto the transmission issues with the accord a few years back.

    Thats not to say the 3rd gen altima, actually the newly minted QR25DE engine didn't have some issues and problems. But it doesn't mean Nissan is building junk. and neither does a dozen or so people bitching on an internet message board. ;)
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Posts: 749
    ....But it doesn't mean Nissan is building junk. and neither does a dozen or so people bitching on an internet message board.

    I agree with you 100%. People usually don't go out and try to spread good words about you when you do something nice...but they will try to spread bad words about you every chance they have when you do something bad. :sick:
  • Well almost two months have passed since I posted on (#456) this cite regarding my Altima 2.5. and I am glad to report the outcome. Nissan has replaced the engine at no cost to me. Yes, NO COST. I read tons of information regarding this engine, the good, the bad and the ugly both here and on other cites. I have a solid but not superior auto background so I knew more than all the customer service agents I dealt with. I was polite and would not take no for an answer. I told the last agent that I would continue up the ladder until I reached the head of Nissan. Also I would file a law suit in MA where I reside and the car is registered. I pointed out that our state has treble damages and when I was successful they had to pay three times what I sought as damages. I was also going to rent a replacement car until this was settled. That seemed to get thing resolved. I worked closely with the service manager, Wesley Morris of Morris Nissan, West Ashley SC. He was very knowledgeable and his input regarding my situation was huge. I got a new engine and he got a ton of warranty work. A total win win situation. The engine is going in this week and we are also getting all the recall work that is outstanding done as well.

    I wish to thank all on this cite for their positive and helpful postings, KEEP AT IT, and for the condescending wind bag who implied that I "cheaped out" or was in the disgruntled VERY small fraction of the sample, GET A LIFE.

    Jophish
  • I am so happy things worked out for you. My daughter's Altima is still sitting in my yard but I am feeling a little optimistic lately because there is a law firm investigating Nissan for these exact complaints for possible class action lawsuit. I have also received an email from someone who investigate federal agencies who fail to protect consumers. Maybe this director is looking into NHTSA's failure to following up on all those consumers' complaints filed in their office about their 2002 Altima engines. If you can provide me some pointers, I will greatly appreciate it. BTW, watch out for your new engine repair. I have seen consumer complaints that they had the same problems even when they paid to get their engines replaced. Good luck.
  • I own a 2002 Altima 2.5L 106,000 miles. I just got back from a "free" car clinic at my dealership (bought the car 4 years ago with 62,000 miles). I brought it there because I was experiencing the infamous rough start. I was told that the head gasket needs to be replaced ($1,600) because coolant is seeping in and causing the misfires. They said the two different metals on the engine cool at different rates and allow the seepage. (Disclaimer: I am not very mechanically inclined, and am approximating what they said). When I asked what could have been done to prevent the problem, they made it sound as it was just something that happens over time.

    I found this, and other forums, when I came home. I have an appt with my local mechanic tommorrow. My question: Because I have yet to experience any of the oil problems usually associated with the "coolant/head gasket/precat" issue, is it possible that I got lucky and my engine hasn't been damaged by the precat debris? Does this put me in any more favorable a position(long term) than those who are losing 1 qt of oil every 1000 miles?

    My wife and I are moving from NJ to NC next week! I really don't have the $ or time to deal with this. Is there any way to reasonably estimate how long I can live with the problem as is? As I stated, currently the only symptom is a rough idle for about 10 seconds when I start it cold (usually only the morning).

    Will gladly answer any cooking or food related questions in return ;)
  • All the answers to your questions are in this forum! The problem is that most people just blow in here and read the current conversation, and comment on what they just read and what their problem is. This forum is only up to 470 posts at this time. That may sound like a lot, but it is not. This problem goes way back for a long time. If you REALLY want to know about this problem and know what to DO about it, I would suggest to go back to the first message in this forum and read all of the messages, and you will know the whole story. My first post was #75 on October 18, 2007, and I have learned a LOT very quicky since then. In message # 75 & 77 I figured out & explained the problem with the Precat converter and the second cat converter under the center of the car, and what to do about them. The car has two cats, the Precat (first cat) and the Second cat under the center of the car. The bottom line is that if you have over 80,000 miles on your 2002 Atltima 2,5 engine, I would suggest that you HOLLOW OUT the precat (this will keep the precat from destroying your engine). There is no need to buy special header pipes to eliminate the precat converter, they are a waste of money. If the second cat gets clogged (does not allow or restricts exhaust gas flow out the tailpipes) I would suggest to hollow it out also. If your State has exhaust emmissions testing, you will have to replace the second cat with a new one, only if the second cat clogs up. My daughters 2002 Altima 2.5S has both cats hollowed out now and it runs great. We narrowly missed having the engine destroyed by the cats, I fixed it just in the nick of time, BEFORE the oil comsumption got too bad.
    We also had the problem of the engine miss on the cold start, had the leaking head gasket problem. I wrote all about this in messages from #98 on 12/06/2007 to message #125 on 12/24/2007. I had to tear the engine apart, remove the head, get the head rebuilt at the machine shop, put in new head gasket and put it all back together. It is still running fine now. I was told by the machine shop that it is not uncommon for the engine head to warp on these engines, causing the engine head gasket to blow. The engine head was warped out ot specs, so thay had to mill it flat. They checked all the valves and said it was ok now, with no cracks or leaks.

    So I would suggest you read up on all of this and get your engine head gasket replaced. At the same time have your intake manifold power valve screws glued permanently in place and get the precat hollowed out. Having the precat hollowed out will require the you put on the O2 Cheater on the second O2 sensor (the one at the botteom of the precat). This O2 Cheater will keep the check engine light from coming on. Go to message #232, dated 03/13/2008, to find the O2 Cheater. It only costs $5. There is a link in the message that will take you to all the information and pictures about it.
    Everything you need to know about these problems is here in this forum, all you have to do is look.
    Note: To others on this forum. I am not on here for the purpose of complaining about Nissan, I am simply stating the facts on what I have experienced and giving my opinions on them. What has happened to me concerning the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S has been very upsetting, and has cost me much time, effort and money, and I would not wish this on anyone. But I have read of many on here and on other websites that have the same frustrating problems. So I think it fitting to give others fair warning of possible empending problems. They may not get the same problems, but the possiblity is definitely there. I am not a chronic complainer, I have many good things to say about vehicles that are really worthy of praise. I just call them as I see them. That is this mechanics opinion.
    Good luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • I am thinking about buying a 2009 altima but am concerned about the engine issues that have been posted on this forum. Has Nissan addressed these problems so that the 09 model is problem free?
  • ED,
    I appreciate all you have written, and read all of your, and the other, posts. That is why I did not ask what could be done to fix it. I asked 3 questions which I hoped would give me an idea of how far gone my car was, since I had no burnibg oil.

    In any case, my mechanic did some work, and we'll see how it goes
  • " I asked 3 questions which I hoped would give me an idea of how far gone my car was, since I had no burnibg oil. "

    Here are your answers in a nutshell:

    1. Q. "Because I have yet to experience any of the oil problems usually associated with the "coolant/head gasket/precat" issue, is it possible that I got lucky and my engine hasn't been damaged by the precat debris?"
    A. Yes. You do NOT have the problem yet. but I would suggest that you monitor your oil level very closely. Once the damage starts, it can advance quickly.

    2. Q. "Does this put me in any more favorable a position (long term) than those who are losing 1 qt of oil every 1000 miles?"
    A. Yes more favorable, but watch out for the problem by checking the engine oil level frequently..

    3. Q. "I really don't have the $ or time to deal with this. Is there any way to reasonably estimate how long I can live with the problem as is?"
    A. It depends on which problem that you are talking about.
    The leaking head gasket problem should be addressed as soon as possible, because you already have that problem, and it will only get worse. It can cause the engine to overheat, and eventually ruin your engine. The head gasket can not heal itself. The engine head will have to be sent to a machine shop to have the head surface milled flat. You can temporarily help to repair (1 to 3 months) the leaking head gasket problem by putting a half a jar of BARS LEAKS PELLETIZED HEAVY DUTY RADIATOR STOP LEAK (available at any local automotive parts house) into the radiator. This will seal the head gasket leak for a while. 1/2 bottle should be more than enough to temporarily fix the problem. Do not put more than 1/2 bottle into the radiator, as you do not want to clog the cooling system. Keep the extra half bottle of Bar's Leak in the trunk, in case you need to add a little more, Add no more than a tablespoon at any one time. I think the cost of replacing the head gasket is about $1600 to $2000, depending on where you go. I did the job myself and the machine shop work and parts cost me $533 and I used 48 hours labor (working slowly and carefully), Maybe you could try that and save $1000 to $1500, if so inclined
    If you are talking about the oil burning/precat issue problem, don't worry about it yet, as it has not happened to you, just keep a very close eye on the oil level, and write down any oil you have to add. A good engine should be able to go at least 2500 miles or longer before needing a quart of 10W-30 oil. I recommend that you use only FULL synthetic motor oil in the engine, such as Mobil One or Valvoline Super Syn & use a quality oil filter by Mobil One or Purolator Pure One.
    Only use the cheap oil if the engine starts sucking down (burning) a quart of engine oil every week, because if the engine starts using that much oil, the engine is toast anyway.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • Quick update from NC. My mechanic in NJ drilled 5 holes in the precat. He did not replace the head gasket but tried some sealant. My drive to NC was fine-uneventful. The next day I went out for dinner, and when I left the restaurant, my car would not start. Was very rough but would not turn over. I checked the oil, and it seemed low (very dark out here). Walked to a gas station, put 3 qts of oil in, and after cranking it for 10 seconds, it turned over and drove fine. Also interesting is that my SES light was still on when I picked it up at the mechanic, now it is off for the 1st time in months. Checked the oil this morning (drive home last night was 20 min) and the oil level may actually be high. Nevertheless, I'll be buying a couple of quarts for the trunk and checking it frequently. Thanks for the advice ED, I'll be updating as time goes on for others who are sufferung from this.
  • Had the same problem today. First time I drove it since I posted last. Car started fine this morning, drove about 30 min. When I went to start the car 3 hours later, I had to crank it several times for about 15 seconds each before it turned over. So it seems to start fine when cold, but gives me a tough time, very rough start feeling, when it's warm or hot. I am not mechanically inclined, and I have already reached the limits of what logic dictates. Car does runs fine, once it's running. I have been checking the oil and the level is the same and has maintained the milkiness- no black.

    I will be calling my NJ mechanic on Monday to see if he has any insight, but I don't think I can afford to take it to a mechanic down here just yet( last time had to get 2 new tires and a water pump and thermostat in addition to the sealant and precat drilling- total about $800). I will continue to update.
  • Start but no turnover again this morning. Took off radiator cap while engine was ice cold and coolant spit out at me. Parked the car on incline, started car and watched bubbles, guess there was air in there. Now starts fine, hot or cold.

    I am hoping for the best.
  • Hi tripj, You have to fix your head gasket asap or you need a new engine. Your oil will be contaminated with coolant and ruin your bearings,cylinder wall, piston rings, etc.

    I fixed my head gasket in ALL Tune and Lube for $1200 total ($890 tear down+ $310 machine shop work ). The engine works fine for more than 18k miles/15 months even with 0.5 quarts/1k miles oil consumption. Remember to check "Struts, passenger and rear side engine mounts, and outer tie rod, timing chain tensioner (1 second rattle in cold start)" before you decide to fix or sell it.
  • I already told tripj what he had to do, especially about replacing the head gasket in messages # 471 & 474. The engine head gasket needs to be fixed right away, but it will get fixed when he feels the urgency to do it, or is able to come up with the money to do it. Yes, the engine will eventually destroy itself if not repaired. If that same situation happened to me right now, I would have to just nurse it along, using some sealer as I suggested for temporary repair, because I have been unemployed for 4 months, broke, with no work in sight. And I have lots of valuable skills, but they are not worth much in this dead economy/depression. So maybe he can somehow scape together what he needs to fix it, or maybe not.
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