Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Nissan Sentra 2006 and earlier



  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    And thank you for your comments. I was just answering the note from mayankhp on his Sentra. WOW, so your brother has a SE-R on order huh? I drive fast enough with the standard SE. I am sure I would be in jail if I had something faster.

    33 to the gallon is great..especially with an automatic. My problem is keeping it under 80 on I-5. I am sure I could do better.

    By the way, does your brother have a firm price on this new car? I have heard stories that the first new ones will have quite a mark-up. Capitalism at work again. I have a a picture of a yellow SE-R on my desktop, but I doubt that I will get one of them. I like $280.00 every 6 months for insurance, and I have a feeling that
    the new car will cost considerably more than that.

    Have you noticed that gasoline has been slowly coming down? Here in California, the cheapest that I could find it was in Central California (Fresno area) at 169.9 for regular. In the Bay area and in San Diego, it is still close to 1.90 a gallon. I would like to know what your prices are where you live. By the way, I am talking about "brand name" fuel. I don't trust the CHEAP stuff, although I'll bet there is someone who has good luck with that stuff. I use either Union, Chevron, Shell or Exxon. I have not been convinced yet that Arco is the way to go. That is just my opinion, and I hope not to get a flood of mail from satisfied Arco users that are angry with me.

    To "newsentra owner" congrats on getting your new car. To get the remaining sticker off, wait until the window is cool and saturate the window area with either "windex" or a little vinegar, and let it soak in. Then when it is really moist, lightly scrape it off with a razor blade.. the one sided kind that you find on a box cutter. The dealer should have removed that sticker for you during the delivery process. I have the entire sticker intact. I keep them in my scrap book for sentimental reasons, I guess.

    Take care, and thanks again.
  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    I posted the car pics of my Pearl White SE and you got it confused with mayankhp. You do know a lot of technical information about automobiles. Thanks for coming to these boards to help out newbies and novices. Like you assumed, we dont get a lot of snow in Alabama. It snows may be once a year but there is no accumulation. I'd go carzy if I saw that much snow in Alabama, lol. I was exited to see all the snow in MI and so took some pics anyway.
    Regarding the gas mileage if I cruise at 70-75 then I get 32-33 mpg on the freeway. At 85 mph cruise the mileage drops to 28-29. I guess that is inline with the EPA estimates. I am still happy with the mileage though.
  • mayankhpmayankhp Posts: 22
    One more time you killed us.

    I am so much delighted after reading your note on ' tyre pressure'. I think my car is not drifting too much to do any adjustment, it is very posible of having inadequate pressure. I will also check my tyre design and feel without fail. I have a very good type pressure guage but never use it. I will also definately start using it now on.

    Actually I bought this car for my daughter who will start commuting for UCI, she liked Granite color as a second choice after Out of Blue.

    Your e mails are most wellcome at I will definately bother you when ever I need to ask you something about my cars. For your information I am also having Honda Civic (97 model bought it brand new for my son who is driving at Chicago as a full time medical student at Chicago Med School) and Buick Skylark ( 90 model bought is used for my wife who is a horrible driver and a full time Nurse) and Altima (2001)is my car.

    Thanks for your courtesy and help. I not much driving like you do, because I work for JCPenney at couple of miles away from my home at City of Buena Park (30miles off from LA).

  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    Sorry, I think I should have rephrased what I wrote earlier. My brother is considering the SE-R (not the V Spec, he hates manuals) and probably the Maxima or Infiniti G25 which I told him they probably won't produce - he has a weird way of spending money, don't ask :) He used to drive a V-6 Camry and that thing wasn't much faster than the Sentra SE, but noticeably quiter.

    I suggested that he use 89 octane for a few times and he did for that trip with A/C on. So maybe that slight increase in octane does help your mileage. His previous high was 29mpg using 87 octane, but that was when the car was fairly new. The price difference is about the same when you figured as cents per mile.

    I use premium unleaded for my car so I don't really notice the regular unleaded price. I also use the same gas station for a while, Exxon. I used Chevron and Texaco on occasions. Yup, the price of gas is still dropping. For premium unleaded here is around 1.43 the last time that I checked. We have about the cheapest gas in Texas (for now anyway)
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    To alll my new found friends...Thank you. I wrote this letter last night and just as I was about to send it, GOOD OLD AOL decided to blank out by saying that I had been inactive too long. That irritates me, but that is another story. I decided to wait until I got back to work this morning to use DSL and get it out quickly. As soon as I can get DSL in my area, AOL is GONE, I tell you.

    Mayankhp, I will try to send you some e mail shortly. You seem to be the closest to me in miles. I want to hear about your position at Penneys. I piqued the interest of a friend of mine in Louisiana when I told her about you. She is a Loss Prevention Manager with Penneys in New Orleans, and has been there for over 20 years in the same store. I know exactly where Buena Park is, having been an active duty Marine at El Toro since 1972, and being stationed there at least 5 tours in my 22 years of service.

    Then I come to cyranno99, who has such "cheap " gasoline available. Believe me, mayankhp and I are really jealous, because we pay considerably more than you do. I have a friend in Dallas who moved back there after a tour in the Marines, and he never misses the opportunity to "bust my chops" about good cheap Texas gas. But you don't have the record for prices right now. I saw Gasoline in the 1.20 to 1.30 range in New Jersey just recently on a trip. Do you notice a lot of difference in power with premium gas or just the mileage. Premium is just too expensive to justify it out here in an economy fact, it was the reason I decided not to buy another vehicle I was considering...The Acura CL TYPE S. It takes premium fuel, and that alone changed my mind. When I was ready to buy, the gas kept going up, and there were rumors of 3 dollar a gallon gasoline. SCARY for sure. Once I slow down driving a bit I will probably buy one of those cars anyway. I need the Sentra for economy. As I said, I am still amazed at the power and economy I get with this car.

    To Katraak in Alabama... GREAT pictures from Michigan. I was impressed, and very glad that I do not have to drive in that stuff. I have to slow down and see if I can duplicate that 32-33 mpg mileage you are getting. However, I suspect that even if all other things are equal, I would still not be able to get the same mileage because of the quality of the gasoline out here. Did you know that Californians pay extra for "specially formulated" fuel for this area? It has MTBE in it. This is a horrible additive that is supposed to help curb emissions, but in fact, causes the car to burn more gas, and is still harmful to the environment. That is why we cannot import gasoline from any other state into California. This keeps the prices up. So we spend more money for less gas mileage. Great stuff huh? We also have a Sentra that no one else has. It is called the "CA" for California, and is only sold here. It burns only low sulphur fuel,(like that sold here). I wonder what it would do if it was taken out of state on vacation? It has the same 1.8L 126hp 4 cylinder engine found in the XE and GXE, but has been modified to run even cleaner. It has a different ignition system with no distributor cap, rotor or spark plug wires. This new coil-on-plug arrangement is the coming thing for all cars real soon. It has one ignition coil for each cylinder for better computer control. It also loses 4 horsepower in the process. It is a plain jane car, and not exciting like the SE.

    Well today, I was supposed to take my car in for the A/C repair, but I still have not received the call from the dealer. In fact, the A/C is so cold lately, I am considering NOT to have the work done. Just my luck though to not have it done, and then later have it act up. I believe that I will go ahead with the repairs, but it better be as good as I have now, and better. After being vacuumed out twice and recharged, the suction line sweats like crazy, and it really is cold now. Time will tell.

    Well I came in early to get this done. It is now time to make myself useful. Thanks again for all of the feedback from everyone, and I hope we keep the lines of communication open between us. Never know when one of us will need help with our cars.
    Good luck to all,
  • kstephankstephan Posts: 41
    Hello everyone--I still haven't received a recall notice for my 2001 SE, but I checked with a local service dept., which confirmed my car is affected by the recall. They said it would take about two hours for the work to be completed. Does anyone who's had the work done know how involved the process is? Do they have to take the front suspension apart, or is it a matter of removing the bolts in question and replacing them, without a lot of disassembly?

    I ask because I'm one of the lucky ones who got a car with excellent alignment straight from the factory, and I'd hate for it to be messed up by sloppy work done while replacing the bolts. No, I don't particularly trust dealership service departments, if you couldn't tell.

    Otherwise, I'm really digging my SE. I think it's an extraordinary car for the money. I had a Civic Si before, and this car is just so all-around superior, although I can't deny I miss the VTEC scream at high revs a bit...the Nissan four, while much more torquey, makes kind of a dull sound in comparison. But that's a small price to pay for a better overall car.
  • mayankhpmayankhp Posts: 22
    In fact, I was the first one at my dealership to ask for replacing the recall bolts for suspension without recall notice. I double checked with Nissan site and at dealership also before asking for replacement.

    There are four bolts, and it took only 10 minutes to replace them. I ask to have the old ones and they gave me. 2 1/2 inch very simle looking bolts, made from different material and need to replace.

    I think this replacement has nothing todo with your alignment, just walk in and get it done for safety reason.

  • cyranno99cyranno99 Posts: 419
    Yes, I like the low gas prices that we have over here, but I miss the super low prices back in '99. My brother keeps a detailed log of his gas mileage so he has been getting a better cents per mile using 89 as compared to 87 octane. He doesn't want to try using 93 octane and I doubt that would offset the cost.

    I am currently driving a CL type S. I used to drive an Integra for a while so the switch from regular gas (in the Integra) to premium gas (in the CL) did not change the amount of gas money that much. Amazing as it sounds, both car gets about the same highway gas mileage. My best for the Integra on the highway was 31mpg and for my CL so far is 29mpg. Of course, I do more highway than city, where the Integra has a slight edge. Aside from the new vehicle cost, I was looking at how much more I have to put out from premium fuel. So I did some research and this website gave a little help for me -

    So maybe your next car will be the Acura TL type S :) Oh yeah, the Sentra SE is definitely more refined, in terms of NVH, than my previous Integra.
  • mayankhpmayankhp Posts: 22
    I really really appreciate your friendlyness.
    I am working as a Statistical Research Assistant at JCPenney Buena Park Distribution facility since last eight years. Our job here at this facility is to provide mdse and other support to our front staff at all stores..

    I will definately keep in touch with you, and some day somewhere we may get together and see each other and exchange much more, I love this forum.

    Thanks for your kind gesture to all of us.
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    Hello again to everyone,
    I read with interest and amusement at some of your comments. To Mayankhp, I will send you an email later today. I wanted to send a picture or two of my car, but it is much too dirty to be photographed right now. A wash is definitely in order first. In response to the question about the bolts on the recall, there really are 6 bolts instead of 4. There are 3 on each side. All 6 of mine were changed. I had it done at Mossy Nissan in Kearney Mesa (suburb of San Diego). I was allowed to walk under the car with the technician, who pointed out the 6 bolts. Each side has 3 bolts mounted in a triangular pattern. Mossy decided to change all 6 of them instead of inspecting just 2 of them on each side. I am happy that they took that attitude. It took just a few minutes once they found the replacement bolts. It has NOT affected my alignment negatively. By the way, this service department is open to midnight Monday through Friday each week and is a great place to have the vehicle serviced.

    As far as mileage is concerned, I could do better, but would have to change my driving style somewhat. I have 6000 miles on this car in the last 2 months, and will be slowing down a bit on the driving very soon. Good thing I bought it instead of leasing it. That would have been a bad move for sure.

    All of my parts for the A/C repair are still not in, and I expect to get it fixed in a week or two. I am definitely not suffering right now, as the A/C seems to be working really well as I said before. I will just do my oil change this afternooon after work. One more regular oil change, and I will be switching over to synthetic oil at 9000 miles. The engine seems smoother than before, but the valvetrain is definitely noisier than other cars I am used to. No timing chain, so I guess that I should not complain about a little noise.

    I also admit to really liking that Acura CL type S. 2 last kids in college, and after that I hope that the sky is the limit. How trouble-free is that Acura anyway? I guess that you are right about the difference in regular VS Premium fuel. I spend on average about $200.00 to $250.00 a month on gasoline anyway, so what is a few dollars more? I know that I am driving the value out of my car, but I would rather do it in a Sentra instead of an Acura. Good choice, don't you think?

    The only thing that I REALLY wished that I had on this car is a 6 speed manual transmission. I still feel that the rpm's are a bit too high for the speed you get.I wished that I could slow down the engine somewhat. I realize that I cannot expect 1800 rpm at 70 mph like some V8 cars I have owned, but 3500 rpm seems a bit excessive.I guess that you cannot have everything, huh?

    Enjoy your midweek everyone, and I will try to put something in during the next few days. I have a road trip out of town next week, so it is doubtful I will have computer access. I will try to keep in touch, but I may have to wait until next Friday the 20th to respond.

    Take care everyone until the next time..
  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    saw that you are planning to shift to synthetic oil after 9000 miles. The last time I went in for an oil change my SE had 12000+ miles and I asked the technician to put Mobil 1. He declined and told me that it is better to shift to synthetic after 20000 miles and that it takes that long to completely break-in the car. Is this true? My problem is every morning when I start it and also when it is sitting for a while, it makes a screeching noise and I was told that putting synthetic oil will eliminate that problem and not to mention higher mileage and better protection against wear and tear. My car now has 14000 miles on the odo and do you think I can put synthetic oil on my next oil change.

    Also, does anybody experience that screeching noise on cold starts. Right now my car is wonderful but I was thinking if it is bad for the engine in the long run.


    P.S: Why dont you guys post your car pics if you have them?
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    In response to your question, I feel that 9000 miles is plenty of miles to drive before putting synthetic oil in. Japanese manufacturers generally machine thir cars to tighter specifications, which means that it will break in quickly. This is contrary to German manufacturers...(most notably Volkswagen, which builds them with low tension rings, which allows oil usage during break-in. My 2000 VW New Beetle used oil for nearly 35,000 miles, and suddenly tapered off dramatically. This is common on the 4 cylinder Non-turbo 2.0L. Many VW owners are in a war with VW right now about excessive oil consumption. I have written a few articles to VW on their NEW BEETLE OIL BURNERS page of my experiences over the past 2 years. I have BEEN there!!! As a matter of fact, my oil consumption did not taper off UNTIL I started using synthetic oil, because the engine makes so much heat, the regular oil was getting hot enough to oxidize in the head. Synthetic oil is stable at temperatures exceeding 500 degrees, and doesn't boil as easily. The protection is definitely there at desert temperatures. For proof, at your next gas stop while the car is filling with gas, raise your hood, and open the oil filler cap. Regular oil will cause a little "smoking of the oil" out of the valve cover. This is a fact. Get rid of that stuff fast.

    On average, Nissan owners generally don't have that high oil consumption problems on new engines, and if they do, it is a few engines, not a whole group.

    The general rule of thumb is this....If after the first few thousand miles of usage, the car is still using a quart of oil between oil changes, it is still not broken in yet. A negligible amount of oil is okay...less than half quart between changes. More than a quart signals a leak or mechanical problems. Most engines use a little oil between changes, even after break in. However, I have had my GREATEST success with Japanese import engines, most notably Toyota, Nissan, and SOME Mazdas. These engines, if broken in correctly, use less oil than ANY that I have ever experienced. Most use NONE between changes. If that is the case, you can readily assume that the rings have seated once they get 5 to 10,000 miles on them.

    However, If the engine has been abused during break in.... (excessively high rpms, driving at the same speed for too long a period of time, or (the worst case...LUGGING the engine), the engine may use oil now, and continue to do so later on down the road. Lugging is really bad because it causes the oil to come up past the oil control ring into the combustion chamber. It is when you use a gear too high for the engine speed, and applying full throttle. It really damages an engine.(example..20 miles per hour in 4th or 5th gear, and having your foot to the floor for power. VERY BAD! If in doubt, shift to a lower gear.

    On my new Nissan Sentra engine, I have noticed NO loss of oil between changes..even during the first critical 3000 miles. I was really careful not to over-rev it, or to LUG it. The first 1000 miles were the hardest to drive, because I really wanted to get on it, but I did not want to make it an oil burner for the life of the engine. Because I am not using any oil, and the engine will have 9000 miles on it, I feel that it is safe to go ahead and use the synthetic at that time. I have done it in as little as 4000 miles on some cars in the past.

    Some American cars are not broken in until 15,000 or 20,000 miles because of the way the owner drives it. Babying the engine, and all city driving will take much longer to seat the rings and valves.

    One other point....SOME manufacturers (specifically GM and Dodge) on their HIGH END models like CORVETTE and VIPER use synthetic oil from the very beginning. WHY??? Because these engines were highly machined to extremely close tolerances, AND the engines were dyno tuned and adjusted as well as run-in BEFORE the engines were installed in the cars. They are ready to run right out of the box, and require very little (if ANY) break-in time, and they specifically state that the warranty will be voided if synthetic oil is not used exclusively during the warranty period. Obviously these manufacturers would not advocate using synthetic oil if their engines leaked or burned oil from the beginning would they? The tighter the engine is machined, (and parts blueprinted to fit precisely,) the less oil it will burn, all other things being equal.

    Synthetic oil is very expensive, and common sense would dictate that if your car uses oil to any large degree..leaking or burning, it would not be financially prudent to put in oil that costs 4 bucks a quart.

    Wait until your car stops using oil through the rings..after break-in, and you will be fine. Change your conventional oil regularly until you switch, and the engine will be clean enough to put synthetic oil in. Some regular oils gum up the insides due to owner neglect and misuse (all city driving, short trips, ect). I am very biased when it comes to regular oil, so I will be careful when I mention the oils I hate using the most. Many people are SOLD on the merits of Pennzoil and other Pennsylvania crude oils, but I don't like them. I can tell a "Pennzoil motor " as soon as I open the fill cap on an engine. It is not just the oil. But it is the attitude of owners who think that "oil is oil". They are the ones who skip or extend oil drain periods past recommended intervals. They have the most problems. They also get mad when their engines are gummed up. This also makes me scared to buy a used car, because I don't know how the previous owner cared for the car. They trade them and start on another car. I better move on, or I will have an angry hornet's nest of people ready to hang me out to dry.

    Bottom line is: if you want to neglect your oil drain it on synthetic oil. It is much more forgiving. My wife and daughters all have synthetic oil in the vehicle's crankcases because they don't think to check or change oil unless I mention it. I guess that it is my job to check and change it all...and I do.

    Moving right along..WHERE is that screeching noise coming from on your car, and how long does it screech? I hear a sound from my engine for a FEW seconds on a startup until the oil reaches the upper valvetrain. I really notice it on this Sentra engine. I am sure that I will get that noise until I switch over to synthetic. 5W-30 conventional oil is very thin, and drains off of vital engine parts when you stop or park overnight. It is nearly all in the pan at each start-up with the exception of what is in the oil filter. Any funny sounds should go away VERY QUICKLY upon start-up.

    I hope that this has not been too long or boring to anyone. I apologize in advance if it was or is.

    Thanks again,
  • kstephankstephan Posts: 41
    >>I realize that I cannot expect 1800 rpm at 70 mph like some V8 cars I have owned, but 3500 rpm seems a bit excessive.I guess that you cannot have everything, huh?<<

    GSEREP1, you haven't experienced high revs on the freeway until you've had a DOHC VTEC! The Civic Si was turning about 4000 rpms at 70 mph, and anything over 80 mph was after the valves had changed profile, so it was screaming at that point (and guzzling gas). It was kind of exciting--made driving fast on the freeway seem like blasting down the front straight on a race track--but a bit tiring. The Sentra SE is a Cadillac on the freeway in comparison!

    Thanks also for the front suspension bolt info. I'll ask them to replace all six, not just four.
  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    You wrote: "WHERE is that screeching noise coming from on your car, and how long does it screech? I hear a sound from my engine for a FEW seconds on a startup until the oil reaches the upper valvetrain. I really notice it on this Sentra engine"

    The noise comes when I turn the key in the ignition and just before the engine starts and it lasts say 2 seconds or less. I guess that is the same noise you were talking about in your previous post. Is that normal. My 94 Sentra XE never made such kind of noises on startup and even after 100K miles it never consumes any oil between changes. It still runs the same way it did when it was new very smooth, no rattles though it is underpowered. hats the reason why I bought another Nissan.
    Most of the Nissan dealers in my area have a haughty attitude so I had to pick a dealer where the service is done on time and to my satisfaction. I did intact find a dealer with honest and corteous service department and I always take my car for service to their place, but the only problem being that they use "Quaker State" oil. I know that Quaker State is made by Pennzoil and according to your previous post you did not have a high opinion about either of these brands. So the alternative for me is to take my car to another dealership where they use a better brand of oil the trade off being that the service may not be as good.
    Focussing on the problem at hand do you think if I fill synthetic oil from next oil change the valve train noise on startup may disappear. I tend to keep my cars upto 10yrs/150K miles and so I want to take care of them to run that long. It is not enough to make dependable cars, Nissan should also realize that aftersale support is as important as the sale itself. I hope they understand that sales are falling due to poor dealer/service departments. Thanks
  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    forgot to ask you in my previous post is, Nissan recommends 5W-30 oil and you said it is so thin that it doesn't stay in the valvetrain after cutoff. Does using a different oil weight/thicker oil eliminate the valvetrain noise. The place where I live in AL, the temperature might go upto 100F in summer and 10F in winter. Thanks
  • sentrafansentrafan Posts: 40
    Katraak: Sometimes when I start up my 2000 SE, I also hear a screeching noise. I read somewhere (don't remember where, and have spent about an hour searching for it!) that it's a belt to, I believe, the power steering unit, or some other such device. It's irritating, but I don't think it does any damage. If, on the other hand, it is valve clatter you are hearing, I bet if you change your oil filter to a quality brand with a good anti-drainback valve, such as Mobil, Amsoil, Purolator Pure One (there are others, but stay away from Fram) you'll notice the sound will stop. Also, synthetic oil is definitely the way to go.
  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    About the noise in your car, do you hear it everytime you do a coldstart or only certain times? I hear it every morning or when the car has been sitting for a while. Per your recommendation I will switch of synthetic oil and a good filter and see if it makes any difference. Otherwise, I am happy with my SE. I was usiing Nissan oil filter all this time, I dont know if it has an antidrain back valve.
  • zhzzhz Posts: 29
    I'm not 100% sure but I read somewhere that noise is just fuel pump or some other pump(oil). It would stop after a few seconds with a very small click sound.
    Nissan OEM oil filter has a pretty good antidrain back valve.
    I have an unrelated question.
    2001 Sentra, passenger side door doesn't have key hole. Does every B15 sentra come with keyless entry feature? if not, it would be annoying to get in from the other side, lets say, to get something from the glove compartment.
  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    Because my 2000SE has both driver and passenger side keyholes. May be Nissan removed it for the 2001 model year to save costs. I don't believe every Sentra comes with keyless entry. I guess the XE models dont have keyless entry and on GXE models it is a part of a package. I'd really be upset if I have an XE and don't have a passengerside lock. Hope that's not the case.
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    Hello again,
    I started posting a reply earlier this morning, but got interrupted. Oh well, just as well. Just as "sentrafan" said, you cannot go wrong with synthetic oil, regardless of what the service guy said. You will have extended drain periods as well, but I would not go beyond 7500 miles between changes. You have to show that oil change to keep your warranty in effect if you have an engine failure, and the manufacturer asks for documentation of the oil change. Once out of warranty, you are on your own. I get oil analysis. You would not believe some of my drain intervals using synthetic oil after my cars come out of warranty. My only engine problem came on a 1983 Ford Econoline van with 5.0L V8. I had an engine failure at 7600 miles, and I had to show that oil had been changed. I usually do all of my oil changes myself.

    As for the use of 5W-30 oil, even my dealer does not use it. NorthBay Nissan is my selling dealer, and for my first oil change, they drained the 5W-30 from the crankcase, and replaced it with Castrol 10W-30. I asked why, and they stated what I already knew....5W-30 does not provide the level of protection that 10W-30 does in hot weather. 5W-30 oil was designed to provide quick flow from the oil pan on start-up, and to provide optimum gas mileage because it is thin. 5W-30 oil is simply 5 weight oil with additives called Viscosity Improvers(VI)to pump up to 30 weight when it gets to normal operating temperatures, which usually does not exceed 350 degrees in the crankcase. The oil never wears out, but the viscosity improvers do, and when the oil gets overheated, it thins back out to what it started life as...5 weight oil. That is scary to think that this is all that separates our metal parts from rubbing together..a film of 5 weight oil. And it is conventional oil at that.

    In the Nissan Sentra manual, 5W-30 oil is indeed recommended, but that is because it gives the greatest fuel economy and is a compromise when considering the weather that the vehicle may be operated in. If you look closely at the graph, you will also see that it is recommended that for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, both 10W-30 and 10W-40 may be used. This means that if these are used, the oils will thin out to 10 weight oil when it gets overheated. If it stays within the heat limitations it will still be either 30 or 40 weight oil, and that will give you better protection all around with the exception of start-up because it will be thicker than the 5W-30 stuff. It will not flow as easily as the 5 weight stuff. All of this means that if you operate in freezing climates, the 5W-30 oil is best because it will flow easier instead of staying in the pan. All of this logic applies to conventional oil only. The situation changes dramatically with the introduction of synthetic oil.

    Synthetic oil is man made in a lab, with super slippery additives and compounds that do what conventional crude could never do. It resists excessive heat and provides protection to engines when the oil is at 500 degrees F. Regular oil will have burned up by then and left nasty deposits in your engine. That is the burned smell you get when you smell the filler cap of a engine with conventional oil.

    The plot thickens even more...Ford is introducing an even THINNER oil in the never-ending quest for greater mileage. On the 2001 and 2002 Ford Focus and a few other vehicles, a 5W-20 oil is being used as the recommended oil. I still have not seen this stuff in stores yet. I was looking at a Focus, but when I raised the hood and saw that 5W-20 was recommended, I saw where Ford was going with this mileage stuff, and it scared me. The book also says that you can use 5W-30, but with reduced mileage. I want the protection overall because I want my engine to last. These engines are machined to closer tolerances, and they need thinner oils to get in the cracks and crevices. I am just worried about high speed prolonged hot weather operation. I am not convinced that this oil will do the job and give me maximum engine life..something has got to give.

    So I stay with a synthetic. I use Mobil 1 primarily, but I have also used Valvoline pure synthetic. There is also a move underway to go half and half. There are oils called "blends", which mix synthetics with conventional. It is done for the sake of cost, because many people object to 4 bucks a quart for oil. The oil manufacturers are trying to get more people to buy better oil, but it is hard to change the thinking of guy who is used to buying Pennzoil 10-30 for 69 to 89 cents a quart at the corner parts store or 7-11. (yes you can get Pennzoil at places other than car stores). Cheap oil will not perform as well as good oil. You get what you pay for.

    I believe that you can buy the oil of your choice and have the dealer or Jiffy lube change it for you, while you simply pay them for their labor. Give it a try.

    I am still at a loss as to that noise that you are experiencing. It seems different than valetrain noise. Having a good oil filter with an anti-drain back valve is great insurance. The filter traps the oil, and does not let the oil drain back in the oil pan. It is ready the second the engine starts, and the oil is in the head sooner.

    The Nissan Sentra engine is noiser than most engines like the Honda Civic for one very important reason. The Honda engine still has a rubber timing belt that is very quiet, but need maintenance at 90 or 100,000 miles. The Sentra engine has a steel timing chain that needs no servicing, but it is noisier. Another thing to take in consideration is this chain is self- adjusting, meaning that it tightens and takes up slack as you drive. It does this by a hydraulic tensioner that runs on engine oil. When the engine is off, there is no oil pressure, and the tensioner backs off the chain adjustment. Upon startup, the tensioner fills with oil, and tightens the chain on the gear. As the chain stretches with normal wear, the tensioner will have to move further to take up the slack, so I expect to hear a bit more noise as it gets older...ALL the MORE reason to use synthetic oil, as it reduces wear and tear on the chain, and it will not stretch as fast. PLUS the oil gets there even faster, so the tensioner works quicker. The synthetic clings to parts better, so total engine noise is reduced dramatically. I have been through Slick-50, Tribotech, STP, Dura-Max, Prolong and a host of other products in the past 20 years or so. I have tried nearly everything in hopes of longer engine life and fuel economy. I guess that I have wasted a lot of money, but it has not all been bad. I will take a synthetic oil over a conventional any day of the week. Get a good full synthetic oil like Mobil 1, or Valvoline and you will be fine. A Synthetic 5W-30 or 10-30 should be all the oil you will ever need, including turbo cars. Some heavily modified engines use thicker 15W-50, but they need more protection and are less concerned a
  • sentrafansentrafan Posts: 40
    Katraak: Yes, I hear it virtually every morning. zhz must have read the same thing I did about it being some type of pump or belt. I wouldn't sweat it, but if you are concerned the good thing is you know your dealer will be able to reproduce it if you leave your car there overnight.

    Concerning oil filters, this link,, is a great resource.

    Concerning synthetic oil, what else can be said that gserep1 didn't already say in his excellent overview? There really is no question that synthetic oil performs much better than conventional petroleum oil. Why not spend a few extra bucks and ensure that our high-revving engines have the greatest level of protection possible? And with the extended drain intervals that synthetic oil provides, the additional cost is mostly negated.

  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    I will make this one short. I got cut off in mid sentence. The final point that I was making had to do with using oil thicker than 10W-30. If you do not have a turbo charger, you should not need anything thicker than 10W-30. It will only cause you to burn more gasoline. Watch for, and only buy oils that have the "energy-conserving" feature on the label. That feature will be found on any 0W-30 oil (new oil made by Mobil 1), 5W-30, straight 30, and 10W-30 oil regardless of manufacturer. SAE (Society Of Automotive Engineers) only recognizes these 4 weights of oil as having the characteristics necessary to save gasoline. Any oil with 40 or 50 weight designations will cause it to lose the "energy conserving" feature.

    By the way, I tried the 0W-30 Mobil 1 pure synthetic oil in my wife's 1997 Explorer with 5.0L V8, and it really DOES give better gas mileage and protection. The engine is quieter overall, and the highway mileage increased from 17 mpg to 20.5 mpg. My wife drives sane speeds, so she will probably do better than me.

    This will be the oil I will try in the Sentra, although I could get by on 5W-30 or 10W-30 due to our mild winters. On the other hand, the 0W-30 should work great in colder climates, and because it is synthetic, it will protect in Alabama in cold climate, and give you extreme weather protection (over 100 degrees F as well.) Once I get it in, I will let you know. Don't get concerned about the valve-train noise, but I would get that belt situation looked at. I will be watching mine at about 14,000 miles or so, and see if it happens to me. I have no other noises, fuel pump or otherwise...just the sound of the loose timing chain until the tensioner tightens it up. I do hope that will be gone once I change to synthetic.

    Thank you Sentrafan for that EXCELLENT piece on oil filters. I am happy to say that I concur with their findings, and used Fram filters only in an emergency in the past, but now I won't use them at ALL! It seems like I was paid to say the things this report said. Fram and Pennzoil products are out for me REGARDLESS of what they are. NUFF SAID!

    Thanks again... Boy, this is the shortest message that I have written in a while. I think I will make them shorter from here on in.

  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    sentrafan: Looks like they liked Purolator Premiumplus over Mobil 1 as they said that the latter tends to leak at highpressures. Anyideas about the Nissan OEM oil filter. Thats what I have been using.

    GSEREP1: I can't believe you get 3.5 mpg more mileage with Mobil1. Thats good news. The SE is relatively quiet at low rpms but when you push it past 3500 then there is a growl from the engine and it gets noisy. I will switch to 0W30 and see if I have any mileage improvement and if it makes any difference in cabin noise.

  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    After reading that article, looks like I will be using Purolator as well. My best friend swears by them, and now I know why.

    Yes, I was also suprised by the increase in mileage that 0W-30 Mobil 1 oil gave me, but it is after all, very thin oil on start-up, and flows easily. I like the synthetic protection factor as well, so I don't have to worry about high heat. Plus people in climates that go from real hot to real cold don't have to change from "winter" to "summer" oil and back again each year. I can hardly wait for my 9000 miles to come so I can try the good stuff.

    Thanks again,

    See, even old dogs like ME can learn something new, LOL.
  • mayankhpmayankhp Posts: 22
    Hi my friend GSEREP1,

    Hats off to your knowledge and experience on automotive.

    Now guide me here as you know that I don't have any knowledge on Auto.
    My altima is due for oil change and having 12120 miles on it.
    I believe you and have decided to switch to synthetic oil and I will save $7.55.
    I have to change Synthetic oil at every 7500miles Am I right? And it will cost me $36.45 which is economical (savings is a difference of $44 minus $36.45) against having (conventional) oil change at dealership ($22.00 for every 3700miles).

    Cost calculations 5w30 Mobile1 $4.49*5bottles = $22.45 (prices at peps boys)
    oil filter ACDelco =$ 4.00
    Labor charge at Perfect Auto including disposal=$ 10.00
    Total $36.45

    I am going to use 5/30 mobile1 synthetic oil with AcDelco filter for all seasons at So CA, Am I right? I will save all my receipts with Perfect auto's labor charge invoice attached on it.
    I will use synthetic oil in my Sentra only after 10.000miles till then keep continue with dealer.

    Please advise me and confirm my understanding.

  • zhzzhz Posts: 29
    How did you provide record of oil change intervals when you do your own oil change? Just receipt of buying oil, oil filters?
    I only have 8000miles on my 2000 GXE. I'll wait for a while before switching to synthetic oil.
    also, If synthetic oil can last for up to 7500, (this is what I drive in almost a YEAR), would they void warranty if you only change oil twice a year.
  • katraakkatraak Posts: 33
    even if we use synthetic oil we have to change it every 3750 miles (Nissan recommends oil change at 3750 miles). The advantage of using synthetic is that even if you forget to change then you have a leeway of say 1000-1500 miles. Suppose if oil changes are done every 7500 miles, and there is engine damage (not necessarily due to 7500 drain interval which I believe is good enough) then the dealer might not honor the warranty because it is in violation of the Nissan service manual. So IMHO even if we use synthetic it is best to change at 3750 miles until atleast the warranty expires.
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92

       And thanks again. Because (and only because my car is still under warranty), I will change the oil somewhere between 3750 and 5000 miles. That is what I do with my other cars. Even with the added expense, I gain with increased cleanliness and more power.The VW only requires oil changes every 10,000 miles after you reach 20,000 miles on the odometer. I would never go that long..especially with conventional oils. VW gives you a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, which is in effect, after the standard 2 year 24,000 mile factory warranty has expired. I have had such wonderful experience with synthetic products in the past, I know what they will do to keep an engine clean and sludge free.

      If you would like to see some more proof, please go to: and see what the experts have to say. Either 5W-30 or 0W-30 would be excellent for your car katraak, and would give you great gas mileage to boot. These oils will provide great protective qualities. I would lean more toward 0W-30 if you travel in snowy weather for awhile. These oils flow at 50 below 0 for the 5W-30, and 62 below zero for the 0W-30, so cold weather performance is no problem. Mobil 1 has just reformulated their oil again and they now call it "tri-synthetic" because they have added a 3rd ingredient into the puzzle. If you have the time, please read the website..especially the part that says "Why synthetics?". You will begin to understand how good this stuff really is (synthetics).
    Also try the part that talks about myths about synthetic oil. This will also help a lot. For myself and mayankhp, we can get by with 5W-30 synthetic. I am not sure where "zhz" is from, but one of these two oils should be fine. I have had such good luck with the 0W-30 in the Explorer, it will be a hard decision to figure out which one to try first. We can't go wrong either way.

       I would like to recommend another product to use on the Sentra. That is a K&N air filter. This unique filter will replace the paper one in the car with a cotton filter reinforced with a mesh screen on both sides of the cotton for added stability and strength. This cotton is oiled with special K&N oil that causes dirt to cling to the filter and not get into the engine. This will keep your intake manifold cleaner, and thus keeps dirt out of your oil. It is cleaned generally once every 50,000 miles, but I clean it a bit more often due to dusty conditions I drive in. It is fully washable, and can be re-oiled and left to dry before re-installing.

      This filter has a 1 million mile warranty, and is truly the LAST filter you will ever have to buy. I have one in every vehicle I own now, and this goes back to 1987. They are a favorite of dune buggy and dirt bike racers worldwide, and if they work for them, then they will work for us.

     You can go to: and see for yourself. All 2000 and 2001 Sentras need K&N air filter number 33-2031-2. It will cost from 30 to 40 bucks, but it will not have to ever be replaced again, AND it flows better DIRTY than ANY brand NEW paper filter. It is cheaper to buy these filters through a distributor, like pep boys or Autozone instead of on line, because the company gives monetary incentives to distributors to sell their products, so they pass it to us. Good deal all around. They keep the intake manifold cleaner, and thus keeps the engine oil cleaner as well by blocking so much dirt.

      I guess that I had better go now, and see if I can find this air filter, or at least get it ordered. I changed my oil at 3000 miles and used Castrol GTX 10W30 yesterday. I put in 31/2 quarts, and I hope to have this in until 9000 miles are reached. The oil was a little dirty, but not black, by any stretch of the imagination. The car starts up, and the valve train noise is nearly totally gone. I am sure that synthetic oil will help this a lot.

      Have fun, and don't forget to write when you can!


  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    I meant to say that I changed my oil again at 6000 miles yesterday. I did this myself, and the first change was done by the dealer at 3000 miles. The oil was really beat up, but was not black and sooty, so I am happy. If the car is up on the rack, it is easy to get to the oil filter. Mine came off without a filter wrench, which was good because the engine was still hot. I DID drop the old filter on top of the exhaust pipe going under the oil pan. I wiped as much oil as I could, and I thought that I had gotten it all, but driving home, I discovered that I had not, because my car was smoking under the hood. Very embarrassing until the oil burned off. Next time I will be more careful. I was in a hurry because the auto hobby shop on base was closing, and I only had 1/2 hour to do the oil change, clean up my stall and turn in all of the tools, as well as dispose of all of the used oil and containers. So I was really rushing, but I made it.

    I am looking forward to hearing from my friends tomorrow. Have a great evening.
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    I put a bad website address for Mobil oil. The one I gave will not work. Please use: I know that will work. Thanks again

Sign In or Register to comment.