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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    It sounds like the three nichrome coils used as voltage limiting resistors to control the lower fan speeds have fused open. (Time, corrosion, and one current surge too many at fan startup, and the coil quietly enters retirement...) The reason you still have high speed is that on that setting the fan motor receives full battery voltage. The nichrome wire coils are located in the airflow of the fan - probably in the heater core/evaporator casement nestled in the dash. Depending on placement, they may be tricky to access for replacement. The dealer or any independent auto A/C shop should be able to tackle the job if you'd rather not personally hassle with it (especially in close quarters under the gentle Texas sun...). My bet is that an independent auto A/C shop will be the less expensive choice. ;)
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    My 94 had same prolem. Was a resistor located behind a panel under dash along one of the sides of car. Not sure exactly where, since it was ten years ago. I can research if you can't locate. Dealer fixed for 80 bucks.
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    I have a 98 Altima and encountered the same problem. It was the heater fan resistor. On my model it's located beneath the glove box and part of it fits into the air way. You'll see a wire connector that connect to it. The resistor goes into the airway. It's held in place with two screws. The part cost me $50 CAD$ and took me two minutes to install. You can find the part on ebay if you want to pay less. I believe that your model year will run you about $20-30 US for the part.
  • Can I get teh part number fo rthe seal and how do I get to the seal to change it? I went to the dealer and they basically told me good luck
  • Did you get that part number for the oil seal on teh engine side of the distributor fo rthe Altima? If so could you post it?
  • txbeatztxbeatz Posts: 3
    Thanks to all who replied !! The answers were detailed and very helpful! Hopefully i can take this information to the shop without worrying about them screwing me over with stuff i dont need! I Appreciate all of your help! :D
  • meg1719meg1719 Posts: 1
    I've had my 98 Altima now for the past 2 years, never had any real problems with it till now. i'm at my witts end!!
    about a month ago this problems started with my car in which the following symptoms are present:
    -Rough, Shaking engine movement (the whole car seems to be shaking with it)
    -White, gas smelling exhaust that turns black if i drive too long with the problem
    -Occasionally dies, but only when I've driven with these symptoms and break at a light or signal (not good places to break down!!)
    -Loss of accelleration at times
    -When it does break down, I can't get it to even start again for atleast a couple of hours
    -Sputtering sound coming from the engine

    I've had two mechanics, both highly recommended and one exclussively a Nissan mechanic, try to gifure this out, and neither of them have been able to find anything wrong. The problem comes and goes, sometimes running great, sometimes with the above symptoms. HELP ME!!!
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "...White, gas smelling exhaust..."

    That's water, my friend, and the only avenue of entry for water into a working cylinder is past a blown head gasket (and in some engine designs, a defective intake manifold gasket) allowing coolant to enter. Most of the coolant that enters a cylinder is immediately vaporized by engine heat and compression effects and blown out the tail pipe where it can condense to the white vapor you see. However, some of the vaporized coolant in the cylinder(s) is squeezed past the piston rings of the affected cylinder(s) and deposited into your engine's motor oil. Coolant contains ethylene glycol as the key antifreeze ingredient. Ethylene glycol is extremely corrosive to engine bearing metals. You have a very serious problem and if you want to save your engine, you need to have this problem dealt with very soon. And, yes, it'll be expensive.
  • ddlong131ddlong131 Posts: 2
    98 Altima's timing was found to be about 20 degrees past spec. Distributor adjustment allowed only about 15 degrees correction. Conclusion was that one of the timing chains jumped a tooth. Made the adjustment and ran the car less than 100 miles. Performance was just OK, then one day car would not start at all. Conclusion is that the chain jumped another tooth.
    My question is: Does anyone know how many degrees past spec can the engine survive before risking valve-piston interference? Also, is valve-piston interference always a LOUD event, or could it also have happened silently.
    Bottom line is: What are the odds that valve-piston-head damage has occurred?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    A piston striking a fully opened valve will defintely be noticeable. One or both components will break. If the engine continues to operate (VERY doubtful), there'll be considerable vibration. A "kiss" of a partially opened valve by the rising piston might not be audible, though some damage will probably occur (chipped valve face, bent valve stem, and/or cracked piston). Surprisingly, even in some known "interference" engines (those in which mechanical damage can occur in the event of timing belt/chain breakage) it is possible that the position of the partially open valves will just happen to be sufficiently close to fully closed that no damage is sustained since the pistons are formed with shallow depressions coinciding with valve location. That very thing happened to a friend of mine's '90 Honda Accord on his way to work. He only had 54,000 miles on the original timing belt. (These things can let go early...) When the local Honda dealership got into the engine to replace the belt, the service manager called my friend and told him he hit the lottery - a compression check showed full compression on all four cylinders, so his engine wasn't broken.
  • akalaakala Posts: 1
    Hello I am new here and need some help.
    I have 94 altima which was running fine till yesterday. but suddenly when i started it the engine started shaking. the RPM increased properly. it idles ok at just below 1000. the shake continues if i put it in gear(automatic). I checked the oil levels they look ok. but i can clearly see the engine shake if i open the hood.
    i'll greatly appreciate any help

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Your description of the car's problem could be indicative of a dozen or more maladies - some serious, some minor. Your best bet would be to have your customary service shop diagnose what's wrong rather than begin throwing new parts at the problem in the hope of getting lucky. On the chance the car might quit, totally, in traffic, you might want to consider having the car towed to your shop. (Your observation that the lube oil is at the proper level is one VERY good sign. It continues to amaze and confound me beyond all reason by the number of drivers who act as if it's somehow beneath their dignity to be diligent about routinely checking their engine's oil level.)
  • brandy06brandy06 Posts: 7
    For all those who don't know I just got rid of my altima yesterday due to the oil problem then it left me set one morning and wouldn't start. I then got pissed, took the car to the dealership missed a days of work, got my new car, they paid off my old car gave me 2000.00 and I put that down on another one. So don't let them screw you, they tried me and didn't work at all. I told them I was going to drive that car right through the dealership window if they didn't do something. My Altima leaked or burned oil like crazy, oh sucked gas down then normal. Oh the recall is not due to piston rings, it is due to Nissan trying to save $$ going to another manufacture for gaskets, and they made them a millimeter smaller then what was told they did put on the car which cause so much problems. So don't let them tell you something different. :mad:
  • jft26jft26 Posts: 35
    Did you have to go through the crap of bringing it to the dealer service dept every 700 miles to get it on record first? My 06 Altima is using alot of oil too and I am attempting to discuss with the dealershp management. The car is 4 months old with 3700 miles on it. Thanks for any info. :-)
  • wwjcdo55wwjcdo55 Posts: 10
    Brandy, I really think the way you get treated concerning this oil consumption problem is the dealership. I too own a 06 Altima-S with the 2.5 liter problem child engine. Purchased around 5 27 06 - 10 days later got that sad letter from Nissan. Checked my vin. and verified that it was one of those with the oil issue. Since then i was told at 2,400 miles (service manager checked out). The very nice gentleman ordered me a motor and told me he should have it in next week and installed by 8 4 07. He did tell me some of the motors he had replaced recently had the letter'S (R E) Attached to the serial number. Which means re-enginenerred or the old turm rebuilt. I told service manager i wanted a new engine only since the rest of the car was new . So when i go and pick up the car after the motor is installed i will verify that it is a new engine. If not some Hell will be raised ! Being a man with good credit if the engine is a rebuilt one. My credit may go from good to bad. As i plan on leaving the vehicle right where it is setting. I mean if Nissan can bail out G.M. they can afford to do the right thing for all of us with this problem. I am a 51 year old man and had planned on my wife driving it until it fell apart. I mean 200,000 miles at least. With gas getting higher and higher we are avoiding more and more un-nessary trips. I did go to sales department first since i heard they were giving a extra grand rebate $1000. Got my vehicle appraised and was very shocked at the offer i got on one of the new cars that had been sent back and come back for re-sale. I dont wanna lose my religion but they did make my blood presure boil. Hope this helps you and all concerned ! Will make another statement after engine is replaced.
  • I am having the same problems with my 02 Altima, see below. Unfortunately, I am in for about $2,200 over 4 visits so far and the problem is still not fixed. Upon starting the engine it shakes and feels like its going to stall and the engine light comes on. They have changed 4 ignition coils, replaced a manifold, replaced a fuel resevoir and changed the plugs and wires twice. I want to drive my car into the nearest lake. (previous post problems aplly to me as well - 1. Oil consumption...I'm going through too much oil...Have to fill up almost every other day.
    2. It makes a rattling noise when I start the car.
    3. when in idle, it shakes and feels like it will shut off.
    4. hear a swoshing sound from the engine when I acelerate.. )
  • bperkbperk Posts: 38
    wwjcdo55, I am very interested in how you make out with your engine replacement. I too have the issue on my 06. At 3400 miles I have to put over a qrt of oil to make it back home. I was hoping to get it back to the dealer to look at but I was out of town and did not want to get stranded. I had an oil change this weekend and told the svr mgr what happened. He said mo problemo, come back in 700 and we will start the procedure to file the case. He also said Nissan pulled all his remaining 06's from the lot and took them back to the factory.
    I glad you mentioned about the "RE" tag on the engine. I will also insist I get a NEW engine and not a POS rebuilt.
    Take care, and Good luck.
  • txbeatztxbeatz Posts: 3
    The problem I am having with my car is that when I accelerate (putting gas on pedal hard) - my RPMs go up to about 3 or 4 and then drop, and I lose acceleration. This I noticed it in 5th gear, and in first… ( 94 altima , standard transmission btw) :confuse: I was messing with the airflow box / the hoses on the airflow... think this may have something to do with it ?
  • Can anyone help me and tell me how easy it is to replace a rear brake light that went out on my 2005 Nissan Altima?
  • 06daddy06daddy Posts: 2
    When I use the automatic up feature on the driver side, the window goes all the way to the top and then comes back down about 4 inches. I think this is a side affect of a safety feature to keep you from crushing your fingers. I don't see anything stuck in the track. Is there a way to adjust the this feature?
  • Would it would wise to purchase one of the '06 models that Nissan recalled with a new engine? The sales women told me that this particular car I wanted was returned to Nissan and has a new engine in it. I did not ask if it was rebuilt or not, but I could find out later. It makes me nervous purchasing it, even with the extended warranty. Will it also cause the value of the car to go down with this recall issue? They really aren't offering any great prices on them, excpet for the $1000 off. So, what would be a reasonable price for an SL model or should I just not buy it becasue of the recall?

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "Can anyone help me and tell me how easy it is to replace a rear brake light that went out on my 2005 Nissan Altima?"

    Full instructions with diagrams to access the bulbs in the rear combination lamp fixtures are on page 38 of section 8 in your 2005 Altima owner's manual. If you don't have the manual, you can download a PDF of the entire manual's text and graphics content from Nissan's website in their owner's section. PDF files require Adobe Reader - also a free download on Adobe's site.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Personally I wouldn't hesitate to accept a factory rebuilt engine if I were in the market for a 2006 Altima. These engines are given the full-Monty treatment in a Nissan-operated facility using the latest parts updates and Nissan service techniques and carry a longer warranty than the original factory warranty. Given that, I'll speculate that the rebuilds may've even been given extra TLC in freshening the cylinder honing and fitment of new piston rings since there's more riding on them to measure up to their extended warranties. So far, all that's been posted in these discussions about reduced resale/trade-in value of cars whose engines have been replaced is pure, unadulterated, Kentucky windage, poppy cock by people who may not know the difference between a crankshaft and a crankcase. (You know what they say about opinions and a certain anatomical orifice...;)) But, if you're nervous, then insist on a car with its original factory engine. Life's too short to take on extra worries.
  • wwjcdo55wwjcdo55 Posts: 10
    Personally i want never buy another Nissan. Toyota is soon to be #1 vehicle's on market ahead of GM Ford and other's. I will get the best out of my o6 Altima. By then Toyota will maybe in my town. Traveled 50 miles one way to buy this Nissan. Because of other family member's who have owned them for years with great result's. I mean 200,000 miles plus before major repairs. My motor is in as of today and will make a appointment for engine swap tommorrow. Upon service manager's approval of engine he was gone for the day when it arrived. I thought about trading it in the beginning but was deeply depressed about the offer i was given. So hopefully by the end of week i will be happy with my new ride ! The guy who made the smart remark should get a life and purchase a o6 Nissan. You will be surprised to find out the new engines dont have the power the one's that came in the car. But maybe way less oil consumption. Just hope the hi-way mileage is the same 33 M.P.G. AT 68 with the a/c on is great for the size of the Altima.
  • :D Last year you had a code 440 on your Altima...Did you ever discover the problem? I have a 2000 Altima with 103K miles and have that same code. I wonder if it is the selenoid on the charcoal cannister...?
  • Thank you ray_h1 I didn't have an owners manual, but I did replace the bulb and I'm ready to go, it seemed like brain surgery at first, but It was a piece of a piece of a cake to do. Thank you very much!
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    I don't have an Altima, but I like to download OMs when they're available from automaker sites to compare. The Altima's OM is particularly informative and comprehensive concerning routine service matters. I definitely recommend you download a copy of the 2005 OM from Nissan's site while you can. The only currently available issues are for 2005 and 2006 model years. Once the 2007 models come out, or shortly thereafter, I suspect the 2005 download will proabably be withdrawn.
  • It was nearly 100 degrees and the temperature gauge does not go above half way to hot even in stop and go traffic so the car is cooling OK but the antifreeze is rusty, the rust etched into the overflow cap and there is a rust line in my one year old tailpipe after having driven only 5000 miles since it was replaced. The last flush was 3 years and 12000 miles ago.

    I was told by a radiator placea flush will not get rid of the rust for more than a day. What could cause the rust, can I get rid of it or should I get rid of the car.

  • dballdball Posts: 15
    Hello, I'm trying to find the best dealer for warranty service in Dallas - Ft. Worth. I've had a problem with wheel shimmy since day one with this car and I keep getting blown off by two dealers here in DFW. Anybody have a suggestion?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    smallcar1, could you supply a bit more background information on your car's cooling system servicing? Who changes your coolant when it's time - you, a dealer service department, or a radiator shop? What time/mileage schedule do you adhere to for coolant changeout? What brand of antifreeze do you use? Is it premix or concentrate? If concentrate, what do you use to dilute it to working strength - tap water out of a garden hose or distilled water? If tap water, is it treated by an ion-exchange residential water softener (one that requires periodic "recharges" with water-softener salt)?
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