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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,983
    the belt is warranted for a year so you won;t be paying for this. The engines in this gen Altima are basically carryovers from the last gen so that goes back to 2002. I've never heard of a problem with the belts like that. My 03 has 46k on it and is on it's second belt. The orginal was replaced when the car had about 20 on it.

    You probably just got a defective belt or one that wasn't installed properly. It won't be a chronic issue.
  • good to know it will be covered. the wrecker driver seemed to think the dealer would try the "normal wear and tear" excuse as reason not to warranty and/or reimburse for the towing cost. what disturbed me a bit was at day of signing, the finance manager presented 20 min schpiel on why I should buy the gold preferred extended warranty etc. or the silver if I couldn't afford the gold and it would handle all the oil changes and scheduled maintenance costs. I have 7500 miles to decide...I thought of it as continuous 'ransom' insurance...but now, not maybe as much...I mean it's a brand new car and I stupidly thought I wouldn't need any 'extra' coverage beyond 3 years. Reading the warranty, it's apparently only a 12,000 miles, 12 months bumper to bumper and after that, good's a lease, too, so I am bound to it for at least 12 months, I think...appreciate the fast response. you don't think I 'hurt' the CVT by driving it the 25 miles back to safety at all? what other checks should I prod the dealer to look for?
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Reading the warranty, it's apparently only a 12,000 miles, 12 months bumper to bumper

    I'm pretty sure its a 36 month "bumper to bumper", normal maintenance excluded.

    Many factors could have caused your problem, from a flawed belt to a piece of foreign matter getting caught up inside the engine compartment. With your miles, I would have been astonished if the dealer had done anything else than what you described. It is a most unusual occurance, but it can happen, as you well know.

    As far as the CVT, you are fine...there is no connection between the two. Since you never stated that the car was running hot or over-temperature, you should be just fine.

    And remember, the reason that the dealer pushes the extended warranty is because it is a high-profit item, not because he is trying to do you a favor. I certainly wouldn't consider one unless it was a really long-term lease.

    Good Luck!
  • Service manager said Serpentine belt was still there but the water pump belt wasn't...said he could see where the bolt that held the tensioner in place (I hope that is correct) had broken away and it was just there not in place...which explains why I could drive it, I guess. At any rate, it's still in the shop and they're doing a full check on everything....thanks for the advice against the 'ransom' plan...they are also offering a bundle of oil changes at a discounted price up front vs. buying them one at a time...that is a good deal....reading the posts on the board for the next 5-6 months, I'll decide whether mine was a one-time fluke (which I hope it is) or a proverbial source of errors. The car rides well and I'm getting good mileage, and at $3.39 a gallon, if Nissan will just keep me on the road safely, I'll stay and play til lease ends. Thanks again for the help. :D
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I really do believe that this was a "fluke" occurance and that you will not see any residual issues. Again, good luck!
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    I tend to agree. 2 years into this generation altima and it's looking like Nissan hit a home run. It may be the best under 40k car nissan has ever built.
  • At least the dealer's service manager did them up questioning any issue I had, courtesy car offered, fixed it by 4 pm today, and I did ask them to test drive it for me, and I have restored faith in the car with how they approached it, and me. They also reassured me that everything was covered for 36/36,000 except tire alignment and air conditioner coolant (after 12 months). Appreciate the insight and expertise of those respondents here...informed and helpful. Thanks. :)
  • smallcar1smallcar1 Posts: 76
    I have a '96 Altima and the lower control arms are rusting and will need to be replaced soon.

    What should the labor charge for this be?

    Has anyone used aftermarket parts? The dealer wants $237 for 1 control arm just for the part but on the Internet aftermarket control arms w/ ball joints are about $129-$139.
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    dealerships and repair shops both mark up parts they install, they never sell them at cost. Its just the way the industry works. the amount of markup depends on the part. anyways, a control arm is a fairly basic repair that any shop can do do. No way I go to a dealership for it, nor buy the part from them.
  • skinsfan3skinsfan3 Posts: 78
    My altima has only 60k miles on it. Ever since day one, I get around 20mpg. The only way I can do better is on highways, when I may be driving around 70mph. Then I get around 30mph. I baby my cars, always change oil & filter at around 3,000, even though the manual says 6,000. Over the years I have many cars go for well beyond the "normal" life expectancy. Recently I changed the air filter. It was faitly dirt free. Oh, my low mileage is because locally I do a lot of stop and go driving. I guess the posted fuel on the sticker was wishful thinking.

    I think the plugs might be the cultprit on mileage. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,983
    I've got the same car as you with 46k on it. My experience has always been the same as your: 20 local/30 highway. I'd like it to be higher but guess that it's just the way it is. It just doesn't seem that a Nissan will get as good mileage as the other Japanese big 2. It's probably a sacrifice in the name of a little more power. 175 horse is good for a 2.5. It drives pretty effortlessly at 80 on the highway.
  • skinsfan3skinsfan3 Posts: 78
    Thanks. I would love to trade in the milage for a better turn radius.
  • I had someone look at the distributor on my car and they put the plugs back on wrong. Does anyone know the order that they are suppose to be in or where I can find out? Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks, Erica :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,504

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  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    Have a 94 GXE that my son now drives and I'm tired of the cheap hub caps. Anyone put inexpensive aluminum wheels on and how do they look and hold up. Color of car is Champaign. Looked at some Sport Editions on TireRack, but not sure what finish will look best on my car.


  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    Sorry color is Beige not Champaign. Champaign is on my Van. I want the Sport Edition CD, bright satin w/machine lip wheels. Thinking about having TireRack ship them with a set of Michelin Pilots already on the rims and tuned.

    Any thoughts and anyone with these wheels?

  • alt08slalt08sl Posts: 2
    does anyone know how to change out the bulbs on a 08 altima. there is no way to get to back of the lamp assembly
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I have the shop manual...tell me the bulbs to which you are referring and I will look it up for you...
  • alt08slalt08sl Posts: 2
    to change the headlights low beam
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    This is fairly complicated, as you must drop the front bumper cover to change the bulb. I have pasted the text here, and the associated text with each step as well.

    Since this is a new car, why don't you have the dealer do this repair? Its under warranty, you know...

    In any case, good luck!

    • Do not touch the glass of bulb directly by hand. Keep grease and other oily substances away from
    bulb. Do not touch bulb by hand while it is lit or right after being turned off, burning may result.
    • Do not leave bulb out of fog lamp reflector for a long time, dust, moisture, and smoke may affect performance
    of fog lamp.
    1. Disconnect negative battery cable.
    2. Position the fender protector aside. Refer to EXT-19, "Removal and Installation"
    3. Turn the headlamp bulb sockets counterclockwise to unlock and remove them (halogen).
    4. Remove the plastic cover, disconnect the ignitor, unlock the retaining spring to unlock and remove the
    bulb (xenon only).
    5. Turn the high beam lamp bulb socket counterclockwise to unlock and remove it.
    After installing the bulb, be sure to install the plastic cap securely to ensure watertightness.

    1. Remove the engine under cover. Refer to EXT-13, "Removal and Installation - Coupe".
    2. Remove the screw from center mudguard.
    3. Remove the fender protector screws and clips.
    4. Remove the fender protector.
    Installation is in the reverse order of removal.

    1. Remove the front fender protectors RH and LH. Refer to EXT-19, "Removal and Installation".
    2. Remove the engine under cover.
    3. Remove the RH and LH side under covers.
    4. Remove the fog lamp if equipped. Refer to EXL-240, "Removal and Installation".
    5. Remove the front bumper fascia clips and screws, then remove the front bumper fascia.
    6. Remove the front grille. Refer to EXT-17, "Removal and Installation".
    7. Remove the front energy absorbing foam.
    8. Remove the front bumper reinforcement and reinforcement bracket.
    9. Remove the front bumper supports.
    Installation is in the reverse order of removal.


    The fog lamp is a semi-sealed beam type which uses a replaceable halogen bulb.
    • Do not leave fog lamp assembly without bulb for a long period of time. Dust, moisture, smoke, etc.
    entering the fog lamp body may affect the performance. Remove the bulb from the headlamp assembly
    just before replacement bulb is installed.
    • Grasp only the plastic base when handling the bulb. Never touch the glass envelope. Touching the
    glass could significantly affect the bulb life and/or fog lamp performance.
    1. Remove inner splash shield.
    2. Position the fender protector aside. Refer to EXT-19, "Removal and Installation".
    3. Disconnect the fog lamp electrical connector.
    4. Remove bolt from top of fog lamp.
    5. Remove fog lamp.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Very helpful, thank you for posting this!!

    Alt08sl, let us know how it works out for you.
  • roadrunner70roadrunner70 Posts: 241
    have to do my first oil change on my altima v6 coupe. any tips, on how to get under the car and what to remove to get to the oil filter. on my 03 murano, it was pretty easy, only had to turn the wheels to the right to get access to the filter. thanks, rr70
  • skinsfan3skinsfan3 Posts: 78
    You have got to be kidding us! Doing your own oil change in 2008! Most dealers have promo coupons for under $30.00 I, however, don't like waiting around and my local gas station does good work and gets me in and out faster. :P That is worth the 10 or more so dollars they might charge me over and above dealer. At the same time, I am building a business relationship with a competent garage that might have to save my donkey at some future time for a major problem. My next question you is, if you do your own oil change, how are you going to dispose of the old oil?
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I have the shop manual for the 2008 Altima, and the process to change the oil is very straight forward. You should not have any problems if you have changed the oil on other vehicles...

    You have got to be kidding us! Doing your own oil change in 2008!

    So, what's wrong with changing your own oil? I do it on all my vehicles, except my BMW (its included for free in the first 4 years of ownership). Its a great way to "stay in touch" with your car, and to keep an eye on the mechanics, tires, CV joints/boots, etc...Of course, you have to be somewhat mechanically inclined to do the work.

    My next question you is, if you do your own oil change, how are you going to dispose of the old oil?

    I don't know where you live, but in South Carolina, any auto parts store is required by law to accept used motor oil/ might even be a federal requirement. In addition, the county landfills accept used oil/filters as well. In both cases, there is no charge.
  • skinsfan3skinsfan3 Posts: 78
    Obviously you are retired. It is hard to justify as cost effective and the time and effort probably could be used productively by visitng residents of senior citizen and independent living facilities, many of whom don't get visits except from family members on holidays such as christmas. As a life time do it yourselfer, I would caution you to be wary whenever you go under your car to do work. Hydraulic jacks are not to be trusted. Ideally, owning a home with a pit is wonderful.
  • karpediemkarpediem Posts: 46
    Just to let you guys know, you can access the bulbs just by turning the wheels (left if you are changing the passenger side, turn them right to do the drivers side) and pop out the plastic rivets of the wheel well, and pull it need to remove the bumper.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    As a matter of fact, I do own a hydraulic lift and a 4-bay garage. And, as you guessed, I am 53 and retired, but I have always performed the general maintenance on all of my vehicles.

    In my earlier days, I restored several cars, including a 1939 Chevy Master 2-door coupe and a 1941 Dodge D-19 3-window business coupe to their original factory showroom conditions.

    Some folks golf for pleasure...I work on cars.
  • winsanwinsan Posts: 36
    There's nothing wrong changing oil ourselves. I do that, and I'm not retired. I like doing it.
    Here in OH, I dump the used oil and filter to the shop I bought them. No charge.
  • levinlllevinll Posts: 2
    Upon taking my 1997 Altima in to get an oil change the mechanic shows me that there is oil in one of my spark plug cylinders. The other three cylinders have no oil in them.

    He says this can be repaired by simply replacing the valve cover gasket ?

    I read another post that says a leaking value cover gasket will not cause oil to accomulate in a spark plug cylinder.

    I would appreciate if other members would chime in with their comments.

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