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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • jb2266jb2266 Posts: 1
    The flashing "service engine soon" light fired on Saturday. Had it towed to my Nissan dealership where the inspected the Altima SE today. Verdict: Cat converter disintegrated and the debris "scored the cylinder wall". The dealership says I need a new engine for $5000. Anyone hear of this problem?
  • Like others, this one is new to me. Since mechanics are able to rebuild racing cars, I would think that there may be some way to machine the "scoring". Nevertheless, if you follow your manual on how to proceed under lemon laws, you may be able to get Nissan's ear on this one. I forget what the warranty is on the cat converter so it seems to me that the failure of of a component like that should fall upon the manufacturer. I have a 2003 so I will discuss this possibility with my shop.
  • Tried to access the link, but it wasn't there.
  • Hi everyone,

    I've got a 2008 altima s sedan. It's been good for 32,000 miles so far. But just recently, I ran into a strange issue. Left the car in a parking lot for a few hours (temperature was 45 degrees outside), came out and tried to start the car.

    It tried to turn over once then everything went dead. No lights in the dash or anything. I could hear a clicking sound (like a relay) behind the dash but had no gauges or anything else lit up. Took my foot off the brake, waited a second and tried again. Nothing. Just the clicking sound behind the dash but nothing lighting up and the engine didn't turn over at all.

    After doing this a few more times, I put the keyfob in the slot next to the steering wheel. I tried a few more times and nothing happened. I reseated the keyfob in the slot and all of a sudden, it started just like normal.

    Since then (about 3-4 trips), it's acted normal. Still bugs me though because this wasn't a brake switch issue. The car/dash was dead. My radio lost all it's presets, etc. so it looks like all power was cut off in the vehicle when this happened. And since it won't recreate itself, I'm waiting to hit the dealer because we know what usually happens there.

    Anyone else seen this? Any ideas? I'm thinking some other electronic control/brain in the dash (ECU, etc) but since it hasn't re-appeared yet, it makes it tough to figure out.

    And yes, my keyfobs do have recent batteries in them and I never got a low battery warning for them prior to this incident.
  • Double-check the battery terminals. Make sure they're tightened down and free of corrosion. Both of these issues could have caused a temporary problem...

    If this doesn't do the trick, there may be a short somewhere that could (again) cause an on-again, off-again issue.
  • my wife's 2000 altima started giving her problems. I replaced battery and she stills sees airbag, brake lights flickering on & off. Other day she needed a buster. What can it be?
  • it is a warning light telling you that you have been driving for over 90 minutes. you can change how long u want it to come on. its for people that drive at night and it tells them they need to stop a rest. thats all it is basically.
  • _kristin__kristin_ Posts: 4
    edited November 2010
    i've never had a problem with my 98 altima runs (ran) great and driving hometonight the service engine light came on and at the very same sec engine just stopped like a switch was turned off, did not putter or anything , now the lights on dash come on and it makes the turn over noise but its like theres nothing there for it to catch on to turn over. any ideas what happend? I am 5 payments tull paid off :(
  • Hi,
    Have a question, whenever I set my AC to the AUTO option after setting the desired temperature, it always points the AC to the feet(Any help to point to my head), and if I change any of the setting to point to my head, it turns off the auto option, any help with that?

  • just notice monday just past . i was stop and move notice that acceleration was high before the gear change.1st and 2nd. also low on acceleration steady and change gear. what do think . please i need help just got lay off. mechanic was not available at this time.
  • av8r78av8r78 Posts: 1
    Hey folks, I'm new to this whole forum and would really like some advice please. I have a 1997 Altima with the 2.4 I-4 engine and an automatic transmission. The car has about 220,000 miles on it. The car started to over-heat last week so I waited til the engine had cooled and then added coolant to the radiator directly and to the over-fill too. The other day, the engine started to shake/vibrate kinda hard and was behaving like it wanted to stall out. As it was shaking/vibrating, there was white smoke coming out of the front of the engine but the temperature gauge was on the cool side. This morning, I tried to start the car and it wouldn't do it at all. Not even with jumper cables. I'm kinda at a loss. I know that I need to do a flush/fill of the radiator and probably an oil change too. I don't know when the spark plugs were last changed, but I should probably do those too. Please help! Like I said, I'm at a loss.
  • sounds like you may have blown a head gasket.
  • ndiboyndiboy Posts: 36
    I believe you have a burnt head gasket too despite the temperature gauge displaying normal. It happened to my 02 Altima and once it was changed everything was alright.
    Check the oil after driving to see if there is a milky film on it which shows that oil is mixing with water.
  • I really disappointed on how hard it is to change the in-cabin filter in the 2010 Nissan Altima 2.5S sedan. I had no luck trying to get the glove box out so I slid the filter in from the bottom.

    Any one have links to photo instructions, videos or anything else that would be helpful? Thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Remove the glove box assembly.

    Remove the console side finisher RH.

    Disengage the filter cover tab to remove the filter cover.

    Remove the in-cabin microfilter from the blower unit.

    When you open the glove box, there are three screws to take out along the bottom and then it comes out.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I dont believe there is much of a difference with how the in cabin filter is replaced from a 2010 model to a 2007. I have a 2007, I took my car to a nissan dealership to have a few services done. Once the car was done, at pick up I asked if they replaced the in-cabin filter since it was part of the service package coupon offer. They did not, so at the spot a tech came walking up with a new filter and a flat screw driver. All he did was enter the passenger side laying face up, reached under the glove box compartment and using the flat screw driver, pulled out the filter through the bottom and slid in the new one again using the screw driver to help with the process. The filter does need to bend in order to be slid into place. It took about a minute to replace. I was laughing inside because the service adviser when explaining to me about the procedure, stated the glove box had to be removed and a bunch of other bolony. The fact is its really easy and they just make it seem complicated so that you dont feel ripped off by the high price they charge. The only difficulty will probably be that you need to lay face up on the passenger side floor. I recommend using a small flash light to help you see under the dash board. Hope this helps.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    I've been told that the cabin air filter is NOT included in all '07 Altimas, but only in the 2.5SL and 3.5SE/SL. Is this true?
  • ndiboyndiboy Posts: 36
    Thats a blatant lie, even my 2002 Altima 2.5S with SL package has not to talk of 07 models. Once the car has A/C be rest assured the filter is there.
  • This is pretty much what I did except I didn't enter the passenger side laying face up. It was difficult, but I got it done. I did use a flash light. I agree that the procedure with removing the glove box etc. is just way too complicated and too much work for replacing a in-cabin filter. After all, over 10 years, there was no mention of in-cabin air filters.

    How often do you change your in-cabin filter?
  • I believe I have discovered the source of all the frustration with the '02 Nissan 2.5 oil consumption. I will start out by saying that I run my own marine repair business, am a licensed aircraft mechanic, and have over 40 years repair experience. However, this Altima engine (my wife's car) is the first automotive engine I have built in 30 years; much different than the outboards I build all the time. I will also state that I am indebted to Hap Lewis at Hap's Automotive Machine in Paso Robles, Ca., and Kenny at Ellis Piston Ring Sales in Shreveport, La. for all of their technical assistance.

    After reading this forum, I discovered I wasn't alone with the head gasket problem, but had yet to experience excessive oil consumption, though, after teardown I discovered I was way overdue. I will try to make this short and to the point, and not bore with the technical details.

    On teardown, I discovered the engine was unusually dirty, a varnish/sludge build up. Upon cleaning the pistons I even had to use a drill bit to clean the oil drain back holes. Although dirty, and with 133K miles, the cylinders showed no appreciable wear: ditto pistons, crank, or rod and main bearings; lubrication was not a problem.

    I had the block cleaned, the cylinders machine honed, decked, and a valve job performed on the head. I ordered parts from both aftermarket suppliers and Nissan. When I had all my parts in order and everything cleaned, I began assembly.

    During disassembly I noted that the oil control ring wiper rails (2) were stuck and had to be pried off the pistons and that both wiper rail end gaps were aligned. While assembling the rings to the pistons (following the factory manual step by step), I noted several things that were indeed odd. First. The manual showed a staggering of the ring end gaps (normal) with the oil control wiper rail end gaps aligned (not normal practice). I was installing Nissan rings, so their markings matched the manual exactly. The top ring was labeled "A", while the second ring was labeled "A2". This was OK, but here is where it gets weird: The upper ring that was labeled "A" was a black ring, the second ring labeled "A2" was a chrome ring... In 99% of installations the chrome ring is the compression ring which is the top or upper ring... I began calling. Both Kenny and Hap said this was really odd, and Hap suggested I install the two upper rings in the order called for in just one cylinder and turn the engine over several times, remove the piston, and use a magnifying glass to check the scuff pattern on the black ring; I did. Hap told me that if the scuff pattern was on the lower edge only of the black ring, then that ring had a tapered face and was a wiper ring, not a compression ring, and was not in the correct position: It should be installed in the second position, not the top position... The scuff on the ring was on the lower edge of the ring face indicating a wiper position, not the compression position.

    In my opinion oil consumption in these engines is caused by 1) Nissan OE piston rings being incorrectly labeled with the result that the ring that should be in the #2 position (wiper) is installed in the upper position (compression) (which it clearly is not), and 2) The manual calling for alignment of the oil ring rails such that the ring end gap is not staggered (industry standard) but, rather, in alignment, thereby causing a direct leak path bypassing a portion of the oil ring assembly, and possible flooding the second (scraper) ring with excess oil which it could in no wise handle since it was installed in the wrong position to begin with, being the compression ring, not the scraper (as noted above).

    Let me be clear: The rings are each designed for a specific purpose: The upper ring to seal compression, and generally having a molybdenum face or a chrome face for long life and heat resistance, and the second ring which is a wiper ring to assist in a "squeegee" effect of keeping the oil from bypassing into the area of the upper ring, and thus into the cylinder and being burned and discharged into the exhaust. If these two rings are interchanged in position the softer scraper ring will not withstand the heat and pressure nor seal the cylinder, and the chrome faced upper ring does not have the necessary taper to effectively wipe the oil off the cylinder wall. With the foregoing incorrect installation you must necessarily experience oil consumption.

    Obviously these engines were assembled per the manual using factory parts mislabeled and with piston ring end gaps incorrectly aligned (per industry standard), thus the oil control/consumption problems people are complaining about.

    On this rebuild I will not use the Nissan rings. I have chosen to use Hastings piston rings (made in the USA) and will align the ring end gaps per industry standard and anticipate no further oil consumption problems!

    Lessons learned: Do not use Nissan factory ring sets for this engine, and do not use ring installation guidance as proffered in the factory manual, which, by the way, is excellent in all other aspects.
  • skyfan1skyfan1 Posts: 37
    I have a 2010 Altima that I bought new last August. A few weeks ago, the battery would not start and I had to have it jumped. I was able to drive it to the dealership the next day, but they said the battery needed to be replaced. The car had about 3,000 miles on it. The service guy could not give me an explanation for this. He said he replaced a 3 year manufacturer's battery with a 7 year battery. Can anyone tell me if you have ever heard of this happening and if you have any idea how a new battery could go bad this fast??
  • ndiboyndiboy Posts: 36
    Coould anyone diagnose this problem for me. I changed the mass airflow meter of my 02 altima at 105,000miles but before then the mechanic felt it was the fuel pump that made it not to start. The fuel pump was later returned but they've already tampered with the fuel filter housing the pump and cut and replaced some of the pipes inside the gauge, pump and filter component.
    The problem now is that I have to start the car twice before it starts and I can't seem to figure out what the problem is. Should I change the filter pump unit or what? I need the car to be starting once like before.
    Thanks, Chuma.
  • melcot04melcot04 Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 Nissan Altima with 122k miles. Had the car for about 8 weeks. After about 4 weeks, the check engine light come on. Had it check and the code was P0400 which is suppose to be EGR valve. I took it apart and cleaned it, light came back on. I replaced it and light came back on. During this time, about 300 every miles, the car looses power, and intrument cluster stops working. My wife had been pulling off the road, sitting for about 20 minutes, starts the car back up and everything goes back to normal. Recently I was driving the car when it done this and I put the car in neutral and back to drive and the car returns to normal expect the cluster does not work. Cut the car off for about 10 minutes and cluster starts working again. It appears to be doing this a little more frequent now and do not understand why you can shift into neutral then back to drive and car runs normal. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advanced.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,974
    I have an 03 with 62k. The car has always been extremely reliable and run fantastic for me. A few weeks ago, I had the crank position sensor replaced after the service engine light came on. This addressed the light and the car felt fine for a few weeks.

    Over this weekend, we had very heavy rain. The car sat all Saturday and most of Sunday. When I started it on Sunday night, it was running very rough and was missing when revved. After a minute or two, the SEL flickered on.

    By this morning, the rain had stopped but things were very wet still. The car felt fine when I started it but by mile 4 of my 5 miles commute, it had started running rough again.

    The issue is obviously related to the rain and probably related to the new sensor. Does that sensor have a boot or protective covering that might be missing? What should I be considering?

    Thanks in advance
  • My climate control knob is broken on my 2005 Nissan Altima. The fan is blowing on high. How do I take the knob off without breaking it?
  • mel01mel01 Posts: 1
    I read several other posts at other forums that suggested removing the header, cleaning out the builtin catalytic converter with a long screwdriver, then bolting the header back on. But won't the "service engine soon" light stay lit, even after a computer reset, due to the readings from the sensors? One forum said that you can fool the computer by using a different sensor at the bottom of the front cat. Would that actually work?
  • clean52clean52 Posts: 1
    Wife got a 2010 on New Years Eve, on 5-13 battery totally dead at work I jump it. we go to dealer and they replace a sensor. 2 weeks later same thing. Dealer has it now over Memorial day weekend and he calls and says we are not driving it enough to charge battery!!!!!!! Wife works 7 miles from home. Are you kidding me Anyone ever hear of this. :confuse:
  • onlamonlam Posts: 13
    edited June 2011
    Could be a bad switch. It's a switch that activates the startup when you step on the brake.

    Read Link: - termittent-startup-failure.html
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