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Nissan Altima Engine Rattle



  • yeah, vq35de doesn't have that dieseling noise. Nissan needs to revise valve lifter design that shrunk after few thousand miles. QR25DE owners have to live with this diesel noise especially during the winter. Nothing we can do except wasting more money and time.
  • My skin has gotten thicker due to the cold weather in Canada, not thinner. The oil pan warmer sounds like a reasonable work around...I guess...thanks for the suggestion. Lighten up makes life a heck of a lot easier.
  • Ronhol, we're approaching end of warranty, do you know if this issue has long term ramifications for the QR25DE(I'm assuming thats the engine model)?

    Our service center is refusing to do anything about this. This is our 4th Nissan we have purchased, and this will be the absolute last if they refuse to do something about what appears to be a very serious problem.

    I'm worried that our car is just a couple of years away from its engine failing.

    I have always been the type to let things go, but I am UTTERLY disappointed in the response from our dealer along with what seems to be the company line from Nissan itself in this situation, it almost seems like cause for a class action if they refuse to address it in a recall of some sort.
  • I have an 08 Altima and agree with you the engine sounds very much like a diesel and too have been told this is normal. There is just no way this can be normal. On top of this I have had the AC compressor replaced, one front strut, and have just had the transmission replace. Have called Nissan Corp and this was a waste of time.

    My car has been to the dealership 4 times now to have what sounds like a tire rubbing in front end fixed and they still cannot find the problem.

    I will never buy another Nissan.
  • g35guy4g35guy4 Posts: 1
    I had a 2005 G35 Coupe and noticed the same thing as all you guys!!!! Some subtle, engine noise/rattle at low rpm, low load around 2000 rpm under acceleration and thought it was engine pinging or knock. Then I started having the issue at start up either when it was cold or mostly if the car had sat for a few days without running. Took to the dealer and of course they played dumb and didn't hear anything. Talked to a buddy of mine who knows motors really well...he knew right away it was a lifter issue when we talked about the start up rattling. Our theory was that the oil wasn't making it up into the lifters or had all drained down till they were dry after a few days so that caused all the noise. Here's what worked pretty good to at least solve the start up issue: If I hadn't started it in a few days I would use a process to pump up the lifters with oil before I actually started it up. Like at the oil change places where they can turn the motor over without starting....
    Usually the vehicles have a mechanism that will not allow them to start if the throttle is put all the way to the floor upon start up....So I would mat the throttle and turn it over a couple times without starting it up. Then when I actually did start it up there was no rattle because the lifters have oil in them. Try that. I'm in California so not sure about how it would work with really cold oil in low temperatures....that makes the oil thicker and even harder to pump up the lifters...

    Good luck.
  • My transmission has been doing odd things - revving at higher RPMs, and it drives kinda jerky around 35 mph. Not impressive for a new car. Dealership people said this is how Nissan designed their CVT transmissions - it's a design flaw, if you ask me. Kinda sucks. Don't know if I'll keep this car for more than a year. Buyer beware.
  • This is in response to your post above, and your post in the other thread "Prices paid & buying experience".

    First of all, the engine revving...that IS how the CVT is designed. Especially when pushed hard, a CVT in no way behaves like a "regular" automatic transmission. Yes, it revs, and yes, its normal. Most people who don't understand the technical side of CVT operation think its "slipping" and experiencing abnormal operation. Not true. It isn't. Not only does it rev in a unique fashion, Nissan has also programmed it to provide a small amount of engine braking when you take your foot off the gas - much more engine braking than any normal automatic transmission I've driven.

    Also, the jerky operation? Maybe, I obviously haven't driven your car, so I can't say. Mine is smooth, and compared to the 4-spd regular automatic in my other car, this transmission is silky smooth. I don't consider the 900RPM drop-off between shifts "smooth" as the engine in my other car "lugs" itself back up into the stronger part of its torque curve via its automatic transmission.

    Nevertheless, I think this is a great application for a CVT - a plain vanilla family sedan. Put a CVT in a sports car, and I'd scream bloody murder.

    Go enjoy your Altima, and remember - the CVT is now warranted for 10yrs or 120k miles. :)
  • My transmission was burning up 1 gear at a time when I started realizing the car was jerking! Definatly a flaw that you need to catch before all your gears are burnt up and you have to have your transmission rebuilt!! :( Sorry good luck!
  • For everyones information I thought I would let you know what I know. I just bought a 08 altima in jan. it has about 58k. about 2 weeks after we bought it it started making that lifter noise during low speed acceleration. I took the car into the dealer who could not figure it out so they had me bring it back March 16th so a factory rep could look at it and 2 other cars that were making the same noise. The factory guy said it was fuel injectors making the noise and that is was normal. I asked a mechanic if replacing the injectors would eliminate the problem he said no. That the injectors were "dry injector" as opposed wet. I do not know if that is correct or BS. I do know I am not happy about it. we are going to write some letters but from what I am seeing we are SOL.
  • utlax18utlax18 Posts: 4

    Please let me know how it goes with your letter writing campaign. I have an 08 with 10K miles and notice the same thing when accelerating under 2000 rpms. Took it to 2 dealers her in Denver and 1 never opened the lifter covers to take a look..waste of everyones time. The second says it was "normal" and every car makes it's own noise. Like you..I Call BS and have 1 more dealer to take it to, but I am not holding my breath. Basically, the car sounds like a sewing machine inside when I accelerate. But, after 2000 rpm, car rides like a dream.

    Good luck to all who have this problem!

  • rileyml1rileyml1 Posts: 2
    First off the problem is not the heat shield and it's not just the Altima. Second the problem is the cams/valves in the head. When the engine sits for 8 hour or less the oil coating drains off the cams/valves. What you are hearing on start up is the valves and cams with 0 oil on them. There is few things you can try first off I must talk about OIL. You should take the time to do your own oil change. You buy a new car because 1 your rich or 2 because you want this to last for a long time. If you are option 2 I would say change your own oil. The QR25DE is the motor that all 2.5 Altimas and sentra's have. So the oil you need is 5W-30. I bought my new 2007 Nissan Sentra SER Spec-V with 25 miles on it first thing I did was changed the oil to a full synthetic oil. I am using royal purple 5w-30. Now there is many good oils but if you want to learn a thing or two check out. You will pay more for good oil but it pays off in the long run. Another thing is that you are learning about a car you just spent $25,000 for. Don't be lazy change your own oil take care of your car. Also check out Good luck
    Again check out
  • utlax18utlax18 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info...I just changed my oil to Mobil 1 syn 5w-30 2 weeks ago and the 2.5 still sounds like a sewing machine when I accelerate up to 2000 rpms, then it is fine. So, I doubt it is an oil issues as is a "engine design/lifter" issue. I have been on and there is a plethora of info. on his site.

  • rileyml1rileyml1 Posts: 2
    It is the valves and the cam's. I have the problem as well when i start the car i hear very loud valve chatter. If i turn it off and right back on its not there. One thing i am looking at doing is taking the head off check on everything. For the QR25DE in any Nissan check out for looking parts up. I do not buy from them i buy my parts from better prices and better people. I have replacement clutch pressure plate few O rings and seals for when they go bad already just siting here. I was thinking of bushings next and timing chain for the 60k mile overhaul. Wife is getting upset over all the car parts she asked me few times if i am building a new car. Check out forums they have some good posts people should read.
  • jbackesjbackes Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Altima and have been complaining about cold engine noise since I bought the car new. I have been told it is piston slap and all of these 2.5 engines have the issue when cold. I am now working through Nissan consumer affairs and my dealer to resolve the issue as it is getting worse with time. I am told thus far that Nissan does not have a fix for it but Nissan consumer affairs asked me again to bring it back to the dealer. I will be seeing the dealer early next week so it will be interesting to hear their response I have been through the heat shield thing and the dealer did resolve this issue. I suggest to contact Nissan consumer affairs with your issue as there is strength in numbers.
  • jchd1340jchd1340 Posts: 13
    Please keep us posted!!!! my 07 with 33k seems to be getting worse
  • deetailerdeetailer Posts: 3
    Thanks for your input. I did go to Nissan Consumer Affairs and was told that since the dealer had a factory tech look at the car and he determined the noise was the fuel injectors and it was normal that he had the final word and I was SOL. My problem now is that since the weather has warmed the noise is not as bad so it is hard to take it in and show someone. I full expect it to get bad again next fall and by then my warranty will be out.
  • hre21hre21 Posts: 1
    i have had the same problem with my 08 altima, it sounds like a diesel engine on cold mornings for the first 5 miles or so then the noise goes away until the engine cools off. i have had mine in the shop 6 or 7 times with this problem , the dealership tried everything they knew to do, including some type of re-programing, new timing chains, they disasembled the valvetrain and checked everything but none of this helped. finially after the 6th time and 30 days in the shop they said that it was a normal noise and there was nothing else they could do for it and that i was just going to have to live with the noise. needless to say dont think its normal at all i think they have a problem with ALOT of these cars and the dont want to admit it.
  • 200925s200925s Posts: 2
    FWIW I have been doing like the one gentleman above said to do and thats to hold the pedal to the floor with foot on brake and then push the start button and let it turn over 5-6 times priming the system then release acc pedal and let it start like normal it is much quieter doing this!. I also will be adding some STP Oil Treatment do my oil to see if that helps quiet it down also.. Quite obvious nissan will do nothing for us at this point!...
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I don't have a Altima, but I do have a 2010 Maxima SV and I've had since day one a terribly loud/very consistent and frequent knocking/pinging/clinging noise coming from the engine compartment near the bottom while the car is running/idling and when the engine is off and cooling off in the driveway or in the garage. I've spoken to a Nissan Master Tech online and of course he told me that this is normal and something that all Nissan's do, especially the Altima's, and he said that it has something to do with the way Nissan designs the heat shield on their cars and its not allow to really expand resulting in these knocking/pinging/clinging noises! Of course, I'm outraged that a 37k buck car like the Maxima is making these loud/unrefined noises, enough I have had people ask me if there was something wrong with the car. Its very disappointing because I have never had a car from a multitude of different manufacturers over the years make this noise except this Maxima. I have to links below to 30 second video/audio clips of this noise. Just take a second to check it out and see if it a similar to noise that your Altima's make. If not then I'm sorry I couldn't be of help, if it is the noises your hearing, as least you know now what it is from and that there isn't anything stupid Nissan can do about it!
  • deetailerdeetailer Posts: 3
    I am sorry for you but glad to say the noise on my car is not that bad. That is terrible. My noise sounds like the valves tapping and I hear it when I accelerate from a stop. It is also much worse in cold weather. I would call the nissan Nissan Consumer Affairs
    P.O. Box 685003
    Franklin TN 37068-5003
    (800) NISSAN-1 (or 800-647-7261)
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.,
    Eastern / Central Time / Pacific Time
    Monday through Friday

    Good luck
  • rondholrondhol Posts: 32
    Sorry for the late reply, I have this noise for more than 2 years during cold weather. No problem and still runs fine with right mpg (30 mpg 60mph cruise). That tapping noise is normal and will disappear after the engine is warm (10 minutes). Some of us have split of a second rattle noise on startup because the timing chain tensioner building pressure time. This noise should disappear after few seconds.

    The one that you need to check is the dribbling noise after bumps. It could be your passenger side and rear side engine mounts, or some screws loose behind the cowl/windshield. Check FAQ
  • The cold engine rattles are piston slap! Anyone telling you otherwise is full of it.
    I bought a 2012 new in June 2012, all the dealers say this is normal,and I think Nissan has brain washed them. Any vehicle with excessive engine noise is POOR WORKMANSHIP, cut and dried.,and a good company will look after repairing same.. They have had this problem for many years now and did not or cannot remedy the noises, my vehicle has noises in excess of 10 minutes in winter, has to be plugged in even in slightly freezing temps to reduce them, pure crap.
    Avoid NISSAN like the Plague, they have no after purchase customer service and treat the customer like trash.
    Bob Winnipeg Mb
  • I doubt anyone will be looking at this old thread anymore, but....
    This all very interesting. I bought a 2007 Altima 2.5 back in 2008. Over the years, I've had the same cold-weather-start noise. HOWEVER, over time, the noise problem has grown. My Altima rattles like.....yeah, an old tractor!! I know that the catalytic converter is bad and plan to have that fixed soon...and, I had assumed the noise would go away with that. But now I have to wonder. My car rattles ANY TIME that I'm not over a certain RPM.'t matter. I have about 208,000 miles and my goal is to see if I can get 300,000, so I want to get this  care of. At this point, I'm inclined to take the heat shields off just to see what happens :/
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,588
    What we call a "rattle" can come from many different sources, so the location of the noise has to be somewhat isolated first (that is, front of engine, rear, top, or bottom, or ???)

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