Howdy, Stranger!

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

Howdy, Stranger!

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

Are you in the market for a new car and having a hard time finding affordable options? A reporter would like to speak with you; please reach out to [email protected] by 2/26 for more details.

Nissan Sentra Repairs

xcirexxcirex Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Nissan
I have a '97 Nissan Sentra GXE. It will be 3
years old this July. It has almost 62,000 miles on
it. I am having a strange problem. Every once in
a while, thick, white smoke will pour out of the
exhaust while driving. It has done this about 6
times in the last month or two. Until recently,
except for the smoke, you would never never know
anything was wrong. The car didn't stall,
hesitate, shake or sputter. As quickly as it
started, it would go away and then everything was
back to normal. The last 2 times it has done it,
the car hesitated. For a split second, the car had
no power. It didn't stall, but didn't want to do
anything. Then the smoke would go away and then
everything was back to normal. The problem is
starting to occur with increasing frequency. There
is no rhyme or reason as to when it will happen.
I've made an appointment with Peruzzi Nissan in
Langhorne, PA. Anybody else ever have this
problem? If so, what was it? Also, I recently had a
problem with a clicking noise from the front end
while braking at low speeds. Peruzzi said the
upper struts were loose and also tightened the axle
nut. It's only been a couple of weeks, but the
problem has seemed to disappear. Has anyone ever
heard of this problem. I'm beginning to wonder if
I should trade the car in on a new one. The car
only has 62,000 mile on it and most of them are
highway miles. I don't want to keep sinking money
into the car. I would appreciate any comments.


  • raj100raj100 Posts: 1
    Your problem could be a valve stem seal. It happens a lot. Oil could be dripping into a cylinder and preventing proper combustion. I had
    that problem on a Mitsubishi truck. It is fairly
    cheap to fix.
  • hoosloverhooslover Posts: 1
    I am looking for a car, sensible, safe, reliable, doesnt have to be big or sporty, efficient, and most of all... around $4k. I would love something under 100k miles. I don't know too much about cars myself, i am only 16 and just getting myself a car to get me from school to pratice to work.
    I have heard good things about Nissan Sentras, and i found a 94 for $3,300. Does this seem reasobible?

    I am really worried about getting a car and then not having enough money to maintain it if it ends up to be a money pit.

    Does anyone know anything about Mazda Protege's and if i would be able to find a decent one for $4k? under 100k miles and such?

    What about camrys? I found a 91 for $3,195. Does that seem reasonible?

    Thanks so much for your time...
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Hello hooslover, welcome to Town Hall!

    Have you had a chance to check out our Smart Shopper Conference? That's probably the best place here to get advice on pricing of cars. Many of the topics deal with new cars, but there are several on pricing used cars as well.

    You can use the "Conferences" window on the left side of this page to go directly there. Just check through the topic list to find an appropriate one in which to ask your questions.

    Good luck! (Which "hoos"? Wahoos, UVA?)

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • ougyaougya Posts: 2
    Nissan sentra is a reliable car. However, the value of the car depends on a lot of factors. What is the mileage of your '93 Nissan? You can check edmunds homepage and find the corresponding price.
    You can also check kbb homepage, but the price there is not very reasonable compared with edmunds.
  • slow49slow49 Posts: 1
    The white smoke you are seeing is caused by a blown head gasket.. white smoke means water in the combustion chamber. If it were a valve seal it would be blue smoke. Blue smoke is always oil in the cylinder. Since it is not smoking all the time it has just started to leak but will get worse as time goes on..
  • michelcmichelc Posts: 1
    I also had an episode of white smoke. I have a '96 GLE Sentra. I bought it used and have had it for about 1 year. The car has 45,000 miles. One day I was driving on the parkway and all this white smoke started coming out of the exhaust. I took it to S.I. Nissan and was told that during my last oil change some oil was spilled and that a drop touched the outside of the engine and that caused the smoke. That was about a month ago and I haven't had a problem. I suspected a gasket but was assured that it wasn't. I'm taking the car into the dealer on Saturday and will definitely ask about this.
    Did you confirm the gasket?
  • dcamp19dcamp19 Posts: 1
    Yesterday I purchased a 1999 Nissan Sentra the car runs great and only has 17500 miles on it. However, I am concerned of a clicking sound (It sounds like hot metal cooling off) when I shut the car off and some times when I am stopped at a light. This noise appears to emanate from behind the engine and stops when the engine cools off. Is this noise common with Nissans or should I have a mechanic look at it?
  • fbradyjrfbradyjr Posts: 1
    I would like to know if the 2000 sentra is expensive to maintain and if they are prone to have problems of any kind. I would also like to know if they are more or less reliable than the civics. i am really concerned with the fact that they are relatively new releases and no one has really reported any problems with them. i am curious as to whether that is because of the lack of time or the lack of kinks.
  • seguyseguy Posts: 133
    All I know about that is the engine is fantastic(performance & reliability)... the rest of the car, only time will tell.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    You may also want to ask your question over in our Sedans conference. That's where 2000 Sentra owners are likely to be discussing their experiences, both positive and negative. If you haven't already, check out this topic in Sedans:

    Nissan Sentra

    And over in Smart Shopper, there is another topic that may interest you:

    Nissan Questions? Ask Here

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • sw4realsw4real Posts: 3
    I was just involved in an accident in my 2 week
    old Sentra. It wasn't my fault, and I'm still
    waiting on the insurance guys and see what happens
    now. The front crumple zone did its civic duty, and now I need the front fixed up. I was wondering
    whether I have to go all the way to the Nissan
    dealership I bought it from, which is on the other
    side of town (30-40 mins) or the dealership
    nearby?? Please let me know, thanks!!
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    you can take it to any dealer, just like with the warranty. Take it anywhere you want.
  • dgohndgohn Posts: 1

    i wouldn't worry about the ticking noise if i were you. all 3 of my sentras did the same thing. nothing to worry about.
  • rowlejarowleja Posts: 1
    My 95 200SX blew some white smoke on two different occasions both different tanks of gas in the same parking lot. After I backed out of my parking spot it happened both times when I began moving forward. I had been using 89 octane ethanol both times so I switched back to 87 octane and I havne't had a problem since. We don't use reforulated gas where I live. My car had about 100,000 on it at the time. I still run cheap gas even though in Iowa ethanol is the same price or within a penny or 2.
  • dispatch1dispatch1 Posts: 30
    I've had people hit my car before, so I know how that goes. Never has it been my fault.

    Insurance companies like to tell you where to take your car to get repaired - DO NOT BUY INTO IT.
    You have the right to take it where ever you want, and if the insurance company balks - get a lawyer.
    Also insist on factory parts. But most of all take it somewhere that actually does good work, and IMHO, that will NOT be your dealer.

    Take it to a good body shop and let them take care of it. You'll be happier in the end. Ask around at the speed shops about body shops. Chances are the same names will be thrown around, and those are the folks that should be doing the repair.

    *BTW, I have no problem with dealership shops, but when it comes to painting, etc. I want the best folks I can have doing it. Most times, these folks do not work at dealerships. Advice only, feel free to differ.
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    Technically yeah you can take your car to any place you want. Most insurance companies have the "preferred" shops which supposedly have a lifetime warranty on the repair work.
  • muzakmuzak Posts: 2
    hi all,
    well I never notice smoke before but apparently I did blow or crack the head gasket on my 94 sentra( 73,000 miles) I am wondering if you all suggest just selling it. (In which case, what do you think I can get for it?) Or just getting it fixed and having a decent car for another 50,000 or so. Up until this point, its been a great vehicle, low maintenance, great in the snow etc. I'm going for a second opionion tomorrow, are there any other possibilities or options I have overlooked? Thanks for any help you can offer!!
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    There should be a lot of life left in your car.
    If it turns out to be just a headgasket, if it were me, I would have it fixed.
  • muzakmuzak Posts: 2
    Thanks Bob for your advice! Guess what! I took it for a second opinion and the dealer says they can't get it to overheat! They say I have a hole in the radiator (thereby making the coolant leak) And I need a new exhaust system - muffler to fix the exhaust in the radiator thing. Ok, so I'm a brainless chick, but does this jive with what the other garage said (that I had probably cracked a head gasket)and should I fix the radiator, get a new engine what?? pretty soon I'm just going to start taking the bus!!!
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    A leak in the radiator will make the car overheat when the coolant level gets too low. If the radiator was filled by you or the dealer, then they might not get it to overheat right away.

    New radiator is in order.
    New muffler - ok, they go bad.

    Hopefully these two repairs will get you up and running again.

    Headgasket- Maybe will need a new one due to an overheated condition?? You won't really know till the radiator is fixed.

    good luck
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    I haven't seen to many Sentra's with head gasket trouble even with high mileage... Bob5 is right your radiator could be causing your over heating problem a over heating radiator has some similar characteristics as a blown head gasket.

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • hayes_ehayes_e Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 nissan sentra with 116,000 miles
    and it runs better than the day I bought it.
    I think I have finally broken it in. I have had the brakes done twice and have new tires, and two tune-up's 60,000 and 100,000 miles. Other than that 3000 mile oil changes she runs great. No transmission problems. I drive to work 75 mph and
    still have high end to pass people. I like the way
    it handles and Im 6 feet tall my 6 foot 4 inch
    brother can fit benind me without touching.200,000 miles here I come.
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    Glad you have had such success with your Sentra. This topic is really about Sentra repairs and maintenance problem's though. Did you have anything you wanted to say about that?

    Your host, Bruce
  • akebonoakebono Posts: 3
    hey everyone, i just bought a brand new 2000 sentra se, and i have to say that it's a great ride. this is the first car i have ever "owned" i have driven for years, but it's always been my parent's car that i borrowed. anyhow, every once in a while i get the blinking seatbelt cursor for some reason, even though i have my seat belt on. it will flash for a while and sometimes just shut off, and sometimes comes back on. can i just take this to any dealership and have them fix it? will it be free? the car only has 500 miles on it. is there some kind of button i can hit to "reset" the electronics?? (sorry that may seem like a lame question, but i'm so used to computer talk, i have no idea about cars) thanks for your help in advanced.

  • akebono,

    I wouldn't try fixing it yourself -- the repair will be covered under warranty with no out-of-pocket cost to you, so you may as well take advantage of it.

    Enjoy your awesome ride.
  • reneem1reneem1 Posts: 1
    My mother has a '92 Sentra and every other time she drives it, the cars just cuts off when she makes turns or even sometimes when she slows down. It happend mainly on turns however. A friend told her that he had that problem with his Lincoln and it was the modulator. My mother recalls someone else mentioning something in the steering wheel. Have you heard of this before?
  • I have a 85 Sentra that I use as a commuter car. It has 161k and has been a great car with very low maintenance. However, it has developed an annoying habit of just cutting out after about a half hour of driving. The tach bounces once and goes to zero. It will restart and run again after about 20 minutes. The fuel pump seems to be working fine and I installed a new fuel filter and added gas treatment to the tank. In the past 6 months it also has had a general tune up (plugs, wires, etc.). I am wondering if it may be some type of relay or electrical problem causing the trouble. HELP!!! I don't want to give it up!! Has anyone had any similar experiences or suggestions?
  • I had the same problem with my 94 Sentra cutting off when I slowed down to stop or turn corners. The idle speed was adjusted and it has only done it once in the last month or so (it cut off at least 2-3 X's a day before). I know I should have used a tachometer to adjust the idle speed but I was desperate and made the adjustment by listening to the engine idle after I pressed the accelerator (ok my boyfriend did it but it's just a screw close to the PCV). The idle speed was one of the things listed in the manual to check for this symptom.
    I have another problem with my AC shutting off. If I jiggle the handle it kicks back on. I'm thinking it's a mechanical thing - maybe a loose handle. Any thoughts on this?
  • dhlee34dhlee34 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2001 Sentra XE here in Alberta. Great car. The problem is with my 87 Sentra. Starts and runs great first thing in the day. After running for about 15 minutes, when it is warmed up, it starts to miss and run terrible and I do mean absolutely terrible. No acceleration, very rough idle. I have replaced everything that you would do for a general tune up. Plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and fuel filter. It was an early model 87 and is carburated, not fuel injected. The car cools down and it runs great again. It has 332,000 km (live in Canada). It is still a great commuter car, but burns oil. I also checked compression and 1,2 and 4 cylinders were all between 140 and 150 in compression. Cylinder 3 was coming in at 170 (strange). I pulled plugs after it started to miss and plug #3 was wet. This has got me baffled, any help out there?
  • Can anyone help me on this? I have my Nissan since 93 and after it passed 100,000 miles the alternator starts to go bad. Now, my odometer has 220,000 miles and I already replaced three alternators. Every 30,000 miles will cost me a new alternator. I found out the location for the alternator is so close to the exhaust manifold. They are only 1/2" away from each other. It might be the heat "cook" the electronic components inside the alternator. Am I right or wrong?
  • I have a 1998 Nissan Sentra with under 30,000 miles and my compressor for the air conditioner had to be replaced for the second time. The air conditioner worked fine and then all of a sudden it began blowing warm air. I understand having the compressor replaced once, but twice is odd.
    Does anyone else have this problem?
  • I have a 1990 Sentra XE with about 160,000 miles on it. Recently, it started blowing a 10 amp fuse controlling the fuel gauge, temp gauge, blinkers, and backup lights. I took it to a Nissan dealer for repair but they could not make it short for them. I almost made it home on the new fuse before it blew too. I've been poring over the Haynes manual, but I can't find anything. Any ideas out there? I'm not ready to part with the car.
  • jjm9354jjm9354 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my '91 with the dome light/auto. seat belt/clock/radio circuit. It only blows once in a while - I can't reproduce it on demand. I removed the dome light and it hasn't blown since. Maybe try disconnecting each component one by one and see if the problem goes away. Maybe that will help narrow it down.
  • rayp8893rayp8893 Posts: 11
    I have a 2000 SE with about 1000 miles on it. I took it on a trip recently and the A/C froze up and stopped working altogether. The fan was on low and I had been driving for about 3 hours into a 6 hour trip. The air coming out of the dash gradually got warmer and warmer. At a rest stop I checked under the hood. There was actually ice buildup on the A/C lines. The A/C never really came back for the duration of that trip, but it worked OK the next day.

    The A/C has worked OK since then, but I'm
    wondering if this is going to be a regular
    occurrence on long trips. Has anyone else
    experienced this problem.
  • Hi,

    I recently bought a used 1991 sentra (auto) that has done 110000 miles. When I stop at a red light, after about half a minute, the car starts to shudder. It is almost like the engine is about to stall. This also happens when I am in reverse gear for a long time.
    Suspecting an idling problem, the mechanic I went to, increased the idling a little..but the problem still persists. This happens a lot if the AC is on.

    any clue...
  • I also have a 1993 Nissan Sentra XE with
    a bad alternator. I've replaced this
    twice and am now looking to put in a third.
    As with Post #30, most of this started after
    100,000 miles, and has been at the rate
    of an alternator a year. I have the Limited
    Ed. model made in Tenn., and am at 172,000 miles
    and at the point where I've needed a new starter, need a new water pump, new alternator, belts, hoses, etc.

    I'm told you take a gamble with rebuilt alternators, so I'm wondering--is the issue
    that most of the rebuilts just aren't really
    all that reliable, or is it that there is something else going on here that's killing
    the alternator. And is the water pump maybe
    part of the issue here?

    Although I love the new Nissan Sentras, right now,
    even despite the high labor costs, my best option seems to be to repair this car, and if another
    alternator only takes me another year, I guess
    I can live with that.

    I'm just wondering though if the alternator issue
    on the 93s is something common or what, and
    will I regret making these repairs.

    I'm also wondering if the rebuilt alternators
    are so unreliable, why doesn't there seem to
    be an option of purchasing a new one? Seems
    like a new one would cost lest over time
    than three rebuilts, or am I way off base?

    Up to now, my repairs have been basic maintenaince issues--tune ups, etc., regular
    oil changes, two C/V joints replaced, battery (1),
    tires, so my only real complaint is that
    the nature of the beast is repairs seem
    to be high because parts are expensive but
    even more so the labor is intensive.

  • Monday morning my car started making this terrible rattling noise that made it sound like a diesel truck. I took it to the shop and the worker informed me that it was my timing chain and referred me to someone who was qualified to repair it.

    I made my trip to that mechanics shop and after discussing with him my problem he printed up a "estimate" of what it would cost me. After picking my chin up off the floor after seeing this $800+ projected repair bill I drove home almost in tears thinking "What should I do?". After getting some other quotes and finding a good mechanic who would do it for $500-$600 I began to wonder, "Is this just a sign of what's in store to come?"

    My Nissan Sentra is a 1994, and has only 66K miles on it, I bought it new. I've had the regular up keep fees, but have also had to get my alternator fixed for the 4th time.

    My question is, is the timing chain problem just going to chain react other major problems? Should I be having this problem with the low mileage it has? Also, why in the world am I having to replace the alternator so often?

  • i have had this problem with my friend's car. i install the CD player on his car and apparently forgot to tape the ends of two wires with electrical tape and that short-circuited the instrument panel fuse. if u have install anything that deals with wiring, then maybe that's the problem. I.E fog lights, steoro, alarm, etc.

    p.s getting 2001 Sentra SE this coming monday! woohoo
  • The Nissan Sentra has a known air conditioning problem. I just got (bought but it's sitting at the
    dealer) a 2000 Sentra GXE. The first time I drove it more than an hour the air conditioning went
    out. This has been more than three weeks with no attempt to fix it. The dealer is waiting on Nissan
    engineering for a fix.

    I am totally discussed with Nissan. The dealer doesn't call me back and Nissan 800 Customer
    Service doesn't tell me any thing I haven't told them. Except that no they will not postpone my

  • I got my car in May'2000, its got about 2300 miles
    on it. The car runs great so far except for the past couple of days, the car whistles/wheezes everytime I speed over 65 mph. It makes a peculiar
    whistling sound everytime I speed. At first it
    was making that sound when I went over 80 mph
    then I was able to duplicate the sound at 70 mph
    then finally at 65 mph. Has anyone had this kind
    of experince b4?. By the way, I have the blinking
    seatbelt cursor problem in my Nissan too. Which after readint this message list I discovered one of the readers has this problem too.
  • My 240SX recently developed a loud knock in the engine on startup. The mechanic said it was the timing chain guide. I called every Nissan dealer service center in Central Texas and without seeing the car, the factory mechanic knew exactly that the guide was broken. Estimated cost to repair about $1400. I called every foreign car mechanic in Austin. They knew exactly what was wrong because this is a KNOWN FACTORY DEFECT. I called Nissan USA. They told me they knew nothing about this defect. I don't believe them. Any one else have this problem?
  • I bought a GXE in May and I also hear some sound at high speed. I never worried about it but maybe I should.
    There are a few other problems/concerns, though:
    1. After driving for about half an hour or so, I hear a faint buzzing sound after the engine is turned off. The intensity and tone changes and it seems to go on for several minutes. When I take the fuel cap off, it goes away. So I'm suspecting the fuel pump.
    The service dept could not duplicate the problem.
    Is it normal for the fuel pump to keep going after the engine is shut off, or could this be from something else?
    2. The inside of the windows seem to fog up more than other cars in a rainy day even with the fresh air intake open and the fan blasting. I have to turn the control nob to defrost position even when the outside temperature is 80F or so.
    3. The cruise stopped working a month ago. When I "activate" the cruise, the transmission(auto) actually down shifts resulting the car to slow down much faster than when you are simply coasting without cruise in D4.
  • I purchased my 2000 Sentra GXE in July and have also heard the noises - whirling and whistles at 65-80 mph. I'm going to have this checked; seems to me this is not normal. I also read the air conditioning reports; now I'm going to be worried about the air cutting out.
    Having a problem with the driver side mirror; cars approaching seem as if they are too close and will side-swipe my car. I'm having the mirror changed. Has anyone else had this problem with the mirror???????
  • Have they checked the IAC Valve??? Idle Air Control Valve.. This can cause your vehicle to stall..

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • I'm thinking about buying my mother-in-law's 1990 sentra but when I start the engine there's a loud and fast ticking noise, and I can't figure out where It's coming from....after the engine runs for a few minutes the ticking disappears and comes back only when you rev it. Could this be a major repair job? someone told her that it could be the timing chain.
  • test
  • test
  • wazuuuuuuuuuuuuup?
  • I purchased my 2000 Nissan Sentra GXE June 30, 2000 and before I drove off the lot, the check engine light was on (only 58 miles on car). I took it back to the service department and they couldn't figure out why the light was coming on and reset the light. When I drove off the lot for the first time, and a mile down the road, the check engine light came back on, I didn't know what to think. I didn't have time to take it back to the service and sit for another 2 hours so I called and said I could get it checked out soon, but no need to hurry. I actually drove it for about 200 miles and then the check engine light went out. I thought that everything was ok and that the computer reset itself or something. On Aug. 19, I drive to the store with no problems and I had 1/4 tank of gas. I came out and the car kept stalling, check engine light came back on, and the rest of the idiot lights came on and now showed empty. I just kept re-starting the car so I could get to the gas station that was on the other side of the highway. I put about $10 worth of gas in and it wouldn't take any more. When I started the car, it was still running real rough and stalling and the gas gage showed empty. I knew something serious was going on. I kept starting it and driving it home (about 2 miles away) and it stalled a few times. Monday morning, I called Nissan to tow it in for service (Aug. 21). They didn't get to check out the vehicle until Aug. 23 and it was pulling 4 codes, some of which involved the fuel pump. The tech. called Nissan to find out what the problem was and Nissan advised that the car needed a new fuel pump, some other parts and a NEW BRAIN. Yes, I said A NEW BRAIN. The car only has 890 miles and needs a new brain. Fortunately, Nissan put me in a rental car while waiting for parts to come in. AS of Oct. 2, they have had my car for 49 days and they are still waiting on parts from Nissan (and have no idea when they will). They are trying to get authorization to take the brain out of another new 2000 Sentra sitting on the lot, but they are having trouble finding a brain that will work properly in my car. What am I supposed to do now? Does this fall under the Lemmon Law because they have had my car for so long? Someone tell me what I should do please!!!
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    That is a terrible story.

    Here are some Lemon Law resources:

    Lemon Law Information and Sites
    Lemon Law America
    Lemon Law Summaries

    There are a couple of active topics on Lemon Laws in our FWI conference - if you want to join in, you can use the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page for lemon - check the "last post" date to find the active ones.

    Good luck, I hope you can get this resolved for the best.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
This discussion has been closed.