Last post on May 06, 2013 at 12:49 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima
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Nissan Altima, Sedan
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#845 of 2702 Engine gone
Dec 03, 2004 (2:46 pm)
Have 1997 Nissan Altima. It did not start a couple of times, and once while driving, all the lights came on, the engine slowed down, and the steering froze. Being a woman and driving kids to school, I got concerned, and took it to be checked out. Rather than taking it to the dealer, took it to Goodyear Service.
First, they said I needed a new distributor cap,coil, ignition coil, spark plugs, etc. Cost was $900. Now after installing all these, they tell me that the engine valves are gone, and they could not find that out earlier since there was no spark.
Their explanation is that the distributor was burnt, filled with oil, and that got the valves hot, and burnt two out, while the other two have low compression. Bottom line, they are now telling me that I need a new engine, and getting a new head will end up blowing the old engine.
Is this baloney? Am I being taken for a ride? Am I better off getting a new car? This one has $137K miles on it, and has run great till now. Estimates for a rebuilt engine is $2500 - $3500.
#846 of 2702 Re: Engine gone [tdavis1]
Dec 03, 2004 (8:53 pm)
Time to take it somewhere for a second opinion... I find it hard to believe the engine is worn out after 137,000 miles, as long as it got serviced every 7500 or so...
#847 of 2702 Nissan Altima 98 - Problems
Dec 04, 2004 (10:18 am)
I have a Nissan Altima 1998 with about 58000 miles.
I had an oil change done at a dealership in March 2004 and the car was running fine. However from June 28th through August 28th, I did not drive the car. When I started the car then, the oil light was on. The engine was also making a knocking noise. I took the car to a different dealership than the one that I got the oil change done earlier. They did a oil change, told me that I had very less oil and the person who did the previous oil change did not crush a oil plug when doing the oil change which led to a oil leak. Once I started driving the car after the oil change, I noticed the car had no power and I needed to accelerate a lot. I took the car back to the second dealer and they did diagnostic tests on the car and told me that the engine had internal damage (because of the oil leak) and had low compression and that the engine would need to be replaced ($ 2450). I took the car to the dealer that did the oil change in March and looked at the car and told me that the engine is fine but I have a timing problem. They said that they made a temporary fix by realigning the distributor but would need to remove the timing cover to figure what really was wrong. The cost of removing the timing cover would be $ 650 and then they could figure out what the problem is.
I guess I do not know which dealer to trust since both are giving conflicting opinions about the problem. I called Nissan Consumer Affairs and they could not help me much.
I would appreciate it if anyone could provide me with some input on this.
Dec 04, 2004 (6:12 pm)
Both of you need to find a reputable private mechanic. Many dealers are nortorius for rip-offs. Many years ago I took a car to the dealer for a poor running problem. They said 3 different parts were bad per the computer diagnostic and would cost about $200.00 each. Said that may still not fix the problem. I said no and took the car to a private mechanic I had used a few times before. In 30 minutes and no computer, he had the problem fixed. $85.00, and it wasn't any of the parts the dealer wanted to replace. He is now my permanent mechanic. You'll need to talk to friends and co-workers to get a good recommendation for a mechanic. Also, if your area has an AM Radio auto talk show, you might get direction through them. I have a 94 Altima, 129,000 miles and only 3 very minor repairs. No leaks of any kind and no loss of oil between changes. $3500 for a new engine may be worth it on the Altima, but I would not have a dealer do it. They're very reliable cars and if you bought a used car for even 5,000 it may have many other repair problems. If money is not a big issue and you want continued reliability, you may want to buy a new car or a used one under 40K miles.
Best of Luck
#849 of 2702 Re: Nissan Altima 98 - Problems [sdl5762]
Dec 04, 2004 (6:44 pm)
Get a third opinion. If the engine is damaged due to lack of oil, it was caused by the bad oil change at the first dealer, and they should pick up the tab.
#850 of 2702 Re: Engine gone [corvette]
Dec 05, 2004 (6:16 pm)
Thanks! That is what I am going to do. With my husband on an overseas assignment, I am clueless. The car has been maintained well - oil change every 5K miles, and maintenance every 30K miles, etc. It is hard to believe that the engine is dead, since it was running so well all this time.
#851 of 2702 Re: Power to 12V Supply after car is turned off [mgoblue]
Dec 06, 2004 (3:16 pm)
I cannot believe that no one out there has this same problem. Did I describe the problem wrong? Is it that there is no fix? I expected some comiseration at least
#852 of 2702 Re: Power to 12V Supply after car is turned off [mgoblue]
Dec 06, 2004 (5:09 pm)
None that I am aware of. You could wire the socket directly to the battery, being sure to include a fuse, but I wouldn't recommend it. In my experience, the retained 12v power tends to be a "feature" of American and German brand cars, but it's switched on the Japanese ones (with a few exceptions). There are good reasons for doing it each way...
#853 of 2702 Re: Whistling Noise [paigekat]
Dec 08, 2004 (3:45 pm)
I had the same problem with my 2000 Altima about 2-3 years ago. The 2 drive belts were replaced and I haven't heard anymore squealing.
#854 of 2702 Don't use Deland Nissan or BILL RAY Nissan in Central FL for service!
Dec 10, 2004 (10:50 pm)
I know this is the buying experience forum, but this has to be made known. I bought a pristine 2002 satin white Altima 3 weeks ago. I live in Daytona, but I don't trust Daytona Nissan since they pull every dirty trick in the book. (Like taking floor mats out of all pre-owned cars so they can charge you for them or telling me my wheel vibration is a feature of having the 2.5 engine) Less than 2 weeks after purchase, my car was backed into in the parking garage at work. The man was nice enough to leave his card on my windshield, and after the estimates showed $900 worth of damage, he claimed it on his insurance. Anyway, went to Deland Nissan and visited one of the service reps. Told him I did not trust Daytona to service my car or fix the body damage, he immediately tells me he will write the estimate over the true amount so I can pocket some money!?!? Soooo, on I go to Bill Ray Nissan. Looked here on Edmunds.com, BBB web site and a few others and didn't find any bad feedback. I take my car in Wed morning. The body shop Mgr. tells me he'll get the rental car all set up. Well, I end up waiting a half hour at Enterprise because he fails to do so. When I approach him about it, he laughs... No apology, sorry sir, nothing. Well I'm already getting that "this is gonna be a hassle feeling." I also requested to have two recalls, two service bulletins and a road force balance done while the car was in the body shop. (Bumper and left rear quarter panel had minor damage and need to be repainted) I called Thursday morning at 7:40 Am to talk to body mgr about an invoice for the tail lamp replacement that I had already paid for. The receptionist took a message and said he'd call me. At noon, I still had not been contacted. I then called the body mgr and asked him about the invoice, he told me the car was ready. Now let's keep in mind the satin white is a three sage paint that supposedly takes 2 days to paint and cure. Feeling suspicious, I pay a surprise visit to inspect the car around 1 PM that same day. Well, not surprisingly, the paint job is a joke. They didn't fix the damage, just painted over it. Not only that, but there are lumps in the paint and blue threads of lint in the clear coat. I haul the body mgr out to show him and again, no apology, just an okay, we'll fix that. I called the insurance company and let them know what was going on, just in case Bill Ray submitted to them for payment. Now we go to Friday. I call service dept at 7:50 to find out results of tire balance. Again leave message with girl, again no call by noon. I call back, get the service guy, and he says he never got the message. (Do we see a trend here?)He tells me all recalls, service bulletins and balance is complete, and that they road tested the car. (Remember the road test part as it comes in play later) Service transfers me to body mgr and he says car will be ready by 3 PM that day. Now when do you suppose he was going to call me?? 2:59 PM? It's already noon! Well I arrive at 3PM expecting trouble and I'm not to be disappointed. The damage has been fixed, but the lumps and lint are still in the paint! I call the body mgr out to show him, and he swears the can sand it and buff it. Now I'm not a painter, but since when do you sand down to the metal or plastic base and buff something? The dirt is covered by paint and the blue lint is in the clear coat! Anyway, he brings his paint guy out to look, a man that apparently just crawled out of a hole in the ground! I say hello to the painter and he says nothing back. I say hello again and he still does not mutter so much as a grunt. He asks "what’s the problem," and I start pointing out all the lumps in the paint. I get to the fifth lump and he says, "YOU DON'T HAVE TO COUNT HIGHER THAN FIVE, THE THING NEEDS TO BE REPAINTED," and walks away. I ask him, were you talking to me? but he just keeps walking. The body mgr is next to me so I ask him, "was he talking to me?" The body mgr says he thinks he was talking to him. Oddly, I was doing the counting, not the body mgr. Body mgr tells me they can sand out the bumps, but will have to repaint due to the various lint pieces in the clear. Well I call the insurance co back and they tell me to take the car, and they'll have a rep meet me next week to look at the paint job. I drove to the front of the store and went to find the service mgr, who is over the body mgr. I catch him in the service advisor bay, walk up and introduce myself, shake his hand and ask him if he has a moment as I need to talk to him. He says yes, and proceeds to stand there looking at me. No, come inside, let's step into my office, nothing. I get another stone face. (I sell consulting services and have for years. If I acted like these people, I'd be homeless by now!) Sooooo, I suggest we take it inside and what do you know, we go to his office. I tell him this whole story and he is not rude, but appears rather unconcerned about the whole event. I have still not received ONE APOLOGY from anyone at this dealership, INCLUDING the service manager. Regarding the painters antics, He tells me that "that's why they keep those guys in the back." Service mgr looks at bumper, and tells me it can ALL be sanded out. Now this is a direct contradiction to the body mgr’s statement. When I tell him he's contradicting the body mgr, he is unfazed. He takes my number and tells they'll get in touch with me next week to have it back in for repainting. I get in the car, pull out of the drive and do a u-turn to head home. I took the car in with a 1/4 tank of gas, but now I have about a 1/8 left. I think it's odd, then I look at the trip meter that was reset do to one of the recalls obviously needing the battery to be disconnected when I notice the car has been driven 50 MILES!! Now that's one heck of a test drive!! Bottom lines, these people lie, have the worst customer service, are unapologetic and had two opportunities to paint my car right and failed. Top it off with the 50 mile joy ride and I'm NEVER going back, will post this here and cc the owner of the dealership, tell all of my clients, and inform the BBB and State Farm Insurance, which claims this as an "Authorized State Farm Repair Facility." I hope this helps all those here in Central FL.