Last post on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:15 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Altima, Engine, Sedan
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#172 of 685 Re: THREAD FOR ACTION! Nissan Altima 2002 oil burning/engine failure [isileli]
Jan 24, 2008 (8:07 am)
I would like to keep my 3 Nissans also, but do we take the chance? Look at the recalls on the 2006 motors. These are the same one used in the 2002-3-4-5-6. What can you expect? I chose to repair the 2002 that was down, I had to.I am looking for a Toyota or Honda to replace it. The other 2 Nissans will be gone before fall. And I have purchased Nissan most of my life, from the days of the Datsun (300,000 miles) and I sold it. But never again. This family will be going to a more reliable auto.
#174 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [czander]
Jan 25, 2008 (10:03 am)
I have a 2002 Altima S as well. I have had unexplained oil consumption and was told that I needed the valve cover gasket replaced. I did that. Then my Piston # 3 was misfiring. I had my #3 coilpack and plugs replaced. Piston #3 kept misfiring. Was told by another mechanic that I should have had a Nissan coil pack and platinum plugs put in. I did that. Piston #3 still misfiring. Was told that the piston is fine, no scoring, no water coming through. Compression is fine. had the ECM re-programmed and then got a surge problem. Had Nissan re-program the idle. So far, surge problem gone but not the misfiring. No one can seem to find the problem! The Nissan dealership won't even look at my car, ever since I told them the probs. they just say to get a new engine! I used to love this car, but not anymore. I will NEVER buy another Nissan again.
#175 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [laura19]
Jan 25, 2008 (6:31 pm)
I'd go to another dealership. I doubt there is anything major wrong, and you certainly don't need a new engine. To the best of my knowledge, a misfire means the piston is in the wrong place when the plug fires. usually its a sensor or something that cause that. It can, however, be quite a pain and quite time consuming to track down. It sounds as if the dealership your dealing with simply doesn't want to take the time.
You say its an 02, which would make it just barely 6 yrs old. Is it still under warranty? even if you bought it used, most of the extended warranties transfer to the next owner.
anyhow, find yourself a good mechanic who knows how to properly diagnose a car.
#176 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [jd10013]
Jan 26, 2008 (8:16 am)
Thanks for the input jd1003. My car is no longer under warranty. I have been looking for different mechanics and found this particular one who, I guess, I want to stay with since he seems up-front and honest, but cannot seem to fix the prob. The other 4 mechanics I went to could not fix the prob either. I have high mileage on the car (116K), bought it at 39K and have taken very good care of it. I thought Nissans were supposed to give longevity. BUT, not this make/model. Could this simply be either sensor or electrical? That's kind of what I think (and have been all along), but who am I - not a mechanic! My hands are tied here... Has anyone else had this same prob? Help!!!
#177 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [laura19]
Jan 26, 2008 (2:25 pm)
nissans usually do last a long time, but you never know with any car. I knew somebody who had the exact same problem with a chevy blazer or something. they eventually got it to go away, but it took forever, and they don't know what did it because they replaced a lot of stuff.
my advice would be to take it to a garage that specialized in foreign cars, or another nissan dealership. It's most likely something in the electrical system, and electrical problems are a pain in the arse to track down.
#178 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [jd10013]
Jan 27, 2008 (7:13 am)
Thanks jd. It's so frustrating. The current mechanic I am using is supposed to be a foreign specialist. Imagine? Yeah, I'm hoping that's it's only mechanical. The funny thing is that every time a mechanic "fixes" the prob (or so they think) it runs absolutely great and then I get my hands on it and it craps out. I've recently named my car "Christine". Starting to creep me out! LOL (just have to have some humor here - going nuts!)
#179 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [laura19]
Jan 27, 2008 (9:59 am)
Being able to properly diagnose a problem is what separates a good mechanic from the rest. Any mechanic can fix something on a car. but, only the good ones can track the problem down and find out what it is..
#180 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [jd10013]
Jan 27, 2008 (4:09 pm)
So true.... I actually meant to say in my last posting that I hope it's electrical (not mechanical) LOL I guess I haven't found that "good" mechanic yet. Looking in the South Shore, MA area. Can anyone recommed a good mechanic?
#181 of 685 Re: 2002 Altima with "THE" oil problem [laura19]
Jan 27, 2008 (9:10 pm)
I have read your original messege #174 and all the following messeges to date, 175 through 180. I have not checked in here for a couple of days. I am a semi-retired mechanic, and I just just did major rebuild work on one of these same 2002 Altima 2.5L 4 cylinder inline engines in December 2007, my daughters car with 100,903 miles on it. It had all the typical problems that we are seeing in some of these cars today, such as problems with the catalytic converter failing and/or plugging, begining to use more oil problem and leaking head gasket problem. I fixed all those problems and now her car is running perfect every day. I am familiar with this engine and all the sensors. Looking at the original information and the following comments, I see a lot of holes and/or gaps in the information about your car. The reason that the several mechanics have not been able to fix your car is because something is being overlooked. We need to go back to the basics and start from the begining and work our way through the problem to find the solution. I will be able to help you by steering you in the right direction if you can just give me the correct information that I need, and fill in the blanks or gaps. The better information that you can give me, the better I can help you.
First, you need to be familiar with what is going on with this engine, the problems that are showing up and why the problems are happening. It may sound far feched, but your engines problems are likely related to these problems that have been discussed on this forum so far. If you have not done so, please read all the messeges in this forum, or at least messege #75 on to this one.
Here are a few questions to get started. Please gather up all the information that you can and reply back with your answers. I'll check back in a couple of days.
1. What were your original complaints that led you to think anything was wrong with your car? Having to add oil frequently? Engine misfiring or running bad? Subsequent compaints or anything else? Is the current milage about 116,000 miles?
2. You stated that "I have had unexplained oil consumption". But no further comment has been made about that. Since the oil consumption is "unexplained", I would assume that there is not an oil leak anywhere on the engine after the valve cover gasket was replaced. How much engine oil is the engine losing in 1000 miles? How often do you check the engine oil level? How often are you having to add engine oil, and how much? If you don't know exactly, try to give an estimate.
3. Then you brought up the problem of misfiring on cylinder #3. Was misfiring an original complaint? How was the misfiring determined to be on cylinder #3? Did the technician read the DTC's (Diagnositic Trouble Codes) with a Scanner? Find out what codes were scanned and please report them here. Tell me all you can about this misfire. Does it happen all the time or just some of the time? Does it miss when you first start the engine after it has been sitting for a long while or over night? Does the miss go away after you drive it a short distance?
4. Have you had a noticable loss of power from the engine, and if so, did it seem to ocurr suddenly or over a period of time? Have you had any known problems yet with the Pre-Catalyic Converter or the Catalytic Converter, or had any trouble codes pertaining to them?
5. You were also told "no water coming through". I would assume that is referring to any coolant leaking inside the engine. Has the engine ever run hot? Have you had any instance where the engine got hot because a hose blew or the radiator blew? Where does your temperature gauge normally register with normal driving down the road (Normal is in about the middle of the temperature gauge). Does the temperature gauge vary very much once it is warmed up? Does it read at about the same when sitting at a light with the motor idleing? Check the coolant tank reservior tank level often when the engine is cold. Does the level of coolant in the coolant tank reservior stay the same level, or does it go low. Do you have to add any coolant to the coolant reservior? It is normal for the coolant level to be lower when the engine is cold and higher when the engine is at operating temperature.
Your mechanic should have a handheld scanner that is capable of monitor mode, being able to see and read the functions that the computer monitors, such as coolant temperature, ignition timing, intake air temperature, intake air volume, fuel trims, oxygen sensors, etc. He can have this connected to the car and observe these things while the car is stationary or while driving the car. With the car stationary and engine idleing, the coolant temperture should rise up to about 200 to 203 degrees, then both the electric fans behind the radiator should come on, then the temperature should drop down to about 188 degrees and then the fans turn off. This cycle continues, but when moving down the road, the fans may not need to come on because of the wind blowing through the radiator.
6. You said "Was told that the piston is fine, no scoring, no water coming through. Compression is fine". How were these things determined? If the compression was tested on the cylinders, it is important to know what those are. My daugthers 2002 Altima 2.5 had 190 pounds of compression in each cylinder, which is very good. This indicated that the pistion rings were good and holding compression well. Also good is the fact that the compressions on all 4 cylinders was the same. The maximum compression variation between cylinders is 20%, which in this case would be about 38 pounds, so the acceptable range of compressions should be about 152 to 190, the closer the better. Howerver, compressions alone are not the sole indicator of engine condition, all factors must be considered together to arrive at the proper conclusion. In the case of my daughters Altima, even though the compressions were good, the head gasket was still bad, because it had a very small leak in the head gasket that allowed coolant to flow into one cylinder when the engine was shut off. When it was restarted from a cold start, the coolant in the cylinder caused that cylinder to miss for about a minute until the spark plug dried off and started firing, then it ran fine. The problem was found because the coolant reservior ran low and combustion gas was found in the radiator.
7. Referring to the scoring, how was it determined that there was no scoring. The only sure way to tell is by taking the engine apart, removing the cylinder head and examining the cylinders. Other that that, it may have been assumed that the pistons were ok and that there was no scoring due to good compression readings.
Continued on next messege