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
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
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#261 of 685 How do you avoid this?
Apr 25, 2008 (5:46 am)
I have patiently read the previous 260 posts as well as other posts on the internet in various forums and suffice it to say, it can be very depressing owning one of these cars. I only found these threads after my own daughter experienced an issue with her car that was exhaust related. She purchased her 2002 Altima back in March of 2008 with 112,000 miles on it. She researched the model here on the internet and never came across these issues, only when I added 'exhaust' to the search did this problem show up.
So why did I find this group? A week or so ago, her car started making an unusual sound that was definitely exhaust related. It was only noticeable when accelerating from first gear, was not present in idle or reverse and didn't seem to be present in second or other gears (unless you had to pass someone and jumped on the accelerator). This sound could be duplicated by putting the car in first, standing on the brakes and accelerating, sounding like a 'whooshing' or muffled sound. Standing behind the car, you couldn't feel a lot of exhaust coming out the tailpipe and in fact, one of the tailpipes seemed to have no airflow or negative airflow. We diagnosed it as a plugged muffler with back pressure coming out at the manifold.
We replaced the muffler and the problem was still present and in fact now, it seemed that one of the two tailpipes actually had suction instead of exhaust. This is when we discovered these threads as I was looking for suggestions and help. I showed these to my daughter (a college student using this car for transportation to and from college) and told her to take it to Nissan the next morning on her way to school. We printed out all of the posts and information about the safety recalls, etc and she was at least armed with information.
Since she purchased the car in March, she really didn't know the history of the car so this was a good time to pull it up at Nissan. They showed her the recall procedure for the manifold/cat/exhaust had been performed at 28,000 miles. They charged her for a diagnostic procedure and determined that she had scraped the bottom of her car, enough so that the bracket that holds the exhaust pipe in place between the 2 cats was severely bent. They indicated that the noise she was hearing was coming from the junction at the bottom of the exhaust connection where it makes the bend to the back of the car as this had separated a little because of the scraping of the bottom of the car.
They managed to get this back together, but there was still a noise, although not as bad. She insisted they check out the pre-cat and they agreed. They pulled it off and found it in good condition and putting it back together replaced the seal bearing. They cranked it up and the noise was now gone. Evidently the seal bearing was dislodged or something in her incident.
The good thing about this was that I wanted to make sure that her car wasn't about to self destruct and wanted to catch it early if it was and Nissan confirmed that it was fine. I personally recommended that she consider a Nissan since we own a 1995 Maxima with 225,000 miles on it, and while showing some age, it is a very reliable/dependable car. It doesn't get serviced as often as it should, but the oil looks almost new when changed even after 5000 miles, so our experience with Nissan had always been a good one. Over the years, I haven't had to replace much on the Maxima other than normal wear and tear, of course, when you had to fix something (like an alternator), it was always more expensive than domestic cars.
Sorry for the long post, but after reading them all and others on the net, while this appears to be a problem for some, no one seems to know if it's a problem for all or how many cars are really affected. Yes, we don't want it to be ours, but if 5% are affected, what do you do to insure that yours isn't one of those 5% if you choose to keep this car? Is this a matter of 'not if but when'? Is this inevitable? Nissan doesn't seem to think so as even their own writeup indicates 'under certain conditions'.
They stated to my daughter yesterday that the recall that is mentioned in here doesn't replace the pre-cat and if you read what they will do, it states they inspect it, replace oil filter among other things. They are basically looking to see if the pre-cat is an issue or not. Even though her recall procedure was done at 28k, it's now been done again at 116k.
So, is there anything anyone can do to make sure their car isn't one of the ones that ends up getting complained about on here? ED, I read your posts and I swear, I thought I was writing them for a moment as the similarities were scary to a point. Is this a matter of putting on your calendar to periodically check the pre-cat and if so, how often? Is there some indication that a problem is occurring before it's too late? It seems to me that once it starts using oil (a noticeable sign), it's too late. It would be nice to know what the signs are that it's going bad before it actually kills the engine.
#262 of 685 Re: 2003 Altima Oil Consumption Nightmare! [jd10013]
Apr 25, 2008 (6:28 am)
I Have a 2002 Altima, After taking it to have the pre cat changed at the tune of $700 the car was runing like it should. Well thats before I checked the oil.. It ended up using one quart every 500 miles.. I took it to the dealer and they said there was no recall on the pre cat or oil consumption.. Both these problems occured within a month of each other.. They also told me the engines usually only last from 150,000-175,000 miles.. I found that hard to believe.. I had a Toyota pick up which I sold running with 294,000 miles.. Dont know what to do about Nissan, They fail to acknoledge there is a problem.. Any help would be greatfull
#263 of 685 Re: How do you avoid this? [lnesomdove]
Apr 25, 2008 (4:35 pm)
what do you do to insure that yours isn't one of those 5% if you choose to keep this car? I
the sure fire, 100% guaranteed solution is to remove, or hollow out the pre-cat. there is a second cat farther down the exhaust, so you'll pass any emission test.
#264 of 685 Update: Lemon = new Altima
Apr 26, 2008 (7:00 pm)
Just an update:
I just picked up my new 08 White Frost/blond leather Altima for my that I had only for 2 months! Documentation is a wonderful thing. NissanUSA offered the new car at no charge, so I took them up on it!
I hope that the problems that occurred with the little Precision Grey one were isolated and a freak of nature.
Hopefully and prayfully this one will perform as it should......
Thanks for those who posted responses...that means a lot to this newbie. This is a great site...keep up the great work!
#265 of 685 Re: How do you avoid this? [lnesomdove]
Apr 27, 2008 (7:58 am)
"what do you do to insure that yours isn't one of those 5% if you choose to keep this car? "
First, you have to be sure that the engine is not too far damaged, and using too much oil. Once it is using more than a quart per 1000 miles, it is probably too late. My daughters 2002 Altima was using about 1 quart in 1500 miles when I worked on it in Decenber 2007. The first Cat blew itself clean and the second Cat was plugged up. Now it is running fine with both Cats hollowed out and a new head gasket. I estimate that it is now using 1 quart of oil in about 2500 to 3000 miles. We don't have an emmisions inspection here in Florida, so we can run it that way. To keep the "Sevice Engine Soon" light from staying on, I put the "$5 02 Cheater", mentioned in previous posts, on the second oxygen sensor, and it works fine, keeps the light off. That's the way to keep the engine running fine, if yours is not too far gone.
If the engine is too far gone & using too much oil, nothing will fix it but a new engine.
If you start to get the problem and the engine is not too far gone, and you live in an emissions testing state, you would need to put on a new Precat/Exhaust manifold at the very first sign of the Cat going bad, before the engine is damaged. A new Cat will NOT fix a damaged engine.
Owners and buyers Beware, Check that CAT at every service and check the oil level often, at least once a week. This is a known problem, so look out for it!
E.D. in Sunny Florida
#266 of 685 04 Altima lemon
May 02, 2008 (6:20 am)
I have a 2004 Altima S, i have had alot of trouble with this car. It has around 109, 000 miles, i recently brought it in for a recall for the crank position sensor and have had nothing but trouble since. I had two sensors replaced 3 weeks ago, now the check engine light is on again and they're saying the code is for the 02 sensor. Is anyone else having these kind of issues? Ready to trade it in but leery of buying another nissan product at this point. Any advice?
#267 of 685 Re: 04 Altima lemon [pdupuy]
May 02, 2008 (4:22 pm)
Your instincts are good, Trade it in for anything but a Nissan. Please read the 264 Posts before of yours to find out why!
May 02, 2008 (6:19 pm)
What has bin rong with your 2004 Nissan Altima bisides the recalls and now the engian light cumming on at 100900 Miles and the dealer telling you that you nead a new oxygen sencer. Probbly one is bad not boath Oxygen sencers. My dad baught a hundai with 90000 Miles that the engian light came on when he got it and it was a bad Oxygen sencer. that does not make a car a lemin or a bad car. you don't have to read all postings on this bord. they dont have anything to do with your car. onnly the 2002 altimas nissan fixed the problem with the pre cat and the Oial consumtion in 2003 and the new altimas are grate cars would trade it in and get a new one. And not think about it for a secand. Hey so a few of every moddle year have sum Problems that is the way it is with all auto Makers. TOyota and HOnda have sum problems even Ford has its problems to look at consumer reports. they are getting bettor slolly but no whair close yet. I have seen problems with new fords Schevy's crisolers every make and moddle has it problems sumtimes. Nissan is one of the best rite next to honda and toyota and Hundai and Kia. Yea I no guys kia and Hundai used to be bad cars not anymore. And I am not just saying all of this Look at consumer reports The only onnest car tester out there all the rest of them are full of them selves. Ok that is enuff for now Thankyou for reading just wanted to tell everyone like it is. Dont believe everything that is posted on the Message bords take everything with a grane of saulte. You dont no if sumone did not do a recall or sumthing. Or they baught the car used and did not see if all recalls wher done on the car before they baught it. That is it for now Have a verry good Day everyone sorry about the spelling Marco.
#269 of 685 Re: questian for Post 267 [marcogallo1986]
May 02, 2008 (7:28 pm)
actually, the oil consumption problem was fixed as soon as it was recognized. the whole thing is caused by a too rich fuel mixture. the recall to re program the ecm corrects the problem. I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the majority of cars experiencing the problem were either:
1. never had the recall performed
2. the recall was not done correctly.
Thats part of the reason I no longer buy used cars. it costs more buying new, but I know exactly what I have, what's been done to it, and how its been treated and maintained.
as for nissan reliability, I've posted it many times but, I've owned 3 nissan vehicles. 2 long term. my 07 altima is only a year old. my first nissan was a 1990 sentra that I traded in with 220k miles, 12 years old, and still running. the only work that was ever done to it was 1 CV joint, 1 CV boot, brakes, muffler, and an oil pan, though that was because of something the wife ran over . Plus routine stuff like oil changes and so on. My second nissan was a 1998 200sx (coupe version of sentra). I still own it, have 156k miles on it, drive it to an from work most days (mostly because I get about 38 MPG), and have not had to do any non maintanence work on it. that 9 yr old car with 156k miles on it has had the front brakes done twice, and thats it. the rear drum brakes are original. as are all the belts, hoses, clutch and so on. 2 brake jobs and thats it. and on top of that, the car has never broke down, or failed to start in the morning. It's been 100% perfect, as was the sentra.
Thats not to say nissan is perfect. I don't know if they've improved things, but nissans have always rusted excessively IMO. Not so much as to shorten their lives, but more than other cars do. Nissan also has about the worst paint/process of any car out there. Its soft, thin, and chips easily.
but if properly maintained, they will last longer than you need them too.
May 14, 2008 (6:11 am)
I have a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 with all of the recall work performed. I think I may just hollow out my cats sometime in the near future just to do it. I don't want the check engine light on. What can I do to fix that and the light will not come on. I saw that someone said a $5 O2 cheater? What is that? My car has 95000 miles on it. Thanks.