Last post on Jun 14, 2013 at 2:37 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima
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Nissan Altima, Engine, Sedan
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#401 of 684 Re: Precat issue advice??? [rondhol]
May 21, 2009 (12:06 am)
New to the forum. I recently purchased a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S fore $8000 down here in Orlando. Car has been running really great but it had problems and after reading this forum I have a lot of the same problems you guys do.
The car burnt through 4 quarts of oil after about 2000 miles (7 weeks) and was puffing blue smoke out the exhaust when I would start the car. I took my car to a local nissan dealership today and found out my car's cat is covered for 80000 miles (my car has 61000)
A mechanic who overheard my conversation with the service manager said asked me "Does you car puff blue smoke when you start?" And when I said yeah he explained that I needed a new engine. All the problems you people have had, but I got luck to still be covered by that 80000 mile warranty and I will not have to pay $6500 in repairs)
I plan to keep the car as I have only had it for two months (and I owe probably 95% of what I paid) Plus I love third and fourth gen Altimas. This is also my first car (Im 19)
Once the new cat is put in I'd like to have it hollowed out so this problem doesnt happen again. If ED stil lposts I'd like to know what he thinks.
Third gen altimas might be crap but I still love them
#402 of 684 Re: Precat issue advice??? [altilove89]
May 21, 2009 (7:42 pm)
QR25DE is not bad engine. Without pre-cat it will last hundred thousands of miles as other Nissan engines. My oil consumption is less than 1 quart per 3k miles with Synpower 10w-30. Small oil consumption is normal if you have short trips <9 miles per trip caused by fuel dilution. My Used Oil Analysis is pretty good with 5k miles even with fuel dilution.
#403 of 684 Re: Precat issue advice??? [rondhol]
May 24, 2009 (8:33 am)
QR25DE is not bad engine. Without pre-cat it will last hundred thousands of miles as other Nissan engines.
even with the pre-cat it will probably last hundreds of thousands of miles. if you compare the number of QR25DE engines sold to the number having problems and your odds are pretty good. on top of that, its mostly limited to the 2002 model (first use of QR25DE) year. once the problem surfaced, it was corrected and a recall issued for the effected vehicles. there was probably some carry over into the 2003 model, but anybody owning a mid to late 2003 and up really has nothing to worry about.
the problem was never with the engine, and not really with the pre-cat either. it was primarily with the fuel mixture, or more precicesly, the programing of the ecu that controlled it.
I'll share a story with you from a couple weeks ago. First off, I work for a company that provides products and service to business. about 65% of our customers are automotive repair shops and dealerships. A couple weeks ago I was in one and talking with the owner. I couldn't help but notice he was working on a 3rd gen altima. I asked him what was wrong with it, and he said he wasn't sure, but that it needed a new engine. It was burning massive amounts of oil. He hadn't finished checking it, but had seen enough to know it couldn't be fixed. Anyhow, I told him about the pre-cat and oil consumption problems, and suggested he look at the pre cat when he removed the engine. To make a long story short, when I was back in his shop a week later I asked him if he had looked at the pre-cat and if it was all broken up.
He said no, it was in pretty good shape. normal for the 80k miles that were on it.
Now I'm not saying the pre-cat problem isn't real, or that it doesn't happen. But there are a lot of things that can damage an engine and cause it to burn oil. Primarily taking care of it. and when your dealing with (as many people here are) used cars, you don't know if it was taken care of, or even how hard it was driven by the original owner. Heck, you don't even know if the recall to correct this issue was performed.
#404 of 684 Re: Precat issue advice??? [jd10013]
May 24, 2009 (11:25 pm)
My car according to carfax was manufactured in july 2003 so its a later 2003 model, still had the problem.
just got the engine fully replaced 2 days ago at 61000 miles along with the pre cat
car drives beautifully now, still plan to have the pre cat hollowed out, i dont want to take any chances on this thing happening another 61k down the road. a car should not need a 3rd motor at 122k miles, nonetheless even a 2nd one at that many miles
me being 19 however and wanting my first car right away i didnt even do the carfax report before i bought my 2003 altima 2.5 s
i had actually done the report a few weeks ago and found out my car was once a rental car back when it was brand new
mechanically speaking even before the engine was replaced the car seemed fine and drove fine
i will need an alignment sometime in the future but it is not a major issue at the moment. i also may need to change the timing belt
since ive had my new engine though i hear a weird noise that sounds like water rushing through some kind of pipe when i start the car, and also when i accelerate. does anybody know what that might be all about?
#405 of 684 Re: Precat issue advice??? [altilove89]
May 25, 2009 (12:01 pm)
That swooshing noise is dangerous if you don't fix it ASAP. It may cause head gasket failure($1200 repair). It is easy, Park the car uphill (radiator at the higher level). When engine is COOL, Open the radiator cap (check the condition, you may need new radiator cap), Turn the heater and fan at max, Start the car and squeeze the coolant hoses to remove any the air pocket inside the coolant line. Top the coolant level up (both on the radiator and reservoir) and replace the radiator cap.
I had that problem but it was fixed after do that steps and install new radiator cap from Autozone or dealer . My previous radiator cap was swelling caused by oil residue from the head gasket replacement.
Your car has TIMING CHAIN (no need to be replaced until 300k miles), If the car go straight on the FLAT road and the tires have no unusual worn, you don't need alignment. You may need to replace the front struts, passenger side and rear side engine mounts if you race the car a lot and the brake pads at arround 80k miles city driving.
#406 of 684 Re: Precat issue advice??? [rondhol]
May 30, 2009 (9:43 pm)
that noise actually went away i no longer hear it, car pulls to the right ever so slightly on flat roads
never race my car, i care about it too much to do something like that, i never go any faster then 70 mph anyways because my car would start to guzzle gas (my average mpg according to the trip comp is about 25.5 mpg)
tires are ok, the right front tire is almost bald, the other 3 are very good, havent bought a tire due to serious lack of cash at the moment
Jun 01, 2009 (1:53 pm)
If your front tires are match (same brand and date installed) but only right side is worn, then you need alignment. Change the tires in pairs 2 or 4 at once. The pulls to the right effect caused by lower (worn out) right tire. You can buy good brand (Micheline, Good year, etc, NOT CHINA tires) used tires in pair for less than $35 each. but read this first: http://www.carbibles.com/tire_bible.html
By the way, check your radiator cap , coolant level (both on radiator and reservoir), and the hoses after the engine is cold (if it is collapsed).
#408 of 684 Re: 2002 Altima [electricdesign]
Jun 02, 2009 (12:37 pm)
Hi! I have a 2002 3.5 liter Altima and the problem with the cats is prevalent throughout my ownership of the vehicle. I have had 5 cats replaced, and the last time, Nissan forgot to put oil in my car and I battled with them for a year, and they replaced the engine and cats with all new Nissan factory parts. Well, the new engine has less than 10,000 miles on it, and the cats started coming apart internally just like always. I had a mechanic friend hollow out all the cats and in the process of doing so, we noticed the resonator pipe had a big crack in it, which no doubt was leaking exhaust. He removed the resonator completely, hollowed out that cat, and then welded a new pipe in place of the resonator piece. The other two cats up in the front of the car were also hollowed out. The very front one, the hardest to get to, closest to the heat shield was virtually impossible to hollow out. The core if the catalytic had hardened into a solid mass, and there was absolutely NO AIR able to get through it. The mechanic couldn't hammer it, drill it, use a saws-all on it - NOTHING was going to break it up to remove it. So my friend cut open the cat in the middle, and grinded the catalytic core material out of it, and then welded it closed and put the pipe back on. Now, the SVC engine lite (obviously) has come on, and the exhaust leaks right into the cabin of my car and it's unbearable. I don't know if there is a leak at the weld spot from my friend or what, but I need to know what to do to make this car run right and not asphyxiate me in the process. Replace the left bank cat and leave all others hollow and then tweak the 02 sensor? Please advise if you are able! I really appreciate it very much!!
#409 of 684 See other Nissan dealers
Jun 02, 2009 (1:57 pm)
first of all, Don't bring your 02 to that Dealer again.
3.5L VQ engines rarely have pre-cat problem. Since you have new engine and cat, may be the culprits are MAF sensor, ECU update, or EGR system. If it runs too lean/rich, your engine and cat will be bad faster. Check the sparkplugs to confirm rich/lean mixtures. Buy header instead of breaking your head finding the leak.
#410 of 684 Re: 2002 Altima [keilse]
Jun 05, 2009 (10:59 am)
Definitely try to find another Nissan dealer, better yet look up reviews on local nissan dealers and see who has the best overall reviews and choose the dealership with the best rep.
The 3.5 SE v6 engine is a much better build then the 2.5 S, i actually wish i had spend the extra $1100 for the 04 altima with the v6 engine then the 03 2.5 S.
Im suprised that the V6 has this problem as well, considering most V6 altimas are virtually problem free.
My advice to anybody buying a Nissan Altima made between 2002 and now, spend the extra money and sacrifice the gas mileage for the v6, you'll have much less issues then with the 2.5 v4.