Last post on May 08, 2013 at 10:43 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Altima, Engine, Sedan
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
Sep 05, 2009 (5:46 am)
I am so happy things worked out for you. My daughter's Altima is still sitting in my yard but I am feeling a little optimistic lately because there is a law firm investigating Nissan for these exact complaints for possible class action lawsuit. I have also received an email from someone who investigate federal agencies who fail to protect consumers. Maybe this director is looking into NHTSA's failure to following up on all those consumers' complaints filed in their office about their 2002 Altima engines. If you can provide me some pointers, I will greatly appreciate it. BTW, watch out for your new engine repair. I have seen consumer complaints that they had the same problems even when they paid to get their engines replaced. Good luck.
#470 of 683 Did I catch the problem in time?
Sep 17, 2009 (12:25 pm)
I own a 2002 Altima 2.5L 106,000 miles. I just got back from a "free" car clinic at my dealership (bought the car 4 years ago with 62,000 miles). I brought it there because I was experiencing the infamous rough start. I was told that the head gasket needs to be replaced ($1,600) because coolant is seeping in and causing the misfires. They said the two different metals on the engine cool at different rates and allow the seepage. (Disclaimer: I am not very mechanically inclined, and am approximating what they said). When I asked what could have been done to prevent the problem, they made it sound as it was just something that happens over time.
I found this, and other forums, when I came home. I have an appt with my local mechanic tommorrow. My question: Because I have yet to experience any of the oil problems usually associated with the "coolant/head gasket/precat" issue, is it possible that I got lucky and my engine hasn't been damaged by the precat debris? Does this put me in any more favorable a position(long term) than those who are losing 1 qt of oil every 1000 miles?
My wife and I are moving from NJ to NC next week! I really don't have the $ or time to deal with this. Is there any way to reasonably estimate how long I can live with the problem as is? As I stated, currently the only symptom is a rough idle for about 10 seconds when I start it cold (usually only the morning).
Will gladly answer any cooking or food related questions in return
#471 of 683 Re: Did I catch the problem in time? [tripj]
Sep 23, 2009 (8:18 pm)
All the answers to your questions are in this forum! The problem is that most people just blow in here and read the current conversation, and comment on what they just read and what their problem is. This forum is only up to 470 posts at this time. That may sound like a lot, but it is not. This problem goes way back for a long time. If you REALLY want to know about this problem and know what to DO about it, I would suggest to go back to the first message in this forum and read all of the messages, and you will know the whole story. My first post was #75 on October 18, 2007, and I have learned a LOT very quicky since then. In message # 75 & 77 I figured out & explained the problem with the Precat converter and the second cat converter under the center of the car, and what to do about them. The car has two cats, the Precat (first cat) and the Second cat under the center of the car. The bottom line is that if you have over 80,000 miles on your 2002 Atltima 2,5 engine, I would suggest that you HOLLOW OUT the precat (this will keep the precat from destroying your engine). There is no need to buy special header pipes to eliminate the precat converter, they are a waste of money. If the second cat gets clogged (does not allow or restricts exhaust gas flow out the tailpipes) I would suggest to hollow it out also. If your State has exhaust emmissions testing, you will have to replace the second cat with a new one, only if the second cat clogs up. My daughters 2002 Altima 2.5S has both cats hollowed out now and it runs great. We narrowly missed having the engine destroyed by the cats, I fixed it just in the nick of time, BEFORE the oil comsumption got too bad.
We also had the problem of the engine miss on the cold start, had the leaking head gasket problem. I wrote all about this in messages from #98 on 12/06/2007 to message #125 on 12/24/2007. I had to tear the engine apart, remove the head, get the head rebuilt at the machine shop, put in new head gasket and put it all back together. It is still running fine now. I was told by the machine shop that it is not uncommon for the engine head to warp on these engines, causing the engine head gasket to blow. The engine head was warped out ot specs, so thay had to mill it flat. They checked all the valves and said it was ok now, with no cracks or leaks.
So I would suggest you read up on all of this and get your engine head gasket replaced. At the same time have your intake manifold power valve screws glued permanently in place and get the precat hollowed out. Having the precat hollowed out will require the you put on the O2 Cheater on the second O2 sensor (the one at the botteom of the precat). This O2 Cheater will keep the check engine light from coming on. Go to message #232, dated 03/13/2008, to find the O2 Cheater. It only costs $5. There is a link in the message that will take you to all the information and pictures about it.
Everything you need to know about these problems is here in this forum, all you have to do is look.
Note: To others on this forum. I am not on here for the purpose of complaining about Nissan, I am simply stating the facts on what I have experienced and giving my opinions on them. What has happened to me concerning the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S has been very upsetting, and has cost me much time, effort and money, and I would not wish this on anyone. But I have read of many on here and on other websites that have the same frustrating problems. So I think it fitting to give others fair warning of possible empending problems. They may not get the same problems, but the possiblity is definitely there. I am not a chronic complainer, I have many good things to say about vehicles that are really worthy of praise. I just call them as I see them. That is this mechanics opinion.
E.D. in Sunny Florida
#472 of 683 Engine issues
Sep 24, 2009 (9:39 am)
I am thinking about buying a 2009 altima but am concerned about the engine issues that have been posted on this forum. Has Nissan addressed these problems so that the 09 model is problem free?
#473 of 683 Re: Did I catch the problem in time? [electricdesign]
Sep 24, 2009 (2:52 pm)
I appreciate all you have written, and read all of your, and the other, posts. That is why I did not ask what could be done to fix it. I asked 3 questions which I hoped would give me an idea of how far gone my car was, since I had no burnibg oil.
In any case, my mechanic did some work, and we'll see how it goes
#474 of 683 Re: Did I catch the problem in time? [tripj]
Sep 25, 2009 (10:24 am)
" I asked 3 questions which I hoped would give me an idea of how far gone my car was, since I had no burnibg oil. "
Here are your answers in a nutshell:
1. Q. "Because I have yet to experience any of the oil problems usually associated with the "coolant/head gasket/precat" issue, is it possible that I got lucky and my engine hasn't been damaged by the precat debris?"
A. Yes. You do NOT have the problem yet. but I would suggest that you monitor your oil level very closely. Once the damage starts, it can advance quickly.
2. Q. "Does this put me in any more favorable a position (long term) than those who are losing 1 qt of oil every 1000 miles?"
A. Yes more favorable, but watch out for the problem by checking the engine oil level frequently..
3. Q. "I really don't have the $ or time to deal with this. Is there any way to reasonably estimate how long I can live with the problem as is?"
A. It depends on which problem that you are talking about.
The leaking head gasket problem should be addressed as soon as possible, because you already have that problem, and it will only get worse. It can cause the engine to overheat, and eventually ruin your engine. The head gasket can not heal itself. The engine head will have to be sent to a machine shop to have the head surface milled flat. You can temporarily help to repair (1 to 3 months) the leaking head gasket problem by putting a half a jar of BARS LEAKS PELLETIZED HEAVY DUTY RADIATOR STOP LEAK (available at any local automotive parts house) into the radiator. This will seal the head gasket leak for a while. 1/2 bottle should be more than enough to temporarily fix the problem. Do not put more than 1/2 bottle into the radiator, as you do not want to clog the cooling system. Keep the extra half bottle of Bar's Leak in the trunk, in case you need to add a little more, Add no more than a tablespoon at any one time. I think the cost of replacing the head gasket is about $1600 to $2000, depending on where you go. I did the job myself and the machine shop work and parts cost me $533 and I used 48 hours labor (working slowly and carefully), Maybe you could try that and save $1000 to $1500, if so inclined
If you are talking about the oil burning/precat issue problem, don't worry about it yet, as it has not happened to you, just keep a very close eye on the oil level, and write down any oil you have to add. A good engine should be able to go at least 2500 miles or longer before needing a quart of 10W-30 oil. I recommend that you use only FULL synthetic motor oil in the engine, such as Mobil One or Valvoline Super Syn & use a quality oil filter by Mobil One or Purolator Pure One.
Only use the cheap oil if the engine starts sucking down (burning) a quart of engine oil every week, because if the engine starts using that much oil, the engine is toast anyway.
E.D. in Sunny Florida
#475 of 683 Re: Did I catch the problem in time? [electricdesign]
Sep 25, 2009 (3:09 pm)
Quick update from NC. My mechanic in NJ drilled 5 holes in the precat. He did not replace the head gasket but tried some sealant. My drive to NC was fine-uneventful. The next day I went out for dinner, and when I left the restaurant, my car would not start. Was very rough but would not turn over. I checked the oil, and it seemed low (very dark out here). Walked to a gas station, put 3 qts of oil in, and after cranking it for 10 seconds, it turned over and drove fine. Also interesting is that my SES light was still on when I picked it up at the mechanic, now it is off for the 1st time in months. Checked the oil this morning (drive home last night was 20 min) and the oil level may actually be high. Nevertheless, I'll be buying a couple of quarts for the trunk and checking it frequently. Thanks for the advice ED, I'll be updating as time goes on for others who are sufferung from this.
#476 of 683 Re: Did I catch the problem in time? [tripj]
Sep 26, 2009 (12:25 pm)
Had the same problem today. First time I drove it since I posted last. Car started fine this morning, drove about 30 min. When I went to start the car 3 hours later, I had to crank it several times for about 15 seconds each before it turned over. So it seems to start fine when cold, but gives me a tough time, very rough start feeling, when it's warm or hot. I am not mechanically inclined, and I have already reached the limits of what logic dictates. Car does runs fine, once it's running. I have been checking the oil and the level is the same and has maintained the milkiness- no black.
I will be calling my NJ mechanic on Monday to see if he has any insight, but I don't think I can afford to take it to a mechanic down here just yet( last time had to get 2 new tires and a water pump and thermostat in addition to the sealant and precat drilling- total about $800). I will continue to update.
#477 of 683 Re: Did I catch the problem in time? [tripj]
Sep 27, 2009 (12:31 pm)
Start but no turnover again this morning. Took off radiator cap while engine was ice cold and coolant spit out at me. Parked the car on incline, started car and watched bubbles, guess there was air in there. Now starts fine, hot or cold.
I am hoping for the best.
#478 of 683 fix your head gasket
Sep 27, 2009 (9:12 pm)
Hi tripj, You have to fix your head gasket asap or you need a new engine. Your oil will be contaminated with coolant and ruin your bearings,cylinder wall, piston rings, etc.
I fixed my head gasket in ALL Tune and Lube for $1200 total ($890 tear down+ $310 machine shop work ). The engine works fine for more than 18k miles/15 months even with 0.5 quarts/1k miles oil consumption. Remember to check "Struts, passenger and rear side engine mounts, and outer tie rod, timing chain tensioner (1 second rattle in cold start)" before you decide to fix or sell it.