Last post on Jul 30, 2013 at 8:15 PM
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Nissan Altima, Engine, Sedan
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#566 of 685 P0302 ERROR TWICE IN A YEAR
Aug 24, 2010 (5:12 pm)
Nissan Altima 2002/ 4cylinder/ Automatic Transmission/ 91,000 miles
In July 2009 (at 72,000 miles) my car began to overheat which was followed by the SES light turning on. I took the car to the Nissan Dealership and the code for the SES light was a CYLINDER 2 MISFIRE (P0302). The tech notes stated:
-Fluid leaking into cylinder 3
-Head Gasket Bad
As a result, they replaced my head gasket and radiator hoses. What any of that has to do with a Cylinder 2 misfire, I have no idea. This repair cost me $1600!
Following this repair my heater stopped working which cost $350 to fix.
Now, in July of 2010, just 1 year after the head gasket was replaced and a cylinder 2 misfire error code my SES light is on again. I have the code read at a local auto shop and sure enough CYLINDER 2 MISFIRE AGAIN! Unfortunately, this happened on July 17 2010, and I took it into the dealership last year July 16 2009! The work came with a 12 month or 10,000 mile warranty, so I went anyways. Of course they said I was 1 day out of warranty.
Along with my cylinder 2 misfire error code my engine begins rocking when I first turn on the vehicle and when idling at stops. However, if I put my car in neutral while at a stop the engine stops rocking, which made me think maybe there is a problem with the transmission and it is not down shifting to a lower gear...? Just a guess.
To make things worse, my car is up for a smog test this August 2010. I take the car in to a smog test center, and pass every emissions, and 02 test with flying stars, unfortunately I was unaware that in the state of California if your check engine light is on its an automatic failure and the miserable woman working at the Smog Test Center did not have the decency to inform me before taking my money and running the test.
I have no idea what to do and am in desperate need of help/advice! I spent approximately $3000 in repairs in the past year and a half and feel like I have been taken advantage of by the Nissan Dealership.
I have read everyone's comments and am afraid, it seems like this Cylinder 2 misfire and rocking engine is a horrible problem to have.
Please reply or email Modesta48yahoo.com
This car has caused me so much anger and frustration I am at a loss and would greatly appreciate any and all advice.
P.S. I have been reset the error code twice since July 17 2010 and am currently driving the car because I do not have the money to fix the problem at this time, but would like to know how much it would cost to repair this type of problem. The engine is still rocking and the SES light still on.
#567 of 685 Re: P0302 ERROR TWICE IN A YEAR [belle42]
Aug 25, 2010 (8:56 pm)
Your problem is definitely the head gasket again, they obviously did not do a good job on it when they did it. The gasket must be replaced because it leaks coolant from the cooling system into the cylinder(s), in your case cylinder #2. The coolant leaking into the cylinder makes the engine miss and rock, depending on how big the leak is. The car Dealer did not do something properly when they did the job, the bottom of the head must be milled flat, the top deck of the engine block must be checked for trueness and corrected if not true, all surfaces must be wiped clean with a good solvent like acetone just before the head gasket and head are bolted back in place, the head bolts must be replaced with new ones, the head bolts must be properly torqued, etc. I have done all this myself on my daughters car, see all previous messeges, as there are many references to this problem, fixes and photos to guide you. You need to read all previous messeges and research this subject. This is a common problem with these engines, never let the engine overheat, or they will blow the head gasket!
Your only recourse at this time is to get it fixed right, meaning it has to be done right like I stated above, no sloppy work! I would not go back to that dealer again, other than to give them a piece of my mind. Maybe if you complain enough, they might do the job for half price or less. If the job is done correctly, it should last for at least 6 years, as long as you DON'T overheat the engine. If you cant fix the headgasket soon, you can do a temporary fix by pouring some radiator sealer into the radiator, I used the Bars Leak Pelletized Sealer, about 3 bucks a bottle. Monitor how often and how much you have to add coolant to the radiator overflow bottle. The sealer can greatly improve the running of the engine for a few months, but you will still need to get the head gasket fixed. Carry a jug of coolant and bottle of oil in the back of the car, in case of emergency. never remove the radiator cap when engine is hot, wait until the engine is cool, put a rag over the radiator cap and loosen it slowly.
And while you are at it, have you had the PRE CAT problem yet? That's another huge headache. If you have problem with using too much engine oil, you need to fix it RIGHT AWAY, or else you will need to buy a new engine! The cheapest & best way to fix the PRE CAT problem is to hollow out the precat and put a cheater on the second oxygen sensor.
#568 of 685 Re: Nissan Altima: Engine Failures [kirstie_h]
Aug 29, 2010 (8:35 am)
i have a 2005 nissan altima 2.5s took to dealer for ses light came on after i replaced cam sensor and crank sensor they had car for two weeks could not figure out problem started replacing parts at my expense went to pick up car after researching web told them to stop and would not pay for trial and error parts. car wouldn't start when went to pick up they reinstalled my ecm car started and ran fine ses light still on selling car as fast as possible since it stillruns good only 87000miles nissan has a problem and will not acknowledge so all nissan owners beware
#569 of 685 nissan altima problems
Aug 29, 2010 (8:42 am)
you can also find more info on the consumer affairs web site type in nissan altima problems on google or bing
#570 of 685 2002 nissan altima
Sep 20, 2010 (6:53 pm)
2002 altima: at 102000 had head gasket replaced along with thermostat. Since that time has had 4 thermostats replaced due to check engine light on/overheating/car idling hard/bucking. Again check engine light on, took back in and told coolant air pocket and needed 1/2 gal. coolant plus take to a Nissan dealer due to code P0420 (cat below threshold). Car ran great for 3 days prior to going to Nissan. Got to Nissan and told need new engine and catalytic converter. States leak from head gasket and coolant leaking into cylinders. Have not had to replace coolant so new problem never addressed. Per 1st car shop, nothing that catastrophic showed up on their diagnostics, pretty much suggested to get another opinion besides Nissan. Dealer admits problem with that year engine but since this car has 170,000 miles on it then oh well. Car looks great, runs great otherwise (in fact ran great on way to Nissan). Nissan says ~5000 in repairs. Would you believe them, quick fix it as some postings are suggesting, or do the new engine at that high of miles (since other items may then fail soon)? Nissan will not discount work and no response from Nissan consumer affairs as of yet.
Need help and suggestions. SAD
#571 of 685 Re: 2002 nissan altima [sad8]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 21, 2010 (9:06 am)
From my point of view (others here may differ) I can't see putting the cost of a new engine into this car, which is no longer worth that much.
Also it's a bit distressing to hear that there would even be a dispute about whether the head gasket is bad or not---this can and should be easily diagnosable and no mystery should have to ensue about it.
So my advice would be to find someone who knows how to diagnose a bad head gasket and have them SHOW you the evidence---then you'll have enough facts on hand to make an informed decision. I'd put $2K or so into it, but not much more than that.
#572 of 685 Re: 2002 nissan altima [sad8]
Sep 24, 2010 (5:37 pm)
I completely agree with what Mr Shiftright said. I assume that you have the 2.3L 4 cyl engine. That car is not worth throwing $5K into it. You had the head gasket replaced, and then afterwards had more problems with overheating, coolant and head gasket leaking again. Too much wrong with it. Possibly get a good used or remanufactured engine, if you can get one installed cheap, BUT, be SURE that you either hollow out the precat or install an exhaust header pipe. If you put a precat back on there, it will eventually destroy the engine again. READ ALL PREVIOUS MESSEGES IN THIS FORUM, YOU NEED ALL THE INFORMATION THAT YOU CAN GATHER. TYPE "NISSAN ALTIMA PROBLEMS" IN YOU BROWSER, TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ALL THIS. My daughter still has one of these same cars, and it's hers and mines worst nightmare! We will both be glad when it is GONE!!! We are stuck now, jobless for almost a year and a half, not much hope! What did they promise, CHANGE, what change?! They said "Yes we can", but Yes we can What?!.....God help us.......save us from this 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S!
#573 of 685 Re: 2002 nissan altima [electricdesign]
Sep 25, 2010 (9:32 am)
Would the stop leak that you mentioned work as temporary fix for now till other options explored prior to putting out monies for an used headache of someone else's? As I said, car ran great on way to shop. Thanks for all advice given so far.
#574 of 685 Re: 2002 nissan altima [sad8]
Sep 30, 2010 (7:07 pm)
Yes, the stop leak can work for a while, maybe 2 to 6 months, depending on how big or bad the leak is. Usually the the leaks are small, more like a seepage past the head gasket. I used a half bottle of the Bars Leaks Radiator Sealer with good success. Keep the remaining half bottle in the trunk in case you should need to add more, also keep at least one gallon jug of water and a big rag in the trunk.
#575 of 685 GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S
Oct 01, 2010 (9:12 pm)
GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS
The good news is that I bought my daughter a newer car, an 07 Pontiac Vibe, to replace her 02 Altima 2.5S, the worst car we have ever owned.
The bad news is that someone else may own this crappy car in the future. We don't have the heart to sell it to someone, so we may give it to a dealer or send it to the crusher.
So I won't be around here in this forum anymore, but may stop in to look once in a while. I drive a Vibe, wife drives a Highlander, and now daughter drives a Vibe, so we are happy family again.
Good Luck to All.
E.D. in Sunny Florida