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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#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
#576 of 685 Re: GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S [electricdesign]
Oct 01, 2010 (11:29 pm)
So your Altima is not running anymore? I thought you already fixed the head gasket and hollowed the pre-cat. Is there anything wrong after 2 years of head gasket job?
#577 of 685 Any suggested engine rebuilders?
Oct 03, 2010 (7:24 am)
I will be changing the 2.5 engine in my 2002 Altima. Any comments on sources of rebuilt engines would be appreciated. Right now I'm leaning toward Power Train Products. Also I am trying to figure out what to do with the precat. Replace, gut, or remove. If it is replace, then I wonder who has a reliable unit. I have heard EMI sells an aftermarket precat that is good. Anyone have any experience with these issues?
#578 of 685 Re: GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S [rondhol]
Oct 04, 2010 (6:12 pm)
Well, the Altima runs, sometimes. The precat repair is good, but the head gasket has began to seep a little again. I put sealer in the radiator to hold it, but I just don't trust this engine. Then lately the engine has been dying on her in traffic for no reason, After sitting on the side of the road a minute, it restarts and runs ok. The car would never act up when she brought it to me, check engine light is off, scanned computer, found no stored codes. No apparent reason for it to be quitting. She was also unhappy with it because she had water leaks near the rearview mirror and doors, the cheap plastic door handle broke off, and 3 electric windows would not work, the window in the driver door barley works. There were so many things wrong with it, she just wanted to get rid of it. Too many things to fix! Fortunately she got an inheiritance and a job and was able to have enough money to get another car. We have no faith in the cheap quality of these cars. Good luck with yours.
#579 of 685 Re: Any suggested engine rebuilders? [bdp1]
Oct 05, 2010 (4:09 pm)
I replaced the engine in my 2003 after having a blown HG at 93k miles and went with a reman'd engine right from Nissan. A good mechanic sold it to me at his cost ($2300) and installed it for $1000. Considered fixing it, but too many have the problem return. Nissan dealer was quoting $5k for the same job, same warranty. I never had any pre-cat issues, had the mechanic check that it was intact before reinstalling. 2 weeks later I got the 420 code for insufficient catalyst. I think the steam from the leaky gasket fried the pre-cat, but it never broke apart. I considered gutting it or installing the header, but went with a new Nissan pre-cat (another $500) to maintain the warranty and avoid the SES light. Mechanic installed for free since he felt bad he advised me to reuse the old one. The only other reman engine I considered was from a local installer selling RMP (Ford rebuilder), but stuck with the Nissan. Not sure it will be any better, but I hope to get another 90k miles at least.