Last post on Sep 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM
You are in the Nissan Altima Hybrid
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Nissan Altima Hybrid, Engine, Sedan
#119 of 175 Manual calls for Regular gas
Jan 13, 2011 (7:10 am)
For a Nissan dealer to blame the engine problems known to occur and that have been discussed in this forum and elsewhere on use of regular gas is scandalous! The manual for my 2008 Altima Hybrid (which I purchased brand new in January 2009) states in chapter nine section three (9-3) states:"Use unleaded regular gasoline with an octane rating of at least 87 AKI (Anti-Knock Index) number (Research Octane Number 91)". The research octane number is used outside of the USA and Canada but what we see on the pump is 87 (R+M/2) which is according to this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating : 87 (AKI or R+M/2) = 91-92 (RON). So just like my Camry Hybrid, my Altima Hybrid (which licenses the same hybrid synergy technology) also uses 87 (AKI).
Please scroll back to my horrendous experience where my Altima (with only 9,600 miles on it) spent 30 days in the Nissan shop with the same carbon deposits that lead to a multiple cylinder misfire. You will see that there was talk of a recall to replace either the valve springs or even reprogram the computer controlling how the valves close to shake loose the deposits.
Here is a large snippet from page 10 of this thread:
As far as your vehicle goes there was no "damage" to your engine or to your valves. As with any fuel injected vehicle, the engine builds up carbon deposits in the fuel system. The Altima Hybrid has had an issue with this carbon building up with very low miles though yours is only the second one that I have come accross, Nissan has started to see a problem. Unfortunately I do not have any info. as to when the recall may come out. Any info. that I have on the problem has been given to us via the "tech line" help desk. From what they say the spring for the valve is too soft which allows the carbon to build up along the valve. I just found out from my tech that what they may do is replace the valve springs so that when the valve hits it, the valve will spring back hard enough to break any debris free therefore burning off any carbon. There may also be a reprogramming for the vehicles computer to adjust the air and fuel mixture and opening and closing of the
valves. Your vehicle has been driven 2 times and the tech will take it out once more before we release it. I am also going to have the vehicle cleaned inside and out before we call you."
This was after my car had spent a month in the shop (Dec. 15, 2009 through January 14th 2010 ....again I only had 9,600 miles on it). Note: I only have 18,000 now (January 2011). I still get the shaking especially when braking from time to time. Even more disturbingly, the "Service Engine" light illuminates from time to time but then turns off (unlike the constant illumination that lead to the servicing in 2009). I have the 6 year 72K mile extended service warranty (which is the only reason that they gave me a loaner for the 30 days that my car was in the shop). Needless to say the recall never occurred. I see that one person mentioned that his problems were solved by replacement of the springs. "Hymanyclan", even though you are above the 60k mile power train protection, maybe you should contact your state's consumer protection as it is clear that Nissan knew there was a problem with the 2007-2009 Nissan Altima Hybrids and even considered a recall. They should repair or replace your engine for free. Lean on Nissan! This is a customer service fiasco about which they should be embarrassed enough to make your situation right!
#120 of 175 Bunch of garbage
Jan 13, 2011 (7:17 am)
I just AGAIN took my 2010 hybrid in. It STILL has a knock, won't go into EV mode, etc., etc., etc. What is it they say about the squeaky wheel and getting the grease? You HAVE to stand up for yourself, or you will get NO WHERE with these guys.
After they had an engineer check it AGAIN, they decided that it has an issue that needs a fix they don't have yet! I have the paper work that states this. They won't admit that they adjusted something after doing a diagnostic; after warming up, is running more efficiently at this time, but knocks until warmed up.
My advice to anyone is get a diagnostic somewhere else. Know that the dealer is NOT your friend, and they are there to make money. After you find out what is wrong somewhere else, you DO have the option of contacting the dealer again AND Nissan main office with proof, since main office doesn't want unhappy customers. However, it still comes back to the dealer, but they are more willing to listen to what you are saying and NOT charge you for BS work to get money after you contact main office. The dealers are NOT honest. Know that going into it.
Regular gas. BTW, I have found that the techs will tell you anything to get rid of you also. It's YOUR MONEY, so beware!
#122 of 175 Re: Manual calls for Regular gas [wayne8888]
Jan 21, 2011 (1:37 pm)
While I was at the dealership where my carbon buildup problem is being addressed, they mentioned I should use 91 octane. I said that it states in the manual that 87 is OK and they seemed surprised.
Anyway, for an update on my issue... After the first dealership tried to rip me off badly, the second dealership actually took the time to look into the cause of the carbon buildup. Nissan Tech Support told them the first step will be to replace the cylinder head. I don't know too much about cars, but I think the cylinder head is the large piece that also contains the springs/valves. So, maybe the new head will address the cause of the carbon buildup. The dealership said Nissan is starting to realize there is really a problem, as the head is on back-order (I'm number 28 on the list now). Maybe there will be a recall in the future but for now, bulletin NTB10-056a covers the issue, and repairs should be under warranty. Luckily I did not listen to the 1st dealership who only wanted to charge me $400 to flush the carbon and not actually fix the problem.
#123 of 175 Re: Manual calls for Regular gas [jojolopes]
Jan 21, 2011 (1:51 pm)
What symptoms were you receiving??? I don't know if this is the cause for the minor problems on my car, or if it's just the cold weather, I live in New York City, temps have been in the 30s where I'm noticing this...EV mode doesn't come on as often as it did in the summer, also, when I turn the car on, I hear a knock underneath me, not a loud one or anything, but a soft sounding knock, also occurs when I press on the brake a little too hard and release from a stationary position, I don't know if that makes any sense
#124 of 175 Re: Manual calls for Regular gas [popny85]
Jan 21, 2011 (1:54 pm)
What I mean by stationary position, is like if I'm at a stop light, and I just brake ALL the way down, and when the light turns green, I just release the brake slowly and try to accelerate to keep EV Mode on, I'll hear the knock
#125 of 175 Re: Manual calls for Regular gas [popny85]
Jan 21, 2011 (2:26 pm)
When it is cold the EV won't come on as often or stay on as long. The EV only works correctly when the engine is warmed up, and it takes a lot longer to get to that point when it's cold out, especially if you don't park in a heated garage. Also, when the car is moving in EV mode and it is very cold out, the engine can cool down quickly enough that it needs to run the engine again.
The situation happens even more quickly when you are running the heat inside the cabin, and who wouldn't be when it's that cold out.
One thing you will find in the summer is that the EV mode won't function correctly (per se) if it's really hot out (like over 90). This is a safety function so the battery doesn't overheat.
#126 of 175 Re: Carbon Buildup/Cylinder Misfire [jojolopes]
Feb 08, 2011 (10:40 am)
I have a 2009 NAH with 33k miles on it. I purchased it brand new and live in CT. I have the same carbon issue. It was first found when i bought it in to my nissan dealer for the typical engine rattling and grinding noise you hear upon startup while the engine is cold. I can't believe how many people have the same issue. If you all try to put the engine in Neutral while reversing you will definitely hear it more.
My dealership has replaced the head on my NAH with a re-designed head which is supposed to put an end to this carbon issue. The car still had an issue a day or so later after it was replaced.
On the second try when I bought the car back, the dealership replaced the Mass Air-flow sensor and reprogrammed the computer and it still has the same noise.
On their third attempt, the dealership replaced the oil with 0w 20 synthetic oil, which also did not work. Now I started getting worse gas mileage and the engine was not going into hybrid mode as much.
What makes it worse the rep from Nissan corporate that I was working with closed out my file. That's when I drew the line and called a lemon law attorney.
I had a meeting this morning with a Nissan specialist at my nissan dealership and duplicated the engine rumbling/grinding noise. After he heard my car, he said it was bad and advised them to remove the head again and check for carbon buildup. My car is at the dealership right now and they are removing the redesigned head to see if there is more carbon buildup and will be working with Nissan Engineering.
EVERYONE THAT HAS THIS ISSUE NEEDS TO HIRE A LEMON LAW ATTORNEY RIGHT AWAY.
#127 of 175 Re: Carbon Buildup/Cylinder Misfire [shelsonu]
Feb 08, 2011 (4:57 pm)
I just got my car back tonight after having the head replaced. When I started it at the dealership after it had been sitting outside for over 24 hours, it ran smoothly. During the part where it would normally rattle badly, it transitioned smoothly. Now this is only 1 night, so we will see how it acts in the coming weeks.
#128 of 175 Re: Carbon Buildup/Cylinder Misfire [shelsonu]
Feb 13, 2011 (7:44 pm)
My NAH is at the dealership after the "service engine" light illuminated 3 out of 4 days. The service department contacted Nissan Tech Support (just like they did in the month in the shop from Dec 15, 2009 through Jan 14, 2010.....when all they did was clean out the carbon deposits and promise a recall.... which never came). Now, all of the sudden, Nissan Tech support was telling the dealership that I should have used 91 octane (never having mentioned this one year ago). The Octane misinformation seems to be a new misleading strategy. I pointed out that the 87 octane (AKI = R+M/2) mentioned in the owner's manual was equivalent to 91-92 (Research Octane Number or RON). I pointed out that 91 RON scale is not even used in the USA nor Canada. This is like someone intentionally confusing Fahrenheit and Celsius (ignoring the fact that 100C = 212F). Anyway, they now mention that there is a bulletin (mentioned above) so I will be getting a new cylinder head (which arrived Friday). This is the 3rd occurrence of this problem. I only have 17,700 miles on my car in 2 years and one month (one month, of course in the shop.....and now another week LOL). So I am near the lemon territory aren't I. I think that Nissan was very unethical about this whole issue. Why was there no recall for these engine problems. Did they just want to address one car at a time such that some cars would go pass the 60K power train warranty leading to no free repair for those unlucky owners (as opposed to a free repair with a recall). Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Class action suit anyone?