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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2008, 01:48 PM
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Default 03 Altima Heater

I have an 03 Altima that has had a problem witht he heater since we got it at about 35k miles. Unless the engine is running at a about 1500 RPM or higher the heater does not work and sometimes on take off you can hear water splashing near the heater core on the passenger side of the car.

I have done some reading and understand that the problem is most likely air in the coolant system. It is about time to replace the coolant as I have ~68k miles so I figure I will drain flush and refill.

I have a few questions:

1) what is the coolant capacity?
2) are there air bleed valves on the 2,5 4cyl if so where on the engine are they and what is the procedure for refilling as it pertains to the air bleed valves
3) Have I diagnosed the problem correctly or is this potentially a larget issue like a bad heater core?
4) where should one dispose of anti=freeze?
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:04 PM
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1. Don't know exactly since not all the coolant drains out.

2. You should download the "Maintenance" section of the service manual. It explains how to drain and refill the system: http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/Knowledgebase/links/116

3. Yes, that's is most likely the cause.

4. :confused: Where do you live?
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:36 PM
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Frisco, Texas...do auto parts stores usually recycle antifreeze?
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Frisco, Texas...do auto parts stores usually recycle antifreeze?
I'm not sure, but some else may know now that you mention where you live.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:13 AM
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Well I tried to open the link you provided and then discovered that it was for a sentra, now I have to wait a day before I am able to download the correct file :(
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r_nally View Post
Well I tried to open the link you provided and then discovered that it was for a sentra, now I have to wait a day before I am able to download the correct file :(
Try this: http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/Knowledgebase/links/81

Maintenance 2003 Nissan Altima - Service Manual - Maintenance 2003 Nissan Altima
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:49 AM
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:oops: I'll send you a PM with the direct link.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:12 AM
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Well after looking at the refill instructions I am completely shocked. The instructions require some special tools including some ventui, a radiator cap adapter, compressed air, a gauge etc.

What is all of this about? I thought most cooling systems would self bleed by simply open the heater and allowing the engine to warm.

The instructions also do not state the location of the

Cylinder block front drain plug
Cylinder block RH drain plug
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:23 AM
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That's the proper way to bleed the system. But you can always bleed it the old way:
  1. Let the engine cool down.
  2. Raise the front of your Altima.
  3. Start the engine,
  4. Carefully remove the radiator cap.
  5. Turn the heater system ON.
By following these steps the bubble of air should go out. It is better if you use a funnel. Place the funnel on top of the radiator and keep adding coolant as it needed.

The block drain plug is on the side of the block (Page MA-15). Most of the tech don't remove to plug to drain the system, not easy access and it can leak.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:42 AM
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Many Thanks

When you say "raise the front" exactly what do you mean? I have a set of ramps but my Altima is too low to drive onto them. The only way I would be able to raise it would be to use a jack and that would only get one side up.

I am going to go ahead and drain, flush and refill the radiator this afternoon. Any other advice would be appreciated.
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:05 PM
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You can barrow a jack from another car or you can raise one side first, place a block under that side, remove the jack and raise the other side.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r_nally View Post
I have an 03 Altima that has had a problem witht he heater since we got it at about 35k miles. Unless the engine is running at a about 1500 RPM or higher the heater does not work and sometimes on take off you can hear water splashing near the heater core on the passenger side of the car.
I have the exact same problem with my '02. Please let me know what you did to fix this.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:36 AM
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1) Park the car on an inclined driveway
2) Remove the radiator cap and place a funnel in the top of the radiator and put some distilled water in the funnel such that there was sufficient weight in the funnel to seal it to the top of the radiator
3) Start the engine and allow to warm completely with the heater running full blast (at least 15 minutes or so)
4) Rev the engine up to about 2000k to 2500 RPM and let it run there for 30-40 seconds, do this several times until you can return your engine to idle for a few minutes and the heater remains hot
5) As you run the engine and rev it the air will start to bubble out of the top of the radiator, you may over flow it and need to add more water, just keep checking it throughout the process
6) let the engine idle and make sure the radiator is full
7) replace the cap, let it cool for an hour then take it for a test drive making sure the heater works as expected - repeat 1-6 if necessary
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:51 AM
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I will give that a shot! Thanks for the advice.
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