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Forums Nissan Models Altima Altima 2.5 Engine Replacement?
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-12-2008, 07:29 AM
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Default Altima 2.5 Engine Replacement?

Hi, I just had my service engine light come on for my 2003 Nissan Altima so I went to the dealer and I now learned I need new cats and an engine. I was told it will be about 5 grand for a refurbished engine.

I was looking back on posts here and see that others have had similar problems. Is there a recall for this? My dealer didn't advise me of any and of course it's way out of warranty (185 000 km). Did anyone contact Nissan Customer Service and have any luck with them? Would anyone by chance have the email address for Nissan Canada Public Relations?

The car seems to be running fine but I read on here to check the oil frequently until I get it properly fixed. Did anyone try any other route such as getting a used engine or getting their engine rebuilt?

I've enjoyed the vehicle and have only had one serious prior problem which was getting the solenoid pack in the transmission fixed. I've been getting my vehicle serviced regularily at the dealer and have to say I'm a little surprised they didn't check the cats when I was in for service knowing what a serious problem it could lead to. I was just there 5 weeks ago so could the cat break down that fast? I wish I had read about the cat issues here before. This is a great forum to learn from.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:14 AM
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According to the engineers, a misfire lasting for 30 secs. or longer is enough time to "compromise" converter integrity. As far as checking your cat at your last service interval, there is really nothing for them to check. As long as the system has not produced a cat efficiency code, there is little else to go by. By the time a visual inspection would reveal a problem, it's already too late. What code did you get, and how far along has the cat come apart? Did they confirm that the cat material has already begun mixing with the oil? The remaned engine is not a bad way to go if you like the vehicle (but for that price, you'd better really like and for quite some time). Usually when the cats go bad they have already begun mixing with the engine's oiling system, so permanent damage is inevitable. Hell, just throw a new converter on it(if you don't mind fudging on the emissions, opt for a header) , and roll with it. Worst case scenario you need a new engine, well you already know that now.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:37 PM
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car-parts.com if u are looking for an engine, they usually have a large selections. i think rebuilding an engine would be more expensive then getting a used one, just make sure u have someone check it do compression check and look for leaks or anyother damages to the engine.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:46 PM
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I would advise against getting a used 2.5L engine. It is way too risky. You could end up with one worse then you already have. Is the vehicle consuming an excessive amount of oil? Just because you have a code for the cat. doesn't necessarily mean the engine is damaged. If they are telling you that the engine is bad because of the p0420 code I would take it somewhere else for a second opinion or ask them how they determined that it needed an engine.
Usually if it is not consuming oil you should be ok just replacing the cat.
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Last edited by mpe235; 11-12-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:38 AM
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Hi, thanks for the info. It's definitely sucking oil. What's strange is the SES light is gone but I'm sure it will re-appear. If I check the oil regularily is it still reasonably safe to drive until I decide what to do?
Do you think the dealer might take it in a trade in for another vehicle or another option I was thinking was have it repaired, drive it through the winter and trade it in for something else and hopefully come close to breaking even on the cost of the repairs. When the dealer puts in a new engine are they buying it from a rebuilder or are they buying it from an aftermarket company? I would guess there would be no cheaper alternative. Has anyone had any success with Nissan Consumer Affairs or would that be a waste of time?

Thanks
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:33 AM
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If you are considering trading the vehicle in I would not repair it. Just keep the oil topped off until you decide what you are going to do. I have seen these engines run a long time while burning oil. Check it at least once a week and top it off and you should be ok. You will want to go to a different Nissan dealer to trade it in so they don't know about the problem. You will definatelty get a better price for it somewhere else. When the dealer puts a remanufactured engine in they are buying it directly from NIssan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingCobra36 View Post
Hi, thanks for the info. It's definitely sucking oil. What's strange is the SES light is gone but I'm sure it will re-appear. If I check the oil regularily is it still reasonably safe to drive until I decide what to do?
Do you think the dealer might take it in a trade in for another vehicle or another option I was thinking was have it repaired, drive it through the winter and trade it in for something else and hopefully come close to breaking even on the cost of the repairs. When the dealer puts in a new engine are they buying it from a rebuilder or are they buying it from an aftermarket company? I would guess there would be no cheaper alternative. Has anyone had any success with Nissan Consumer Affairs or would that be a waste of time?

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:11 PM
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Default 2003 Nissan Altima engine replacement

Hi King Cobra, I am a having similar problem with the 2003 Nissan where I might need to replace the engine due to high oil consumption, engine rattle. I was wondering how did you resolve your problem, did you end up trading the car? and was it better than junking the car. I went to a nissan dealer here in town who quoted me $500 for which I stormed out of the showroom.

I wanted to know if you have went for engine replacement, if yes did you get a 2003 or higher model like 2004 which seems to be the recommedation.

Any insight will be helpful

all comments welcome

Thanks

Last edited by nissan526; 04-18-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:26 PM
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Hi, I went for the engine replacement as this is the only car I have and I need it to get to work since I have a fairly long commute. If I had another car I might have explored my options more but I didn't have that luxury.

I'm not sure what year engine they put in. Is there a way to check and is the 2004 engine better? I have approximately 100 000 km on this engine so far so will probably look to purchase another vehicle by early next year so I don't experience the same problem again.

I definitely won't be buying a Nissan even though my new mechanic since I have stopped going to the dealer says Nissan's are really good cars. I was just unlucky lol. I'm just not willing to take the chance again.

Sorry to hear this has also happend to you. Depending on what the car is worth and what condition it is in depends on if it is worthwhile or not to replace the engine or if you can get it done cheaper somewhere else. Also, you have to take into consideration it is approx. 9 years old now so other major expenses may creep up.

I've heard there are class action lawsuits regarding this but can't find any. If anyone knows of any can you point me in the right direction?

Hopefully, Nissan does lose in some class action suit but that would probably be highly unlikely.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:36 AM
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To consider whether the 2.5 Altima is a good car or not, one only needs to look at how many are on the road. Are Nissans good cars? I personally own a 3.0 1995 Maxima with 303,000 miles on the odometer and still going.

The 2002 through 2005(?) model had issues with pre-cat destruction that had much to do with the design and location of the pre-cat and an issue with heat from the engine helping to destroy the pre-cat over time.

A ECM program was to take care of much of the problem associated with this issue that was to adjust the timing of valve open/close to keep particulate from being sucked back into the engine upon failure and destroying it.

Unfortunately if the recall work was not performed, one could find out when it was too late that their pre-cat had failed and the engine had been compromised.

Additional research shows that after that time period, the problem with the 2.5 engines has subsided and the Altima is constantly ranked at the top of sedan choices. My daughter was the proud owner of a used 2002 that ended up with 200,000+ miles on it before she totaled it. She replaced it with a 2012 version of the car with the 2.5 engine in it.

Because of the success of the 3.0 in the Maxima's and the 3.5 in the newer Altimas, I had suggested looking at that engine but the added expense and rarity of it pushed her back towards the 2.5.

So far with almost 12,000 miles on it (since December 2011), it's a great engine, a great car and seems to have the issues of 10 years ago resolved.

Personally, I wouldn't write off the purchase of a newer version of the 2.5 engine but I would baby a 2002 to 2006 engine, make sure the recall work was performed, and change the oil every 3000 miles (and check it often). If you want to know what's going on inside the engine, the oil will be your best indicator.

Also, pay attention to SES codes and change your O2 sensors when required. If you have over 100,000 miles, change them if you haven't done so. A bad mixture of fuel and air will cause destruction of any catalytic convertor which can be caused by a bad O2 sensor. If you get a P0420 code, don't assume it's the pre-cat if your O2 sensors are old and need replacing.

Don't fret that your car is a lemon, there are many of these on the road and while some may have issues, many don't. And I wouldn't throw the Nissan family of cars out the window due to issues on their cars from 6-10 years ago.
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