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Old 08-24-2018, 09:28 AM
LesleyM17 LesleyM17 is offline
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2008 Altima Coupe
2007 Altima Sedan
2008 Altima Coupe 2.5s
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2
Default 08 Altima Coupe 2.5s smoking after oil change and coolant top off

2008 Altima Coupe 2.5s
204,000 miles
New transmission less than a year ago
Live in Alabama with temps 80-90 during the day, 60-70 at night
No SES or other warning lights on

I recently took my 08 Altima 2.5s to get the oil changed at a national chain oil change service business. They used 5w30. This was the first time the car was taken to this particular place, as the closest Nissan dealership is over an hour and a half away. I don't mind paying more for quality service at all, but with school starting and family health issues, I was not going to be able to drive to a dealership. It was a little early for the oil change (the oil still looked great), but we were planning on taking a trip for the first time since my grandfather became sick, so I decided to go ahead and have it done just to be on the safe side. They changed the oil, topped off the coolant and washer fluid, replaced the air filter (which they said was broken) and sent me on my way. Almost immediately I noticed a reduction in acceleration upon take off. I really didn't think too much about it as they supposedly checked the fuel filter and my father in law's car we had taken there did the same thing after they replaced the fuel filter, but his car later started accelerating like normal. The drop in acceleration power was so noticeable that my son, who has only been in my car once before, noticed and asked me what was wrong and if any warning lights were on. No warning lights. The best way to describe it is - it feels like the car is struggling against its on weight on take off until you reach 30-40 mph, after that, it is normal. A return to normal acceleration has not happened like I thought it would. Later on that day, I noticed my car was smoking from the tail pipe when idling and I noticed the motor now has a slight tic that was never there before. I gave the car some gas and the smoke increased. The smoke is barely visible during the day but around dusk, it is clearly visible and is a very light, almost clear color, like water vapor. It has a strong smell, but not one of oil or coolant. It smells almost like you are behind a truck or car that has a bad exhaust system (or around here, a truck that has had its cats removed and straight piped). It is so strong of a smell that it makes me sick to my stomach. I also noticed a slight pop upon deceleration from what sounds like the bottom; front of the car but it does not happen all the time. I had my husband follow me down the road for a few miles where I could warm the engine up and get to driving speed and he said the smoke stopped after driving the car for a few minutes, but returned when the car was stopped and idling. There has not been a temp issue with the car, it has never overheated and guage always reads normal temp when driving. The car was not smoking, the engine did not have a tic, there was no smell from the exhaust and no loss of power until this oil change. I checked the oil and it is not cloudy or anything (doesn't look or smell burnt or show that my car is low on oil), but looks dirtier than the oil that was in the car before the oil change. I took the radiator cap off the next day, and started the car. No bubbles in the fluid but the fluid did rise to the point of overflowing out of the radiator. I called the business that performed the oil change and spoke with a manager about the issues that started immediately after the oil change and was told that I could bring the car back in and they would look at it for an amount that to me seems ridiculous considering that the issues started immediately after the oil change, it was the first time I used them, and I stated that it doesn't look like the oil was even changed and their paperwork also said that they filled my wiper fluid resivoir up, but there was no way they did that because it was low when I checked it the next day. This is my daily driver so now I am stuck having to pay them to look at my car (and I really don't think they are trustworthy after all of this, in my opinion - I really in all honesty believe they just topped my oil off and did not perform the actual oil change), drive an hour and an half to the nearest Nissan dealership and pay them 100s of dollars for a diagnostic of the car, or try to figure this out on my own. I will not drive my car until I can figure out what is wrong and get it fixed because I am scared of causing more damage to it. Could this be from a botched oil change, over filling of the coolant, air trapped in the coolant system, exhaust manifold, bad plugs/wires that just happened to foul right after the oil change, clogged cats, or the dredded head gasket? I have read all the horror stories of what could be wrong and the cost to fix them. I had a 03, a 2015 and also own a 07 (this is the first time I have ever had an issue with any of my Altimas except the transmission on the 08), and my 08 is by far my baby and favorite of the Altimas I have owned. Any help would be greatly appreciated as the only mechanics that I truly trust have passed and the only dealerships we have are Ford and Dodge and I'm not confident enough with their knowledge of Nissan to let them do work on my car. Thank you in advance.

Last edited by LesleyM17; 08-24-2018 at 09:48 AM.
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