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2002 Nissan Altima oil dropping - at 108000miles - I was told it needed a new engine

dogdays247 dogdays247
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 01/07
Posted: 01/13/07
11:21 AM

Ok heres the story, at 99,000 miles I went to the dealer and had the car checked and serviced (90,000mi recommended service) and mind you the car has had regular oil changes and services all along its 5 year period and has been good to me.  At 104,000 it started making a noise in the front end so I was going to bring it in for a oil change anyway and asked them to look at it.   They indicated it was very low before they changed it, and once they did, hmmm the noise went away.  So it was recommended to drive for ~ 700mi and come back in to check the oil, and I did and it was down ~ 1qt they topped it off and said drive it again ~ 700mi and come back 2 more times.  Well I did this no leaks have been noted but down atleast 1/2 qt the 2nd time and this last time more than a quart.  They topped it off each time. So obviously it is burning oil and now they have told me "Well it looks like you need a new engine", just like that, no other suggestions hmmmm  to the tune of 3900 + tax etc... Oh yea convenient how it is over the 100,00mi warranty and I just made my last payment on the car last month.  AHHHH  So after my long winded scenario, anyone have a suggestion or comments here.  I think get another opinon first and look at options but where to go from here. Thanks  

harold42usa1 harold42usa1
User | Posts: 126 | Joined: 09/06
Posted: 01/18/07
06:10 AM

Is the engine exhaust blue or is it normal looking? What weight of oil are you using? Could be a valve problem. Definitely get a second or third opinion. Sounds like you took good care of the engine. A large expense for a new engine that sounds fishy. Document it!  

gip2633 gip2633
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/07
Posted: 03/21/07
08:40 AM

I have had this exact same problem.  has your engine light come on and showing you need a new Cadillac Converter?  The burning oil also effects this the cadillac converter.  I always got my oil changed at 3,000 miles and right before the oil change was due, the engine would make the clanking noise.  The dealer would tell me "that is the car telling you it needs an oil change".  Which I should have asked more questions, but I didn't care because the noise was gone.  Last month the noise was there way before my oil change was due and they tell me I need a new engine ($3,900).  I said your crazy and freaked out.  Now I'm hearing there are other 2002 models that are having the same problem.  So I'm going to contact Nissan about this issue and maybe we can get a recall.  I'm currently using a synthetic oil (Valvoline Max Life, for cars over 75,000 miles) and this seems to not consume a lot of oil quickly.  I figure it is going to be cheaper to feed the car oil then pay for a new engine.  I just need the car to last me a couple more years.  

chriskbright chriskbright
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/07
Posted: 03/28/07
04:33 PM

I have the exact same problem, engine light is on, reading I need a new cat. The dealership tells me that I need a new engine.
Recently had the head gasket replaced, alternator replaced, as well as timing chain.

Dealership tells me, it is burning oil, and it does consume it excessively.  

julian07 julian07
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/02/07
09:46 AM

Same heres - 2002 Nissan Altima... 140,000 miles. The oil constantly burns and I am having to constantly fill it up with oil.  It gets starts choking up and overheated.  I took it to the dealership and they said it needs a new engine..quote you quickly and they said it will be $4120 to replace the engine.  I don't have want to buy a new car but neither do I want to replace the engine and not know if that's really whats wrong with it at the end of the tunnel.  It's frustrating because it's an obvious issue throughout all these models!  

new user new user
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/03/07
07:50 AM

I have been reading your posts while researching 02 Altimas (before purchasing) and I found this quote at:

In June 2006, it came to Nissan's attention that approximately 85,000 Altimas and 2,000 Sentra SE-Rs equipped with the QR25DE and built between January and May 2006 may experience unusually high oil consumption. This can lead to premature engine failure and possibly a fire. While Nissan investigates the problem, owners of the affected vehicles are being advised to check their oil frequently (every 700 mi [1127 km]), and dealers have been instructed to place the affected vehicles on sales hold.

While this appears to refer to engines built Jan 06 to May 06, it does look like the issue is being investigated by Nissan. I'm trying to locate Nissan's response, but no luck so far.  

mangomandarin mangomandarin
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/09/07
11:47 AM

Thank you for providing the wikipedia info.  I must cosign everyone's complaints.  I have a 2002 Nissan Altima.  Since I drive alot of highway miles, I literally had oil changes every 4 - 6 weeks.  I had all service maintenance completed on the car as well.  In 2005 my car which had approximately 80k miles was starting to lose oil.  I called the local dealership, brought it in...they topped it off with oil....told me to drive it around and come back.  I did that, lost 1-2 qts of oil, they topped it off again and was told to come back.  During that time I went to 2 other Nissan dealerships....was told basically the same thing.  I escalated my case to Nissan Consumer Affairs.  Considering I called them within the past year about another headache - headlamp assembly....with this drama I had my right light bulb replaced twice.....and when the recall came out Nissan for many months would not reimburse me for the repairs. It took me 4 months to get my money back for that.  Ok back to the oil leak drama.  Nissan Consumer Affairs admitted to me they had some recent issues with oil consumption with the Altimas.....but I was told since my VIN number didn't match their recall list there was nothing that could be done.  I went as far as higher a lawyer whom was recommended by the BBB.  The lawyer meet with me for 2 hours...took my $300 consulting fee then informed me there was nothing he can do for me by VA law since I crossed the time limit of lemon law complaints in the state of VA.

Keep in mind I was at 80k over the next month or so I kept calling Nissan Consumer Affairs hoping for a solution.  Well as you could imagine I still had to get to work, so I drove over the 100k the limit of my warranty.  When I finally got an Consumer Rep to take me seriously, he shot me down once I said I crossed 100k miles.  He told me oh well, your mileage is too high.  This was after I faxed in to him all 135 auto repair receipts.....that was to prove I was taking care of my car with scheduled maintenance.  

ryanthomas ryanthomas
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/10/07
06:07 PM

I had same problem with my altima. It all ended up to a new nissan-engine replacement.  

abdomino abdomino
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/14/07
11:43 AM

I have a 2002 Altima, the air condition was replaced within a month after purchase, several recalls like the air bag sensor; the front headlights, which I replaced several times; and finally the engine. I was lucky because I put hardly any miles on my car, so when my car started sucking up oil, I only had about 48,000 miles on it. Nissan told me that the engine was covered up to 60,000 miles. At this time I thought at least I had a new engine and the car is almost paid off. This engine replacement was in Dec. 2006, just yesterday the car lost all of the coolant and started smoking. I brought it in only to find out that the radiator had busted, this car has 53,000 miles on it. I was told that the radiator was only covered for the 3 year, 36,0000 mile warranty. I also found out that this new motor only has a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty. I would like to know if anyone knows if there is any legal help out there for people who bought these lemons.  

karen wilson karen wilson
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/27/07
10:36 PM

Got the same problem. I've tried to ask about every Nissan Altima parts but got no clue still.  

Another one, what's the nicest Nissan Accessories for every model? For budget purposes.  

karen wilson karen wilson
New User | Posts: 10 | Joined: 04/07
Posted: 04/27/07
10:45 PM

Got the same problem. I've tried to ask about every Nissan Altima parts but got no clue still.  

Another one, what's the nicest Nissan Accessories for every model? For budget purposes.  

joroman joroman
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/02/07
03:13 AM

Rrrrr...I've hit 99,800mls and my 02 Altima choked, shut off, and re-started in traffic this very morning.  Its been sucking oil like water in a dessert.  The check engine light has been on, but the dealership, as well as, local shops can't determine why.  To top it off, I have less than a year to pay it off.  Nothing but regrets.  FRUSTRATING!!!  I had a honda accord prior too, which went to 295,000 mls before giving out.  That car was worth it.  I think on this one, I bought a lemon.  As stated in other threads, it is way too convenient that this car bottoms out right around the 5 years.  This was my first & last nissan!  

nobleone nobleone
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/17/07
02:01 PM

We are having the same oil consumption problem with our 02 Altima.  It has been a good car until this point (for the most part).  If you have been successful in getting a nissan engine replacment please let me know how you did it.  Just starting the process.  Thanks.  

dano1525 dano1525
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/21/07
07:49 AM

I own a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL also. In late December 2006 the “CHECK ENGINE SOON” light came on. I took the car in for an oil change and the light went off and the car ran fine. A couple of weeks later the light came back on so I took it in again and it was down two quarts. They topped it off and it seemed ok again. Then in March 2007 the light came back on. I took the car to a foreign  car service station where I know the owner/operator very well. He checked it and told me that the oil was again quite low (about three quarts) and that he found that “code P0420 catalyst efficiency low bank 1” was found indicating that the catalytic converter was bad. He said that since the catalytic converter was under warranty to 80,000 miles (I only had 47,874 miles on the car ) that I should take it to the dealer and have them replace the catalytic converter. One week later
I took the car to Waikem Nissan (in Massillon, Ohio where I bought it) and told them about the “code” found and the excessive oil that the car was using. They checked it and said they couldn’t find anything wrong. They suggested performing an oil consumption test for 1,000 miles. They added ½ quart of oil. When I picked up the car the light was still on and now the engine was missing pretty badly. The following week I took the car back in. They cleaned the throttle plates, added another quart of oil and said they still couldn’t find anything else wrong. When I picked the car up this time the light was still on, the engine was missing more often and they had set the idle way too high. This dealership suggested several repairs to the car to see if they could find the problem; like a new injector and a new serpentine belt.
At this point I got really fed up with this dealer. The first week of April 2007 I called Fred Martin Nissan (in Akron, Ohio) and told them all of the problems that I had been experienced with the car and with the other dealer. I took the car in, they added one quart, adjusted the idle and said they wanted to perform the 1,000 mile oil consumption test (starting from that point). They also told me that although they did not get the P0420 code they suspected that the catalytic converter was bad and that this had affected the engine. The service tech informed me right away that he thought they would end up replacing both the catalytic converter and the engine under warranty. He also informed me that the 1,000 mile oil consumption test had to be completed before Nissan would agree to perform the repairs under warranty so that the dealership isn’t stuck paying for this.
My car is in the shop right now having the work done.
I bought this car new and I did some pretty extensive research before I bought it. I’m contacting Consumer Reports about this problem because at the time I made this purchase this car was rated as one of their “Best Buys”.  

prashant prashant
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/23/07
01:05 PM

around 2 months back, my engine started making the knocking sound. Got engine oil change and everything became perfectly fine.  But after couple of days, service engine light started showing and car started to stop randomly on roads.  Checked engine oil and found that there was no oil.  Went to the nearest gas station and filled oil.  Got it checked with the dealer and I was quite shocked to listen that "TECHNICALLY I NEED A NEW Engine" -- 02 sensors and Engine CAT they all need to be changed.  After searching in the internet I found that many Altima '02 has the same problem.  I have 103000 miles on my car. Is anybody able to contact Nissan Customer Service Team.  Please, pass the information if you have.  I will like to know if any response from NISSAN for the recall.  I will like to join anybody to talk to NISSAN.

- Prashant  

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