Mechanics

COLD WEATHER BAD IDLE/STALL - OIL LEAK?

2000 Nissan Maxima

Hi, my 2000 Nissan Maxima wigth 75K miles on it does not idle steady and stalls on cold marnings with temp outside below 38F. It sounds like one cylinder misfires. Once the car warms up the symptoms disappear and car runs fine all day. Mechanic noticed oil on one of the spark plugs and suggested that oil is leaking into one of the cylinders. His resolution is to look into leaking valves/seals/rings and replace leaking parts. In best case scenario the repair should relatively inexpensive but in worst case I am better off replacing the car. What part(s) exactly can be leaking and how series is it? There is no suspicious smoke coming out of the tale pipe at any time, smoke color and quantity seem to be normal.
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Dmaljunk
January 11, 2006.



Hi!

I've got something similar.

Recently replaced the spark plugs on my Maxima 03. The first three- beautiful; fourth- dripping w/ oil(dark) & I had just changed oil/filter.
That fourth spark plug coil didn't " pop" on of off like the others so I hoped it was not a leaking valve/seal but just not firing.

No smoke, no engine light, idle a little rough, but I've got 75,000 miles on it. (Has never stalled).
Also have to mention- terrible gas milage (15-17per gal)

After calling around for parts & buying a OBD 2 (Scanner for $200+- useless unless you fork over another 200+ online for program installs.)

I've scheduled an appt w/ AAA Care Car for Wed morn. - I'll let you know what they find.

Tiny
Dp_maxima03
Mar 6, 2006.
My stalling issue was caused by a clogged up EGR Valve tube and this wasn't really related to oil leak. To fix the oil leak, I had to replace the valve cover gasket set, which includes the main oil seal and spark plug tube seals. If it's those spark plug tube seals then you are lucky and the cause of the leak could be a PCV Valve, which is a $10 thing sticking right out of the intake manifold. Valve Cover Gasket set replacement should be $250 from an honest mechanic

If the oil is leaking deeper in the cylinder then it could be rings, pistons, it doesn't matter what exactly it is but if that's the case then you need to sell the car - this repair will cost you thousands.

Why would you look for a scanner yourself. You can get a free scan at AutoZone but if you don't have any SES light then don't even bother, don't look into sensors but address your oil leak.

Good luck.

Tiny
Dmaljunk
Mar 6, 2006.
Oh yes, you said the car is 2003, I guess it's just out of warranty, well, if they do find a leak inside the cylinder then you should try addressing this with Nissan Customer Service and getting it fixed under good will. Certain things may qualify for extended warranty periods depending on how persuasive you get with them. One thing for sure, something like this doesn't happen on a 2003 expesnive sedan.

Tiny
Dmaljunk
Mar 6, 2006.