Engine Mechanical problem
2005 Nissan Altima 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 71000 miles
Last winter, my vehicle's heater was intermittently going in/out. My car also seem to struggle to start. We replaced the spark plugs and wires. Then, the vehicle was diagnosed as having a blown head gasket, as water was found in the oil? The car had 60, 900 miles at the time of the diagnosis, which is just 900 miles over the warranty. Therefore, Nissan would bear any responsibility in assisting in the repair despite the fact that the initial problems occurred prior to the vehicle turning over 60K. Anyhow, we had head gasket repaired for $1200 and the vehicle was returned to us 2.16.09. On 12.14.09, we sent the vehicle back to the mechanic who repaired the car in February and were informed that the head gasket needs repair again, but now I believe the problem is in all cylinders? The vehicle NEVER overheated, not the first time and not this most recent time. However, the mechanic is alleging to my husband that he wanted to take a closer look at the lower half of the engine and my husband discouraged him (in February). We consulted a Nissan reapir man who stated that would be unnecessary, as he should be able to see the lower part of the engine when the head gasket was removed for repair? Anyhow, the mechanic is now wanting to charge us full price again to repair the vehicle and appears to not want to take any responsibility. Please advise. Thanks. : )
To better assist you is your model just the Altima or the S, SE, SE-R, or SL and what is the engine size in liter?
December, 28, 2009 AT 10:57 PM
Hello and thank you for the donation.
Look at your paperwork from the shop in February.
It should say how long they warranty their work for in miles and months.
Can you clarify what he wanted to look for in the " lower half" of the engine?
Nothing that I can think of would be prone to cause head gasket failure.
January, 7, 2010 AT 11:31 AM
The vehicle is the Altima-S model 4 cyl. I don't know what the mechanic was wanting to look at on the lower part of the engine. The invoice doesn't state any mileage or month warranty information. Is there a standard warranty for repairs? I'm just dumb founded the mechanic is not willing to negotiate on the price for fixing it at all or stand behind his initial repair. Head gasket repair is the only note on the initial invoice from the repair in February. Now, I've been told blown head gasket again. My car has not yet been fixed because I have a pending complaint with the BBB. I'm not sure what my next step will be. Other than getting my car fixed elsewhere.
January, 8, 2010 AT 3:17 AM
Often I see shops offer 3 different warranties.
3 months / 3000 miles.
6 months / 5000 miles.
12 months / 12,000 miles.
But if there isn't anything on your receipt, then you really don't have a legal leg to stand on.
January, 11, 2010 AT 12:27 PM
Well, I'm not sure how to proceed. Should I get the head gasket fixed again? Get a whole new engine? Or cut my losses and trade in this vehicle? I guess I'm just asking for advice on the smartest next move. I've been told that once a head gasket blows and then there is continued problems, there will probably always be problems. I've been told that I should fix the car prior to trading in, so that I get more money out of it. My mind is boggled. : )
January, 11, 2010 AT 9:46 PM
This is what I would do.
Call your local Nissan Dealer and ask what the hours are for the parts department.
Then go to or call the parts department a little before quitting time.
Ask the parts guy (or girl) if any of the mechanics do " side work" at home. If the answer is YES, then leave your contact info so they can call you back.
Go to your local part store after 6pm and ask the guys behind the counter who they would recommend that does stuff at night.
If you don't like my first two options, then you can go to another repair shop that has a store front business.
In any case, give them all of the details you have stated here.
The next person to work on it should " straight edge" the block and the head to rule out any future problems.
My knee-jerk reaction is the shop you went do did a poor job of replacing the head gasket. But I cannot say that with any certainty.
January, 12, 2010 AT 10:06 AM
I appreciate your feedback. I am presently speaking with Japanese Auto Repair Specialists to have the vehicle properly repaired. Thanks again and I enjoyed your site.