1996 Nissan Maxima How do I know if my engine is blown?

Tiny
AHADAZAM
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 NISSAN MAXIMA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 168,200 MILES
Hi, I just had my waterpump replaced on my 1996 maxima because it was leaking very bad. It was a local shop that charged me $400 labor because it was a 5-hour job and they said they would have to loosen the timing chain. Well the car was fixed but after driving about 200 miles, I felt the car losing power on the highway and it eventually died within the next 30 seconds. I tried to start it again but it sounded like the engine wasn't turning. There was a little smoke coming out by the timing chain cover. So I just want to know how I can diagnose the engine. Where is the crankshaft bolt and how do I turn it? Or any other help is appreciated. Or is it a timing chain issue?
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Friday, May 28th, 2010 AT 9:46 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

the crank shaft bolt is at the front of the engine holding on the front pulley, you can get to it by removing th wheel and the plastic under engine tray, you should be able to crank the engine over and do a compression test, but if that is not working, the mechanic may have not installed the timing chain tensioner correctly and the valve timing had altered or the chain has jambed up, the smoke from the timing cover is a worry, they should investigate this FOC for you.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 1:00 AM
Tiny
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Hi, Thanks for your response. I talked to the shop guys and they're already denying their fault. I just want to save myself 2 additional tows and figure out if the engine is seized or its a timing chain issue. I took the oil cap off and cranked the engine, and the rod inside the oil cap was rotating. Does that mean anything? Whats the best way to diagnose it? Your help is appreciated
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 8:34 AM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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HI there, I would get a compression test done first as this will give you an indication as to any internal mechanical damage, start here.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 9:14 AM
Tiny
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Hi

Is there any possible way of doing the compression test myself? And one last question. What can it most likely be? If the rod in the oil cap still spins does that mean the engine is good? Thank you for all your help!
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 4:59 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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You can do a comp test your self if you have the equipment, you will need a tester, and hand tools to remove the spark plugs, test one at a time and use full throttle when testing, have all plugs out and remove the fuel pump relay. The cam is just part of the system, if the tensioner has failed and cam timing is affected the chances of internal damage is possible, every thing can still turn and there can still be a problem with valve timing, if the timing is out enough, pistons will hit valves and bend them, this will result in low compression readings.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 7:58 PM
Tiny
AHADAZAM
  • MEMBER
Hi,

I took the passenger side tire out and the plastic engine cover. Now, I have access to the crankshaft bolt. Its a 19mm bolt right in the middle of the lower pulley. Now do I try to turn the bolt clockwise? And if it turns or doesn't turn, what do I determine by that test? Again, thanks much!
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 11:23 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
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HI there,

If you can turn the engine over it will prove that the chain is not fouled, but it will not prove that it has slipped time due to a tensioner failure, a comp test will show any bent valves due to piston strike as a result for excessive valve tining misalignment.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Sunday, May 30th, 2010 AT 7:12 AM

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