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Mike V.
Mike V., Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 23648
Experience:  Nissan factory trained and Certified Subaru Technician.
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2004 Nissan Maxima: 123000 the engine pings alot, and has been

Resolved Question:

I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with 123000 the engine pings alot, and has been for the past 20000 miles. I use Premium fuel all the time. Car has never missed a scheduled maintence. NEED HELP
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
HI there!This could be a problem with the knock sensor or the intake valve timing control. If there is no check engine light on, I would have the car checed for codes anyway. You will likely have a stored code for a knock sensor. If the light is on, there may be a code for the variable intake timing.
The knock sensor is used to quiet unleaded fuel ping by advancing the timing. If there is some type of timing control problem such as a bad variable timing solinoid. This can make the car ping as well.
The knock sensor doesn't turn the check engine light on, but will still store a code if it is the problem.
Hope this helps!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
There is a service engine soon light that goes on and off intermittingly. When I bring it to Nissan and the light goes out they say the codes that it is sending are erased now that the service engine light is off. What else could there be wrong? Timing chain was just changed. New Plugs, New Cats, a lot of money went into this car and the engine still pings.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
Did it ping prior to the timing chain being changed?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes it did
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
Do you know if there is a code for the knock sensor stored in the ecm? P0325?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No i don't
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
OK, I think what you need to do is this. Attemp to have the codes read by a parts store. A place like autozone has a code reader and can check the codes. I think you may have a code for the knock sensor stored in there and as I said, it will not turn the light on,but you can have it checked anyway. They don't charge so it will be good. Also, with the light coming on. I feel it is important to try and have the light checked when it is on. You can stop by and have it checked. This could be an important part of the puzzle.
One more thing to check is the front exhaust bracket that is bolted to the engine. Sometimes they break and generate alot of noise on acceleration. It could be this simple.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I will have it checked for the bracket. do you think the fuel filter could have a part in this as well
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
Possibly if the car is running lean and that is causing the ping.In fact, maybe the light coming on is for a lean code. This could be from an o2 sensor or even the mass air flow sensor.
You would have to have them check the fuel pressure when it is pinging to determine if it is the problem with a fuel filter. Low pressure would show it.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
but the O2 sensors were changed when they changed the cat converters
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
OK, I had no idea the O2 sensors or converters had been changed.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Oh they asked what was initially done to my car when I first logged on, so I thought that information was passed on to you. When I did take it to Nissan when the service engine light was not on, they did put the car on the machine and said no codes came back. Would the code for the knock sensor have shown up even though no service engine light was on
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
Yes, and if the car was pinging the code should be there. If the light was actually on, then there should have been codes stored.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Nissan says there maybe carbon buildup in the engine. I have never used low grade fuel. They seem to think 123000 miles is a lot of miles. I don't think it is. Is there anyway (inexpensive) short of taking the engine apart to get the carbon out of the engine or at least some of it

Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
I agree that 123k is not alot of miles. I have never used this product but have heard of great results. HERE is a link!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
nothing else other than this
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
not that I am aware of. If you want to get the carbon off without taking the engine apart, then you have to use checmicals.
Also, it could be water in the fuel. If you get fuel from the same place all the time it is possible. You may want to try a different gas station for a while and see if the pinging slowly goes away. It will not happen over night, but over time it could go away.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Would you happen to know how much it would cost to take the engine apart to remove the carbon
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
I'm sorry, I really don't but a rough estimate would be $1500-$2000
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok thank you
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
You are very welcome! Thanks for using JA
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