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Ask Mike V. Your Own Question
Mike V.
Mike V., Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 24829
Experience:  Nissan factory trained and Certified Subaru Technician.
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My car engine shakes when i turn on

Customer Question

my car engine shakes when i turn on
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.

carguy1 :

Hi there! Is the check engine light coming on?

Customer:

yes it just did yesterday

carguy1 :

Ok, does it only run rough for the first few seconds after it sits for long periods like over night?

Customer:

yeah like this morning i turned it on and i was shaking for couple seconds then is goes back to steady

carguy1 :

Ok, first thing is to have the check engine light read.Most parts stores will do this at no charge. I suspect you will find a misfire code. It is likely misfiring due to engine coolant getting into the cylinder. This is a very common issue and you are describing the symptoms to a T.

carguy1 :

This happens due to a small leak in the head gasket.

carguy1 :

The coolant seeps in overnight and then won't burn. This causes the rough idle on first start up,but once the coolant clears out, the car will run normally.

Customer:

i have been having problems with cooling of the engine. somethings when i opened the radiator cap it would spill over, would that have somthing to do with it. where is the head gasket?

carguy1 :

It can be an issue, usually you will see loss of coolant. Just barely any when it first starts. The engine has 2 main pieces, the block and the head. The gasket is what seals the block and the head. Hold for a sec and I think I can come up with a diagram for you.

carguy1 :

Here is a pic of the cylinder head and the gasket

carguy1 :

Full Size Image

carguy1 :

Here is a pic of the block

Customer:

so you think i have to replace this?

carguy1 :

Full Size Image

carguy1 :

I think it is very likey based on the description of the problem you are having. It can and should be tested first

carguy1 :

Here is how I test them.

carguy1 :

Pressure test the cooling system for one hour. Remove the spark plugs and look at the tops of the pistons. If this is the problem, there will be coolant on top of one of the pistons.

carguy1 :

It is very important that the cooling system is under pressure for at least one hour.

carguy1 :

Otherwise, what will happen is the shop will want to replace the coil, the spark plugs and possibly the fuel injector. Not only will this result in a high repair bill for parts that aren't needed. You will be making multiple trips back and forth.

Customer:

how much are talking about?

carguy1 :

It's in the ballpark of $750-$950 to repair. This is just a ball park price.

Customer:

could you show me a picture of the pistons i can check?

Mike V. and 6 other Nissan Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Mike V. replied 6 years ago.
HERE is the link