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Jay
Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 18906
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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My daughter has a 2006 Altima 2.5, the car runs fine when

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my daughter has a 2006 Altima 2.5, the car runs fine when driving or sitting in idle. A couple of weeks ago when you start it up the engine sounds like it's missing and literally sounds like a rod or loud knocking but after the car starts it runs rough for 2-3 seconds then it's fine. Sometimes it starts with no issues. I talked to two different Nissan techs and one said it was the catalytic converter so he gutted it out. Still no help. Then he said it was the #4 coil. Changed that out, no change so I changed the other 3 coils out, no help. The other tech told me to change out the crank position sensor so I changed it and the cam position sensor. Still no change. I just pulled the spark plugs and put a pressure test on the radiator. Within 45 minutes 3 of the 4 cylinders I can see water on top of the pistons. #4 looks brown. I taped a qtip to a straw and it appears to have mainly water, possibly small amount of oil but the other 2 cylinders has water for sure. So I'm thinking this is what seems to be causing the car to misfire on start. Does this sound correct? I'm tired of getting the run around from these guys and spending money on it. Could this be a seal or more than likely a head leaking??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks, Clyde
JA: Does the vehicle stall at low speeds? Does it sputter?
Customer: neither
JA: Are you fixing your Altima yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Please read my comment
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thank you, ***** ***** in my first comments

Hello my name is ***** ***** than you for your question

If you are seeing coolant in the cylinder, that is a sign of a bad head gasket. How many miles do you have on this car?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
172,000 miles. Been a great car. #1 cylinder is dry. Can these engines have the head gasket replaced? Reason I'm asking is a Nissan service desk guy told me they can't, that the motor would need replacing. If it can't I'll just have to buy her another car.

Anything can be done...

Do you happen to know if the engine has a oil consumption issue?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It doesn't

If it does not, I would do a head gasket. If it does, then it would need a engine. If the dealer will not do a head gasket for you, I am sure if you take it some where else, they would do it.

The key thing though is if the engine is making noise or not. If the engine has this knocking noise all the time, then yes, I would also agree that it would need a engine.

Coolant when it goes into a cylinder it does not burn so it can cause connecting rods to bend or do damage to the crank.

Do you have any more questions on this?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No Jay, that confirms what I thought too. Just a pain when these guys are jerking you around. There is no oil, I just looked again at the #4 cylinder again and it has a clear with brown tint looking water but it's not oil.

Yeah, that sounds like a head gasket issue my friend. The dealer doesn't want to get involved. I am sure that there are plenty of placed that would help you more.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Yeah I'm sure that's the problem. One last question. I'm an aircraft mechanic, have some experience on some cars. How long does a shop take to change one? Just curious the time involved.

It's around a 12 hour job to do a head gasket. So it's mainly a all labor type of job. But keep in mind, when they are doing the head gasket, the timing chain has to come off. Do you want a 160k mile timing chain put back on? or timing chain tensioner? There are more things that would be recommended when doing a head gasket.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
That makes sense, thank you

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Thanks Jay!

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