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Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 20242
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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Regarding a VQ37VHR engine, it ran low on oil for 20 seconds

Customer Question

Regarding a VQ37VHR engine, it ran low on oil for 20 seconds (bad oil filter seal) then died. Will not start now. Dealer says the camshaft sprockets have seized in position and wants to replace them. Only code was P0340 (camshaft sensor). Does this sound right? Ever heard of seized camshaft sprockets? Would that cause a total no-start condition? Thanks.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** thank you for your question.

When you say ran low on oil, how low? Also how many miles do you have on your car and how often have you done oil changes?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
There was a gap between the oil filter seal and the car. I suspect that most of the oil in the car got dumped on the road. I can state there was no oil on the dipstick. Car has 65k mi and oil and filter changes are done every 7500 mi. I had just changed the oil in the car, so it was full. I didn't get the oil filter on right. Between my driveway and where the car died was .2 miles.The real question is whether a low/very low oil condition was cause either one or both of the camshaft phasers to lock/seize in place such that the car will not start (and not produce any DTC codes except P0340)? I note that I ran a compression test on all cylinders that came back fine (240 psi on each cylinder).
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Low oil and no oil are two different things. Yes I have seem cam sprockets seize up from lack of oil, and I have seen them sludge up as well if oil changes are not done. The only way to really verify this is to monitor there operation when turning the engine over. If the sprocket is locked and the numbers don't move, then it will need to be replaced. Those sprockets are around 500 each and around 10 hours in labor to replace.

I would ask to have them swap the Cam sensors to see if that makes a difference first. If no change, then you could be looking at sprockets.

Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask.

If not, and you're satisfied with my help, please Rate me. That is how I get credit for my work. I hope I have provided you with Excellent Service.

Thanks Jay!