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I have a 2006 Nissan Maxima and it is leaking coolant. I

cannot see where the coolant...
I have a 2006 Nissan Maxima and it is leaking coolant. I cannot see where the coolant is coming from, but it is dripping off the top edge of the oil pan closest to the front of the car. Below the alternator and behind the AC compressor. The engine compartment is so crammed full I cannot see above the oil pan to see where the coolant is coming from. I cannot see from the top, bottom or front of the engine where it is coming from. It's getting worse. It does not appear to be coming from where the water hose enters the front of the engine. Any ideas?
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
10/20/2017
Jake
Jake, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 4,025
Experience: Experienced collision repair technician, Pulaski Tech graduate and DSM hobbyist.
Verified

It is likely coming from the weep hole at the back of the front timing cover. This indicates that the water pump is leaking and will need replaced.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
That sounds logical, though I did just replace it about a year ago. Is there a way to actually see that to verify?

look at the right side of the timing cover and see if it's originating there.

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look around the a/c compressor bracket area for signs of coolant.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
That would totally stink since I replaced the water pump about a year ago when I had the front cover off to replace the timing chains. I replaced it, even though it didn't need it, just so I wouldn't have to do it again. If I'm not mistaken you have to take the timing chains off to get the pump off. I can do that job myself but it's a royal pain.

its about a 3 hour job in total. You do not have to remove the entire front cover or the chains. Just the access plate and tensioner.

I can send you the instructions if you would like by email.

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Do verify it the coolant like I mentioned obviously, but if so then while it is one of the crappier water pump replacements it's not too entirely bad.

Just make absolutely sure that before the engine is started the first time after replacement that you remove the fuel pump fuse and crank the engine for a good 15-20 seconds to prime the tensioner back up! otherwise the lack of tension can cause it to jump time.

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That tip, you won't see in the manual lol. It's usually learned through misery of experience.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I hope you are right. If so that would save about seven hours work. I'll let you know on the email instructions. Thanks.
Okie doke!
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I was prepared to rip the whole front cover off, so you have spared me that nightmare. Thanks!

please don't forget to leave kind rating also! thanks.

Jake
Jake, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 4,025
Experience: Experienced collision repair technician, Pulaski Tech graduate and DSM hobbyist.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
After I replace the water pump, I want to lower the engine by lowering the frame via the two bolts that hold it up in the front to fix a power steering hose leak behind the engine. Do I need to disconnect the exhaust pipes, or do they flex to accommodate the bend?
Just unbolt the 2 bolts at the end of the y-pipe front tube and you lower it and move it all you want.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
OK. I've got everything all apart down the the tensioner cover (now off) and the water pump cover (off). How do I determine where TDC is without tearing the top end apart? Does it need to be TDC on the compression stroke (to achieve the position from which I go 20 degrees counterclockwise to get minimum tension on the timing chain)?
Sorry for the delay, I just seen this.This will work without being at TDC if your still working on it.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I just turn the crankshaft back 20 degrees from wherever it is?

As you probably know the only effective way to verify TDC in your position is to set the crank pulley to the indicator mark on the timing case while verify the cam lobe positions face each other. otherwise you can drop a long extension, antennae, etc in cylinder 1 (which is covered) until the cylinder raises to the top of it's compression stroke. The main objection here is to put the cams in a position to prevent them from "rolling over" on you with the tensioner off, so unless you plan on placing tension on the guide with your hand or re-installing the tensioner i wouldn't recommend turning over the cams with the tensioner out searching for TDC at this point. If the crank pulley is in position place your hand not the tensioner guide to put some tension on it and slightly turn the pulley back 20 degrees and watch for the chain to slack on the water pump.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
At the moment the tensioner is still in place, along with the water pump. Should I turn back 20 degrees now and go for it?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Well, I apparently messed up the timing because the car won't start now.

Sorry, crazy day!

That's why I tried to get you to take the email offer before as it's on my phone and I see it whether I am online or not.

When you had tension on guide, if you would have turned it back 20degrees and literally watched it slack, then you know your in position. Then you put it back in line with the mark on the cover, remove the tensioner, then with hand pressure on the guide turn t back 20 degrees and watch it slack. When you let off the guide you can literally just pull the chain loose without any prying or pressure. If you weren't sure you would mark the water pump and a link and correspond with the new one in case the chain fell loose enough at the sprocket when pulling it back.

additionally I hope you primed the tensioner as well or this is a common cause of the timing to jump.

It's generally real easy to confirm though, disconnect the cam sensors one at a time then crank the engine. If it starts with one unplugged your off a tooth.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Nothing worked like it was supposed to. I turned it back 20 degrees and I could not detect any slack at all. I finally removed the tensioner without there being any slack. Then I tried turning further to get slack on the water pump. I had to turn about 60 degrees to get that. Installed the pump and re-installed the tensioner, then I tried to turn everything back to where it was. That's when I heard the ping that must have been the chain jumping a tooth. Anyway, the car won't start now so I'll have to take it somewhere and get the timing chains reset. I'm not going to try to do that job myself.
Yea, that’s definAtely not something g you want to force or turn xcessively without tension on the chain. When you had the tensioner on still you should have just been turning two revolutions at a time at the crank till you hit the mark o. The cover then backing off 20 degrees to see the chain barely relax at the pump to know your In a good position, if that wasn’t working should of spent 30 minutes pulling of the manifold and verifying it. FWIW the actual service manual procedure doesn’t even call for TDC it just makes it considerably easier because of the tension it releases with no worries of roll-over at the cams.Sorry you having problems.
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