2003 Nissan Altima Engine Issues

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by HurtHorseZ28, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. HurtHorseZ28

    HurtHorseZ28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    So I am weighing my options about our 2003 Nissan Altima and looking for input.

    Long story short, the engine seems to be in the early stages of failure. The car only has 75K on it. It is consuming oil, about a quart a month. After some research, these cars are notorious for having the pre-cat fail and get sucked up into the engine. That's probably what happened or is in the process of happening. It's one of those things that you don't start looking into until it's too late.

    Right now I have a Cylinder 3 misfire code. Already did plugs and threw coils at it. Going to do a compression test tomorrow and most likely it will confirm my fears.

    So my question is, what are my options? Will the engine fail no matter what I do? Is it too late? Is there any way to do something to save it without tearing it down? Would I be wasting my time if I removed the original header and precat and put a replacement header on there? Thanks!
     
  2. Dogwater

    Dogwater Veteran Member

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    Precat? Something I don't understand, your saying the catalytic converter has came apart /broken apart inside its case an has been sucked back up into the cylinder. At least thats what In thought I read. Well if that was possible which I don't think it is why only the no. 3 cylinder, why not all the cylinders. You need to read your mil codes. Check engine light on?
     
  3. HurtHorseZ28

    HurtHorseZ28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  4. TDPalmer

    TDPalmer Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    My dad has a 2004 Altima that was having the same problem, using oil and misfiring, and it turns out it was the valve cover or valve cover gasket I cannot remember which one they flex and crack and can cause a misfire and oil consumption issue.
     
  5. Mike N

    Mike N Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    12 year old Nissan in the salt belt?? I can hear Mav's Sawzall getting warmed up for this one.
     
  6. Dogwater

    Dogwater Veteran Member

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    Cylinder head gasket leak.
    Broken or weak valve spring
    Bad spark plug or wire
    Fuel injector bad or bad wiring
    Could be a few other things. I have a 01 Nissan Frontier, 3.3 V6, 230,000 miles, still has the same cats on that came from the factory, I'm sure there worn out. But if they fall apart the pieces will blow out the tailpipe. I have the same code but it runs fine, does run rich though. Its not a daliy driver just a "go buy beer on the weekend" kind of truck.
    The cats will hide or burn any oil smoke that would be normally coming out the tailpipe. A leak down test would tell you more about what's going on.
     
  7. twozs

    twozs Veteran Member

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    My 3.5 is bulletproof. The 4 cylinder not so much I guess .
     
  8. SupplySgt

    SupplySgt Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I think the issue that the OP referred to is the stock manifolds cracking and creating an issue with cat material being pulled back somehow. I know it's an issue on the Titan, but did not know it was an issue on the passenger cars.
     
  9. HurtHorseZ28

    HurtHorseZ28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Thanks for the replies!

    So I tested the injectors per this method described here and they all registered between 12.1 and 12.9 ohms.

    I did the compression test today and got the following results:

    Cylinder #1: 180PSI, 200PSI Wet
    Cylinder #2: 180PSI, 200PSI Wet
    Cylinder #3: 180PSI, 200PSI Wet
    Cylinder #4: 175PSI, 185PSI Wet

    The code is telling me that Cylinder #3 is misfiring. The new plugs I put in it with less than 50 miles on it (they're in order) look like the picture I attached. Since my compression values jumped when a tablespoon of oil was added to the cylinders, this means that the piston rings are worn, yes? Orrrrr maybe it's something else? (Already did plugs, coils, tested the injectors and now the compression test.) A lot of people online whose engines are still good have replaced the stock header (with the faulty precat) to one that doesn't have a precat. Am I wasting my time considering that since the rings are already worn?

    Member AFD sent me a link to this additive: http://xado.us/revitalizants/1satge/1-stage-revitalizant-gasoline-diesel-engine Has anyone else had any success with this product?

    Right now I am going to change the oil with some high mileage oil and add a bottle of Restore to it since I have read some good things about it helping with compression.

    I only drive the car 10-15 miles a day round trip, so I'd like to get it to last me for a couple more years if I can.
     

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  10. HurtHorseZ28

    HurtHorseZ28 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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