This appears to be a common problem with 2002 Nissan Altima - the catalytic converter goes bad, the head gasket blows, the engine starts burning oil like mad and finally it needs engine replacement. My car has all of these problems. According to Kelly Blue Book, the private-party value of this car in good condition is $6k. The dealer is asking me for roughly $4k to replace the engine and the catalytic converter. My car has less than 80k miles and it is less than 8 years old, but the dealer is refusing to replace the cat and the engine under warranty because I drove the car with a known blown head gasket problem for a couple of months. So, I am not sure what to do now. Should I pour 4 grand into this ? My worry is that there may be other problems that surface after I put so much money into it. Would I be better off donating the car/selling it off as is and buying another used one (maybe a Hyundai or a Kia which has a 10 year/100k miles warranty)? I recently bought a new Toyota Sienna and I only need a second car for commute to work (8 miles each way). Looking forward to some good advice. Thanks!
I have a 2002 2.5 S I4, I bought from carmax in 2003 with 15k miles on it.. Problems started winter 2008 with the heat not working and my (ase certified, "will not void your warranty") mechanic misdiagnosing the problem like 12 times... By March 2009, I finally got fed up with making the trip from DC to Maryland just to visit my mechanic only 2 have the same prob a month later..
(btw if ur wondering why I kept going to him.. long time friend of family or so I thought. He's been seeing all my fams cars since 1992, and *used* to give fair prices.. turns out lately he's just been more a douche. figured that out the hard way)
I got sick of the engine knock, longer crank to turn the engine, shaking, intermittent heat only at 4k+ rpms, and having to check oil and coolant levels all the time. So I finally took it to the dealer, man o man i shit myself when he called me back..
Head gasket, pre cat, water pump, the whole nine. He suggested a new engine at $6200.
I was senior in college at the time.. think broke. So I went used, and got a 2.5cvt long block for $1800. It had 40k miles from the previous owner and came w/ a 6 month warranty.
The guys from the auto yard that I bought the engine from didn't know wtf they were doing when installing the long block.. they're primitive pick up truck kinda guys, so whatev.. Car w/ new engine wouldn't crank..
Eventually I towed it to the dealer after screaming at em for having my car for 2 weeks and not knowing wtf they did to it for it to not work. figured out they used dirty hoses, cross threaded something they shouldnt have, and the crank shaft and throttle body was for lack of better terms, not good. Since the replacement engine was under warranty with the used parts company, they were *supposed* to fix the problem free of charge. But in my experiences thus far with them they kept ****ing it up even worse, so I bit the bullet and had passport nissan fix it. Towed it to em, they set me straight for $800.
The car runs like an absolute dream now.
All in all, it was a huuuuuuge headache dealing with the used parts people and towing back and forth from the dealer.
But with a total of around $2600, I got a cvt engine (long block anyways) with 30k less miles than I had on the blown one, got it certified by Nissan techs, new water pump and all that crap they quoted me at initially, and all the kinks ironed out. And of course all their work is under warranty now. So I'm sitting pretty now.
1.5 years later, I'm absolutely happy with the result.
It's the reason I started modding. Starts w new headers to get of pre cat, and everything else to sorta thank my altima for keeping me safe since 2003.
I guess I wrote all that to say, keep ur head up bro. Hope my story helps u decide a way to go. It's not hopeless, but it def an unwelcome headache and a serious wallet blow.
If you need any info on prices I've been quoted at, specifically for different fixes and follow ups that come with the qr failing and replacement, pm me. I saved all my receipts and invoices, def wouldnt mind sharing that w you.
First, if your car has less than 80k miles, the federal government requires the auto maker to guarantee the cat.
Second, head gasket was blown BECAUSE of a faulty cat. Driving your car around is not the problem. Don't let them tell you that.
Finally, the cat went bad which blew your engine because of poor design and a slow reaction by Nissan to fix the problem before damage was caused to many '02s. Force them to pay for your engine. It is possible, I got a new engine at no cost to me from Nissan NA because of this exact same problem. I had to fight with them for 2 months to get my way, but it was worth it. Show them all of your service records and don't take no for an answer. Get your local dealer on your side and fight Nissan NA together. Win-Win for you and the dealer (they get to do all that work and bill someone other than you for it).
Stillen SAI w/ K&N filter
Stillen Strut Tower Brace
AT Electrical Grounding Kit
35% window tint
Trendz grill new dealer installed engine, May 2007
im there with you on the precat crap my car is at the shop now waiting for a estimate on the rebuild cant wait to get it back i really hate nissan for being so stupid and putting that there without checking how it would work out oh well stuff happens
GP THUNDER highs and lows
blacked out rims and side mirrors
custom Nissan emblems
free wai mod Megan Racing Cat-back
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