Recently, the Altima developed a rough idle just after it has started. Even if the engine is warm, the car still fells like it is going to stall. I also notice the engine does not increase to roughly1,500 rpm when the engine is starting like it used to.
A little background: 2005 2.5L automatic with 155K miles on it. I had the camshaft and crankshaft sensors changed at around 100K when I noticed the car didn't initial start and the engine light came on. Also had the precat changed at around 130k with a Nissan OEM precat and a new oxygen sensor.
The Altima does not feel any different once the car is moving, just feels different upon start up and right after.
The engine light finally came on;cylinder 3 misfire. I am thinking it is either the ignition coil or the head gasket. Since the rough idle only happens just after start up, I am thinking its the head gasket.
Pull the plugs and inspect them for wetness. May have a leaking HG. Our Sentra did the same thing awhile ago...I had to replace the HG...also sent the head off to a local machinist for decking and milling. No issues after this. However could be as simple as a bad spark plug or a coil that needs to be replaced. Take the #3 coil and put it on maybe the #2 plug, and see if you get a misfire on the #2 cylinder. If you do, then you know its most likely the coil, if not the issue remains with cylinder #3....pointing back to the HG.
The local independent shop was not able to diagnose the Altima today. After two hours at the Nissan dealer, the car needs a new engine costing $5300 plus tax.
They said the car has overheated and with this many miles they cannot guarantee their work. If they do replace the head gasket, supposedly they would have to mill the head causing an increase in compression. The increase in pressure could cause other problems in the future.
Even though I have never experienced the car overheating, would this "over heating" cause the gasket to fail or vice versa?
I still don't understand why they have to mill the head down. It was my understanding that during a head gasket replacement, the mechanic would inspect the head and decide whether or not to mill the head or not.
1). How can they determine that the head has to be milled if they have not taken the head off the engine?
2). How did they determine the car has over heated?
I guess it is what it is. I either sell the car for 2k, buy a new car, or spend close to 5k on a new engine with a 12k mile warranty.
Decking and milling isnt always necessary. It is only necessary when the car has severely over heated causing warpage of the head that would make it impossible to seal up with just a new gasket. Most of the time, the head is sent off to a machinist whom does the milling. Sucks you cant do this yourself because the most difficult part would be removing the head, and taking it to a machinist. Parts would run you under $120.00 because you would just need a head gasket set, which includes new valve seals. 2K is alot for lack of knowledge, I know. Its why I self taught myself alot of what I know. Sorry to hear about your situation, I really am.
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