What maintenance is DIY-Friendly On 2013 Altima? - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:07 AM
webuser webuser is offline
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What maintenance is DIY-Friendly On 2013 Altima?

How DIY friendly are "simple" maintenance items on the 2013 Altima?
Oil changes, air filter changes, cabin filter changes, bulb replacements etc.?
I found a video showing how to replace a headlight bulb and it was much more difficult than expected. On many cars, you can just open the hood, reach in and replace the bulb. The video shows needing to jack the car up, remove a wheel and then do quite a bit of dis-assembly to get to where the bulbs are located. I probably would not bother and just pay the dealer to replace a simple burnt out bulb.

The car has been out long enough that some people should have replaced their cabin filters by now.
I searched and can't find any directions showing how much work is required to change it that is specific to 2013 models.
On some cars you can just open the glove box door, reach in with your hands and swap it in 2 minutes. On other cars, you need to do quite a bit of interior dis-assembly with tools and is not very DIY friendly. So, most people will end up paying a dealer $75 or more to replace it and not even be sure it was really changed or even needed to be changed yet.
How is cabin filter replacement done on the 2013 Altimas?
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:57 PM
2013SV 2013SV is offline
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I would imagine it is as easy as you can make it. All depends on your exeperience as well I would suppose. Oil changes can't be that hard, as well as changing the air filter, as that is on top of the engine. In regards to the cabin filter, that shouldn't be that hard as well, as that is usually being the glove box.

Last edited by 2013SV; 05-27-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:31 PM
Drk93TT Drk93TT is offline
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Manual says cabin is behind the glovebox, shouldnt be hard at all to replace. I just bought my 3.5 SL 4 days ago, so have not done any maintenance lol.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:40 PM
techguy888 techguy888 is offline
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Oil change is about the same complexity as bulb replacement. It's really not that bad, just jack the car up and take off the splashguard to access the oil filter. A few pop-up type plastic pins (5 if I recall correctly) need to be pulled out to remove the splashguard.

Air filter is as easy as can be. Just undo a couple buckles holding the air filter assembly top cover in place and remove the filter. It's like a 30 second job.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:12 PM
webuser webuser is offline
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Yes, changing a cabin filter "shouldn't" be that hard. However, sometimes they just are. It depends on the specific car model whether they are easy to difficult to access.
Maybe no one has checked this out in detail on the 2013 Altimas yet since it will be a few more weeks before the first ones sold are 12 months old.
I thought that maybe a few people decided to try changing it early.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:19 PM
tharam04 tharam04 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webuser View Post
How DIY friendly are "simple" maintenance items on the 2013 Altima?
Oil changes, air filter changes, cabin filter changes, bulb replacements etc.?
I found a video showing how to replace a headlight bulb and it was much more difficult than expected. On many cars, you can just open the hood, reach in and replace the bulb. The video shows needing to jack the car up, remove a wheel and then do quite a bit of dis-assembly to get to where the bulbs are located. I probably would not bother and just pay the dealer to replace a simple burnt out bulb.

The car has been out long enough that some people should have replaced their cabin filters by now.
I searched and can't find any directions showing how much work is required to change it that is specific to 2013 models.
On some cars you can just open the glove box door, reach in with your hands and swap it in 2 minutes. On other cars, you need to do quite a bit of interior dis-assembly with tools and is not very DIY friendly. So, most people will end up paying a dealer $75 or more to replace it and not even be sure it was really changed or even needed to be changed yet.
How is cabin filter replacement done on the 2013 Altimas?
If you are small enough, you can change the headlight bulb without raising the car. When I put my HID kit in, it took me about 1.5 hrs to do both since it was my first time. Now that I know what to do, it would probably take me about 30-45 mins to do both. To change the park and fog lights is almost the same procedure as the headlights. Changing the trunk bulb will take less than 5 mins. Can't speak on the rest of the bulbs since I haven't changed those yet.

As for the cabin air filter, you have to remove the glove box to get to it. There's instructions on how to remove the glove box on other product installation guides. Nissan Footwell Kit has instructions on how to remove it.

One of the fuse boxes under the hood is hard to open and IMO is even harder to replace the fuses because the fuses point down (the number on the fuse points downward) and the wiring doesn't allow much movement of the panel.

Cleaning bugs off the radiator wasn't difficult. Just have to remove the plastic covering that surrounds the hood release. Flat head screwdriver to remove all of the tabs and then the plastic covering comes up. Then just spray with a water hose and replace the cover and tabs.

Air filter isn't difficult. Haven't had to change mine yet, but have opened it to see. Just release the tabs and pull out the filter.

Those are all the maintenance tasks that I have done.


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Old 05-28-2013, 05:14 PM
patriot07 patriot07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy888 View Post
Oil change is about the same complexity as bulb replacement. It's really not that bad, just jack the car up and take off the splashguard to access the oil filter. A few pop-up type plastic pins (5 if I recall correctly) need to be pulled out to remove the splashguard.

Air filter is as easy as can be. Just undo a couple buckles holding the air filter assembly top cover in place and remove the filter. It's like a 30 second job.
You have to pull a splash guard to change the oil? That's a terrible design! Those pins are not meant to be removed and reinstalled all the time. Never owned a Nissan before, but that's an egregious design flaw.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by patriot07 View Post
You have to pull a splash guard to change the oil? That's a terrible design! Those pins are not meant to be removed and reinstalled all the time. Never owned a Nissan before, but that's an egregious design flaw.
Apparently you're not familiar with newer cars as that certainly is not an "egregious design flaw". Several of my other cars are the same. A couple take a good deal longer to access than the Altima.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:53 PM
patriot07 patriot07 is offline
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Originally Posted by dbc View Post
Apparently you're not familiar with newer cars as that certainly is not an "egregious design flaw". Several of my other cars are the same. A couple take a good deal longer to access than the Altima.
Just because multiple manufacturers are doing it doesn't mean it's not a design flaw. My wife has a 2010 Honda CR-V and I've got a 2004 Chevy Silverado and both are very easy to access. You shouldn't design a car such that a regular maintenance procedure requires removal of fasteners that are not designed for repeated removal/installation.

I'm a structural design engineer (for aircraft, not cars) and that's a design 101 lesson.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:56 PM
tharam04 tharam04 is offline
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Originally Posted by patriot07 View Post
Just because multiple manufacturers are doing it doesn't mean it's not a design flaw. My wife has a 2010 Honda CR-V and I've got a 2004 Chevy Silverado and both are very easy to access. You shouldn't design a car such that a regular maintenance procedure requires removal of fasteners that are not designed for repeated removal/installation.
Agreed, but if you want to make more money, you'll make it very difficult so that the typical shadetree mechanic doesn't want to touch it and the owner will more than likely go to the dealership. That's what Nissan did with this car, especially with the headlights.


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Old 05-28-2013, 06:07 PM
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Plastic automobile car belly pans aren't designed to aircraft standards. And don't need to be. You're "alarmed" at what is pretty much standard automotive practice.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:17 PM
patriot07 patriot07 is offline
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Originally Posted by dbc View Post
Plastic automobile car belly pans aren't designed to aircraft standards. And don't need to be. You're "alarmed" at what is pretty much standard automotive practice.
I didn't say I was alarmed. And I didn't say they had to be designed to aircraft standards. I don't care what standards/specifications belly pans are designed to. I'm just saying that removal of them shouldn't be required for a common maintenance procedure if designing it another way is possible. And as many manufacturers have shown, it's certainly possible.

I'm not saying this is a reason not to buy the car. But the only way this could happen is if the engineers were either lazy or not communicating. Either way, it was an avoidable design flaw that's going to cost me a few extra minutes every time I change my oil and might result in me having to unnecessarily replace several of those crummy plastic pins along the way.

In no way is this standard automotive practice.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:21 PM
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Not mentioned yet, but the filter on both the 2.5 and 3.5 is accessed through a panel on the inside of the right fender well. Awkward location almost directly behind the front wheel. Access is improved by steering hard right but is easiest by removing the front wheel.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:26 PM
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Current and recent past cars I've owned that have an access panel for oil/filter change:

Lexus LS 400

Lexus LS 430

Jaguar XK8

Jaguar XF Supercharged

VW Passat Wagon

VW Golf TDI

Volvo V70

There are many, many others.

Managing underbody airflow is critical to lowering Cd. Plastic covers and pans are very effective at this but often restrict access so they have access panels. It is pretty much standard automotive practice. That's just a fact.

Last edited by dbc; 05-28-2013 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:23 PM
patriot07 patriot07 is offline
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Good info on the wheel well.

That's a ton of cars. Guess I've just been dodging bullets over the years. I've owned or worked on the Honda Civic, Accord, CR-V, Chevy Silverado & S-10, GMC Sierra, Dodge Ram 1500 & Durango, and others I'm sure and never had to remove a panel with plastic clips to get to an oil filter.

To be honest, I don't mind the wheel nearly as much as I'd mind the splash guard. I just cannot explain in words how much I hate dealing with those idiot plastic pins. And if I've already got the car jacked up and on stands, removing a wheel isn't as much of an annoyance to me as trying to get those pins out and back in without destroying one.
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  Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum > Nissanclub.com Nissan - Infiniti Enthusiast Forums > NISSAN ALTIMA FORUMS > *NEW* 2013+ NISSAN ALTIMA Forum > 2013+ Nissan Altima Discussion (2.5 & 3.5)

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