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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I think I may have some answers for those of you with heater problems! :)

I just got my car back from the dealer to replace the speedometer (got a new accurate one from Nissan) and to have them look at the "sloshing" sound under the console. And the answer is . . .

It is AIR in the heater core / coolant system. According to the service dep't manager, some of the Altima's cooling system tubing is above the radiator cap. When Nissan originally filled the car with coolant, the highest the coolant fills to is the radiator cap. This leaves hoses with air above the radiator cap that can't be purged. The result is air bubbles in the system which, at least with my car, could be heard moving through the system under the console when the car is revved. It also most likely explains why the heating temperature drops pretty substantially while the car is idling (the air, which slows down at idle, doesn't conduct heat very well).

To fix it, they rotated the car so that the radiator was at the highest point to let the air bubbles rise to the radiator cap area. However, he said it would take another couple of days of driving to circulate the remaining air bubbles around the system and out the radiator cap to the reservoir, where they can escape.

He said that this is probably going to be a big problem with the Altimas. So, if you're having a heater issue, this could be the problem...
 

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Yes,you are correct. I got the car back today from having the coil packs replaced and had them check out the sloshing sound. But first, the coils. Apparently, some VIN's have a TSB on the coil packs. The bad ones cause radio noise and "hum".
Got them replaced and no huming yet. We'll see. I am trying to get the offical TSB so I can find out exactly what the deal is. There is also some springs that need to be replaced along the the coil packs(at least with mine) but am not sure how they relate.
Now for the "sloshing". There is in fact alot of air in the system, as stated by Scobes. They bled my system and the heat is much better. When I got the car tonight, I reved the motor and the noise had decreased. As I drove the car it slowly went away. The car will sit ovenight and I will listen for the sloshing tomorrow. So far though the heat is much better.
Now look for my post " Let's work together to fix/find all these TSB's"
Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately, I don't know the speedo serial number. Nissan told them to pull the instrument cluster and get the numbers off of the cluster to check it out, and apparently mine fell in the range (mnf'g in October). I haven't had a chance to highway test the new speedo, but I immediately noticed it seemed more accurate, more "conservative" if you will. (It used to be off 6-7 mph at 60mph).
 

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Just an update on my Sloshing noise. Drove the car today and no problems. No noise and much better heat. Scobes, I hope you got the same luck. Later.
Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Same

Yep, no noise and much better heat. I test drove a 2.5 this weekend (girlfriend wants one now), and heard the same sloshing noise as with my 3.5, and told the guy about the problem. Looks like it applies to both engines.
 

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I took my 2.5S in for the same heating problem. They found the temperature was 20ºF less at idle then while the car is in motion. They told me that they bleeded the system and added new coolant. They told me to drive it over the weekend to try and clear more air out of the system and see if the problem got better. So far it is much better but there is still a noticable temp change during idle. I'll see what a few days of driving does.

Also, the service manager said Nissan Coporate is aware of the problem and trying several different solutions.
 
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