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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

We have a 2008 V6 3.5 Altima SE. We are being told that we need the following repairs. It's a long list and it's expensive. We are wondering what we really need from this list and if it's worth fixing, or should we just sell the car. Thanks a lot for your input.

Exhaust pipe installed $494
Oil pan and gasket $257
Front brake pads and rotors $358
Coolant flush $109.95
Rear shocks $373
Right inner and outer tie rods $223
Right axle shaft $367
Tire monitor $110
Torque strut mount $180
Battery $159.90
Front struts $669
Engine mount $240
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Hi, I have an '09 3.5SE and here is my input to your list:

Exhaust pipe installed $494 - which part specifically? I literally live in salt and mine hasn't gone yet
Oil pan and gasket $257 - I had this done 3-4 years back, it's a known issue with this car, oil pan rusts through.
Front brake pads and rotors $358 - I just did this in the fall. I got the Durago Front and Rears. $200 in parts. Link1
Coolant flush $109.95 - $25 for 1 gal of Nissan coolant at the dealer, $1.50 for 1 gal of distilled water. Drain and Refill. Point is to refresh the lubricating and anti-corrosion capabilities of the coolant. Not rocket science.
Rear shocks $373 - Mebbe, but I doubt it. Mine has over 100Kmi on it, and they are still good.
Right inner and outer tie rods $223 - Probably worth doing. Get your parts ~$60 and pay just the labour and alignment. Link2
Right axle shaft $367 I have a brand new aftermarket shaft....it's yours for the shipping fees. Or buy one, $100-ish
Tire monitor $110 - don't bother.
Torque strut mount $180 - probably needs doing, way expensive. $20 part. Do it yourself Link3
Battery $159.90 - go to Walmart $100...do it yourself (you only need a 10mm spanner)
Front struts $669 - again, as per rear shocks...probably not. But if you do, a set of KYB's will set you back < $400 Link4
Engine mount $240 - there are a few...front, rear and one on the transmission. They are a PITA to do. Get aftermarket and pay labour. Link5

Link1: 2009 NISSAN ALTIMA 3.5L V6 Rotor & Brake Pad Kit | RockAuto

Link2: 2009 NISSAN ALTIMA 3.5L V6 Rotor & Brake Pad Kit | RockAuto

Link3: 2009 NISSAN ALTIMA 3.5L V6 Torque Strut Mount | RockAuto

Link4: 2009 NISSAN ALTIMA 3.5L V6 Strut / Coil Spring / Mount Assembly | RockAuto

Link5 2009 NISSAN ALTIMA 3.5L V6 Motor Mount | RockAuto

If the body is good and you still love driving it...spend up to $2000 on it...that's less than half what you'll lose in the first year of owning a new car in depreciation alone. It's also about half what it's worth.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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What's the mileage and what is the body condition? Oh, and I just realized, the axle I have is for the 6MT and I'm guessing you have the CVT? How much longer do you envision keeping the car?

I would prioritize and group the repairs.

1. There is quite a lot of front end work, so maybe tie the brakes, struts (if leaking), steering tie rods, and axle together if all actually need doing. You only pay one alignment that way. If long term keep, consider also doing the bearing hubs as PM. Get the coated brake rotors.

2. Battery. $100 and 10 min to swap it in. Really annoying if it dies on you but cheap, hence priority two.

3. Coolant drain/refill. I would advise against any actual flush procedure. Just remove and replace. $30.

4. Exhaust. Hole, crack? Depending on what's wrong will determine your fix if any. Obviously, if there's a hole or crack this is a safety issue and should get fixed. Check online parts prices before agreeing to anything.

Now for the others:

5. Engine mounts (torque strut and mount(s)). These do go. Had mine replaced ~50kMi ago. They have started to tear again, but not all the way through. If not completely torn they can wait. You'll get more idle vibration and shifting may be rougher with worn mounts...driveability stays ok. You can spend $1000 replacing them...so don't if you don't need to.

6. Rear shocks. Your list calls out all four corners. Unless they are visibly leaking, or the tires are so mishapen that there can't be any doubt they are done, I'd be suspicious that this was just a mileage call (ie >100Kmi = new suspension time). Which isn't necessarily wrong...but maybe it can be deferred another year depending on local road condition, actual mileage, climate etc.

7. Oil pan. They do leak, apparently they rust through...while you can live with a small seep, if the metal is paper thin in spots, get it done for safety reasons.
 

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I have to commend you dougmac on the help you offer. That first answer was a 500 page book and I never give that much out at once early as most never appreciate it.

I can and sometimes will but I always preread the posts for a bit to do so, most people will let on they want absolutely 100% from you at some point and don't want to give even 5% back. I wait to see which way that goes as we don't get paid for more or less words.

You are in another different class from me and I think it needs to be said.

In short, you ROCK.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What's the mileage and what is the body condition?

Dougmac,
There are a few minor dents on the bumper and the left side front by the light has had a limited involvement couple of times.

But the body overall is good. It has 75 K miles on it.

Your advice through this situation has been immensely helpful. We are parents to a sweet Autistic child, but our lives are very full and often, really sleep deprived. The early months of any year, our insurance hasn't hit deductible yet. And we are paying out of pocket for all of the therapies and activities.

Your advice has really helped us equip ourselves with knowledge with make better financial decisions. Thanks again.
 

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Who recommended all these repairs? no offense but with a list that long it seems the car is a real gilopy, which I doubt is the case. Seems more like a multi point inspection by a dealer? @75k I’d make the repairs as you can, starting with the brakes because those are important. You can buy Bosch quietcast rotorsand pads for under $150 and it’s an hour job. The quietcast are phenomenal btw, both looks and performance. I understand your deductible situation as I’m going through it myself. Maybe post on Facebook that your looking for someon to do the work “labor only” if you don’t have a mechanic who will. I’ve got an 09 and am still in love with the looks and ride of this car.
 

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I would take the car to another mechanic for a second opinion on all those repairs. It's hard to believe with only 75,000 miles. It's a known trick used by dealers to run up a huge repair quote hoping the customer will buy a new car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, that bill is keeping me up at night. I did take it to another guy and he said, he saw all those things as well. But I don't have a trusted mechanic just yet in this town, so who really knows.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Yeah, that bill is keeping me up at night. I did take it to another guy and he said, he saw all those things as well. But I don't have a trusted mechanic just yet in this town, so who really knows.
Ask friends and neighbours for local mechanic referrals.

Asking for a 'safety' or 'road cert' may identify the 'must do items' and I personally would probably have a 4-wheel alignment done as that will identify all the wear parts in your suspension and steering systems... problem is they usually cost about $100 which you might have better spent on actual parts and labour.
 

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I agree with d0ugmac1 (and commend his in-depth response). I had a 2006 SE V6 Auto that I finally junked @ >280k miles. I finally drove itself to the junkyard with worn out motor mounts (just don't take off hard and this aren't a huge issue) and mostly all original parts, including struts. If shocks/struts aren't leaking and when you push on the bumper/fender to get the car bouncing as much as you can and it doesn't stop within a bounce or two, then they need to be replaced. If it stops within that then they're fine.

As mentioned a few times a bit more information would be necessary to say for sure what needs to be replace and in what order. What's their perceived need for the exhaust pipe? A dent, a split/hole, or ...? Stuff like that.

front brake pad/rotors - potential safety issue
Battery - can't do much if you can't start it
Right axle shaft - depends on severity, if bad enough your right tire could slide off (unlikely unless it's pretty bad, so probably lower)
coolant drain/replace (no flush) - when was coolant drained last?
oil pan/gasket - how bad is the pan leaking/rusting out? If dripping/thin metal, do soon. If just oily dirt, wait.
Right inner/outer tie rods - probably affecting tire alignment, fuel economy, etc.
Exhaust pipe installed - if not causing an issue could be lower, if causing a CEL/you have state inspections should be higher
Front struts/rear shocks - check struts, probably not needed, but maybe
Torque strut/engine mount - just don't accelerate hard
Tire monitor - not needed, can get done with next tire purchase anyway

Since a lot of right suspension/drive components are listed it seems like you either hit something while driving or repeated run into something parking on the right side. As long as things aren't bad, you'll just be using extra gas and scrubbing tire rubber. It would be better to change those things but they shouldn't necessarily be required.

As for buying aftermarket parts and paying for labor, keep in mind that some repair shops won't take aftermarket parts as they don't want the liability of those parts breaking. If you go that route make sure that the repair shop will allow it. They may accept it but not honor their normal warranty if the part is found to be defective (and if you can't tell the difference they may just make it seem like the part is the issue whether it is or not).

I normally justify the cost of things like this by trying to figure out the alternatives, spend a bunch of money on an old car or buy a new/used car. Current car has known issues, used car is a gamble, new car is really expensive for ~5yrs. So, can you fix this car's needed issues for less $/mo than a used car? If so, maybe it's worth it to fix the main issues then wait a few months and tackle the rest one by one every month or so. My 2006 needed as much work as yours and had 280k miles on it and didn't have too many reliable miles left in it, so I bought a different car.
 

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Hi all,

We have a 2008 V6 3.5 Altima SE. We are being told that we need the following repairs. It's a long list and it's expensive. We are wondering what we really need from this list and if it's worth fixing, or should we just sell the car. Thanks a lot for your input.

Exhaust pipe installed $494
Oil pan and gasket $257
Front brake pads and rotors $358
Coolant flush $109.95
Rear shocks $373
Right inner and outer tie rods $223
Right axle shaft $367
Tire monitor $110
Torque strut mount $180
Battery $159.90
Front struts $669
Engine mount $240
Everything is over price if anything making noise repair it otherwise just leave it, non of them is dangerous. Just buy towing service in case if you need to have your car tow. Also example of battery price $159 it’s too much , you can have it change from orielly and auto parts under or around $100. Also most of the Nissan dealerships are thief’s specially Stone Mountain GA.
 

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Yes. change battery at O'Reilly's and then suffer when the parts that hold the battery down are corroded to all break as soon as you put wrench to them. They will not pay one cent for it. I used to do that work and rigged so many things you find out why the cars are driving around with parts falling off while going down the street. Most batteries there passed $100 a good while back, I save $40 over O'Reilly by buying at Walmart.

The prices of course are too high but the actual number of 'defects' is close to normal at that mileage, if I went over it I would likely find more, I always do. If the fault does not make the driver walk home they tend to overlook it as OK and even more when selling the car. Most who claim to take better care of cars than others are oh so wrong.
 
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