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Nissan Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 34 Nissan models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The Camshaft position sensor can leak oil into its electrical connector causing the Check Engine light to illuminate. The engine may also stall intermittently as a result.

The timing chain tensioner may bleed off oil pressure after the engine is shut down. This can cause a rattling noise when the engine is started cold and a revised timing chain tensioner and guide are available to correct this issue.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a defective charcoal canister vent control valve. The charcoal canister is a component in the Evaporative emissions (EVAP) system.  Our technicians tell us a failed vent valve will require replacement.

The AC system may blow warm air due to refrigerant loss caused by a leaking low pressure AC hose. These hoses commonly develop a leak at the hose crimp connection.

Overheating and/or lack of proper venting can cause the rear axle seals to leak. Excessive fluid loss can result in major damage to the rear differential assembly and/or axle bearings.

A weak or failing fuel pump can cause power loss due to lower fuel pressure and lean mixture conditions. This rarely causes a Check Engine Light to illuminate and should be repaired to avoid catalytic converter damage.

If the vehicle is hard to start after setting overnight, the problem could be the fuel pressure regulator has failed and is allowing the fuel pressure to bleed off. A failed fuel pressure regulator will should be replaced.

The throttle body for the Nissan Altima is known for carbon buildup, and requires regular, light cleaning to maintain peak performance. After cleaning the throttle body, many owners notice a very high idle, erratic (bouncing) idle, and unpredictable power surging. 

The cause is normal ECU adaptation: When the throttle body builds up carbon, the rate of airflow is slightly decreased. The vehicles computer reads this decrease in air volume, and adjusts the throttle body settings to maintain the proper engine idle speed. When the carbon is cleaned out, the ECU now registers too much air, and cannot adjust back to the original settings. While it is trying to change settings, the idle will bounce from low to high, and the car will surge forward at times. 

It has been recommended to simply wipe inside the throttle body every 12,000 miles, and never to touch the flap inside. Also, the cleaning procedure may be best left to a qualified technician.

The solution can be as simple as disconnecting the battery for at least an hour, having the dealer reset the computer, or, in extreme cases, replace the throttle bodies. 

A whining or buzzing type noise may develop from the timing chain area caused by excess slack in the secondary timing chains. Nissan has issued a service bulletin (NTB09-128) regarding this issue. Replacement of both secondary timing chains and their tensioner shoes will be necessary to repair this concern. As part of this repair, the engine oil and filter should also be replaced.

A navigation unit that is failing can intermittently display a disc error on the screen.

Screws inside the intake manifold can become loose causing internal engine damage if they fall out completely. Our technicians report that using a strong thread locker on the power valve butterfly screws can help prevent them from becoming loose.