Nissan Altima Problems

Oil Leaking from Engine on Nissan Altima

Problem Description and Possible Solution

Nissan Altima's with the 3.5L V6 engine can experience oil leaks from the engine due to a leaking oil cooler o-ring. This leak often occurs after an oil change because the oil filter is attached to the cooler and removing and installing the oil filter can alter the oil cooler o-ring sealing capabilities. 

Repairing the leak requires removing the oil filter and the oil cooler and replacing the 0-ring. In some cases, it's recommended you replace the oil cooler but if this is suggested, be sure to get validation from the mechanic as to why they aren't replacing just the o-ring.

In severe cases where the oil has been leaking for a considerable amount of time and the oil level drops very low, owners have reported noise from the engine due to low oil pressure and/or a check engine light on with an OBD-II Code P0011 DTC set. 

(390 people reported this problem)

Nissan Altima Vehicles With This Problem

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 98,150 (18,523–205,000)
Engines affected: 2.5L 4 Cylinder, 3.5L V6
13 model years affected: 1995, 1998, 2002, 2003, more2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014
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Viewing 1-20 of 199 comments
i got the same leak, started as a drip now its a quart a wekk, rediculous.. NISSAN stand up and recall this, how do we qualify for recall status, please refer link to make official complaint to NISSAN
I had the same problem everyone else is describing. After reviewing your post i decided to tackle the problem on my own. Turns out it paid off. It only costed me $10 for the ring and gasket for the Engine Oil Cooler and an Oil Change. It is not hard to do it yourself so dont spend hundreds of dollars on an easy fix.
My leak began as a nothing leak. I thought it was just from running the air conditioner and within 2 weeks I had huge puddles under my car. Took it to the Nissan Dealership and they said the extended warranty ran out and I was 11,000 miles over it. They said my front oil cooler is bad and it was going to cost me a little over $1200.00 to fix it. I have only 71,000 miles on the car. They said this is NOT a common problem, but researching it on the internet I found that it is common. Nissan is just sucking money out of peoples pockets and selling crappy cars that will tank on you before you reach 100,000 miles. If this many people are having the same issue recall the stupid things and fix them. Come on Nissan!!! Stop being cheap and start taking pride in your work and products. I'm getting rid of the car and will be getting a honda or something. At this point the bus is better than anything Nissan would make. Oh, and let's not forget...The customer service at the Dealership was TERRIBLE! These people are rude and insulting. I'm done with Nissan
i have this oil leak which i found out it is the oil cooler gasket i've replaced it and it stills leaks removed it nothing wrong with the gasket clean it cleaned the the oil cooler really good and reinstalled it i tork it the first time at 44pounds leak and now that i reistall it again tork it 46 pounds and still leaks is missing alig. a possible reason maybe tighting a little tighter and put on gasket dry because i lube it lightly please give advive
begin leaking oil slowly then progressed to severely. Over $700 to fix. This was due to the oil coolant housing and had no gasket. The repair shop got the part from the dealer who told them that this was the 10th one recently. This should be a recall item.
Noticed a small leak after an oil change which has since turned into a quart a week leak. Have yet to fix it because they say the oil cooler needs to be replaced at $700 I just don't have the money right this moment. I have been researching this and find that it is a common problem with this car, should make a recall.
My 2008 nissan altima i paid 17thousand plus for brand new has the oil leak where the oil is supposed cool down, The job will cost me around 800 dollars, was told this cooler is behind the motor and the motor has to be moved to fix this oil leak. so dissapointed in nissan, yes this should be recalled. single mother no warranty hard to find a good and honest mechanic!!
I've been having the same problem!!Spots of oil in my garage got under the car cleaned the messall around the oil filter & keeped an eye on it for about 2 hrs then notice a small drip coming from the oil cooler were it meets the engine.I went to the dealer & got the gasket or seal.I noticed the one i took of the car was smaller than the one from the dealer so i tried putting it on anyways.I finally gave up it was to big to go in the grove the old one came out off.So i put the old one back in & went back to the dealer thinking they might have given me the wrong gasket and the guy at the parts counter said it was the correct on and said theirs only one other gasket for nissan oil coolers so he i asked to see it and it was bigger than the one i bought.So i got frusturated and got a refund.It's not hard to change but i can't figure out where to get the correct gasket.If anyone has had this problem and figured out a fix please advice..Thanks In Advance & Goodluck to Everyone.
I have an engine oil cooler leak where its made togeather. only offer gasket for housing to block, not for 2 halves of assembely. Have seen several in the past. poor design on Nissan's part. $320.00 for parts alone. Every one i've seen so for have been less than 100k miles. Nissan should do a campagne, or prefferably a recall, as this can lead to an engine failure due to major oil leak suddenly.
My 2.5L Altima had an oil cooler leak too. After paying $300 for a replacement and installing it myself I found that on the old oil cooler the 4 bolts on the cooler plate were a little loose. Maybe just tightening them would have fixed the problem leak. I have since also found that you can get the rubber gasket for the 2 halves of the cooler Nissan Part Number is 21304-JA01B. So this problem can really be fixed for less then $15 dollars in parts! Just 2 gaskets!
took the car in for 75K service. I was told the extended warranty I purchased "just ran out" 2 weeks ago. I just received a call from the service rep who told me that there was a leak through the oil cooler gasket. She told me that this was nothing caused by the driver, it was just something that happened to some models of Nissans. The cost was going to be $369 to fix. I pointed out that I had other vehicles with many more miles (Ford-175k, VW-75K, Dodge-125K) and none of them ever had anything like this at all, much less 75K miles. She politely pointed out that Nissan was a different manufacturer. Duh. If Nissan vehicles can be expected to start having oil leaks after only 75K of normal usage, then perhaps I need to buy from another manufacturer next time.
One week after I had gotten an oil change, I noticed the dip stick was reading oil at the minimum required level.
Took it back to the Nissan dealer and found out it's a bad engine Oil cooler. Luckily they are replacing it through the warranty so no charge to me.

This should be a national recall. The guys at the dealer have seen this issue a number of times already.
I had the same problem as others with oil cooler leak. Nissan charged $170 to repair. After watching the video I should have repaired it myself. Nissan should stand behind this.
After I notice a puddle under my oil filter I read up on the internet and found this forum and realized it wasn't the filter at all but the oil cooler o-ring. After taking it apart I inspected the square orange ring and found it was not damaged. Where it sealed was dirty so I cleaned it up and put it back together. I believe the grime piled up and eventually created a leak path. When I reassembled everything the leak stopped.
I advise anyone with a little time to do the same and find out if it just needs to be cleaned.
I had noticed a small oil leak. Was close for a oil change, so got that done. Oh MY GOODNESS, it now pours like a faucet. First of all to pay so much for a car to have it be a lemon is terrible!!!!! Being a single mom having to come up with the money for just the part along is sooooo hard, and you must use OEM parts (oil cooling unit).
I will never buy another Nissan!!! I purchased the extended warranty on this car & now it still left me going to have to pay over 500.00, now they tell me the extended warranty is expired!! The got my money & I basically have no car...If this is not wrong I don't know what is!!!!!!!!!!. RECALL THIS NON-PERFORMING CAR---ALL VIN#'S, NOW PLEASE, FOR I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE HAVING THIS PROBLEM...
Same issue after an oil change it started puddling.. to repair ita going to cost about 500 hundred and the "oil filter adapter" or "oil filter adapter seal kit" as they call it at the dealership can only be got through them. Sounds like they definitely know about the problem and its a good way to rake in money... thanks Nissan.
Oil leaking under the car by the oil drain plug. I haven't been able to stop it yet, but I've replaced the old drain plug, the oil pressure sensor (which I have heard causes problems), and now I think it might be the external seal on the oil cooler.