Types of Nissan Sentra Engine Problems

Written by rob wagner
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The Nissan Sentra is a compact car produced by Nissan Motors since 1983. In the past decade, the Sentra has been powered by engines ranging from 1.3 litres to the 2.5-litre inline 4-cylinder versions. Engine problems are generally limited to faulty sensors or on-board computer systems that have resulted in about six recalls since 2001.

Oil Consumption

Some 2006 Nissan Sentras powered by the 2.5-litre engine can consume excessive oil because of faulty piston rings. Low oil levels could damage the engine or lead to an engine fire and failure. Engines should be tested by a Nissan dealer who can in some cases replace the engine. An estimated 85,000 vehicles might be affected, according to Motor Trend.

Sensor Overheating

As many as 653,000 Nissans, including the 2002, 2005 and 2006 Sentras equipped with the 2.5-litre engine, might have a crankshaft position sensor prone to overheating. This causes a signal interruption and the engine might stop running without warning. The sensor should be reprogrammed, according to Motor Trend and lemonauto.com.

Sensor Interrupted

The location of a separate sensor in the Nissan Sentra engine compartment that sends a signal to the electronic control module also might be subject to engine temperature changes. The temperature might affect the sensor transmitting engine performance data to the module, resulting in the engine stopping. This affects 2004 Sentras. The sensor should be inspected and reprogrammed if necessary.

Faulty Circuit

A circuit board operating the crank or camshaft position sensors in 2003 Nissan Sentras might be defective because of faulty workmanship. This can cause the engine warning light to illuminate, reduce engine power or prompt the engine to stop running. The crank and camshaft position sensors, and perhaps the variable timing control sensor, should be replaced. About 630,000 Nissans are affected.

Catalyst Overheating

In some 2002 Nissan Sentra and Altima models powered by the 2.5-litre engine, the exhaust pipe hanger pin can catch road debris and cause a fire from the main catalyst. The exhaust pipe hanger pin should be removed and replaced with a new one. A heat shield also should be installed on the catalyst and exhaust pipe.

Crank Sensor

Some 2002 Nissan Sentras equipped with the 1.8-litre engine might have a bad crank position sensor that could result in the engine losing power, stopping and having the engine light illuminate without warning. This could result in a crash. The crank position sensor should be replaced.

Cracked Head

High-mileage older Nissan Sentras might experience coolant leaking into the engine, which could cause engine failure. Symptoms include loss of coolant in the radiator and a milky substance in the oil, which can be checked on the oil dip stick and inside the oil cap. This can be caused by a cracked or warped head or a blown head gasket because of overheating, according to 2carpos.com.

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