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bikerlbf406
04-22-2007, 09:13 PM
I have a 94 Altima with a 157xxx miles on it. Approximately 1 week ago I noticed a very slight noise coming from it, at lower speeds (under 20mph) that sounded like it may have been an exhaust shield rattling. I didn't think anything of it & than yesterday the noise got much worse, to where I was able to hear it including when reving the motor & it sounded kinda like a rattle/tapping noise; so I decided to check the fluid levels & there was no oil on the dipstick. Had my dad run me down to autozone for I could get some oil. Took 2 quarts of oil to fill it up. After making sure it was filled up I than started it up & the noise was there, but after a couple seconds quited down. Now it still has just a minor rattling/tapping noise that seems to be coming from the passanger side of the valve cover area. Never had a problem with any oil leaks or noises like this before. Had an oil change done 3 months/2,700 miles ago, so its time for an oil change now anyway. I plan to get it in to the shop to get an oil change done, have them look to see if they can find an oil leak & where at & to see if they can find what the noise is. I'm looking to see if anyone else have questions on here, for I can try to keep from being ripped off by the shop, as all the automotive repair shops here in my area have a reputation for lying out their teeth in order to get more money.

Thanks,
Tim

Eric
04-23-2007, 08:18 AM
I have a 94 Altima with a 157xxx miles on it. Approximately 1 week ago I noticed a very slight noise coming from it, at lower speeds (under 20mph) that sounded like it may have been an exhaust shield rattling. I didn't think anything of it & than yesterday the noise got much worse, to where I was able to hear it including when reving the motor & it sounded kinda like a rattle/tapping noise; so I decided to check the fluid levels & there was no oil on the dipstick. Had my dad run me down to autozone for I could get some oil. Took 2 quarts of oil to fill it up. After making sure it was filled up I than started it up & the noise was there, but after a couple seconds quited down. Now it still has just a minor rattling/tapping noise that seems to be coming from the passanger side of the valve cover area. Never had a problem with any oil leaks or noises like this before. Had an oil change done 3 months/2,700 miles ago, so its time for an oil change now anyway. I plan to get it in to the shop to get an oil change done, have them look to see if they can find an oil leak & where at & to see if they can find what the noise is. I'm looking to see if anyone else have questions on here, for I can try to keep from being ripped off by the shop, as all the automotive repair shops here in my area have a reputation for lying out their teeth in order to get more money.

Thanks,
Tim


Hi Tim,

Running it low on oil would cause valvetrain (and other) noise. Whether any permanent damage was done can only be ascertained by checking the condition of the engine. A vacuum gauge, for example, can tell you a great deal about an engine's internal condition. If you don't have one, buy a gauge; a high quality unit should not cost you more than $30 - and will help you avoid a rip-off. The gauges typically come with a sheet that explains how to use them - along with pictures of various needle readings and what they can mean.

A compression test is also pretty easy to do.

This way, you can go into the shop with some specific knowledge about the condition of your car - and if the mechanic tells you something that doesn't make any sense in relation to the readings you obtained, you'll know something might be up, whether it's an outright rip-off attempt, or just that the mechanic is barking up the wrong tree.

bikerlbf406
04-24-2007, 11:29 PM
Eric, I apprecriate the reply. After going to a friend of mine who knows quite a bit about cars and also having two shops look at it, I was able to come to the following on my car: It has a severe oil leak, the transmission fluid & power steering fluid is both leaking, it does have 1 bad lifter, and the stablizer bar is completely rusted & need replacing. Along with that I do know the front part of the frame that the radiator sits on is quite rusted (knew that about 2 weeks after I bought the car). So with everything wrong with the car, and all the work it would take, I have made the decision that its time to go ahead & get rid of it. I love the car, but just can't afford to do all the work it needs & the car isn't really worth it. I bought it a year and half ago & only paid $2300 for it, and by all means the car has been through alot, and I have definately gotten my money's worth out of it. Its just time to get rid of it & get something different as the car has finally gotten to the point to where everything is going wrong. Thanks again for the answer.

Eric
04-25-2007, 07:43 AM
Eric, I apprecriate the reply. After going to a friend of mine who knows quite a bit about cars and also having two shops look at it, I was able to come to the following on my car: It has a severe oil leak, the transmission fluid & power steering fluid is both leaking, it does have 1 bad lifter, and the stablizer bar is completely rusted & need replacing. Along with that I do know the front part of the frame that the radiator sits on is quite rusted (knew that about 2 weeks after I bought the car). So with everything wrong with the car, and all the work it would take, I have made the decision that its time to go ahead & get rid of it. I love the car, but just can't afford to do all the work it needs & the car isn't really worth it. I bought it a year and half ago & only paid $2300 for it, and by all means the car has been through alot, and I have definately gotten my money's worth out of it. Its just time to get rid of it & get something different as the car has finally gotten to the point to where everything is going wrong. Thanks again for the answer.


np!

Sometimes it is best to just cut bait... .

And - so long as it's still running decently and driveable, you ought to be able to get at least $1,000-$1,500 or so (hopefully more) for it, which will make for a decent down payment on something else.

bikerlbf406
04-27-2007, 08:40 PM
Well Eric, I'm probably going have to just fix the vehicle, even if it means jerry rigging it, just long enough to hold me off hopefully. After checking around to see about a new vehicle its not going to be happening anytime soon for a different vehicle, as the dealers are only offering me between $500-$750 for a trade in, I have no money down other than my car, can only afford about $200/month payments top with liability insurance (meaning I can only go from those cheap buy here - pay here lots that doesn't require full coverage insurance, plus I wouldn't be able to get credit any way as my credit is soo horriblle that about a year & half ago when looking to buy a vehicle, the best I could do was $5,000 down on a $9k vehicle & payments of $400/month with an interest rate of like 19%. Checked with the lots here in the area & the one lot I could work a deal with on a car, I refused to do as the car was literally in worse shape than mine for heavans sake & they wanted $3k for it. I was hoping I could work a deal at the lot I bought the Altima from, as they were the one lot I've bought from over the past 4 years & was always able to work a deal, however come to find out they have stopped all financing of any kind, so can't do anything unless I could get bank financing or pay cash in hand basically. So my only hope is I can get the car fixed the best I can even if it means jerry rigging it and HOPE & PRAY it lasts long enough for me to get $2-3K saved back, or until I get a settlement from that car accident I was in back in March, whichever one comes first.

Eric
04-28-2007, 07:55 AM
Well Eric, I'm probably going have to just fix the vehicle, even if it means jerry rigging it, just long enough to hold me off hopefully. After checking around to see about a new vehicle its not going to be happening anytime soon for a different vehicle, as the dealers are only offering me between $500-$750 for a trade in, I have no money down other than my car, can only afford about $200/month payments top with liability insurance (meaning I can only go from those cheap buy here - pay here lots that doesn't require full coverage insurance, plus I wouldn't be able to get credit any way as my credit is soo horriblle that about a year & half ago when looking to buy a vehicle, the best I could do was $5,000 down on a $9k vehicle & payments of $400/month with an interest rate of like 19%. Checked with the lots here in the area & the one lot I could work a deal with on a car, I refused to do as the car was literally in worse shape than mine for heavans sake & they wanted $3k for it. I was hoping I could work a deal at the lot I bought the Altima from, as they were the one lot I've bought from over the past 4 years & was always able to work a deal, however come to find out they have stopped all financing of any kind, so can't do anything unless I could get bank financing or pay cash in hand basically. So my only hope is I can get the car fixed the best I can even if it means jerry rigging it and HOPE & PRAY it lasts long enough for me to get $2-3K saved back, or until I get a settlement from that car accident I was in back in March, whichever one comes first.


Hi Tim,

It's almost a given that trading in a car - esp. an older car in not great shape - is not going to be a good deal (for you). However, youmight give some thought to trying to sell the car yourself. Provided it still runs decently and can be considered reliable transpo (even if it's a bit tired-looking/running) means you should be able to get closer to $2,000 for it. Maybe more. (I'm not sure what the current retail "book" is on your car; check the NADA guide and Kelley Blue Book, etc. to get an idea).

My reasoning on this is it may be the smart move to ditch the car while it still runs - and before it forces you to sink more money into it to keep it running (or just make it sellable).

If you can get, say, $2,000 out of it, you're within striking distance of a decent older Corolla or equivalent. Cars like that are all over the place - with relatively low mileage and in perfectly decent running shape.

That's what I'd do in your shoes...

bikerlbf406
05-01-2007, 12:10 AM
Well after searching & searching around I can see me getting a different vehicle is really out of the question, as the only thing I'd be able to find is some old clunker that looks & runs like shit basically do to my finances. I did fork over the money to have a reliable shop in a nearby city look at my car though. The good news is the lifter & stabalizer bar are not bad & does not need replacing & there is no internal damage. The noise did go away finally & the shop said it was probably running low on oil in the lifter & was able to fill back up & didn't cause no damage. The oil leak is from the valve cover gasket, so no big deal there & the power steering leak is from the power steering pump, so not too big of a deal there. The transmission leak though is from where me & my dad repaired it (jerry rigged it with JB Weld), from where the transmission line was sheared off from the transmission a year and half ago after hitting a boulder. The only proper way to fix it would be to replace the transmission as the line sheared off from the transmission. It had a leak ever since we fixed it, however wasn't bad & was only leaking maybe a quart every 4-5 months if that. The leak has gotten MUCH worse though & by the time the mechanic was wipping away what was there, he could already see more coming out. Since I don't have the money in anyway possible to get a reliable vehicle & can not afford a different transmission, my only hope is we can jerry rig it again. We're going to put it up on ramps & take a look at it to see what we can do if anything. Hopefully we'll be able to fix it again even if it means more JB Weld, some of that liquid aluminum stop leak they advertise on commercials, or possibly having it actually welded in place. If anyone has any idea's of what to do, please post it as I am desperate & will need to find anyway possible to "fix" this leak, even if its just for another year or two.

mrblanche
05-01-2007, 07:08 AM
As an expert in jury rigging, here's what I'd do.

Drain the transmission fluid.

Clean the fitting area where it's broken thoroughly with lacquer thinner, which will remove the oil and not leave a residue.

Use JB Weld epoxy to seal the damage.

Don't put the oil back in until the next morning.

Eric
05-01-2007, 07:46 AM
As an expert in jury rigging, here's what I'd do.

Drain the transmission fluid.

Clean the fitting area where it's broken thoroughly with lacquer thinner, which will remove the oil and not leave a residue.

Use JB Weld epoxy to seal the damage.

Don't put the oil back in until the next morning.


JB Weld can work miracles!

I once used it to seal a cracked exhaust manifold... it held for several months. mazing stuff and the chepest fix $5 will ever buy you...

mrblanche
05-01-2007, 01:37 PM
Well, many people would be tempted to use regular JB Weld, which has a tendency to make "porous" welds. The stuff I recommended will seal well and hold up to heat.

By the way, the founder of JB Weld has a fantastic house east of Dallas.

bikerlbf406
05-01-2007, 11:11 PM
Alright after putting the car up on ramps & getting my fat but under it I was able to tell that the leak isn't really much worse than what it was after the original jerry rigging job using JB Epoxy Weld. In other words about 1 quart every 4-5 months, as it is nothing more than a pressure leak only while the car is on, and it is only a slight oozing, its not even an actual drip. I did clean the entire area real good while under it & rubbed some sealant stop leak thats designed for gas & oil areas on it, in the hope of actually fixing what oozing it does have, however it didn't appear to do much good. However its not much to worry about really, as I've dealt with it like it is since Sept of '05 as it is. I plan to see if I can find anything else out there, that may work to stop it all the way, however its not a big deal though. Hopefully once I replace the valve cover gasket, power steering pump & now belts again (beginning to go bad after being a year old, seems like they have to be replaced once a year or they'll start squealing) I can get back to having the car where it was & having it reliable with little problems. Thanks for the answers.

Eric
05-02-2007, 09:23 AM
Alright after putting the car up on ramps & getting my fat but under it I was able to tell that the leak isn't really much worse than what it was after the original jerry rigging job using JB Epoxy Weld. In other words about 1 quart every 4-5 months, as it is nothing more than a pressure leak only while the car is on, and it is only a slight oozing, its not even an actual drip. I did clean the entire area real good while under it & rubbed some sealant stop leak thats designed for gas & oil areas on it, in the hope of actually fixing what oozing it does have, however it didn't appear to do much good. However its not much to worry about really, as I've dealt with it like it is since Sept of '05 as it is. I plan to see if I can find anything else out there, that may work to stop it all the way, however its not a big deal though. Hopefully once I replace the valve cover gasket, power steering pump & now belts again (beginning to go bad after being a year old, seems like they have to be replaced once a year or they'll start squealing) I can get back to having the car where it was & having it reliable with little problems. Thanks for the answers.


Keep on eye on that crack/leak. It could get worse, quickly (or stay the same for years). That JB Weld is good stuff; I'd use it over RTV/sealant for this kind of "fix"!

As for the belts: You should be getting a lot more than a year out of them; I'd check for alignment problems, overtightening.. or contamination (engine oil/hydraulic fluid drips, etc.) that could lead to premature failure, etc.

bikerlbf406
05-03-2007, 08:41 PM
I agree that JB Weld is great stuff, I mean afterall thats whats been holding the leak for the past year & half. Believe me right after it sheared off, it was so bad of a leak as there was no line in place, that it would pour it all out which in about 10 seconds of putting it in. It took the car from having a transmission that would have to be replaced immediately before being able to be driven, to being able to drive it for a year and a half with so small of a leak you tend to not even know it, as you can't even see it leaking on the ground. I'm going to be replacing the belts again, the pcv valve, power steering pump & valve cover gasket here which in a week tops & if everything goes as planned, I hope to be able to replace the transmission to go ahead & take care of it for I don't have to worry about it at all in about 6 months. Although I know the car isn't really worth putting another transmission in for value wise, considering it is the only vehicle I have, I have a shop in which I can charge it at & just pay payments on work done to it while continuing to drive it & I can not get a better vehicle no matter what I try, I have to do what I have to do to keep the vehicle on the road without any problems, even if it means charging to have a new transmission put in it at a later date.