Question about 1998 Nissan Altima

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Hi! I've owned a 95' Nissan Altima since brandnew. It's been a reliable car with 155k miles on it. But in the past 2-3 years it's developed an very irregular vibration in the engine block when in idle or in reverse. The exhaust from the tailpipe puffs irregularly. Once the car is warmed up however, it's smooth and peppy. Over time the symtoms worsen. Sometimes when I start up and put the lever in reverse, it feels like it's going to choke up. I replaced the OS2 sensor, scanned the computer, cleaned the intake manifold, plugs/wires, dist/cap over two years of time but none helped. It's particularly severe in cold weather, more so this winter than the previous years. Now when I start cold the whole car shakes really bad. It take a long time to subside. I warm up by driving slowly out of my drive way. If I don't give it some gas going downhill, it feels like I am downshifting my tranny to brake the engine. One day the temperature shot up to the 70s, my car ran a lot better and not shook as bad. Overnight the temp. dropped down to 40s and 50s, the symtoms suddenly worsen again. Is there a temperature sensor or something to look at? Please help! Thanks a lot! Oh, by the way, when I changed plugs and wires a couple months agao, I found the plug well on the far lef (facing the engine) was full of oil. Obviously I need to replace the valve cover gasket. I wonder if this is somewhat related to my problem? But it did not make a difference after I did the tune-up.

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You got bad valve steam seals oil is getting on the pistons and it run rough till it burned off.

Posted on Mar 01, 2009

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