Question about 2001 Nissan Altima

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I have a 2001 Nissan Altima that starts okay at times, but, sometimes it won't start. The engine turns over fast and sounds like an engine that does not have compression or sounds like a fast turning engine when compression is checked with spark plugs off. Then, it cranks fine and engine starts. Does not do this very often. any ideas?

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  • Ursulo Robles
    Ursulo Robles Sep 15, 2010

    the engine does turn, but, it seems that the engine loses compression. the oil pump light comes on when it is running and it will turn fast when engine is not started frequently. Could the low oil pressure cause the engine bearing components to lose pressure? Once engine is cranked or started the engine has increased oil pressure giving it compression? can you give information how to replace the oil pump?

  • Ursulo Robles
    Ursulo Robles Sep 15, 2010

    the engine seems to lose compression, the oil light comes on and it is possible that the loses compression because of defective oil pump. How can the oil pump be replaced? Is this a common problem on the Nissan Altima?

  • Ursulo Robles
    Ursulo Robles Sep 15, 2010

    another problem could be that the lifters drain after of setting for awhile, not turning on the engine for days, therefore, the valve train is not compressing, low compression causing the engine to turn fast. The oil light comes on after the engine is hot. Is this a common problem for this vehicle? Is this possible ?

  • Ursulo Robles
    Ursulo Robles Sep 17, 2010

    can I check the actual oil pressure with a oil pressure gauge? The engine light stays on at all times, should I check for codes? Will codes show any defective engine components? Thanks in advance,

  • Ursulo Robles
    Ursulo Robles Sep 17, 2010

    the engine has the engine oil light on at all times. Does the light indicate a problem with the engine oil pressure? The light comes on when engine is hot sometimes. How can I check for engine codes? I have a 2001 Nissan Altima.

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Hi! Any sign of abnormalities on the idle? If it does then it will be a faulty MAF (mass air flow) sensor. If the MAF is faulty the engine runs rough or wont turn at all. You will need to have the MAF replaced if that's the case. You may want to check the distributor too. It may be worn and needs replacement. The distributor contributes on the engine's timing. Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa!

Posted on Sep 17, 2010

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It sounds like the starter sometimes isn't engaging all the way.If it continues to get worse, then I would maybe have someone watch the belts when it is doing it and see if they are turning. If not then I would suggest a new starter solenoid.

Posted on Sep 15, 2010

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  • Rodney Clark
    Rodney Clark Sep 15, 2010

    No. The oil pump will not cause it to lose compression. I am going to read again what all the symptoms are and see if I can make sense of what is going on.

  • Rodney Clark
    Rodney Clark Sep 15, 2010

    By re reading. The oil pump is for sure a problem. The oil light should never come on while the engine is running. These lights come on at less than 5 pounds of pressure. That is not good. You can replace the oil pump, but it is quite a job. You don't have to pull the motor completely out, but you do have to take all of the motor mounts and transmission loose to raise the engine to get the oil pan off. I have never heard of the no compression problem. I don't see how it could lose compression. I have been a mechanic for 22 years, and never heard of this problem. I don't know how to answer this part of the question. I have been thinking about this since you mentioned it and it is hard to diagnose without seeing it happen I guess. But the oil pump is a problem. I would put some thicker oil like 10w 50 in until you can get the oil pump problem fixed. And maybe some Slick 50 too.

  • Rodney Clark
    Rodney Clark Sep 15, 2010

    The lifters bleeding off their pressure would cause the valve to open less, which would cause more compression. When the engine is started the lifters pump up to open the valves. So I would say that this would not be a factor. Something that is possible is the oil getting on the rings and letting the compression out into the crank case. When the oil pressure builds it coats the cylinder wall and seals the rings up. That is the only explanation I can come up with.

  • Ursulo Robles
    Ursulo Robles Sep 16, 2010

    okay, changing the oil with Slick 50 did not improve oil pressure, therefore, replacing the oil pump would be the next step. do you have a flow chart on replacing the pump? Would you agree replacing the pump will solve the problem?

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