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03 Nissan Altima - Interittent trouble starting


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a1handy
User

Jul 12, 2020, 11:09 AM

Post #1 of 6 (132 views)
03 Nissan Altima - Interittent trouble starting Sign In

I have an 03 Altima with 188,000 miles. The car runs great but about every 20th start, it stumbles and is very hard to start. Most of the time it will start and eventually level out. My mechanic has replaced the plugs, coils, boots, fuel pump, and camshaft sensor. The problem remains. The other day I drove the car for about 10 miles and shut it off. It refused to start and I had it towed to my home. After a few hours, I attempted to restart, and with much stumbling and bumbling the engine fired up although running roughly but after a while, it smoothed out. However, I noticed a tremendous amount of steam which turned out to be coming from the left tailpipe only. After letting the car sit overnight I attempted to start again and it fired right up and this time no steam at all. I added about a gallon of coolant and the car has been idling for about an hour or so with no steam or loss of water. Does anyone have any idea of what can be going on?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 12, 2020, 11:40 AM

Post #2 of 6 (126 views)
Re: 03 Nissan Altima - Interittent trouble starting Sign In

Sounds like you may have a blown head gasket.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



a1handy
User

Jul 12, 2020, 1:02 PM

Post #3 of 6 (111 views)
Re: 03 Nissan Altima - Interittent trouble starting Sign In

Is it possible to have a blown head gasket that does not leak all of the time?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 12, 2020, 1:04 PM

Post #4 of 6 (109 views)
Re: 03 Nissan Altima - Interittent trouble starting Sign In

Sure it is. The engine parts expand and contract with temperature.

If you have white smoke out the tailpipe, that is burning coolant.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



a1handy
User

Jul 13, 2020, 4:18 AM

Post #5 of 6 (69 views)
Re: 03 Nissan Altima - Interittent trouble starting Sign In

Someone has mentioned the problem could be related with an issue in the throttle body coolant loop. Any thoughts? Also, since the car is old and has a lot of miles do you think it is possible to correct the problem with a sealant?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 13, 2020, 4:21 AM

Post #6 of 6 (67 views)
Re: 03 Nissan Altima - Interittent trouble starting Sign In

That's a no on the sealant.

The throttle body idea is rare but possible. All we know for sure is that coolant is getting into the combustion chamber from somewhere.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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