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Oil problem in 97 Nissan sentra

by cool_guycnet / June 2, 2005 7:32 AM PDT

If I get oil filled in my sentra 97 (112000 miles), by about 3000 - 3500 miles, it is reduced to almost half and the oil pressure indicator light on the dashboard flickers (very few times). Before now I thought that oil just gets dirty as you run so many miles. Does this indicate any potential problem?

I was told by Nissan dealer that the Timing chain kit needs to be replaced because it is making a 'grrrr' noise. They said the oil pump and pressure are okay but is better to get them changed too as the car has so many miles. Are they cheating me?

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Only latest/ fancy car questions will be answered?
by cool_guycnet / June 3, 2005 9:39 AM PDT

So, only questions on new cars will be answered and not technical problems of old cars will not be?

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by Ryan T / June 14, 2005 11:39 AM PDT

Well coolguy, I would first of all say that you can expect answers from people only if they know the answer. Since CNEt is largely a tech community, it can be expected that car discussions will be flavored with technology more than blood-n-guts O-Ring and Gasket discussions.

That being said, oil pressure can be affected by more than just your pump and your filter.

Oil pressure is the pressure inside the engine. If it drops it could mean:

1-You have a leak
2-Oil is not getting to the engine
3-The engine is gunked up and the oil is not circulating like it should

I would say that 1 and 3 are unlikely. Here's why. You said the pressure hovers around the same (low) area. It would continue to go down, and down, and down until the light was on all the time if you had a leak. You'd also notice stains on your driveway.

If you have a black asphalt driveway, try this. Put a large piece of cardboard under your car overnight (weigh it down with a brick or 2). In the morning, if you have an oil leak, you will have oil on the cardboard.

It's unlikely that your engine is gunked up because even if it's a 94 engine, it's still pretty young. Now, your oil pump could be bad, or just getting old, but the problem could also be due to a pinched hose or some obstruction somewhere. I would have the oil changed and get an engine flush. That might help. An engine flush is where they pump oil through your engine and it is supposed to remove the grime.

That will loosen the dirt, and will make you have more dirt in your oil. So I would get a flush, and change your oil at 2,000 and 4,000 miles, to completely clean the engine.

My buick did that for a while, but it was never a problem. The electical demons it had . . . that was another story. Wink

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Is it due to bad timing chain gears?
by cool_guycnet / June 15, 2005 7:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Responses

After my 'oil' message here, I've discovered that the timing chain gears are bad and posted a message here. Do you that is a reason for oil reduction if at all? My mechanic says 'oil pump' is good.

Thanks for your earlier answer!

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(NT) (NT) Doubtful but possible I guess.
by Ryan T / June 16, 2005 5:23 AM PDT
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To Ryan!
by cool_guycnet / September 4, 2005 5:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Responses

My car ran out of oil and just gave up on the Interstate buddy ! I am broke !!!

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my sentra
by Z-MAN85 / December 22, 2007 6:41 AM PST

i have a question i have a 94 sentra xe and am running the stock GA16DE motor how good are the motors to modify or should i go with the sr20 i am partial to 1.6 litre over the 2.0 but yeah

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This is an issue.
by Andy77e / December 24, 2007 1:58 AM PST

If the oil pressure light comes no, it means the oil level is so low, that when running, sometimes there isn't enough oil in the pan for the oil pump to pickup... thus causing low oil pressure.

When this happens, things that need oil badly, like your timing chain, do not get oiled. It is possible, and likely, the reason you need a timing chain kit, is because of the oil problem. Which means if you fix the timing chain, and not the oil issue, you will likely screw up the new timing chain too.

I am assuming that you have properly checked the oil level, and can clearly see that it is too low after 2K to 3K miles of driving.

So issue now is, where is the oil going. Oil normally goes in one of two spots... It's leaking, or it's being burned.

If it is leaking, you should see either a puddle of oil on the ground after your car has sat there a bit, or you should see oil covering parts of the engine where it leaked out.

If it's being burned, you should see dark smoke when you first start the car up, or a slight smell to the exhaust when it's running.

If it isn't leaking... and you can't see any indication that it's burning oil... then (honestly) sell the car. It means you are losing oil internally, and that means a bigger issue, and requires a full engine rebuild to fix. That's a lot of money, and IMO, not worth it.

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Oil Pan Gasket Set
by mustang_racer88 / May 17, 2010 11:48 AM PDT

Did you ask if it as something to do with the Oil Pan Gasket Set? A friend of mine has a similar problem and was asked to have that one replaced.

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