Auto Repair forum

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Timing chain problem with Nissan sentra

by cool_guycnet / June 13, 2005 1:20 AM PDT

I gave my '97 Nissan sentra (113 k miles) to a mechanic to get the Timing chain kit replaced. He initially bought a kit that is designed for 1995 - '99 Nissan sentras. But, quoting that it is not fitting, he replaced that with another kit. I researched a little and was shocked that it was listed under the parts needed for 1991 - 1994 Nissan sentra. (The parts that I am buying are not NISSAN parts and I bought this car from a dealer @ 83 k miles)

My question is:

1) Can the parts listed under 1994 engine parts fit for my car ('97)?


2) Was my engine changed and a '94 model engine installed even before I bought the car?

I would appreciate any answer.


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by Ryan T / June 13, 2005 9:46 PM PDT

I highly doubt they would have swapped your whole engine at a dealer. Car dealers don't go to a lot of trouble to fix cars on their lots. They patch them up if they can, and auction them if they can't. Now, I would run a carfax report on your car to see if it was ever in a major accident.

If your car was in an accident, it is often feasible to replace the engine if you have front end damage. It generally costs about $1500-2200 if you get it done shady.

The engine in the 94 and the 97 was the same 1.6l I-4. If someone was inclined, they could have swapped engines.

Another (cheaper) way to check this is to find someone else that has a 97 Sentra and ask to look under his hood. If your engine looks different (the plastics and badging), then your suspicions are confirmed.

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(NT) timim
by Rickoshay007s / January 7, 2016 6:40 AM PST
In reply to: Dealers
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timing chain issue and question
by Rickoshay007s / January 7, 2016 6:44 AM PST
In reply to: Dealers

had loud timing chain noise was idling and engine conked, still turn s over quietly, but no fire and compression test shows pressure loss, with free turning engine could one assume no internal valve train damage occurred ?

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Pic of a 94 engine
by Ryan T / June 13, 2005 10:22 PM PDT

This still may not prove you have a 94 engine but it's good for reference.

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Thanks Ryan
by cool_guycnet / June 14, 2005 12:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Pic of a 94 engine

I think the answer that '94 engine and '97 engines are the same helps a lot. I will surely look and compare mine with someone else's. Have to find a car of similar model !

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No problem
by Ryan T / June 14, 2005 10:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks Ryan

You know in modern cars, the odometer is often a part of the engine so integrally, that the mileage is actual mileage of the engine, so I'd say you can trust that whether your engine is 8 or 11 years old, it's got the mileage on it that you see on the odometer.

I'm not sure about engine replacements, but when you replace an odometer, the background of the numbers is red (you can't buy a white-faced odometer), that's how you know it's been replaced.

If you have a digital odometer, then the evidence is even more strong that the mileage is accurate, even if the engine has been replaced.

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Cam sensor problem!
by cool_guycnet / June 16, 2005 2:23 AM PDT
In reply to: No problem


This mechanic is wrecking me. The noise that was supposed to be because of the defective Timing chain gear is not lost completely though I'd say my cars engine sound improved. Now, the mechanic says the cam sensor/ Intake camshaft gear/ cam shaft is also defective and needs to be replaced. Additional $ 500!! My car is Nissan sentra '97.

How do we know the cam sensor needs to be changed? Any correct way to know?

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Cam Sensor
by Ryan T / June 16, 2005 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Cam sensor problem!

The cam sensor is a little magnetic sensor (like on an exercise machine) that tells the onboard computer every time the camshaft comes around. This timing information is important, and if the cam gear is starting to go, the cam sensor will alert the computer.

Now, remember, the cam gear is one of two gears that the timing chain runs on. So if your chain was worn out, then your gears could be wearing too.

At that mileage, it doesn't surprise me terribly. $500 seems pretty cheap to replace the Cam gear, the camshaft (which probably comes as a package with the cam gear, which is why he wants to replace it too), and the sensor. . . . it seems reasonable.

All these problems (except the oil thing, that's wierd) are related. And some noise from the engine is to be expected at this mileage, because it's a timing CHAIN not a belt. Nissan swears by the timing chain over the belt, because it's supposedly more durable, and in most cases it is. However, it is noisier.

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U guys r great!
by athena007 / June 20, 2008 11:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Cam Sensor

Thank u so much for the ongoing conversation relating this subject. I just got home from the Honda dealership due to a problem I have with my car. Sadly enough to say I knew something was really wrong since my car was acting weird..not going over 4rpms when shifting, hard steering wheel, and not going more than 10mph. I took it today and they have to replace the cam sensor...not only that..a spool valve needs to be replaced as well..($358 cam sensor/$180 spool valve) so I'm a mess..
Thanks 2 u guys I finally understood this whole scenario!
Have a great weekend

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Nissan Parts Dealers
by JohnMoore4u / August 5, 2010 4:44 PM PDT

Its always best to consult with the best nissan dealer.. So that you will have very clear and precious idea about your problems!

@cool_guycnet, If you are in New York then try to contact Titan Motor Group( ), I think they are one of the authentic Nissan Dealer in the Country.

So, I hope will get answers for all your questions!

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