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Old 01-27-2013, 07:39 AM   #1
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Check your head gaskets!

Though I don't have a 7th Gen Max, I do have a 2010 Altima Coupe with the VQ. There seems to be a lot of us VQ owners (Murano's, Altima's, etc) who are having blown head gaskets.

During the warmer months, I always noticed a slight antifreeze smell when shutting off the car. There was never any leaks onto the ground and the coolant levels were okay. I checked under the motor and sure enough you could see where antifreeze was seeping out of both the front and rear head gaskets.

My car goes in on the 4th and they gotta remove the motor and machine the heads and everything. Pisses me off because I only have 35k miles (still under warranty).

Here's a link to a thread made by a Nissan Tech for the Murano's:

http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/6...kets-09-a.html

And our Altima thread:

http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/200...d-gaskets.html

Sorry if this has already been posted.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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Good looking out. thanks!
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:55 AM   #3
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First time I've seen this. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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Geeze, thanks for posting this. I've been smelling coolant for about a week now and can't figure out where it is coming from.

A couple of months back I had a factory hose clamp somehow was not holding down the hose tight so my mechanic put a proper hose clamp on it, and it fixes the problem. I topped up the reservoir and ever since it seems to be ok, but recently I started smelling coolant when I'm stopped at the light and if my windows are down and a cold brezze blows I can smell anti freeze. Took a look under the hood and the reservoir is at the full mark, but for the love of god our engine bay is so tight you can't seem to get a good look at things. I'm going to schedule my car into Nissan dealership next week and get them to take a better look. I didn't by my car new and I think the there is warranty left on the engine until august of this year. Hopefully If it is not leaking, and if it is, it is covered under warranty. 32,000km's and this.. hummm..
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:13 PM   #5
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Much appreciated!
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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If this holds true, I'm going back to the 5th gen! Too many grimlins in the 6th and 7th!
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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I have a good buddy of mine that is a Nissan tech and he says he does the head gaskets on the Maximus all the time. He says that they were poorly designed on the 09's but on the 10's they're fine. My wife has an 09' and according to the service documentation it has never had the new design gaskets installed. I am having them done before there is an issue. I'm not exactly sure but it might be a recall (don't quote me on that). Other than that issue my buddy says the maxima's are solid cars (not sure about the altimas)
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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I get the coolant smell from my 2012 after parking the car.
Dealer said it was the coolant recovery tank and it's normal (of course)
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Observer View Post
I get the coolant smell from my 2012 after parking the car.
Dealer said it was the coolant recovery tank and it's normal (of course)
He could be right, or he could be guessing.

My '09, built in Sept of '08, has never had any odor of anti-freeze or any other fluid. Having driven American Big Three cars from 1949 until 1978, I am very familiar with the smell of anti-freeze, as well as just about any odor that can come out of a car.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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Is this covered under power train or bumper to bumper?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:24 AM   #11
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Is this covered under power train or bumper to bumper?
Under the 5 year power train warranty. This is part of the engine.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:00 AM   #12
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I had my gasket replaced a month ago. I would refill my coolant and after two days it's be empty again. Took it to a mechanic and they said the gasket blew
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:13 AM   #13
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VQPOWER - Thanks for the heads up on this one, I'll be watching!
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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Which year Max?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gotfunk? View Post
I had my gasket replaced a month ago. I would refill my coolant and after two days it's be empty again. Took it to a mechanic and they said the gasket blew
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:05 AM   #15
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My 09 ...................

Had the antifreeze smell for the 3 years I owned it. Whenever my daughter would get near it she always said she could smell it. A friend of mine's wife said the same thing about his 09 Murano, he wound up with head gaskets replaced 2 times and after that one thing led to another and he wound up owning a 2010 and guess what? His wife smells it still today on the 2010.
And now my 2013 (2 months old and 480 miles) after a spirited run down the street had the anitfreeze smell after I parked it in the garage.

I don't EVEN want to think about it...............
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:46 PM   #16
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Sounds like its time for a world class lawsuit for Nissan. I know they had to pay up for some pathfinders with their tranny cooler issue.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:48 PM   #17
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Hey guys...so glad I found this thread. This afternoon I brought my 2010 into the dealership for them to put on some new Continental DWS's...while the car was on the lift, they discovered the head gaskets were blown.... Car is just shy of 40K miles on it. What's weird is I hadn't noticed any leaks or smelled anything. Luckily it's covered under the powertrain, but seriously what a PITA...Not the way I wanted to start my weekend.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spidgeon View Post
Hey guys...so glad I found this thread. This afternoon I brought my 2010 into the dealership for them to put on some new Continental DWS's...while the car was on the lift, they discovered the head gaskets were blown.... Car is just shy of 40K miles on it. What's weird is I hadn't noticed any leaks or smelled anything. Luckily it's covered under the powertrain, but seriously what a PITA...Not the way I wanted to start my weekend.
Totally sucks man.
What was it that led them to discover that the head gaskets were blown?
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:41 AM   #19
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Last week I took my maxima into Henderson Nissan at the valley automall to have them look at my battery and while they had my car on the lift , they told me my head gasket were leaking so it was replaced under warranty. I didn't know what caused it but was told that Nissan used a thinner gasket?? Nissan had my car for three days and its running a lot better(it was running good before).
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2010FoUrDsC View Post
Last week I took my maxima into Henderson Nissan at the valley automall to have them look at my battery and while they had my car on the lift , they told me my head gasket were leaking so it was replaced under warranty. I didn't know what caused it but was told that Nissan used a thinner gasket?? Nissan had my car for three days and its running a lot better(it was running good before).
Something does not compute. You do not put a car on a lift to check the battery. The battery is checked under the hood. Perhaps they noticed liquid under your car and lifted the car to verify the source
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:19 AM   #21
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Well, they were checking other things after they changed out my battery. I should've stated that
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:59 PM   #22
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Hey guys is the head gasket prob with just the 09 and 10 or is it on the 11 and 12 too. I don't park inside and I thought I might have smelled antifreeze a few days ago but I was freezing and didn't think much of it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxsport11 View Post
Hey guys is the head gasket prob with just the 09 and 10 or is it on the 11 and 12 too. I don't park inside and I thought I might have smelled antifreeze a few days ago but I was freezing and didn't think much of it.

The service tech told me it was very common on the 09's, but not common on the 2010's. Hopefully the 2011's and 2012's have it better...but as the subject of this thread implies...you may want to have them checked, especially in your case, if you may have smelled something.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:39 AM   #24
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Which year Max?
2009 happened around 50 k
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:52 AM   #25
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What the **** are they using now? plastic head gaskets
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:00 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shift_A32B View Post
What the **** are they using now? plastic head gaskets
Seriously...
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #27
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They using some weird defective part, because I never heard of this happening to the 02 to 08 VQ35 Maxi's.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:53 PM   #28
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Quote:
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What the **** are they using now? plastic head gaskets
Probably, new technology is not driver friendly, more cars break down from daily abuse then actual failed components
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:38 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shift_A32B View Post
What the **** are they using now? plastic head gaskets
Actually many newer cars are using silicone based adhesives in lieu of gaskets. In that case the quality of the gasket depends on how well the adhesive is applied
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:41 PM   #30
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Look at this mess....and yet people tell me to get rid of my 95 and get a newer max. Head gasket before 40K??? Outrageous and a disgrace to Nissan. Sounds like they are starting to use the same part suppliers from USA for their builds. 326K on my 4th gen and don't even worry about these things happening...I can sleep well
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:52 PM   #31
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Look at this mess....and yet people tell me to get rid of my 95 and get a newer max. Head gasket before 40K??? Outrageous and a disgrace to Nissan. Sounds like they are starting to use the same part suppliers from USA for their builds. 326K on my 4th gen and don't even worry about these things happening...I can sleep well


Same way I feel. 90's Japanese cars FTW!
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:55 AM   #32
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They used a poorly designed head gasket with weaker qualities. They only used them on the 09's tho. In 2010 teu had a new design that they are using on the engine now. It seems like it should be a recall for 09 maxima's.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:07 AM   #33
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They used a poorly designed head gasket with weaker qualities. They only used them on the 09's tho. In 2010 teu had a new design that they are using on the engine now. It seems like it should be a recall for 09 maxima's.
This is the reason that I never buy the first year of a new model. The design needs time to mature and the bugs fixed.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:56 AM   #34
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Just for reference... I have a 10' built in Feb. of 10' and have smelled coolant frequently for the past two years. Got under the car to search for signs of leakage and found blue antifreeze leaking from the bottom of the rear head bank exhaust manifold... right where the head gasket is. Major surgery required...
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:17 PM   #35
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FYI... the dealership verified my engine knock (NTB12-071) and will be replacing my #1 main bearing as well. So I get to have BOTH the top half AND the bottom half of my engine torn down.

Hey, it's only a $42,000 car... "these things happen," right?

Last edited by Kawowski; 02-23-2013 at 11:52 AM.. Reason: price of car
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #36
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FYI... the dealership verified my engine knock (NTB12-071) and will be replacing my #1 main bearing as well. So I get to have BOTH the top half AND the bottom half of my engine torn down.

Hey, it's only a $43,000 car... "these things happen," right?
where in the world did you find a price tag of $43,000? im pretty sure nobody would have bought a 7th gen Max for that much.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:46 PM   #37
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Let alone a 2010.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:07 PM   #38
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Sorry... corrected price. Any comments on the Maxima's growing number of engine problems?
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:47 PM   #39
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MSRP is 43, ha ha
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:01 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawowski View Post
Sorry... corrected price. Any comments on the Maxima's growing number of engine problems?
Actually, you are correct on price. A fully loaded 2013 SV Premium MSRP is $42,095 as listed on Nissan's website. Believe it or not, some people do pay MSRP either due to ignorance, or that their jobs require it.

As for the crop of engine issues, one of the main reasons I keep choosing Nissan is their reputation for strong, reliable power trains. The use of timing chains over belts is one example of that.

Personally, I'm shocked hearing of head gasket failures. That's something I'd attribute to a poorly assembled discount auto, not a Maxima. I'm also one of the owners who has the "low idle Knock" that may now be an engine bearing issue. I believe I'm one of the first persons to post about it. It never occurred to me that it could be a major engine issue. VQ engines, especially one this mature should not have issues like this.

Last edited by jommbi; 02-23-2013 at 11:06 AM..
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:01 AM
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