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1997 Nissan altima radiator leak problem

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Question From bball_1523 on 1997 Nissan altima radiator leak problem

Year of vehicle: 1997
Make of vehicle: Nissan
Model of vehicle: Altima
Engine size (2.0/ 5.7) : Not sure, but it's 4-cylinder
Mileage/Kilometers: not sure, I think around 19-20 mpg
Mileage reading: somewhere over 114,000

When I went to get an oil change at Valvoline sometime last week, one mechanic told me that I need to get a radiator hose replaced because they said the radiator was leaking from there. I declined to get it fixed, and took my car to an official Nissan dealer and they diagnosed a slew of problems.

Here is what Nissan says I need to get fixed, and it all adds up to around $2708.90:

1) Intake gaskets leaking
2) radiator leaking: upper radiator, and hose
3) 3 motor mounts broken
4) brake flush
5) power steering fluid flush
6) fuel induction service
7) fuel injector service

I recorded a video of the leak here:

I am wondering if anyone knows what the problem could be? Is Nissan right about getting these 7 things fixed? How long can I keep driving the car for until things start to worsen?

One of my plans is to drive less and raise money for the next 6 months, and then get it all fixed, but I'm worried about the car deteriorating even further and causing more damage.

What do you think I should do?

Response From DanD

I’d say that your list is set in the proper order of priority; but without knowing how bad the intake gasket is leaking, maybe have the cooling system leaks fixed first.
The first three being left unattended too will or could cause more damage.
A leaking intake will cause an engine to run lean (to much air compared to fuel ratio); a lean engine runs hot.
A leaking cooling system is more of a problem then just the coolant leaking out. Cooling systems are designed to work under pressure; for every pound of pressure, the boiling point of the coolant rises by 3 degrees. With a cooling system allowed to run in atmospheric pressure, the coolant may begin to boil as it passes through the cylinder heads. Your temperature gauge may show a normal temp but internal engine temperatures are soaring; the coolant comes off of boil after it leaves the cylinder head and passes the temperature sensor.
Broken engine mounts put strain on the drivetrain; axle shafts are forced to run out of their normal plain (angles) causing excessive wear. Also an engine that is allowed to move around under the hood could be the cause of the radiator leaking; the engine maybe pulling on the hoses?
The last 4 items are maintenance issues; yes important but if you have to put something off, it would be them.


Response From dave284

$2700.00!!!!! Good God, I would get another estimate....sorry for being so blunt but I can't see paying for a repair job that cost as much as a reman engine.

Response From bball_1523

If I were to put off any repairs for 6 months until I tried to raise money for the repairs, do you think my car would survive without any extra major damage or breakdowns?

I am thinking about getting another estimate at a local repair shop.

The first three items would cost me $2255, as they are $900, $575, and $780, in order.

Response From dave284

If your'er low on funds now....I would certainly take care of that radiator leak first, cause if that motor ever over heats bad enough....its done for.

Response From bball_1523

I took my car in to a different shop and they told me to replace the radiator hoses, and that they will check for other problems as well. What do you guys think?

I had my service engine light come on for a while before last week Monday. Last week Monday I took the car in to a Nissan dealer and the turned off the service engine light and it hasn't come on since then. Does this say anything about any problems my car is having?

Response From bball_1523

So I got the radiator hoses replaced at a local shop by someone that I kind of know and was told that the radiator is not leaking.

Other things recommended in order of importance:

1) replace two front tires because of wearing tread
2) front and rear motor mounts need to be attended to within a month
3) brake fluid flush
4) Outer CV boots cracking
5) rear brakes near minimum, check at 119,700 miles (right now I'm somewhere in the 114,000 range)
6) windshield washer reservoir cap
7) clean leaves from cowl

Does anyone have any advice for any of these items? I'm glad to know that the radiator isn't leaking, so I'm wondering why Nissan told me so. Maybe one of them didn't look carefully?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Comments after ***s

1) replace two front tires because of wearing tread **** if legal can wait
2) front and rear motor mounts need to be attended to within a month ****may save and expensive problem to do now.
3) brake fluid flush ****cheap if bleeders cooperate.
4) Outer CV boots cracking ****entire shafts are cheap enough when they fail vs just removing for the boots.
5) rear brakes near minimum, check at 119,700 miles (right now I'm somewhere in the 114,000 range) ****how do you have less miles now??
6) windshield washer reservoir cap ****free at junkyards or use aluminum foil....Not big bucks anyway new.
7) clean leaves from cowl **** why is that so difficult - just do it!


Response From bball_1523

What do you mean by the tires being legal? I tried the penny method and it's worn down according to the penny.

For #5, I don't know the exact miles driven so I gave an estimate. In my first post, it shows what the miles were at one point. My car has obviously driven more up to this day.

for #3, what do you mean by "cheap if bleeders cooperate"?

For the CV boots, are you saying that I shouldn't fix them and let them wear out, and my car will be fine?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Tires legal: There are small triangle arrows indicating the treadwear minimum on the sidewall pointing to raised spots in the tires grooves. If any of those are flush with the tread the tire is no longer legal for street use.

Bleeders: Some will be stuck and may not bleed or remove to clean or replace without breaking off. If that happens it opens up a series of replacing stuff back to where things are not rusted wjere new line can be flared into good line - a nightmare sometimes!

CV boots: I won't do them. They make kits that go around and seal up that are marginal at best. Whole rebuilt driveshafts are available with new boots and checked out or new CV joints for as low as $59 bucks for some cars! Check locally for your car. Why bother if they are that cheap is why I said that. If your are expensive and the joints still good get a price on that part of the job alone,


Response From bball_1523

I am still not understanding what you are saying about tires. I measured my tires with a penny and I think it's 2/32" of tread left. (if tread is even the right word). Sorry I'm a rookie at maintaining my car, and I've been driving for over 7 years.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

There are hidden bumps like shown above that shouldn't be flush with the actual tread left. I'd use the Lincoln's head test on those personally but they are legal till those are flush. There's an arrow on the sidewall at the several points around the tire where the raised parts between treads are. Many tires will look fine on the inside or outside but you go by the worst wear found to rate the legality of the tire.

IMO - tires are your #1 line of defence in safety! No matter what contraptions you design into a car for stopping, traction and handling the tire is the only thing actually touching the road! Being legal is one thing but the truth is tire's traction ability is severely compremised after let's say "half worn" area. That tread is primal for wet roads and your best chance with mud, snow and ice conditions which all vary of course.

Prices vary widely for tires. If costs must be kept low consider inspected, matching used tires if needed.

Exact size and ratings suggested by manufacturer is also paramount. It's engineered into the handling of the vehicle,


Response From bball_1523

I've been told that my Outer CV Boots are leaking grease. Should I get them fixed?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Yes, no and maybe?? Why are they leaking grease? If the boots have split shafts need to be removed to install new ones. It can be close to the cost of whole rebuilt replacement 1/2 shafts just to do that.

If a clamp is loose or missing for some reason - yes fix that.

Once water and dirt get into the CV joint it's game over IMO. They might go a long time and still behave before the first symptom shows up. You decide based on how they feel or professional advice on their safety. They usually give fair warning noises when it's time to replace. Not always though - watched a neighbor pull into their driveway and one let go right then and all the balls of the joint rolled down the driveway - funny but not and that one didn't warn them!

What you do about yours right now is a judgment call for you and or with a tech's advice and close inspection,


Response From bball_1523

I'll have a mechanic check and advise me again.

Response From Guest

Today I checked under my car and saw the coolant leaking. I think there's another problem with a leak. The leak is under the front passenger side of the hood, underneath the car.

The reservoir tank is also almost empty! I just a 50/50 prediluted fluid for it.

Does anyone know what the issue might be? Do you think the radiator is really dysfunctional?

Response From bball_1523

Today I checked under my car and saw the coolant leaking. I think there's another problem with a leak. The leak is under the front passenger side of the hood, underneath the car.

The reservoir tank is also almost empty! I just a 50/50 prediluted fluid for it.

Does anyone know what the issue might be? Do you think the radiator is really dysfunctional?

haha, sorry that guest is me, I didn't realize that I wasn't logged in.

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

Is the reservoir and or hose to it leaking?


Response From bball_1523

I don't know if the hose is leaking, but I think just the right of the reservoir, underneath the car it is leaking. I can see a small amount of green coolant about to drip hanging on to something under my car.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

When cool - chase it with a paper towel or your finger. More often than not the source of a leak will be the highest and most forward of where evidence is found. Those tanks can crack and hose could be faulty - this is a look and find job now. Some hidden leaks you can use a dental type mirror to look up at the bottom of items,


Response From bball_1523

I took the car back to a shop I have recently been going to and they found that the top of the radiator, where the radiator cap is, is cracked and leaking. I literally could see coolant leaking out from their.

Anyways they are going to fix it this week and I think it may cost at most around $400.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

he good new is now you know the source! Materials used or where it leak might be able to be properly fixed. Not your average "just goo it up" but a proper fix may be available depending on just what, how and where. A real radiator shop would likely be privy to the latest for the chance of that if the radiator is ok as a whole and might be a practical choice,


Response From Fant

I tell you what - if you really love your cars you have to spend some time with it Evrything has to be done by your own hands (IMHO), there will be less problems with it!!!

Response From jayeffel

I would change the radiator hose that is leaking; do it yourself. I've never heard of brake or power steering flush -unless there were severe problems that indicate the need. I understand fuel injectors don't need much attention , okay to put fuel injector cleaner in gas tank. Motor mounts broken, you can check them, motor may notably shake when running.

BTW: mileage requested is odometer mileage, gives an indication of wear and tear. Gas mileage can help also. Good luck.

nissan cd20 alternator

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Question From stijnw on nissan cd20 alternator


i'm working on a old nissan engine(cd20) from a sunny,
i found a component outside of the alternator,
but i don't know for what reason it's there...

can someone help me with this ?

Response From Hammer Time

That's just a capacitor that is used as a noise filter for the radio. It filters alternator noise in your AM radio reception.

Response From stijnw Top Rated Answer

ah ok thx :D

1995 Nissan Altima Corner Lamps Not Working

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Question From sunnah on 1995 Nissan Altima Corner Lamps Not Working

I have replaced the existing corner bulbs which were not working and they still do not work. After investigating to find out which fuse controls it. I located a fuse box towards the center rifght side of the car but on the right side. It has a relay that says "Corner..." I bought.

It looks exactly like this. (LINK) If you look the Corner Lamp replay is missing. Why? I bought a relay but I do not know how to plug it in the missing place. I am thinking this is the solution. Am I right?

(links allow for pics not specific other concerns please. Picture of what you found below)

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

What do you mean by "Corner Bulbs" as in blinking lights for turns, running lights that stay on or lamp the light up to the side for the direction you are turning? The last many cars/vehicles do not have as a feature and if so confused why you found bulbs for something it may not be wired for?

If your car is original and you find a blank, wire free spot where something would have gone and nothing is in there the car probably didn't come with that feature.

Don't know if that pic will show of what you found. This unless broken, corroded alone wouldn't be the problem depending on what we are talking about.

Couple issues with naming what lighting if for what:
Directionals: Are called, "Blinkers", "Turn Signals", and maybe more names.
Parking Lights: Are also called, "Running Lights" maybe other names?
Cornering Lamps: Are for lighting up side of road just for the direction you are turning with the directionals on for that direction.

Throw in languages converted to English and local nick-names confuses what we are talking about.

In short - if car had new lenses put in with bulbs for a feature you don't have that TMK is optional for only some there's nothing wrong but doubt that so please clear up what you mean,


Response From sunnah

Thank you for your quick and detailed reply and sorry to confuse as that was not my intention. This is a GXE model and I really could not tell you how those lights in the corners work. I did not mean "Corner lamps" and to their function. This is the original car and there has only been one owner (my mother). I am wondering why include the bulbs and the light fixture if it was never an option? Why not make them function with the main headlamps. But I have a feeling these bulbs operate corner lamps that stay on and blinkers(turn signals) that alternate with ones already in the front bumper.

As for the picture which is not the one in my car but it is the exact representation of it. Cannot the "Corner Lamp" relay be installed in the missing slot if was not a feature in this model?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

DS - I know what cornering lamps are and OP this car may not have ever had them and shouldn't have bulbs or a relay for them if so. I can't know each model of every car what features that are not required do or don't have them.

General is for decades now if a feature or package of features when new wasn't included the wiring for those things wasn't in the original harness for that car to save on wire if nothing else.
Look in the blank spot of that relay panel. Is anything in there to plug into or just nothing there? If nothing it's fine and you don't have that feature, that's all.

If talking about "Cornering Lamps" as I know and have on my own cars they are separate and stay on longer than the "blinker" so a whole different bunch of things to operate as intended.
It's somewhat of a thing I can't know car by car for all models and years. Some don't need them as the light the road enough anyway either headlights just a much wider range or not.

Simply can't know what was intended for each car. If these once worked and now don't and the spot for a relay is without wiring in wait I don't understand?


Response From sunnah

Yes, there is no socket for the replay to go in. It is just an empty spot in the harness. It is just confusing why these are bulbs in there. When the headlights come on it just seems like a bad design to have dark spots at the corners. I will investigate further.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Did the bulbs you see ever work? Need that answer!!
There are bad designs all over the place brand new or for all time. Blind spots just in vehicle shape. Shorter people who don't see what taller people do or controls of common items in reach.
It's primary to buy a car/vehicle that suits you for what you want or need.

If your answer if they never worked then high chance it never had that feature and somewhat surprised bulbs were there at all unless over now 21 years lenses were replaced and a spot for them there that were not on OE ones or a plug to remove or something. Are there wires to those bulbs? Doesn't make sense if so and might need to see owner's manual what controls those lights if they are equipped to work and OE is now a mystery why the spot is blank.

They would make housings to hold all possible features costs nothing but making all the wires for things a car isn't going to have can be avoided for many decades now, lots older than this car.

If really annoying to you some design of lighting and it does happen sometimes just bulbs for headlights can solve it sometimes not. Careful if you add a feature it wasn't built with. Total warning on that if never equipped and properly wired for that,


Response From sunnah

Yes the bulbs did work at one point. And yes there is an existing socket and wire harness at the corner bulb location.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

I would hope if as you said your Mother's car before you that you would know if any major work was done that could mess it up - an accident or some other thing. So by all odds they should work unless the dang relay isn't specifically for just that but think it should be. You said there are no connections in that slot didn't you? That doesn't add up or where the heck did they go and why?

Appears like that thing just lifts up and think I would see what's under it if no female ends for a relay are there. You have a lot better chance of knowing if the whole thing was replaces or broke somehow before already do you? Lots can happen in 21 model years of use and perhaps even if unknown to your Mother some repair messed it up and wrong one ended up there and wasn't hooked up but wires should be under it still if it ever worked and surprised if so they didn't short out each other if out of a harness?
IDK. I'd be looking as said for why and made certain that relay was absolutely for just that and not some other twist of translated English as I think this car was both made in Asia and sold all over the world under different names?


Response From sunnah

You are right- My mother always takes her cars for repairs with random mechanics. There is a good chance they did something to prevent it form coming on. I am probably going to visit a junk yard and see if I can find a relay box that all the relays to compare.

And I did remove a couple of the other relays which have the female end. That is what is missing.

Thanks again.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

If you go to a junkyard and find the right or similar car intact - even if all relays are missing see what is there on another. I'm lost as such places do leave empty spots as already said but don't understand the lack of female wires ends to plug into just there if all is true. I'm not familiar with this or these being a popular problem either requiring those as parts - but could be? If a good junk yard they are all missing would be a clue.

The one you found looks used and missing the relay itself? All that suggests not proves that it might not be on all of the same model but now don't believe that. So if you even bought a used or new one it would only have no wires or cut off which means where are yours?

Such things you usually can use somewhat ordinary female spade type wiring crimp ends and fish them in as needed hoping they'll snap into spot and stay locked there - like if one burned the plastic somehow. Whatever - you may not know why or who did what but again - where are the wire ends that should be there?


Response From Discretesignals

Tom, corning lamps are activated when you move the turn signal switch with the headlamps on. They don't blink and come on solid I guess to light your way through a turn at night.

Maybe someone took the relay out and used it in a different spot because something else wasn't working? Who knows.

nissan 2003

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Question From robert r on nissan 2003

i have a nissan 2003 will not start i sprayed starter fiuld to see if it would start but no luck?

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

If no reaction from starting fluid then go on and test for spark,


Response From dmac0923

any check engine light codes? you can retrieve the codes without a scanner on nissans through a series of key turns and pedal presses.

ill see if i can find the procedure

Help Identify Body Part on 1999 Nissan Sentra GXE

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Question From ottomatic on Help Identify Body Part on 1999 Nissan Sentra GXE

I have a cracked piece in the front of my 1999 Nissan Sentra GXE. It looks as though it would be the location of a grill, but in this car model, a grill does not come standard. It is the plastic piece with the emblem. I am looking to buy a new piece but I do not know what the official title of the part is and I can't find it online. Can anyone help me?

This has a picture of the exact piece i am talking about.

Thought I would post the pic for you.

Response From dmac0923

i would goto your dealer's parts department and have them pull up the exploded diagram of your car and point it out to them. then youll be able to find out the proper name.

my guess you will only be able to get that new through nissan or used.

i would say id probably call it a grille filler panel or grille delete panel

Response From ottomatic

Thanks for the help! Unfortunately it doesnt look like I can get the factory piece... i only seem to find actual replacement grills online

Response From dmac0923

what you could do since you have a good picture and an arrow indicating what you need. google junk yards.

often they have a parts request form and contact information. just email them the picture and explain what you need.

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

Check this out - "google images" as it leads to anyone who has posted pics like you just did (if you dig your post is out there now!) and it leads to sites and places that may have just what you want!

I found a OE gas cap for a 1948 Tractor in original box like this!!!!