2006 Nissan Titan Piston Ring job

I took my Nissan Titan to a local oil-change shop because my oil pressure was fluctuating and dropping at low idle.

I have 115,000 miles on the truck.

When my plugs were pulled, they were badly fouled on the left side of the engine. In their opinion, my rings are leaking oil through to the combustion chamber.

I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth the repair cost on a truck that Edmunds tells me is worth @ $8000 on a trade in.

What should I expect to pay for this repair?



Piston ring trouble at 115K on a 2006, not likely.

Putting much faith in a oil-change shops internal engine diagnostic capability not a good idea. Just say 'thank you and see a real mechanic.

You are saying you plugs were oil fouled but not causing a misfire, hmmm.

I conclude some miles have been put on the new plugs, pull them again and give them a read.

Give some exact specs. on the fluctuating oil presure problem. If its internal engine its probably bearing related but could also be pump,filter,pickup, or even a sludging problem. It could even turn out to be a non-issue,needs more check out.

I’m not sure how old the plugs are. My guess @ 20,000 miles old.
I’m seeing a lot of smoke from my exhaust, and the engine is making a ‘clacking’ noise during idle and decceleration.
When they looked at this morning, they told me it had 2 quarts of oil in an engine that holds 6.5. I have put 4,000 miles on it since the last oil change.

At the last oil change, I was also getting this fluctuation problem. It stopped after the oil was changed, perhaps as a result of changing the oil filter, but I have no idea what else might have occured.

The engine has been running very strong, no misfires at all, or any power issues since I changed the fuel pump 3 months ago.


Mike, your flucuating oil pressure is due to running the motor with only 2 qts of oil in the oil pan, you were 4 qts low on oil. You have got to check your oil level between oil changes. With the age and miles on the motor you have to expect it to use oil and you need to check it every couple of weeks and add oil as necessary.

When driving with only 2 qts of oil in the motor the oil is going to be very hot, very thin, and stressed to the max. This could allow more oil to blow by the rings and create the smoke at the tailpipe. This low oil condition and low oil pressure could have damaged the motor interanlly and caused excess wear and tear on the motor.

After your recent oil change, monitor the oil level every week for a month or two. Keep the oil level near the full mark on the dipstick. Watch the tailpipe, are you getting the smoke or not? Before getting a ring job see how the motor is running.

If you have concerns in a month or two take the car to a good mechanic for a compression test and other tests to see what needs to be done. Don’t pay much attention to the quickie lube shops recommendations. It is likely they aren’t the best “wrenches” in town.

Simply running the engine down to 2 quarts of oil means there is engine damage. The only question is the degree of damage.

From the sound of it, you do not raise the hood to check the oil level and simply rely on it being fine between oil changes.

A piston ring only repair can be an iffy one because there are a lot of factors involved. (cylinder wall specs, crankshaft condition (bearings have to be changed too), and with the heads off this means surfacing, valve job, etc.

Best options are a good used engine or dump the truck unless you want an inexpensive halfxxx ring job. The latter is a coin flip and even more of a flip if the person doing it does not check, or know how to check, various things.