Unfortunately I have a 01 Nissan Sentra with 80K. This car has had a bad history of electronic componenet failures such as sensors, MAF sensor, bad wiring etc. There has also been many recalls on this vehicle by Nissan. The ECU has failed now and was replaced at a cost of $900.00 That may be approx 25% of the value of the car! Of course being Nissan there is not a good alternative for parts or service but the dealer! You could buy a home computer for the cost of this auto ECU! A word to the wise DON’T BUY NISSAN!
Of course being Nissan there is not a good alternative for parts or service but the dealer!
Gee I’ve owned 4 Nissans in the past 25 years and never had a problem finding aftermarket parts. An ECU…I’ll agree there…But they are all proprietary components.
Sorry to hear about your problems. Hasn’t been my experience or anyone else I know. But I’m sure it does happen.
I am glad you have been more lucky then I. My thougts about this pos are clear. As for the parts- you are right also… I was able to find an aftermarket MAF sensor when it was incorreclty diagnosed as that failure… The $60.00 I paid for that mistake was much better then the $500+ the dealer wanted for the oem part. OH but remember, that was not the problem anyway so it was only a $60.00 mistake!!! I wish you and all others more luck then I - but for me NEVER AGAIN! In an economy as this with the competition amongst auto manaufactures - I would hope for more than this!! sorry for the ranting and raving!
Our 1994 Nissan Sentra has been an exceptionally reliable car. My wife relied on it totally to drive 20 miles to her medical job in all kinds of weather.
So far we have replaced the radiator (aftermarket), exhaust system (after market), battery (aftermarket), crankcase oil seal, CV joints (aftermarket), wiper blades (aftermarket), brakes (aftermarket), Starter motor (aftermarket) and all drive belts (aftermarket).
This car has by far been the most reliable over its 15 years compared to others we have owned. My 2007 Corolla will hopefully be as reliable. My only gripe has been some body rust; today’s cars should be more rust resistant.
I’m not arguing against your decision not to buy another Nissan. I do it all the time. Not just cars…computers, tvs, appliances…etc. And since a car is probably you’re second biggest purchase you need to make a wise decision. Good luck with your next purchase.
I too would be very happy with a car such as you described. Those types of mechanical repairs are to be expected. Glad to hear the aftermarket parts are also availible. We were troubled with repairs such as window motors failing several times, evap emission problems repeating, wiring problems, lights working some days and others not. Check engine light off and on, and hoping it would be off for long enough to pass nh inspection…we just found the integrity of the vehicle to be lacking… I had a Honda Accord which ran 180k and never skipped a beat!! Buy Honda!
It is an irrational decision to condemn Nissan because you have had bad luck with this one. You could find other individuals equally irritated with Toyota, Honda or any other automaker. You also mentioned the current climate of the economy and competing automakers but be aware that your 01 Sentra was designed in the mid 90’s. Also realize that if you were driving an 01 Honda Civic for example, you would have had to shell out nearly $900 by now for one routine maintenance item, a timing belt. Not to mention the other problems you could have had, even with a Honda.
so glad we live in a country where we can all support whichever brand we like- too bad neither one is American!
I disagree with the premise that Nissan builds bad cars. The only issue, often overlooked by others, is that Asian cars do break and have faults just like anything else with wheels.
Have you considered the possibility that you may have been the victim of a misdiagnosis; maybe more than once?
In the world of ECU controls many think that problems are black and white with no gray areas involved.
A few years back in the Sunday edition of the paper here, in the letters to the editor, someone had written in stating that “any idiot can be a mechanic now. The only thing they have to do is ask the computer what part to replace”.
It would be great if that were the truth but unfortunately it’s not.
Depending on the date when the car was first delivered and the date of the ECU replacement, it’s possible this ECU could have been done as a freebie under the 8 year/80k miles Federal emissions warranty. Granted, you’re hovering around the deadline so I’m just pointing that out.
(I would also point out that ECU failures are very rare and ECUs are often misdiagnosed.)
I agree Nissan builds “bad” cars. So does every other car maker out there.
Usually the troublesome ones are in a range of 10(Toyota, Honda)-30%(Land Rover, VW/Audi). Thankfully the majority 70-90% have relatively troublefree ownership.
Whatever you purchase next the odds are it will be fine whoever makes it.
Thanks for the information about the possibility of the ecu being done as a freebie under the 8 year 80k warranty. I did explore that with the dealer actually and I was told it in not emissions related, just a failure of the ecu. Do you know where I could get more information about this warranty? Is there a federal website or something?
Is there such a thing as an American car company anymore? GM sells more cars overseas than they do in the USA. All three (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) sell cars in the USA that were made in Canada and Mexico. All three have more foreign-made content (parts) in their cars than domestic content. Honda and Toyota have many factories on US soil. All of these companies except Chrysler are publicly-traded corporations. Anyone in the world can own stock in Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, and/or Nissan, so I have to ask, what makes a car company American?
Did you buy new or used? If used, that may be why the previous owner got rid of it.
American Names. I Have Owned And Operated GM And Chrysler Cars For The Past 25 Years.
We always have 6 to 7 domestic badged cars in our family fleet. All of my cars explode the Asian Car Myth. If I told you how little I’ve done to drive these cars to 200 K and beyond, you wouldn’t believe me.
Also, there is no Asian car support anywhere near here. The closest Asian car dealer is a 5 hour round trip. People here dislike them and don’t drive them, anyhow.
I know what I’m talking about, too. I’ve worked for German and Japanese car dealers for many years and have driven company cars and have owned some of each.
I can understand someone bailing out on these cars. I could do no better than to own and operate domestic badged cars. Do you want to know the best part? The Asian Car Myth keeps prices high on Asian badged cars and low on domestic badged cars. The best kept secret in this country is the bargain awaiting a purchaser of a domestic car.
America, What A Country,
'You pays your money and you takes your chances". I have heard about a bad car wth every make. I had a colleague that said, “There are only two types of cars made–good cars and bad cars. I don’t care what make it is, your can get a bad car and no matter what you do, it always has something going wrong. On the other hand, if you get a good car, you can abuse it,neglect it and it still keeps going. Again igt doesn’t matter what make it is”. Sometimes I think my colleague is right.
My brother had a 1972 Datsun (that is what Nissans used to be called) pickup truck that just wouldn’t quit. The doors rusted badly, so he riveted on some sheet metal–he said slip covered the truck. The frame rusted through and broke. He jacked the truck straight, and bridged the broken frame with a 4 x 4 and C clamps. His biggest problem was finding a Datsun truck with a blown engine so he couuld swap his engine into a different chassis. When the frame broke on the second truck with the engine transplant, he finally gave up. He never had any problems with the engine or the drivetrain. I rode with him many times in these trucks. They ran beautifully, but a wheelbarrow had a smoother ride.
The problem most people have when dealing with shops (and especially true of franchised dealers such as Nissan) is that they are talking to service writers in most cases and service managers in others.
Very, very few writers or managers have much mechanical expertise so they blather a bunch of garbage so as to not appear mechanically stupid to the customer.
Of course an ECU is an emissions item; it controls everything.
Only the ECU, catalytic converters, etc. are covered under this warranty although now and then the coverage may be bumped up if a problem is chronic enough and depending on the whim of corporate headquarters.
Your car is an '01 and odds are it was sold new in '00. This would put the car out of warranty UNLESS it happened to be one that hung around until late '01 before being sold.
It all depends on the “in service” date.
What you might do is contact the Nissan regional offices and politely explain what has been going on. With a bit of honey applied, there’s always a possibility that Nissan could step in and and do what is called a “Good Will” warranty on the ECU.
Don’t gamble on this but it’s worth a shot anyway considering the problems apparently go back to before the warranty expired.
As to warranty periods, do a net search or check the owners manual if you still have it.
The manual should have this laid out in black and white and the dealer can’t argue with that.
As to my comment about a misdiagnosis, or more than one, whenever engine control parts are being replaced en masse this usually leads me to believe that someone is guessing at the problem; especially when that old phrase “bad wiring” is batted around.
“Bad wiring” is a generic brush off phrase which can translate to “we don’t know so feed the customer some BS”.
Hope some of that helps and good luck.
This is really odd.
I, too, owned a '95 Nissan 200SX (just a 2-door Sentra). I, too, had trouble with it passing emissions…the ECU would periodically revert to “open loop” ops, which kept it from passing the sniffer test. Replacing the ECU failed to fix the problem, so I ultimately junked it.
In retrospect, it suffered enough miscellaneous electrical gremlins to make me wonder if the “open loop” problem wasn’t just a case of bad grounding. Perhaps you should check for grounding issues before replacing the ECU, especially if it’s an intermittant problem.
Frankly, I was underwhelmed with that car. In addition to the electrical issues, interior trim peices seemed to have been affixed with elementary-school paste, and the trunk latch striker was affixed to sheet metal of such thin gauge that it was forever being bent out of place.
That said, the engine mechanicals seemed to be top-notch, which made the troubles elsewhere all the more vexing. Ultimately, it struck me as a decent car that got ruined by the bean-counters.
bought brand new- did all of the several recalls which were issued- pos!
Very Well Said! Kudos
I also have a GMC Truck with over 225k on it ! Original motor, trans , drive train. This is a serious 1 ton work truck which makes a living for my family- no stupid repairs (knock on wood)!