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Nissan Altima 2006 2.5L

I just been told that my Nissan Altima has a blown head gasket and that this particular engine in this car is beyond repair. is that true do I have an alternative?

Have you looked at the responses that people posted in your other thread on this topic a couple of days ago? >>>>Unable to start my Nissan Altima

Below is what I posted at that time, and there may be other posts in that thread that are relevant, as well:

A blown head gasket CAN be the death knell for any car. The Altima is not unique in that respect.
The ultimate question, therefore, is…How long ago did the head gasket become breached?
If it was breached a while ago and you have been driving it in that condition, then it is indeed possible that the engine’s lubricating oil was diluted with coolant, and as a result bearings, piston rings, and cylinder walls in the engine were damaged. Or, if the breach was of very recent origin, it is possible that the engine has survived major damage.

However, if the engine turns over but doesn’t start, I have to suspect that there is inadequate compression in the engine as a result of major internal damage, and if that turns out to be the case then you have to decide whether to get a replacement engine from a junkyard, or to ditch the car.

You could get a second opinion or at least post the reasons you were told the engine was gone besides just needing a head gasket.

First, do you have less than 100k miles on this engine? It came with a 100k mile warranty because of some issue with the rings.

A head gasket is not a death knell for this engine, but it has to be torn down to determine how much will be needed to get it running again, and this kind of teardown takes time and so will cost some money, several hundred dollars.

What @keith said. I’m not familiar w/your specific engine, but on pretty much any engine a head gasket is like any other gasket on a car, right? Just a piece of appropriately thin, pliable, and strong material of the right shape used to mate two metal surfaces together in an air-tight and water-tight fashion. I surfed over to Rock Auto to see what a head gasket costs for your car. $13.49. They have a photo of what it looks like there if interested. Not an expensive part. There’s substantial amount of time involved to replace it, that’s for certain. The cylinder head is sort of like the Grand Central Station of an engine. Everything that goes in and comes out or circulates within the engine, it all goes through the head gasket. So there’s other parts involved in replacing a head gasket. But still the repair bill, parts and labor, could be well within reason. A head gasket can fail in a variety of ways, and some of those ways are fairly innocuous, and some not so innocuous. So it depends on what else , if anything, has been damaged. Did your shop indicate that other stuff in the engine has been damaged besides jus the head gasket has sprung a leak?

Let me add something here. One issue with this engine is that the head can’t be removed until the oil pump is removed. The oil pump is actually the front cover and is sometimes called the timing chain cover. There are a set of guide pins that go between the head and the front cover (oil pump), a second set between the cover and the block and a third set that go vertically from the upper oil pan to the cover.

So, to replace the head gasket, you have to remove the engine and start by removing both oil pans, then the oil pump (front cover), timing chain and finally the head. The labor will probably be higher than most 4 cylinders, but other than that, I don’t see any reason it can’t be fixed. Its really a question of whether the car is in good enough shape to be worth doing all this.


You should ask the person who assessed the damage to your engine this. Those who do not repair cars will tell you replacing a head gasket is a routine procedure however an engine with a multi-layer steel head gasket that has been over heated is likely beyond repair. The gasket will not loose sections of material like a composite gasket will, the lack of compression is due to warped surfaces. It is generally more practical to replace with a used engine than to repair a damaged engine.

Some mechanics repair things while some just replace them. Get a second opinion.

If this car has an automatic transmission, and if the trans hasn’t been serviced at least 3 times in its 10 year existence, then the transmission is likely to be the next thing to fail.
Just imagine spending big bucks on an engine repair, only to have to overhaul the transmission a few months later. The cost of both repairs would likely exceed the book value of the car, and then after spending all of that money, it is still a 10 year old car.

That is why I recommended installing a junkyard engine in the OP’s car.

No I have about 260,000 miles

My bad, the complete front cover does not have to be removed, only the top of the front cover that exposes the cam gears has to come off, so the head gasket can be replaced with the engine in the vehicle.

Here is a step by step of the process with pictures. If your mechanic can’t do this, you need another mechanic. BTW, even though this is a Sentra, it is the SER model that has the Altima engine.

There are a couple of YouTube videos, one specifically shows the 2006 Altima.