I have 1995 Nissan Altima and it will not start. When I jump the car battery with jumper cable and when the Cables are connected, the Car starts. As soon as I take the jumper cables out, the rpm drops and immediately the Car engine dies (stops). I checked the battery with Digital Multi-meter and the batter is good. This Car was run on very low engine oil (way below the “Low” mark on the Dip stick for 3 days running 30 to 40 miles/day. 2 or 3 months, I noted that engine oil “Low” indicator on my dash board and did not get oil change immediately. Since this car is my second car, I do not use it everyday. It is parked always, and I start it once in 3 or 4 days and run it for 20 minutes to make sure that Battery will not go down. Few weekends before this problem, the car started well and I did not notice any “low” engine oil indicator on the dash board. So, I never changed the engine oil as I forgot about it.
3 weeks back, I gave the Car to a friend of mine who came here from another state. He took it to his office ( 15 mile away ) and in the evening the car would not start. Finally, someone had jump started power station and they jumped the car with it. The car started Next day, he did not use this car. 3rd day, the car started when I jumped the car in the morning, and he took it to office and did not have any problems coming back (total 30 to 40 miles). 4th day, he went to office in the morning and when he was coming back, the Car died on the road. He got it jumped 1or 2 times and came very close to my home. It died again. After 1 or 2 hours, I came back from office and pressed the gas pedal few times and started it. It started and when I was in my parking place, it died again. Finally, when I parked in the parking lot, I noticed that the steering wheel (it is power steering) became very stiff and would not turn. Also, I noticed smoke smell when I opened the hood. I had to drop my friend in the airport, so I took my good car and took him to airport.
Afterwards, I tried to start with jumper cable. The car will start and engine runs when it is still connected to other car with cables. As soon as I disconnect the cable the rpm drops and engine dies. After noticing that the dip stick shows the oil is way below “Low” mark (there was still some oil on the “tip” of drip stick), I put in 2 quarters of engine oil. I tried starting with jumper cables. The car starts and engine runs when the jumper cables are connected, when I take them out, the rpm drops and engine dies. Please suggested me your thoughts and ideas considering the following:
1). I may not get more than $1000-1200 for this car (1995 Nissan Altima). I live in Stamford, CT where car mechanic charges are high. 2). This car needs to be towed to nearest mechanic (which may cost around $100-150). 3). The Battery is Good and I do not know about the alternator. I noticed “smoke” smell under the hood near engine and alternator when I jumped the Car when my friend was using it. Also, there was lot of noise from the engine when my friend used it for 3 or 4 days (now, I know that it is because there was almost no engine oil). Did the smoke I noticed is because alternator got burnt or due to burning of gadget b/w engine upper and lower block etc (expensive)? 4). The drop in rpm when I disconnect jumper cables - is it due to major damage to the engine. If so, is it worth taking the car to mechanic and getting repaired since I may not get more than $1000 for this car. 5). If it is not worth repairing this Car, what is the least effective way, I get read of this Car? I want to know whether any car dealer or mechanic shop will buy it for parts etc.
This Car has only $130K mileage on it and it will run well if this problem is repaired. I never had problems with it in last 10 years except for the Battery problems. There were some posts similar to this on this forum, but none of them are exactly like my situation. I appreciate all your valuable suggestions. Sorry for the long message. Thank you.