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Nissan Murano Car Engine

So I’ve had my Nissan Murano for 2 years, recently there has been white smoke coming out from the mufflers, I didn’t think anything of it because no check engine light came on. But I called Nissan anyway and they told me not to worry that the weather will usually cause that to happen. I thought that was a weird reason to cause that so I scheduled an appointment at Nissan to have my car checked, sure enough I didn’t think of getting an oil change in months so they told me I needed a whole new engine which is $11,000. So my question is, shouldnt an engine light have turned on?

You will have to give us a little more info.

Why do they feel the engine is junk.


Why? Because you forgot to change the oil? Maybe, maybe not.

Oil lights come on (in red) when the oil pressure is too low due to a leak or bad oil pump. Stop the engine immediately or risk destroying the engine.
Some cars have oil level lights (in yellow, typically) come on when the oil is low. You must check to make sure there is enough oil in the engine or risk failure. Fill it up as soon as you are able.
Some cars, not all, have oil minders - lights or messages - that turn on when an oil change is due. Does your car have one of those? Your owners manual will tell you if you have an oil minder light.

Just an FYI, most engines will run many, many, many months without changing the oil. They won’t run many minutes if the oil pressure is not high enough or you run out of oil by driving many months between oil changes and not checking the oil level.

Had vehicle for two years but was that from new or used. How many months between oil changes? If vehicle is drivable have an independent shop look at for a second opinion but expect to pay for their time.

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Going a couple months over on an oil change once isn’t going to destroy the engine. How many times have you gotten the oil changed since you bought the car, and are you the original owner?

Did you think that there was a warning light that would have a message along the lines of…
Have you actually opened the glove compartment, taken out the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and read it?

I don’t think that there is quite enough space on most instrument clusters to remind car owners of things that should be obvious.

On a more serious note, during those unknown number of “months”, how often did you lift the hood and check the oil?

It seems from your message that you may not have changed the oil in two years. There is an oil light that tells you the oil level is low, but if your Nissan oil level did not go below the level to turn the light on, then it will not glow. How many miles did you drive between oil changes? Not changing the oil in at least two years would easily destroy the engine if that is what happened.

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If the oil level gets low enough to cause lots of smoke to come out the tailpipe, that would usually trigger a low oil pressure dash light. But not always. It depends on the nature of the problem. Do all the dash lights come on with the key in on but the engine not started? If not, the bulb may be burned out. Even if the bulbs are ok, the warning system is helpful, but not perfect. Running on low crankcase oil levels for a long time, especially at high speeds or uphill, can damage the engine severely, even tho the oil pressure always shows ok. It’s like if you try to run across a desert while only having sipped a little water before your first started. You can still run, but that’s not enough water to keep your body working well for that task.

Going forward with your replacement engine, suggest to follow the manufacturer’s routine maintenance schedule and check the oil level on the dipstick at every re-fueling. Other than your wallet, no harm done. Just a hunk of metal is all an engine is.

Seriously, need more details here. What year? miles? last oil change?

White smoke out the tailpipe is usually either condensation in the mufflers that clears up in a few minutes unless you live in a very cold climate, or it is a sign of a blown head gasket. You don’t need a new engine for a blown head gasket and it has nothing to do with your oil changes or lack there of.

$11,000 for a new engine? That seems to be a bit high to me. Is it still running?

When I was a kid, the closest gas station was an Esso station. The owner was a good mechanic, but his father hung around the place, and gave unsolicited opinions on peoples’ cars. I lost count of how many times he told people, “you got merstyoor in da muffla”. (Translation=moisture in the muffler.)

Maybe yes, maybe no.
If the breached head gasket resulted in coolant contamination of the motor oil, it is entirely possible for that gasket problem to necessitate an engine replacement.

And that is a good reason for a second opinion.