My Altima has 30% compression in two pistons

Asked by Dec 30, 2016 at 12:57 PM about the 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi, I've had this car about 10 years, and it never had a lot of power, it's a 4
cylinder anyway, but it did display signs of weakness at times, like the
engine was laboring.  I just drove the car across country, from
Massachusetts to Nevada.  I had a very good and honest mechanic in MA
for the last few years.  He checked out my car and replaced some ignition
coils and gave me a tuneup before I left.  He didn't mention anything about
compression, but I don't know if that's a normal thing to check.

So my car wouldn't start the other day.  It just wouldn't turn over, like it
wasn't getting the gas or just couldn't quite get there.  Jumping it didn't
help.  I hadn't driven it for a few days and I kind of messed up when
starting it and stopped in the middle of starting it, if you know what I mean.  
Sometimes that messes things up, so when it wouldn't start, I thought
maybe I did something.  But I pushed it to a shop right around the corner,
and they called me an hour later and told me it has 30% compression in
two of the (pistons, cylinders, valves)?  I'm not sure which it is, maybe you
can tell me!

He said that it needs a whole new engine, for over $4000, which is over
double the Blue Book value of that car anyway, so that's not happening.  
But then he said they had some cars for sale, and would take my car as a
trade in and sell my one for $5000 or something.  That made me
suspicious.  Like he is just trying to steal my car, sell me another, and then
do some simple thing to my car and turn around and sell it.  

Does what you hear sound reasonable for my car?  I'm going there today
to figure out what to do, and I hope to have more info at my command first.  
Thanks for any help you can give.

1 Answer

75,775

If the two cylinders with the low compression readings are next to each other it's a blown head gasket. Personally, on a 14 year old vehicle I wouldn't bother fixing it. HTH. - Jim

Your Answer

Nissan Altima Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
    Reputation
    2,350
  • #2
    F_O_R
    Reputation
    820
  • #3
    Cassie Sapphire
    Reputation
    760
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Nissan Maxima
21 Great Deals out of 418 listings starting at $3,795
Used Honda Accord
47 Great Deals out of 1,207 listings starting at $1,795
Used Toyota Camry
43 Great Deals out of 2,073 listings starting at $2,750
Used Honda Civic
261 Great Deals out of 4,672 listings starting at $1,995
Used Nissan Sentra
140 Great Deals out of 1,894 listings starting at $1,966
Used Hyundai Sonata
37 Great Deals out of 1,328 listings starting at $3,499
Used Chevrolet Malibu
76 Great Deals out of 1,801 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota Corolla
136 Great Deals out of 3,458 listings starting at $2,495
Used Kia Optima
57 Great Deals out of 820 listings starting at $2,610
Used Chevrolet Impala
136 Great Deals out of 1,088 listings starting at $1,995

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Nissan Altima 2.5 S For Sale
23 listings starting at $17,245
2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 S For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 22 listings starting at $13,000
2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 S For Sale
27 listings starting at $10,995
2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 S For Sale
13 listings starting at $10,495
2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 S For Sale
26 listings starting at $8,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.