02 Nissan Altima burning oil

Asked by Jun 07, 2017 at 07:15 PM about the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 02 Nissan Altima with approx 93,000. I've
had it for a month and it's burning oil. The day I got
it I got an oil change, drove to work  home. The
next day I drove to work and on my break my oil
light started flashing. I checked oil and it was gone
dry. Ever since then I put oil in it just about every
day. I drive about 40 miles a day and I put about 1-
2 qts of oil in it once or twice a day. When I start
the car for the first time of the day there's a lot of
bluish/white smoke that comes out and subsides
after time. There are times that it comes out while
driving. I've changed the valve cover and was told
that the valve cover gasket and pcv valve was
changed then also. I have no idea what could be
wrong. I've also noticed that when I get off of the
highway (20) miles it makes a rattling sound when
I accelerate. To me it sounds like it's overheating
but the gauge is in the middle.

11 Answers


Need to check timing chain cover. Engines are bad about timing chain cover leaking. Take it to a shop or if you can jack it up and. Take passenger wheel off and remove dust cover to see side of motor and watch as it runs. If you're going through that much of oil a day. You have a severe leak. If not the motor would be smoking severely.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The day you got it and had the oil changed. Oil filter could be leaking or drain plug. The rattle you hear is the timing chain.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Lonetech, there's no oil spots anywhere on the ground.

The smoke is coming from the exhaust


That's extreme. I would still check for a leak. Oil pump won't leak when off. If not that motor has severe blow by on motor. Is the motor skipping or hard to start. Check pcv valve and pull a couple of plugs. They should be soaked in oil. I would still check for a leak because that is severe.


The smoke indicates that oil is getting into the combustion chamber but I can't imagine an engine burning that much oil without fouling the spark plugs... when the car is cool,remove the radiator cap and look for an oily residue on the bottom of the cap and in the neck.

Tom I will check in the morning and let you know.

Tom, there is oil in the radiator


Sorry for the bad news but all indications point to a head gasket repair

well time to sell

Hey Tom i have a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 I recently put in a new timing chain and a new oil pump before I replaced the timing chain and oil pump I was getting oil on the Pistons yeah all 4 Pistons I also replaced the valve cover and gasket .The car runs Good it doesn't smoke it's just that I'm still getting oil on the Pistons.

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