Anyone who knows anything about me knows about my car trouble nightmares. As such, when I bought a used 2004 Nissan Sentra SE-R (with 35,000 miles on it) from a dealership at the beginning of 2005, I made sure to buy an extended warranty. Sure enough, within two weeks of owning my new (used) car, the fuel pump needed to be replaced. This repair alone pretty much excused the extended warranty that I had purchased, but after that everything was pretty much smooth sailing without problems.
At around 45,000 miles, I noticed that my car had developed a “ticking” sort of noise in the engine during acceleration. However, once the engine got warmed up the noise went away, so I didn’t give it much thought. My extended warranty wasn’t going to expire till 60,000 miles and I figured that if the problem got worse I would just have to make sure to have it checked into before then.
At around 55,000 miles (a couple of days ago), I finally decided to do something about it (that warranty expiration was getting too close!). So I drove the car up to a local Nissan dealership, where I left it overnight (so they could hear the cold engine ticking the next morning). At first, they couldn’t replicate the problem, but I persisted, and they were eventually able to hear it.
Turns out, my engine had developed “piston slap”, where the pistons were hitting the side of the cylinders when they went up and down. The compression in cylinder #1 was only 90 PSI, when it was supposed to be 175 PSI! Not only that, but there was scoring of the metal where it had been rubbing together, and there were metal shavings in the oil. So yeah, not pretty.
So they gave me a new engine.
How do you like that? 5,000 miles from warranty expiration and my used car gets a whole new lease on life! I hope it lasts me a long time, because I still owe a small fortune on that darn car.