July 16, 2009 at 1:19 am #742
I’ll start with a bit of background concerning our 2007 Nissan Quest. A few months ago, white smoke started coming out of the exhaust. We purchased the van new in July 2007 for my wife. I can’t recall how many oil changes, if any have been performed since our purchase. I was under the impression this had been performed somewhat regularly, until I asked my wife about it. She couldn’t recall either, leading me to believe it may not have been done at all until we had it done earlier this month.
Around the same time the smoke started, I noticed a clicking sound coming from the engine only on acceleration. It happens more when the AC is on. The noise subsided up until I took the van in to have it checked for the smoke issue, an oil change and to assess what possible damage may have been done due to the lack of oil changes. Approximately a month ago is when we had the oil changed and the engine checked by the dealer.
They were unable to determine the cause of the smoke at that time. They told us to give it a bit to see if it clears up after the oil change. It didn’t. So I took it in again this Tuesday and they informed me they thought it was sludge in the engine and the only thing we could do is have the engine replaced. I asked if any further damage could come from it and I was told the only issue would be the smoke, which would simply be an annoyance.
Later Tuesday, after returning from the dealer and running errands, the “Service Engine Soon” light came on. Not long after, the noise started again. We’ve noticed nothing out of the ordinary while driving. No loss in power, no leakage. Our dealer doesn’t exactly offer top of the line customer service and speaking with them about issues is less than pleasant, so I’d like to get some opinions on what the possible issue(s) could be. Thanks in advance.
Update: It appears there is no “visible” oil leakage, however, we are losing oil. Once we replenished the oil, the clicking stopped. The smoke persists, of course. Still seeking guidance here.July 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm #3461
White smoke is a sign of burning water not oil. You might need to change the head gasket. Plus you are losing oil internally, I would considered a rebuild or new engine.July 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm #3470
Before you replace the engine or do a rebuild, get a second opinion…PLEASE!!!! The lack of maintenance on the vehicle means you will on the hook for this repair so you should make sure of the diagnosis. Also the service manager mentioning “sludge” as a possible cause tells me they are looking to blame the lack of maintenance as the reason for the engine problems. One way for them to get out of covering the repair. Not unless they took the engine apart, they can’t know definitively that sludge is the problem.
The “service engine soon” light needs to be scanned and diagnosed. It may or may not be related to the other issues. Also check your coolant level. Is the vehicle running a bit “hot”?
Get a second opinion from an independent garage. It will cost you about an hour of labor time. At least you will feel comfortable making the next decision. A head gasket replacement will run about $1000. New engine will be several thousand $$$. I would spend $80 to make sure.
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