A Nissan Sentra Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2003 Sentra SE-R SpecV swallowed Butterfly screws from the air intake and they are bouncing about in the engine (crush gaps on spark plugs and throws error if started) - diagnosed by Nissan dealership who wants $5k to remove.

Air intake manifold removed by dealership and car has been sitting for 18 months. Engine is good (dealership even commented on it being strong) and has only been started by mechanics for diagnosis since initial error code.

Would like to get my car repaired and want to understand:
(1) what needs to be done in order to remove the screws from the top of the engine and what is involved;
(2) what, if any, other maintenance should I get done or consider while the engine is partially dismantled; AND
(3) any other potential 'pit-falls' I should be aware of or consider fixing???

Any and all assistance will be greatly appreciated....

Thanks in advance, LizwithCurls
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,586 Posts
If the screw destroyed the sparkplug then the piston and combustion chamber, including the valves is also damaged and it would be easier to just replace the entire motor.

I don't remember if the screws are magnetic or not but if not and a vacuum can't get the screw then you have to pull the head off.

Was the recall never done on it?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tritton

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,328 Posts
I thought I had a screw in my engine, and got a camera in the cylinder head just to see, and there was alot of scoring from the butterfly screw (which was missing when I pulled it due to vacuum issues.) I did a head gasket, and everything was fine, put the new gasket in, and proceeded to spin a rod bearing. Totally unrelated, or so I thought, but that could have been the noise and error code I was getting all along. So to diagnose the issue is really a crap shoot. You'll need to replace timing components while you are at it as well as the belt, and there could be other unforeseeable issues lying in wait.

Like CrickiKaze said, its easier and cheaper just to throw in a junkyard motor for 500 to 1k. Yoou can also use any Altima QR25de from the same years 02 - 06

I also had a friend with a turbo motor and his motor blow cause of the screw doing damage to alot of head components.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,586 Posts
18 months....sounds like they are trying to see if they can brush this off or they can't find a re-manned nissan engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Its done. Used qr25 are $700 installed, at least here in L.A . Ur trying to fix an engine that exploded internally sorta. Just get another one and do loctite, header. And ur engine aint good if it ate a screw lol, nissan just wants their 5k. They gonna throw a new engine in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the screw destroyed the sparkplug then the piston and combustion chamber, including the valves is also damaged and it would be easier to just replace the entire motor.

I don't remember if the screws are magnetic or not but if not and a vacuum can't get the screw then you have to pull the head off.

Was the recall never done on it?
First sign of any trouble was the 'check engine' light - pulled over immediately and put in ODB reader to get the code as I drove the short distance back to my home. Looked up the error code - 301?? - misfire in cylinder 1. Did some research on what it might be and figured it was most likely a fouled spark plug and had it towed to my mechanic.

My mechanic looked at it - misfire was being caused by the gap on the spark plug being bent - but it moved from one cylinder to another (from cylinder 1 to cylinder 4) which confounded my mechanic. Wonderful mechanic that he is, he spent the afternoon researching Nissann issues and recalls before deciding that it was most likely the dreaded "butterfly screw" issue from the pre-cat which was a recall on the 2003 S-ER Spec V.

I contacted Nissan and had my car towed to the local dealership where the maintenance and repairs had always been done by the prior (original) owner before I acquired it a few years ago. After a few days, the dealership notified me that YES - it was a butterfly valve screw ; but that NO it wasn't from the pre-cat valve (covered recall for 2003) and that YES - Nissan had previously done the recall service for that matter on the car (loctite the screws) AND that the screws (2) had come out of one of the butterfly valves on the air intake manifold and that the valve had been sucked down one of the ports where it was now stuck (but could be removed) and that the missing screws were most likely bouncing around in the top of the engine and fouling the spark plugs AND that sadly, NO - this was a known recall matter for 2004+ model years but just not for the 2003s (my car).

Nissan essentially said "Too bad, so sad" - out of warranty and you can write to HQ if I'm unhappy with their reply - even after I mentioned that they had just lost a class-action lawsuit in California (where I live) over this exact matter.

The dealership offered to reassemble the portion of the engine taken apart and install a new air intake manifold - without removing screws (said they'd most likely eventually blow out thru the exhaust) for $2500 OR for $5k+ to actually remove the screws and reassemble the engine (the plus I assume was for any potential damage to the cylinders or pistons, etc. uncovered once they got into the engine).

So.... my sweet little stick shift has been sitting in front of the house until I set aside enough extra $$ to deal with the issue and get her fixed... if it won't cost a fortune...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What did the dealer mean by "engine is strong" ?
Did they do a compression test on it ?
I don't know if a compression test was done as part of the diagnosis before they found the valve sucked down the air intake manifold and the screws missing. Was told by the Customer Service guy that the mechanic had commented on how well the engine was running and sounded (car was running great and had been regularly maintenanced for it's whole life - have all the records - and just over 100K original miles).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
18 months....sounds like they are trying to see if they can brush this off or they can't find a re-manned nissan engine.
Nissan won't do anything other than give me the brush off... will have to decide whether I want to try to go after them in Small Claims Court. I won't be buying another Nissan after this though due to their non-existent customer service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Details of the Class Action are ...
"According to the settlement agreement, if your Nissan vehicle had engine damage because of a loose power valve screw, you may be entitled to reimbursement of engine repair costs up to $3000 for engine replacement and up to $1500 for engine repairs, provided the damage occurred within 12 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, and you paid for the repair out of pocket.
However, owners and lessees are not eligible if the damage happened within the 5-year/60,000 mile warranty period or was covered in Nissan's voluntary service campaign where the repairs were paid by Nissan."

So unfortunately your Sentra is over the 12 years limit and it was (according to them) part of the initial voluntary service campaign.
It sux (n)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Small claims court 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🥱🥱🥱🥱🥱🥱🥱 There was a class action lawsuit already, about 2 years ago. You were either in with proof or out. Accept it, the vehicle engine doneeeeeee youre actually lucky it has 100k, the first engines started going out much sooner
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,328 Posts
Find a QR and / or a mechanic that will drop one in. (I had a shop install one for my for $500 when it was summertime and I was lazy.)

Leave the dealership with no reassembly.

Have donor motor put in car.

Drive your sweet little stick shift til the wheels fall off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
This is serious but if it has the type of ITM that uses these it is a 2002-06 model only meaning at it youngest its 14 years old.

sadly I recently removed a set from a wrecker car with the intent of sizing thread pitch and getting them slightly longer and in hex style for replacements. Slightly longer to add a tiny lock washer, but...

Well remove the points, use an ink-pen magnet roll manually each piston to TDC and fish the pen magnet in there to collect anything or if you have a telescoping camera look inside of the piston bores to be sure nothing is left inside and inspect the piston heads.

Next up compression test it see where it stands, remove STB, bracket below throttle body, upper ITM and replace what’s missing. Be careful removing them, take time and use proper sized and seated Phillips head screwdriver and LOCTITE the replacements button it up and if it runs cool 😎 if not ugh 😑 but for the 2002-06 QR it amazes me Nissan employed the EXACT SAME DESIGN on the B13 Pulsar GTI-R intake manifolds and these NEVER FELL OUT and they ran under turbo boost two GTI-R motors in my garage now all in tact another WTH moment in Nissan history... 🤔
172487
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
This is serious but if it has the type of ITM that uses these it is a 2002-06 model only meaning at it youngest its 14 years old.

sadly I recently removed a set from a wrecker car with the intent of sizing thread pitch and getting them slightly longer and in hex style for replacements. Slightly longer to add a tiny lock washer, but...

Well remove the points, use an ink-pen magnet roll manually each piston to TDC and fish the pen magnet in there to collect anything or if you have a telescoping camera look inside of the piston bores to be sure nothing is left inside and inspect the piston heads.

Next up compression test it see where it stands, remove STB, bracket below throttle body, upper ITM and replace what’s missing. Be careful removing them, take time and use proper sized and seated Phillips head screwdriver and LOCTITE the replacements button it up and if it runs cool 😎 if not ugh 😑 but for the 2002-06 QR it amazes me Nissan employed the EXACT SAME DESIGN on the B13 Pulsar GTI-R intake manifolds and these NEVER FELL OUT and they ran under turbo boost two GTI-R motors in my garage now all in tact another WTH moment in Nissan history... 🤔 View attachment 172487
Maybe the didnt compensate for USA potholes and fwys lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Well,my experience with nisson sentras is I had 3 and of those two needed head gaskets replaced at 60/80k miles. Not acceptable for a cheap grocery getter..but a butterfly screw inside the engine, any engine means taking head off and removing parts and checking for damage..replacing what's necessary..I happened on my vw bus years ago so I did the formentioned checks and got several more years of service..Good luck It's not the end of the world for your ride..Bill old hippy from the sixties & today
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top