If you are driving a 2006 Nissan Sentra, Altima and some of the Infiniti
models there’s a fair chance you’ve had a lemon car as defined by the
California Lemon Law. In 2006 Nissan built quite a lot of cars that had oil consumption problems.
These Nissan defects were a serious enough problem that they actually
stopped selling some models.
Usually manufacturers who are having oil consumption problems with one
or more of their models are careful to assert that the “standard”
for consumption is 1 quart per 1,000 miles or less. When you ask them
to provide information on how they arrived at this so-called standard,
all communication ceases. Also if you talk to any Master Technician, they’ll
tell you the 1 quart to 1,000 mile standard is a lot of nonsense. They
might put it differently.
Manufacturers who are not having problems with oil consumption state that
1 quart per 3,000 miles (normal period between scheduled oil changes)
is acceptable. Others say when their vehicles are operating properly they
don’t use any oil at all! (Nissan!)
It’s important to know the difference between oil consumption and
oil leaks. A leak can usually be easily found. One simple way is to take
an old sheet, attach it underneath the car from the engine as far back
as possible and go for a drive. Let the car warm up first. If there is
a leak you’ll be able to see it and trace back to where the leak
originated. Another common technique involves inserting a dye into the
oil system and then tracing to leak back to where the dye is found. Consumption
is another can of worms. The facts are obvious; engine defects which cause
excessive oil consumption are conclusive. The connection between internal
engine components and oil consumption is fact.
If you are experiencing these Nissan defects and think you have a lemon
car, the dealer is going to dig in its heels and bring forth a long list
of reasons why it is your fault and never theirs. We are familiar with
these arguments and can often bring the weight of the California Lemon
Law to bear on your problem.