Originally Posted by Harleydude
By the way....Nissan says the oil sludge trumps the head gasket issue and they refuse to cover the head gasket repair....or any funds to cover it. Also...to date we have not received any denial in writing (I'm sure it's coming though). You can pretty much be assured we will NEVER buy a Nissan product again and I will go out of my way to persuade everyone I know not to buy one.
First off, truly sorry for your predicament. It's not often you hear of this type of failure yet way to often you hear of warranty claims being denied.
I knew from early on something wasn't right with our new 09 Mo. The dealership pressure tested the coolant system three times yet always said everything (including the sweet antifreeze burning odor) was completely normal. Being a former dealership Tech myself I knew something was leaking. It was known early on it was a head gasket issue yet they wouldn't consider that nor could I or they see it at the time.
Fast forward four years after watching my oil carefully not to mention adding coolant now and then, at 59,800 miles Nissan finally said I had head gasket leaks. My dealer took care of it and so far so good.
I've been down both the BBB and State Lemon Law routes. Once with Nissan. At your mileage neither will consider much if accepting your claim at all. Probably the best you could do is higher an attorney to fight for warranty coverage stating what you obviously know: the head gasket failure caused the issue, not the oil.
I've been using synthetic oil in my vehicles for 20 years. Initially for the cold weather starts/issues living in MT and NE then continued for the boost in mileage and protection. From my years at the dealership it was well known that manufactures could easily hold change intervals against you when considering engine issues and warranty claims - this became even more prevalent with synthetics. Regardless of the oil, manufacturer stated intervals must be maintained in order to guarantee warrantee considerations - these are my words. This is not to beat the change interval dead horse because as you mentioned, the manual states "should". They can't tell you flat out you must follow them due to its widely known that synthetics (and even todays dino oil) can safely exceed their recommendations. But they will for sure hold you to it in a case like yours.
Known owner oil change interval discrepancies are their get out of jail free card just like their infamous claim: "it's a normal characteristic of the vehicle." Your best bet might be to draft a very professional, descriptive letter outlining the entire Amsoil facts pertaining to your oil changes, oil life analysis and how "it" was not the cause of the engine failure. Use the thread above on head gasket issues to outline the known issue in the 2009 Mo coolant system failures. Then have your attorney present this to Nissan.
Your current distaste for Nissan is understandable but do see it from their side of the checkbook as well (easy for me to say). Use that understanding to better draft your position on why the failure actually occurred.
One question: Had you ever asked the dealer to check the coolant system or questioned an antifreeze smell up to this point - is there any documented dealership visit where you asked about the coolant system etc.?
Again, sorry for what inevitably will be an emotional and financial journey for ya. I've been there and unless money, time and principle means nothing to one, its a painful process.