2009 Murano Head Gasket Leads to Oil Sludge and No Warranty Coverage - Nissan Murano Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 02-23-2013, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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2009 Murano Head Gasket Leads to Oil Sludge and No Warranty Coverage

Hi everyone. Please bear with me as this is my first post here. I have been following the forum for some time and finally decided to join.

I'm more than frustrated with Nissan as a recent event has led to not covering what i consider a failure on their engine and they use the "Lack of Maintenance" line. The facts are....09 Murano with 63000 miles. Been using Amsoil since new and changing oil between 9000-13000 mile intervals. Never had problem on any vehicle in the past with that interval. Monday morning...wife starts car, oil light comes on. I check oil and 2 quarts low. Oil filler cap is plugged with sludge. Antifreeze overflow empty and radiator is 1/2 full. Topped off fluids and drove to dealer. Dealer states "appears to be cross contamination" that caused sludge. Pressure tested cooling system and found blown head gasket on rear head......Fast forward....requested Nissan conduct root failure analysis.......they do not. I sent oil sample to Amsoil with results stating stating no antifreeze detected in oil and nothing wrong with the oil. Oil is in great condition with no indication of oil properties failing. All information provided to Nissan and they deny the engine claim based on "Lack of Maintenance". Amsoil states plausible cause is head gasket blew causing engine to run hot. With engine running hot, oil thickens and caused PCV system to become plugged. Now with hot engine and no ventilation of gases inside engine, oil became sludged. All of this info provided to Nissan......still.....denied the claim. There is info in between the 4 weeks of this process....but that info is minor and not really relevant as it doesn't change the facts noted above.

To this day, Nissan still refuses to 1. Readdress the claim, 2. Perform a failure analysis, or 3. Cover any expenses related to the engine....even cover the head gasket repair.

I know all about what the manual says for oil change intervals......it states "you SHOULD select one of the following". Not....you shall, or required. I have been in the repair history for 20 years and was a certified Master Tech for years and have never seen this issue when running Amsoil. Has anyone ever heard of this happening?

My question is simple.....does anyone have any ideas, other than the BBB (doing that now) what i can do to get them to readdress this? Not trying to sound arrogant here but please refrain from the "you should have changed the oil....". I'm past that right now. Thanks.
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post #2 of 42 Old 02-23-2013, 11:57 PM
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You may want to start with this thread.

Doing Head Gaskets on a 09

It also addresses some issues such as Nissans customer surveys that rate dealerships and such. It was started by a very knowledgable nissan tech.

I assume you are out of warranty and thats why they are denying all claims? If so you may be s.o.l.

2010 Murano SL AWD
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post #3 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 2009 Murano Head Gasket Leads to Oil Sludge and No Warranty Coverage

Thanks. We have the extended warranty from nissan.
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post #4 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 2009 Murano Head Gasket Leads to Oil Sludge and No Warranty Coverage

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.
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post #5 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 10:25 AM
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Just curious.. When you brought the vehicle to the dealership did you verbalize to them at the onset that you change oil, at 9000-13000 mile intervals? Also, did they ask you for any documentation in regard to the oil changes. i.e. Oil and oil filter receipts, vehicle log book you maintained showing you maintenance.

Have you contacted Nissan Customer Service and asked them if as a good will thing, to at least meet you half way or so on the price repair?


Non-related question.... the oil change interval on your HD?

.

eeeee
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post #6 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Harleydude View Post
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.

2009 LE
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post #7 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 12:54 PM
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If this is a used car recently bought then you probably already have the problem without knowing it. But there must have been some sign - sweet coolant smell here and there. Are all your dealing with this problem only isolated to a single dealer? If so, maybe you can try going to another dealership. But if you have called nissan USA and have a file open for your vin then its probably too late. You did say you have an extended warranty? Read its coverage very carefully and see what its actually being covered and up to when. However, telling them your 13k oil change intervals is a NO NO. Its ok to change your oil at that intervals so long you check all your fluid level way more frequent than that. Older engines consumes some oil to a certain degree and if not checked will eventually go to dangerous low level and cause major problems. Its always a good thing to go into a dealer playing dumb and just tell them to diagnose a problem. Of course you have to keep up with your fluid level maintenance before taking it in. Good luck.
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post #8 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 01:15 PM
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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.
Im just saying that stating this in your third post isnt really going to get people to help you out if all you are going to do is bash our cars and help steer people away from Nissan. We were trying to help here. You notice that no one here has gone the route of stating that its your damn fault because you let the coolant get so low that it was only half way in the radiator? How about lifting the hood on your car more than once a year?

Im just sayin...

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post #9 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 01:22 PM
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Reminds me I should probably go lift my own hood. Sorry to sound like a d*ck in the last post, but the blame may very well go to you in this case.

2010 Murano SL AWD
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post #10 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2009 Murano Head Gasket Leads to Oil Sludge and No Warranty Coverage

You're right. It is my fault. I guess what really p**ses me off is their lack of attempt to find the root cause. I get it that they will go with the easy out as it saves them $$. Lesson learned to me.......lie about the mileage at oil change interval. So much for being honest..
And.....MO never had issue with antifreeze in the past.
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post #11 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 01:32 PM
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But Im telling you, print of that thread of the head gasket problems and at least show your dealer or another dealer willing to listen. The problem did start with Nissan.

2010 Murano SL AWD
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post #12 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 02:46 PM
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I'm not sure what level of Nissan management you have reached. It's not that unusual to go to regional management or higher with a problem like this when the dealer's response is not satisfactory. I do suggest that you provide full documentation of all oil changes and work on the car.

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post #13 of 42 Old 02-24-2013, 02:52 PM
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But Im telling you, print of that thread of the head gasket problems and at least show your dealer or another dealer willing to listen. The problem did start with Nissan.
The dealer knows about the headgasket issue. I'm in a small dealership, and have personally done VQ headgaskets on close to 100 vehicles. It is a problem we all know about.

Not one single car had a low radiator though, because 95% of these bad gaskets were found during oil changes. Most customers never even knew they had an issue. We found the problem while doing maintenance. The few that did notice an issue complained of a coolant smell.

I normally go to bat for my customers, and only start down the denial road when the issue is obvious abuse/neglect. I would consider this one of those cases. Headgasket failure is gradual and obvious. You'd think a Master Tech with 20 years in the field would know better than to go so long with out popping the hood for a quick check. Rough break, but no sympathy. Nissan is in the right here. Checking fluids routinely is part of maintenance, and this wasn't done. Had that been done, this could have all been avoided.

Also, Amsoil is half a joke. Changing the oil isn't hard, so why pay more to do it less often? Regular oil changes are cheap insurance.

SCOPE Senior Specialist, DFRT and EV. ASE Master Technician.
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Also, Amsoil is half a joke. Changing the oil isn't hard, so why pay more to do it less often? Regular oil changes are cheap insurance.
Totally agree. Like any other synthetic oil out there, all you get is longer interval change....for the price they are charging then it better be. About double or 6k max for me. Still, regularly checking all fluid levels atleast between oil changes is simply basic car maintenance and should never be ignored.
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Re: 2009 Murano Head Gasket Leads to Oil Sludge and No Warranty Coverage

Thanks for the insight......we are now buying a salvage yard motor just to get it back on the road. 41 days without a vehicle is killing us. Motor is from a 2011 murano with 13k miles on it. I realize now the motor is exempt from ext warranty coverage.....rest assured we'll be monitoring the engine closer. Still running amsoil though.....and.....seeing an attorney this week. Wife now wants to dump the mo and go to toyota or Lexus.
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