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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
I've been searching through the posts and haven't found an answer to the issue so I'm hoping there is a one, simple I hope too.

To help with any advice I will provide all the information I can.

The back story.
My car is a 2012 Nissan Murano 3.5L (Australian model if that matters), it has 26k on the clock and wasn't serviced for a few years.
The other half was driving the other day and the Oil light came on so she drove straight home (about 10mins) and left until I got home. The car never over heated just flashed the oil light. When I got home I topped it up with the correct oil. While I was at it I topped up the Trans, Power Steering and Brake fluid. I thought all was good to go. Well two days later, after a couple of short drives it started blowing White smoke when the car was started the first time in the morning. So thinking the car would benefit from a good engine clean I ran an engine cleaner through it, changed the filter and put all new oil in it. I also replaced the radiator fluid with the recommended type. Unfortunately this didn't fix the problem and on startup in the morning the car still blew white smoke. Next step I put some of that copper liquid in the Radiator that is meant to fix any leaks in the head gasket. This too has not fixed the issue. I have checked the overflow and there is no oil in it and i'm not losing any. I have also checked the radiator and dipstick and the oil isn't milky it looks just like it did in the bottle.

Where to from here!!!
The most common response is that the head gasket(s) are gone but I'm not sure thats the case as it only blows smoke in the morning after I have driven it the night before and sometimes it doesn't blow a thing. The engine runs fine with the exception that it gets a lot hotter than it did before I put the copper liquid in the radiator in an attempt to fix the HG.

I have done some research and It sounds like it could be the PCV valve or the ERG neither of which I know where they are in the engine bay or how to test them to see if they are functioning correctly. When I spoke the mechanic over the phone his first response was that these engines are known for rotting out and if you don't change the oil frequently the water channel will leak.

Any thoughts, suggests or links/photos of where i can find the sensors or how to test them would be great as I don't mind getting my hands dirty and have a crack myself before handing the keys over to a mechanic to fix and charge me an arm and leg.

Cheers in advance
Phil_g
 

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I have to join the chorus about a head gasket being the most likely. Here's why:

1) Driving with the oil light on is the biggest single no-no possible (other than having a head-on with a semi.) Oil light means loss of oil pressure, not low oil, so driving it with that light on means you are risking metal-to-metal contact inside the engine. Less well known is that the oil is a critical part of the engine cooling system. When the oil light comes on, the correct response is to pull over NOW, shut the engine off and call a tow truck.

2) The overheat indicates to me that the engine probably suffered from lack of lubrication and badly inadequate cooling.

3) Head gasket failure is very common in that scenario.

4) White smoke on startup is often water being expelled from the cylinders after leaking in due to a blown head gasket. (Black smoke = gas, blue smoke = oil.)

Were it mine, I would forget about messing with sensors and go directly to a wet and dry compression test, probably coupled with a leak-down test on any low cylinder to determine if the head gasket is bad on that cylinder.

I don't know what the mechanic meant by "rotting out", as it doesn't make sense. The oil pans in these engines have been known to rust through in corrosive climates, but that's the only part of the engine I've heard about in 10+ years that's prone to rust. That mechanic would not be my first choice to work on your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response Pilgrim, I expect that it might be a Head Gasket but was hoping that i could start on the potential cheaper solutions first ;)

Before I take it in to a mech are there any other tests I can do to rule out some options beforehand. I have started the car with the radiator cap off and I haven't seen any bubbles which I thought was a sign off a blown HG. are then any other home tests?

When I took the oil cap off the underside was thick sludge and I can see a bit in the rocker covers too hence I thought maybe there was a build up of sludge.

Cheers
Phil
 

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Sludge wouldn't do it, although the fact that it exists makes me wonder if you're running synthetic oil as Nissan (and I) recommend. It normally does not create sludge. If not, you can correct that.

Bubbles may not appear. Again, I suggest a wet/dry compression test on all six cylinders, followed by a leak-down test on any cylinder that appears lower then the others. Pain in the butt because you have to remove the intake manifold (what idiot designs these things????) but worth doing.
 

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first off, did the oil (pressure) light just flicker and go off upon higher rpm or was it on solid for a prolonged (like minutes) period of time? if it just flickered on/off at low (e.g., idle) rpm and didn't stay on solid, that's better. if oil isn't getting cloudy/milky and no bubbles in overflow tank once fully warmed up that's better also. if engine has sludge, that's bad.


if I were in your shoes, i'd change the pcv valve (and egr if you're up to/for it) and continue to monitor oil and coolant (both their levels and condition) and get on a short (like 5000 km) oil change w/ filter regime until sludge is gone or at least greatly reduced. i'd do autorx (a slower acting sludge removal product) also. i'd be very ok using a HIGH quality dyno oil during this short oil change interval/sludge removal period but after cleanup is complete, definitely switch to high quality synthetic oil, and of course, always use a good-guy filter.


if only issue is a little white smoke on startup (and gas mileage/power/oil consumption/etc. are not problematic), do you really want to put big time/money/hassle in at this point in time?
 

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^^^ Good thoughts. If there isn't a problem screaming for immediate attention, maybe you should buy time, clean up the engine, and evaluate as best you can.

Excellent point about milky oil! I suggest you run the engine, shut it down and pull the dipstick, then pay direct attention to whether the oil on the stick looks grey or frothy. If so, you have water in the oil. That's an immediate problem, because compromising the oil film can lead to engine damage.

If that's not the case, I'd be somewhat relieved. You might still have a bigger problem, but at least it's not putting water in the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input surban1 and Pilgrim.

I was quoted $125 today for the PCV here in Aus and a whopping $900 to install and supply. Now i'm thinking that is a bit steep so I will have a go myself. The Nissan Dealer also told me that there are two PCV one in each Rocker Cover. He seemed a bit confused so i'm not confident in his advice. Do you happen to have any links, pictures or how to's on changing the PCV? I can't seem to find any. I assume it is as simple as take the hose off unscrew the valve clean or replace. Is there anything else I'm missing?

I changed the oil and filter about 2 months ago and when I checked last night the oil still looked like it just came out of the bottle and the Water is still blue. I haven't lost any oil or water that I can see in the last few 1000km's.

The other half is getting a bit embarrassed when she starts the car and it smokes out the Driveway or at the shops, hence the need to fix it sooner rather than later.

Thanks again for the tips.

Phil_g
 

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you can find the pcv valve on amazon; you can pick up a Haynes manual for your Murano there also. just be extra sure to get the version that covers through 2014; you can also download the fsm (factory service manual) over at Nissan Forum | Nissan Forums - Index page if you're handy and have some experience on cars, changing the pcv will be more of a hassle than a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

Unfortunatley Amazon here in OZ is crap and doesn't have them listed. Looking on the US site there are plenty and they're alot cheaper too. Fingers crossed that is the issue as i don't want to spend a ton fixing a blown HG.

Yeah I have pulled a couple of engines before and generally enjoy the DIY approach, it just looks like the PCV is in a tight spot and I have big hands.

Might see if I can get the old one out before I purchase the replacement, worst case i can clean it up and put it back in until I get another one to see if makes a difference.

Phil_g
 

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the same thing is happening to my 06 nissan murano , the car only does it at startup and has passed the block test , i changed the pcv valve and check engine light went off but then back on and the smoke started again , i do have a small oil leak , idk what this is but im about to put it in a shop but way cheaper if i can do myself there was alot of oil in my gasket, please update me any solutions or updates on if your vehicle was ever fixed .
 

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Hey guys my names buddy , I'm a nissan mechanic on the Gold Coast in Australia, we work on these cars a lot.

In our experience it is almost always the valve stem seals.

What I can suggest you do is, do a engine oil and filter change. Use a quality oil flush . Then search up what the recommend oil is and add a slightly thicker oil with the same values .
It has helped a few cars we have had come in.

Cheers guys


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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