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Hello. I have a 2005 Altima 3.5 with 209,000 miles. I am the second owner and bought it from well-to-do folks that had all the serving and maintenance done at the Nissan dealership. I it had 150,000 when I got it and they had done the timing chains at about 130,000. Anyway, I am having a number of mechanical issues with the car right now and I don’t know if it’s worth fixing. I would like it to get me through winter.

here are the issues in no particular order:
1. Leaking coolant - this just started within the last month. It took about a month for a topped of cooling system to drain to almost empty.
2. Power steering pump has a leak and I need to add fluid to that 1-2 times a week or else it makes a horrific sound!
3. My front right ball joint is loose.
4. About a month ago I started smelling exhaust in the car while driving - it’s not constant but I never used to smell exhaust when I drove it.
5. Gas gauge doesn’t work anymore -
6. The rod to hold the hood up broke off recently.
7. Getting a P0171 error code on my F

I think that’s everything. Should I junk this car or can she be salvaged to get me through winter without spending thousands of dollars??????

thanks
 

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I've seen taxis with 250K miles or even more, so we can say that the car is not completely junk yet. It depends on whether you are willing to fix the issues or not.

If the leaking are from the hoses (as they usually are) it's not expensive to fix.
 

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here are the issues in no particular order:
1. Leaking coolant - this just started within the last month. It took about a month for a topped of cooling system to drain to almost empty.
2. Power steering pump has a leak and I need to add fluid to that 1-2 times a week or else it makes a horrific sound!
3. My front right ball joint is loose.
4. About a month ago I started smelling exhaust in the car while driving - it’s not constant but I never used to smell exhaust when I drove it.
5. Gas gauge doesn’t work anymore -
6. The rod to hold the hood up broke off recently.
7. Getting a P0171 error code on my F
Items #1, #2 and #3 are the most important and item #1 can be very expensive if it's found that one or both head gaskets are blown. It's best to perform a compression test on all cylinders to determine the condition of the engine; this will help in your decision about whether to junk the car or keep it. The cost of a head gasket replacement if performed by a shop typically costs about $1,000 or more, depending on the labor rate at the shop that performs the work, and if the cylinder head itself needs to be machined or replaced. If it turns out that with your V6 if both banks have head gasket issues, then the cost will be higher yet. At least when it comes to the part itself, head gaskets are cheap. The gasket might only run you $40 or $50, in fact. The reason that replacing a head gasket can cost upwards of $1,000 or more is because of the amount of time involved in the repair.
 

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I think the issue is that the issues have piled up. As Rogoman points out you will need to prioritize. First thing is to have an inspection done, and get some repair estimates. Then you can decide with a much better idea.
 
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