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We brought a brand new 2003 Nissan Altima on 07/07/2003 with a 3yr 36,000 mile warranty along with an extended warranty 5yr 50,000miles. It’s now 1 year 10 months old with 25,000 miles on it. It started smoking, loosing power and (when it is low noise outside) I hear water under it. Months ago I had called into the dealer when we saw a very lit smoke in the summer time. The dealer told me it was normal. A couple months went by and the car started smoking heavy like an older car. I called the dealer again he stated what u hear is your fuel tank and use 93 for two weeks and you should be fine. I did just that but when I started loosing power I didn’t call I just took it into the dealer Len Stoler Nissan in Reisterstown on May 31, 2005 where I brought it from. They told me I had sludge in the engine and that voids the warranty unless I can show that I had the maintenance done on the car. I gave the dealer my maintenance receipts showing that the services were done on my car. They called the shop and verified that the work was done. They then told me they called, emailed Nissan and showed the maintenance receipts to the Nissan rep when he came out, an looked in the opening of my oil crank case. He saw sludge and said no Nissan will not fix the car. The only thing the Nissan dealer and Nissan looked at on the car was, in the opening of the oil cover where you screw the top off to put oil in. The dealer said pay them $700.00 to drop the oil pan and if the pan is, clean from sludge then Nissan will honor it. My reply was why would I have to pay 700.00 just to drop an oil pan for a car that’s still under warranty. Why would I accept the responsibility of 700.00 to drop the oil pan and that might not be one of the factors that caused it? Cause they kept insisting that I did not change my oil, that is the only thing that causes sludge and maybe the other car shop just took my money. They have open bay doors where you can see what is being done to your car. Although I turned in my maintenance records I cannot believe how they just straight disregarded them and never looked at any other options that could have caused the sludge such as a cracked head or gasket. It was blowing white smoke and they did try to tell me that we had no oil or coolant in it when I brought it in. Crank case ventilation, inadequate oil circulation, oxides of nitrogen from emissions system, cool or hot spots, or etc. that could be the problem. The Nissan dealer that I brought two brand new cars from is still trying to tell me that I didn't change my oil and that’s the only thing sludge comes from along with no customer satisfaction at all. The Nissan dealer also kept calling the car shop questioning them about the maintenance records. They questioned the service records like if we made them up. Then they called my wife in while I was gone serving my country. Offering her $7,500 for a trade in on a car we brought from them for $20,000 plus. I am a United States Soldier and I do not appreciate the way we are being treated by Nissan Manufacturer. Nissan questioned our honor and integrity. (WHERE IS THE CUSTOMER SERVICE AT?) Why would the Nissan dealer try to offer a no go deal unless their trying to conceal the fact that Nissan was looking at paying out 5,000 dollars plus for a new engine that they said I need. How can Nissan sell you a brand new car but will not honor the warranty on it? The dealer did state if I brought my car to them for all my services we would not have no problem. The Nissan dealer and Nissan would expect any other shop to honor their service receipts or is Nissan stating that they are the only reputable repair shops. I even tried to reach the Nissan rep that made the decision on not fixing the car. I called the dealer and Nissan1 to reach him. They said they couldn’t give me his number they will contact him. He never contacted me so I then called Nissan1 again to see who was over him. I was told that if the field Rep makes the decision of no its no and its no one over him. I can take my car to another dealer to see what they have to say or write a letter to the Exec team. It was the same scenario at the other dealer. They did not look for any other factors. I never saw the Nissan Rep. again and he said no.
Sludge does not only come from: Not Changing the Oil
Other Factors that could cause sludge:

Mechanical Malfunctions:
A small, subtle malfunction, like a leak from your cooling system into your crankcase
Crankcase Ventilation
An improperly operating cooling system
If your thermostat sticks and does not allow coolant flow when needed, your engine will either run too cold or hot causing cold and hot spots.
(You may not even notice the difference on your temp gauge)
Constant elevated temperatures promotes oil thickening
Excessive amount of fuel due to leaky fuel injectors, malfunctioning choke mechanism or failed oxygen sensor can also contribute to sludge formation
ETC.
 

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We brought a brand new 2003 Nissan Altima on 07/07/2003 with a 3yr 36,000 mile warranty along with an extended warranty 5yr 50,000miles. It’s now 1 year 10 months old with 25,000 miles on it. It started smoking, loosing power and (when it is low noise outside) I hear water under it. Months ago I had called into the dealer when we saw a very lit smoke in the summer time. The dealer told me it was normal. A couple months went by and the car started smoking heavy like an older car. I called the dealer again he stated what u hear is your fuel tank and use 93 for two weeks and you should be fine. I did just that but when I started loosing power I didn’t call I just took it into the dealer Len Stoler Nissan in Reisterstown on May 31, 2005 where I brought it from. They told me I had sludge in the engine and that voids the warranty unless I can show that I had the maintenance done on the car. I gave the dealer my maintenance receipts showing that the services were done on my car. They called the shop and verified that the work was done. They then told me they called, emailed Nissan and showed the maintenance receipts to the Nissan rep when he came out, an looked in the opening of my oil crank case. He saw sludge and said no Nissan will not fix the car. The only thing the Nissan dealer and Nissan looked at on the car was, in the opening of the oil cover where you screw the top off to put oil in. The dealer said pay them $700.00 to drop the oil pan and if the pan is, clean from sludge then Nissan will honor it. My reply was why would I have to pay 700.00 just to drop an oil pan for a car that’s still under warranty. Why would I accept the responsibility of 700.00 to drop the oil pan and that might not be one of the factors that caused it? Cause they kept insisting that I did not change my oil, that is the only thing that causes sludge and maybe the other car shop just took my money. They have open bay doors where you can see what is being done to your car. Although I turned in my maintenance records I cannot believe how they just straight disregarded them and never looked at any other options that could have caused the sludge such as a cracked head or gasket. It was blowing white smoke and they did try to tell me that we had no oil or coolant in it when I brought it in. Crank case ventilation, inadequate oil circulation, oxides of nitrogen from emissions system, cool or hot spots, or etc. that could be the problem. The Nissan dealer that I brought two brand new cars from is still trying to tell me that I didn't change my oil and that’s the only thing sludge comes from along with no customer satisfaction at all. The Nissan dealer also kept calling the car shop questioning them about the maintenance records. They questioned the service records like if we made them up. Then they called my wife in while I was gone serving my country. Offering her $7,500 for a trade in on a car we brought from them for $20,000 plus. I am a United States Soldier and I do not appreciate the way we are being treated by Nissan Manufacturer. Nissan questioned our honor and integrity. (WHERE IS THE CUSTOMER SERVICE AT?) Why would the Nissan dealer try to offer a no go deal unless their trying to conceal the fact that Nissan was looking at paying out 5,000 dollars plus for a new engine that they said I need. How can Nissan sell you a brand new car but will not honor the warranty on it? The dealer did state if I brought my car to them for all my services we would not have no problem. The Nissan dealer and Nissan would expect any other shop to honor their service receipts or is Nissan stating that they are the only reputable repair shops. I even tried to reach the Nissan rep that made the decision on not fixing the car. I called the dealer and Nissan1 to reach him. They said they couldn’t give me his number they will contact him. He never contacted me so I then called Nissan1 again to see who was over him. I was told that if the field Rep makes the decision of no its no and its no one over him. I can take my car to another dealer to see what they have to say or write a letter to the Exec team. It was the same scenario at the other dealer. They did not look for any other factors. I never saw the Nissan Rep. again and he said no.
Sludge does not only come from: Not Changing the Oil
Other Factors that could cause sludge:

Mechanical Malfunctions:
A small, subtle malfunction, like a leak from your cooling system into your crankcase
Crankcase Ventilation
An improperly operating cooling system
If your thermostat sticks and does not allow coolant flow when needed, your engine will either run too cold or hot causing cold and hot spots.
(You may not even notice the difference on your temp gauge)
Constant elevated temperatures promotes oil thickening
Excessive amount of fuel due to leaky fuel injectors, malfunctioning choke mechanism or failed oxygen sensor can also contribute to sludge formation
ETC.
Omg I am dealing with the same exact problem with my 2017 Nissan Maxima and they told me I had sludge in my motor and they are doing me the same exact way it’s crazy because were going threw the same exact situation and that’s all Nissan did was took the cap off and told me it was a 3 hour process but when they sent pictures all I seen was the top of the oil cap thing so what came about your process?
 

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I bought a brand new nissan rogue sport and at 40months with 33000 miles exact same thing happened.
 

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Just to set the record straight:

A small, subtle malfunction, like a leak from your cooling system into your crankcase
NO. This will pollute both the oil and coolant. Coolant sludge in the crankcase is beige-white and not brown.
Crankcase Ventilation
MAYBE, but only indirectly through oil consumption that isn't being topped off. Low oil levels can cause sludge, but simple PCV problems cause fuel blowby to accumulate in the crank. That's the PCV's job, to suck out blowby. If it doesn't, the blowby thins the oil. It will not cause sludge.
An improperly operating cooling system
YES. Chronic high temperatures break down motor oil and will cause sludge.
If your thermostat sticks and does not allow coolant flow when needed, your engine will either run too cold or hot causing cold and hot spots. (You may not even notice the difference on your temp gauge)
NO. A sticking thermostat will overheat your engine, but one episode of overheating will not cause meaningful sludge. Whether stuck open or shut, you certainly will notice symptoms.
Constant elevated temperatures promotes oil thickening
YES. See above.
Excessive amount of fuel due to leaky fuel injectors, malfunctioning choke mechanism or failed oxygen sensor can also contribute to sludge formation
NO. Very rich operation will overwhelm the PCV system and cause thinning of the oil, usually along with blackening from carbon carried past the rings by the excess fuel. It will not cause sludge. In fact, other than black oil, vehicles running chronically rich usually have crankcases that are excessively clean (gasoline is a solvent).
 
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