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Discussion Starter #1
HI all,
This is the first time I have posted here, just hoping to get some quick help. My girlfriend's car, a 1997 200SX SE-R, just started acting up recently. It drives fine until she gets above 25 MPH, then starts shaking like no other. It used to not do this until above 60. She took it to Certified Transmission here in town, and they told her it was her drive axle that was bad. So we took it down to the dealership where she has her warranty, we tell them what's wrong, and they take it to look at it for themselves. They call back saying there is nothing wrong with the drive axle, and they will take it back out to see if there is anything wrong. Then they called today, and said the left axle is bad, but it is not covered under warranty. The drive axle, is however covered under warranty. This made no sense to me or my girlfriend. They said they would fix the axle for $270, and if it still screwed up then they would fix the drive axle under warranty. Ok, so that's the story. If any other details are needed, I will try to post them. Now for the questions.

1. How likely is it that both axles went bad at the same time? She did drive with the bad one for a while, but I don't know if that would affect it.
2. How is only one axle covered under warranty? I know that is a general question, but what's the difference between a drive axle versus just the regular left axle?
3. Is it just me being paranoid, or does some of this sound a little fishy?
4. And last but not least, how would I be able to tell if an axle was bad, to be sure they aren't just trying to pull a fast one? I have a lift in my garage, so I can get a good look.

Thanks for any help you can provide!
Josh
 

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absolutely classic
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If you have a jack and about an hour you can switch out the axles yourself if your good at wrenching. But anyway, yeah both axles could be shot, or the boots could just be torn and leaking grease everywhere. This should be easy to tell if your under the car. Check the inner and outer boots for grease leaks on both axles. The outer CV joints will make a grinding sound in turns when accelerating. The inner CV joints will clunk in reverse when they are worn.

Now for the drive shafts themselves, if they were bent it could cause the problems you described. Look to see if the shaft itself is bent when under the car.

BTW, in case you weren't sure, the drive shafts and CV joints are all part of the drive axle. There are two axles, one driver side and one passenger side. Good luck, and keep us posted.
 

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Please Shift Here
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I don't trust many mechanics, they either get it wrong or they give you bad info.

First off, a bad axle usually doesn't cause shaking. What is shaking, the car, the wheel, or both? Here's a symptoms list:

car/wheel is shaking:
It could be a bad bearing in one of the wheels. This is also accompanied by squeaking/squealing. Fix immediately b/c damage will spread to the hub and add another 100-150 to the cost. To check, lift car up and see if one of the wheels wobbles back and forth. There should be no wobble.

It could be a loose suspension part or bad alignment. Check and see is the car goes straight when the wheel is straight, also check to see if the car goes straight with no hands on the wheel. If it's really off, get an alignment. It's typically $60 at tire rack. Tire rack is good for me b/c they have lifetime alignments. $170 up front, I can bring my car in as much as I want for free (instead of $60 each time). It works for me b/c I'm always down there messing with the suspension or drivetrain. I go in...on average once every 3-4 months, and drop the car off for an hour.

It could be an unbalanced wheel or badly worn tires. Any tire shop can balance your wheels, if the tires need replacement.

If your car shakes when braking, it could be a warped rotor. Have brakes adjusted or repaired. Changing rotors is actually easier thn you would think.

If the car squeaks:
Sometimes it's a bad wheel bearing, read above.

Could be a rotor or pad. Check pads and rotors for abnormal wear

squeaking could also be coming from power steering pump, check PS fluid for smoothness. Replace if bubbly.

Grinding or popping:
bearing, maybe

rotor, maybe

Axles pop when the CV boot is torn. This is the result of advanced wear, aka. the boot tore a while ago, all the grease has come out, the ungreased CV joints are unlubed and they're toast.


If you really think the axle could b bad but you're unsure, get under the car. Check the 2 drive axles going to the front wheels, main shafts coming from the transmission to the wheels. There are 4 CV joints and therefore 4 boots (2 on each side), one of the boots is near the inside of the wheel where it meets the hub and the other boot is about a foot inward. If there is a thick muddy buidup of grease on or around the boot, the boot is busted and you may as well replace the axle.

As for axle replacement. The 2 drive axles are known as CV axles, there's one on each side. Use that term and you should get their attention ;). The drive axles and the left axle (or right axle is the same thing), they're screwing with your head if they say one's covered and one isn't. Also, the CV axles *ARE* covered under warranty, my mom just replaced one on her maxima under warranty, she didn't pay a dime.

Can both axles go at once? yes, I just replaced 2 axles a few weeks ago. The inner boot on one side went and the outer boot on the other side went as well. My car isn't under warranty. I bought 2 axles from RAxle.com (the best IMO) for $150/side and I installed it myself. They're guranteed for life as far as I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, it still seems the dealer is trying to F my girlfriend over. They aren't going to fix the car until Wednesday though, so now we have time to get it back and take a look. Anyways, they told her that the left side (I'm assuiming passenger) is not covered under warranty, and that is the one that is bad (supposedly). Now, if what you say is true, and it's all part of the drive axle, then why would one side be covered and the other isn't? That makes no sense to me, whatsoever, and Certified Transmission said it was all the same thing and thought it should be covered. I don't know, I am so confused right now. I Don't trust any mechanic any more ever since I got the shaft when I took my DSM in for a few things. I thought the axle would be doable on my own as well, (with a little help from my uncle) but it should be covered under warranty. I know I am not really supplying any new info, but I don't have as yet. At least not until we get the car back...

Oh yeah, the whole car up front shakes. THe whole thing might be shaking for all I know, but definitely sitting up front you can feel everything inside the car shake. It's pretty freakin bad, and driving is not really an option until we get this fixed. I will try to look at it on Monday. Thanks for the help!

Edit: I just reread the third post, and that is exactly what I was wondering. Her warranty, however, is an extended warranty on her car... she bought it used. Unless there is a Nissan warranty that would still be applicable to it. Even then, the extended warranty should still cover both drive axles, and not just one I would think... I might have to go down and talk to them myself now. I still haven't talked to them at all myself. Thanks...
 

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Please Shift Here
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Well, I don't know 100% if the particular warranty is ood for it, but I think it should be. I mean, if they cover one side, there's absolutely no reason the other side should be any different.

Where do you live? Check the regional sections of our forum or see if you have a local car forum in your area (aka. Orlandoforums.com or TampaRacing.com). I'm sure you can find a local who won't mind taking a quick look under the front of the car. I mean it would take me like 5-10 minutes to determine the condition of the axles, brakes, bearings, and front suspension.
 

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Call and bitch

Call the nissan number in your manual.....and comlain...I'm having a similar problem with shaking in my maxima....dealerships SUCK...if calling doesn't get you anywhere you at least get the joy of complaining to a moron behind a desk.
 

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Destroyer of worlds.
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or you can ask around and find a reputable independant mechanic. independant mechanics are the best IMO because they rely on repeat business and word of mouth, if they screw people over they get a bad rep. bad rep=no customers.

my mechanic is thang at T&V Auto, you'll be looking for a shop like this. i take my car to him when i run into something i can't fix myself, or dont have time too.
 
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