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Nissan valve riddle

Asked by Jamie Garbutt

I HAVE a standard 2002 Nissan 200SX S15 with only 27,000 km on the odometer. When I went to start it recently, it almost started on the first attempt, but failed, then refused to start at all. I phoned Nissancare and told them that I thought there was a problem with the starter motor. They came out and said there was no compression and something had probably gone wrong within the head. I had it towed to the nearest Nissan service agent, because it was still under the Nissan extended warranty. I was shocked when told it had bent valves and, because they couldn't find anything wrong with the timing chain, it must have been over-revved for the valves to bend. As a result it was not covered under warranty. We never drive the vehicle hard and generally only at weekends. From what I have been told, if the engine was over-revved and the valves bent, the motor would have stopped then and there. The car was started after the last time it was driven to back it out of the garage, then left for a week before the incident occurred. I have written to Nissan explaining the events, but this seems to have fallen on deaf ears. What might have caused this problem and what steps I could take with Nissan?.

Answered by CarsGuide

29 Mar 2007 Graham Smith

BAD news, I'm afraid. It's almost certain that the engine being over-revved has caused the problem. That doesn't mean that you have revved it hard through the gears. It's more likely because of a missed gear when shifting down through them. It's possible that a lower gear than the one you intended to select has been selected and the engine has momentarily over-revved as a result. It doesn't take much to bend a valve.

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