Piston Slap: Time to Vacate the Island of Murano?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

walterrobin writes:

Recently we took our 2005 Murano with 75,000 miles on it into the mechanic for the 70k maintenance. It was making a bit more noise than we thought it should and the mechanic says from a cold start this morning it sound even worse. He says the oil stick did not register and he believes it is 2 qts down. We put in synthetic about 7k miles ago. He suggests while it is in ‘decent’ shape (after an oil change and oil treatment/flush) we should consider trading it in.

The feedback on Murano repair history that I’ve seen says they have the ability to drive for quite a few more miles than 75k. We had planned to keep it for at least a few more years but the mechanic says he believes we may be at risk of losing an engine in a few thousand miles.

Sajeev answers:

If I’m reading this correctly, you lost two quarts in 7000 miles. And didn’t check the oil during that period. That’s not very reassuring, and raises more questions than answers. For starters, what’s happening to the oil? Either there’s a leak or you are burning a lot of oil for a car this age. Leaks are often easy to repair, but burning is never an easy problem to fix. (Unless you have a V-10 powered BMW M-series: everyone’s cool with them drinking copious amounts of Mobil 1. But that’s neither here nor there. )

Second, are you using the correct oil? And lastly, is it still making that noise, and if so, when?

But the question remains: keep or trade this Murano? Because the Nissan VQ series engine is well regarded in durability and performance, I’m tempted to take a wait (for a knocking sound) and see approach. But I’m conflicted.

What say you, Best and Brightest?

[Send your technical queries to mehta@ttac.com]

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • "scarey" "scarey" on Jun 16, 2009

    "Trade me right-freakin'-now !" And hang up ! "Freakin' Chrysler plant, here I come"- Slapshot

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jun 16, 2009

    Whatever you decide to drive in the future, check its oil occasionally.

  • Nick Nick on Jun 16, 2009

    There's nothing about that Murano that a nice dark night, a deserted road, and a steep embankment can't solve.

  • Capdeblu Capdeblu on Jun 22, 2009

    NickR: I just about spewed wine all over myself laughing. Have you seen the movie "Sideways" where the two guys have an "accident" with the Saab?