First introduced in 1993, the Nissan Altima has proven to be a solid seller. Produced in Symrna, TN, the Altima has come with three engines. First and second generation Altima’s were shipped with the KA24DE, a 2.4L 4 cylinder inline engine. First generation Altima’s were sold between 1993 and 1997, while second generation Altima engines were produced between 1998 and 2001. In 2002, the third generation of the Altima came out. The third generation was distinct from the previous two not just in styling but in the fact that it made use of two engines. The KA24DE of the previous generations was replaced with the new QR25DE, a 175 horsepower 2.5L 4 cylinder inline engine. An optional upgrade was the 250 horsepower 3.5L VQ35DE.
If your Altima engine has failed, what should you know when looking for a used Nissan Altima engine?
Let’s talk first about the KA24DE from the first and second generations. First of all, this is a great engine. I cannot remember anyone ever having what I would call an “early failure” with one of these. Additionally, I’m not familiar with any sludge problems being reported on these engines. I’ve heard many mechanics claim these engines should get 250,000 miles with a good maintenance program. The main problem with these engines is not the engine itself, but the distributor. Distributors frequently fail onthe KA24DE, and are in high demand used. Because of this, most companies selling these engines remove the distributor from the engine prior to the engine selling. When this happens, often times the distrubutor shaft on the replacement engine will need to be resurfaced. In fact, I’ve poken with a shop near Jackson, MS who installed a used KA24DE which would not fire. They thought their tech had broken a wire on the wiring harness while placing the engine onto the cradle, so they disinstalled the engine and checked the wiring harness and installation thoroughly. They could not see what was wrong, so they reinstalled the engine and had the same problem. They called a few buddies, and came to the conclusion that the problem had to be the customer’s old distributor, which they had swapped from the old engine. They bought a remanufactured distributor and had the same problem. They then called into a tech support line they subscribe to, and learned that they needed to resurface the portion of the distributor shaft that the distributor connected in to.
Next, we have the third generation engines.
The VQ35DE engine is flawless. We hardly ever get calls on these engines. The few calls we do get have in all but one or two instances been caused by never-ever-ever-changing-my-oil syndrome (each year, this syndrome affects nearly five million Americans, wink wink).
The QR25DE engine is not as good as the VQ35DE. I recommend only replacing your 2.5L Altima engine with a used engine having under 75,000 miles. There is good availability of these engines, so there is no need to spend the extra $1500 on a good remanufactured engine; a good remanufactured Jasper engine 2.5L engine costs $3,500 plus core and crate charge.
If you need a used Nissan Altima engine, or any other used engine, please contact us at 901-266-9996 or fill out an online request for a free, no obligation quote.