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January 14, 2012

Living with the fear and anxiety of another breakdown everyday

So I returned the loaner as requested by Power Nissan and picked up my car, unfixed, this morning.  Now I have to live with the fear and anxiety that it will breakdown on my everyday.  Mike Garcia said in so many words the cusp of Nissan’s argument:

Your car is out of warranty so we can’t fix it anymore, and the 18 times it’s been into three Nissan dealerships for the same or similar electrical problems, and the $750 spent at Universal City Nissan and the $165 at Santa Monica Nissan that never fixed anything is in the past.  There is nothing else we can do to help you.

This was also basically Nissan Consumer Affairs stance on Friday after long arduous conversations with Anna Naraeaa.  Anna left a message for me saying that after further review of my file, if my car breaks down again, I can bring it back to Nissan and they will run a free diagnostic, and decide what to do from there….and make sure to write down the conditions, weather, etc. of exactly what happens when your car breaks down again.

Hello, McFly, I already did that and gave that to all of you on 12/31/11 and you kept my car for 2 weeks and did not fix it.  And both Anna and Mike said that if a Technical Service Bulletin will fix the car, that I would have to pay for that.  When I pointed out to Mike the one that this most likely sounded like, he said Nissan would have fixed it for free between 2003 and 2005 – then when I pointed out the TSB was issued in 2005, he didn’t really know what to say to that.

Nissan knows about the issues with the Sentras and their own reps don’t even know what their own TSB’s are or what to do with them.  I was told by Mike that Joe S., the DTS, looked at these TSB’s, but won’t give me Joe’s last name or contact information, and neither will Anna, therefore I cannot talk to the person who diagnosed my car and refused to fix it.  Nor would Mike give me Pedro the Master Technician’s last name – he said that they only go by first name’s there, that even Pedro doesn’t know Mike’s name.  That really makes me feel good – the Master Technician who worked on my car doesn’t even know my Service Advisor’s name.  This is how no one at Nissan is held accountable for anything they do, because no one knows each other and the customer cannot speak to the mechanic who works on this car.  NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

I’m exhausted from dealing with Nissan.  I’m tired of their complete and utter incompetence.  I’m tired of their lies.  I’m tired that they do not stand behind their products, their parts, or their service. I’m tired of all the time I’ve wasted dealing with Nissan reps.

The Nissan Sentra I own is junk, it’s given me nothing but problems for the past 4 years, I’ve had it into the dealership 18 times, and they have been unable to fix their own car that they manufacture.  I invested in Nissan’s name when I bought this car and it’s one of the worst investments I’ve made in my life.

So unless you want to encounter the same exhaustive experience as me, unless you want to make a really bad investment in a product the manufacturer does not stand behind, and unless you want to live with fear and anxiety every day you drive your car…..


January 13, 2012

NOT ACCEPTABLE: Power Nissan is just giving my car back with no fixes

Once again, this is best summed up in the emails sent to Nissan, below.  I have also requested to speak to Bill Krueger, Senior Vice President, Total Customer Satisfaction, due to my dissatisfaction with this outcome – I am far from a totally satisfied customer seeing my car is in the 3rd Nissan dealership for the 18th time and Nissan’s stance, according to Anna, is that we’ve helped you all we’re going to.  Anna – Nissan has never fixed the car properly, so how does that help me if my car continues to break down on me?

Date: Fri, Jan 13, 2012
Subject: URGENT: Attn: Anna & Bill Krueger
To:, “Baumgartner, Mary” <>
Cc: “Garcia, Mike” <>

Dear Anna,
If Nissan is unwilling to properly fix my car for the 18th time and unwilling to loan out the snapshot machine, I want to speak to Bill Krueger, Senior Vice President, Total Customer Satisfaction (or whomever has the title now).

I do not accept your statement that Nissan has helped me in the past and will no longer, because nothing that Nissan did actually ever fixed my car.  IT BROKE DOWN 18 TIMES IN 4 YEARS due to the same electrical problems.  Nissan never fixed it correctly and even Mike Garcia said he believed that Universal City Nissan “took me for a ride” that all they did was throw parts at the car.

Please send me Mr. Krueger’s phone number so I can call him today.

Date: Fri, Jan 13, 2012
Subject: Not acceptable
To: “Garcia, Mike” <>
Cc:, “Baumgartner, Mary” <>

Just spoke with Anna.  I’m very upset with this outcome.  I do not accept that I have to continue driving this car when it could breakdown at any moment, and that you will not loan out the snapshot machine. I do not accept that you have the TSB’s that describe this problem but refuse to apply them or as Anna said will charge me for that. I’m also upset John never gave me a call from Power Nissan.

So what do you propose in going forward?  What happens when it breaks down again, for the 19th time?  If I bring it into Power Nissan, can you have them hook up the machine right away (however once the car is warm it usually doesn’t do shut off)?  Will you provide a loaner again if needed (won’t take advantage if I don’t need it; i.e. if on a Saturday for instance)?

At your request I’ll return the loaner since you are giving me no choice.  As I explained to Anna, I can bring it back tonight and be there around 8pm, or first thing tomorrow morning (tomorrow morning is easiest for me but if you must have it back tonight, I will, unfortunately as explained below I cannot get off work early to return any earlier).

I want to put you all on legal notice since you are giving me my car back after it’s been into the dealership for the 18th time for the same/similar electrical problems that if it breaks down on me in traffic and I am harmed or anyone else, that you will be held liable.  When I come to pick up the car, I would also like Joe’s full name, as well as Pedro’s like I requested before and you said you would get for me, and  I would like everything documented that was done with my car.  And I would like John’s full name with the documentation as well, as well as the owner of Power Nissan.  I would also like Anna to provide the owner of Universal City Nissan and the owner of Santa Monica Nissan (even though they are closed, who was the last owner).

I have a phone call scheduled with Anna today.  I hope something will change by then.  I hope you will at least test it a few more times.  Thank you.

January 12, 2012

Three Technical Service Bulletins that I believe directly apply

The status update of my car is best summarized in the email I just sent to Nissan.  Here are three complete Technical Service Bulletins that I believe apply to the idling/shutting off problem with my car and are discussed below:



Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM
Subject: Checking in
To:, “Baumgartner, Mary” <>, “Garcia, Mike” <>

To all:
I am checking in.  I last spoke to Anna Naravaa, Supervisor in Escalation Team, Consumer Affairs Nissan (615-725-7376) on Wednesday around 7:30am PST and have not heard back from her, John at Power Nissan (requested to Mike for him to give me a call) or anyone since.  I’m hoping you’ve taken this time to look at the Technical Service Bulletins and further test and fix my car, and if so, I very much thank you for that. And I thank you for the man hours dedicated to testing my car.

If you are unable to duplicate the shut down, I proposed a solution to Anna on Wednesday, which is to please allow me to borrow the machine that takes a snap shot of the engine (or ECU or whatever it is) when it shuts down, so that WHEN it does shut down again, you will have the info you need to fix it.

I do not accept getting back the car without fixing the idling/shutdown problem, with no remedy for the future and having to live with the fear everyday of whether or not my car will shut down on me in traffic and whether or not Nissan will be able to duplicate the problem — at least if you give my car back with the machine attached, WHEN it does shut down on me again, you will have what you need to apply the TSB’s and/or fix it.

With that being said, I have found and attached 3 complete TSB’s (with remedies) that I believe apply to the situation at hand.  I have also included the exact description, again, of what happened on 12/30/11-12/31/11 and written why I think these 3 TSB’s may correspond to the problem at hand.  Can you please look at these TSB’s and see if you can apply them even if you can’t duplicate the problem?

I await to hear from you and truly appreciate all the help concerning my car. Again take as long as you need to properly fix it properly, I am happy with the loaner.  Thank you.

PS. Please note, I work 15 miles away from Power Nissan, up the 405, meaning much LA traffic,  M-F 9am to 6:30pm (sometimes later) therefore if I am to return the loaner/pickup my car during the workweek, I need to do it at either 7am or 8pm and need ample notice so I can plan accordingly (I am free anytime on the weekends, but I’m unavailable this coming Monday).

I drove to library around 4:00pm-4:15pm about 2 miles away from home after car was off at home all or most of the day before that.  The weather that day was between 46-55 degrees (in Santa Monica near me, info found on and at this time it was probably near the colder side as the sun was going or getting ready to go down.  The first time car shut off it was parked at the library, off for about 10 minutes, and when I came out, it shut off in park.  I let it sit, started again, the RPM was fluctuating (just as it had in the past shut downs, between 600-800 RPM), then it shut off again.  Then it started up and if I put it in gear pretty quickly, seemed to run, so I drove it home (because not too far) and on way home, while idle at a red light, RPM fluctuates, and shuts off again (again, just like it has done in the past, when idling).  It starts back up, runs, then when I get home to park, shuts off after I put it into reverse to even out to pull into parking spot.  The Service Engine Soon Light was not on.  I called Mike at Power Nissan at 4:35pm to let him know and he said to bring it in the next morning (call time logged in cell phone).

Around 9am (weather was btw 44-60 degrees that day, most likely around 44 in morning) in park, the RPM fluctuated between 1200-600-1200-100 then shut off.  Then it started again and drove fine all the way to the dealer, I believe at one red light the RPM fluctuated a little between 600-800 but did not shut off.


1) NTB04-015:
“Engine RPM rises at start and then drops and cannot maintain idle…The above symptoms may occur after an ECM reprogram”
– when my car shut off in morning of 12/31 after 1st occurrence the previous day, that morning RPM jumped up to 1200, then 600, then back up to 1200, then 100, then shut off.   And on 12/21/11 the dealer did an Idle Air Relearn Control Volume (i.e. an ECM reprogram).

2) NTB05-73
“The engine idle speed is typically between 1000 and 1500 rpm when – the transmission is in either the “Park” or “Neutral” position and there are no DTC stored …)”
Again RPM was 1200, I was in Park and no codes and no light came on.

3) NTB05-067
“The idle, in Park or Neutral, is more than 25 rpm above specification (with the engine warm), ….This incident may be the result of recent cleaning or replacement of the throttle body. The vehicle “in-use” learned idle (IAVL) may be higher after throttle body deposits are reduced (by cleaning or replacement).”
I’m not completely sure but I think Power Nissan cleaned the throttle body on 12/21/11, and the idle was more than 25 rpm above spec at 1200, right?  I remember Mike saying they cleaned a few things and I wouldn’t need to do the yearly system clean for a year.

January 5, 2012

A DTS is scheduled to look at my car January 10th / New Research

Got a call from Nissan Consumer Affairs and my contact there set up a Dealer Technician Specialist or DTS to look at my car at Power Nissan next Tuesday, January 10th.  I am both excited and thankful for this, and also stricken with anxiety as to what they will diagnose as the problem: will it be the same thing that’s been diagnosed one of the previous 17 times, will I have to vigorously argue with Nissan Corporate and/or the dealership like I have in the past in order to get them to fix it?

I am having sleepless nights OCDing over this.  The Assistant Service Manager at Power Nissan seems genuine in wanting to help, and he did provide me with a loaner, which helps me out immensely and buys a lot of good will.  Previously the Service Manager of Santa Monica Nissan promised to provide a loaner, then when my car broke down, that Service Manager was no longer there and the new one reneged on the offer, and Nissan Consumer Affairs did nothing about it, they would not uphold what a representative of Nissan told me.

Here is a file I made up today and sent to the DTS.  I think it contains some useful information about the history of my car and research I’ve found on others experiencing the same problems (latest up to date research in this file).

Nissan Sentra DTS letter & file 010512

Remember, if you have a similar Nissan story specifically with the Sentras or Altimas and the ETB, ECU, Idle Air Relearn or similar electrical problems causing your car to shut down on you, please email me with a detailed report  (if possible, please include dates your car was into dealership, names of those who helped you like the Service Advisor, copies of the invoices,  the file number if you’ve opened a file with Nissan Corporate, the info to the Regional Specialist if one was assigned to you, anyone in Consumer Affairs you’ve spoken with and any email correspondence, and any other useful information).

Email to:  dontbuynissansentra at (replace _at_ with @).