Used 1996 Nissan Sentra Base Consumer Reviews - 1 Car Reviews | Edmunds

1996 Nissan Sentra - Consumer Reviews

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By Jacob


1996 Nissan Sentra 4dr Sedan


I bought a used 1996 Nissan Sentra GXE 4 speed auto on Craigslist with 226k miles on her. i always trusted the nissan brand from the start and this car just called to me. for 900$ i thought maybe was to high but it had a new battery and alternator but i started it up and it sounded just like a diesel truck the lifter were pecking so hard. but i gave her an oil change and drove home. and now its up to 240k with only a headlight and a starter being the maintenance so far. This car favors high oil pressure even though its prone to valve cover gasket leaks. using 1 qt of lucas made her quite down and generally just perform better. this car just wont die though living out in the mountains and having such high mileage and usage makes me wonder if its made of spit and vinegar or what. the AC drags down Horsepower by a couple to many notches but if you rev your engine you'll notice that this car has quite a deviation in position when torquing just the idle gears, so i just put together some home made stability bars out of some firm metal and bolted the engine to the strut bolts or above the shocks area and now it gets much more torque! a ver noticeable upgrade. BUT this action will cause more stress on your tranny so dont skip on checking the fluid. it gets up hills good if you give it the right amount of gas and shut the AC off. this car leaks and smokes sometimes and the belt squalls when turning sharply and the exhaust will crud up your EGR valve when the valve cover leak starts from the poor cooling system in this car. the heat is most likely what drives the leaks and smoke. though the temp gauge sits at a medium level the front end of the car is aerodynamic not cooling dynamic, the front plastic grill is not open enough for sufficient air to pass through and that is a snowball effect. so i ride with no grill in and the temp gauge actually sets lower and the car has not smoked or puffed any smoke out of the muffler since, but the EGR valve is still causing the engine light to be on. these are just tips incase you want your sentra to last forever, which it probably would anyway because its a 3200lb beast that has a pretty nice acceleration from the dual cam but could use some minor changes, i wish nissan would bring back the 1.6 liter from the 1990's and the whole 1996 design. it is just simple and efficient. good work Nissan i will keep this car alive.

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