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.
This car doesn't ask any questions. Turn the key and drive unlimited. Worst fuel economy: 24 MPG Best: 42 MPG Average: 33 MPG. Top speed: 110 Snow driving: like a snowmobile but don't turn while braking. Miles driven in 14 years: 243,300. Black is a hard color to keep up. Had some Alternator troubles. Rebuilt alternators are hit or miss. Fast driving will blow the valve cover gasket. Not worth going over 80. better to sit in than an Altima. Good rear visibility, not like newer cars.
Quit on the highway, just an all around practical car.
Needs a tach so you know when to stop the valve cover from blowing up.
This was the first car my wife and I bought together. Got it from a second owner 8 years ago with 72,000 miles on it for $3,000. It's had all new gaskets, brakes/rotors, rebuilt transmission (I think a mechanic loosened the plug and it dropped out while driving), starter. The thing is with all that I've only put about $3,000 more into it to keep it going for this long. It just won't die. Now I'm in northern Michigan and I want a Subaru for the winters. This thing is a manual and gets 40 mpg, yes 40 and on all highway driving I've gotten up to 43mpg. It's now at 188,000 miles and it's good for at least another 30 or 40,000 more. Finding a new owner for it will be bitter sweet.
mpg, it won't die, cheap on repairs (I had torn CV boots and it would cost about $120 to get just the boots replaced or $230 for all NEW front axles on both sides) oh yeah it has brand new front axles now too.
well it's hard to accelerate with the AC on but who cares with 40 mpg, I just laugh and let the gas guzzler SUV's pass me by, there just aren't any real improvements you can make, my in laws have a 2000 GXE and mine is way better, just a great car.
Very reliable car but rust eats it very quick. My major complain is the metal used in the frame chasis and exterior and the paint, very bad quality. the interior plastics in the doors are also cheap and break easily. I've been driving it for 7 years bought it used with 70K, and only minor repairs due to a wife learning to drive messing up everything. Other than that you only need to change oil to this car every once in a while, very reliable. Rust eats this car very quick not only the cheap panels but the frame and chasis (but I'm in cold weather, no garaged, salt on streets) I think I'm better off paying for a frame replacement and body work than buying the cheap made new models.
very reliable car
paint stinks, plastics and metals used in frame chassis and body are low quality. This car dies by the body if driven in cold weather no garaged and salt in the streets but the engine will last forever.