1989 Nissan Sentra 2 door sedan 1.6 TBI overhead cam 12 valve from North America
The most reliable car I have ever owned. It's been everywhere
Still own the car; it has been well maintained. The head gasket blew at 196,000 miles. I rebuilt the engine at 211,000 miles. Needed new pistons and rings. Rebuilt the cylinder head, but did not even install new valve guides in the cylinder head, just a basic valve job using the old valves, springs, camshaft, lifters, etc.
Otherwise have installed one clutch kit, front end ball joints and tie rod ends, new brakes and brake hydraulics, replaced the radiator, and finally new shocks about 20k miles ago. Reupholstered the front seats, and have since worn out the replacement seat covers. Replaced the front axle CV boots, but still running the original axles.
Did replace the distributor because it started leaking engine oil into the distributor cap.
The 5 speed transmission has never been apart; just fluid changes. The TBI fuel injection has never been apart; replaced the fuel filter twice.
This has been the most reliable car I have ever owned. I have worked coast to coast, and the little Sentra has taken me everywhere, sometimes with a mattress and box spring tied to the roof. We once tied an entire apartment full of furniture on the roof and trunk, then traveled over 1000 miles in the winter.
The fuel injection starts the engine quickly, even at -30 degF, with 5w-30 engine oil. Fuel economy is actually getting better with age; maybe the TBI is starting to plug up with sediments. Typical highway MPG is 36-44 at 75 mph, and we once obtained over 50 MPG with an exceptional tank of gas.
The electronic ignition has never failed; still has the original computer and ignition coil.
The body is finally starting to rust away. Nine years of salt road winters in Kansas did not help.
The Sentra was faster than a Mustang II according to the repair shop that installed the replacement head gasket.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th December, 2014