1989 Nissan Sentra Reviews - Page 4 of 5

1989 Nissan Sentra 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance142000 miles

Summary:

Great car, but be leary of the timing chain

Faults:

Alternator died.

Timing Chain problems, twice already.

Changed Muffler once only.

General Comments:

This has been a good car overall. My only peeve is the timing chain. 2 years ago I had a rattling noise. The timing chain/rails were loose. I had these replaced for approx. $700 ($500 in labor). A year later, the same problem surfaced. I had the same maintenance done again by the same mechanic for nearly the same amount. A year later, which is now, the timing chain is acting up again. If it was'nt for this, this car would last a very long time. Don't think it's worth again to mess with the timing chain. I plan on selling the car for this. The timing chain situation could have been better engineered. Otherwise it's been a very good car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2005

6th Sep 2005, 15:05

I have had a 1989 Sentra for the 8 years. For the first two it was very reliable. I loaned it to my sister for college, and she ended up blowing the head gasket. I milled the head, and replaced the rings, bearings, oil pump, and timing chain/ guides. It ran for another 2 or so years, and the timing chain started rattling again. I again replaced the timing chain/ guides and tensioner. I got another few years out of her, and again! the timing chain rattled. Three weeks ago I found out why. When I milled the head six years ago, I went too far, resulting in the valves hitting the pistons, lightly. Also when I replaced the timing chain tensioner I used RTV Silicone, which it says not to do if you read the instructions. This in return stretched the timing chain, so it started to rattle. The pieces of ground up metal got sucked into the oil pump, and scoured up my main bearings. When I replaced it again, I did not know this. It made the oil pressure at idle drop too low so the tensioner could not keep the chain tight. Now I have done a COMPLETE overhaul of the engine, and it runs perfect with over 175,000 miles.

I now know that most of the recent problems were a result of my Ignorance. This is a very reliable car (If you don't try to fix it yourself) I plan on putting another 150,000 miles or so on it... I guess I will see.

1989 Nissan Sentra E from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired12 miles
Most recent distance269000 miles
Previous carDatsun 1600 Pick-up

Summary:

A very good car for the money

Faults:

The original factory clutch went out at 105,000 miles! Incredible! This was a 5-speed manual transmission. Transmission was overhauled at 140,000 miles, timing chain was replaced at 180,000 miles, and the head gasket blew at 210,000 miles.

General Comments:

I bought this car new in September 1988, and sold it in August 2001. Nothing went wrong with this car until the original clutch went out at 105,000 miles. I bought it with only A/C as an option. It drove very well, and the engine had a lot of quickness for its small size. It as a great no-frills get-around car. Fuel economy was great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2003

1989 Nissan Sentra ex 1.7 from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.7 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired168000 miles
Most recent distance186000 miles
Previous carNissan Maxima

Faults:

I needed a new head gasket. It's old, you would expect that. I needed an alitnator. The a/c probably needs servicing, but I live in CA so it really didn't bother me. New brakes. Little things due to the age. Nothing really major.

General Comments:

I loved this car!!! It's 1989 and it started EVERY time. It broke down once, due to the altinator. That's it. It was a terrific car. No luxury, but it got me where I was going.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th August, 2003

1989 Nissan Sentra E Sedan 5 speed from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 5 speed Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired165000 miles
Most recent distance225000 miles
Previous carSubaru Legacy

Summary:

A highly reliable commuter vehicle!

Faults:

Timing belt was replaced at 185,000 miles.

Head gasket blew at 200,000 miles and the vehicle over-heats after 75-100 miles of driving.

Oil has always leaked from the engine, but not a significant amount.

General Comments:

This vehicle has amazing resilience! It still runs smoothly and efficiently without any significant transmission or engine problems after 225,000 miles of heavy use.

I wouldn't recommend the vehicle for extensive road travel, especially at high speeds. However, it is a perfect and efficient vehicle for students and/or anybody needing to travel only short distances.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2001

1st Mar 2002, 02:53

I had overheating problems after long high speed runs and it was down to the inside of the radiator being restricted with rust and lime scale. The previous owner had left the engine with just plain water in the cooling system. It never ran hot in town or on shorter journeys but gradually got hotter and hotter on the motorway as the coolant could not circulate fast enough through the radiator.

You could either back-flush the radiator or replace it. This could have been what made the the head gasket blow.

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 16 reviews