disatrous service

About one month ago, I noticed the brake and battery lights on in my 97 Nissan Sentra (83Kmile). I brought my car to a Nissan dealer service center. I also ordered a 3K mile oil change with 100 points coutesy
check. After the check,they replaced the alternator and the left outer CV boot.
Right after that, my car started leaking oil, and there was an oil burning smell in the car. I went back to the dealer several times. They first insited that there was no leaking till last week, they acknowledged that the " Oil pan gasket leaking" and " Front crank seal seeping", but asked me to pay 500$ to fix.
But that was not the worst yet! Last weekend, 3 weeks after the service, I could not start the engine. I could hear the cranking. Today, I had car towed to the dealer. They told me to replace the starter, which will cost 400$.
My questions: (1) Was the initial diagnosis correct? i.e. was the symptom (the brake and battery light on ) really caused by the alternator problem? (2) was the oil leaking incurred by service (oil change, alternater replacement)? (3) is the starter problem related to the replacement of alternator?
The dealer denied all of these. What should I do on this issue?
My auto knowledge is almost zero. I would appreciate it very much if you could me any help.
Conan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You might wish to ask this question on alt.autos.nissan. This is a general motors (chevy, buick, gmc, oldsmobile, cadillac) newsgroup. Not sure if the nissan sentra was ever marketed under the GM banner.
Generally speaking, if the battery light was on, it means the battery is draining and they determined the alternator to be at fault. Did replacing the alternator fix the battery light problem ??? However a defective battery can also cause an alternator to burn out
You mentioned that you could hear the engine "cranking", well okay... that might eliminate the starter . (possible weak battery.... an internal high resistance could have wiped out the original alternator and perhaps the battery is too weak to crank the engine over quickly enough. This is speculation.
Regarding the oil leak....
Have they replaced the oil pan gasket already ??? Perhaps the oil drain plug was somehow stripped and leaking from that point. Placing a piece of cardboard or newspaper under the front of the car would give you an idea of where the leak was coming from.
You might also wish to look at the engine to see signs of oil leakage. (do this with the engine OFF !!)
If the gasket and seal have already been replaced this is a moot point.
Suggesting what to do is difficult as I don't know the reputation of your nissan dealer. You might wish to have a second opinion from an independent shop. Have them look at the battery, including cables.... If you are located by a Wal Mart, they have a battery load testing machine which will tell you about the condition of your battery..... a major auto parts store might have the same equipment.
Then check battery cables very carefully, including grounds.
I guess the car is at the dealer so the next quick check is of little value, but if you turn on the headlamps and then attempt to start car, if the starter engages (click click) but the headlights dim, chances are you have a defective battery or high resistance in the cables. Another way to test this out is to disconnect the battery cables and use jumper cables to hook them to a good battery in another car .... This will quickly prove if the battery is at fault and if the cables are good...... car starts good cables, bad battery. Car doesn't start, maybe it is the starter or you have high resistance in the cables (ohmeter time).
btw www.advanceautoparts.com has starters ranging from 109.00 to 170.00.
Regarding the CV Boot, hopefully they caught it while it was cracking and not ruptured thus saving you the cost of having to replace the CV joint or half axle.
hope this helps a little but the more experienced people on this forum will have a lot more valuable advice.
Peter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks so much, peter!
I went to the dealer to pick up my car yesterday. I had no problem starting the engine, without doing any 'repair'. I droped by at a road site garage. The tec. there did a very quick check and ascertaned that the starter works perfectly! It seems that the fxxking dealer was still tryin to takce advantage to blackmail me.
Peter wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wouldn't get too excited yet. Starter problems very commonly begin as intermittent problems. If you car started fine at the dealer, it is quite reasonable that another tech won't find a problem with it moments afterwards. This is not an assurance that you don't have a starter problem.
From what you originally posted, it does not seem your dealer did anything to "take advantage to blackmail" you. Blackmail for the record, would not even apply to your situation. I think you need to cool your jets and wait for the problem to show up again - it is almost a guarantee that it will. You haven't posted anything that could be associated with fixing the problem.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd agree, except in the original post he says: Last weekend, 3 weeks after the

If the engine is cranking, it is probably not the starter, but one of another fifty possibilities, many of which can be intermittent.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Okay, here maybe another possibility. I had a 1990 Chevy with a 5.7 that refused tostart until I tapped the solenoid with a hammer. After that, it started without fail for one year (almost to the minute). The second time it happened, I pulled the starter and the culprit was - a loose terminal on the solenoid. I tightened the terminal and it's been working great ever since (3 years since). I'm not saying that this applies to a Nissan; it just shows that little things can create big problems.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
disatrous service Group: alt.autos.gm Date: Tue, Oct 17, 2006, 9:49pm (EDT-3) From: snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (conan) About one month ago, I noticed the brake and battery lights on in my 97 Nissan Sentra (83Kmile). I brought my car to a Nissan dealer service center. I also ordered a 3K mile oil change with 100 points coutesy check. After the check,they replaced the alternator and the left outer CV boot. Right after that, my car started leaking oil, and there was an oil burning smell in the car. I went back to the dealer several times. They first insited that there was no leaking till last week, they acknowledged that the " Oil pan gasket leaking" and " Front crank seal seeping", but asked me to pay 500$ to fix. But that was not the worst yet! Last weekend, 3 weeks after the service, I could not start the engine. I could hear the cranking. Today, I had car towed to the dealer. They told me to replace the starter, which will cost 400$. My questions: (1) Was the initial diagnosis correct? i.e. was the symptom (the brake and battery light on ) really caused by the alternator problem? (2) was the oil leaking incurred by service (oil change, alternater replacement)? (3) is the starter problem related to the replacement of alternator? The dealer denied all of these. What should I do on this issue? My auto knowledge is almost zero. I would appreciate it very much if you could me any help. Conan
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "Sometimes, when you're up to your butt in alligators, it's hard to remember that the intial objective was to drain the swamp." ~ Unknown ~
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wow, what happened while I slept last night? Did the Nissan-GM merger happen when we were sleeping ????
:) John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.