2016 Nissan Rogue SV AVD
just over 201,000 miles
I did the manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule at the dealership for the first 100k or so, which would routinely cost several hundred dollars, they would perform inspections and I don't remember the exact cost of some of the work but did have the brake pads and one rotor replaced, the last time I took it in for 'schedule service' which cost $800 (plus another $800 for new tires), another dealer told me $1,600 had left the brake bleeder open and I was driving around with extremely low brake fluid. But, the same 2nd dealership that told me about the $1,600 mistake also filled my windshield washer fluid with untreated solution so it froze going through a snowstorm in the mountains the next day. So I've more or less tried to do as much maintenance myself as possible from then on.
I notice one small pop sometimes near the front drivers side when I turn right at a standstill or crawl speeds (parking lots, turns from a standstill, etc.) I have not noticed any torn boot or anything spilling but it seems like it will have to be addressed in the future.
Now, to the big thing, time rolls by and I noticed small coolant leak, evaporation is one thing? But I noticed the level dropping over the course of a month or so. I get a check engine light, and the engine can't seem to slip out of first gear. I turn the car off, turn it back on, and it seems to be running fine again, with the check engine light on. I come home and notice coolant has spilled all over the outside of spark plug well #1!
Codes are 0300 and 0420.
I take out the ignition coil, and there is an inch of coolant in there. I dry that out, add some Bar's (assuming it was a head gasket) and the 0300 code goes away. But, then I notice something different about the spark plug well gaskets, and there's coolant along the spark plug well gasket, the well with lots of corrosion in it, and the other wells looking more or less in great condition, so I determine I need to replace the valve cover, and might as well do the valve cover gasket while I'm at it, right?
To get to the valve cover, both the Haynes(2015 and earlier) and Chilton manuals recommend removing the intake manifold, although I've seen a video of a guy doing it without removing the intake. Regardless, when I got under the car, I noticed dried coolant around the intake manifold gasket area corresponding to #1. I had already ordered an intake manifold gasket, because I read I'd be taking it off and figured what the hell, but I did not expect to see coolant there, unless it was runoff from the spark plug well/valve cover---but I'm not certain. I'm going to tackle the 0420 code, but I'm thinking I need to get the gaskets replaced first, that'll definitely affect the exhaust. I'm going to do an infrared check on the cat when I get the gaskets replaced.
So here's my current issue:::::
I'm having a hell of a time trying to break the intake manifold bolts loose. Some of the zip tie clips for wiring on the engine mount are a real pain, and there's an electrical connector on the passenger side of the manifold that's been giving me a real issue, but I always assumed I'd get some leverage when I could move the manifold an inch or two....but I can't break those darn bolts... I have the two nuts on the outside studs loose, but for the life of me haven't been able to break the 3 bolt loose in the progression. I can get a good grip on it with a 12mm socket and a small 1/4" ratchet, but I can't put enough torque on it to break it loose. I'm sure tightening will not be an issue since it's only 18 ft lbs and I can reach all the bolts just fine----just can't break them loose. After the two nuts/studs on the upper corners, the next two bolts in order are on the lower side between chambers 1/2 and 3/4. The fifth is on the top in the middle, and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to break that with a wrench. It's such a tight spot.
Any ideas?? Tools? I've read a little that the intake/engine is similar to Altimas, anyone know this to be true?