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Nissan Altima & Frontier Engine Replacement Cost (Step by Step Replacement)

The Nissan Altima & Frontier engine replacement cost clearly and comprehensively discusses the process of replacing or upgrading your Nissan engine.

In the end, you will know how much you need to budget or set aside for this project.

An engine replacement is one of the most expensive upgrades or repairs you can perform on your vehicle.

As you know, the engine plays a significant role in the overall operation and performance of your Nissan Altima or Frontier.

If this component fails or stops performing at an optimum level, getting a new engine may be the perfect fix or repair option to consider.

As you read along, we will look at some of the symptoms that clearly or precisely inform you when your engine is failing or possibly needs a replacement, how much an upgrade or replacement costs, and the numerous factors that may determine how much you pay for a new engine.


Nissan Altima Engine Specs

  • 5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine
  • 188 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
  • 180 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
  • 27/39 mpg city/highway EPA estimates
  • 1 ft. turning circle
  • 5 l base engine size
  • Double overhead cam (DOHC), 16 valves

Nissan Frontier Engine Specs

  • 8-liter direct injection gasoline V6 engine
  • Double overhead cam (DOHC), 24 valves
  • 310 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
  • 281 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
  • 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear or four-wheel drive
  • 18/24mpg city/highway EPA estimates

Symptoms of a bad Nissan Engine

  • You may experience a noticeable fall in gas mileage
  • The check engine light comes on, informing you about a potential engine issue
  • The engine may continue to run even after you had already turned off the ignition
  • You may also perceive a loss of power
  • The engine starts producing annoying/disturbing sounds
  • Unusual smells coming out from the exhaust

Can you drive with a bad engine?

If you notice that your engine is failing or has gone bad (after you must have perceived any or all of the symptoms/signs of a bad engine and possibly confirmed from a specialist), it is better to leave such a vehicle alone.

A vehicle with a bad engine may start, sometimes after numerous attempts. However, it is not advisable to drive such car. If you neglect the signs and continue driving, it will only result in more troubles or problems.

So, if your engine has gone completely bad, or you are scared about the possible effects of having it blown up completely, stay away and avoid risking it.

Common problems of Nissan Altima Engine

  • Your engine may start stalling, bringing you to a sudden stop. This results in a safety concern. Especially if this occurs while on the highway or in the middle of traffic
  • The engine may not start until after numerous attempts. When it eventually does, you may experience a rough operation or performance
  • You may experience oil leaks due to a failed or dislodged engine seal
  • Inappropriate ignition timing
  • The engine control unit becomes faulty or goes bad

What Is Nissan Altima Engine Replacement Cost?

DIY cost

If you have the technical knowledge or have possibly replaced an engine before, you may want to know how much you need to budget to get a new engine fixed in your Nissan Altima.

While the DIY process has been proven to be pocket-friendly or economical, it is not always a walk in the park.

Especially when you consider the time and the amount you need to invest in purchasing the basic and special tools to get the job done successfully.

A new Nissan Altima engine costs between $400 and $550 on average. You may need to invest about $800 on some tools.

The good news is that most of the tools required for this project are possibly what you already have.

On average, replacing your engine independently may cost between $1200 and $1500.

Professional cost

To cost of replacing a bad or faulty Nissan Altima varies, depending on the garage or mechanic workshop you choose to visit.

Usually, we always advise that you seek the service of an experienced mechanic whenever you decide to repair or fix technical issues in your vehicle.

On average, the labor cost can be as low as $1000 and as high as $2000. Some experts or experienced mechanics may charge more in some cases.

When you sum the labor and new engine costs together, that is about $3000 to replace your bad Nissan Altima engine.

Common problems of Nissan Frontier Engine

  • The crankshaft position sensor may stop working or fails to work as expected
  • Inadequate fuel distribution or flow to the engine due to a faulty fuel system
  • The engine may start misfiring when the EGR valve becomes clogged
  • The engine may fail to start, or stalls in the process
  • Oil leaks

Nissan Frontier Engine Replacement Cost

DIY Cost

Replacing your Frontier engine requires technical skills, patience, and availability of basic tools and a few special tools.

The major replacement material is the engine itself. A new frontier engine costs about $5500 on average.

Interestingly, most of the tools you need are basic tools you possibly have available for basic repair and maintenance activities.

However, there are some special tools or materials you may need to buy to make the process easier and smoother.

For instance, the assembly lube, air hose or blowgun, and a few more. You can budget between $800 and $1000 for these tools.

In total, that will be about $6,500 to complete the replacement process.

Professional Cost

Hiring a professional or expert to install a new Frontier engine in your vehicle is expensive. However, the confidence and optimism that come with it cannot be overemphasized.

If you have never replaced an engine before or do not have a technical understanding of what it entails, you will need to pay an experienced mechanic to get the job done for you.

On average, the labor cost may be as low as $1000 and as high as $3000 in some cases.

That is between $6500 and $8500 to get the job done when you add the cost of a new engine ($5500) and the labor cost ($1000-$3000).

Nissan Altima & Frontier Engine Replacement


Nissan Altima & Frontier engines are not complicated. While the mechanic workshops quote between 20 hours and 25 hours for this job in most cases, in the real sense, the process takes a shorter amount of time.

If you are replacing this key part of your vehicle independently, it will take between 8 and 10 hours on average, provided you have all the tools you need within your reach and you know what exactly you need to do at every stage of the replacement exercise.

Ensure you consult your service guide from time to time during the replacement process.


The list of the tools/materials is long. However, you do not necessarily need everything we have mentioned or stated below.

  • New engine
  • Service manual
  • Jack stand
  • Torque wrench
  • Engine stand
  • Oil drain pans
  • Piston ring compressor
  • Masking tape
  • Silicone gasket maker
  • Flashlight
  • Electric drill
  • Air compressor
  • Blow gun
  • Engine hoist
  • Lube
  • Fender cover
  • Camshaft bearing tool

Step By Step Replacement Guide of Nissan Altima/Frontier Engine Replacement

01. Put all the necessary tools and materials in place

Ensure all the things you need for this project are well-positioned within your reach. Also, you will need a helping hand to assist you with a few basic tasks. Talk to a friend or a family member about this and ask if they could help.

02. Take out the hood

For easy removal of the old engine from its compartment or engine bay, you may need to detach the hood. Make sure the detached hood is stored safely in a space or area that is free from dirt to protect the paint from a dent or scratch.

03. Drain the engine fluids

Get rid of the engine oil and the coolant, respectively. These fluids are to be disposed of or thrown away. Do not reapply or add them to the new engine.

04. Detach the coolant lines, intake, and exhaust

The intake is a pipe-like component that extends from the air filter to the throttle body. Detach the intake from the throttle body.

Also, take out the coolant pipe. The pipe extends from the radiator to the engine. Finally, disconnect the exhaust from the exhaust manifold.

05. Disconnection of wires/cables

Consult your service manual to know the exact wires/cables to detach from the engine. While pulling the wires apart, ensure you entertain enough patience and take your time to avoid damaging the connectors.

06. Remove the bolts holding the engine in place

Detach all the bolts that connect the engine to the transmission. Before you initiate the disconnection process, ensure a jack is placed beneath the transmission to support its weight as you detach it from the engine.

07. Detach or unscrew the motor mount bolts

The engine is held in place by 3 motor mounts. The role of these mounts is to absorb the vibration resulting from the engine’s operation. Each mount is linked or held securely to the engine by a bolt. Remove the 3 bolts using a wrench.

08. Detach the old/bad engine

To proceed, take out the engine using the engine hoist or cherry picker. Your assistant on this project can use the cherry picker to jack/lift the engine. Ensure the engine is not swinging around dangerously.

09. Install the new engine

The new engine can now be placed into the engine bay. Go through the same process you followed while taking out the old engine. Ensure the engine is gradually lowered until it fits well.

10. Connect the engine

Connect the motor mounts to the new engine. Once you have tightly and securely done this, link the engine to the transmission and attach the necessary cables/wires accordingly.

Connect the intake, coolant, and exhaust. Ensure you check and confirm that nothing is left behind and all the necessary connections are in place.

11. Add new fluids

Now that all the necessary connections are in place, you can add clean/new fluids (oil and coolant) to their respective chambers.

12. Start the engine

Insert the key into the ignition. Turn the key multiple times as if you want to crank the engine, and then return the key to the off position as fast as possible.

This action activates the fuel pump, allowing oil to flow through the new engine before you finally ignite the engine for the first time.

People Also Ask For

How long does the Nissan Altima and Frontier last?

These engines are built to deliver incredible/outstanding performance over an extended period.

On average, the Nissan Altima and Frontier engines can last up to about 100,000 miles.

However, when you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance tip and keep these engines in good condition at all times, they can keep performing greatly until 200,000 miles.

Where can I get a new engine?

There are several sources or channels where you can get/purchase a replacement engine for your vehicle.

You may contact the manufacturer directly or buy from a trusted and experienced auto-dealer around your city or region.

What are the advantages of an engine replacement?

When the engine goes bad, most vehicle owners are stuck at two ends trying to figure out what next to do.

During this time, they are either considering an engine replacement or getting a new car.

However, it has been proven over time that getting a new engine is economical.

A new engine costs a fraction of the price of a new car. Also, you won’t have to bother about insurance, taxes, and other expenses associated with the vehicle acquisition.

Where can I purchase engine replacement tools from?

If you don’t have some of the necessary tools and want to purchase, you can reach out to any automobile stores around you or go on Amazon to search for these tools.

However, Amazon gives access to several vendors, allowing you to purchase these tools at competitive prices.

Last Words

The Nissan Altima & Frontier engine replacement cost discussed in this guide is only an estimate.

You may either experience a slight increase or decrease at the end of the day.

However, the most important thing is to have an idea of what the process could cost and have a budget in place.

Whatever replacement approach you desire to explore (independently or hiring an expert), ensure you take the necessary steps to achieve the best outcomes.