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Owner’s Manual Important for Maintenance

Three years ago, I bought a used 2005 Nissan Sentra . I don’t have an owner’s manual and I’d like to figure out when should I replace the timing belt and transmission fluid. What type and weight of oil/transmission fluid should I use? I recently had the alternator and a/c belts replaced. Thank you for your articles and your assistance.

You might look online for a used version of your owner’s manual. It’s important to have a manual to refer to for items such as when to service your vehicle and other maintenance information. Some manufacturers, including Nissan, have manuals online and offer them for free (depending on the year and make of the vehicle.). The 2005 Nissan Sentra actually has a timing chain not a timing belt. The timing chain is similar to a bicycle chain, and because it’s metal, should ideally last longer. The timing chain was the preferred mechanism for vehicles in the 70s and 80s, but there has been a resurgence of its use on higher end vehicles because if their durability. Because of that, here is no set time for chain replacement on this vehicle. In general, as the mileage on the vehicle increases, you will replace your timing chain when it breaks or when it starts to make noise (a clattering or rattling – usually caused by worn out chain guides). For transmission fluid, we would use Nissan Matic “D” Dexron III/Mercon or equivalent. The manufacturer recommends that you check it every 30,000 miles, however, they don’t specify an interval for changing it. The preferred engine oil is SAE 5W-30 viscosity for all temperatures.

This column also appeared the Arizona Republic’s Car Care Column written by Wilhelm Automotive. The column appears every other Wednesday in the community sections.

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