"This code relates to the pre-cat. It is possible that the program in the
ECM (Engine Control Module) of your car is outdated. Before any
components are replaced a new program should be downloaded to the ECM.
That new program may take care of your problem. Unfortunately that
reprogram of your ECM can only be done at the dealer.
99% of the time the problem is the ECM program. In the new program the
factory increased the specification for signal values received from the
rear O2 sensor. If the pre-cat is indeed
bad it should be covered by the warranty, so check on that before you
pay for such a repair yourself. These pre-cats have been known to have
manufacturing related problems"
I took my '05 Altima (118k miles) in to the local dealership today to have this recall done. The Service Advisor refused to perform the recall work because my 'check engine light' is on (on diagnostic I'm throwing code P0420, too). They will only update the ECM AFTER I (a) replace the pre-cat which may or may not be at fault and may or may not clear the P0420 code or (b) I sign a document created by the SERVICE ADVISOR stating "I release NISSAN from any and all liabilities resulting in damages that result from MY insistance that the ECM be reprogrammed. I understand that reprogramming the ECM while the 'check engine light' is on can result in catastrophic failure of the ECM, rendering my vehicle inoperable". So I asked him, "How much is an ECM?" His answer: "$500-700". I think I may be getting raked over the coals because my pre-cat is, according to some things I've been able to find on the net, past the mileage for the EPA's warranty. From what I gather that warranty only covers up to 80,000 miles.
I read, somewhere else, that another '05 owner was having the same problem and he was told, by a Service Advisor at another dealership, that, because his pre-cat was still under warranty, the code could be cleared with ONLY an ECM reprog, no components needed to be replaced. The Service Advisor I talked to today vehemently denied such a thing could take place.
www.consumeraffairs.com, in Nov. of 2007, lists this recall was put in place 'AS A RESULT OF THE CRANKSHAFT SENSOR'S POSITION' ... according to their write-up the position where the sensor is mounted causes overheating which in turn causes the breakdown in communication with the ECM, which leads to engine shut-down.
If I read that correctly and compare that with NISSAN's solution to the problem (reprogram the ECM) ... all NISSAN is doing is changing the parameters at which the crankshaft sensor is set to fail? Raising the temperature tolerances so higher temps are now "acceptable" when it comes to "tripping the breaker"? It would seem to me, un-mechanically-educated as I may be, that the part is still going to fail, you just won't have any advance notice. I think NISSAN is only offering what amounts to "lip-service" when it comes to offering to reprogram the ECM to "fix" these issues..
WHO'S TELLING US THE TRUTH HERE?
p.s. I've filed another complaint with www.consumeraffairs.com about this.