FAQ's Phase info and common problems 96-00

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Deleted member 939

Right, this thread is intended as a guide to the UK market N15 Nissan Almera (1996-2000 shape) gives details of the models, including images and briefly describes the differences between the facelifts and GTi/non-GTi models. There is also a list of common faults and FAQ's and brief fixes for them.

Quick links to certain sections:
Model information/Engine codes/Dimensions & Weight/Wheel fitment
Facelift (phase) differences/GTi & non GTi comparisons/List of optional extras
Common problems/What to look for when buying your Almera

Following posts were written and compiled by Alan Hedges (SRi_alan) and Kelvin Dodds (K33 ELV)

Deleted member 939

Nissan Almera N15 1995 – 2000 Models
Engine / Model / Year of first production
1.4/ 1.4 Groove 3d /96
1.4/ 1.4 Tempo 3d /96
1.4/ 1.4i 3d /99
1.4/ 1.4 Prime 3d (5/98)/98
1.4/ 1.4 Prime 3d (8/98)/98
1.4/ 1.4 Muzic 3d /97
1.4/ 1.4 Tempo 5d /96
1.4/ 1.4 Groove 5d /96
1.4/ 1.4i 5d /99
1.4/ 1.4 Action 3d /97
1.4/ 1.4 Ambition 3d /99
1.4/ 1.4 Invitation 3d /99
1.4/ 1.4 Esteem 3d /98
1.4/ 1.4 Action 5d /97
1.4/ 1.4 Equation 3d /95
1.4/ 1.4 Ambition 5d /99
1.4/ 1.4 Invitation 5d /99
1.4/ 1.4 GX 3d /95
1.4/ 1.4 Esteem 5d /98
1.4/ 1.4 Equation 5d /95
1.4/ 1.4 Si 3d /95
1.4/ 1.4 Premium 5d /98
1.4/ 1.4 Activ 5d /97
1.4/ 1.4 Si 5d /95
1.4/ 1.4 GX 5d /95
1.6/ 1.6 Precision 5d /98
1.6/ 1.6 Ambition 5d /99
1.6/ 1.6 GX 5d /95
1.6/ 1.6 SX 5d Auto /99
1.6/ 1.6 SRi 3d /95
1.6/ 1.6 SLX 5d /95
1.6/ 1.6 GX 5d Auto /95
1.6/ 1.6 SRi 5d /95
1.6/ 1.6 SLX 5d Auto /95
2.0/ 2.0 GTi 3d /96
2.0/ 2.0 GTi 3d (Bodykit)/98
2.0d/ 2.0D GX 5d /95

Engine Codes
GA14DE - 1.4
GA16DE - 1.6
SR20DE - 2.0
CD20 - 2.0 diesel

Thought this would be useful to add! explanation of the engine codes on N15 models (as far as i can remember!) sure there are more (useful to decipher codes such as SR20DE):
SR = engine series
GA = engine series

20 = displacement in liters
14 = displacement in litres
16 = displacement in litres

S = single ovehead cam
D = dual overhead cam
V = varial valve lifting
E = electronic ignition

T = turbocharger
R = supercharger
TT = Twin turbo
TR = two oversized turbos

Cars that share the same engines as the Almera
GA16DE ·
P10 Primera (LX etc)·
P11 Primera (Si etc)·
N14 Sunny SR·
B14 Sentra / 200sx (USDM)·
B13 100 NX

P10 Primera (eGT)·
P11 Primera (SRi & GT)·
N14 Sunny Gti·
N14 Pulsar Gti (Import)·
B14 Sentra (USA)

Chassis Information
Length:4120 mm
Width:1690 mm
Height:1395 mm

1.4l P Models:1035 Kg
1.6l P Models:1080 Kg
2.0l P Models:1155 Kg
2.0l D Models: 1155 Kg

Wheelbase:2535 mm
Wheel PCD: 4x100mm, Offset 35-42, Bore 59mm
Tyre: R15/55/195, R14/65/185, R14/65/175

Turning Circle:10 m
Fuel Capacity:50 litres

Deleted member 939

This post describes the phases (facelifts) and brief differences between GTi/non GTi models

Phase 1 and 2/3 differences

Phase 1 is the term given to the first design of the Almera, the GTi had sideskirts and an (optional) bodykit over the normal 1.4/1.6 models (rear bumper is the same on all 3 & 5 doors), and also a GTi interior and GTi 15” alloys see pictures below:
Phase 1 (non GTi)


Phase 1 GTi


Phase 2
Phase 2 began in approximately March 98 and improved afew of the mechanical aspects but mainly consisted of cosmetic revamped areas, and a slightly rarer Phase 3 also came out just before production ceased, where Nissan chucked on every optional extra as standard - anyway, Phase 2/3 almeras differ from P1 in afew ways such as:

The aerial was removed from the drivers side A pillar and placed at the back of the roof.
P2 have revised bumpers (rear is the same on all 3 & 5 doors) and black bumpstrips on doors.
P2 have a rubbery sunroof surround (P1's have plastic)
P2 have crystal style headlights and honeycomb grille.
P2 have 50/50 style rear lights, with no amber section.
P2 GTi models have a revised more aggressive body kit/skirts/splitters

P2 Suspension design was changed; P2 use a shorter spring than P1.
P2 Brake discs on non-GTi models was upped from 232mm to 247mm

See pics for comparison:

Below: P2 non GTi


P2 GTi


Optional extras or factory extras which your car may or may not have (depending on what the first owner selected) include:
· Front and rear brake discs (mandatory on GTi’s but most lesser models had drums)
· Rear spoiler
· Plastic bumpstrips (door mouldings)
· Colour coded mirrors
· Electric Sunroof
· Air conditioning
· Passenger airbag
· Side airbags (in seats)
· Pockets in back of front seats
· CD holder in empty DIN slot
· Flappy lid on box on handbrake console
· It was also an option for some GTi’s to not have the factory bodykit

In addition to these GTi’s differ from the rest of the range by having most (if not all of the above) fitted as standard as well as:
· Front and rear strutbraces
· Foglights
· GTi interior
· White speedo gauges
· Leather handbrake/gearknob/steering wheel
· The GTi had NATS V2.0 Plus, a CAT 1 system, whereas all other almeras had NATS V2.0 which was a CAT 2 system. (Info from the Thatcham website)

Deleted member 939

The following post describes common problems with the N15 Almera and brief descriptions of fixes, more will be added if they become widespread!

Common N15 Almera problems/what to look for when buying an Almera
The N15 Almera suffers from very few inherent faults and was built at a time when Nissan were building probably the most reliable cars in the world, Almera’s with over 200,000 miles on the clock crop up for sale sometimes and show no signs of failure. The engines are pretty bullet proof so there’s not much to mention about them when looking at buying one apart from the normal rules with any car (check it has service history and there are no weird noises or leaks etc! – the GTi engine has a loud idle anyway due to the tappets, so if it has service history and the rest of the car seems ok it may not be anything to worry about, just use your judgement!).

Afew common flaws with the cars though:

Rusty rear arches:
Check the arches for bubbling around the arches, particularly the rear ones as they have a habit of rusting, also check the sills which may or may not be visible depending on if the car has sideskirts. As an added note, many Nissans from the 90’s begin to rust around the rear suspension turrets and I have seen afew early Almeras with the same problem, it’s not widespread yet (as of 2007) but could be something to look for as the years go on, to look, take off the boot carpet and check the panels the rear shocks mount in for signs of rust, also do the same from the exterior, by running your hand up the wheel arch to feel where the suspension mounts. Also on the subject of rust, check the downpipe as it can rust through.

Power steering fluid leak:
If your power steering is running low, or you find a leak on your drive that isn’t oil, chances are it’s the power steering fluid leaking, something that seems to be a common fault on N15’s.

The leak occurs on the offside where the front metal cooling pipe meets the rubber flexi pipe, and just needs the broken bit shortening and a new clip (jubilee etc) sticking on! Job done.

Sidelight bulbs:
This is a pretty simple problem, the ends of the wires into the sidelight connector corrode and this stops the sidelight/s from working. To fix it take the bulb holder out, clean up the connections and solder some new wires in, then solder these onto the existing wires.

Heaters only working on 0 and max:
this happens on a lot of Nissans from the period not just Almeras, the speed of the heater blowers is controlled by a variable resistor on a circuit board. This resistor is controlled by the dial and if it burns out the fans will only work on the first and last settings (e.g. off and max). There are acouple of ways to fix it, cheapest being to remove the heater card from the dash (the circuit board) and solder a bridge over it, or a new resistor, or go to Nissan and buy a new heater car (they’ve replaced the original design with a more up to date one now) which are around £30 at the time of writing.

GTi Brake callipers seizing:
Quite common, the car will judder or ‘chug’ and the affected disc will become overly hot, the brake piston has seized out forcing the pads into contact with the disc at all times, if this goes on for a while it can cause a warped disc, in which case you’ll need a new disc! Possible fixed include refurbing the caliper using a brake refurb kit, or alternatively buying a refurbed caliper (Brakes International sell both).

If this has occurred as a result of the pads wearing right down and the piston pushing too far out to go back in, just changing the pads and forcing the piston back in (I got a garage to do mine) could be enough.

Central locking going mental:
the central locking system seems to have a habit of going mad, locking when it wants, unlocking when it wants, only unlocking for three seconds, but yeah, anyway – it’s most commonly caused by moisture getting into the actuator in the offending door. To fix it, strip the doorcard off the door and spray WD40 maintenance spray (expels moisture) all over the mechanism, this will drive out the moisture and the locks should behave!

Those are the main problems which people ask about all the time so hopefully it will save people posting, if anymore start to become common as the cars age I will add them on the end!
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