Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: Here's a disturbing trend for the 2002 Nissan Altima: the engine starts burning oil like crazy, the catalytic converter goes bad, the head gasket blows and eventually the entire engine needs replacement. Sound familiar? Like a script from a horror film, these Altimas seem doomed to fail around 95k miles.

7.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,044.00
Average Mileage:
104,048 miles
Total Complaints:
40 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
  2. manufacturer fix problem (5 reports)
  3. replace engine (5 reports)
  4. signaled misfires - replaced spark plugs (5 reports)
  5. replace catalytic converter (4 reports)
  6. replace faulty crankshaft sensor (4 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Nov 032009

Altima 3:5 Se

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

this car has been a problem off and on since i has it. brakes, rotors, sensors,headlights blowing. put three set of rotor on this car.

- , Richmond,, VA, USA

problem #19

Feb 022004

Altima

  • 80,000 miles

As a mechanic (of over 30 years), I've repaired many vehicles... and have never had so many problems with a vehicle's having such consistency with the same malfunction as does Nissan's 2.5L! Nissan did have several recalls on their Crankshaft Position Sensor (CKP) and their catalytic converter (amongst their many other problems since the Altima's conception). The CKP will malfunction within the first 2 years and continue malfunctioning every 2 years for the remainder of the auto's life!! The converter will disentigrate... and the fine metal particles will be sucked into the engine (via maniold vaccum) causing, first, high oil consumption and then motor failure.

This problem has been positively identified as an inheirant manufacturing flaw. However, although the Fed Gov. mandated that Nissan recall those vehicles ( the 2.5L since 2001 thru 2006)... Nissan, now, refuses to acknowledge said governmental orders. I' ve had personal involvement in two such disputes which resulted in Nissan not acknowledging such responsibility. Nissan Corporate actually stated (to me) that the recall notice (which they did-in-fact post on the internet) was posted by some unknown person!!!!! It is a verifiable notification... complete with the Corporate document numbers and Government citation numbers. They must stand accountable. A class action suit is the remedy.

- , Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #18

Mar 312010

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I have only owned Nissan, I bought a Sentra when I was 19 and drove that car for 12 years and never had any issues anything let alone with the engine . My current car is a 2002 Altima, I have had one engine issue after another camshaft sensor, Oxygen sensor, engine mounts, catalytic converter, crankshaft position sensor, cylinder coils (more than 1), 11 months ago I replaced 3 cylinder now my engine light is on again with P0302 code - 2 cylinder misfiring. I know this a silly/simple thing but it was great customer service and I felt like a valued customer and proud to be a Nissan owner . Nissan used to wash my car inside and outside when I had any service done, they don't anymore. I could understand for simply having your oil changed not to offer this but when you spend 2000.+ you would think they could. My husband's Ford F250 needed repairs done and when it came back it was washed and detailed inside and out. I agree with other people's posting, Nissan put out a horrible engine. I always thought Nissan would be the only car maker for me but after this experience with my Altima I have started looking at other car makers.

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #17

Jul 182007

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,345 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I read several of the complaints and it sounds just like my story. I replaced my engine in 2007 and I'm having the same problems again and they say I need a new engine again. I am so frustrated with Nissan I sure they know that this has got to be a manufacture defect with these 2002 altima's. I hope something will be done some and maybe I can recovery the 8,000 dollars I have put in this car.

- , Nashville, TN, USA

problem #16

Dec 022008

Altima ES 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I bought a brand new 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 engin. I purchased this vehicle when there was no milages on the engin. After the engine received 80,000 miles It started to giving me holly hell. it started with the airconditioning system not working, then the eating system went, followed by check engine light that the mechanic could not find out what was the cause. The car started loosing oil, however there where never eany oil on the engine nor the ground, however every 2 days I had to fill up with oil. Smoke started coming from the rear of the car, finally the car wouldn't,t crank. It caused me hundreds of dollars to search what could possible be wrong with my car, in which I really needed. The car finally was said to have a blown head gasket, in which diden't seem possible however it could be true.I had to go out and buy another car to get to work, because this Altima practically gave me heart attack with all the problems it was having. I am not in conversation with the manufacture about this situation because I believe they should take responsibility for apparently a bad batch of engines

- , Mobile, AL, USA

problem #15

Sep 012009

Altima S 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I am so feed up with this Altima. Nothing but problems. I have no heat, catalytic converter needs replacing, engine coils needs replacing, engine light on, wont pass emission test, I had to pay for new sensors because the car would stall while driving on expressway or anywhere. They wouldn't reimburse me after the recall on this either.

- , chicago, IL, USA

problem #14

Feb 132009

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I am so disgusted at the amount of time and money I have had to spend on this issue, with other serious problems with the car. How I could kick myself in the ass for walking into a used auto dealership and say "I want no American cars", see this Nissan and fell in love, and since then I have had nothing but problems with this car. Sure, it is cute as a button to me but I have discovered that American cars are cute as buttons too! I have problems with the catalytic converter and check engine light, rumbling noise and excessive oil loss.

I am at my wits end! I only purchased the car 2-7-09 and today it is 3-26-09. I want to know if anyone out there can help me please i am not a rich person and am really angry at whoever is responsible for this

- , Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #13

Sep 102007

Altima 2.5s

  • Manual transmission
  • 114,904 miles

at this time the car was at the dealership. At $115.00 for what they call CPN test and $500.40 for part and $230.00 labor all out of pocket. CPN test said that this is what is wrong with the car guaranteed. drove 10-15 miles car broke down same problem. dealership pick the car up a day in-half latter. new problem and no money refunded.

- , Campo Seco, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 102007

Altima 2.5s

  • Manual transmission
  • 114,904 miles

after charging me $771.68 mass air flow that was not the problem and no refund for a recall on the board. called regional and waited 3 weeks for them to help with nothing at this time.

- , Campo Seco, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 122008

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

HAVING THIS NISSAN IT ALWAYS FEELS LIKE CHRISTMAS. THE SERVICE ENGINE LIGHT IS ALWAYS ON. REPLACED THE CAT FEB 08 WENT BAD IN DEC NOT 1 YR BUT THEY ONLY GIVE YOU 12000 MILES OR 1 YR ON PART.THE ORIGINAL CAT WAS COVERED FOR 80000 MILES. MINE WENT AT 92000. BROUGHT IT TO FIRST DEALER SAID I HAVE BAD NEWS YOU NEED A NEW ENGINE ABOUT 6500 $. OWNING THIS CAR MAKES FEEL LIKE A MECHANIC. I HAVE TO CHECK THE OIL AND COOLANT EVERY 2 DAYS . I ALSO HEAR THAT WHEN THE CAT GOES BAD IT RUINS THE ENGINE . WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS - CLASS ACTION SUIT.THERE IS NOTHING WORSE GETTING UP IN THE MORNING, GETTING IN YOUR CAR AND NOT KNOWING IF THE CAR WOULD GET YOU THROUGH THE DAY. SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE.

- , Coram, NY, USA

problem #10

Aug 102008

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Car would not drive any faster than 40 kms hr. Car was towed 1000 kms home. Nissan could not tell me anything. Ran tests, car started, could not repeat the break down. Noted the uses of oil was high, then a week later, had no heat which is intermittently repeating.

-Burning oil, engine runs very rough, rad fluid has required refilling. Nissan says it is in great condition, their computer shows not problems...not sure why the check engine light come on. Encourage me to remove the battery cable then re-connect.

-Class action, let me know!

- , Belleville, ON, Canada

problem #9

Oct 152008

Altima S V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

The check engine light came on repeatedly for a few months. I ignored it. It began starting up rough but would even out after a few seconds. Then one morning it wouldn't start! I waited and tried again. Finally, I called a tow truck and had it taken to the shop. They told me it started right up, there was no check engine light and no codes logged. We picked up the car and the very next day the check engine light came back on. This time I called a friend who works on BMWs and had him check the code for me. He said it was misfire codes and to try replacing the spark plugs. We did, and haven't seen the check engine light or had a rough start.

- , Ashland, OR, USA

problem #8

Oct 032008

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Hi! i have a big problem with my 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 liter. i got this "car" for my wife and i spend more time fixing this "car" then been around my wife. got sick and tired been under the "car" and see what is next!!!!!! it's all started with the check engine light. then i noticed that 2 and 3 cylinder is not working so i replace spark plugs (2 times ) then i noticed that my cooling is missing so i went under the "car" again to see what is going on? but i saw no weather lick. but i saw white smoke and then i got it!!!!!!!!!!! i remove spark plugs from 2nd and 3rd cylinder and try to start that car just for one moment. and then i checked those two cylinders and guess what i found Weather!

i check with mechanic and he told me that it is going to cast me $2,300--$2.500 i sad thanks all do it my self. I got head gasket for $80 and 3 weeks later it still not fixed!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Battle Ground, WA, USA

problem #7

Sep 122008

Altima 2.5 S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,004 miles

I just purchase an Nissan Altima 2002 a month ago and now the check engine light is on as well as the car is burning gas rapidly because of this, as per a recent test I had done on the engine. I took the car to the Nissan dealership and they reported I need a senor which will cost me $932.00 after I just paid $7800 for the car. I extremely upset and hope that everyone who has this problem signs the petition that I seen listed by Namoi's comment. I've also notice when a friend of mine went to an dealers auction to purchase a car I seen at list 6 Nissan Altima's run through all which had the check engine light on. This isn't cool!

- , Yeadon, PA, USA

problem #6

May 152008

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,500 miles

Check engine light came on again, brought it to my mechanic it was reading code P0420, catalyst running below threshold. My mechanic found a small exhaust leak, repaired it, and again replaced the O2 sensors. Cleaned fuel system and injectors. He said he highly doubted it was the cat. Not 2 days later check engine light on again with same code. Brought it back did some more work, again stood by his claim that he doubted it was the cat. I explained to him that I did some research and found out it was a problem with some of the 2002 Altimas. Problem still exists.

- , Norwich, CT, USA

problem #5

Jan 072008

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,600 miles

Just bought the car and 1 week later, check engine light came on, needed to replace O2 sensor.

- , Norwich, CT, USA

problem #4

May 012008

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,200 miles

the "Service engine Soon" keeps on coming on and off even after servicing the engine.

It is very annoying when there is no other solution to all the Nissan Altima problems beside "change the engine" response.

this 2002 Altima with the 2.5L engine is truly horrible.

- , Mount Holly, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jul 012007

Altima S 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Well, I am not sure where to start and since I am only supposed to list one problem at a time I might be logged in for a week. I truly have had problem after another on this 2002 Nissan. I own 2 other Nissans´┐Ż and I usually just deal with automobile problems, but this car is a serious "lemon". As far as the check engine light is concerned I have been fighting with it from the day I bought it to today. I have had the misfire code constantly as well as some others and it seems to be a total mystery. I have had the plugs replaced only to have the code flash again he next time the car cycled. I took the car into the dealership and had about 1,000 dollars worth of maintenance done and still had the engine light coming on. When I had the code again I had the O2 sensors replaced. This last mechanic who I have found to be very competent with other vehicles I own has found that the catalytic converter is probably the main problem, he says "its dead".

Let us keep in mind as of today this car has only 75,000 miles on it. I have only owned it for about 1 year and taken it to 6, yes 6 different mechanics besides the dealership to look at problems with the car. It is at the dealership right now getting recall work done on it.

So if you get the mystery misfire, have a temperature check on the cat and see if that is one of the many faulty items on the 2002 Altimas´┐Ż.

- , Boise, ID, USA

problem #2

Nov 012007

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,099 miles

I decided to write to the Better Business Bureau about Nissan (more in particular the Dealer we purchased the car from)

We purchased a 2002 Nissan Ultima on November 1, 2007.I placed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau regarding Nissan in Newburgh New York. They sold us a car that had so many problems. About 3 weeks after we purchased the car in November we saw on the News that the Nissan 2002 had a recall. (which explained why we were having so many problems with the car already) Therefore we contacted Nissan in Newburgh and informed them of this. They proceeded to inform me that after checking the car they found that in addition to the recall that there was a coil that needed to be fixed. (this should sound familiar as every other complaint on the web states the same story) In any event, they then told me that they would need to charge us almost $1000 to have this fixed. I said I wanted to speak to their service managers. Every time I am told I could speak to the service manager the same receptionist at the service desk is who is relaying the message that unfortunately they cannot do this for free. I proceeded to remind them that this is a recall and that they should fix it, and that they gave me a lemon. I asked her if she was familiar with the lemon law. No answer. I then for about a couple of weeks back and forth. Finally spoke with a Manager who did not even hear my story, all he did was ask me to hold on, then transfered me back to the receptionist at the Newburgh Nissan who said that we would have to pay. I then said I wanted to speak to a manager immediately. Finally they gave me to a differnt person. Interestingly they have more than one service Manager (either that or they were lying to me). This manager comes on the phone with the attitude that was a clear message to me that they were not going to help.) He said well give me some time to go over the information. I will call you tomorrow morning. Well when I heard that. I told him listen you gave me a lemon. The first day of seeing that car, the car did not start. Guess what they said " Oh its the battery, it will be fine its in great condition, We're going to replace the battery" ( In all honesty I don't know if they truly did that or not) Furthermore, when a few days later I was driving the car the car was acting like it was ready to stall. I could not understand that. I was wondering why a Nissan 2002 from a dealership would drive in this way? So when I saw the recall I told the manager all of this and his attitude was that he would read through this but they do not sell cars in bad condition there at their Nissan Dealership. I told him that I wanted this car fixed and I want it fixed for free because it was their issue they sold me a car with problems. Then I not having any faith in what the manager I just spoke with was going to do, I then called Nissan Consumer Affairs. I placed a complaint. I then received a call from Nissan in Newburgh the next day that they would fix the car (this was due to Nissan Consumer Affairs who said we would receiva a call the next morning). Then when they fixed the recall and its coil issue then my husband received a call from Nissan Consumer Affairs asking if it was fixed. Well he told them that it has been two days since they fixed it and the engine check light is on and now the car is not going up hills. They never called us back. I called the NISSAN CONSUMER AFFAIRS people and left numerous voicemail messages for the REGIONAL contact who refused to call back. That was truly disgusting. And they had the nerve to write in their invoice the following:

C/S CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON FOUND MULITICYLINDER MISFIRE. COIL PACKS ARE DETERIORATED AND BREAKING UP REPLACED ALL 4 SPARK PLUGS AND COIL PACKS VEHICLE RUNNING WELL.

THEY ARE LIARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why is it ironically that the car they sold us CANNOT CLIMB A HILL?!! Guess what NOW MY CAR DOES NOT START!!!! I called the dealership today and asked if they could tow the car to them at their expense. They said no, that it would have to come out of my pocket. We will see about that.

What kind of MECHANICS are working there. In fact I know what they are doing. They are creating many other issues to go wrong so that we have to keep coming back to pay. IF I FIND THAT THIS TO BE SO. BECAUSE I WILL HAVE THIS INVESTIGATED, THEY WILL BE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE THAT THEY WILL HAVE TO CLOSE THIS DEALERSHIP DOWN. They need to take this seriously. In addition I WILL CONTACT EVERY NEWS CORPORATION IN THIS COUNTRY AND CANADA TO EDUCATE THEM AS TO HOW CORRUPT NISSAN IS. They don't even know what customer service is. How about training QUALIFIED MECHANICS!!!! What is going on with all these NISSAN ALITMA 2002 cars? This is unheard of. I will be speaking to Nissan Consumer Affairs tomorrow and I will demand a different car! OR I WILL GET ALL MY MONEY BACK! They will be in court forever. We have enough customers complaining to file a CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT!

I am at my wits end. If Nissan does not fix this car for free and not CREATE some other PROBLEM for me to come back and pay for. They will have to pay me for not having my car available to me all this time. My husband cannot drive the car upstate to his business meetings because we are afraid to drive it. They will be served with LITIGATION if this is not corrected IMMEDIATELY!!. Please see the Nissan Dealership's address and information

NEWBURGH NISSAN INC.

79 ROUTE 17K

NEWBURGH, N.Y. 12550

- , Middletown, NY, USA

problem #1

Nov 062007

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I purchased the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S July 3, 2006. Two weeks having the car my check engine light came on. The code read multi cylinder misfire. I reported it to the Nissan dealer where I purchased the car from and I was told I had to pay for them to look at it, eventhough I just spent $12,500 with them. I took it to my mechanic and he changed the spark plugs out. In February 07 the light came back on and it was the same problem. I got the fuel system cleaned, plugs, and both O2 sensors changed. I then took it to another Nissan dealer to find out why was the code kept coming back. They told me to monitor the coolant because it could be cracked head gasket at 85000 miles. The coolant never went down and the car started to crank but would not start. I took it to the dealer and they could not duplicate the problem for an entire month. They replace coils, plugs, fuel pump, and cleaned for residual from the gas flooded engine. After thinking it over I decided to go ahead and get the head gaskets fixed after 6 weeks at the dealer. 2 weeks after I got that done my car has died on me. Nissan Consumer Affairs was notified twice, BBB was notified, and the dealer where I bought the car from knows about this car. No one wants to help me out on this. I've had the car for 1 year and it needs a new engine. The engine seemed to be defective by all of these problem. There should be a class action lawsuit to protect consumers like me.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

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