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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,615 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Nov 062013

Altima

  • 121,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 121,000.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #30

Sep 282013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S has around 70K miles on it and so far had been running very well until very recently, when the service engine light turned on last weekend. Within a day or two, the car started running a little rough. A few days ago the car showed low oil pressure light on the dash board. When I checked for the engine oil level, there was barely any oil left. I immediately put 5 qts of mobile full synthetic oil and took it to the Nissan dealership in denville, NJ. There I got a shocker that the catalytic convertor of my car got sucked into the engine and furthermore some of that material was bracing against the cylinder walls. It was the reason why my car was running rough sometimes and burning oil. I was further told that the only fix to this problem is to replace both the engine as well as the catalytic convertor. Job cost was estimated to be around $6000 to $6500. The dealership furthermore warned me about the fire hazard or engine seizure due to overheating. With some investigation I found a nhsta recall on my generation of Altima-NHTSA campaign# 03V084000. In order to seek further help in this regards, I opened up a case with Nissan motors usa- case # 12257145. I got a callback from the regional representative on Thursday- 10/10/2013 where I was told that my VIN did not qualify for a recall which had been issued by Nissan earlier. I asked her about the nhsta campaign for my car, for which she asked me to hold on to the car for a few more days, before they could resolve the issue. On, 10/14/2013 I got a call from the same representative and this time I was given a different answer stating that although the catalytic convertor has a warranty of 80,000 miles but it is for only 8 yrs. I do not qualify for the warranty, because although I drove very less, but still my car is 10+yrs old. She further told me that Nissan will not bare any expense on my car.

- Leonia, NJ, USA

problem #29

Oct 082012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 14,300 miles
Spark plug benting.

- Hollandale, MS, USA

problem #28

Aug 202013

Altima

  • 86,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact stated that after a few attempts, the engine finally started but idled roughly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the cam shaft sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 86,000.

- Bergenfield, NJ, USA

problem #27

Aug 192013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle has a defective catalytic converter that goes bad very quickly which results into junk being sucked into the engine. Eventually the engine gets blown or burns oil at an alarming rate. Everyone with the 2002 Nissan Altima has this problem and Nissan refuses to accept responsibility and make a recall. Nissan simply charges us thousands to replace the engine multiple times which of courses does not fix the problem.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #26

Jul 262013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 135 miles
I was driving my car to work while I was driving to the I 95 highway by pembroke rd there was a big metal stuff on the lane I was I couldn't go nowhere because the highway was busy didn't want to get into an accident therefore I drove into that metal stuff and hit under my car now my car don't start I don't have now way to go to work and didn't know what to do I called towing to towning my car I did not know I should police on the first place that's real suck they should have people to clean the highway I have a picture of the thing and I took it on the highway.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #25

Jun 272013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 33,000 miles

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

On 6/27/2013 I was driving about 30 mph per hour. The car engine shuts off abruptly and I loss all power to the car. I was stuck and the cars behind me almost hit me from behind. I put the hazards on and tried to start the car. I sat for about 5 minutes, put the car in neutral and it started then shut off again. In previous years I had to start the car in neutral but it never shut off while in motion until today,6/27/2013 and the service soon engine light came on and also the tcs, slip. I am now seeing that there is a recall. Can you please help me to get Nissan to fix this problem because this is a hazard and there is a recall. Thank you. I will also call Nissan again and report this problem, and I hope that they fix this problem because I could have been injured also others and there is a product recall on the crankshaft, timing control sensors, etc...why was a product recall notice not mailed to me about this serious defect/ problem?

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #24

Jun 082011

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that after having the vehicle serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling), the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 122,000.

- Conroe , TX, USA

problem #23

Apr 302013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
My car is using 2 to 3 quarts of oil about every 200 to 300 miles. I've been putting the best oil in it along with getting the oil changed regularly.

- Columbia, KY, USA

problem #22

May 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the crank position sensor would have to be repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) but was advised that the VIN was not included in the recall campaign. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 89,000.

- Randelstown, MD, USA

problem #21

Apr 012013

Altima

  • 173,000 miles

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

The Nissan Altima 2002 has muffler recalls people can get killed with the smoke, all Altima has missfire problems can get killed while driving, electrical recalls please do something or are they paying you so you don't do nothing "????????"

- Takoma Park, MD, USA

problem #20

Nov 182011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100,351 miles
The check engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle would also stall while driving at various speeds and would often hesitate to start while parked. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the crank shaft and the cam shaft position sensors would have to be replaced. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) that could have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the VIN was not included in the recall. Also my car is loosing coolant and don't know where the cooling is going, took it to Nissan they don't have a clue either. Also I sometime smell gas when the car start up after a long stall crank.

- North Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #19

Jan 112013

Altima

  • 110,000 miles
After one of my regularly scheduled oil changes I noticed that my oil light flickered. Checked the dip and noticed I was extremely low in oil. It had been about 400miles since the last oil change. A quart every 100 miles. No smoke from the exhaust, no leak when parked so I bring it to a mechanic. Notified me that its possibly my catalytic converter which will cost $2K since this model has 2 or it could be the engine running a total of $3K to $6K for the engine and install plus the $2K for the converters making the grand total of $5K to $8K. Did some research and it is looking like these cars are notorious for the converters and ultimately the demise to the engine. Any suggestions would be helpful. College and broke.

- Savage, MN, USA

problem #18

Jan 072013

Altima

  • 136,000 miles
Car was purchased almost two years ago, used. It drove well and any maintenance showed the car in great shape until recently. The engine started making a rattling noise. I took it to a mechanic to find that the car was extremely low on oil, which had never been an issue and oil changes done on schedule. The car now goes through about one quart of oil per two weeks. I was told the car would need a new engine. No warning lights appeared while driving to indicate that there was an issue with the engine or the low oil.

- Charleston, IL, USA

problem #17

Aug 232012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
Car was being driven at approximately 35 mph when it stopped running. Diagnosis: The cam position sensors were bad and needed replacement (replaced 2 sensors). The check engine light remains illuminated after replacing the sensor with parts obtained from the dealer. There is a recall on vehicle which was never fulfilled, however, Nissan claims it does not affect my vehicle.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #16

Jan 222012

Altima

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while parked, the check engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle would also stall while driving at various speeds and would often hesitate to start while parked. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the crank shaft and the cam shaft position sensors would have to be replaced. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) that could have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #15

Nov 142012

Altima

  • 85,316 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle exhibited a strange noise as smoke began to bellow from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis. The dealer informed him that bits and pieces of the catalytic converter were becoming caught in the engine. He was informed of a recall for the failure under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling:exhaust system:manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe) but was also informed that his VIN was not included in the recall campaign. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 85,316.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #14

Dec 292012

Altima

  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while traveling 65 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was able to be moved to the shoulder where it was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was inspected by a private mechanic but he was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the issue. The failure and current mileages were 170,000. The VIN was not available.

- Ashbor, NC, USA

problem #13

May 122012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 137,553 miles
The car has an unusual oil consumption related to catalytic converter problems seems like. It is too many owners of this car having the same issue and base on their information there is not accountability from Nissan. This issue must be investigated by the authorities and enforce the quality material from Nissan for these car parts (catalytic and engine). This could be a hazard issue for possible fire or undesired gases on lungs and/or environment. Nissan must accept their wrong doing and responsibility for this poor quality materials and technology sell by them in our country. We must be protect from this cheap companies products without any work ethical. If you check www.carcomplaints.com you can find over 200 complaints about Nissan abusing people for the same matter. You also can see how in Canada there is an organization who protected the consumer and was able to get a fully refund of the customer money. Thank you so much. And let justice reins.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #12

Aug 122009

Altima

  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that he received notification of NHTSA campaign id number 03V084000(engine and engine cooling: Exhaustsystem: Manifold/ header/ muffler/ tail pipe ) and took the vehicle to the dealer for recall service. Several years later, the engine failed without warning. The contact stated that because of an oil consumption issue with the vehicle, excessive smoke would blow out of the exhaust pipe. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection where they advised that the head gasket was blown. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and stated that the engine did not need replacing and that they had honored their end of the recall campaign agreement. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Pheonix, AZ, USA

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