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 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,400 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 11 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

May 012005

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

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

The consumer was driving and heard a loud bang on the passenger side. She exited the vehicle and checked it and everything seemed fine. As they accelerated smoke started coming from the engine. Consumer exited the vehicle and was walking away from it to call for help when it burst into flames.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #27

May 032005

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
Engine shutdown and the car stopped suddenly at 70mph on a highway. Car was restarted but quickly shutdown again when trying to return to highway speed. Managed to pull over, but when trying to shift into park the transmission got stuck in reverse and the car would no longer move. Car had to be towed to dealer and is being looked at. Car has a recent history of stalling 1 second after cold start, including at least once when the car lunged forward as it stalled while still in park. Priot to this shutdown, the dealer was not very cooperative and had only found two settings out of spec in the engine management system and reset them (twice, 2 days apart).

- Chanhassen, MN, USA

problem #26

Oct 142004

Altima

  • miles
No collision- while driving the vehicle made a large noise and suddenly everything shut down.the engine was on fire and we had car towed. Car needs complete new engine. Two different auto shops said they had no idea what could have caused this. Car had always been properly maintained. Nissan was notified and came to take pictures of car in November 2004. Has been under "legal review" ever since and company has been less than cooperative when we've tried to contact them numerous times, so we've contacted an attorney.

- Cranberry Township, PA, USA

problem #25

Dec 162003

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

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

Engine had a clicking sound. There was noise when vehicle accelerated. Then, pedal was loose, and engine was hard to start.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #24

Oct 162004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Attempted to have an oil change done by wal-mart. They informed me that they are no longer authorized to change the oil on the 2002 Nissan Altima vehicle due to the dip sticks breaking off in many of the cars they have serviced.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #23

Jul 152004

Altima

  • 14,200 miles
While driving vehicle stalled. Dealership repaired the problem once, but problem recurred.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #22

Aug 222004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,500 miles

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

(1) my 2002 Nissan Altima shutters and dies when being driven at low rpms. I.e.(heavy traffic, or stopping at a traffic light). (2) it shuts completely off when in motion. (3) I had the vehicle serviced last week, for this problem, and it's back at the shop again today for the same problem. I tried to explain that there was a related recall issue, but kevin at urban Nissan in duncanville told me that according to his system, there were no recall issues for my car.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #21

Feb 262002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
Recall 03V084000 concerning engine coolant. Consumer claimed that vehicle consumed too much oil. Dealer claimed that vehicle should not use more than 1 quart of oil per 5000 miles, even though the recall was done. Consumer felt that vehicle was still using too much oil.

- Bay Shore, NY, USA

problem #20

May 132004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
I purchased a 2002 nisaan Altima and have had many problems with it since. It has been in twice already for the heater not working properly. It blows cold air when car is at idle below 2500 RPM. It was taken in twice and temporalily fixed. This problem has recurred for the third time. Also the enigine would run rough and sometimes stall, this was initially recalled as a bad engine crank sensor. I had it in a second time where they replaced the crank sensor again. The same eveining when I got home the service engine light came on again and I contacted the service agent twice without any resolution. Now the car is doing the same thing again for the third time. In addition to these repetiative problems the car now smokes when it is started, it also is rough starting. At the last oil change the vehicle was down 2 1/2 quarts of oil. The oil changes have been performed on a regular basis between 3000 and 4000 miles every time. The car would not even start approximately one week ago, I had to take out the spark plugs and clean them because they were so fouled out the car wouldn't start. The car has just over 43000 miles and the last incidents that are third time offenders along with the spark plugs being fouled have transpired after the warranty expired of course.

- Macomb Township, MI, USA

problem #19

May 062004

Altima

  • 33,186 miles
While driving engine warning light illuminated. Vehicle jerked forward heavily. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Goodwater, AL, USA

problem #18

May 052004

Altima

  • 45,000 miles

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

While driving 55 mph vehicle stalled. Consumer had the vehicle towed. Dealership repaired the problem twice, but problem was not resolved.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #17

May 202003

Altima

  • 25,000 miles
Intermittently while trying to start the vehicle, it would take an extremely long time. The consumer claimed that black smoke blew from the tail pipe. The dealer has examined the vehicle three times for this problem.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #16

May 192004

Altima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,575 miles
Service engine light has come on seven times. The engine has shut off for no apparent reason four times. Total the car has been in for service nine times. Two recalls have been issued one for the crank position sensor (which I was never notified of) and now one regarding gas tank ice crystals (received my notification 5/20/04). Both of these problems can cause a "crash without warning." I have worked with the BBB autoline, however since the car has not shut off since the crank position sensor was replaced the arbitrator believes that the "most serious problem" has been remedied and that the check engine light while "being a chronic problem, does not substantially affect the use, safety, or value of the vehicle." I have only driven the vehicle 14,711 miles in two years because I am afraid to drive it, thus use has been affected. I have almost been in two accidents as a result of the vehicle's problems, this safety has been affected. Carfax is showing six negative reports on my VIN number, (the service that car dealers use to help determine if the vehicle has had problems such as major accidents, lemon law vehicle, etc.), therefore, no one would even be interested in purchasing my vehicle, so value has been affected. Even after the crank position sensor was replaced the car's check engine light has come on four more times. Nissan is unable to diagnose/remedy the problem and refuses to give me a refund on the vehicle. I have been in two near accidents as a direct result of these problems. I believe that the problems will reoccur and I will not be so lucky next time. I am pursing this with the state of Florida's lemom law arbitration board. This vehicle is a danger to myself and all other on the road.

- Casselberry, FL, USA

problem #15

May 042004

Altima

  • miles
While driving at any speed vehicle stalled, causing the driver to drift off the road. Consumer towed the vehicle to the dealership for inspection, and mechanic was not able to duplicate the problem.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #14

Mar 042004

Altima

  • miles
After the crank position sensor weld recall was performed, the check engine light came on. The vehicle was taken back to the dealership, but they were unable to correct the problem.

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Apr 202004

(reported on)

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Consumer received her third recall notice since ownership. The vehicle experienced engine failure. The engine sensor kit and the ECU case holder foam recalls were replaced. The consumer requested compensation for one month's car payment. Recall #03V455000.

- Lumberton, NJ, USA

problem #12

May 032004

Altima

  • miles
Consumer stated while traveling on the highway at approximately 65 mph motor lost power. Consumer pulled to the shoulder until the vehicle came to a complete stop. Also, consumer waited for a few minutes and then restarted the vehicle. Consumer checked the fluids. After everything checked out okay, he then drove the vehicle home. Two days later, consumer took the vehicle to the dealer, and he told them what had happened. Also, consumer called the insurance company to report the incident. He was told to report it to the manufacturer, and found out there was a recall on this problem. Consumer asked them to replace the motor, and they refused.

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 202004

(reported on)

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Consumer unable to get recall work done on her vehicle. The parts were not available. Recall 03V455000.

- Whitehouse, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 012003

Altima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles
I was driving from mi to il on the day before my starting my new job in Illinois. Thirty miles out from my destination, the engine shuts down as I was driving approximately 60 mph. I was able to pull off the road safely and wait over two hours for a tow truck. The dealer claims the mass air flow (maf) sensor was at fault. Although the maf sensor was replaced, I don't believe it was the component that disabled the vehicle on this date. The engine shutdown without first going into "limp" mode. This is exactly what is described in the recall for the crank position sensor (cps). At the time of the incident, there was an open recall on the cps. I did not have it replaced prior to my drive because I did not receive notification. The cps was replaced at the same time as the maf. What prompts this complaint is the maf sensor. The vehicle is now on the third maf. The first one was replaced on 8/2003. The second maf was replaced on 1/14/2004, which lasted less than six months. The failure mode for the first maf sensor allowed warning: The engine did not shut off, but instead limited the engine speed to 2500rpm. Fortunately, both maf sensors were covered under an extended warranty. In addition to maf sensors and open recalls, my vehicle has a new ECM and throttle body (iacs). My extended warranty has since expired, and I am currently working with Nissan in getting a new extended warranty out of goodwill for these problems experienced in the less than two years I have owned this Nissan. My previous vehicles were Ford products, and I have never experienced problems with those as I have with this Nissan. I am currently having difficulty in having Nissan returning my communication.

- Dunlap, IL, USA

problem #9

May 232002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,400 miles
Multiple problems with recall service work not correcting the malfunction the recall is supposed to correct. Specifically of concern NHTSA campaign id numbers : 03V455000 & 03V084000 & 03V251000. Not receiving recall notices by manufacturer or being informed by Nissan service dept. I have since contacted Nissan Corp Consumer Affairs but received no resolution or suggestions. Problems with engine performance, excessive exhaust, and strong burning smell are still present along with service engine soon light remaining on. Have taken vehicle to service department for over 6 visits in last 5 months - vehicle is still at service dept. I have been told the vehicle was safe to drive over these past months while these problems persisted. I asked for a loaner vehicle or to have transportation to get my vehicle to the dealership but was declined any help - even though id # 03V084000 Nissan recall notice states it should be offered free of charge if customer makes this request. I am greatly concerned for the safety of myself and my family and am scared to drive this vehicle any further. My local Nissan service dept (pine belt Nissan automotive) and Nissan Consumer Affairs has not addressed my concerns and have failed to correct this problem that has existed for months. Vehicle has had reduced power, hesitation, pulling and vibration, excessive exhaust and an increasingly strong burning smell from engine shortly after vehicle is started.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

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