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.

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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 3 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #188

Jun 162011

Altima

  • miles

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

2002 Nissan Altima. Unit #1 was westbound on IR80 in the right lane when the engine compartment caught fire. Unit #1 pulled to the right berm and extinguished the flames. According to the police report, the burnt wires were traced to the fuel injection. (Ohio traffic crash report #10-0425-90)

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #187

Jul 072011

Altima

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving approximately 45 mph the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the contacts home. The manufacturer filed report 721-1351 and advised the contact that his vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 06V242000, engine and engine cooling; therefore, they would not assist with the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and the failure mileage was 120,000.

- Vine Grove , KY, USA

problem #186

Nov 012010

Altima

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing recurring engine failures in which the check engine light would illuminate on the instrument panel, the catalytic converter failed, and oil was being consumed excessively. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop on several occasions where numerous repairs were performed on the vehicle. Various repairs were performed on the vehicle, including the replacement of the catalytic converter. The failures continued. The contact was advised to have the engine rebuilt. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, and the contact was informed the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling:exhaust system:manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #185

Jun 112011

Altima

  • 93,535 miles

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

This complaint is a continuation of your investigation PE02078. Nissan only addressed a part of the problem by recalling cat converters. However, this did not solve the problem as the engines were damaged causing excessive oil consumption. The problem is all connected but they didn't replaced the engines which has since been upgraded. Here's a link to the number of complaints even after the recalled parts were replaced (keeping in mind that not everyone makes a report). www.carcomplaints.com/Nissan/Altima/2002/engine/excessive_oil_consumption.shtml Nissan knew that this problem was connected but they only addressed a part of it. As you review the complaints, you will see that their recall did not solve the problem. Some had this excessive oil consumption problem as early as 20-40K miles. I think Nissan should replace the engines, along with a new converter and manifold. If the whole thing is not replaced the problem will continue to repeat itself as one part will cause the other to fail. A new engine for this car is roughly $2900 + taxes, manifold $500 installed, not sure of the cost for the converter. I am not bashing the company, I have owned a Nissan for 16yrs with no problems other than normal wear and tear. Replacing the engine is something they know they should have done but only choose to address a part of the problem. I plead that you investigate this as there are many people upset and angry because they did not get a full and proper resolution from the company. Again this problem is directly related to the previous issue. The debris from the cat gets sucked up into the engine and damages the cylinder wall causing excessive oil consumption and eventual engine failure. I had to refill (not add) my car with oil every 200 miles driven.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #184

Jun 032011

Altima

  • 173,683 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 15 mph the vehicle suddenly stalled. The failure occurred twice. The contact stated the failure also occurred while it was idle. The check engine, battery and oil lights illuminated on the instrument panel when the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. NHTSA recall campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) was related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 173,683.

- Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #183

May 222011

Altima

  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving 25 mph. He was able to immediately restart yet the failure recurred three times. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 07V527000 (engine and engine cooling) and inquired with the dealer to determine if the vehicle was included in the recall. The dealer advised that the vehicle would first need a diagnostic test at the contacts expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact called the manufacturer for assistance who only referred him back to the dealer. The current mileage was 128,138 and the failure mileage was approximately 127,000. Updated 07-06/11 updated 3/1/12

- Greenbelt, MD, USA

problem #182

Sep 102010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles

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

I have a 2002 Nissan Altima, bought new, after 93,000 miles it burns excessive amounts of oil, and coolant. I've taken my car to Nissan dealerships for regular maintenance, recalls, etc. I've taken my car to several mechanics to find out why my car is doing this and a resolution has not been determined. Never have I been informed by Nissan of the issue at hand though it's a known issue. I have read and researched on the NHTSA website as well as other online mechanical forums and have seen multiple results of customers with the same complaint. The resolution for the majority of complaints was to replace the engine due to a catalytic converter recall/failure resulting in damage to the engine, continuously add oil as needed, sell/trade the car. I would like to know if there is a formal investigation that is ongoing or has been resolved. If resolved, what solution(s) have been determined to hold Nissan responsible for lack of informing consumers, not doing more to prevent further engine failure. Will Nissan provide a replacement engine, catalytic converter, and such as needed.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #181

Apr 272011

Altima

  • 126,761 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the check engine light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure but advised that she should contact the dealer because there was a recall related to the failure. The dealer stated that NHTSA recall campaign id number: 07V527000, engine and engine cooling had already been repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 126,761.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #180

Apr 012010

Altima

  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated while attempting to start the vehicle, but the vehicle would not start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who performed a diagnostic test listing the failure within the catalytic converter manifold. The manufacturer would not assist with the repair; because the vehicle warranty expired and it was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 03V084000; engine and engine cooling exhaust system manifold header muffler tail pipe. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current miles were 79,000.

- Owings Mills, MD, USA

problem #179

Apr 012011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Vehicle experiencing some hesitation at speeds of over 40mp but was intermittent. Eventually it would stall frequently at low speeds. Regular mechanic could not diagnose the problem - no engine light. I looked up recalls and found two recalls for my make, year and model. One related to ECM sensor - which caused the stalling. Recall indicates that sensor would be reprogrammed. I took it to Nissan dealer - they reprogrammed it and sent me off on my way. Same day the car was running worse than before - RPM racing and could not get the car over 40 - then it would run ok and then start up again. The stalling continued. I took the car back to the dealer and was told the reprogramming would not fix the problem and would actually cause the car to run worse. I was never told this when I walked out the first time. The car is not safe to drive and the dealer is telling me to look at it they need to charge me $120 plus what ever it cost to fix.

- West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #178

Jan 152011

Altima

  • 110,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While the contact was driving approximately 65 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The warning light remained illuminated until the vehicle was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing and they detected a faulty engine warning indicator. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure continued to occur. The vehicle was taken back to an independent mechanic where the catalytic converter and oxygen sensor were replaced. There was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling: Exhaust system: Manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe). The manufacturer was notified and informed that the vehicle was not eligible because the vehicle exceeded the warranty. The failure mileage was approximately 110,000. ` updated 5/2/11 updated 1/11/11

- Paso Robles, CA, USA

problem #177

Mar 102011

Altima

  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While having the vehicle serviced by an authorized dealer for the check engine light the contact was told that the engine needed to be replaced due to catalytic converter failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact also stated that there were no other signs or any failures other than the check engine light. The failure and current mileage was 133,000.

- Lexington, IN, USA

problem #176

Sep 202010

Altima

  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that when first starting the vehicle, it would drive rough and would sputter abnormally. In addition, the vehicle would stall sporadically without warning. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer several times where they replaced the head gasket, radiator and the timing belt cover but none of the repairs corrected the failure. The contact finally took the vehicle to an independent mechanic and was told that the failure was caused by the crankshaft position sensor. The mechanic advised the contact of NHTSA campaign id number: 07V527000 (engine and engine cooling) but was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not included in the recall. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 72,000 and the current mileage was 76,000.

- Seneca, SC, USA

problem #175

Jun 152010

Altima

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5. while driving approximately 40 mph, the contact applied pressure to the accelerator pedal but the vehicle became resistant to acceleration. The contact stated he was able to drive the vehicle but the vehicle continued to decelerate independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician stated that the catalytic converter would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and stated there was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling: Exhaust system: Manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe) but the contacts VIN was not included. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 03/18/11

- Bethesda , MD, USA

problem #174

Jun 132010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
2002 Nissan Altima has know had to have motor mounts replaced for a second time since purchase of vehicle. Motor mounts seem to be defective.

- Rio Rancho , NM, USA

problem #173

Feb 092010

Altima

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph when he noticed the check engine light illuminate on the instrumental panel, then suddenly the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle within a few minutes. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who stated that the failure was due to the converter. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 85,000.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #172

Jun 012010

Altima

  • 115,000 miles
We have a 2002 Nissan Altima that has about 132xxx miles on it and it is burning oil at about 5 quarts in a week. We have changed the oil regularly prior to this problem starting, which was about 6 months ago. We took it to the dealership and were told we had a catalytic system failure and it was going to cost $900 to fix, then we were told that the engine would have to be replaced costing upwards of $4000. I have looked into this problem and found a ton of other people have had this problem just outside of the "warranty".

- Waterford, WI, USA

problem #171

Aug 152010

Altima

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 06V223000 (engine and engine cooling) for the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs under an updated version of the recall but his vehicle was not included in the expansion. The dealer refused to repair the vehicle under the updated recall. The vehicle was not further repaired at this time. The current and failure mileage was 60,000.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #170

Oct 192010

Altima

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that he took the vehicle to the dealer for the crank shaft position sensor recall, but the repair didn't correct the failure. On October 19, 2010 when he attempted to start the vehicle the crank sensor failed. The dealer was contacted and stated that the failure might be caused by the crank shaft position sensor. The vehicle will be towed to the dealer. Report 69622767 was filed with the manufacturer and stated that they would only pay for NHTSA recall 03V455000, engine and engine cooling repair one time. The contact will be responsible for the repair cost. The failure and the current mileages were 60,000.

- Lexington , KY, USA

problem #169

Jun 092010

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the head gasket was blown. The check engine light had been illuminated fro some time and the contact noticed that the vehicle would shake abnormally at various speeds. The contact, who was a certified mechanic, stated that the head gasket failed due to the catalytic converter failing. In addition, the third cylinder was blown and caused the engine to fail. The dealer advised the contact that the failure was a known issue and was associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling: Exhaust system: Manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe). The contact did not confirm if his vehicle was included in the recall. The contact made repairs to the vehicle himself and replaced the engine. The failure mileage was 140,000 and the current mileage was 148,000. Updated 01/11/2011 updated 04/07/11

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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