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 6 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #128

Nov 102008

Altima

  • 119,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle shut off and struck a guardrail. There were no injuries. The vehicle was able to be restarted; however, it stalled again approximately four times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and is currently being repaired. The vehicle was not included in any recalls. The failure and current mileages were 119,000.

- Alfred, ME, USA

problem #127

Oct 282008

Altima

  • 60,000 miles
2002 Altima began stalling during low speeds triggering check engine light and accompanied by reduced engine power. Diagnostics indicated problem with crank shaft position sensor which was clearly listed under recall. Nissan would not acknowledge recall stating that I needed to have to ECM reprogrammed which would not fix stalling problem but would make the ECM more sensitive to the problem with the csp sensor. Nissan would not perform the ECM reprogram with the check engine light on. Nissan wanted to run a $90 diagnostics test first. I took car to a private mechanic the have crankshaft position sensor replaced with updated factory model. The sensor that was removed was clearly the older flawed model which was under recall.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #126

Jul 182008

Altima

  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle would not stop when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle eventually came to a slow stop and the steering wheel stiffened. The contact turned off the vehicle, but it failed to restart. The failure was diagnosed as the catalytic converter, which needed to be replaced as well as the engine. The failure and current mileages were 81,000.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #125

Jan 032008

Altima

  • 78,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The dealer stated that the contact's VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling:exhaust system:manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe), although the failures were identical. In addition, the contact smells burning oil. The failure mileage was 78,000 and current mileage was 88,000.

- Belden, MS, USA

problem #124

Sep 092007

Altima

  • miles
Oil is consumed at a rate of approx. 1 quart every 200 miles, mechanic has informed me there are no noticable leaks. Around the 80,000 mile mark oil began to run low but the problem has been increasing.

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #123

Sep 032008

Altima

  • 104,000 miles
I went through inspections in Delaware and the car failed for catalytic converter. Engine makes a very loud rattling noise when the oil is too low. I think the car dealer went out of business. Is there anything that can be done?

- Delaware City, DE, USA

problem #122

Mar 062008

Altima

  • 130,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 65 mph, the engine stopped running without warning. The contact made several attempts before the engine finally restarted. The engine was running roughly and the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who stated that the failure was related to the catalytic converter. The vehicle has not been repaired. Recently, the engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and remained lit until the engine was turned off. The failure was similar to the one mentioned in NHTSA campaign id number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling); however, the VIN was excluded from the recall. The failure mileage was 130,000 and current mileage was 131,000.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #121

Sep 252008

Altima

  • miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima has very high oil consumption. Seems that I"M not alone according to the dealer service people. Is costing me a lot in replacing engine and catalytic converter.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #120

Jul 042008

Altima

  • 135,000 miles
I have a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S. My car has 140K miles and I have an impeccable service record and have all of my receipts from every oil change and service I have ever done--almost exclusively at Nissan dealers. A couple of months ago I noticed that my car began burning oil very quickly. It was not leaking oil at all, I just started going through a quart of oil every week. The engine also began to run rough sometimes. So I brought it in to my local Nissan dealer to be fixed. I paid $1200 and they said they fixed the problem (replaced the catalytic converter, etc). However, the car still used a ridiculous amount of oil (but does not leak oil) and runs rough. It now also runs at a high temperature (maxed out on the thermostat) and I get no hot air out of my vents. So I brought it back in to the same Nissan dealer to have them look at it. This time, they tell me that the engine needs to be replaced. I decided to look online for others who have had this problem. I have literally found hundreds (if not thousands) of other people with 2002 Nissan alitma 2.5 engines who have had the exact same problems. It seems that there is a defect in the design of the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S that causes the catalytic converter to fail and then tear apart the engine. This is a design flaw in the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 and has happened to most of the people who have bought this car. Nissan should be responsible for this design flaw in their car and replace the defective engines for all people who bought the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S. It is clearly a design flaw with their car and they should be responsible for fixing this problem. There are thousands of people with this same problem and you need to act now before more consumers are taken by Nissan on this problem!

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #119

Dec 062007

Altima

  • 98,000 miles
Engine light. See service bulleton 06009. NHTSA# 100119613. Cannot diagnose problem. Dealer replaced battery, then wanted to replace ipdm. Had car checked by aaa certified shop. Cannot diagnose problem even though now I am having issues with how car runs. Am afraid car will stall on high way. Several mechanics stated that they believe the dealer is guessing on the diagnosis. No codes except U1000 and U1001 are being stored in computer. I have spent several hundred dollars trying to diagnose problem. This affect all 2002-2006 Nissan. Cars should be recalled before a serious accident occurs.

- Cliffside Park, NJ, USA

problem #118

Sep 022008

Altima

  • 99,359 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 07V527000 (engine and engine cooling) and took the vehicle to the dealer for repair. A technician stated that because his electronic control module already failed, the contact would have to replace the ECM at the cost of $500. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 99,359.

- Socorro, TX, USA

problem #117

Aug 312007

Altima

  • 85,000 miles
I loved the car until recently when I started having problems with the heater. Months ago, I noticed that my heater was not working properly. I took it to be looked at and the mechanic told me that there may be bubbles in the coolant line. They bled the line, refilled it and it was fine for awhile. I have no heat again. They checked and could find no external leaks. This has been a problem for the past year, and every few months I need my coolant replaced and bled. I've gone to numerous mechanics and nobody can find the leak. I've searched many sites and forums and this seems to be a recurring problem for my type of car. The engine is overheating because the coolant is leaking, the car idles rough and is driving w/ higher rpms than it used.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #116

Aug 242008

Altima

  • 85,000 miles
I loved the car until recently when I started having problems with the heater. Months ago, I noticed that my heater was not working properly. I took it to be looked at and the mechanic told me that there may be bubbles in the coolant line. They bled the line, refilled it and it was fine for awhile. I have no heat again. They checked and could find no external leaks. This has been a problem for the past year, and every few months I need my coolant replaced and bled. I've gone to numerous mechanics and nobody can find the leak. I've searched many sites and forums and this seems to be a recurring problem for my type of car. The engine is overheating because the coolant is leaking, the car idles rough and is driving w/ higher rpms than it used.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #115

Aug 042008

Altima

  • 87,000 miles
I own a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5L. I had my car looked at in early 2008 because my heater was not working. The mechanic said the coolant was low but could find no problem so he topped it off and told me to keep an eye on it. In the summer of 2008 I noticed it was going through coolant again. It would also shudder when first started and a foul black smoke would come out of the tailpipe. My mechanic looked at it and said the head gasket was out. So he is replacing the head gasket. He just ordered the parts and his supplier said they were sending out about one a month, which is a lot. They also have a different number, so it looks like they had to change the design of the head gasket. Initial costs put it around $1500. I did internet research and found that this is very common with this car starting around 87,000 miles. The internet also mentioned problem with the pre-cat and oxygen sensors. I feel that a car only 6 years old should not be experiencing these problems. I loved the car until I started having serious engine problems with it.

- Myrtle Creek, OR, USA

problem #114

Jan 012004

Altima

  • 15,000 miles
2002 Nissan Altima 3.5L oil consumption! I have owned the car since 18 miles, I have done oil changes every 3K. I lose almost a quart every 1K miles. I have seen many issues with the vq and still no recall. Please help!

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #113

Aug 082008

Altima

  • 96,764 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 65 mph, the service engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the authorized dealer for a diagnostic and they stated that the catalytic converter failed. The vehicle has not been repaired or driven. The failure was identical to the one mentioned in the recall; however, her VIN was not included. The recall number was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 96,764.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #112

Jul 252008

Altima

  • 104 miles
I have a 2002 Nissan Altima with 105,000 miles. I have no oil leaks, smoke coming out when I drive but my car is consuming a quart or more a week. I have 2 small children and I have contacted Nissan and they said they haven't heard anything. But on car complaints there are several. I am afraid my engine would blow when I am driving.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #111

Jun 252008

Altima

  • 0 miles
I am an owner of a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5L that has recently been told my car is not fit for the road and as the mechanic and sales person told me, is a "ticking time bomb". the car was voluntarily recalled in 2003 by Nissan and I took my car in to have the issue fixed. The issue is that the catalytic converters are too close to the transmission and they heat up and break down the catalyst causing it to spray pieces back into the engine causing it to be dangerous to drive. The representative at Nissan tells me he is "aware of the issue" but my car is now outside of the 80,000 mile warranty and it doesn't matter( I just turned over 100,000). Nissan refuses to address that I did take my car in for the recall and many times after when the sensors went off and the mechanics never mentioned this issue or offered to correct it with the "replacement engine" that Nissan claims they would give the customers who experienced this problem. Are there any other instances when my car's catalytic converter would break into pieces and spray throughout my engine" how long does it take for this to happen" I had a 90,000 mile bumper to bumper maintenance and they charged us around $400 and never mentioned any problem with the catalytic converter. Please help! I haven't had a car to drive in three weeks and I don't know what my next move should be. Stacy olexy, reading, pa.

- West Reading, PA, USA

problem #110

May 012008

Altima

  • 120,000 miles
In late 2007, I would have to start up my 2002 Nissan Altima a couple of times before it would crank up. On the way home one day, as I was getting on the interstate my car shut off at low speed. I reviewed my problem online and found a recall for the exact same problem. I took it in to the dealership thinking that this would be a free fix, nooottt! it just so happens that my VIN was not on the recall. I paid about $300 to fix this problem. This year I have had nothing but problems. Around may I had my engine light to come on. My belt would also start to rattle whenever the car would be stopped in drive with the A/C on. This would not occur when the car was in park or neutral, only in drive. The rattling would go away once the car was moving, but as soon as you stop, there it was again. If you turn the A/C off when you are stopped, the rattling would go away. I took the car to the dealership again. They diagnosed the problem as having to replace a blown head gasket and the front right engine mount. Both were replaced at a cost to me for $1,300. The next day, my engine light comes on again. I took it to the dealership again and this time it was the cat converter with O2 sensor that needed to be replaced. This was fixed for $1,000. Of course my belt rattling problem was not repaired yet. Took the car back again and after spending 2 hours at Nissan talking to the mechanic, he said that tensioner pulley needed to be replaced. After $200, the rattling problem is still there. I am out of ideas of what the problem could be with my car to stop the rattling noise, and I think the mechanic at Nissan feels the same way. By the way, my sister has a 2003 Nissan Altima and her car is the doing the exact same rattling noise. This must be a problem with Nissan and not with individual cars. Please help hold Nissan responsible for all the problems that their cars have!!!!

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #109

Jun 232008

Altima

  • miles
My engine light will not shut off!!!!

- Houston , TX, USA

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