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:
3 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,816 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 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #124

May 082009

Altima

  • 98,000 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 crank position sensors keep failing in her vehicle. In 2004, the dealer repaired the vehicle according to NHTSA campaign id number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The contact is the second owner of the vehicle and the dealer stated that she would have to pay $300 to repair the failure again. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Colorado Springs , CO, USA

problem #123

Mar 122009

Altima

  • miles
One month ago oil light went on, checked oil and low. Mechanic said the oil was not leaking, yet we were losing oil every 100 miles. Went to Nissan for diagnostic check and they said the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S, 80,000 miles needs catalytic converter and engine.researched on www.carcomplaints.com and many complaints for the same year and model has had the same problem. According to the research this defect can cause a engine fire.

- W. Babylon, NY, USA

problem #122

Mar 052009

Altima

  • 81,145 miles
The car, Nissan 2002 Altima 2.5S, would stall without warning while driving. This was starting to happen on a regular basis during the first week of March 2009. Nissan replaced the crank & cam sensors. They stated they weren't covered under any Nissan safety recall.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #121

Mar 202009

Altima

  • 80,000 miles

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

Major oil consumption at 80,000 miles.

- Indpls, IN, USA

problem #120

Feb 032009

Altima

  • 93,000 miles
The cam chain tensioner in the Nissan motors vq35de and vq40de are prone to failure after the warranty expires resulting in thousands of dollars in repairs. Nissan has revised the parts to prevent the failure from happening but those parts are only installed afterthe failure has occurred. The cost to have this done prior to failure is very high. Surely Nissan should have done something to prevent this from happening before putting these motors into production...

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #119

Mar 132009

Altima

  • 127,000 miles
Catalytic converter failure, head gasket failure; engine and catalytic converter must be replaced.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #118

Feb 222007

Altima

  • 92,000 miles

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

2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S excessive oil consumption began around 92K miles. This vehicle has always had timely oil changes, suddenly the car was low on oil. The car was brought to the Nissan dealership in smithtown, NY on 2/22/07, and I was informed that it needed a new engine and that there wasn't anything else that could be done. The catalytic converter was ordered on 2/23/07 (this was back-ordered). The catalytic converter was replaced on 3/13/07, approx. $600. Now the car needs another catalytic converted and the engine is consuming several courts of oil a week. There are many people with the same car that have all experienced this sudden excessive oil consumption. The are other Altima years that had this same problem and that were recalled but Nissan has not done that for the 2002 model. It is widely know that it was due to the oil rings and the faulty pre-cats and exhaust manifolds. This car needs approx. $8K is repairs in order to stop burning oil and to correct the emissions. Nissan should be responsible for these faulty parts in these cars, in all the years that they effected.

- Coram, NY, USA

problem #117

Feb 202009

Altima

  • 144,700 miles
Recently traveling to nc and the car lost power and won¿T start. The service engine soon light engaged constantly and the car burns oil with no engine leaks. I purchased brand new manual transmission 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5. the vehicle shifted very hard when purchased and clutch went straight to floor after 1 month. Took car to Nissan dealer on three occasions and they could find nothing wrong. Took it to an independent mechanic and he said the pressure plate was bad and I had to replace the entire clutch assembly in Aug. 2006 at 115K miles ($850). Theo2 sensor was replaced prior to the recall, had it replaced under the recall, and it's still crap! to boot, the gear shift assembly broke within 6 months of purchase, and Nissan recalled. Their ¿fix¿ broke too. I was told that I¿ll have to pay to have their ¿resolution¿ fixed because it's not under warranty. Since that time, between 6/08 and 11/08, I have replaced the radiator, oil cooler, all motor mounts, fan belts, driver's axle, power steering box, valve cover gasket ($7K worth of work). Car currently has about 145K miles and I believe the car is just a lemon. I have always driven Nissan, but now declare it will be my last one. I don't have another $5K to put in to catalytic converters, sensors or an engine. Don¿T think so. Nissan needs to step up and take care of these issues.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #116

Sep 182008

Altima

  • miles
Car is sucking up oil makes noise and engine light is always on.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #115

Jan 102009

Altima

  • 115,000 miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima's check engine light came on. The car started running sluggish, and totally ran out of oil! mechanic said I needed a new engine. I bought one - and that one went on the fritz two days after fixing it. The diagnostics test said it was an O2 sensor. It ran out of oil. Now I find out the car is a lemon, after I bought a new engine to boot. Two engines are ruined in this car, and I still don't have it paid for.

- Greenville, MI, USA

problem #114

Sep 042008

Altima

  • 129,000 miles

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

New 2002 Altima, well maintained, buying Nissan since 1992 receiving mileage over 260,000 miles. Looking back car constantly low on oil w/no light registering then light never came back on for 3 years, yet oil was always low. Checking oil every 2 weeks and every oil change at dealership-oil low at tip of the dip stick. Had car serviced-no indication of problems; September the car smelled hot; not registering or showing any signs of it running hot. Car constantly not starting, stalling as driving along the road. Go to dealership, need a motor replaced, warped head gasket cost $4,000 plus dollars. The dealership owner asked how many cars has come in (Altima 2002) per mechanic several hundreds for the motor and/or radiator problems (replacing motors). He has ordered a large number of Nissan motors from the company to replace the engines. Owner was surprised of this motor having to be replaced and has kept my car in storage until I can afford to replace the motor. He will also follow up on a recall for the engines with that many cars being repaired. This has changed my mind on purchasing another Nissan product because of the rudeness when reporting the problems to their customer affairs department and nothing can be done (per the rep). This need to take some priority with the number of issues reported as complaints on all the websites. II have found 114 here plus one more 115 plus I have about 30 other complaints and then the report that the dealership has fixed over 200 cars. Please help us get our money and/or engines repaired. With the stalling and shut down of the motors, thanks to god the low death rates. Car is still in storage at the dealership when it stalled on route 29 interstate.

- Amherst, VA, USA

problem #113

Dec 292008

Altima

  • 128,000 miles
Nissan claims that they have fixed their recalls but car stalled on a hwy where speed limit was 70 my family & myself could have got killed. I paid 1100 dollars to fix it. Engine light was back on did oil change car keeps burning oil every day I have to check it and add oil then they tell me I need a new engine have called over 50 times & left messages they tell me they can not give me a new engine but this is an on going problem & they know about it. There are a lot of people with this car & same problem they need a new engine & no one is doing anything about it. They should give them a new engine for free because they manufacture these cars wrong & are still manufacturing cars with problems then they wonder why people aren't buying there cars. This is a safety issue to anyone who owns this car & until people start getting killed they won't due anything about it. Have spent a lot of money trying to fix this lemon. They also tell you that you need a catalytic converter. Is it going to take several death please someone do something immediately. All my recalls are up to date so this is not the problem.

- Reidsville , NC, USA

problem #112

Jul 192007

Altima

  • 78,785 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact was experiencing engine failure. He noticed a silent recall on the Nissan website. The manufacturer stated that they would not take liability for the repairs due to the fact that he was not the original owner, although his VIN was included in the recall. The engine was replaced at the cost of $3,000, but with less than 2,500 miles, the engine failed again. The contact heard a ticking sound when the vehicle was in motion and it was burning oil at rapid speeds. The manufacturer performed an oil consumption test and found that the engine was faulty. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure mileage was 78,785 and current mileage was 97,000.

- Byron Center, MI, USA

problem #111

Feb 022009

Altima

  • 80,000 miles
I have an 02 Nissan Altima. It is consuming my oil and anitfreeze. I was told that I needed a new engine and a new cat. My car randomly dies and will not start most of the time.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #110

Jan 082009

Altima

  • 179,000 miles
Power valve screws fell into the intake manifold plate on 2002 Nissan Altima 2002 nissian Altima 2.5 stalled on the highway. Car had been idling very rough and engine vibration as well as intermittent power loss 24 hours prior to issue. Took it to two independent mechanics. Both confirmed that the pvc value screw fell intake manifold. This was also confirmed by Nissan. However it was only recalled on the 2004-2006 models. It just so happens that Nissan had to replace my engine on my vehicle in 2004, therefore my car should be included in the recall but because my call is 02 Nissan will not cover the problem. 2002 models need to be included in the recall.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #109

Feb 102005

Altima

  • 32,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the check engine warning indicator would continuously illuminate. The dealer could not determine why the indicator continued to illuminate and stated that there was rust around the fuel tank. On a separate occasion, the engine began to make a knocking sound and the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. It was determined that the knocking noise originated from the overhead cam component of the engine. There was no oil in the vehicle, although the contact maintained regular maintenance and oil changes every 3,000 miles. His VIN was not included in any of the recalls that described the same failures he experienced (NHTSA campaign id numbers 03V455000 and 03V455000). The failure mileage was 32,500 and current mileage was 86,600.

- Oxford, NY, USA

problem #108

Jan 102009

Altima

  • 126,846 miles
Well maintained 2002 Nissan Altima.... followed all maintenance schedules, had all recalls performed all work performed at Nissan dealerships. Has had continual oil consumption issues, had heat issues, catalytic converter failure leading to full engine failure. Nissan denies any wrong doing and will not help due to mileage on the car. However this problem started well within the warranty period and the dealership(s) did not do let us know about a known problem with the design (catalytic converter in front of the exhaust). There are 1000 of consumers on the internet with the exact same problem.

- Hummelstown, PA, USA

problem #107

Jul 152007

Altima

  • 72,000 miles
I have a 2002 Altima 2.5 standard. I bought the car in July 2007 with 72,000 miles and had a misfire reading from the time I bought it till I replaced the head gasket and got some head work done on the car. Mileage now totals at nearly around 110,000 miles. Nissan looked at my car all the way for any problems and I had a few recalls done on it including replacing the headlamps. Little did I know when I had my mechanic (non-Nissan mechanic later on from my dealer visit) replace the head gasket ( w/valve guides and oil rings) for $1600 that my front engine fan was unplugged near the headlamps which had caused some really bad overheating issues. My cat is bad (via a engine code) which I have yet to replace as I see no need to at this point... also my car has been eating up more than 1 quart of oil per week as I drive over 460 miles a week as a commuter to dallas, tx. At this point the option would be to either re..re-build the engine or replace with a new very expensive engine nothing that I have already spent too much money on this car.

- Waxahachie, TX, USA

problem #106

Dec 202008

Altima

  • 85,139 miles
We own a 2002 Nissan Altima S 2.5 liter engine. We had a recall due to the exhaust pipe hanger pin possibly igniting with the main catalyst. After that was dealt with, the dealer charging me $80.81, said the engine noise and check engine light is due to faulty catalytic converter. The conversion efficiency of the pre-catalyst has deteriorated and now the catalyst has to be replaced. There is no heat when the car is at idle and now have increased oil consumption, 5 quarts every 2 weeks. Because of the amount of damage a new engine may be in the picture. There are only 85000 miles on the car. We do not have the money for a new engine or even catalytic converter. What should we do to get Nissan to fix their faulty catalytic converter/engine problem? Nissan is not standing behind their product! we aren't talking about buying a gallon of milk! we are driving a car that could possibly start on fire while we are in it! search "Nissan catalytic converter"; car and driver Altima catalytic converter failure and www.canadiandriver.com/articles/cc/02-06altima.htm the complaints are numerous please reply with what recourse we have.

- Hinckley, OH, USA

problem #105

Nov 052008

Altima

  • 119,197 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the dealer repaired the vehicle according to NHTSA campaign id numbers 07V527000 (engine and engine cooling) and 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling:exhaust system:manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe). Two weeks later, the catalytic converter failed and went into the wall of the engine, which caused the engine to crack. The dealer stated that the repair would cost $6,000. The contact was unsure if the recall was the cause of the failure and if assistance could be provided. The failure mileage was 119,197.

- Clermont, FL, USA

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