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 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #104

Nov 292004

Altima

  • 45,000 miles

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

1.the year 2004 thanksgiving I was driving home from la, baton rouge when my heat wouldn't come on. I got it fixed but was the knob to the control would only turn 3/4 of the way or it wouldn't work. Then when the spring came and I used my A/C it didn't work. I took it in and when I went to pick it up they said I would have to have it on max in order for it to work properly. 2. as of 2006 to current my car jerks and runs out of oil often and now I need to put at least 4 quarts every week. The check engine light comes on at lease once a week. 3. I take it into my mechanic to check to see what the problem could be and doesn't see a leak, burning oil it just consumes it. I get all the necessary car "medical" check up's and the car still eats oil, jerks and continues to give me panic attacks as I drive to and from work. My mechanic and I have detailed logs of how many times they've put in oil or I have purchased and put it in myself along with any additional work.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #103

Nov 292008

Altima

  • miles
Nissan na made some preventive changes to the 2002 Nissan Altima as requested to by law. However the changes Nissan na made were not sufficient nor successful. It appears that the preventive service Nissan provided has only prolonged the outcome. Thousands of 2002 Nissan Altima owners are currently experiencing oil consumption problems with a direct relation to a failure in the catalyst converter. After inspection of the catalyst converter noticeable chucks of the catalyst converter are missing. Nissan na is very aware of the problem and they are selectively fixing some consumers vehicles. If the consumers vehicle is outside their power train warranty Nissan na refuses to assist the consumer with fixing the problem. Safety should not be limited to a percentage of miles or to a period of time.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #102

Mar 162002

Altima

  • miles
Like thousands of other 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 owners, Nissan has left every one of us hanging out there and all they can recommend is to replace the engine. Nissan created this problem and is very aware of the oil consumption, catalytic converter break up and oxygen sensor failure. Then there is the excessive oil consumption and let's not forget the hard starting and failure to start. I will not buy another Nissan again and it disgusts me that Nissan is washing its hands of these issues. I could understand their reluctance to look any further if there were only a handful of owners with this problem but there are thousands and we are all fed up with the way Nissan has handled the issues. They knew after they rolled out the 2002 Nissan Altima, it had issues but they have buried their heads in the sand. Whenever you call Nissan direct, they just blow you off and all the dealerships can recommend is a new engine. They are treating their customers as if they are stupid. It annoys me the facade Nissan is putting on and treating any Nissan Altima customer as if they are the only one with a "lemon" which needs a new engine. My Nissan has done 145,000 miles and should not need a new engine after years of regular maintenance. Nissan issued a recall in Dec 2006 when I think they knew they had a problem. They did not replace the oxygen sensors at that time. They just checked them. If you want to read more reports like this go to www.mycarstats.com, which is where I got the link to send you this complaint. I would appreciate if the NHTSA would at least investigate what is happening to all 2002 Nissan Altima. Did I mention that my "engine service light" has been on for over a year - since the last time it went into a Nissan dealership. I rest my case.N

- Batavia, OH, USA

problem #101

Oct 102008

Altima

  • 68,000 miles

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

Nissan Altima 2002 oil consumption problem. Problem can lead to car fire. Dealership admitted to defect in engine. See: forums.automotive.com/70/1106267/Nissan/2002-Nissan-Altima-oil-dropping-at-108000miles-I-w/index.html. I had to pay $5,000 for a new engine.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #100

Oct 082008

Altima

  • miles
Excessive oil consumption in my Nissan Altima 2002 model. When I contacted the local Nissan dealer, he says that the problem is because of the catalytic converter being sucked into the engine and the engine might blow up any time. And they are asking $6000 for fixing the vehicle. This is totally sucking the customer of anything that one can live off even. As a small family with meager earnings, this is going to hit our family in a major way as this kind of spend is not something we can afford. This problem is being faced by thousands of other Altima owners also. Request the government to help us out immediately.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #99

Jun 012008

Altima

  • 74,987 miles
I own a 2002 Nissan Altima which is exhibiting the symptoms very typical with 100's of other Altima owners. One month ago the check engine light came on, engine is consuming large quantities of oil, power is sluggish especially at startup, coolant is being consumed etc. Took the car in to the dealer and the fault code was for faulty catalytic converter. Dealer suggests complete replacement of long block. Since the recall (ntb03-070C) had been done on my car a few years ago, previous to me owning the car, they are "no longer responsible for the recall". seems unfathomable that so many owners are experiencing the same problem and no definite action is being taken from Nissan or being forced to be taken from the government oversight.

- Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA

problem #98

Jul 152006

Altima

  • 90,000 miles

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

Nissan Altima 2.5 2002 in 2006 my car was using 2 or 3 quarts of oil every three thousand miles. Luckily my car was still under warranty, but Nissan and the Nissan dealership were very reluctant to provide help. Finally after months of testing, ten trips to the dealership, calls to corporate, and a trip to the dealership with my father, they finally replaced my engine. They would not, however, tell me exactly what the problem was and why the engine had to be replaced. Now, two years later, I am facing the exact same problems. The dealership says I need a new catalytic converter and new O2 sensor. Another one thousand dollars! after researching this car and others who are facing the same problems I am convinced Nissan should take responsibility and a recall should be mandatory. Thank you for your help.

- Dunlap, TN, USA

problem #97

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 #96

Feb 242008

Altima

  • 99,000 miles
Bought my 2002 Altima new in may \'02. The car has received all major and minor services, oil changes, and recalls through a Nissan dealership. Recently the service engine light came on. The dealer said there was an ongoing head gasket leak that had gone undetected paired with a sound from the timing chain that indicated it was soon to go. Recommendation: Engine replacement. Mind you, the car was in this Nissan dealership a month prior for a routine minor service and 2 weeks prior to this \"diagnosis\" for a recall. Nothing was indicated on either occasion. After pleading, the dealership submitted to Nissan a proposal for them to cover the cost (which was denied by Nissan head quarters) then Nissan approved a 50/50 compensation (me paying 1/2 and Nissan paying 1/2) I then opened a claim with Nissan\'s regional office in the hopes that they would cover the cost but was told that the 50/50 offer was the best they could do.. damage resulting = a new engine was quoted at approx: $3500. I ended up paying 1700 pre-taxed out of my pocket.

- Smithtown , NY, USA

problem #95

Aug 232008

Altima

  • 96,000 miles
My Nissan Altima has gone through 2 catalytic converts and is burning 2 quarts of oil every 100 miles.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #94

Sep 142008

Altima

  • 98,401 miles

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

I have a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S model, the car started to use excessive amounts of oil and coolant. Took car to a Nissan dealer and the service dept. Told me I need a new engine and without having the service dept. Disassemble the engine they can't determine what the failure of is. This car only has 98K on it and is and was taken very good care of. I've heard of others who own Nissan Altima having the same symptoms and problems. The Nissan dealer told me there is nothing they or Nissan of America can or will do. I know that Nissan has had problems and they will not do anything to help.

- Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #93

Sep 012008

Altima

  • miles
Constant problem with a misfire#4 in a 2002 Nissan Altima. I have replaced the spark plug, coil, and injector. Same problem. Also noticed a high volume of oil consumption. No one can seem to fix the problem. Shakes during a cold our hot start. Smoothes out then the car runs fine. Dealer is saying it passed the pressure test but is saying I need a new motor.

- Missouri City, TX, USA

problem #92

Aug 282008

Altima

  • 90,270 miles
I bought a used 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 sl 2 months ago. I took it to Nissan service center 2 times for in 2 months for oil change. Last time I got "engine check soon " icon so I asked to do diagnostic engine check and required repair. They did it and said coolant level is low and engine cap is leaking pressure so need to replace the radiator cap. After 1 month I had a mechanical failure problem on highway suddenly and a rod threw from inside the engine out and made a whole on engine. This engine was called for a recall in March 2008 and it was done. But now I got the same problem again and now turned out to be a big problem to replace the whole engine. I'm a student and I can't pay $4500 for this. Nissan should take responsibility for this and bare the cost. This car's warranty period is also over. But as Nissan servicers know that when engine check soon problem occurs in these vehicles it is going to crash but they don't tell this. Nissan must take responsibility for my losses.

- Valley Park, MO, USA

problem #91

Feb 072007

Altima

  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving at any speed, the engine made a grinding noise. The contact examined the engine and noticed that there was no oil present. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The failure occurred without warning. The current mileage was 118,000 and failure mileage was 75,000.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #90

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 #89

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 #88

Jun 302006

Altima

  • 55,000 miles
Too many issues to remember than all but I'll try: - excessive oil use - excessive coolant use - overheating to the aforementioned issues - intermittent transmission issues - failing airbag - electrical issues - broken sensors - catalytic converters gone bad - oxygen sensors gone bad - intermittent failure to start - intermittent car shaking and so on.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #87

Jun 152006

Altima

  • 80,000 miles
At about 80,000 miles my 2002 Nissan Altima had an issue where the coolant started leaking into to combustion chamber, had to have the heads resurfaced, and cat converters replaced. Now the car burns oil, has to be replaced at about 1000 miles (completely empty if I let it go to 1500 miles). The car now stops when driving at slow speeds, starts right back up, but dies while driving.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #86

Jul 022008

Altima

  • 70,000 miles
Excessive oil consumption after precatalyst sucked into engine, which caused Nissan to declare my engine was shot. This a known issue with Nissan. Hundreds of others have reported it. There should be a recall issued by Nissan and engines replaced for free.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #85

Feb 012006

Altima

  • 100,000 miles
After replacing the oxygen sensor various times, I began to get huge amounts of oil consumption where I had to add every week. As a result the catalytic converter was shot, and also ruined the engine. During that period, my 2002 Altima had spontaneously shut down completely while operating on city roads and interstate freeways. Despite having perfect maintenance and completing all recalls (see NHTSA recall number: 03V084000 or Nissan recall R3007), I had no choice but to replace the engine. The design is completely flawed and no recall will correct this bad design.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

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