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:
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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #84

Aug 082008

Altima

  • 100,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving 70 mph, the engine failed in the middle of the road. There were no warning lights illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that there was no oil in the engine. As a result, a rod failed and destroyed the engine. The Nissan dealer stated that there were no recalls for this issue. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #83

Jul 312008

Altima

  • miles
My car has a recall for the engine. I took time off from work to go and get my car serviced. The same day of the service, my car "service engine soon" light came on and the car had poor performance. I called the dealership back to explain the situation, and the service person told me to bring it back in. I told them I needed a loaner car so I could go to work. They insisted that they do not issue loaners anymore, so I proceeded to obtain another way. I called the dealership, on several occasions to let them know it was a problem getting my car in without the courtesy of a loaner. In June 2008, I tried to obtain my license but the car failed the emission test. I contacted the Nissan headquarters with my complaint making several calls and leaving messages. A regional manager assistant contacted me to let me know the manager will call me within 3 days. She did not contact me like she promised, so I kept calling until finally I requested someone call me asap. I received a call on Thursday, 7/31/08 from the regional specialist stating that the problem I am having has nothing to do with the emission test failure and added there was nothing they could do. She referred me to the dealership and stated she has nothing to do with their decision. I called the dealership and the serviceman stated that he had spoken to the regional specialist and when I bring the car in I would have to pay for diagnostic costs and repair services, because it is probably not their problem. As of now, the problem of my car not being repaired and unsafe has not been resolved, which was stated could result in a fatal accident.

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #82

Jul 182008

Altima

  • 69,000 miles
We purchased a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S in June 2008 with 69,000 miles and we took the car to the local Nissan dealer (universal Nissan) when the check engine light came on. The dealer performed work on several recalls including the replacement of the catalytic converter. The engine uses a quart of oil every 50 miles so the dealer did an oil consumption test and the dealer informed us that the engine failed the oil consumption test, that the engine is bad and that it needs to be replaced. We contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and requested that they replace the engine due to the catalytic converter going bad and allowing material from the damaged pre-catalyst to enter the engine and result in increased oil consumption per their recall # ntb03-070C, dated November 17, 2006. We have been denied our request for Nissan to pay for and to replace the defective engine with a new engine. This is a known defect and Nissan should replace the engine.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #81

Dec 192007

Altima

  • 89,991 miles

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

Bought used 2002 Nissan Altima 3/07 took car to dave solon Nissan, pueblo co 12/07. I commuted every other week to Colorado springs on those weeks I was putting 3 quarts of oil. There was no oil leak oil was gone. Nissan couldn't tell me where oil was going they contacted warrant & they decided on a refurbished engine. Got my car back end of December. Jan, Feb & March only drove car every other week to springs. Noticed at end of Feb I was putting about 8 quarts oil a week. Took it back to Nissan in beginning of March they told me I needed to find receipts for oil changes, told them I wasn't sure I could find them. But questioned that it oil would need to be changed when there was no oil in the car after a two days. A week later husband started back to work he took Nissan to colo springs for work on his way home it just died out good thing for us on our not so busy street and only a couple of houses from ours. So there it stood for a couple of months not having money to get it towed or even looked at. In may we found a mechanic a mile from our home who would come and tow it to his shop. He looked at it and found we needed a catalytic converter paid $800 for it. When he went to put it in he found where our oil was going. He said 3 of our 4 cylinders were covered in oil which made the catalytic converter explode. He told use to call Nissan which I did they said they would not look at the car unless we give them receipts for oil changes again why tried again to find them of course could not locate I think we did 2 in the time frame. Argued with them for a long time they basically told me it was our problem not there's. went online and researched found many many people with same problem as myself. Need something done about this we are paying for a car that is not working. I would understand if it was our fault but how can a 2002 car with about 89,000 miles on it need another engine. Nissan needs to take the blame and compensate Nissan owners.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #80

Jul 022008

Altima

  • 94,000 miles
Engine head gasket failure, seams to be a common problem and Nissan North America won't do anything about it.the gasket was replaced, the head needed to be machined. Events leading to failure, antifreeze loss from overflow tank no leaks or puddles after a two weeks the engine became hard to start. $1600.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #79

May 012008

Altima

  • 65,000 miles
1. the failure found at June, 6 2008 at mileage 65,000 miles 2. it has misfire code cause by very small cylinder head gasket leak 3. the gasket is replaced and the head cylinder is resurfaced.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #78

Jun 212008

Altima

  • 123,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact's vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign id number 07V527000 (engine and engine cooling). Approximately two weeks later, the vehicle began to exhibit the same symptoms as it did prior to the recall repair. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle would stall and then restart. The vehicle also failed the state smog emissions test due to crankshaft position sensor failure. The dealer was notified of these failures, but informed the contact that the recall repairs could only be performed once. The failure mileage was 123,000.

- Semona , CA, USA

problem #77

Jan 022008

Altima

  • 103,000 miles
I own a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 SE sedan that has a design flaw, (admitted by Nissan) that causes the engine to burn oil at an excessive rate. Many other owners have acknowledged this problem but Nissan has arrogantly denied all of its customers. This problem can cause engine failure at any time and injury due to fire. Please demand that Nissan recalls these models and does the right thing. One thing that I would also like to mention is that my children ride in this car with me. If this problem were to endanger their safety, Nissan would be out of business, I'd make sure of it!!! thanks for your attention.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #76

May 012008

Altima

  • 65,200 miles
1. on June, 8 2008, at 65,200 miles 2. randomly misfire code that cause by very small leak cylinder head gasket that cannot be detected easily. (no overheat, no smokes from the muffler, just slow lowering coolant fluid level) 3. change the cylinder head gasket, and warped cylinder head.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #75

Dec 052007

Altima

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the engine does not start. When the engine does start, the vehicle shutters and then shuts off. The vehicle was taken to the repair shop, but the engine is still not working properly. The current mileage was 109,000 and failure mileage was 100,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #74

May 022008

Altima

  • 143,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving 75 mph, the contact heard a bumping sound from outside the vehicle and noticed that the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle lost power and the brakes failed. The contact had to use the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. Once the vehicle was stopped, she was unable to place the vehicle into park. The contact exited the vehicle and noticed that the front end caught fire. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The current and failure mileages were 143,000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #73

Dec 292007

Altima 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
While driving on the interstate my car stalled around 70 mph causing me to have to pull off the road while in a thunder storm. Since that my car is also burning about a quart of oil every 2 weeks.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #72

Apr 142008

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 217,000 miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima (2.5L) started out with O2 sensors needing replaced, the overheating, no coolant, loosing oil, replaced crank sensor, had all recalls done electronic control module (ECM). Now I am left with having to replace my engine. This seems like a problem out of most 2002 Nissan Altima with 2.5 according to the internet searches I have completed. I feel Nissan needed to recall the whole engine.

- Perryville, KY, USA

problem #71

Dec 072007

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated intermittently. She had several mechanics inspect the vehicle, and they all identified the failure as electrical. The following day, the contact attempted to start the vehicle, but was unsuccessful. The dealer stated that water leaked into the engine and caused it to lock. The contact stated that she had been taking her vehicle in for routine maintenance every 3,000 miles to have the oil changed, and had not experienced any engine failure. She was informed that a new engine would cost between $6,000-$7,000 and a used engine would cost between $3,000-$4,000. The failure and current mileages were 85,000.

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #70

Oct 082007

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving 60 mph the engine shut off down without warning and spun out of control. The vehicle crashed into a median. The driver was able to gain control and stop the vehicle was spinning. The contact sustained severe injuries. Prior to the crash several warning lights on the dashboard were illuminated. The driver received a recall notice today stating the potential danger. The related NHTSA campaign number was 07V527000. The vehicle was destroyed. The current and failure mileages were 100,000.

- Homeland, CA, USA

problem #69

Mar 022008

Altima

  • miles
2002 Nissan Altima 2.5. there are many complaints about the oil consumption with this particular car, my car lis bone dry in between oil changes. According to many owners they have had to get the engine replaced do to this problem. Shouldn't Nissan be doing something about this? no car owner should have to be constantly pouring oil into their car. Myself and other owners would like to see Nissan recognize it as a problem instead of cashing in on it.

- Manville, RI, USA

problem #68

Oct 282007

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,496 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving various speeds, the vehicle would shut off without warning and had to be restarted on several occasions. There was a recall on the vehicle and repairs have been made; however, the failure continues. The recall number was unknown. The current mileage was 81,000 and failure mileage was 79,496.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #67

Sep 292007

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 97,014 miles
I purchased a new 2002 Nissan Altima from pence Nissan on 3/23/02. Since the 2002 was a new model year for the Altima, I also purchased a security+plus gold vehicle warranty for $995 extending the warranty to 3/23/2008 or 75,000 miles whichever occurs first. After having recurring clutch problems, I started researching on the internet and found that this model had frequent complaints regarding engine failure due to the catalytic converter breaking apart. Because of this I made especially certain that I checked my oil every week, that I had all scheduled maintenance performed and that they were performed by pence Nissan (I have copies of each receipt totaling $3,853.06). Despite all of these precautions, my check engine light illuminated on September 25th. I took the car immediately to the dealer who said that the catalytic converter had broken apart some. I was advised not to drive the car until I replaced the converter and two oxygen sensors. I was told particles from the converter could enter the engine and destroy it resulting in an $8,000 repair. I took the dealer?S advice and replaced the catalytic converter and both oxygen sensors at a cost of $1251.05. Upon inspection, the dealer noted that there were no signs of metal in the oil. I was told that although the oil looked clear, there was no guarantee that fragments from the converter hadn't made their way into the engine and it could be two weeks or two years before possible engine failure. After hearing this, I decided to purchase a new car. Given my experience with the 2002 Altima and what I read from other owners, I feel that this is a manufacturing defect and Nissan should take responsibility for the repairs. I sent Nissan two letters respectfully requesting that Nissan consider reimbursing me for the $1251.05 repair charge, but have not heard anything back.

- Powhatan, VA, USA

problem #66

Jan 022008

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,053 miles
My car wouldn't start. I notified Nissan, they towed my car in. My car had several recalls. Nissan checked my car and reset my ECM. When I went to get my car from mitchell Nissan which is 30 miles away. They told us that I had a possible head or coil failure. When we left the dealership we didn't check the oil cause when they reprogrammed they suppose to have checked everything. When my husband checked that's when we found out it was no oil. I drove my car 30 miles with no oil. My car is a 2002 Altima I checked the recalls and saw that the 2.5 2006 Altima has a recall on the engine as well as the sensor like the earlier years. The recalls states something about the ECM and about the pistons and driving without oil. Now I have to get my engine replaced and Nissan is saying it is not on them. My car was not acting up nor smoking until it cut off and had to be reprogrammed. I feel this messed up my engine.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #65

Jan 082008

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I had a 90,000 mile vehicle checkup at Nissan village in attleboro, MA. The vehicle had 88,000 miles at the time of the service. At the suggestion of the service technician, I had the catalytic converter replaced. My car currently has 92,000 miles on it and I noticed a problem with the engine. After looking the car over I noticed that the oil was bone dry. I searched on the internet for problems related to this vehicle and noticed multiple instances of the exact same problem with the catalytic converter, burning oil, and eventually total engine replacement. I have only had the catalytic converter replaced and the oil burning problem has started. I fear that I will have complete engine failure shortly, like numerous others have, because of this issue. forums.automotive.com/70/1106267/Nissan/2002-Nissan-Altima-oil-dropping-at-108,000 miles-I-w/index.html www.nissanforums.com/L31-2002-Altima/105620-little-guy-vs-Nissan-North-America.html www.nissanforums.com/L31-2002-Altima/117470-recall-R3007-resurfaces-02-03-Altima.html.

- Franklin, MA, USA

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