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.

2.5

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,474 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

problem #16

Aug 102015

Altima

  • 125,000 miles

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

" takata recall ". the car has been giving engine problems but I did not know what it was until I searched it online and I am having the same problem as many complaint on the recall website. The engine while on slow drive or when on a full stop it shuts down without any warning. It has happened to me a couple of times once I was on a highway but there was traffic and my car shut down. Another time I was at a regular city road and I was driving slow looking for parking and the car shut down but thankfully the car behind me was far and I turned my blinkers on, but thankfully no crashes as of yet. Many other times it has shut down on red lights, stop signs anywhere that it has been slow motion. Recently after so long of having these troubles, my car will take forever to turn on. It starts but it makes a weird noise from the engine and it shuts down. I am a full time student and it would be great to fix my car and actually drive to school with less worries that my car will shut down in the middle of the highway or regular road and be in a fatal crash. I have also tried malechanics or check the engine with the machines and everyone is saying that the problem is in the engine and I have checked the engine myself, the engine is hot, shakes, makes noises.

- Garfield, NJ, USA

problem #15

May 312015

Altima

  • 66,000 miles
5/31/2015 at about 9:40pm. There were lines of cars leaving starfire sports in tukwila, wa off of 405 exit 1 because of adult recreational soccer games and the Washington state high lchool boys lacrosse championships. When exiting starfire, it was my turn at the stop sign, so I proceeded. After I proceeded, the big black vehicle waiting at the stop sign across from me with the license plate aqg6472 started to turn into me. I slammed on my breaks. He slammed on his breaks and then stared at me. He almost collided with me. He is a blonde-haired skinny high school age boy, and there were 2-3 other high school boys as passengers. All passengers stuck their middle fingers out the window and he got out of the car and taunted me. The line of cars all were beeping at him. He then drove on, continuing to taunt me. He left starfire and entered 405 North, as did I. I was still behind him. He breaked really hard and purposefully tried to get me to crash into his car. Then once we entered the highway, he proceeded to taunt my vehicle for about ten minutes. He weaved in between cars to be next to me, he got behind me and flashed his brights on and off, he got in front of me and breaked really hard, etc. I was scared for my life. I don't know how, but I was able to merge into an area of cars that prevented him from taunting me any further. I suspect that he and his friends might have been intoxicated....or just really obnoxious high schoolers.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #14

Feb 182013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 219,000 miles
Ok 3 or 2 week after I brought the car it start running hot the it start to get to the point when it do run hot and I hit the gas the car want go it was like I was trying to make the car go fast but it was going slow so I took it back to the place I brought it from and he didn't do much so I found a mechanic and he ran at test on me and told me that it was some recalls on part of my car and the person head it before me didn't get it done like the cam sensor, crank sensor and my catalytic converter and a time thing the I took it back to the place I brought it from he said he can do nothing and someone told me to turn to you all so what can I do I put to much money in to it to get it fix I change the water pump the holes and the thermostat so what should I do please help....

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 062015

Altima

  • 120,000 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 while driving at approximately 30 mph, the vehicle independently decreased in speed and would not accelerate over 5 mph. In addition, the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #12

Apr 152014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Did check engine light repair fixed crank position sensor. I drive to the store car shuts down to 5mph I pull over reset check engine light then it works fine.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 282014

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Driving vehicle at a low speed and vehicle stops running without warning.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 292013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles

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

My car won't accelerate beyond 20 mph, then engine would stall while in drive gear. Took it to my mechanic who turned off the engine service light which allowed me to accelerate to normal speed. However, the engine keeps stalling while I'm driving. I nearly had several accidents while driving on the street and exiting the freeway. Luckily I can notice the engine failing before it completely shut down so I hit my hazard lights each time to avoid accident and notify motorists behind me something is wrong. Several times car had to swerved suddenly around me to avoid rear ending my car. Then yesterday when my engine stalled while pulling out of a parking lot my engine stalled again and the steering wheels locked which almost caused my car to roll straight into a brick wall. I had to quickly turn off the engine put my gear to park then turn back on the engine to get power to steer away from the brick wall just in time. I took my car back to my mechanic today who ran diagnostic and said the car's crankshaft and crankshaft need to be replaced. I searched online and read about the recall for similar incidents with my make and model. However, when I contact the local Nissan dealer they say my VIN is not included in the recall. Something is wrong here if so many 2002 Nissan Altima have this same problem but only a selected vehicle are included in the recall. Please investigate and fine Nissan for this faulty parts endangering public safety and the drivers.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 272013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
On 6/27/2013 I was driving about 30 mph per hour. The car engine shuts off abruptly and I loss all power to the car. I was stuck and the cars behind me almost hit me from behind. I put the hazards on and tried to start the car. I sat for about 5 minutes, put the car in neutral and it started then shut off again. In previous years I had to start the car in neutral but it never shut off while in motion until today,6/27/2013 and the service soon engine light came on and also the tcs, slip. I am now seeing that there is a recall. Can you please help me to get Nissan to fix this problem because this is a hazard and there is a recall. Thank you. I will also call Nissan again and report this problem, and I hope that they fix this problem because I could have been injured also others and there is a product recall on the crankshaft, timing control sensors, etc...why was a product recall notice not mailed to me about this serious defect/ problem?

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 182011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100,351 miles
The check engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle would also stall while driving at various speeds and would often hesitate to start while parked. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the crank shaft and the cam shaft position sensors would have to be replaced. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) that could have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the VIN was not included in the recall. Also my car is loosing coolant and don't know where the cooling is going, took it to Nissan they don't have a clue either. Also I sometime smell gas when the car start up after a long stall crank.

- North Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #7

Mar 032007

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,299 miles
-the contact stated that on 03/03/07 while driving the 2002 Nissan Altima at 65 mph she noticed that the speed was decreasing. She continued to press the accelerator and the vehicle continued to lose power. The contact pulled the vehicle to side of the road and tried to restart the vehicle. The vehicle wouldn't start. The contact called to have the vehicle towed, and it was towed to hill top service station, where the mechanic was able to start the vehicle. The contact stated that they informed her to get to the nearest Nissan dealer. The vehicle was towed again to koeppell Nissan in jackson heights queens, NY. The vehicle was still at the dealership, and that they had to order a part which helped to circulate air to the cooling system. The contact stated that she had nothing but problems since she purchased this vehicle in 2002, and had all repair order for the vehicle. The failure mileage was 32299 and the current mileage was 32311.

- Long Island City, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 122005

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

2002 Nissan Altima. The consumer stated when she would start the vehicle in the morning, it felt like it was not getting any fuel. She would have to press the accelerator. She stated it would happen sometimes at lunch time, and when she went home from work. The check engine light came on at this time. This started on September 12, 2005. The consumer took vehicle to mechanic, and they found a recall. The throttle body was cleaned by mechanic. She called Nissan of clovis, and took vehicle there, and they found the vehicle did not fall under the recall. They found it was the throttle body. She had the throttle body replaced. The next morning it started again, the dealership told her to bring it back in. This time it was the ECM computer. It was also replaced. On September 28, 2005 the vehicle did it again. She took the vehicle back on September 30, 2005, and they found the coolant is leaking into the number two cylinder; the head gasket would have to be replaced. The consumer stated the service manager said these vehicles have been coming in with this problem but at 80,000 miles.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #5

May 082004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,918 miles
Scheduled recall work on car on Friday, was notified that there was actually three recalls on my car (which I have owned for about a year, purchased used) thet needed to be done and that I need my 30,000 mile service done. $476 and later that afternoon, igot my car back. I noticed that the braked seem a little tight, but figured that was part of the service. The next day, Saturday, while merging from one freeway to another at about 65 miles per hour, car sounded like it caught a piece of thin metal under front right quadrant of car, after about 15 seconds noise stopped and nothing in road behind me. I notice my brake light came on. When I tried to change lanes, I realize I had lost the power steering function, the brakes lad loosened up (but functioning) and the air conditioning was now blowing hot air. I realize I had no idea where the hazzard lights switch was and niether I nor my passange could find it. After 2 more minutes passes going up a slow incline, the car started jerking at round 55 mph. At this point the battery light came on, as well as, the "service engine soon". well no kidding, service engine soon! pulled into the emergancy lane and dropped my speed to below 25 miles per hour and the car stopped jerking. Fortunantly, I was just one mile from home at this point. Limped home and call dealership. The car had been towed to crown Nissan in birmingham. I was annoyed that the service man that took my call showed no empathy when I told him what happened on the fastest freeway in town. Additionally, I was angered by the receptionist when she came back to me from being on hold and knowing my perdictment, laughing and asking who I was on hold for.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #4

Mar 302002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17 miles
At any speed, my speedometer shows a different speed than my actual speed. My actual speed has been verified by radar, gps, mile markers and traveling along side another vehicle with an accurate speedometer (based on gps and radar). Where my speedometer is showing less than my actual speed, I am subject to make mental adjustments to increase my speed to actually travel the desired speed. When I get in another car that has an accurate speedometer, by habit, I tend to increase my speed in that car, subjecting me to possible fines for speeding. Note: The tires are the original tires and this problem existed from the time I bought this car. I contacted Nissan about this and they said that as long as the speedometer is accurate to within 10%, it's within specs. That implies that if my speedometer reads 70 mph and my actual speed is 77, Nissan is fine with that! :( please increment the incident count for complaint # 10000521, as I have experienced the same problem/treatment. I have approached many Altima owners and found this to be a persistent problem.

- Nesbit, MS, USA

problem #3

Mar 012002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Speedometer reads approx 10% higher than actual speed. Very distracting in that one is constantly doing mental calculation. Dealer initially said they could not test and I should time it against mileage markers - did so. Later dealer id some sort of electronic test and said it was off somewhat but not 10%. said regulations allowed 10% error so it was within specs.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #2

Aug 232002

Altima

  • miles
We went to start up the vehicle, and it did start up, but when we tried to accelerate we went nowhere, and could not get any RPM's. we coasted to the nearest dealership, with a vehicle that would not get up over 5 mph, for about 3 miles. We we got the car to the dealership, they informed us that the throttle switch had gone, and the part that was needed was on national back order, and we could be waiting 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months until our vehicle is repaired.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #1

Feb 012002

Altima

  • miles
Consumer contacted dealership for sudden acceleration. Dealer has been unable to locate source of problem,

- Centralia, WA, USA

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