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.

9.1

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,358.00
Average Mileage:
102,496 miles
Total Complaints:
131 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (36 reports)
  2. replace catalytic converter (27 reports)
  3. replace engine and catalytic converter (25 reports)
  4. not sure (20 reports)
  5. replace pre-cat with heat shield and replace engine if bad (10 reports)
  6. new cat/ new sensors (8 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #71

Oct 012009

Altima SE 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 112,000 miles

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

2002 NISSAN ALTIMA 2.5 V4 SERIOUS CATALYTIC CONVERTER BREAKING APART TEARING UP ENGINE, BURNING OIL AND RADIATOR WATER JUST GOES AWAY ETC...

www.nhtsa.dot.gov file a complaint regarding these 2002 nissan altimas' and contact my atty 4 class action suit we need more people to respond serious only.

www.schneiderwallace.com go to class action or call toll free 1-800-689-0024 cindymartins1970@yahoo.com

PLEASE CONTACT ABOVE. I AM VERY SERIOUS ABOUT COMPLAINT AND CASE AND NEED PEOPLE WHO ARE SERIOUS BOUT GETTING THEIR MONEY BACK WITH THIS CLASS ACTION SUIT FREE CONSULT SEE ABOVE TOLL FREE NUMBER

- , Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #70

Jun 092009

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

My 2002 is an awful car, too many problems to say. My engine is now ruined because of the cat converter! What a Lemon!

- , Buckely, WA, USA

problem #69

Aug 262009

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

Same as everyone else. The catalytic converter went bad. These should NEVER go bad. Had a 1993 Altima prior to this one and never had a problem with it. The 2002 has had heads replaced, oil leakage issues, and many more problems. This takes the cake though. The car is only worth about $4,000 kelly blue book, and will cost $5,300 to fix. Also called Nissan Corporate. They do not want to take responsibility for this problem, even though it has affected numerous people, I will NEVER buy a Nissan again, and I will make sure to tell everyone I know not to buy one. Horrible consumer affairs.

- , La Habra, CA, USA

problem #68

Jul 262008

Altima 2.5L 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

Not only did I have the catalytic converter replaced about a year ago but I also had to replace a head gasket. Now it looks as if I am going to need the catalytic converter

replaced again. On top of this, the car uses an excessive amount of oil, at least 1 quart per week.

- , Moultrie, GA, USA

problem #67

May 112009

Altima SE-R 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Same old story. SES light on; dealer told me it was a 'loose gas cap' when car was in warranty a year ago. Dealer claimed they performed all recalls. A year and a month later, SES light on again. First told it was failed catalytic converter. SES light came on again. Replaced pre-catalytic converter and exhaust manifold. SES light goes on again. Car stalls after parking and will not start. Have spark plugs changed and mass airflow sensor cleaned. Car stalls in front of hospital while dropping food off for pregnant friend (yes, my life is a black comedy.) Engine is blown due to tiny fragments of pre-cat/screws ruining a cylinder.

Nissan customer service seriously attempted to tell me that "the catalytic converter is not related to the exhaust system" when I mentioned all the recalls that had been 'fixed' incorrectly. Gave me run around, excuses, etc because I was out of warranty. Wanted to go to small claims court but at this point am so tired of dealing with this car headache isn't worth it. This car has caused me to miss so many days/hours of work I've lost track; over $6000 just THIS YEAR in repairs, and all of it is related to a recall that was 'fixed'.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

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problem #66

Dec 312008

Altima 2.5 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I purchased my Nissan Altima in 2002. For numerous time the check engine light would come on. I was told that oil was leaking some where but not on the ground. I had a safety inspection done and it failed due to the exhaust manifold. I had it replace in Dec. of 2008; In may of 2009 the check engine light came back on and I took it to Nissan. I was told that the exhaust manifold was bad and I need to get rid of the car or get the engine replaced, which would be $5000.00. I contacted Nissan and asked if it was a recall part, "they said no"! I took my car to another dealer and they printed out the recall technical bulletin and it showed where my vin number was in the range with the recall that Nissan had for there cars. I contacted the National Highway Safety Administration. They are obligated by law to make sure that the cars that are sold on the streets are safe. If not Nissan can be held liable for there mistake. If you are have these problems, please contact the (NHSA) for assistant; because I guarantee you that nissan will ignore the problem. B. G. Kansas City, Mo

- , JENNINGS, MO, USA

problem #65

Oct 132008

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,313 miles

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

I bought my Altima in Calgary last August 2008. A month after I bought it I had the engine light come on and it has come on multiple times since I got it 10 months ago. Within the first 3 months I replaced the fuel line, throttle body, O2 sensor, exhaust system, sub frame, and ECM.

In November after I got the car back from Nissan I noticed the car starting to use oil like crazy!! It uses about a litre every 800-1000 km. Now, I am consuming more oil but they have looked into the problem and tell me its not burning it which you think would be good. But I am losing it out the exhaust which is ruining the exhaust I just replaced and now they are saying I need a new Catalytic Converter which was my original issue.

I also have major pressure in the engine and when you take the oil cap off oil blows out like a whales blow hole.

I was told to check the PC Valve and sometimes if that's plugged it causes you to lose oil and have pressure build up in the engine. But unfortunately, it was not the issue. They tell me I may need a new engine or have to look forward to a new catalytic converter every couple years. And I still owe $6700 on the car!!!!!!

- , Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

problem #64

May 012009

Altima Coup 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

My 2002 Nissan Altima has 88,000 miles on it i had bought this car with 36,000 miles

on it ,one day after taking a short drive i had stopped at a gas station to fill it up,when i restarted my car i noticed huge plumes of smoke coming from my exhaust.

- , W, PA, USA

problem #63

Jun 012009

Altima Coup 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I have a 2002 Altima that has 88,000 miles on it ,a few weeks back i went for a short ride i needed gas so i stopped to fill it up after restarting my car a huge plume of smoke came from my exhaust the smoke dissipated after a few hundred feet of driving but this really got my attention i drove directly home after experiencing this, so when i arrived home i opened the hood and checked my oil.i couldn't believe it i was at least 2 quarts low plus my antifreeze reserve was empty, this would not have been shocking if i never changed my oil or checked my fluids but i have all of this done every 3000 miles i decided to do some Internet research concerning these issue that's when i realized i bought a lemon i could not and still cant believe all of the people that are experiencing

the same problems that i have .i realize there are a lot of Altimas on the road today but come on ,there is definitely a serious engineering fowl up here .i went to the NHTSA web

page(Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration)and leaned of a investigation made by(ODI)The office of defects investigation because of 3 fire related incidents on the 2002 Altimas the engine compartments caught on fire while driving at highway speeds

A recall campaign was started by the NHTSA recall #03V08400 .ODI investigation opened Oct 18,2002 and closed March 25,2003 here is a brief summary of what Nissan

was suppose to do to correct their defects:components involved are engine and engine cooling;exhaust system:emissions control :catalytic converter. Nissan would remove the protruding portion of the exhaust pin on the Altimas so they could not pick up any debris off the road that could then come in contact with the converter and catch fire they would also add a heat shield over the pre-catalyst and surrounding exhaust tubing.ok.know their is a second part to the recall that affect my situation and probably yours to .Nissan also stated in its defect information report that on 2002 Altimas and sentras that certain operating conditions may cause the pre-catalyst to overheat,which would

cause catalyst substrate particles to flow into the engine.these particles can score the cylinder walls which results in increased oil consumption that can lead to fire if left unrecognized and fixed.know NHTSA say es Nisson is developing a corrective action to address the pre catalyst.!! now i know this recall was in 2002 and i know that there is 2 parts to this recall and i know when i called Nissan about this recall they told me that the work was completed on this car in Nov,2003and i also know i have a problem stemming from my converter . but what i really want to know what was the corrective action that was taken to stop the overheating converter??? i cant find out anywhere maybe one of you readers are a Nissan mechanic who Knows the answer but i cant find it anywhere.Nissan will tell you they completed the service for this recall but this service was not completed in its entirety if they don't have a answer to the overheating converter that will i mean will rune your car i ever e-mailed NHTSA to find out if they have the answer still waiting for a reply.i would love to take Nissan to court but i don't have that type of cash but i will bet if you got every person who has been taken advantaged of by this situation we can get a dam good lawyer considering there were at least 368000 people affected by these flaws even 50% of them at let say 5 bucks apiece i think 920,000 should get us a pretty good attorney with all these complaints why is this investigation closed it should be reopened or is Nissan to big i dont think so.

- , W, PA, USA

problem #62

Jun 122009

Altima 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

After taking care of my car for 7yrs I was told that the catalytic converter was sucked into my engine and ruined it. Of course the warranty on the part was good only for 80K miles. I called Nissan's Consumer Affairs Dept and after looking into the matter they are NOT going to do anything. They told me there was nothing I could have done to prevent this. I only used synthetic oil thinking it would extend the life of my engine. I WILL NEVER buy another Nissan/Infiniti car again. I owned an Infiniti Q45 and that burned oil. My brother bought the same car 3 months after I did and had the same problem. He was told the car was burning oil. We never saw or smelt smoke but he was constantly adding oil. He bought a Toyota and it now has over 100K miles and is in perfect condition. Nissan quality is crap. The dealer told me it would cost $3,500. I'd rather use that money towards a deposit on a new Toyota/Honda.

I was told by the dealer that if I didn't have enough of a history with them and that if I had bought the car from them things might have been different. They were really stupid. Maybe if they had done the right thing I would have become a customer of theirs. It didn't matter that I moved here from out of state and since moving here they were the only dealer that serviced my car. Idiots. Now they will never see me as a customer.

I'm very disappointed with the quality of Nissan cars and the competence of their representatives.

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #61

Sep 052008

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

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

Here is the problem and here is what I had to do. A year ago I had an engine light come on. A test showed it was the cat converter. I had it replaced. Seven months later the engine drops all kind of oil and the engine is kaput. I go to this web site and say holy cow, I am screwed like a big dog. I search for an engine. Salvaged motors are running like 1,350.00, even from mexico. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE CAT-CONVERTER AND THE EXHAUST MANIFOLD ARE ONE UNIT. BECAUSE OF THE LOCATION OF THE CONVERTER TO THE EXHAUST PORTS THE ENGINE HEAT EATS THE INSIDES OF THE CONVERTER QUICKER. BUY THE TIME YOU GET THE ENGINE LIGHT , THE. CONVERTER HAS PUT ITS MAGIC FAIRY DUST IN THE PISTON PORTS AND THE TIME BOMB IS TICKING. THEN COMES THE OIL AND KAPUT. THIS IS A DESIGN FLAW. DRIVER BEWARE AFTER 70,000 MILES. THE ONLY GOOD THING WAS KAR KING AUTO OF ONTARIO CA. A REBUILT ENGINE FOR 1,500 U.S. KOPECKS. THESE GUYS HOOK YOU UP FROM THEIR HUMBLE LOCATION. THEY ALSO CAN FILL YOU IN ON INFO THAT NO ONE ELSE WILL TELL YOU SO THAT IS MY STORY AND I,AM STICKING TO IT.

- , Seeley, CA, USA

problem #60

Dec 252008

Altima LS

  • Manual transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I used to own a 93 Nissan Altima which went 480k miles before I turned it over to my brother. Never had an engine or transmission problem. I bragged to everyone about how wonderful Nissans are.

Then, I bought my 2002 Nissan Altima 2 years ago. Since then, I've put 2 catalytic converters in it and it needs a third. It has guzzled oil since the day it rolled off the lot (about 1 quart every 500 miles at first, we're up to 2 now).

Nissan Motor company has been less than useless at this point, despite the fact that numerous complaints here and elsewhere demonstrate that this is a clear problem with the design of the vehicle.

I will NEVER EVER buy a Nissan again and I will further encourage everyone who will listen to turn their backs on this company. This has been the worst car experience I have ever had and I bought the car specifically for the reputation of reliability that Nissan brought to the table.

- , Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #59

Apr 012008

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I OBVIOUSLY DO NOT HAVE TO GO INTO ANY DETAILS ABOUT THIS PIECE OF S%T THEY CALL A CAR. I JUST WANT ALL THE MONEY BACK I HAD TO PUT IN THIS JUNK BOX , WHICH IS $4,000+..THAT WAS FOR A NEW MOTOR, AND CATALYTIC CONVERTER, NOW AFTER 3,000mi. MY SERVICE ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON...TOOK IT TO MY MECHANIC...NOW I NEED TO DROP ANOTHER $600 SOME DOLLARS FOR A REAR CATALYTIC CONVERTER...WTF?!?!?!?!

ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS WHERES THE LAWSUIT AT? WE ALL NEED THIS,ESPECIALLY WITH THIS ECONOMY. BEING LAID OFF IS BAD ENOUGH, LET ALONE NOT HAVING A CAR TO GO JOB HUNTING. I STILL OWE MONEY ON THIS P.O.S. AND MY CREDIT IS SHOT NOW CUZ EVERY PENNY I HAVE MADE GOES INTO THIS PAIN IN MY A$$ THING THEY CALL A CAR.!!! NISSAN NEEDS TO GET HIT HARD AND REIMBURSE ALL OF US! KARMA'S A BITH.!! LETS MAKE MOVES. ANYONE CAN CONTACT ME AT MY EMAIL..I NEED A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT, BUT DONT KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO GO ABOUT IT... ANY INFO WOULD BE APPRECIATED...OH YEAH AND THANKS NISSAN, YOU PEICES OF $HIT..THANKS FOR NOTHING!..Tomcils@gmail.com.

- , Newark, DE, USA

problem #58

Feb 152005

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

My 2002 Altima began using oil while still in warranty. I took it to Nissan and they claimed they couldn't find anything wrong with it. The problem continued to get worse and when I took it back to Nissan (out of warranty this time), then they tell me I need a new engine and that it would cost several thousand dollars. Nissan corporate wouldn't pay for anything even though the problem started while under warranty. I think they knew of the issue and said they couldn't find anything while the car was under warranty, then they want me to pay to replace the engine once it's out of warranty. I wasn't about to give them a dime to fix anything. I got a local mechanic to replace my engine with one that had 15,000 miles on it. The mechanic told me that it was a defective catalytic converter that had torn up my engine, so I had to replace that too.

This was my first Nissan, and now it will be my ONLY Nissan because of how I was treated. The local Nissan dealership (Lynn Layton Nissan) and Nissan corporate just kept trying to pass the buck. I used to get a lot of compliments on this car but I will cost Nissan more in business than it would have cost them to do the right thing and replace the engine and converter. I will not recommend this vehicle to anyone.

- , Hartselle, AL, USA

problem #57

Mar 022009

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

Had the catalytic converter fixed. No other information to add.

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #56

Mar 112009

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

This car has had waaaay too many issues to only have 63k miles on it. This time was the catalytic converter, which is an expensive problem. Against my better judgment my wife has always had it serviced and maintained at the dealership. I am never buying another Nissan.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #55

Oct 152008

Altima SL V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

My engine light came on and I was told that it was nothing at first.Then after it came on again I was told it was the catalytic converter and I would have to have it replaced,which I did for the tune of $800.00.By the way I still owe $5,000.00 on this car.After having this replaced,my check engine light still came on and then my mechanic said the first converter had already caused damage to my engine and I would have to rebuild the engine or get rid of my car!!!!!

- , Asheboro, NC, USA

problem #54

Feb 012007

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

NISSAN NA IS USELESS- they are fully aware of all the issues surrounding the bad oil rings, pre cat failure and excessive oil consumption. So they have recalls earlier on to "reprogram the ECM & change the precat" to widen parameters so the SES light doesn't come on and hope that you have "too many miles" on your car when it starts to burn oil in order for them to stand behind their crummy 2002 Altimas.

I guess its just a coincidence that so many 2002 Altima owners have this problem. Nissan has now lost 2 more customers- American cars are starting to look good to me- if you have to buy a new car every 90K miles or so, you should buy one for $16K, not $26k!

- , Coram, NY, USA

problem #53

Mar 232009

Altima LX 2.5s

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,300 miles

Same problem everyone seems to be experiencing.. Swallowing oil, no oil leak or sight of oil dripping. Oil Light goes on and I have to replace 2 qts of oil. Mechanic said to bring back to Nissan . Of course, Nissan said its not a recall and that we need a catalytic converter and a engine costing me, $5000.00. Can't believe Nissan has not recalled this car since so many consumers have had this problem. They don't even want to hear anything.. Nissan is the worse car dealership to buy any car. How can Nissan get away with this. Will they do something if the car goes up in flames and someone sues them. Just viewing all these complaints why is Nissan so surprised that this happened. Class action suit needs to be done, maybe we need to bring the newspapers in to disgrace them.. Or have it broad casted over the television "SHAME ON YOU'

- , W. Babylon, NY, USA

problem #52

Jan 192009

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

I took my nissan to the dealership on 3/24/09. This was due to the check engine light coming on for code P0420. They told me the computer had to be reset and fuel injection cleaning was needed. After paying $245.00 the noise has come back and now I have a vibration in the steering wheel. Someone needs to speak out and do something about these assholes. I'm ready to drive the piece of sh*t right through the dealership.

- , Medford, NY, USA

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