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. 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,495 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 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 292008

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,818 miles


1. vehicle's exhaust pipe hanger caught bag of debris from the road and felt like the car was falling apart in the rear. Debris was removed by discount tires after purchasing new wheels and tires. 2. service engine warning light is on. Engine has reduced power and it causes the engine to stop running without warning during operation, with vibrating noises. Nissan states that the cam sensor with crank sensor is faulty and should be replaced. Apparently it is under recall and they want us to pay for a recalled item. 3. engine long block was replaced on 2/14/06 because of catastrophic engine failure, and the engine continues to have problems with vibrating and sluggishness. 4. rear engine mount replaced in 11/03/04 as recommended. Now, passenger upper mount was recommended to be changed on 3/14/08. 5. air conditioning is blowing hot air and we replaced air conditioning high side compressor and oil recharged system in 6/01/07, as recommended. As of today 3/30/08 air conditioning is blowing hot air again. We purchased new wheels, tires and brakes because of the vibration in the car and steering column with low sounding noise. We have consistently taken our car in for maintenance, recalls and additional mechanical problems with very minimal resolutions. Thank you.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #5

Jun 242004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
Well I have 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 I have about 66,000 miles on the car and it has been having the same problem. It first started when they had recall oxygen sensor. I have had to replace the same sensor 3 times already at about cost of $350 each time. Now my check engine light keeps coming on the replaced the catalytic converter and told me I had to change my engine coils and spark plugs for about $1000 dollars. After that was completed there was no change my check engine light still comes on engine idles rough always having to fill coolant. And have had to been towed several time to the dealer with no explanation as to what is wrong.

- Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #4

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 #3

May 202006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles


My Nissan Altima (2002) with VIN#[xxx]) engine's stopped while driving the service engine soon light came on. After a few moments, I started the vehicle and I noticed reduced engine power as I drove to a safe location. Vehicle has been diagnosed and shows a code P0335 and I was informed by mechanic (service garage) that there was a recall for the 2002 Altima's with similar problems. I contacted Nissan dealer in tucson and was informed that my VIN # does not fall within the recalled group. Upon calling the national consumers affairs office @ (888)737-2647 I spoke to macy spencer (extension 8510). She looked up the VIN # an informed me that this vehicle had the crankshaft position sensor replaced in may of 2004 and that it only had a 12 month warranty. I purchase this vehicle from Nissan in July 2005. Updated 07/16/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Apr 192004

(reported on)


  • 75,000 miles
Vehicle keeps losing power at any speed. Consumer believes vehicle may be involved in a collision

- Vails Gate, NY, USA

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problem #1

Jan 222003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
At two different Nissan dealerships, el paso and las cruces, the oil level on the dipstick of my 2002 Altima registered approximately one quart low. This leads me to believe that the information in the manuals as to the amount of oil needed may be incorrect.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

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