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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,731 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #9

Aug 252016


  • miles


My car has been having steering problems to wear I got it fix with replacing a steering rack which has not lasted longer then a year. 2015-2016 and I can't seem to get a repair man to figure it out. This has happen driving, and turning. I have had exhaust problem to were the repair men has told that my car could catch of fire due to the heat shield so they remove one. Which still left my car dealing with oil spillage afterwards after driving it anywhere. My oil never touches the ground just sits in exhaust pipe and blow smoke sometimes and it has started back up once again after putting so much repairs into my car. Service engine light has start popping on and off, everytime I get it tested it says crank sensor thats when driving the car or when the car moving. Then some days it will disappear. And it mess with the power of my engine. And sometimes it takes a while to crank the car. Now I have tried replacing another motor in the car but this motor that I have now is giving me the same problem as the first motor. And I think thats because the repair men are not fixing the recalls on the motor of the car, they are just replacing the motor like mines got replaced with another motor of the same year make as my car. But I feel that if these recalls on these year make of my car have been known then the Nissan should repair the defects so people want have to keep putting so much money into fixing the car and its not their fault its Nissan. I have problems also out of my manifold gasket and the whole part itself all the time that can burn me and my children up while driving. And I'm just so scared something is going to happen while driving my car and there are recalls on my make model car.

- South Boston, VA, USA

problem #8

Oct 142015


  • miles
Fuel pump leaked under the back seat and spread the gas all around the seat

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 102015


  • 3 miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima started to have problems with the car engine shutting off without any warning. Just 98000 miles on it dealer charged me $900 for set of sensor and labor. Car would stall in traffic on the highway, no warning, we would lose all power. Went to Nissan and they said no one else had this problem.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 102014


  • 205,176 miles


Power valve screws in their 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5S. There is currently a recall on 2004 and 2005 Altima with the 2.5S engine with vins starting with 1N4al11. The recall campaign id for this problem is P5202. However, the same problem affects the 2003 Altima with the 2.5S engine, but Nissan North America has not added the 2003 year model to the recall. Both the 2003S and the 2004S have the exact same engine and I am a case in point of someone experiencing the exact same issue. However, Nissan has of yet not stated whether they will add the 2003 to the recall campaign. I wanted to first let other 2003 Altima owners with the 2.5S engine become aware of this issue. Secondly don't pay to have the problem fixed, it needs to be reported to Nissan North America that the 2003 models are affected by this power valve screw issue. Here is the kicker: More than half the current value of the car. Please be sure and not let this happen to you. I have been on the phone with Nissan North America and my dealership. My dealership has been extremely honest with me and is working with me to get Nissan North America to add the 2003-year models to the recall campaign. If you have had a similar problem and had to pay for it, or if you are experiencing power loss, hearing engine rattle, unusual engine vibration, or hear a motorcycle engine type noise or muffler type sound coming from the engine, than you may be experiencing problems with the power valve. I hope this information saves someone out there both money and time. If you have already experienced this issue than please let me know. We are currently mounting evidence related to this issue in an attempt to make Nissan North America aware of the issue and add the 2003 model to the recall campaign as well as address the damage. If not we will need to file a class action lawsuit related to this issue.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #5

Jun 052014


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 03V251000 (fuel system, gasoline); however, the service engine warning lamp remained illuminated. The contact also stated that the oil was constantly low and had to be refilled. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who replaced the 02 sensor, but the failure recurred. While traveling, the vehicle hesitated and the contact had to apply the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal to keep the vehicle from stalling. The contact was not able to get the vehicle to restart after exiting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken back to the authorized dealer who diagnosed that the pre-catalyst overheated, which caused the catalyst substrate particles to flow into the engine. The mechanic also diagnosed that the cylinder walls failed causing oil consumption, which leaked into the spark plugs causing damages. The engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and would not provide a remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000. Updated 8/19/15

- Ventura, CA, USA

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problem #4

Nov 062014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
My car is burning 3 quarts of oil evry 2 weeks..I tryd replacing parts..using different oil..nothing works..I looked online to get some ideas of what the problem might be..but most people with the same model have the same problem and still haven't found a answer.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 032014

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles


Hard starting.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #2

Sep 252014

Altima 6-cyl

  • 54,048 miles
- faulty intake valve timing control solenoid valve - intake valve timing control solenoid valve harness is open or shorted - intake valve timing control solenoid valve circuit poor electrical connection - faulty camshaft position sensor - camshaft position sensor harness is open or shorted - camshaft position sensor circuit poor electrical connection - faulty crankshaft position sensor (pos) since the intake valve timing control solenoid valve uses oil flow to control timing, dirty oil can cause the valve to stuck open or close. Before replacing the valve, change engine oil and filter and reset engine code. When there is a gap between angle of target and phase-control angle degree, the valve will stop working and the ECM will trigger the P0021 code. Possible symptoms - engine light on (or service engine soon warning light)- lack/loss of power- engine rough idle P0021 Nissan description this mechanism hydraulically controls cam phases continuously with the fixed operating angle of the intake valve. The ECM receives signals such as crankshaft position, camshaft position, engine speed, and engine coolant temperature. Then, the ECM sends on/off pulse duty signals to the intake valve timing control solenoid valve depending on driving status. This makes it possible to control the shut/open timing of the intake valve to increase engine torque in low/mid speed range and output in high-speed range. The intake valve timing control solenoid valve changes the oil amount and direction of flow through intake valve timing control unit or stops oil flow. The longer pulse width advances valve angle. The shorter pulse width retards valve angle. When on and off pulse widths become equal, the solenoid valve stops oil pressure flow to fix the intake valve angle at the control position.

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #1

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

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