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: The 2005 Sentra earned its clunker status after numerous reports of blown head gaskets.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,889 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.

2005 Nissan Sentra engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments

problem #17

Dec 012007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


When turning right I would notice that my engine temp would go up. The mechanics finally figured out that it was a broken head gasket which cost me $1000. The car had less than 50,000 miles on it at the time. Now my check engine light is on and I have problems starting it.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #16

Aug 012010


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Sentra. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle started to hesitate and it stalled. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop, where they were unable to diagnose the failure, but replaced the temperature gauge as a temporary remedy. Approximately seven months later, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the local repair shop, who diagnosed that the head gasket and radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #15

May 152011

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
After the car had been having trouble with overhead, the thermostat, engine belts, and water pump were replaced April 30, 2011. Approximately two weeks later, the car would no longer start. The mechanic said this no start condition and the previous problems with the thermostat/coolant were due to a head gasket problem. The head gasket is faulty and many others have had this problem. The car has only 70,000 miles and should not be having this type of problem. The car was bought new, had been well cared for and the only problems have been caused by the faulty head gasket.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #14

Apr 112011

Sentra 4-cyl

  • miles


2005 Nissan Sentra. Consumer states problem with oil dipstick breaking off.

- Flemington, NJ, USA

problem #13

Feb 252011


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Sentra. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start and was taken to the dealer for inspection. The dealer advised that the timing chain and head gasket would need replacing. There were no recalls for the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was advised that they would assist with fifty percent of the repair costs but the contact declined. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Cary, IL, USA

problem #12

Dec 012010


  • 44,900 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Sentra. The contact stated that the head gasket was blown and there were no indications that the vehicle was overheating. She read details regarding a hair line fracture in the head gasket. The normal pressure in the engine should be 60 and it could decrease which would also be an indication that the head gasket was blown; however, it was only due to the bolts that were on the head gasket at the bottom of the engine. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic three times who stated that the ignition coil, the throttle body and the gasoline pedal were the reason that the check engine light illuminated. The third time the failure occurred she was told that the actual failure was the head gasket although there were no prior signs of the vehicle over heating. The thermostat was checked and there was no water mixing with the oil nor was it opening and closing at that time. She was the original owner of the vehicle. She was concerned that the bolts were a common failure for her year, make and model vehicle. The first failure occurred at 44,900 miles when the check engine light came on. The current mileage was 45,100.

- Hampton , VA, USA

problem #11

Mar 242010


  • 76,000 miles


My check engine light first came on and I noticed I was having to put coolant and/or water in the radiator every few days. I was online and read a forum with about 25-30 other people complaining about the same issues I was having and they all turned out to be the head gaskets. People have said they filed complaints with Nissan but nothing was done. All the vehicles had mileage of 60,000-80,000 and that is not nearly enough mileage for us to be having this problem. I just don't think its a coincidence that we are all having the same problem with the same part. I changed out the thermostat, water pump, and had everything checked and am still having this problem so I've determined it has to be the head gasket, like the many others. I have not fixed the head gasket yet as I'm still saving money for it.

- Chalmette, LA, USA

problem #10

Feb 062010


  • 78,575 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6). My car (2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8L engine) began overheating terribly in February of 2010. I brought it into a mechanic, who had trouble diagnosing the problem. When I brought it into a Nissan dealership, they advised that it was a broken headgasket. I found numerous other complaints on the website I decided to send those into Nissan and asked them to look into the issue and do a recall. I feel that this is a safety problem- especially since it seems like the problem happened overnight. Had I not been paying attention to the signals on my car, I would not have known that my car was overheating so badly and it could have caused a fire. I ended up paying $911 to fix the car. I sent a letter into Nissan and was considered for reimbursement but they ultimately denied my claim. I really feel that a recall should be done in this case. I've investigated this situation and found that it's quite common for the headgaskets on this car to fail. Please look into this for me. [xxx]

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #9

Apr 212009


  • 36,366 miles
I was driving my 2005 Nissan Sentra when it started running roughly then the check engine light came on. The next day it ran fine the engine light was off. Someone told me to have the spark plugs replaced so I did that. The car was fine for about two weeks. Then the same thing started happening again and this time it was worse it was running rougher and smoke was coming out of the tailpipe and it was loud. I took it to the dealership they had it for 2 hours and told me that my head gasket had failed and they could not give me an explanation as to why that had happened. It was covered under the remaining powertrain warranty. After that I had done some research and found that this is happening to a lot of other people. The reason that I am making this complaint is that my vehicle is out of warranty August 2010 and the total cost to replace the head gasket in my vehicle is almost $2000 dollars. I think Nissan should address this problem and replace what ever parts required to make sure this problem never happens again.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #8

Aug 272008


  • miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Sentra in April 2006. Since February 2008, I have had the same continuous problem. I get in my car and it simply will not start. I bought the car from Toyota and took it to them to fix it. They were unable to fix it and they sent it to Nissan. When Toyota tried to fix it they told me it was bad gas, that didn't fix the problem, they then said it was a starter, they put a starter on it, that didn't fix the problem. When Nissan got it, they fixed something, I really don't remember at this point. A few months later, the cart wouldn't start again, took it back to Nissan, they said it was a head gasket, they fixed it. Saturday when to get in my car, it wouldn't start. It eventually started later on that day. Been driving the car. This morning (4 days later) car will not start. I am at my wits end. I bought a new car because my old car was unreliable. Now my new car is just as unreliable. Bought a Nissan because supposedly it is a really good car. So far, not convinced. I now have to pay to have the car fixed because it not under warranty any longer. I am really going to have to have a heart to heart talk with Nissan regarding this continuous problem.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #7

Aug 052006


  • miles


I had a head gasket problem and wire problem but I only had the car for 19 month in been in the shop more than I have had the car.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Jan 262008

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,142 miles
Vehicle 62,861 miles. All regular maintenance has been performed. January 26, 2008 I drove vehicle 25 miles from my home. The car sat for 4 hours. On restart got no heat. Temperature gauge in the normal range. Drove 10 miles when the heat gauge spiked high, stopped. Engine temp back to normal, and I shut the engine off. Opened hood no steam visible. Eased radiator cap off, could see coolant in radiator started engine back up to see where the water level would drop too. Added 4 oz. No steam coming from engine or radiator. Service soon light now lit. Engine ran smoothly. Tried to determine what was wrong. Suspected no water flow through heater. Determined water flow out of the radiator, no steam, had a service soon light, and engine had a slight miss at startup that cleared after a few seconds of running. I took the Nissan to breeden's auto repair. Breeden's determined engine had a blown head gasket, and a miss in no. 2 cylinder. The Nissan's engine was repaired. Breeden's mechanics told me the following: Nissan had 4 or 5 (service) notices on failed head gasket with cylinder number 2 miss for the 2005 1.8 Sentra, however no recall exists; engine coolant and radiator were clean; new type head bolts were required with the gasket replacement and required 60 foot-pounds of torque; that when removing the head they found the rear bolts to be much looser than the front bolts (not the required torque); and they found no other reason to explain head gasket failure. The 1.8 Nissan engine head gasket should not fail on a well maintained, non-abused engine with 62K miles. I believe Nissan had indications that some of their 1.8 engines had a problem blowing head gaskets because of the notices. I suspect Nissan attributed these recorded failures to head bolt torque, and I wonder why no recall notice was forthcoming. Nissan gave a negative response on February 28, 2008.

- Locust Grove, VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 162007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Sentra. I've had it for a year when it started squealing under the hood, it also would shake for at least 5 minutes everytime I started it in the morning. Eventually the car wouldn't start and I was told I needed a new engine. The gauges didn't warn me of any problems before hand. I took the car for regular services, always on time for oil changes. The cd player was also replaced once and still doesn't work. The car no longer has warranty and I don't have the money for a new engine at this point in time.

- Winslow, AZ, USA

problem #4

Feb 012007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I brought my 05 Nissan Sentra in March 2005. I have taken my car in for regular visits, and every time for a year everything seemed fine. Then in April of 2006 my car wouldn't start. I took the vehicle to the mossy Nissan on mile of cars in national city (where I purchased the vehicle) two and each time they said they fixed it. The third time I took it back because it wouldn't start they said that I needed a new engine! and wanted me to pay for it. I was pregnant on bed rest and having to argue with the dealership and Nissan Corp. That regular maintenance never revealed any problems and that if there were problems they should have caught them. I informed that they did not have to honor the 60 month warranty that I had I would just sue them. After having my husband parents argue with them because the stress during my pregnancy was just too much. They agreed to pay for the new engine. So far so good for almost another year and now the car's service engine soon keeps coming on the car is at the dealer today for the 3rd time. The car stalls out. The service man just left a message on my phone and is now saying the reason for the problem is the sensor is off?! whatever.. I am going to go pick it up.. if the problem happens again I am going to have my boss who's spouse is a lemon law attorney get involved.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 012005

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact complained about an ongoing problem with the check engine light and the vehicle running roughly. She took the vehicle to the dealership, where they changed the spark plugs and ran a diagnostic test. The problem recurred, and this time the dealer changed the ignition coil. She had the vehicle back three days when the check engine light came back on and the vehicle started running roughly. No further repairs have been made. The dealer noted on the contact's invoice the problem was related to cylinder number three misfiring. However, there was no indication on either service invoice how the cylinder misfire was corrected by the replacement of the spark plugs or the ignition coil. Updated 1/19/2006 -

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #2

Jul 262005

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,132 miles
Service engine light continues to turn on, after multiple service visits with multiple mis fires in the system. The vehicle will shake very hard and rapidly. There were no acceleration. While driving, the vehicle will stall on a gear with the R.P.M. referring on high for a long period of time, also when going from brake to gas or vice versa it will stall then accelerate. All these malfunctions happening within a 6 month. Period of purchasing this vehicle brand new. Vehicle recently shut off on the highway. When brought in for service the following morning, I was told by the service department the engine motor, carburetor & throttle body all needed to be replaced. They also stated the vehicle cannot be fixed due to Nissan not having the parts. All this happening within a 6 month. Period of purchasing the vehicle.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 162005

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer started the vehicle and noticed that the check engine light had come on (April 13, 2005). The vehicle was taken to the dealership where she was informed that a replacement part was needed. The vehicle was taken back to dealership on April 15, 2005, and the part was replaced. While driving on the freeway at 55 mph on April 16, 2005, smoke filled the inside of the vehicle. The vehicle was driven to the gas station off of the freeway and the mechanic determined that the flames were coming from under the hood. The mechanic extinguished the flames, and informed the consumer that problem was caused by the engine. The #3 cylinder had misfired due to the head gasket leaking internally.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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