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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,372 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.

2012 Nissan Sentra drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Aug 212016


  • 95,000 miles


Vehicle refused to accelerate during prolonged uphill drive in 95F+ weather. Vehicle speed was reduced to below 50 mph and no amount of accelerator depressing increased speed or acceleration. Vehicle had to be pulled over for 10 minutes before it would accelerate normally again. No notice of engine overheat or malfunction was registered on the the dash. No indicators visible.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 242015


  • 73,000 miles
The gear on my car would not shift into "park" when I parked in a parking spot after driving around the city for 20 minutes. I shifted the gear into neutral then tried again but it still wouldn't work. After struggling for 7 minutes, I reversed out of the spot then drove the car around the parking lot and attempted to park the car again but the gear still wouldn't shift into park. After struggling and growing concerned and frustrated 5 minutes later, I repeated the process but the car still wouldn't shift into park. Ten minutes later the gear finally shifted into park when I parked the car again. The key cannot be removed from the ignition of a 2012 Nissan Sentra unless the car is in "park" and turned off.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #20

Jul 082016


  • 84,000 miles
About half-way through a highway road trip from dallas to houston, my vehicle began automatically decelerating from 85mph to 70mph although my foot pressed hard on the accelerator. I activated cruise control at 70mph, but the vehicle continued to decelerate although cruise control was activated and displayed beneath the speedometer. When the car's speed dropped from 70mph to 60mph on the highway, I took the nearest exit in centerville, Texas and stopped at the gas station to turn my car off then on again. The car continued to decelerate, reaching only 45mph as I entered the busy highway yet again. After 15 minutes, the car began accelerating to 60mph. After struggling with the car's speed for about 30 minutes, everything returned to normal and the car began accelerating to 85mph once again.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #19

Apr 032016


  • 200 miles


At 50K miles after four hours driving at 70mph the car lost power, RPM not moving at all when accelerating. At 67K miles, the car lost power again after driving 3 hours, got code P0744 from scanner. Car would only 50-60 mph.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #18

Feb 102016


  • miles
Bought the car certified used from a Nissan dealership w/ roughly 55K miles on it, cvt transmission fails, have it replaced. The new cvt transmission fails again with roughly 55K miles on. Nissan refuses to offer any assistance to help with replacing a cvt transmission that yet again has failed.

- Plano, TX, USA

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problem #17

Mar 032016


  • 65,000 miles
I stopped at a stop sign and then was not able to move. Tried then going backwards and nothing. I was able to drift forward. However no acceleration. No warning signs, car has been working correctly since purchased. The car is was purchased in Nov of 2011, this happened 3/3/16 less then 65,000 miles. I have the car maintained regularly by only the dealership where I purchased it from brand new. Only issue I have ever had with the car was being advised while maintence that the battery was reading dead in the car so they replaced it. I called the dealership and they said it sounds like a transmission problem and I'm over the 60,000 mile warranty.

- Halethorpe, MD, USA

problem #16

Oct 192015


  • 87,000 miles


I was driving through town and was at a stop light when my car would not accelerate at all. No warning signs. No check engine light. It just wouldn't go. Took my car to the Nissan dealer and was advised the transmission has to be replaced. Nissan refuses to assist with any of the cost. It's an automatic cvt transmission.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 102015


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Sentra. While driving at 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Fayetville, NC, USA

problem #14

Mar 102015


  • 63,383 miles
The contact owns a 2012 nisssan Sentra. While driving at approximately 60 mph, the transmission failed while accelerating. The check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 63,383.

- Santa Rosa , CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 242014

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
In the first incident, I came out from seeing a movie and I could not get my car out of park. A friend came to try to help and got it into neutral but it would not shift any further. The problem turned out to be the key release cable. I had a problem again in early November at approx 36,500 miles. This time the key would not come out of the ignition. Same key release cable was the problem. Even now the car still makes a clunking noise under the driver's seat and the key seems to scrape as it comes out of the ignition. Sometimes I pull the key out (and there is the scraping noise) and the doors do not unlock.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #12

Jun 012012

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 125 miles


Since purchasing the car new in 2012 upon accelerating after first starting and going about half a mile car makes a clunking noise. Does this all the time after first starting and taking off and can be felt under the driver's side floorboard when it happens. The dealership took it for a test ride and said it is normal in Sentra models, but they never checked the bushings to diagnose the source of the problem. It could be in the suspension, transmission, or the drive train.

- Frostburg, MD, USA

problem #11

Mar 242014

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 31,796 miles
Was driving on freeway, accelerating toward 70 mph. Accelerator dropped away from under my foot, tachometer "pegged" 5000 RPM. Quick scan of instrument panel showed car was now in neutral, not drive. My hands were both on the steering wheel; I didn't touch the gearshift lever. The car shifted on its own. This started a series of problems with the transmission that continue to escalate; transmission will override braking (caused 2 accidents 2 weeks apart); on a 500-mile (1-way) business trip in July, car went into fail-safe mode 3 times - loss of power, accelerator non-functional. Car taken off the road by Nissan Corp, but no repairs done; after 49 days out of service, car was released to me, continues to exhibit transmission problems. Now the steering is extremely hard to operate, as if there's no power steering in the car. When transmission overrides brakes, it feels like the car is being pushed, then chokes down (nose of car dips), then is catapulted in the same direction (D or R); in this sequence, brakes fully applied will not stop the car. Nissan's only response is to self-protect against a lawsuit; no concern for the welfare of someone driving a car in this condition!

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 202014

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
I was driving my Nissan Sentra and without warning the transmission failed in the middle of the street. It failed at 66,000 miles and the warranty expired at 60,000 miles I received no help from Nissan or the dealer they both could care less about the situation it was a awful experience I bought the car because I thought it was reliable I will never buy Nissan again it has been a bad experience so long Nissan.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 102014


  • 80,000 miles
I bought a 2012 Nissan Sentra I kept up with all the work for the car so to be sure nothing would go wrong. About a year the car started making noise. I told the service dept. But they did nothing on 07-10-2012 the service dept told me I needed a new transmission the car is only two years old. The car began to run really bad. I had to get another car for fear that this might blow up.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 192014

Sentra 4-cyl

  • miles
Upon accelerating the car makes a awful clunking noise that is not only heard but felt on the floor under your feet this happens often. The dealer stated this was normal. I pressed the gas pedal while switching lanes and the engine revved up, but the car did not move. It took the transmission several seconds to catch up to the engine.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #7

Feb 032014


  • miles
Shifter assembly binding. Of course it is not under warranty. Dealership will not investigate why it is binding. They just want to replace it for $637. It had only 56,000 miles when I drove it into the service department for the diagnosis. I purchased an extended warranty because I bought the car when it had 46,000 plus miles. It is a 2012 make. I am researching on the computer to see what could be the cause of the binding problem. Had a previous Nissan in the early nineties and no problem.

- St Augustine, FL, USA

problem #6

Jul 312013

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
During acceleration the vehicle makes a loud clunk that is not only heard but felt on the floor under your feet.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jul 092013

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
Summer 2013, while driving on the freeway at 60 mph, some tire debris off an 18 wheeler truck tire was on my lane, , to avoid hitting it and or the vehicles next to me I looked into my rear view mirror to check for cars behind me and made a sudden slow down, but not a complete stop, ,I pressed the gas pedal to go around the debris and the engine revved up, but the car did not move. It took the cvt transmission several seconds to catch up to the engine, before the car started to move again..I told a service manager at ipoc Nissan dealer in san antonio about this and he seemed to brush it aside, stating those things happens with cvt's. what the dealer did find was an engine oil leak between the transmission and engine, you can't really see the oil leak, but the fact that dust collects around it indicated and the rest of the underside is cleaner. The dealer had to remove the transmission, parts connected to it, ,front axle etc..the flywheel to replace a defective rear engine main oil seal. This was at about 7000 miles into this new Nissan Sentra. Also I have made countless complaints to Nissan and it's dealer of the horrible knocking from the engine (2.0) on start ups. And somewhat gets quieter after warm-up, but is still present at about 2000 RPM and up.. Nissan has time after time refuses to accept that they have a mechanical product defect, instead they claim the knocking is coming from their fuel injectors, to the ABS brakes systems, ,to the trunk lid..these are the excuses they have told me. I would not like to pass on these problems to some other person if I get rid of this new car, ,what I would like Nissan to do is make good on their product, their advertising on tv, radio, and other media is deceiving and Nissan is trying to avoid having to fix their problems. The problem with the stop and go on the cvt happened again and I reported it to the dealer.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 292012


  • 20 miles
I have the same complaints as the following: Date complaint filed: 09/05/2012 component(s): Power train, structure date of incident: 08/09/2012 NHTSA id number: 10473871 date complaint filed: 01/18/2012 component(s): Power train, service brakes, hydraulic, suspension date of incident: 01/12/2012 NHTSA id number: 10444380.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #3

Aug 092012

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 68 miles
Upon accelerating after first starting and going about half a mile car makes a clunking noise like you have ran over something even though you haven't. does this all the time after first starting and taking off. Also trunk had trouble closing and there seems to be a gap in trunk.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

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