definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,555 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.

1998 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Sep 102006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 124,666 miles


During cross-country trip, vehicle began emitting metallic whining noise and clicking in engine compartment, not audible from passenger compartment. When I returned home, I performed regular tune-up maintenance, checked my valve clearances and timing adjustments. Shortly after I started my vehicle again, my lower timing chain snapped. After a lengthy disassembly, I discovered that a piece of black plastic from a chain guide had broken away and fused with the chain, causing it to seize and break. Also, the lower chain tensioner had been completely eaten through by the chain (not as a result of poor servicing; I changed my oil every 3000 miles and checked/topped it off every 2 weeks) the incident caused $600 in parts damage, and could easily have cost $1500 in labor at a mechanic or dealership. The chain breakage destroyed my oil pump, crankshaft sprocket, lower chain cover, lower chain tensioner, guide (beyond original breakage) and oil pan baffle / sump tube. Since Nissan had initiated a "tsb" before I ever purchased my Altima, no compensation was even considered. Obviously the tsb process does not include checking vehicles as they are brought in for maintenance, as I had regularly had my car serviced by the dealership for a full year post-purchase. I replaced the defective chain guide with the upgraded Nissan component, a metal-backed guide track, and shall soon inspect my timing again to ensure that the repairs performed indeed corrected the problem. Two recommendations: First, the tsb process needs to be addressed, as it obviously does not effectively safeguard consumers against engineering blunders such as this; second, automotive manufacturers should be held accountable for quality of product in terms of mechanical soundness as well as safety. If state corporation commissions can regulate service quality and pricing for every service Agency in their sphere, I think the federal government should have the same leverage over automotive manufacturers.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #2

Feb 011999

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Bracket bolt in engine compartment was missing.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 011999

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Piston failed. Mjs

- Long Beach, CA, USA

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