pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
91,785 miles
Total Complaints:
37 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. change the manifold gasket (25 reports)
  2. not sure (6 reports)
  3. replace gasket (6 reports)
2001 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Jul 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Been reading up on the issues I'm having with my car and I see a lot of other people are having the same problem. We have basically fixed everything in the engine besides the intake manifold gasket. When I'm idling the car sputters and feels like its going to stall, if I have the defroster on it doesn't do it. My boyfriend who is a mechanic was so baffled by this problem that he finally took it to a friend of ours who has his own shop. He had the car for a week and couldn't figure out the problem. We are going to fix the gasket ourselves since I don't have a few hundred dollars to throw to Nissan since we already spent $400.00 on replacing everything else. Nissan needs to recall this part since so many people have the same problem. I'm going to email Nissan and tell them they should be responsible for making this clear to the consumer and to recall it.. I've never had a problem with the car up until this point and its extremely costly to just figure it out non the less fix the actual problem.

- , Little River, SC, USA

problem #36

Sep 082012

Altima GXE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,560 miles

2001 Nissan Altima, have owned car since new now has 105,000 miles on it. I am a very capable back yard mechanic but this intake manifold vacuum leak has been driving me crazy for almost 2 years! I have tried every reasonable fix for this- plugs-rotor -distributor- cap- wires-air cleaner-engine cleaners-gas and throttle body cleaners-map cleaners and so on and on and on! I was also told it could be the catalytic converter as well! I finally gave in and took it to a Honest mechanic with a smoke machine and he diagnosed an intake manifold vacuum leak. Having researched your site and finding that all these people have experienced these stalling problems. If the car stalled at the worst possible time it could cause an accident and frankly I am surprised at not reading about accidents occurring! I really do believe drivers have been in accidents because of this just because of the sheer amount of complaints of this problem. I am also surprised that there has not been a NISSAN recall on this problem, my daughter had a Toyota Rav 4 and it had a very expensive transmission problem $5000.00+ and TOYOTA acknowledged the problem and reimbursed my daughter for the transmission! I think it is absolutely disgusting that NISSAN MOTORS will not accept responsibility for this defect in their product! I would not be surprised to find out that there has been accidents and injuries because of the unexpected stalling of the NISSAN MOTORS VEHICLES!

Thanks for reading, Jimmy from Nassau County, New York

- , Great Neck, NY, USA

problem #35

Aug 012010

Altima GLE V6 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,457 miles

Bought this car as a second hand car. The owner leave the air-conditioner on when I tested the car. So I didn't find the problem.

I take it to a auto repair today, they told me I need a tuneup which is about 140. And after a while, they called me some more things like the plug wires cap needs to be changed. OK, another 100. At last, they called me again, telling me the tuneup is done, but they found another problem which is the INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET, which would cost me 450 dollars. The expensive part is the 5.5 hours labor work, which is 420 dollars.

I am just a student and I don't have that much budget for the car..

- , Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #34

Oct 102012

Altima GXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles


Ok, my fellow Nissan owners, I have had this car since new. Saw it come down from the car carrier one day, after a very long ownership of it I can say it has been good, but this problem with the rough idle is getting on to my nerves. I have spent about $200.00 to fix it and nothing yet, I am tired and the wife don't want to drive it no more cause of that, I wonder if it is really a fix for the rough idle, it's almost time to get the emissions inspection again and had never failed, but this time around don't know, does any body really know how to fix this mess?

Let us know please, thanks.....

- , Lawreneceville, GA, USA

problem #33

Nov 112012

Altima GXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Hopefully this will help others get closer to fixing an issue rather than troubleshooting wrong areas thus spending too much money on unnecessary part.

My car was going int a low idle (400 rpm) after it was 1) warmed up 2) at a stop for about 10 seconds or longer - idle dropped.

One frustration is that the code it throws (I think P0068) has no significant data from Nissan,the code suggests to check the thermostat - engine temp sensor. It's obviously an air mixture/temperature issue somewhere. I did some work myself changing ETS, thermostat, which didn't fix - brought to Nissan specialized mechanic - felt like like even the mechanics didn't know what to carry out,- first replaced the thermostat (that I already replaced) it didn't fix issue, then stated MAP sensor ($500 part) as that code also was thrown - but before changing MAP sensor found intake leak (after checking a few times) it seems (if I'm correct it leaks at the lower left side so may be harder to find).

The mechanic did the "spray the break fluid on manifold - engine should rev due to fluid getting through cracks" he didn't notice an issue and needed to due a "smoke test" which showed the issue as being the intake manifold gasket.

I changed the manifold myself, the mechanic wanted $650 due to how poorly the Altima is designed, removing the manifold is very (and unnecessarily complex).

I took me about 16 hours to change due to poorly placed bolts, hoses that were very difficult to remove. To me I find an intake manifold gasket issue for that mileage means defective part was put in, I've read this is common for these cars.

Replacing the manifold fixed the idle issue - the part with gasket seal was about $14, I took this opportunity to also replace many questionable hoses including for steering fluid, connection hoses, many of the larger hoses such as steering, and a hose under intake manifold for antifreeze circulation were brittle.

LASTLY - the mechanics I worked with stated that the off brand parts for Nissan tend to not work well, Nissan parts are VERY expensive. They were referring to the thermostat/MAP sensor (which I ended up not needing).

In close. . . my experience is one can throw a lot of money at an issue and the resolution isn't even close due to poor documentation.

- , Franklin, TN, USA

problem #32

Aug 122009

Altima SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

This was totally unexpected - the same problem occurred in my son's 1997

Altima at about the same mileage. I'm afraid to purchase a newer Altima

for fear of the same problem recurring - any experiences with newer

Altimas having blown head gaskets?

- , Layton, UT, USA

problem #31

Jan 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


car would choke at an intersection. i see it's a common problem with the Altimas. i wish i had known about it before i bought the car. class action anybody?

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #30

Nov 012004

Altima GXE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

I bought my 2001 Altima in 2002. By 2004 and a little over 41000 miles, the intake manifold gasket on the #4 cyclinder started leaking. It was repaired for a little of $700.00. It caused the car to idle extremely rough when it was stopped at a light or stop sign. It felt like the car was going to just die. The local dealership did the repair. The parts was less than $5.00. The rest of the expense was labor charges!

- , Fresno, CA, US

problem #29

May 292011

Altima GXE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,700 miles

This is the 2ND TIME that I have had to replace the intake manifold gasket due to a leak at the #4 cylinder since I've owned this 2001 Nissan Altima!!!!! Really?? Really?? There hasn't been a recall on this car for this problem???????? It was a lot cheaper to repair this time only because my fiance works at the auto repair shop that I took it to and they gave me a break on the hourly labor rate! The part was under $7.00 (an increase of about $2.00 from the first time it was replaced)! The labor was the expensive part of the repair....AGAIN!!!!

- , Fresno, CA, US

problem #28

Dec 062010

Altima GLE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

Two weeks ago my car started acting crazy, started shaking when I stop, I thought it could due to cold weather, I started keeping engine running for bit long at startup in the morning, it stays idling in parking gear. Two days ago I stopped at red light, it shaked badly, the rpm went down and it died. I turned on ignition and it started again. It is so weird. While driving it stays ok and rides smooth, at red lights I have keep it on park and press the accelerator so it doesn’t die.

After diagnosis mechanic told me that it is primary issue with Intake Manifold Gasket, he already had replaced it for 7-8 Nissan cars earlier. All the money is for 5-6 hrs labor, gasket is just less than $10, also replacing Plugs and wires as it is 9 years car now.

Why the hell Nissan can’t use a better quality in the first place. It is just few bucks. My friends with other Toyota and Honda never had major engine problem ever after 120k miles. This would be my last Nissan car. Btw, I would be ready for filing class action, if someone knows how to do it.

- , Roseland, NJ, USA

problem #27

Jan 012005

Altima GXE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


We have had this issue for years, but have just "lived with it". Car now has 145k miles on it. While stopped with transmission in drive there is a bad engine vibration. If the transmission is put in neutral, the shaking goes away. Turning on the AC makes the vibration worse. This vibration was so bad for so long that it broke the front motor mount. When the motor mount was replaced it just transferred all the shaking to the vehicle and its occupants. The shaking has even busted some of the exhaust mounts! I have a replacement intake gasket and I'm just trying to psyche myself up to do it. I just spent a few days on the lower control arms :( I wish Nissan did a recall on this shaking issue...

- , Austin, TX, USA

problem #26

Aug 022010

Altima GLE 2.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

My Nissan started to idle kinda funny and I heard a loud squeal when my AC would turn on while I was driving on the interstate. It then progressed to idling rough and jerking after a few months, and the AC quit working altogether. After having the AC checked out, multiple trips to every mechanic in the county, and a call to the dealership, I checked on here and found that it may just be the manifold gasket. By now my car would jerk you around and give you whiplash at a stop light, and I had to keep my foot on the gas and brake the whole time while being stopped or it would just die, but I did find it weird that when my AC would kick on, the idling would become less severe. I had my uncle (a mechanic) check for the gasket problems, and sure enough, that was it. It was only $7 for the parts, but in order to put them on, the entire engine must be dropped from the car and then put back in. Lucky for me,I didn't have to pay the $600-1200 quote that all the other mechanics gave me to do the job. This is a common, yet non-recalled problem in the Nissan and I am very disappointed that a car that is supposed to be so damn great has so many freakin problems.

- , Ripley, WV, USA

problem #25

Oct 062010

Altima GXE 2.5L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,600 miles

Thanks to everyones posts on this website, and the website itself, I was able to tell the mechanic on the phone what the problem was, and able to ask for an accurate quote.

My engine had been idling rough for say, the last 4 months, but steadily got worse. Finally, the check engine light came on showing P0304, something about cylinder 4. Called around for quotes, the most reputable (and second cheapest) was a local repair shop at $370.00 labor. That's a lotta money, but i'm glad that a) it was fixed, better than spending money and not having it fixed and b) it wasn't more.

After 6+ years of ownership, I can say the car idles perfectly, better than I ever remember it! If you have this problem, tell your mechanic you want a quote for replacing an intake manifold gasket! Like I said, before taxes, etc, the quote was for $370.00. This car has been very reliable so I can't knock it too badly!

Good luck!

- , Rapid City, SD, USA

problem #24

Aug 022010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Same thing as others described. Car shaking when waiting for RED light, and check engine light turned on. To spend $500 on labor and $30 on parts? Will keep updated on the real repair cost.

- , Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #23

Jul 172010

Altima GXE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

i can't believe all the other complaints on this problem.my wife took it to a garage and they told her it was the catalytic converter.they wanted $700 to replace it.i found one online for $136 and did it myself.no difference.ok,complete tuneup - $120, same. my buddy lent me his code reader and the codes came up egr and crankshaft position sensor.replaced both of these $160. same crap.pulling out from a dead stop it bogs down like it's not getting enough gas or something, but when it gets going,it takes off like a rocket.i read about carbon build-up in the ports under the throttle body,i thought that might be the problem ,but i hear a hissing coming from the intake manifold.i don't know if i'm ready to tackle this, but i'm out of work and can't afford to have it done professionally.

- , Stockholm, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jun 172009

Altima GLX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

Had the same problem with my altima easy to diagnose spray alittle carb cleaner around # 4 cyl and it will smooth out or spray alittle propane in that area and it will again smooth out now you know it is the gasket. Being a mechanic I have replaced several of these gaskets and it is a challenge very tight quarters little room to work not for the novice mechanic.

- , Vineland, Ontario, Canada

problem #21

Jun 012010

Altima GXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

My wife wanted a new car (we had a 95 civic) so we buy a 01 Altima this March (for her bday) Two weeks didnt go by before we started hearing this low ticking noise every time we would accelerate. Took it to the mechanic for an oil change and they tell me we should try engine restorer. So we do that, they say give it a week and when the problem didn't go away they checked again. Keep in mind that since March 2010 I have done a major tune up,transmission service, and water pump replacement. Then 3 or 4 days after I replace the water pump the ticking noise starts getting REALLY loud. Then the car starts shaking and the rpm's go all the way to 500 when I'm stopped at a red light. So I take it back to the mechanic and they tell me it's most likely the idle control cylanoid. He then refers me to an "altima specialist". The guy checks the engine with the computer and the reading comes out as "misfire of 4th cylinder" He then says it's going to be $75 JUST for the diagnostic and from then he'll tell us the problem. So I decide to check online before I throw $75 down the drain and LUCKILY I came across this site!! I've never had any doubts about Nissan(although we are somewhat "honda" ppl) but after this I can say I WILL NEVER buy another Nissan. I read all these other comments about people saying we should sue Nissan for this problem...I agree.

If anyone wants to contact an attorney to see if the suit would stick send me a line....I'm in the process of checking around to see how much the labor is going to cost for this stupid $5 part..I don't want to spend $700-800 if the problem is going to reappear in a few months thats BS...

- , Rialto, CA, US

problem #20

Feb 032010

Altima GXE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

The car shakes bumpy when I stop at red light, I have to put parking gear to bring shaking to less. Shown two mechanics and no use, each charged $150 for just checking and finally took it to dealer and he charged another $130 for diagnosis - and it came out as "intake manifold gasket" problem. To fix this, I need to put additional $850 - now I am giving up on this car and go for new one. I will not buy Nissan again, something else now.

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #19

Jul 012009

Altima GXE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Rough idle/shaking when stopped with transmission is in drive. Fine when driving. Paid $120 at Nissan dealership for diagnostic. Will require $20 for the part and 5-6 hours of labor to replace it.

- , Tooele, UT, USA

problem #18

Jan 012010

Altima GLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Car would idle roughly and gas miliage dropped almost 30 %, finally went to nissan in newburgh ny where I purchased the car and they stated the intake manifold gasket would have to be replaced, along with a tune up and them telling me my valve cover gasket was leaking as well, which was replaced just 18 months ago in july of 2008 with only 9,000 miles on it. I argued the gaskets are faulty and they credited me $90.00 for labor on the valve cover one. The total bill was a whopping $1521.00 dollars and I still fighting with the manager for additional compensation. I will contact the attorney genaral's office in New York

- , Newburgh, NY, USA

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