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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
89,949 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. change the compressor and dryer (2 reports)
  3. compressor seized up, needs to be replaced (1 reports)
  4. replace the a/c fan relay switch (1 reports)
  5. should be a recall (1 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #8

Jun 012012

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,500 miles


I have had so many problems with my Altima and my sons Maxima that I will never buy another Nissan and it is a shame because I like Nissan styling.

- , Kansas City, MO, US

problem #7

Jun 012010

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I to had the hot air blowing when the A/C was on. This was fixed by replacing the A/C Fan relay switch under the hood. Don't bother going to the dealer for one. They will give you a $20 switch for the wrong car, and when confronting them on it, they will say they made a mistake, and you will need to buy the entire relay switch box for $600. Go to a local junk yard and pull a switch from there. This solved my problem.

- , Murray, UT, USA

problem #6

Jun 112009

Altima 2.5L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,487 miles

The compressor seized up with only 107,000 km. on the car. Nissan quoted me $1200 (Canadian) to fix it. Never had a compressor blow on such low mileage. Took it to a 3rd party garage, found out there were two holes the size of basket balls rusted through the floor. Had the car rustproofed by the dealer for 5 years. Nissan refused to do anything about either problem because all warranties were expired. Never had the car serviced by anyone except the dealer who never spotted the rust in time to fix it.

- , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

problem #5

Jul 022007

(reported on)

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


All my problems started after taking the car in for those so called recalls. I think Nissan is trying to make money by having us bring our cars in for recalls so they can #$%^& them up and charge us to repair them. It makes no sense. Two weeks after I purchased my car(brand new), it wouldn't start.

Yes I was pissed and embarrassed on top of that.

They did send a tow truck(more embarrassment) to find out the problem was with the Key.

The stalling while driving is a HUGE problem.

It will cost $100.00 to check the problem out.

Does anyone have a clue what this is.

- , Richton Park, IL, US

problem #4

Oct 172007

(reported on)

Altima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

only having my nissan altima for 1 year the air compressor went out nissan refuse to fix it

- , Gadsden, Alabana, USA

problem #3

Mar 242007

(reported on)

Altima LS 2.5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

My car was only 4 years old at the time, and the air conditioner went out. It blows hot air only. I was told that I would have to replace both the compressor and the dryer. The cost would run around $700.00 total.

- , Orange, TX, US

problem #2

Jan 302007

(reported on)

Altima 2.5 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,604 miles

All summer long my family had to endure the heat of 90 & 100+ weather with an air conditioner that blew hot air, no I did not take it to the dealer because we are not made of money. Why is it Nissan cannot pay for the repairs when the problem is their fault.

- , Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #1

Aug 112006

(reported on)

Altima 2.5S

  • 50,000 miles

AC blows warm air.. and 'Service Engine Soon" light on. Took into Dealer, and they say..'Oh.. it has TOO MUCH freon in it.." (Strange, cause the car was fine the previous year, and we never TOUCHED the freon..) So $200 later.. off we go. On the way home, the S. E. S. lite pops back on.. Oh joy~~!! Within a week its back to warm air again. Back to the dealership. They put it on the computer to check out whats REALLY wrong..(why they didnt do that in the first place I'll never know..) and they tell us now that a head "gasket" needs to be replaced.. that coolant is leaking into the engine.. thats why the AC is blowing warm air . Of course they charged us another $100 for the diagnostics. We still have a car blowing warm air, the SES lite on, .. what a pile of crap! BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE... this should be a recall.

- , Sarasota, FL, USA

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