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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,665 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.

2002 Nissan Altima accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 182011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


When my 2002 Nissan Altima was about a year old, my vehicle began having difficulties starting in the morning. I live in sunny southern California, so our coldest mornings are in the high 30S. As a result, I don't believe that outside air temperature was a contributing factor to my vehicle not wanting to start. However, this issue never occurred in the warm afternoon. Ever since the initial instance, it has continued to happen a couple of times each year. I notified my local Nissan dealership on at least two occassions. Of course the problem never arose when I was at the dealership, so I decided to just dop the issue, as it didn't happen frequently enough to be of major concern to me. More recently; however, my car nearly stalled on my way home from my friend's house. I had to throw my car into neutral and press the gas pedal to prevent it from doing so. Ever since my car never wants to start on the first turn of the key. In fact, my check engine light is now on, and I have to pump the accelerator to get the car started. I had the check engine light code checked and discovered that there was a problem with the cam position sensor. Through online research, I discovered that Nissan recalled this part on some 2002 Nissan Altima. As a result, I contacted two different local Nissan dealesrhips and gave them my car's VIN number so they could see if the recall applied to my car. Of course it did not. I also discovered through my research that numerous people are encountering the same problem, and I was directed to file a complaint with NHTSA which is what brings me here today. Please help to keep us safe from vehicles stalling in the middle of busy intersections. Not only is this a terrifying thought, but if and when this happens, it could be a fatal problem.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #2

May 022008

Altima 4-cyl

  • 53,995 miles
I have a 2002 Nissan Altima, I have an error message on my 6 disc cd changer. It is err3. I cannot load or eject any cd's. this is ridiculous. I am not paying to have this fixed. Nissan should cover, or bose. Thank you.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #1

May 012002


  • miles
This car has been a lemon since day one, in and out of dealership for one reason or the other, it started with the car running hard, dealership told me it was because I have broke the car in and now this is how they run, took it back again 3 to 4 more times with same problem, told them car idles high, shifts bad, runs bad, they said nothing wrong, I do alot of highway miles and as soon as I was over the miles and out of the warrenty they told me that the motor mounts were gone only 800 to get fixed, I was then hit by a car head on and really hurt I suffered major back problems, come to find out I probaby could have prevented some of the damage to my self if I had a saver car, my air bags didn;T deploy. I have had every recall to this car, the service men at the dealserships are the rudest men I have ever delt with. I was right the whole time !!!!! I have also experienced the same thing with the lights cost around 800 to fox kept changing the lights not to mentions the tickets I recieved from the cops, I explained to them the light keeps going out, they are like this is a 02 that doesn't happen, if they only knew!!! I am really tired of this car, now I was just told that the car has another problem, it over heats they think it might be the therostat but they don't know. How much money will that cost me"?" I am one angry person when it comes to this car!!!!!!!

- Jupiter, FL, USA

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