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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,837 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Aug 292010

Altima 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


Large hole in passenger floorboard of my 2002 Nissan Altima. Size of hole is @ 10"X 5". the underside of the vehicle is undercoated and the rest of the underside is spotless.

- Rochester, MA, USA

problem #6

May 102010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
Had oil changed on 2002 Nissan Altima SE and notice large rust spots on the floor panels under both driver's and passenger side. Upon further investigation, the rust had created a hole right through the floor panel - lifting the carpet, I could see the road below. Nissan dealers said that it was out of warranty so they could do nothing.

- Cabot, PA, USA

problem #5

Apr 032010


  • 100,000 miles
On my 2002 Nissan Altima, both the driver and passenger side floorboards are rotted out. There are holes over 1 foot square on each side below the pass and drivers feet. This is a well taken care of vehicle, purchased new, washed every month (including undercarriage). The vehicle came with a factory "undercoating", that is still intact but no longer fully attached to the structure, it holds the water against the metal and rots it out, without the owner ever being able to see the damage being done until its too late! ive never seen this, even half as bad, on any car that was taken care of before (and ive been working on cars for 20 years!) this seems like a design flaw by Nissan.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jul 222009


  • 42,000 miles


Pa vehicle inspector found large rusted holes through floor pan in our 2002 Nissan Altima which was always garaged and had only 42,000 miles. Because exhaust fumes could enter the passenger compartment we couldn't use the car. Calls to the dealer and Nissan were fruitless. An online search found several other owners of the same model with the same problem and a couple had estimates of over $2000 for repair.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #3

Jun 012004


  • miles
Gas door was not closing properly. It eventually is very crooked and does not close at all any more. I talked to several Nissan Altima owner same thing happened.

- Parkforest, IL, USA

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problem #2

Nov 132003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
While driving in severe wind gusts, we heard a loud screeching noise emanating from the front, left post area. Sometimes the source was the right front. The noise erupted as the wind gusted at sharp angles and the car steered into or away from the gusts. The noise was highly pronounced. I ruled out anything mechanical because we experienced the same noise whenever the gusts increased and the car was thrown left or right. Turning the steering wheel seemed to cut right into the gusts and the sound was so intense that we thought it resembled a buzzsaw trying to cut its way into the windshield/post area. We mentioned this phenomenon to our car dealer (harbor Nissan, port charlotte, fl). The service manager told us he has had this complaint from other Nissan owners and that he, too, thought it was the wind reacting against the configuration of the vehicle. Our vehicle is a 2002 Nissan Altima. The noise lasts only a split second, sometimes as long as a second. But it is persistent in high gusts. We leased this vehicle in June 2002 and had never before experienced this problem. We had not encountered such high gusts until the period I report here. We were on an extended trip and the problem persisted outbound and inbound. I'm confident there is no mechanical problem. But there is a design flaw of sorts.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #1

Apr 172002

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer states that snow builds up in the small wheel wells and makes steering difficult, especially when it turns cold, it is impossible to steer. There is also extreme wear on the tires due to the ice build up, this causes the vehicle to shimmy in the front end.

- Bigfork, MT, USA

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