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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,235 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #6

Nov 052002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,208 miles


: the contact stated the vehicle shook when the brake pedal was depressed. The service dealer determined that the front and rear brake rotors and pads were worn and needed to be replaced.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 192004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
At 2 years of ownership and 37,000 miles my rear brakes have failed completely; calipers, pads, rotors, etc. All need replacement. Front brakes are "ok" for now and only half as worn as the rear brakes. This doesn't seem right to me. Of course, it is not warrantied since it is over the 36,000 miles or 3 years. I have read numerous other complaints from consumers about this happening to them too. I bought my car new in 2002 and have driven mostly highway miles. What, besides defective parts in the first place, would cause this kind of parts failure?

- Herkimer, NY, USA

problem #4

Jul 302004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Bought car used in March 2003 with 28451 miles from decormier Nissan in manchester, ct 06040. Since I have had car there have been numerous problems. No starting, car would stop running while driving, ignition coils have been replaced, cam position sensor replaced (twice), 5 recalls, brakes redone due to excessive corrision, after brakes redone needed to replace both front warped rotors, radiator replaced after bottom seam blew out. Latest problem is what I feel is excessive consumption of engine oil. Car originally did not use oil between oil changes (3000 miles). Car is currently using just over 1 quart per 3000 miles. Brought car to dealer with 52,281 miles to perform oil consumption test. Brought car back with 53,924 miles. In 1,643 miles car consumed 0.6 quart of oil. Dealer said this is acceptable. Have since contacted Nissan of America (1-800-nissan1) to start case #4630040. I am also concerned about recall for pre-catalyst (done on 9/23/03) because there is a possibility certain engine operating conditions may cause damage to the pre-catalyst. Material from a damaged pre-catalyst could enter the engine and result in increased oil consumption. I asked the dealer about the pre-catalyst and there were not aware of this. Pre-catalyst recall is on the Nissan of America web site then why is the dealer not aware of this?

- Tolland, CT, USA

problem #3

May 102004

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,200 miles


Vehicle currently has 68,400 miles on it. Rear rotors and pads failed at 33,200 miles and 68,400 miles and were required to be replaced at my expense. Front rotors were resurfaced and front pads replaced at 68,400 miles which is not unexpected.

- Latham, NY, USA

problem #2

Apr 122004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer stated brake pedal and steering wheel vibrated badly, and that rotors were replaced. Consumer took vehicle to the mechanic, and was told that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. Consumer checked again, and found that vehicle needed rotors. Consumer researched the web and found that there were other complaints about the same thing. There were 40,000 miles on the vehicle.

- Island Park, NY, USA

problem #1

Jan 312004


  • miles
I experienced warped rotors on my 2002 Altima after driving for less than 18 months. This was a premature failure that is not covered under warrantee. Pads were also replaced.

- Troy, MI, USA

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