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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,996 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 #3

Jul 112005

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,589 miles


The right rear brake failed with only 15,589 miles. Car is only 3 years old. There was no bad consequences due to this failure. Dealer replaced brake, rotor, and pads, but said problem was due to not driving car enough. He conveyed that mileage was too low for 3-year old car. I don't think so.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Aug 222004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 23,400 miles
Rear brakes on 2002 Nissan Altima wore prematurely and wore before front brakes. I think it is odd that rear brakes would wear before front brakes. Also, I had the brakes inspected at 18,000 miles and they were fine. Just 5,000 miles later my rotors were shot and car was not drivable. Took car to peters auto center in nashua (a Nissan dealer), they told me the following: 1) rear brakes were worn and rotors torn apart. At first they told me the cause was possibly something got stuck in there. Later they told me it was more likely corrosion. Calipers tested ok. 2) front brakes have corrosion and were not being used properly. The recommended replacing brake pads and rotors. After having peters auto fix rear brakes only, I kept the parts and took my car to frost Nissan. They told me the following: 1) it looked like rear brakes wore naturally. Calipers tested ok. They could give me no reason why when they examined my brakes just a few months earlier and they looked fine. 2) front brakes are fine, should last another 3 oil changes. Is 3 weeks too long to let a car sit" could corrosion cause my brakes to fail this quickly" I never heard of rotors rusting in 3 weeks! and recently, at 18,811 miles, frost Nissan of newton, MA performed brake system inspect and adjust. They found no problems. I find it troubling that my rear brakes are now shot, and that my rear brakes have considerably more wear than my front brakes. Neither garage could give me any explanation why rear brakes would wear before front brakes, and both garages thought it was out of the ordinary.

- Needham Heights, MA, USA

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