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:
79,087 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #1

Oct 112004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,087 miles


The first thing was the oxygen sensor. Then the oxygen sensor again. The dealership fixed the problem. Mext there was, and still is, the jerking transmission. When driving in rush hour traffic or driving on the open highway, the trans shifts hard comming out of first into second. I have taken this car into several Nissan dealerships and to this day, no one has found the problem. They keep telling me that this is normal. I have driven other Altima including several rentals while mine wasin the shop and they didn't shift like mine. The next problem is those headlights. They have replaced one of my light asemblies an great river Nissan but the other has not been replaced. Next, there was the heater coil that leaked and it took almost 6 months to determine because it didn't leak inside the car. Next there was the ignition coils that were replaced 2X within a week and still caused the check engine light to come on. After the ignition problem the mechanics at sterling mccall Nissan told my that it was my sparkplugs that had hust been checked about 2 weeks prior at great river Nissan in Mississippi. I went back to the dealership and invited the service man to a nice long ride. After driving about 20 miles, I stopped the car and le it sit for about 5 minutes. The car started and he smiled. He said, "see there is nonthing wrong." After explaining that he needed to let the car set for a while and then try to start it, he said that it is still going to start.after sitting for about 2 hours, I asked the service man to step outside and lets giv the car a start... to no suprise, when I turned the key the car puttered, spitted, jerked, and everything else but started. It was determined the next morning that there was a blown head gasket that could have been caused by the catalyst that was just replaced due to a recall.

- Missouri City, TX, USA

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