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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,750 miles
Total Complaints:
46 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace gasket (20 reports)
  2. replace engine (13 reports)
  3. not sure (9 reports)
  4. replace (3 reports)
  5. head cylinder rebuilt (1 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Jul 022008

Altima GSL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,120 miles


The more detail you provide, the better

head gasket problems

- , Everett, WA, USA

problem #5

Sep 192008

Altima SE V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 104,000 miles

My 2002 Nissan Altima is a piece of junk. Every since the day I drove it off the lot, I have had nothing but problems. I am so tired of fixing this car and paying for it at the same! As soon as you fix one comes another problem. So far I have had to replace the catalytic converter, the thermostat, and the clutch. Now the head gasket has blown. I also have to add oil at least twice a month. My temperature hand is constantly moving up and down. There is never water in the radiator overflow (where is it going??????)I agree with others....this is the first Nissan I have ever bought and it will most definitely be the last...........

- , Manning, SC, USA

problem #4

Aug 062007

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I purchased my 2002 Altima brand new along with an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles. As you may know, my problem started at 101,000 miles. Call Nissan who claimed to know nothing and would not fix my car..they told me to call my Nissan dealership in Conyers, GA, however, the manager NEVER returned my call.

I can't afford a new engine right now and am driving the consumes oil and I have the white smoke..sometimes it won't start but when it does, I just ride's my only means of transportation. Paid car off last I am car note still looks good..but as they say what looks good on the outside isn't always good on the inside..blown engine!

Getting another engine is in my plans..but I'm thinking the next one could have the same problem. I'll never purchase another Nissan because they're not being responsible and stepping up to the plate.

- , Covington, GA, US

problem #3

Jul 302008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Sign the petition to make Nissan fix their shoddy Nissan Altima engines!

- , Oakland, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 182008

Altima 2.5 S 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,450 miles

I have a 2002 Nissan Altima and my SES light came on yesterday

I took it to a local mechanic and was told

1) this was due to error code P0300 2) there was a strange smell from the engine and he suspects that its coolant 3) cylinder 2 and 4 had moisture on them 4) he thinks the gasket has been breached and needs to be replaced 5) it will cost me close to 2.5K for the repair work!

I'm trying to see what options I have at this time as I have already pumped in 3.5K last year to replace the transmission and radiator

- , Snoqualmie, WA, US

problem #1

Jul 082007

(reported on)

Altima 2.5 S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I also own a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5. It is a hunk of junk! The car idles rough when it first starts, there is a water rushing sound under the dash, and my check engine light has been on since 70,000 miles. I have 75,000 miles on the car and it has already blown a head gasket. My private mechanic, who is a family friend, notified me of the problem and he also stated that the catalytic converter was also bad. I did not want to pay for the repairs after reading so many negative comments of the common problems with this crappy car. I reported the problem to Nissan Consumer Affairs. Mark Worley a specialist told me to take the car to a Nissan Dealership to have it diagnosed. Now the dealership wants to charge me $95.00 just for looking at my car and telling me I have a blown head gasket, but supposedly nothing is wrong with my catalytic converter. Which I think is crap because in CA by law o2 sensors and catalytic converters are covered up to 100,000 miles. Thanks a lot Nissan for stepping up to the plate. Oh yeah, it's been 3 weeks and my car is still at the Nissan Dealership, and I haven't heard a thing from Mark Worley regarding my car. Nissan has horrible customer service and sold me a Lemon. I will never buy one of their cars again.

- , Huntington Beach, CA, USA

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