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
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,816 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 9 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #4

Mar 242003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles


This is written notice of a complaint I have regarding my new 2002 Nissan Altima. At the time of purchase, I was sold a defective engine, which is leaking oil at the rate of 2 quarts every 1,300 miles. The NHTSA has a recall for this as 03V084000 under the 'notes' section as I believe this is what my problem is. The car only has 7,000 miles but I have had to top the oil since I purchased the 2002 2.5 Altima.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #3

Feb 192003


  • miles
The vehicle failed to start.

- Reisterstown, MD, USA

problem #2

Feb 282002


  • miles
The first failure was on 2/28/02. The car stopped on my husband on the interstate & was towed back to the dealer. The crank sensor was defective & was replaced. Exactly one weeek later on 3/7/02, the car was taken back to the dealer where a defective coil to the crank sensor was found defective & replaced. On 5/10/02, the car stopped on me in the middle of the street & after being towed back to the dealer, the crack sensor was found to be defective again! it was replaced & I wrote to Nissan about our concerns. On 6/4/02 the car againstopped on my husband on the interstate. Again a letter was sent to Nissan (as well as several Nissan vps) and as of today (three weeks later) we do not have our vehicle, nor do we want that one back! the dealer has loaned us a vehicle, but we are currently paying for a car that Nissan obviously cannot fix or do not know how to repair! they say that they are waiting on a part, but my husband & I do not trust a vehicle that will stop in the middle of the road without warning! I am trying all avenues to get help with this situation. Obviously, we purchased a lemon (& have met tn's lemon law), but this is a serious safety issue for me & my family! are other brand-new Altima having similar defects" also, why is Nissan refusing to replace our brand-new no-defective vehicle" please feel free to contact me at any time.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #1

Jan 012002


  • miles
When putting the key inside of ignition switch to start vehicle it starts intermittently, and then shutoff without prior warning. Dealership was aware of problem.

- Belford, NJ, USA

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