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:
50,346 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

problem #2

Feb 212004

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


While driving onto a ramp at 15 mph, the consumer heard a loud banging sound from the engine compartment. Consumer lost the ability to steer and almost collided with another vehicle. After pulling over to the shoulder, he determined that the drive belt came off.

- Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #1

Mar 122003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,691 miles
I own a 2002 Nissan Altima, that my husband purchase for my 15 year anniversary, May 2002. In Oct 2002, it started with lose belts that wasn't repaired until Dec 2002. Well, in Mar 2003, my car wouldn't start. So, the service guy told me to put it in neutral and try to start it, nothing!! so, when the tow guy arrived to tow to dealer, he tried with no success. So, my car was left at the dealer for 4 days, the service dept said it started for them. So, while I was checking out at the cashier, the service manager so happen to be standing by and over heard me talking to the cashier. So, he and I went out to my car and it started for him, but he stated that it's a delayed cranking and they've gotten a service complaint about the Altima's not starting and they believe it's has something to do with the fuel injection, but before they can recall the car, they must know how to repair the problem. So, he said whenever it does it again, while cranking the car, push down on the accelerator and give it some gas and it should start. Well, in April, while in D.C., on vacation, coming out to start the car, it didn't start. So, I did what the service manager told me to do and it started, but I had to end my vacation, because I was afraid to chance it far from home. Well, I took my car in to get the oil change and I did let the service dept know of the problem. Well, here it is June 2003, my car stalled again and my husband was very upset, because he had driven it to work and he managed to get it back to work and when he got ready to leave work, it wouldn't start and he had to push down on the accelerator and give it some gas for it to start. Well, I'm taking my car to the dealer on Saturday, June 21, 2003 and who knows what excuse they'll have. And to make it soo bad, I'm going to a reunion, in Florida and I wanted to drive my car, but I'm not sure if it's safe to drive at all, now. Well, I hope those of you get some solution to this problem.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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