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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
119,200 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. change cam & crankshaft position sensor (1 reports)
  3. replace crank shaft sensor (1 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 162012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


our 2002 Nissan Altima up till now has been a great vehicle. But a couple months age we started having starting problems, We had the check engine light code checked and it said to replace the crank position sensor

we replace both the cam and the crank. tit worked for about 2 days . so my mechanic suggested taking it to the dealer to have the ECM flashed. Took it to the dealer after having it for 2 day the dealer couldn't duplicate the problem. Finally when the dealer was able to duplicate the problem . they told us it was the alarm system lockout system. after spending $800 on a new ECM the the day after the problem still exists.

- , Windsor Mill, MD, USA

problem #4

Nov 092010

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I was having problems with my vehicle not starting. I just had the battery replaced, so i know it wasnt the problem. When it decided that it wanted to start, I drove it straight to the Nissan dealer. They kept the vehicle for about two days. When they call me they said they didn't have any problems with the vehicle starting for them. I was upset. When i arrive at the dealer to retrive my vehicle, to no avail did it start up. Then they told me that I needed to replace the cam and crank sensor. In addition they charged me 40 for looking at my vehicle. Two months later I saw one of the mechanics that work there (but not on my vehicle) and he told me that several altimas had a recall on those same sensors. I look it up on line and sure nuff the recall since 2007. Why should I have to pay for a recall.? it is defintly not fair.

- , Orangeburg, South Carolna, USA

problem #3

Apr 072009

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

my 2002 Nissan Altima has all the symptoms as everybody has described in this forum the engine cranks and when ever it feels like starting it starts and the SES light is on ,i took it to the dealer and at first they said it was a shorted wire in one of the harnesses, after i got the car it was working fine for about 2 days then it started all over again i called the dealer and explained to them the problem was still there i took it in then they told me it was a fuel pump this time they said they were not going to charge me for the labor only the part sure enough the problem is still there .I'm very disappointed in Nissan i thought they had a better product then this

- , Corona, NY, USA

problem #2

Dec 292008

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I WILL NEVER EVER EVER buy any crap Nissan makes again.

After replacing an engine last year because, as others reported on this site, the oil in the freaking tank magically disappeared and the so called techs don't have a clue how it happened. Give me an F'ing break... Now, exactly one year later, I back the car out of the garage and it wouldn't start again. The mechanic said it needs a new crankshaft sensor. Once again Nissan has violated me, I feel like I'm in prison!

If you're thinking of buying a nissan, do yourself a favor, save your money and buy a Ford or Saturn.

- , Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #1

Aug 092007

(reported on)

Altima 2.5S V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I have Had nothinh but problems with the car since I bought it. I bought it used in 2006. In March of 2007 the engine light came on and the car started to not want to start on the first time. In April the dealer had already told me that the problem was the catalytic convertor and the pull shaft.. So I had it replaced. Worked fine for a week. Then the light came on again. Now the car isnt starting at all. My warranty is out and get this. The person who had the car before me had a new engine put in. So the engine in the car only had MAYBE 20000 miles on it. I dont know what to do.. I am now in Manassas VA and my car is in Mississippi. I had to leave it there becasue I moved and my grandmother is now nice enough to try to get it fixed.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

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