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:
75,726 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace manifold gasket, valve gasket covers (1 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 042010

Altima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Altima had several oil related leaks - intake manifold gasket just gushing which then required replacement of valve covers, and spark plugs. Service dealer said that it was very unusual to have this type of problem with just 70,000 miles.

Also had shocks rear shocks and front struts leaking - see other complaint

- , Cherry Hill, NJ, US

problem #2

Jun 192008

Altima 2.5 S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,178 miles

I just sold my 2002 Nissan Altima! I really feel like a burden was lifted off my shoulders.

After I paid for the repairs for the intake manifold and gaskets ($800.00), two weeks later my car over heated on the freeway. I took it back to the dealer and this time it was the radiator, thermostat and hoses that needed to be replaced at $1100.00. That was the straw that broke the camels back. I told the dealer to shove it, and informed him Nissan needs to quit making their cars like $#^%.

I looked online for used car buyers, and sold it to the highest bidder for $6,000.00. I know I probably took a loss, but I look at it like I cut my losses and moved on. I even had Nissan repair my engine and cat converter for free, and even after that the car still was a lemon.

Sorry to say I wonít be back on this web site. Itís been fun. Good luck to you all.

- , Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 012008

Altima Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I am having the same problem. Whenever I come to a stop whether it be for a second at a stop sign or five minutes in a drive-threw. My car constantly jerks back and forth and the idle jumps. I have been dealing with this for about five months and I finally took my car in to get it fixed and the mechanic says it's the Manifold Gasket Leaking and will cost around $400 to fix. I have heard Nissans are good cars until they get around 70, 000 - 80, 000 miles and then all sorts of stuff starts going wrong. I am fixing this and then trading the car in for a Honda/Toyota before anything else starts going wrong!

- , Saint Petersburg, FL, US

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