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:
No data
Average Mileage:
150,000 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace engine (1 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 172011

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


ok, so i was having problems with my vehicle running hot. I took the car to a Nissan dealer and was told I needed a head gasket replaced. I didn't have the money at the time but within the next couple of months I did. I put my vehicle in the shop and it took about 3 weeks to get it back.? Within five days it started to make some funny noises. My cousin told me to check my oil. To my surprise no oil. Put two quarts in and drove the vehicle back to Nissan. They had it for a week and half. Finally they called me and said that I need to replace the engine. I was furious. I never had any problems with the oil leaking before I had the head gasket replace. I didn't know what to do or how to handle the situation.

- , Orangeburg, South Carolna, USA

problem #1

Jan 102009

Altima LS 4- 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

The Nissan "Oil and Coolant Disappearing Act"

I remember when I was young going to the races and I thought there was nothing better then the smell of burning oil and rubber, Awesome! I grew up around race cars and became an emergency vehicle instructor and never in my life have I seen a car eat five quarts of oil in under thirteen hundred miles, without the smell of burning oil, without the smell and visual of oil coming from the exhaust or at least leave spots on the ground and this includes radiator fluid and at no time did the check engine light come on or the car rum warm.

Pumps, Pipes and Fluids. Pretty simple, until you buy a 2002 Nissan Altima! They have changed history, I thought I was crazy or someone was stealing my oil and coolant late at night until I came here. Praise God I found others like me in the same spot. This is a big problem people, not just because of the expense.....this could cost lives. Engine over heats, front wheel drive, engine blows and pieces and parts break other things that control the vehicle and everything spills on the ground to cause other cars to loose control. This is a life threatening problem and if you think Nissan wants us to know this we are stupid. This is a cover up plain and simple and anyone owner or dealership who sells a vehicle with the words "Nissan" better not think they are not excluded. As a retired paramedic I do care about others.........I'd like to see Nissan be proactive in saving lives.........this problem will get worse as mileage adds up on the 2002's and no one says anything? Take care....I just found this link thank you to others.... let's kick some butt!!!!!!!

- , Simi Valley, CA, USA

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