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:
59,667 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

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

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Nissan Altima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 142007

(reported on)

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 79,000 miles


OHH THE SCREWS!!!! HERES A SITE ON IT BECAUSE ILL BE HERE FOR EVER! php?s=&threadid=78051&highlight=butterfly

- , Queen Creek, AZ, USA

problem #2

Sep 122006

(reported on)

Altima 2.5S

  • 60,000 miles

Back again with yet more Nissan crap! The car is riddled with problems. I wrote about the hot air blowing thru the AC , and that, after over $500, is still not fixed.. The new complaint is the vehicle stalls, or won't start period! When it DOES turn over, it shakes and vibrates like a paint mixer! After my daughter was stranded at school twice due to the klunker not starting, and then again one morning on her way TO school.. I called a tow truck and took it to the dealer. What a joke! They put it on the "computer".. and said they couldn't find anything wrong.... everything "checked out".. (This is truly incompetence .. after all.. the "service engine soon" light has been ON since Jan '06.. and although they SAY they have "fixed that".. all they have done is reset the thing.. and its back on the next day.. Apparently I should just IGNORE the little yellow light.. I'm thinking of putting a little piece of duct tape over it...) However.. back to the complaint at hand~~the stalling~~ So.. after the service techs. at Nissan further delve into my cars recent problem, they call us to say..".. it must be the fuel.. it seems you may have contaminated gas...". We told them we doubted that, as we use the same gas station for our other vehicle, and it has no problems. But, none the less, they were convinced this was the problem, and proceeded to drain our full tank of gas ,(##@*#.... WHY did I just fill up the day before???), remove the tank, "clean it out", sprinkle pixie dust over the car, and proclaim it "fixed" . That little experience cost me $500...(of course they refilled the gas tank at OUR expense..). So, off we drive,.. home again,.. the little "service engine soon" light twinkling in the corner of the dash.. Ahhhhh.... life IS good, isn't it?

NOT!!! In the morning, it was the same old crap! Won't turn over, floods itself eventually,... later in the day when it DID start, the vibrations while idling were akin to a large earth tremor. At this point, I feel I am throwing good money after bad. It is doing us no good to keep taking the car in, saying "you didn't FIX the problem".. cause they just say.."OH.. THIS is the REAL problem...".. so they can still charge you. I am beyond the Lemon Law statute of 24 months, and it sounds like many others have had NO help from Nissan Corp, and the dealerships are full of jackasses.. I am cutting my loses. They have broken my spirit. I have 13 months left on the lease, and the car is NOT safe to drive , so it will sit there, while I make $350/mos payments on it.(Yes.. there is that safety issue also.. it stalls all the time, and this happened to my daughter while backing up, .. the steering becomes "locked" , and she bumped a tree and cracked the spoiler, because she couldn't maneuver the car . A funny thing: these very problems are listed on the Nissan web site (the A/C problem, the stalling, the cute little "service engine soon" light..)certain 2002 Altimas have been recalled, but I checked out MY VIN... no chance! Well... that figgers.. I have the luck of a moron.. guess thats why I don't play the lottery~~

- , Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 082005

(reported on)

Altima 3.5L

  • 40,000 miles

I purchased this car in April of last year from Carmax. The car had a problem with the clutch-it would just go out while driving. Carmax said they could not duplicate the problem, so they could not fix it!! I kept taking it back, saying it needed a clutch master cylinder-they replaced the BRAKE master cylinder. After this replacment they would not repair the clutch-due to the warranty being out. About three months later, the car starts stalling at 2500 RPMs. You couldn't even get out in traffic unless you were SURE you had enough time to speed up. I took the car to Southern States Nissan and they said I needed a new throttle body. After $1400.00 and a new throttle body, the car is still the same as it was before. Nissan says that maybe whatever is really wrong is what caused the throttle body that they so readily sold me to go out!! BS! Now they say the air mass flow sensor (600.00)or the fuel pump(which is IN the fuel tank-and is sold only with the whole fuel line for 500.00), or some other sensor that is 400.00 COULD be the problem. If not, it must be the computer!?! WHAT??? O. K., so I am suppose to pay around 6000.00 to "maybe" fix the problem on a car that I still owe 15000.00 on? After researching the problem, it seems like every complaint on the web for this car is the same exact problem--about 1700 of them! I have contacted Nissan, BBB, Attorney General--nobody cares!


- , Loris, SC, USA

Not what you are looking for?