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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,496 miles
Total Complaints:
131 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (36 reports)
  2. replace catalytic converter (27 reports)
  3. replace engine and catalytic converter (25 reports)
  4. not sure (20 reports)
  5. replace pre-cat with heat shield and replace engine if bad (10 reports)
  6. new cat/ new sensors (8 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima exhaust system problems

exhaust system 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 (Page 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Oct 172007

Altima 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 59,652 miles


This 2002 Altima is a lemon. The car is having oil consumption problems, which I was told it needed a new engine by the dealer I bought it from, and needs a new Cat. Converter. I will never buy another Nissan car again. The Consumer Affairs people did not want to hear the problem and basically told me to go F myself. What kind of Restitution can we get from this car company. There has to be something we can do!

Any one have any ideas?

- , Hopewell Jct., NY, USA

problem #10

Mar 012008

Altima S 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I bought this car and have had the engine light on for 90% of the time I have owned it. I have had many problems and would not recommend trying to deal with Nissan about them, as I have not gotten very far. After going through and replacing several other options and components on the vehicle I have discovered the Cat is bad. I have also discovered this web site where I am not alone. I would love to hear from anyone who reads this message.

I am trying to sell this lemon of a car currently, but have re-occurring nightmares from the pain it has caused.

- , Boise, ID, USA

problem #9

Sep 012007

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I bought my used Altima in February 06 with 60000 miles on it. I really loved it! By the time I had 81000 miles on it within the first year, the check engine light came on and it would sometimes not start. I drove it to a Nissan shop and they did a points check on it and called me to tell me I needed a new engine. I told them no I will get a second opinion and they advised me it was not drivable due to the spark plug was froze it was stripped when they removed the plug. After complaining to the manager he told me they would tear down my engine to get a look to see if it needed to be replaced and would not charge me to tear it down. After they tore it down they said it didn't need replacing but it would cost 2000.00 to repair. And they were charging me to put it back together. I told them to repair the plug and head gasket. I asked if I get do the converter in a couple of months because I didn't have the extra 600.00 at the time. They said it should be ok. Well then my car started to use 2-3 quarts of oil every couple of days. It began to lose its power also. I bought a rear catalytic converter for it which now it has all its power. The front converter is hollow now and has no insides so I didn't replace it yet cause I really don't know what to do. I'm hearing all kinds of nightmare stories on these cars. My car doesn't leak or burn the oil but when my mechanic put the rear converter on he said the oil looked like it was spraying out somewhere on the top of the engine. He is going to try and find the problem but I feel ripped off by Nissan cause we all know this is from the front converter being able to break pieces off that they say goes into the engine. No recalls on this either. No class action suit either. Unbelievable that so many people are having these problems but we can't do anything about it. I overpaid for my car and stuck with it until it's paid off.

- , Alton, IL, US

problem #8

Dec 212007

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


There is hope, Nissan replaced my pre-cat and my engine free of charge, with absolutely no hassle, believe it or not. I was totally amazed myself.

- , Barnegat, NJ, US

problem #7

Oct 232007

Altima S 4 Cy

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Altima 2002 The PROBLEM CAR Purchased used 07-2006 with 50,000 miles. Taken to Nissan dealer in my town and gone over to repair, fix, replace everything and anything that was needed for the next year of so. No word from the dealer on any recalls or tech news reports that needed to be addressed. I pulled up all dealer recalls in Oct.2006 and brought the car in for the replacements of known problems. Car runs super, plenty of power, great gas mileage, not a hitch. THEN 10/23/2007 LOSS OF POWER IN 2002 ALTIMA WITH 85,000 MILES 10/29/2007 CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON. AUTO LEFT ME STRANDED, WOULD NOT START. 11/02/2007 MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR REPLACED AT AUTO REPAIR SHOP RUSSELLVILLE, KY.(NO NISSAN DEALERSHIP CLOSE) AFRAID TO DRIVE CAR ANY DISTANCE. ENGINE LIGHT STILL ON AFTER REPAIR. 11/02/2007 CATALYTIC CONVERTER REPLACED AT RUSSELLVILLE, KY. SAME REPAIR SHOP.CHECK ENGINE LIGHT STILL ON ( REPAIR SHOP DID NOT KNOW HOW TO RESET CODE SYSTEM. AUTO PARKED AT 88651 MILES. 11/21/2007 OIL CHANGED AND NOTICED OIL LEVEL LOW. CONTINUED TO CHECK OIL AND ADD 1-2 QUARTS FOR 700-1000 MILES. 12/25/2007 HOME FOR HOLIDAYS. 12/27/2007 STARTED RESEARCH ON AUTO RECALLS AND DOCUMENTED PROBLEMS. 12/27/2007 CONTACTED NISSAN FOR INSTRUCTION AND DIRECTION. COMPLAINT FILED. 12/28/2007 APPOINTMENT MADE WITH NISSAN DEALERSHIP, PARIS, TN. FOR SERVICE AND REPAIR ON 01/02/2008. 01/03/2008 I CONTACTED DEALER FOR VERDICT OF PROBLEMS (SPOKE WITH CHUCK). TOLD CATALYTIC CONVERTER WAS NOT REPLACED AND THE DASH CHECK ENGINE LIGHT WAS CODED TO THE CONVERTER. BUT ELECTRONIC CONTROL MODULE AND EXHAUST PIPE HANGER WERE ON RECALL AND BOTH REPLACED BUT DASH LIGHT WAS STILL ON.NEEDED NEW CONVERTER, AT MY COST. INSTRUCTED TO CHECK VOLUNTARY RECALL CAMPAIGN FROM NISSAN FOR SERVICE TECHNICIANS DATED 03/18/2003. 01/03/2008 CONTACTED NISSAN FOR DIRECTION. NO RETURN PHONE CALLS UNTIL 01/09/2008 (HAVE CALLED DAILY). AUTO AT PARIS, TN. DEALERSHIP. 01/11/2008 PICKED UP CAR, PAID MY BILL, AND LEFT DEALERSHIP. DROVE HOME, CHECKED THE OIL, AND PARKED IT. NISSAN HAS BEEN CONTACTED SEVERAL TIMES AND THEY STAND BEHIND THEIR ORIGINAL DECISION OF THEY HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITY IN THE OIL CONSUMPTION PROBLEM. I am now looking for an attorney to pick these cases up as a class action against Nissan. They already have 2 other class actions against them for other major issues. All the people with a problem need to get a consolidated effort going to force a positive conclusion to this problem. It is not fair to consumers to know about the problems and let the public take the fall. They have the #1 selling car on the roads today.What will happen to the Nissan dealers in the next years with this kind of press when word gets out? You reap what you sow!

- , Springville, TN, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #6

Jan 252008

Altima S 4 cyl. 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

SES light was on and had fuel tank and filter all replaced, light went off for about a week.

Light was back on, had oil changed and after 2 weeks, had no oil in the engine...did not understand. Added 4 quarts and then 2 more quarts a week later. The engine never hesitated or ran rough or any clue that they was a major problem..Took the car to the dealer last week,...engine is blown...catalytic converter was sucked into the engine and now it will cost $5000.00 to fix it. My husband who is a mechanic said I was mistaken - the catalytic converter is on the exhaust system, not the engine. He called the service manager and was told same thing, my husband said that must be a design fault. The manager

said to take it up with 1 800 USA NISSAN...I WILL FOLLOW THRU WITH NISSAN

- , Ravenna, OH, USA

problem #5

Apr 032007

Altima 2.5 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 110,000 miles


I've had the same problem that hundreds of other Nissan Altima owner's have suffered through. Catalytic converter failed, caused excessive oil consumption and eventual engine failure (on the highway at 60mph!). However, my case is a little more extreme. At around 60,000 miles I had this happen to me and had the engine replaced thinking the problem was fixed. Now at a 110,000 miles THE SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN!!!. I don't' understand how Nissan is allowing this continue on. With as much competition as there is in the auto market all automakers have is service and reliability. If someone on national news runs this story will get as much press as all of the Chinese toy makers. If the executives at Nissan were smart they would come in and try to settle this issue before it hits class action status and destroys their reputation for having reliable cars. Just think why Toyota is so successful.

- , West Hartford, CT, USA

problem #4

Jun 172005

Altima SL 2..5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Same problem as everyone else. Catalytic Converter gone bad. SES light has been on since 06/2005. Purchased this car NEW in 2002/Feb. 2007/March bad catalytic converter plus other problems. Extended warranty, but this was not covered. Now I am trying to take care of the 2007 recall and Nissan (StateLine) in Kansas City, MO says they can't perform the recall without me taking care of the catalytic converter. What kind of crap is that? Evidently, there is some type of problem that so many people are having the same problem. Please include me in the class action suit. My email address is If this situation is not resolved, I will never purchase another NISSAN and let everyone know how unfairly they treat their customers!

- , Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #3

Nov 132007

Altima 2.5 S 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

I was told to contact Nissan Consumer Affairs so they could assist with paying for the problems because it is a factory defect. They informed me because it would be about $7,000.00 and my mileage was at 111,000 they would not, should it have happen at 85,000 miles they would have! That is nice! I have bought 4 cars from Nissan spending well over $90,000 to $100,000 with their company and this is the treatment I receive! I have had on going problems since the day I purchased the vehicle! They said oh well it is your problems now and I still owe $4,500 for a car that doesn't run properly!

- , Yucca Valley, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 292007

Altima 2.5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Since I bought the car in 2003, I've had nothing but problems. I didn't care because

I trusted Nissan and I was under warranty. I've had radiator's repaired had it flushed. I even had one catlytic converter repaired. The heat has never worked properly, NEVER. Now the killer is that in June of 2007. They told me my engine sucked up my catalytic converter and it would 5,000.00 to fix. I think this is some kind of scam Nissan is running, because I am the 20th person i've heard this happening too, "Remeber the Headlights scam" a couple of years ago, Nissan had to pay dearly for that one. In any case Nissan has been less than cooperative in resolving the issue. Next step class action suit and media attenion. If I get enough people to jump on board, I'll get this story out. I promise I will. So if you have the same problems with Nissan, the problem being Engine replacing, please get in contact wtih me and I will add your name to the list. It might not happen over night but I am going to pursue it and Never, NEVER, EVER buy another Nissan again.

- , Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 172007

(reported on)

Altima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I bought my car last year a 2002 Nissan Altima for $13,000 cash. In September I noticed smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. I took it to the Nissan dealership to have it checked out, they told me it would be $75 to put it on the rack to check it out. well when i went to get my car they told me the problem was fixed and that it was only steam and it was fixed no charge. I had not made it home and noticed smoke still coming from the exhaust pipe i took it back the next day they told me it would be $75 to put it on the rack which was suppose to have taken place that same day it was smoking but they said it was only steam. The next day when i went to go pick my car up they told me i had major problems and it would cost me $11,000 that's right not $1,000 but $11,000 for a car that i have not had but a year. I called Nissan 20 times but to no avail they refused to fix it i bought it as-is, no warranty. I called my local attorney general office and they told me there was nothing they could do since i bought it as-is, called the lemon law no help also bought it as-is. I have a car that i paid $13,000 cash for had 1 year and nobody will help me, i am mad as hell. Nissan will not return any more of my calls. The Nissan dealership in my home town told me that it was a factory defect but they still refuse to help. I have a car that I drove for year and nothing is being done about it.

I want to be in on the class action lawsuit please don't leave me out this is a major case and if an attorney sees this it should not be hard to find an attorney.

- , Gadsden, Alabana, USA

Not what you are looking for?