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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,667 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

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

problem #3

Jan 312006

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,500 miles


I was turning right when all of a sudden my car starts choking and sputtering and the service engine soon light came on, slip light came on, and the traction control light came on. I slowed down and it seemed to work alright but when I got up to 35-40 mph the car started sputtering again and wouldn't go faster than 35 mph. I pulled over to the side of the road and turned the car off and started it back up and had the same problem. Luckily there was not much traffic around and I was close to home so I drove back to my house. Later that night I went to start the car and it started but immediately died, started it again and it immediately died, started it a third time and it immediately died, but on the fourth try it started and stayed running. That next morning I had the car towed to a Nissan dealership and explained the problem to them. The called me back the next day and told me that they have to replace the mass air flow sensor on the car at a price of $700 + tax. I have read many car forums and this problem with the mass air flow sensor failing seems to happen a lot on 2002-2003 Nissan Altima. I think there should be a recall on the mass air flow sensor because with a car having this problem could cause a major accident. Reading the forums it sounds like Nissan fixed the problems on the 2004 and newer Altima so why can't they fix them on the 2002 and 2003 models?

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #2

Apr 282002

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,500 miles
Maf sensor failure..any complaints of this problem on Altima. Org forum...with or without after market air intakes.

- Clifton Hts, PA, USA

problem #1

Feb 012002


  • miles
Consumer states that intermittenly when filling the fuel tank the "check engine" light will illuminate. Checked by the dealer who advised that car is reading a "vapor leak" code. Dealer has replaced gas cap twice, but problem is still occuring.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?