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:
26,884 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 142005

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,192 miles


I had been smelling gas fumes inside the car and outside for 2 months. I brought my car to the Nissan dealer I bought it from and they fixed the problem for $160. On my service receipt it said they found gross evap leak: Fuel tank seal not sealing: Replaced fuel sender seal. I questioned why would a 3 year old car start leaking gas from the top of the gas tank and they said "it's just normal wear and tear." I can understand wear and tear on tires and brakes but give me a break, the only thing I do to a gas tank is fill it with gas! my car is only 3 years old with 46,000 miles and they said that the work was not covered under warranty. I even spent $900 for an extended warranty. My fiance is a smoker and I was worried for his safety in the car so I told him not to smoke in the car for fears of something happening if the fumes would ignite somehow. I complained to the service manager and got nowhere. They told me to call Nissan's customer service number and still after at least 5 calls they will do nothing. I swear they are just there to "hear" complaints and work you down until you just forget about it. I will not give up. Also, the clear coat on my paint is starting to chip on the front bumper and plastic grill> guess what they said? not covered under warranty. I an fed up with Nissan and will take advantage of every opportunity to sway people away from buying any Nissan or infiniti.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #1

May 192004

Altima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,575 miles
Service engine light has come on seven times. The engine has shut off for no apparent reason four times. Total the car has been in for service nine times. Two recalls have been issued one for the crank position sensor (which I was never notified of) and now one regarding gas tank ice crystals (received my notification 5/20/04). Both of these problems can cause a "crash without warning." I have worked with the BBB autoline, however since the car has not shut off since the crank position sensor was replaced the arbitrator believes that the "most serious problem" has been remedied and that the check engine light while "being a chronic problem, does not substantially affect the use, safety, or value of the vehicle." I have only driven the vehicle 14,711 miles in two years because I am afraid to drive it, thus use has been affected. I have almost been in two accidents as a result of the vehicle's problems, this safety has been affected. Carfax is showing six negative reports on my VIN number, (the service that car dealers use to help determine if the vehicle has had problems such as major accidents, lemon law vehicle, etc.), therefore, no one would even be interested in purchasing my vehicle, so value has been affected. Even after the crank position sensor was replaced the car's check engine light has come on four more times. Nissan is unable to diagnose/remedy the problem and refuses to give me a refund on the vehicle. I have been in two near accidents as a direct result of these problems. I believe that the problems will reoccur and I will not be so lucky next time. I am pursing this with the state of Florida's lemom law arbitration board. This vehicle is a danger to myself and all other on the road.

- Casselberry, FL, USA

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