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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,670 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 #9

Feb 022015

Altima 4-cyl

  • 172,300 miles


The first issue I have are the oxygen senor are bad no speed when getting pass 35 feel like your driving in 25. The major issue and it is very unsafe. I was driving down the street with my under age children in the car and when the gears was in drive it stop and went backwards then I put it all the way in park and it stop and took off and speed went to 60 then back down to it normal speed. Just the other day on 2/16/15 it was placed in drive it automatic went into reverse instead of drive but the gear was in drive.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #8

Jul 262013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 135 miles
I was driving my car to work while I was driving to the I 95 highway by pembroke rd there was a big metal stuff on the lane I was I couldn't go nowhere because the highway was busy didn't want to get into an accident therefore I drove into that metal stuff and hit under my car now my car don't start I don't have now way to go to work and didn't know what to do I called towing to towning my car I did not know I should police on the first place that's real suck they should have people to clean the highway I have a picture of the thing and I took it on the highway.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #7

Dec 152011

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Will not start, replaced crank an cam sensor nothing they are recalls on these cars for lots of problems I purchased this car thinking it was a good car for my wife two days later it leaves her an my daughter stuck on the freeway. I have done resets nothing works is there something yall can help me with im out of pocket cause this car. Can I take it to Nissan dealer an they fix it for a recall.

- Arab, AL, USA

problem #6

Dec 122010

Altima 6-cyl

  • 109,497 miles


Driver smelled gasoline at startup. Was only faint at first, but grew stronger over the next few days. Odor became so overpowering that driver had to drive with windows open to vent fumes. Driver identified gas dripping from fuel pressure regulator visible on driver's side of engine. Dealer confirmed fuel pressure regulator leak, ordered replacement part, and returned vehicle to owner stating that it's still safe to drive. Driver concerned over possible engine fire since gas drips onto engine while it's running. Driver has discontinued using vehicle until repair is made.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #5

Mar 312009


  • 120,000 miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S vehicle "shuts off" suddenly when I am driving, leaving me in a very dangerous situation. It has happened about 7 times in the past 2 months. Nissan sent out a safety recall in early 2008 regarding this issue, but the recall only "reprogrammed the electronic control module". I took my vehicle to an authorized Nissan dealership/service center, and they refused to reprogram the ECM module until I pay for replacing the crankshaft position sensor and camshaft sensor which would cost me $324. The current recall from Nissan does not fix the problem. A quick search online for the same symptom reveals that many people have had the same problem and reprogramming the ECM module hasn't corrected the problem. The real problem is with the crankshaft position sensor and that needs to be fixed, but the cost for fixing it is being borne by the consumer, and not by Nissan.

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

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problem #4

Jun 302006


  • 55,000 miles
Too many issues to remember than all but I'll try: - excessive oil use - excessive coolant use - overheating to the aforementioned issues - intermittent transmission issues - failing airbag - electrical issues - broken sensors - catalytic converters gone bad - oxygen sensors gone bad - intermittent failure to start - intermittent car shaking and so on.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #3

Mar 092006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Gas door did not latch closed. Had repaired on 3/9/06. Now I have noticed several 2002 Nissan Altima with the same problem. I contacted Nissan North America on 7/7/06 and was told that this defect was not in recall status, and I could therefore not be issue a refund for the repair. I began collecting plate numbers of Altima with the same problem, I'm at number seven so far. I believe that the gas door not closing could be a safety issue and should be recalled. This defect is not exclusive to my car.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #2

Aug 242003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
"pure" gas smell in exhaust....vehicle fails to restarts after being driven short distances, turne off, and re-started. Has happened since I have purchased the vehicle....dealership/repair never finds any problems. This is the 5th time it has happened over a year. Car will not re-start, unless I wait 2-4 hours & try again. Dealership/service said may have something to do with where I purchase fuel....but I fill up at several places through out the I know that's not the problem.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #1

Mar 202002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,100 miles
Had a gas leak in my drive way and called dealer and informed them of problem and they had it towed to shop for observation. Could not find leak. Had a second leak just yesterday 5 March 2003 and the service dept supervisor came to my location to check it out, he saw the leak and called to have it towed to the shop for observation. I am still waiting to find out why my new car is leaking gas. 8jb

- Concord, NC, USA

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