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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,616 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 152010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 95,978 miles


I own a 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE. Some time last year, when I was at the grocery store, my clutch was all the way down and it wouldn't come back up. I pumped it a couple times and it worked. Then when I was driving yesterday, it just stayed down, I was fighting with it so that I could change gears. This morning, when I was leaving for work, it stayed down and would not come up. I was unable to drive my car.

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 052009


  • 110,485 miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima was having problems with the engine running properly. I would start the car and it would run rough, sputtering, and engine sounds had changed. My check engine light comes on and on some occasions it is hard to start. I took my car in to be fixed by a private garage on 08/05/2009 and when it was put on the computer a code came up. The code was P0420: Catalyst efficiency: Recall- potential engine compartment fire, according to the garage and the recall bulletin attached to the code. I was told to contact Nissan. I did contact Nissan and they stated that there was no such recall associated with my vehicle. I told them that I had a copy of the 8 page recall campaign and that my VIN # was associated with this recall. At the end of the conversation they refused to do anything about this because it was an old car that had no warranty attached to it.

- Palermo, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 152002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Manual transmission jumps out of gear when backing up a steep incline. Dealer refuses to acknowledge problem this has happened many times. During the last 2 1/2 years. The first occurrance was about Sept. 2002.

- Nesbit, MS, USA

problem #1

Mar 162002


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Shifting from 5th gear to 4th gear and clutch pedal stay in the floor. Clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing and flywheel failed.

- Brandon, FL, USA

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