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:
122,000 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (2 reports)
  2. rebuilt transmission (1 reports)
2002 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

May 282015

Altima V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


My son, who is in college, and I saved all our money to buy this car. Didn't even last a year. The transmission messed up. You can put it in gear but when you press on the gas pedal it doesn't move. We got ripped off not only by the seller but also the cheap car.

- , Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 152012

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I was at an intersection, the first one at the red light. My Altima was running normally, not giving me any problems. When the light turned green, I went to press the gas and the car only crawled, as if I just let my foot off the brake to coast. The engine wasn't even revving when I pushed the gas. I was luckily able to coast into the gas station by the light. This was the most horrible break down I've ever experienced in a car. It's been in the shop for over 4 weeks now, and I'm STILL WAITING for it to be repaired. The mechanic said it was some sort of solenoid within the transmission. I'm not sure exactly what he said, I don't know much about all the useless electrical crap they put in cars now a days. But before that even happened, my speed sensor started going out, so sometimes it would just be stuck in second gear. I would have to pull over, turn the car off for a minute, then re start it for the problem to go away (only for a few days). Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY THIS P.O.S. YEAR MODEL! This car is more unreliable then my old Chrysler Sebring, which was another crappy car I've owned. Now, I had a 97 Pathfinder that ran like a champ, and never gave me one problem. That car got totaled in a rear end accident, AND STILL RAN FINE! It was honestly the best car I've ever, and will ever, own. If you plan on buying a Nissan, aim for getting a 90's model, because they will run forever! Your best bet would to be get a Toyota or a Honda though, I don't trust Nissan anymore. I plan on trading it in for a late 90's Civic or Accord once it's paid off. Hope this was helpful!

- , Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #1

Sep 092008

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I was driving on the highway and my transmission stopped working. The car almost stopped in the middle lane. I had to rush to the shoulder. Thanks God, that I was able to do it. I had the car towed. I was told at the dealership that I needed to replace engine and transmission. Then, I was told just the transmission. I was not sure, so i took to a transmission and they replaced just the transmission. It was awful experience because I have two small children. Sometimes when I drive and I feel the transmission in my other car "feels funny," I get really nervous!

- , Branford, CT, USA

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