Notes: The 2006 Nissan Altima has a trend of engine & transmission problems.

Excessive oil consumption is the main problem reported by owners. Nissan did a recall back in 2006 for oil consumption due to bad piston rings, but many owners report to us that the recall didn't fix the problem. The dealer only had to check the oil consumption rate. Typically 1 qt per 1,000 miles is "acceptable" per OEM standards ... that's a lot of oil!

The 2006 Altima also has a defect trend of CVT transmission failure showing up around the 100,000 mile mark.

It's an expensive repair at over $2,000 average repair cost. For more information see Nissan Altima CVT defect info on


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
82,950 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new engine (6 reports)
  2. not sure (5 reports)
  3. new enigine (2 reports)
  4. stop driving the car (2 reports)
2006 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #15

Nov 012013

Altima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


The engine of the car consumes about 3 liters of oil on average on every oil change cycle. I have to top it up twice (1 liter each time) in each oil change cycle, otherwise there's a horrible rattling noise coming from the engine every time I start it and the noise won't go away for 5 to 10 minutes. I change the oil every 4000 to 5000 km.

I searched a lot on the internet about possible fix. It doesn't seem people agree on the solution. I just don't want to waste any money on it for just finding the possible fix. I'd appreciate if anyone could give me some hints about how to find the fix for this problem.

In case I couldn't fix it, I'll probably drive the car for another year or so and will trash it after. I won't buy Nissan again and I'll make sure none of my friends buy it either.

- peyman, London, ON, Canada

problem #14

Nov 022015

Altima 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 176,000 miles

Got regular oil changes and would check my oil and it would be low way before my next scheduled oil change. Spent $2500 on a new motor now they are saying this motor is bad.

- ramonat, Danville, KY, US

problem #13

Oct 112011

Altima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I had this problem since I bought this car used. I checked online and excessive oil consumption was on the recall list for Nissan Altimas, but only 2.5 liter engines, was a VIN number specific problem according to Nissan when I called about it. The car ALWAYS used too much oil and the engine was always loud with a ticking noise off and on. I just constantly checked the oil levels and added oil. I was just used to keeping oil in my car as I thought I didn't have a choice as I just bought this car and had a payment on it and I needed my car to get to and from work everyday.

The motor ended up blowing up in March of this year, March 2015. I had it towed to a family member's house who does automotive work and had done work on my car before and knew the issues with it all too well and we just sold it for as much as we could get out of it and the new owner was going to replace the motor and most likely resell the car. I still had a few car payments on this car as well. I ended up having to buy another car and roll the rest of my car payments into my new auto loan.

- Pamela F., St Louis, MO, US

problem #12

Jan 022014

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


This is f*ing ridiculous the company claimed they fixed the problem but my mechanic states that it was the cause of my motor being locked. I like Nissan but I'll be damned if I ever purchase another on. I will stick with Honda or Toyota. Nissan said it's not their problem because they claimed the problem was fixed. If the damn problem was fixed I wouldn't be dealing with this damn issue. My car has had it's regular oil changes on time. I have never had this problem with my Camry or Accord only with this piece of sh! Never again!! The only thing Nissan can do for me is to fix my damn car, then maybe I would be satisfied with there product again!!

- micpet3, Mobile, AL, US

problem #11

Sep 012013

Altima SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

I bought a 2006 Nissan Altima after hearing that Nissan was a good car. Shortly after I bought the car I noticed it was using oil. I saw a recall notice online and contacted Nissan. My car was in recall and I could take it to the closest dealer for repair. The repair was done and I was told to drive 500 miles then return to see if the repair fixed the problem or not. I came back and the repair DID NOT work. The dealer began contacting Nissan corp who apparently ignored all messages. I decided to get involved this summer after going several times to have the oil topped off at the dealer. No word from Nissan Corp for months so I got on the phone. Talked to one person who said he would look into the situation and get back with me. He did but he had not found out anything definite. He was going to call me back the next week. HE did not call me back but some lady called and told me Nissan would NOT repair my car. I could go back to the dealer and pay to have it hooked up to a computer and see if indeed it was still using oil. I was putting 3 quarts plus in every other week of course it is using oil!!!!DUH!!!!

Any way, this lady was very rude to me and to the dealer. I told her that I was going to talk with an attorney. "Go ahead if you want" was the response. I said this was my one and ONLY Nissan. "That is your choice" was the response. I tried several times to get in contact with Nissan. There was one time I kept missing the calls from one and I would return only to get a voice mail. The last person I talked with told me to go to the dealer and get three test done and call back. Then they would determine if they would fix it or not. I did not feel as if I should be the one to pay for repairs if the part was a result of a RECALL. Because of the oil consumption my car gave out. The engine had low pressure on all cylinders. I was told it was because the oil usage. The car is not drivable period. I put in well over $900 into various repairs. None of which worked. I was told by several mechanics who told me I needed a new engine. I cannot just buy a rebuild kit because it is on recall. I can't buy an engine from a pull a part place because the other engines don't fit. The ONLY way to get it fixed is to go thru Nissan. OF COURSE they get the money and have the consumer pay for it. No wonder they don't want people know of the recall. I received a letter on a recall for my old 2004 impala and on my 1993 Ford Ecoline van.

I know Nissan does not car if I buy another one of their cars and they don't care who I tell. Well, I'm telling the world now. EVERYONE I see with a Nissan Altima that is in the range of the recall I tell.

- Cindy M., Powel, TN, US

problem #10

Jul 232012

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My 2006 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL appears to be part of a recall (NTB06-028) for excessive oil consumption. The car began exhibiting the symptoms of the recall concerning excessive oil burning at 120K miles in late June 2012. The problem started suddenly, burning one quart every 600 miles and with in two weeks one quart every 300-350 miles. Throughout my ownership of the car the vehicle had always been properly maintained at my local Nissan dealer.

At 138k miles the vehicle began making a noise that sounded like a bag trapped underneath the car. Just after arriving home, the car exploded in thick, black smoke that billowed from under the hood and into the vehicle through the vents. Recall campaign ID Number: 06V223000 clearly states that, “certain passenger vehicles equipped with 2.5L engines may experience excessive oil consumption”. The extreme consequence of this problem is engine damage and fire. The car is not now drivable.

According to my records the recall was performed on the car on 4/24/08 at my local dealership however my initial contact at Nissan Corporate said that the car was not a part of the recall. Later, another representative said that the recall was performed on 4/26/06 (this predates the NHTSA a Preliminary Defect Report).

After multiple phone calls and conversations I am extremely disappointed that Nissan will not accept any responsibility for the faulty recall fix.

- Elizabeth V., Grover Beach, CA, US

problem #9

May 012010

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


This 2006 Altima is losing oil. It's doing it randomly. Sometimes it doesn't seem to lose hardly any at all and other times I'll find it nearly empty. After looking up oil consumption issues with this generation of Altimas I find this pre-cat failure issue where the catalyst material gets sucked back into the engine causing oil loss and eventual engine destruction. I had the dealer check it out. They were nice and helpful about the issue but said the 2006 doesn't have this problem. They said it was only the 02-03 models that did that. OK... well where is my oil going then? They did an oil change and had me come back after 1000 miles. On this occasion I had hardly lost any yet. They did a test and said I had lost oil but that it was still in the range that Nissan considers normal for this car. However, they said that the amount I was losing was just barely on the side of being OK and that they would ask Nissan about the issue to see if there was anything that needed to be done. As I said, they've been VERY helpful so far at the dealership and everything has been totally great with them but I highly doubted Nissan corporate would own up to this defect and I was right. Nissan says there's nothing to worry about. Apparently I'm just imagining the engine eating oil. Or apparently I'm being led to believe that all cars burn up their oil on random occasions. This could all easily be confirmed or denied by checking the pre-cat for damage. I realize that's not a super easy quick job. It does require a bit of work to get to it but if someone would just look at it then we can say for certain whether it's been damaged or not. Nobody wants to do this. I guess Nissan's idea of being an awesome company is to ignore the problem and hope it limps through the warranty period and catches on fire after 100,000 miles so they can get off the hook for any damages?

I don't know exactly what's going on with this QR25DE engine but something weird is happening. It doesn't lose oil excessively all the time but sometimes it does and at some point the car will kill itself. I've owned lots of Nissans and they've all been amazing cars, even the super cheap one I had for 15 years. This doesn't seem like a great way to treat a loyal Nissan customer and fan.

I still have 30,000 miles on the warranty and I plan to keep a close eye on the oil. If this pre-cat problem IS actually happening and I can't get anyone to pull it and check it out then hopefully the problem gets worse rapidly so they can't ignore it anymore.

- jaha, Kansas City, MO, US

problem #8

Mar 272011

Altima 2.5S Special Edition

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,397 miles

It seems as if something is not working properly on my engine/transmission, not really sure of the difference. I've gotten oil changes in the past and then my car would soon after drive sluggish, and my oil light would come on. I'd stop by to check it, and was told that my car "drinks a lot of oil". I'm not sure if it's common or not, but it's annoying when in a month's time your oil light comes on!!! To top it off, the car has completely cutoff all of a sudden, scaring the crap out of me and my son!!! On one occasion I had my grandmother and at the time 3yr old niece in the car!!! This is a safety hazard and needs to be fixed!!!!!

- fatimarice, Memphis, TN, US

problem #7

Feb 262010

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

I purchased my 2006 Nissan Altima in Oct of 2006 brand new to avoid any car issues. I was really excited to be the first owner since my previous 5 cars were purchased used and went well over 250,000 miles with no problems. In Feb/March of 2010 I started noticing that the oil light would come on, didn't think anything of it, had oil put in and after a oil change two weeks later the same thing. I started to pay close attention that now it was becoming a habit that every two weeks I'm putting 3 quarts of oil in regardless of whether or not I had a oil change.

Today 6/22/10 I go online to find out that there was a recall and that a module had to be replaced that causes the car to burn excessive amounts of oil due to improper of piston rings and if there isn't a minimum amount of oil in the car your engine can become damaged. Some % of cars the engine needed to be replaced. I'm just so done with I'm told if Nissan doesn't do your maintenance you can have other problems by a service manager. Believe it or not my axle dry rotted...never ever in my life have I heard of that happening, so I had to have my axle replaced.

- bklynqt, Somerset, NJ, US

problem #6

Jun 142010

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I purchased this car in July 2006, and always wondered about a raspy noise to the engine every 2,000 miles after an oil change but everyone told me I was over-reacting. I am constantly taking it to get an oil change every 3,000 miles and am told that it has practically no oil left. Just put 2 quarts in today after getting an oil change 500 miles ago. I cannot believe this 4 year old car is giving me this problem, I called Nissan and they told me it is not under recall and there really isn't much they can do. I depend on my car to commute 70 miles round-trip daily and am still paying the auto loan to Nissan. I have a newborn and cannot handle any new expenses at this point, am just at a loss as to what I can do.

Update from Nov 17, 2010: Well I've just taken my car to the garage because it has started jerking while I am on the freeway...turns out it is a camshaft sensor malfunction...yet another issue that was covered under an earlier recall campaign but not for my 2006 model...I am now seriously worried about the safety of this car, so much so, that I am purposely documenting this on your website in the event something might happen. Nissan need to confront this issue head-on before it becomes a damage limitation exercise like Toyota

- Elaine W., Wildomar, CA, US

problem #5

Apr 232009

Altima SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,238 miles


Bought vehicle on Mar 30, 2009 from reputable used car dealer I have known for years. I needed vehicle & he located this one for me at a Ford dealership he routinely does business with. The vehicle had a Carfax report with no problems noted.

3 weeks later the oil light flickered and I noticed a good bit of engine chatter. I took it immediately to a close by Pennzoil for an oil change (oil change window sticker mileage indicated it was almost due). The oil was excessively low. After the service the car drove fine, no light indicators and no engine chatter, but I phoned Nissan for an appointment to check it out for the next day, Apr 24. After explaining my concerns, the Nissan service tech told me, if the car was doing all right now there most likely was not a problem and we would schedule the 60,000 mi maintenance for another time (they would not be able to do it that day).

May 12 I noticed some engine chatter again as I drove home and as I was about to park the car the light flickered again. I checked the oil and the dipstick was DRY! I had to add 3 qts of oil before it registered in the ok zone and phoned Nissan to schedule an appt to check it out ASAP.

My appt was yesterday, May 14, and the prognosis is that the catalytic converter has been sucked into the engine.... Result -requires new engine and catalytic converter to the tune of $4,000. I was pole-axed.

Did some research and found Nissan had recalled some of the 2006 Altima 2.5L for excessive oil consumption due to poor performance of piston rings. Further research determined that Cat Conv failure is due to faulty valves or piston rings. The only problem is, according to the Nissan dealership, my vehicle was not one included in the recall. I have got to wonder why, since the problem is the same as listed in the recall.

So, my next step is to follow the listed protocol and phone Nissan Hqtrs, then BBB Autoline, followed by NHTSA. If I can't find some relief, then I guess it will be a Lemon-law lawyer. I am outraged. It was impossible to reasonably anticipate a problem of this magnitude in a late model vehicle. It should not occur and, particularly in light of the recall, it is a manufacturing flaw that extends beyond the vehicles that were recalled. The Nissan service tech explained that the new engine would of course extend the life of the car. That's true, but the price I paid plus this major expense increases my cost in the vehicle far beyond its market value. It's still a 2006 model and the rest of it is depreciated. The cost in my 2006 would probably be as much as a 2009 model. Plus, after buying the car, I absolutely have no money left to pay for a new engine. I bought the '06 because I couldn't afford new.

Anybody got any other suggestions, advice or know of any further recourse I might have?

Update from May 16, 2009: After researching all recall information and other information I could locate pertaining to the Cat Convert & engine, I followed the advised protocol for reporting the problem to Nissan. After conversations with the dealership and Nissan headquarters I am ecstatic to report that the engine replacement will be covered! I have to give major kudos to the Nissan dealership that went to bat for me on this and made the effort to help instead of just blowing me off. It is a HUGE relief! I am advised that the engine has been ordered, it may take a week for it to get in, and they will let me know when it arrives so we can get this show on the road again. Hurrah! (p.s. I hope they have corrected the faulty performance problems of the old engine in the new one that is coming -fingers crossed :).

- accountant33, Dandridge, TN, US

problem #4

Aug 012006

Altima 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

I leased this Altima in August of 2006. The dealer told me that there had been a factory recall and the engine was replaced before being sold to me. To assuage my fears, Nissan increased the warranty to 100,000 miles. In January 2007, Nissan sent me a recall notice regarding the excessive oil consumption. I took the car in for review and the dealer elected to replace the engine again (after only 9,000 miles). In November of 2007, it appears that it did it again (only 6,000 miles later) I will keep you posted on what Nissan decides to do.

- desertskibum, Mesa, AZ, US

problem #3

Jun 172007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles

The 2006 Nissan Altima was recalled due to excessive oil consumption. I was in a rental and it caught fire and burned to the ground very, very quickly. The rental agency said not to worry about the oil light being on, it had just been serviced. After three hours of driving, the car just went up in flames.

Do no drive this car.

- bheron, Brooklyn, NY, US

problem #2

Aug 112007

(reported on)

Altima 4DR

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

we observed excessive oil consumption shortly after leasing the vehicle while hearing a noticeable winding sound while drive at highway speed (as though in a lower gear) and especially upon checking oil level with fill-ups, which was much greater than normal. our dealers approach was to seal the dipstick so we couldn't monitor the level and request that the car come back to them in 500, 750 & 1000 mi intervals; which is ridiculous when driving around southern ca---averaging 75-100 mi most weekdays. after research we discovered that Nissan had a recall on our model for precisely this problem, and we voiced that to our dealer. a few months of in & out of their service dept. confirmed that ours was in fact one with the problem. they replace the engine. when they did so, they neglected to replace the o-ring in the a/c unit when reconnecting, and of course in June w/temps averaging 90+, the altima spent a couple more nights at the dealer. car was equipped w/continental touring radial tires, one of which picked up a piece of metal & was damaged beyond repair. again at this dealer when we went in, we noticed the front tires were excessively worn out; this at 20K mi mind you. we complained that the tires surely should have held up long than this, and were told by the dealer that at various oil change & service intervals their records indicated they had rotated as appropriate. we spent $125 on a new replacement and then went to america's tire, where they felt the tires had never been rotated. they worked w/us thru continental and continental was gracious to provide 3 replacements at a substantial discount. now, less than 6 mos after our dealer replaced the 1 bad/damaged tire--they are telling us that one of the tires (gee, i wonder which one?.. maybe theirs! that they replaced) should be replaced; it's tread is wearing to a point they need to tell us about. seems this vehicle doesn't wear sneakers very well. oh, and one rear brake light bulb was just out & replace under warranty.... must not be a GE brand or one that will provide good wear n tear. we intend to contact nissan & pursue the ca lemon law---any one w/suggestions feel free to contact me. thanks.

- Gregg W., Corona, CA, US

problem #1

Aug 042006

(reported on)


  • 1,500 miles

Before the first oil change in our new car it used over 3 or 4 quarts of oil. Nissan had us continue driving the car and having the dealership check the oil level every 700 miles. (we live 75 miles from a dealer) There are reports of the cars catching on fire mind you. Finally they changed the engine. Now more problems are occuring and Nissan will not replace the car and they are putting our children at risk in this faulty vehicle.

- Melissa B., Fredericktown, MO, US

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