Notes: You don't want to get 2009 and 2010 Altima owners started about their cars. That is, unless, you know how to start their cars.

These vehicles can suddenly become impossible to start thanks to a faulty electronic steering column lock (ESCL). Nissan dealers will gladly replace it, but that will run you $1000.

It's one of the many reasons this car was named CarTalk's Turd of the Week and given our Beware of this Clunker badge. Two dubious honors.

More info & videos are available over at


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,249 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.

2010 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 222015


  • 56,800 miles


My check engine light came on and I made an appointment for Monday at planet Nissan. On Saturday 1/24/15 the light went off, but I've heard some knocking and the steering makes a rubbing sound. So far the master cylinder had to be replaced, which I filed a complaint here, and was reimbursed, but before reimbursement they told me my VIN did not match. So I find that questionable. I've put on new struts on the front and rear. Nissan said the check engine light had to do with the transmission and it was under warranty and has been repaired. Now they are telling me that the front strut mounts are cracked which is not covered. I've been on line and see that 2010 models have had this problem. They have not located the rubbing sound in the steering wheel. I've called Nissan consumer department and am awaiting a reply. So far the master cylinder, struts front and back, the transmission, and now the front strut mounts. On a car with this little mileage, I don't feel secure in this car and will never own another Nissan. I think they should repair the strut mounts. I've never had so many problems with a car before. I would say very poor workmanship. I was looking forward to paying the car off as I owe very little at this time and I keep my cars a long time, but feel I have a lemon and am very disappointed. As much as we pay for cars today there shouldn't be so many problems.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #2

Oct 012010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 250 miles
As car accelerates to 20 mph, there is a loud rattling noise coming from the passenger side engine compartment/undercarriage area. Noise was noticed the first week of purchase. The car now has 7,500 miles on it. When it was taken in to the dealer, the lead tech had me ride with him to duplicate the noise--it happened. He then took me for a ride in a new model on the lot and it seemed to produce the same noise. He ended the ride and did not take the vehicle in for inspection. He told me I was the 4th person to come in with the same complaint. He stated it was the ABS completing a self check cycle...which just happens to be very noisy. This is very hard to accept on a newly purchased vehicle. It's very embarrassing.

- Winder, GA, USA

problem #1

Jun 142010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 698 miles
My brand new Nissan Altima A/C stop working just for not reason after driving it for like 20 minutes but I thought was alright the out of nowhere the engine start to overheat all the way to the H, my car is an brand new Altima 2.5 S 4 cylinders and I just bought it on May 12th, in kailua kona Hawaii (, I got scared because was too hot and it could burnt someone else face or even blow out, it happened already 2 times, they said that is a belt but no car with almost 700 miles on it heats up out of nothing. I would actually guys like you to put attention to all the reviews cuz people is complaining about the A/C in Altima 2010, also there is a noise every single time that I turn the car on like water running in the dash.

- Keauhou, HI, USA

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