hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,811 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 Sentra engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #47

Jun 022009


  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra. While driving approximately 55 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. There was a low power response when the accelerator pedal was depressed and the engine began to misfire. The vehicle coasted to the side of the road and resumed normal operation at low speeds. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing and they stated that the failure was related to the engine compartment. The technician recommended that the vehicle be inspected by an authorized dealer. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the power valve within the throttle body failed. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileages were 92,000.

- Honeoye Falls, NY, USA

problem #46

Mar 162009


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle failed and shut off. The contact was able to restart the vehicle, but began experiencing idling issues. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop and inspected by a technician, who determined that the mass air flow sensor failed. The vehicle was repaired at the cost of $370. Three days later, while driving 10 mph, the vehicle slowed down and failed. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and drove to a local repair shop. It was determined that the ECM was failing. No repairs were performed. The contact called the manufacturer and was informed that no compensation would be provided because there were no recalls. The current and failure mileages were 75,000.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #45

Jan 152009


  • 71,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2002 Nissan Sentra. The dipstick broke in the ordinary course of standard maintenance of the oil in the car and the broken dipstick fell in, resulting in a $250-$300 repair (to retrieve the dipstick from the engine and replace the dipstick). The dipstick is clearly defective, as a brief internet search reveals hundreds of Nissan Sentra owner complaints regarding this exact problem, including numerous complaints on the NHTSA websiter (over several model years). This dipstick, with its flimsy plastic part, is clearly not suitable for its intended purpose and can ultimately result in a dangerous engine failure. Nissan is trying to avoid responsibility for the problem by saying that they are not responsible because, in my case, the dipstick broke when it was being handled by an independent service station, rather than by Nissan service. This response is absurd since this is not an isolated episode and since dipsticks are meant to be used in gas stations and in car owners' own garages and driveways. Nobody takes their car back to the car manufacturer to check the oil. That is like saying that if the gas tank is defective, Nissan will not cover the repair because gas was put in the car at a gas station instead of at a Nissan dealer. Apparently, even jiffy lube has had numerous problems with Nissan on this front as well. It was necessary for us to proceed with the repair immediately and at our own expense, since the broken dipstick in the engine was obstructing the entry of a new dipstick and also distorting the measurement of the oil. Thus, it was impossible to know if the car needed oil, and running the car with insufficient oil would have further damaged the engine. This could ultimately result in engine failure and an accident. We had the dipstick repair done at a local Nissan dealer and are seeking reimbursement for the repair (but, as stated above, Nissan has refused to reimburse us). Thank you for your attention to this matter.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #44

Dec 012007


  • miles


2002 Nissan Sentra has a stalling problem followed by the check engine light. The consumer was informed a recall existed for the stalling he experienced. The dealer reprogrammed the ECM, however a year later the stalling occurred again. The consumer believed the ECM should have been replaced rather than reprogrammed. Recall # 07V527000.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #43

May 012008


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra. The contact stated that the check engine indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. As a result, the vehicle failed its emissions inspection. The dealer replaced the O2 sensor. The contact took the vehicle to a personal mechanic and had the O2 sensor replaced; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer stated that nothing could be done. The contact stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 07V527000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle still has not passed emissions. The current mileage was 153,000 and failure mileage was 130,000.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #42

Oct 162007


  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R. while driving approximately 60 mph, the oil indicator illuminated intermittently on the instrument panel. The contact drove to his residence. The dealer advised him to add more oil in the vehicle. The oil leakage became a persistent issue. One year later, while driving approximately 40 mph, he heard a loud noise coming from the hood on the driver's side. The vehicle stalled and was towed to a local repair shop. The mechanic stated that the piston rings, head job, and crankshaft needed to be replaced. The dealer and the manufacturer were not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were 180,000.

- Avelento, CA, USA

problem #41

Nov 302008


  • miles


Upon noticing an unusual smell coming from my car I opened my hood to remove the oil dipstick only to find that the plastic ring had melted away from the dipstick. The dipstick was now stuck and after about an hour I was able to remove it because of the numerous suggestions, which I found online in order to avoid a mechanic fee of more than $150 to remove it. This seems to be a common problem with Nissan Sentra according to the many blogs found on the web simply by typing Nissan broken oil dipstick. I was given a defective part, time wasted trying to remove the dipstick and had to incur the cost to replace the part, only to be given the same type of dipstick with a plastic handle.

- Bayside, NY, USA

problem #40

Nov 102008


  • 32,000 miles
My 2002 Nissan Sentra w/ 1.8 engine started dying at low speeds. My mechanic said it was a known defect of the camshaft position sensor & a recall was issued for the 2.5L engine, but not for my 1.8L engine. It cost me $408 to fix. Here is the 2002 Nissan Sentra defect summary: On certain passenger vehicles equipped with a 2.5L engine, the crankshaft position sensor can overheat causing a brief interruption in the signal output from the sensor. Defect consequence: If the interruption in the signal from the crankshaft position sensor is so brief that the electronic control module (ECM) logic does not have time to diagnose the condition, the engine may stop running without warning while the vehicle is driven at a low speed increasing the risk of a crash.

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #39

Oct 042008


  • 10,200 miles
The dipstick on my Nissan Sentra had a plastic head. Twice, the dipstick has been broken by a serviceman changing the oil. He simple pulls it out and the plastic head comes off, leaving the stick in the tube. Nissan charged me $168 dollars four years ago to replace the tube and dipstick. Now it has happened again. The heat is too much for the plastic, making it brittle. Because this has happened twice, and I've read of hundreds of similar complaints on consumer websites, this should be a recall item.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #38

Jun 212008


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle stalled. Through online research, the contact discovered numerous recalls on the vehicle with the same failure that he was experiencing. The manufacturer stated that his VIN was not included in any of the recalls; therefore, the contact would not be reimbursed for any of the repairs related to those recalls. The contact feels that his vehicle should be included in the recalls since he is experiencing the same failures. The VIN and recall numbers were unavailable. The failure mileage was 70,000 and current mileage was 71,000.

- Woodbridge, CT, USA

problem #37

Jun 022008

(reported on)


  • miles


2002 Nissan Sentra with engine failure due to pre-catalytic converter. Consumer states that there was a recall for this problem causing engine failure. He states that he wasn't even informed when the vehicle was being repaired for the failure. The consumer stated unburned fuel is burned in the pre-catalytic converter which is located on the exhaust manifold. When the unburned fuel was burned it caused disintegration. It was then sucked into the engine causing cylinder wall damage, which resulted in the engine burning excessive amounts of oil. The consumer stated he experienced the problem which cost him thousands of dollars.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #36

May 012008


  • miles
Hi, my name is clarence mabane. I have a complaint/recommendation about the manner in which a vehicle recall is being handled/performed. I am the owner of a 2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R spec V. this vehicle has/had a recall in place to fix a condition that would lead to unrepairable engine failure. The condition you may be aware of as a pre-cat (catalytic converter located on the exhaust manifold in addition to the main one) failure condition. Basically unburned fuel is burned in the pre-cat resulting in its disintegration. It is then sucked into the engine causing cylinder wall damage. This condition results in the engine burning excessive amounts of oil, a further degrade in compression over time and overall engine failure before it should expire under normal conditions. This situation happened to me and I was notified in any manor at any time about any recall even during service for the recalled item. This repair was in excess of a thousand dollars. At which time I was told nothing about the particles being sucked into my engine causing my the engine wear which caused the oil condition. At the very least I should have been advised of the recall at the time of repair and of my oil being contaminated. Instead I was told it would be fine to drive 100+ miles to my local Nissan dealership. It would of great help is you could look into this matter or make recommendations on how else this would be best handled?

- Pppp, CT, USA

problem #35

May 172008

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra. While attempting to drive up an exit ramp, the vehicle began to stall. The engine light illuminated and then the vehicle stalled completely. The contact had to wait five minutes to restart the vehicle and drive home. The vehicle has been diagnosed several times, but the failure still persists. The current and failure mileages were 15,000. Updated 07/10/08. Updated

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #34

Apr 252008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra. When the contact purchased the vehicle, he had the oil consumption of the fuel system inspected. The mechanic informed him that the vehicle was burning large amounts of oil, causing the piston rings to wear down. He was also informed of a recall with this identical failure, which stated that they were supposed to replace the parts as well as install a catalyst. The contact called the dealer to see if he could have this repaired under the recall, but they stated that his VIN was excluded from the recall. The failure mileage was 131,000. Updated 5/20/08 updated 05/20/08

- Clawson, MI, USA

problem #33

Feb 122005

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Sentra S-er. Three years ago, the check engine light illuminated and the dealer stated that it could be due to various components. The check engine light remained illuminated the rest of the day. The dealer also suggested that there may have been a crack in the wiring harness. The cost to replace the wiring harness was $1,800, does not include labor or guarantee that the failure would be corrected. Three years later, in March of 2008, the contact received a recall notice for the ECM, which stated that the vehicle could shut off. The dealer was unable to perform the recall as long as the check engine light was illuminated. The dealer also stated that the mechanics were not qualified three years ago. They left blown and loose fuses in the engine and also disconnected the wiring harness. The contact paid over $400 to have the O2 sensors replaced and they have failed again. The ECM repair was only guaranteed under warranty for 80,000 miles; however, the vehicle currently has 83,000 miles. The ECM repair was covered under warranty three years ago. The contact stated that she should not be responsible for the repair costs for a failure that was improperly diagnosed three years ago. There are invoices available that indicate the same computer reading that was displayed three years ago is the same reading that is displayed today. The complaint is related to having to pay for a failure that was covered under the warranty and improperly diagnosed. The powertrain was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000 and current mileage was 83,000.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #32

Oct 172007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • miles
My vehicle would cut off while driving. I took it to a Nissan dealership to have the recalls R3022 (crank position sensor) and the inside lining of the ECM box removed. Because of the damage done to the ECM box from the lining by ECM box has to be unjustly fixed at my own expense.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #31

Oct 102007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,450 miles
Oil dip stick broke on 2002 Nissan Sentra. With only about 60,000 miles on the Nissan Sentra, the plastic oil dip stick broke off inside the tube. The vehicle was taken to a Nissan dealer for repairs at a an out outrageous cost of $380.63. Checking the internet, I found numerous complaints for the same problem. It surely appears to be a design flaw with the dip stick and Nissan should initiate a recall to replace existing oil sticks made of plastic. Additional, Nissan should reimburse the owners who have already paid for this repair.

- Redlands, CA, USA

problem #30

Aug 222007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 82,416 miles
The dipstick cap on my 2002 Nissan Sentra gxe is plastic. Due to this and the normal heating and cooling of the engine, it has broken away from the dipstick and the dipstick is stuck down in the dipstick tube. To get this out and replace it, the dealerships and repair garages want $100-200+ dollars. This I have learned is a common defect among most cars of this make and model.

- Glenville, NY, USA

problem #29

Jul 172007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 79,000 miles
2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R we own has been giving us a re-occurring problem with both the unified meter that controls the speedometer and affects the ECM to throw up the engine light to come on..causes a massive slow down in speed when the speedometer goes out while driving..brought this to the attention to a local Nissan dealer, mike shad of orange park and was informed not to worry about the engine light and just have the ECM "reflashed". we followed the instructions from the service center of mike shad Nissan and had the system reflashed..speedometer worked briefly and went out again..to this day it continues to stay on "engine light", and the speedometer still works off and on and continues to wreak havoc on maintaining a safe speed. Also a major issue regarding the "long engine crank time before engine starts". I have found information thru the internet informing there is a tsb on this issue on this particular vehicle ('02 Sentra) and have submitted an email to the service dept of mike shad Nissan to address this issue but no response. This problem with the crank time endangers not only me but my family as well. I cannot trust the car to crank properly which therefore puts the reliability factor in jeopardy when my wife drives the car to pick up my daughter for school and use the vehicle to and from work. I found information about this problem thru the nissanhelp website regarding the technical service bulletin "long engine crank time before engine starts" indicating a primary part failure on a faulty fuel pump that needs to repaired/replaced...

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #28

Aug 122007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,590 miles
The handle on the engine oil dipstick has broken off. The stick itself is now in the dipstick tube. I was looking on the internet yesterday, August 12, 2007 and uncovered numerous complaints from people about this same problem. It seems to be a common problem with Nissan vehicles.

- Erie, PA, USA

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