really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
91,548 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
2002 Nissan Sentra engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 262013

Sentra GXE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,500 miles


Repair facility had the car for two days with complaint of cooling system problems. They found nothing, rock steady temperature gauge. When I drove away (oh, no charge this time) my trailing driver saw white smoke. The next day it wouldn't start and was pumping lots of air into the radiator. Right back to the repair facility and five more days to repair.

I like the repair facility and the office staff. They are clean, fair, and honest, but this is not the first time I drove away with a problem not fixed.

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 082006

Sentra SE-R SpecV 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 53,596 miles

I wrote approximately one month ago concerning catastrophic engine failure on my Nissan with only 74000 miles. After a recent conversation with one of your Nissan representatives, Francine Lee, I have decided to summarize the problems and dealer services I’ve had with my 2002 Sentra SE-R Spec V.

I purchased the vehicle from Star Nissan in Niles IL on 11/25/05. They can be contacted at (847) 647-1555. The majority of the dealer services were completed by Warner Nissan in Findlay, OH. Warner’s phone # is (419) 423-7161. The most recent dealer service I had less than 6 months ago occurred at The Lima Auto Mall in Lima, OH. They may be contacted at (419) 993-6100. Each of these dealerships can verify the information I am about to provide. If you need further proof as to my statements I can get them to you via fax. The only services that were not provided by a dealership were a throttle body and ABS sensor that were changed by a local mechanic just prior to my visit to The Lima Auto Mall. That mechanic, Brian Shadley, of Shadley’s Towing and Auto Service can be reached at (419)634-0823. I had most oil changes done by independent lube shops…sorry but I refuse to pay $40 for an oil change at a dealership when I can have it done for $15.

I purchased this Nissan for about $11,000 on 11/25/05. The vehicle had approximately 50,000 miles on it. The sale was really the only transaction I have had with Star Nissan.

On 06/28/06 my Sentra was towed into Warner Nissan because the master cylinder on the clutch went out. My wife and I went without a second vehicle until 07/10/06 and no loaner was offered or made available. The reason for the 12 day stay in the shop was because they had found two outstanding recalls on my car, one being a cam position sensor and the other having to do with a catalytic converter hanger. The car had 53596 miles at this time and the cost for repair was at $293.53 not covered by warranty or recalls. This would also mark the first and last time for 2006 I had driven my Sentra for 6+ months without having a costly repair.

On 07/17/06 my Nissan was back at Warner for a check engine light. The O2 sensor that was bad cost me $185.84 to replace. They had the vehicle in their shop for 10 days because I was on vacation.

On 08/11/06 my check engine light was on again and I had a loud noise coming from under the hood. The noise was due to a warped exhaust manifold which thankfully the service center admitted was caused by removing it during a prior visit. The engine light, however, meant more money out of my pocket. The ECM replacement cost my family $551.39 and 10 more days without a second vehicle. The car was ready on 08/21/06. On this date my mileage was at 55664 and my repairs were $1030.76. The car was not even in my garage for 1 of the 9 months I’ve owned it.

On 01/18/07 my vehicle had 60428 miles and I was back at Warner Nissan to have an ABS sensor checked. After a $43.20 diagnostic I determined that the $600 estimate for a new ABS speed sensor and a brake job was too much. After having saved up enough money, I changed the pads myself and decided to wait on the repair of the ABS sensor as I did not have the money. This was my last visit to Warner Nissan.

Through 2007 I performed routine maintenance and upkeep with no major problems except for a ruined tire and rim due to an impact break while crossing a bridge. Again, I do not have dealership receipts for routine maintenance like oil changes etc…

The next major problem was on 12/07/07 when a check engine light and high idle speed lead me to have the throttle body replaced. Brian Shadley bought the part at The Lima Auto Mall Nissan dealership along with the ABS sensor and he replaced it for me. (He has an account there if you need to check records) After it was replaced and my check book was diminished by $403.98, I was informed that it had to be taken back to the dealership to be re-programmed. In December of 2007 I was charged $81.62 for the re-programming fee. The Sentra was in an authorized Nissan garage for about 4 hours and there was no mention of engine malfunction or impending trouble. The car had approximately 69697 miles during these visits

On 05/01/08, less than 6 months and 4,000 miles after my car had been in an authorized Nissan service center, I was driving normally on my 12 mile highway commute home and noticed that the engine was lacking a little power. All gauges and lights looked normal so I continued my drive. By the time I got to a stop sign a block from my house I could barely accelerate through the intersection. Upon pulling in my drive way I noticed a loud strange noise coming from under the hood. I lifted the hood and listened as it got worse. I checked the oil level (even though my engine oil light was not on). The level was normal. I had the vehicle towed to Brian Shadley. He determined that the engine would need replaced due to a loss of oil pressure to the head. After doing some research and realizing that a new engine would cost me about $4500 for parts and labor, I had a neighbor/friend of mine tow it back to my drive where it now sits. I am now borrowing a Honda Civic with 189000 miles on the original motor and tranny. Not quite the four door that my kids are used to.

I have not had the car to a Nissan dealership as of yet. I would like to know that there is some hope of help before I waste another $1 on this lemon of a vehicle. Yes I consider $1516.36 repairs, 30 days without a car and one blown engine with no warning a lemon. I only owned the car for 2 and ½ years and put 24,000 miles on it. When I talked to Francine on the phone, she asked me if I felt that I received “value” out of the car…Yeah right. That is laughable. She also told me that “Nissan might be able to replace my engine if they had some more facts about the car’s service record.” I’d be happy if they paid the $5800 I still owe on it or at least gave me that in trade. As she said, “Maybe this could have been prevented with routine visits to a dealership.” I guess a 6 month prior visit wasn’t routine enough. I have provided all the information that I feel pertains to this matter.

- , Lima, OH, USA

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