Notes: The 2005 Sentra earned its clunker status after numerous reports of blown head gaskets.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,003 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.

2005 Nissan Sentra cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2005 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 032011

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 77,650 miles


Client contact owns a 2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8L engine with 77,650 miles. The contact stated that the head gasket was blown and there were no indications that the vehicle was overheating. He always noticed the normal pressure in the engine. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic three times who stated that he bought bad gas and refill the gas tank with high test when it was half empty. Mechanic notice a misfire in cylinder 1 and/or random misfire. Also, running a little elevated temperature. We changed spark plugs, oil, and cleaned the fuel injectors but still had the problem. Three days later the check engine light came on. We went to Firestone and told the head casket was blown. The cost is about 950 dollars to fix the head gasket. Who knows what other damage has been caused to other parts as well.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #5

Aug 012010

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
1. shaking when car was turned on. Losing power whilst driving. Losing coolant. 2. head gasket was diagnosed to be leaking. Occurred constantly when car turned on, lost power as driving, idled rough, failed to point could no longer drive as could not accelerate without shaking or feeling like it would stall. Odd part is it seemed to be better on cooler mornings. 3. read codes for misfire cylinder 4, and random misfire. Also running a little elevated temperature. We changed spark plugs, coils, and still had the problem. Searched online to find the same model and year all had same codes. The solution on multiple message boards that 2005 Nissan Sentra all had problems with head gasket blowing. When asked mechanic to check, he found cylinder 4 be very clean which he believed was due to coolant leaking in. He used a sealant product through the system that filled in leaks. He said the head gasket design was different. They were bolts that seemed to stretch as they tighten which would obviously crack or break after general use. He said there could be a problem if any fragments were to be lose in the system could damage other parts such as a water pump. We are watching the water levels. We have parked the car because we do not know if or when the car will repeat the issue. The cost is about 2,000 dollars to fix the head gasket. Who knows what other damage has been caused to other parts as well.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 212009


  • 36,366 miles
I was driving my 2005 Nissan Sentra when it started running roughly then the check engine light came on. The next day it ran fine the engine light was off. Someone told me to have the spark plugs replaced so I did that. The car was fine for about two weeks. Then the same thing started happening again and this time it was worse it was running rougher and smoke was coming out of the tailpipe and it was loud. I took it to the dealership they had it for 2 hours and told me that my head gasket had failed and they could not give me an explanation as to why that had happened. It was covered under the remaining powertrain warranty. After that I had done some research and found that this is happening to a lot of other people. The reason that I am making this complaint is that my vehicle is out of warranty August 2010 and the total cost to replace the head gasket in my vehicle is almost $2000 dollars. I think Nissan should address this problem and replace what ever parts required to make sure this problem never happens again.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 212008


  • 76,000 miles


2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8 head gasket failure - car overheated on highway, antifreeze leaking in engine compartment. Had car towed to Nissan dealership and confirmed head gasket failure. Bought vehicle new, less than 36 months of ownership, but 76K miles. Attempted to work through customer relations at Nissan to recover a portion of the repair expense as good will, but was denied.

- Hopewell Junction , NY, USA

problem #2

Sep 152007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
I purchased my 2005 Nissan Sentra in December 2005. In September 2007, I began noticing that my car was overheating. In addition to my car overheating, the heat stopped working. I do not have very much money and my warranty has already expired so I had a family mechanic look at the car. I had the water-pump replaced, the radiator flushed, the heating and cooling sensor replaced, belts and hoses replaced. After having so many things done to my car, the problem was still not solved. I then decided to take it to a repair shop. The repair shop flushed out my radiator. When I picked up the car, the heat was working and it was fine. The repair shop is literally across the street from where I live. Before I got home, the car overheated and the heat went out. I took the car right back to the repair shop and the mechanic told me that I must have a head gasket problem. Ok, so I went back to the family mechanic because the repair shop wanted to charge over $1000 to replace the head gasket (which I didn't have). The family mechanic replaced the head gasket for me though he didn't see holes or cracks in the original head gasket. This still did not solve my problem. I finally decided to take my car to the Nissan service dept. They told me that I needed a radiator, I paid $560 just to have them replace the radiator. When I picked up the car, I didn't make it home before the car began to overheat again and the heat went out. I took the car back to Nissan service dept. This was five weeks ago. I still do not have my car. They are telling me that I probably need a head gasket. I gave the ok to replace the head gasket which will cost over $1500. I am still awaiting my car but am not sure that this will solve my problem.

- Willowbrook, IL, USA

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problem #1

Nov 192007

Sentra 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
Squealing noise under hood reported, told could not duplicate noise. 4 months later returned vehicle to shop. Was told noise is coming from belts whose coatings are cracked but belts are good. Cost $170 plus tax to replace good belts. Apparently the belts used on my 2005 Sentra was defective.

- Chespeake, VA, USA

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