pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
51,300 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replaced short block (5 reports)
2010 Nissan Sentra engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 252017

Sentra 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 83,905 miles


I first heard ticking and knocking at around 70,000 miles, just out of warranty. It took some time to get worse, and I discovered what the issue was on this website. After talking to Nissan corporate, they advised me that I needed to have a dealer look at the motor. Dealers wanted to charge about $300 to $350 just to look at the motor. No telling what they would actually say. A used motor was $750 at a local parts dealer, so I purchased the motor and had a mechanic install it. I documented the entire thing, before and after videos, boroscope videos showing the inside of the cylinders damaged, serial numbers and pressure testing of the cylinders. Submitted all of this to Nissan and the refused to help me, hiding behind buracracy and not able to own their own manufacturing problems. Dealer quoted me at $8,590 for a new motor and $4,822 for a use motor. All I asked Nissan for was $1,620 for what is their error in manufacturing. They refused to help.

Buy Toyota, Subaru, or Honda.

Nissan does not stand behind their mistakes and do what is right.

- J D., Laguna Niguel, US

problem #10

Dec 012016

Sentra 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 50,031 miles

I thought it was just another loud Nissan engine but two different people at work said there was problem. One piston slapping around when cold then noise would decrease as engine became hot. Probably could have taken it in at 30K. Even my elderly father thought it was quite loud two summers ago. Had dealer check it since I had purchased extended warranty. The warranty saved my backside but Nissan will only warranty the new engine for 1 year 12,000 miles. Way to stand behind your product which failed way too early.

- Walter G., Sacramento, CA - California, US

problem #9

Jan 172017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,740 miles

I purchased a 2010 Nissan Sentra brand new in March of 2010. I have an extended warranty on the vehicle until March of this year. My Engine has completely blown up. My extended warranty will not cover my engine with $31,740.00 miles, because I did not have all my oil changes with a Nissan Dealership. My Extended Warranty was purchased at the time of the purchase of my Car. My Warranty is through Nissan Security Plus Gold plan. I am completely devastated about this, and currently have no form of transportation. My extended warranty will not pay my tow bill, or pay for a rental car during this process either. I have filed a complaint with Nissan Consumer Affairs. This is my second new Vehicle I have purchased from Nissan. I have Family members who have purchased Nissans as well. I hope they stand behind this Car, and its needed repair.

- Kathy N., Golden, CO, US

problem #8

Jan 052016

Sentra SL

  • CVT transmission
  • 95,000 miles


I took the car back after buying new, told the dealership about the knocking. They looked, told me not to worry, it would be covered. I took it in over ten times over the years as the knocking became louder. They told me that since I had complained to them it would be covered even if it was out of warranty. Should have known better with what this dealership did over the a.c./heat issue. Of course, since I trusted them, I was screwed. Put a motor that had 25 thousand miles on it and it sounds and runs miles high better than the old. Nissan said since I did not come back for the oil check usage one time they would deny. Not taking into account I was in for an oil consumption test four times before. Had taken it in for an oil change once and it had no oil in it. It never registered on the dash at all. They filled it up and said I was covered if something went wrong. The dealership in Milan Th are liars and so is Nissan. I have owned two new, will never again.

- William B., Milan, TN, US

problem #7

Dec 092014

Sentra SR

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,000 miles

My 2010 Nissan Sentra has a terrible engine noise and uses oil. The sound is getting worse, started around 60K and now at 75 K is much worse. Have tried Lucas lubricant in oil but it does not help. The car sounds fine when idle but gets really loud when I accelerate especially when first driving. I know this is probably a faulty manufacturing problem but I don't know what to do.

- Rita M., Sandy, UT, US

problem #6

Mar 152014

Sentra SL 2.0L I-4

  • CVT transmission
  • 59,000 miles

So I bought my 2010 Nissan Sentra SL from Al Piemonte Nissan in Melrose Park, IL back in March of 2011. The car had been used by Nissan employees, I'm guessing for driving parts back and forth to different dealerships, no big deal. It had a little over 15,000 miles on it. It was around 30,000 miles that I noticed how loud the piston slap/knocking was, especially on a cold start up. I chose to not really look into the problem until 59,000 miles and I knew my standard 60,000 mile powertrain warranty would expire soon. Keep in mind I did oil changes every 3,000 miles and always had the vehicle serviced at a dealership.

I called Thomas Nissan in Joliet, IL and explained to them what was going on. They were very nice and understanding, they had my car hooked up to a diagnostic system within a few minutes. About 30 minutes later, a representative came out to explain that there indeed was premature piston wall wear in cylinder 3 and that I would need a brand new short block (basically a whole new engine). They explained that it would be no cost to me at all and even offered to come pick the car up from my house and leave a loaner car for me to use. Overall this is a common problem with the MR20DE (2.0L 4 cyl.) engines and I'm surprised that Nissan has yet to make a recall about it. It makes sense why the new Sentra's are now back to using the 1.8L engines, because they had few problems.

EDIT My Sentra now has 11,650 miles after the new engine and I swear I could hear the knocking very lightly at low RPM's coasting about 20mph. Again, keep in mind I babied the hell out of the new engine, I asked if there was any sort of break-in period and they said no, but I have more respect for my car than to floor it when the engine is brand new. With a little over 70,000 miles on the car now and having an extended warranty until 87,000 miles, I will see if the knocking gets worse and possibly have it replaced AGAIN. Though it didn't cost me anything, Nissan should still look into this problem.

- lol gm, Lockport, IL, US

problem #5

Apr 072014

Sentra 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Everyone at the dealership said they could not hear the knocking for several times, then they finally heard it after I took it to another mechanic. They fixed it and for about 1 month it was very quiet. Then it started again, the same knock and neighbors across the street ask what is wrong with my car but have taken it back to dealership 2 more times and they can't hear again!!

I have an extended warranty but cannot get it fixed again. It is so annoying to be told there is nothing wrong when even my grandchildren ask about it!!! I have driven junk cars in the past and know very well when something is wrong with one.

- jrichey80, Anderson, SC, US

problem #4

Feb 012012

Sentra 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

OK, so my car is only 2 years old and it sounds like it's 10+!

There is an annoying knocking/ "klank" sound coming from the engine.

I took it to a mechanic only to have him tell me he would have to restore the engine. WTHeck?! It is a new car!!! Sounds like a 3k on labor alone not to mention Nissan parts!

I would say contact Nissan of America at (800) 647-7261 and let them have it. If enough people call they will listen and get our cars fixed!

- roalv, Anaheim, CA, US

problem #3

Jul 012011

Sentra S 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,480 miles

2010 Nissan Sentra, in this car everything is wrong about it. I have had issues since day 1. 2,500 started to hear a knocking noise when driving. (Service manager said its normal for that noise, said it was the ABS turning on. 6,000 when driving off car would lose power and wanted to turn off. At about 8,000 miles car wouldn't start. 10,000 miles had to replace tires (defective). 11,500 had to replace battery. 20,000 motor mount went out had to replace. I have 22,480 miles now whats next??? I'm tired of always being at the dealership trying to fix my car. I should of just bought a used car..

- Sergio B., El Paso, TX, US

problem #2

Oct 062011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

The tapping noise coming from the engine is awful. It starts when I first accelerate, from about 20 mph to about 50 mph. It is getting louder by the day. I am calling the dealer as these engines should have a 100,000 warranty (this was extended from the original 60,000) probably because of engine problems on earlier models.

- Corinne M., Tuckerton, NJ, US

problem #1

Dec 012010

Sentra SR 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 6,000 miles

In the cold the engine sounds like a diesel, it gets less noisy as you drive but its still pretty loud. The engine noises are most noticeable in Drive under light/moderate acceleration (with the windows up and the radio off i can especially hear it). After its warmed up i can sit there in park with no load and rev and it sounds normal (unless the engine is cold, in which case it knocks then too) but the car has less than 10K miles on it and the amount of knocking coming from this engine it totally unacceptable. Ive had it at the dealer 3 or 4 times now about the issue. They recognize the noise but simply pass it off as normal because of the cold weather; and i live in FL, not Alaska so were not talking about hard freeze here. Ive driven 2 or 3 new Sentras on the lot and the noise is noticeable on them as well but not near the amount on mine. When summer comes around, if its still acting up they wont have an excuse to blame it on.

- Bill J., Jacksonville, FL, US

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