really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,387 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.

2012 Nissan Sentra engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments

problem #12

Aug 082016


  • 85,000 miles


While driving, a piece fell out of the bottom of the car, after which the engine began to smoke and the car began to lose power. I pulled off the road and turned off the car, at which point the engine became engulfed in flames. The car has had no problems to date, and the check engine light has never come on.

- Chubbuck, ID, USA

problem #11

Jul 082016


  • 84,000 miles
About half-way through a highway road trip from dallas to houston, my vehicle began automatically decelerating from 85mph to 70mph although my foot pressed hard on the accelerator. I activated cruise control at 70mph, but the vehicle continued to decelerate although cruise control was activated and displayed beneath the speedometer. When the car's speed dropped from 70mph to 60mph on the highway, I took the nearest exit in centerville, Texas and stopped at the gas station to turn my car off then on again. The car continued to decelerate, reaching only 45mph as I entered the busy highway yet again. After 15 minutes, the car began accelerating to 60mph. After struggling with the car's speed for about 30 minutes, everything returned to normal and the car began accelerating to 85mph once again.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 262015


  • 62,000 miles
I have had my car for just over 2 years. I bought it used for business trips mostly. I drove it for the first time on a long distance business trip and 3 hours into trip it stopped accelerating over 70 miles an hour. This continueed the entire way to my final destination. No lights came on, no sounds or smells either. Once I was in town driving on normal roads it was fine again. Then I drove it back home, same thing happened but more extreme. I took it to the Nissan dealership in boulder Colorado. In doing so I found out that all Nissan had a warrenty recall to put in a cvt cooler part. A feature that all Nissan need to insure the possibilty of long distance travel without the transmission over heating and not accelerating properly. The dealership then informed me that it would have been covered if I had brought it in before it was over 60,000 miles. Now that it is howevr, it is my responsibility to pay over $800 for a part my car should have come with. I called Nissan noth America to find resalution, they closed the case and will not help me. I find this extremely unexceptable and dangerous. As a single 31 yr old woman, I could have been stranded in corn fields in the middle of Kansas in the dark had my transmission failed unexpectedly. I purchased this car at 40,000 miles two yrs ago, it should have had that part put in before it left the lot. I will not accept this and am hoping to find some support in getting Nissan to cover parts and labor for this issue. Please let me know your thoughts and how I should proceed from here. Thank you.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #9

Mar 302015


  • 34,000 miles


I purchase used car from 2012 I never expect to have any car problem for at least 4 yrs, but that was not my case in 5 month of having the car it started to give me problems. The fist problem is that I had a leaking that was coming from the sun roof and the top light. I was told that the way is made it had to drain tube and they get clog. I was also told not to park my car under tree. Uh that's is kind of hard there's a lot trees in the country. I had to change the battery in about 3 months. The car when I turn it off the motor was still running. Few day after the my car would not start not even manually. I told that the ignition was not working and the anti theft system lock therefore I was not able to turn the car on. I also saw that the metal that is under the steering wheel was rusty from the leak. I research the recalls, but was not able to find any on this year. However I found the previous year had a recall and was the same issues I'm having.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #8

Jan 012014

Sentra 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Nissan Sentra. Consumer writes in regards to inadequate cabin heat in winter. The consumer stated he noticed this past winter, the vehicle did not heat up to normal operating temperatures on a timely basis when the outside temperature was roughly 15 degrees or colder. Instead, the coolant temperature gauge moved about 1/3 of the way and just stayed there for an extended period of 20 minutes or more. As a result, the heater put out only minimally warm air. Eventually, the vehicle fully warmed up and the heat output was normal. The dealer was aware there was a problem, but was unable to correct it, and they had not received any technical advice or assistance from Nissan. Nissan informed the consumer, the condition was identified in other Sentra's, but that was how the engine was designed, and it would not be changed. Updated 09/10/14

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #7

Aug 062014


  • 37,200 miles
Vehicle was purchased used and the battery died after 3mos and 3000 miles, dealer refused to replace. Purchase price for new battery is $145 I find this charge ridiculous. This vehicle is used maybe every other day since we have 2 cars. The dealer said the car still has 60,000 miles warranty. On a certified pre owned vehicle I do not except having to put a new battery in the car. I must ask what kind of inspection do you guys do, and should I expect more things to go wrong with this car.

- San Jacinto, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 192014

Sentra 4-cyl

  • miles


Upon accelerating the car makes a awful clunking noise that is not only heard but felt on the floor under your feet this happens often. The dealer stated this was normal. I pressed the gas pedal while switching lanes and the engine revved up, but the car did not move. It took the transmission several seconds to catch up to the engine.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #5

Jul 092013

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
Summer 2013, while driving on the freeway at 60 mph, some tire debris off an 18 wheeler truck tire was on my lane, , to avoid hitting it and or the vehicles next to me I looked into my rear view mirror to check for cars behind me and made a sudden slow down, but not a complete stop, ,I pressed the gas pedal to go around the debris and the engine revved up, but the car did not move. It took the cvt transmission several seconds to catch up to the engine, before the car started to move again..I told a service manager at ipoc Nissan dealer in san antonio about this and he seemed to brush it aside, stating those things happens with cvt's. what the dealer did find was an engine oil leak between the transmission and engine, you can't really see the oil leak, but the fact that dust collects around it indicated and the rest of the underside is cleaner. The dealer had to remove the transmission, parts connected to it, ,front axle etc..the flywheel to replace a defective rear engine main oil seal. This was at about 7000 miles into this new Nissan Sentra. Also I have made countless complaints to Nissan and it's dealer of the horrible knocking from the engine (2.0) on start ups. And somewhat gets quieter after warm-up, but is still present at about 2000 RPM and up.. Nissan has time after time refuses to accept that they have a mechanical product defect, instead they claim the knocking is coming from their fuel injectors, to the ABS brakes systems, ,to the trunk lid..these are the excuses they have told me. I would not like to pass on these problems to some other person if I get rid of this new car, ,what I would like Nissan to do is make good on their product, their advertising on tv, radio, and other media is deceiving and Nissan is trying to avoid having to fix their problems. The problem with the stop and go on the cvt happened again and I reported it to the dealer.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #4

Jun 282013


  • 13,300 miles
At about 1130 pm on my way home from work, approaching a intersection, I depressed the brake pedal and car seemed to increase speed and went through intersection through lawn and striking another car, total lose of control, no brakes, a real scary feeling.

- Coopersburg, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 292012


  • 20 miles
I have the same complaints as the following: Date complaint filed: 09/05/2012 component(s): Power train, structure date of incident: 08/09/2012 NHTSA id number: 10473871 date complaint filed: 01/18/2012 component(s): Power train, service brakes, hydraulic, suspension date of incident: 01/12/2012 NHTSA id number: 10444380.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #2

Feb 032013

Sentra 4-cyl

  • 6,629 miles
Vehicle was pulling out of a driveway at night, just beginning to accelerate, and struck a trailer that was not clearly noticeable (did not have clear reflectors). At 5 mph, the hood was crunched like an accordion, the airbags deployed, and the car is considered totaled. What would the consequences have been if striking something at 30, 40, or 50 mph?

- Warwick, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 162012


  • miles
The oil pressure sensor gasket faulty on the 2012 models, have had it repaired 3 times, leaks oil on top of engine, the last time lost almost all of oil. It is also something that when it first happens is not necessarily noticed by the consumer until an oil change, but the problem so far has occurred 3X and each time has gotten worse.

- Queensbury, NY, USA

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