really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
119,200 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 Xterra engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Nissan Xterra:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 062015


  • 96,000 miles


I purchased a used Xterra about 6 months ago. I was pulling into a parking spot in a shopping mall at a low speed when the engine suddenly went into a high whining rev and the vehicle lurched forward and took off out of control. Before coming to a stop it ran into four other parked cars. I was as it had a mind of its own. This has never happened to me in all my years of driving only american made cars. The Nissan is the only foreign car I have owned and will likely be the last after this episode.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 062015


  • 101,000 miles
I was entering a parking spot at my normal slow speed when suddenly the engine went into an extremely high rev and the Xterra made a sudden lunge forward. In a matter of seconds it slammed into a number of other parked cars. It was as if it had a mind of its own. I can only guess it was a stuck gas pedal, stuck throttle or stuck accelerator. Over the years I have had nothing but american cars, the last several were Caravan with no issues of this type. This Nissan is the first foreign car that I have purchased.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #3

Jan 312014


  • 174,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning after depressing the accelerator. The failure occurred on a daily basis. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 174,000.

- Lynwood, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 082014


  • 145,000 miles
The distributor has ball bearings under the solenoid and photo for cam sensor that comes apart and goes every where internally. It caused me to go off the highway and almost got hit by a trucker when it completely stopped my car with out warning of any kind on the highway. There was no sensor indicator until I turned the car off and it only registered the crankshaft sensor after the car was turned of an on to figure out what was wrong. It almost caused my whole electrical system to burn out as well. Please look into this and pull the material certifications and builds of material for the internal items of this, especially the ball bearing that came apart. This is the most common malfunctioning item on this model and year. I'm an industrial and build inspector at century fasteners Corp. Please review this as it could be fatal to some one who dose not know how to control a situation like this. Please and thank you, [xxx] 2002 Nissan Xterra and all related model engines. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- York , SC, USA

problem #1

Dec 192013


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed from the scene and taken to a dealer where the contact was advised that the head gasket and the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The VIN was not available. The approximate mileage was 80,000.

- Jackson, MS, USA

Not what you are looking for?