2002 Nissan Altima SE 3.5 from North America


Lemon - 3 deteriorating cat converters destroyed 2 engines


Have a V-6 (3.5SE) 2002 Altima bought certified from dealer in 11/2004 with 54k miles. Had moved from PA to NJ, and I suspect the original owner may have noted oil burn and got rid of it.

Cat converter (bank 2) deteriorated and destroyed the engine at 67K - probably well before, but took a while to detect. Abrasive cat particles got in engine and destroyed seals. Engine and Cat (B2) replaced under 100k certified warranty. At 99k Cat (Bank1) deteriorated and since over 80k had to pay. My guess was that this was already destroying the engine and lucky if I got 110-120k on it.

At 112k, sure enough Bank2 cat has again deteriorated and the engine is likely toast again (profusely burning oil again). Despite the warranty being up, I'm asking Nissan for resolution because this has got to be something wrong with this car. Dealer says this is fairly common with 4 cylinder, but not a 6.

My advice to anyone with an Altima cat deterioration requiring engine replacement covered by warranty: Don't be too happy about the free engine - it may happen again.

General Comments:

LEMON - hope I get satisfaction from Nissan and the dealer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st March, 2008

2002 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 3.5L SE from North America


Very able sports sedan for the money


I bought this car used:

The steering column has some lateral (side to side) movement; the dealer stated that this is a $1,000 repair (replacing the steering column). Performance is not affected.

The interior dash plastic is marked up. The interior color is black, so these marks show more visibly.

General Comments:

I really like the car. The speed and handling are very good. The acceleration sometimes still surprises me. I really appreciate the ability to accelerate from 50 to 70.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th March, 2008

2002 Nissan Altima SL from North America


I would not recommend


At 70,000 miles car started mysteriously using oil (no leaks).

At 80,000 miles service engine light begin staying on most of the time.

The service department at Nissan did find any problems despite these two symptoms (inspected 2 times by Nissan).

At 92,000 miles car would not start (just spins). Nissan service department reported complete engine failure. Estimated repairs totaled $5,600. Costs include new engine, new catalyst & AC.

Also, front low beam headlights went out at around 85,000 miles.

General Comments:

This was my 3rd Nissan auto and first one to have any problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 11th March, 2008

2002 Nissan Altima LS 205 from North America


This is a fine looking car, but I need a car to drive, not to look at sitting in my garage


I have recently bought a 2002 Altima, 2.5 SL. For the first month it has performed well until I tried to start the car this morning. The temp outside was 6 degrees F and the car was parked in the garage. The day is almost over and I have yet to get it to start. It appears to be the same problem that dozens of others have shared on this site alone.

This is not my first Nissan. I just recently had a 1995 Maxima, which was extremely difficult to start if temps were below the mid-50's. I owned an 87 Sentra years ago that had a fuel delivery problem after the car sat for a short time and was restarted.

How in the world has Nissan developed such a positive perception among car reviewers. When I checked out the Nissan Altima prior to buying it, I did not see any reviews in Consumer Reports stating that the Altima had a cold start problem. I wish I would have seen this site prior to buying. I would have bought another Jeep Cherokee.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th January, 2008

2002 Nissan Altima from North America


Nice car to look at, but not reliable


For the last 3 weeks my car has had a cold start problem in the mornings. It seems that it doesn't want to start when I crank it, until you put your foot on the gas pedal. I took it to the dealer spent $300 and some change to get it fix, but it is still doing the same thing. They said it was the engine idle and timing not correct settings. So they recommended me to have a major induction serviced and tuneup, but it still doesn't start normally. I do not recommend this vehicle to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th December, 2007

18th Dec 2007, 13:42

You might check your MAF (mass air flow sensor) and clean it.