2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL from North America - Comments

15th Jan 2004, 09:55

No, they kind of snuff me when I ask them. It seems to be worse on the passenger side - the wife is always complaining that she is cold while I am boiling. Maybe the micro-filter is blocking some airflow?

29th Sep 2004, 09:01

I also have a 2002 Altima. For two years I have been haunting my local dealership trying to get a fix for the heating problems. Unique features such as blast of heat upon turning corners, blowing cold air when idling and frigid starts to the day are all part of my daily driving experience. I have also experienced problems with the ignition especially in damp, cool weather. I am anxious to hear if anyone has had successes in fixing the heating system. Winter is coming!

10th Oct 2004, 09:40

The heating problems indicate the coolant level in the radiator (not the plastic reservoir) may be low.

The lack of heat will show up when the car is at idle and engine is at low RPM. This is because air is getting into the heating hose.

A way to correct this is to add coolant directly into the radiator when the engine is first started up. You will probably have to repeat this for several days until the radiator is completely full.

Once the radiator is full and the engine has warmed up, there should be plenty of heat all the time.

26th Oct 2004, 10:56

I bought a used 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5. Buyer beware!! I understood that being a used car you are taking a risk. I've had it 5 months and I had it towed to the dealer yesterday. I couldn't get the thing to start. Usually it fires up right away. Yesterday I tried 3 times and it wouldn't 'catch.' It also has a squeaky drivers seat that now drives me insane. After driving the car around and having a long 'test drive,' I wouldn't recommend this car. The turning radius is awful, the plastic interior probably won't stand the test of time, the stick shift is really clunky, and the road noise is louder than my 20 year old Honda Accord! The car is beautiful and I was taken by that. I will be selling it, owned it for 5 months and I will be purchasing a newer Honda Accord. Nissan--you can improve on this car!

5th Jan 2005, 16:24

I am having the same problem with my 2002 altima, I took my car back and forth to the dealer 5 times, they change parts, and change the fluid. I just can't keep spending money I just don't have. Now the dealer wants me to pay about $600 in labor just to check inside the dash and still might not have the answer. Is there anyone that can help me, or is there someone that I can call.

I am planning on dumping it the first chance I get.

12th Jan 2005, 09:25

I also have a 2002 Nissan Altima. It has not been a good investment. I have had numerous problems. I have already replaced the brakes, which I paid for as Nissan said it was not covered under my warranty. Further, my vehicle has been with the dealer for 4 weeks now because my engine needed to be replaced. To make a long story short, I brought the car in because I was hearing "A strange Noise", the dealer called me back and said that I needed a completely new engine, because I was low on oil. However, the oil level was not low enough to cause any warning lights to go off. In addition, I had 4 weeks prior had my oil changed (I get the oil changed very frequently). The dealer tried to get us to pay the $5000 for the new engine. However, we proved that it was not our fault, and Nissan is now paying. Additionally, I just received a call this A.M. saying now the complete clutch system needs to be replaced. I only have 25,000 miles on the car!! Anyway, BUYER BE VERY AWARE. This car is not all it is cracked up to be.

9th Mar 2005, 20:20

I have a 2002 Altima and was perfectly happy with it until last June. After 8 months of taking it back to the dealer they are now replacing the engine and catalytic converter. They kept treating me like I was exagerating the problems. Believe me, the last thing I want to do is keep taking a stupid car back to the dealer every few weeks. They kept saying they couldn't figure out the problem, but all they had to do was go on a couple of these boards and they could have diagnosed the problem starting with the converter. They tell me I had bad piston rings, but I think that is a big lie.

16th Apr 2005, 19:13

My wife and purchased a '02 Altima 2.5 SL about 6 months ago. It had 32k on it. It's a beautiful car with plenty of power and very comfortable. However, it handles terribly and the stock Continental tire are pure crap. It burn about 2 qt. of oil about every 1k miles and that is not acceptable. We've not experienced any of the heater problems. The Bose stereo sounds great and the steering wheel mounted controls are neat. But now the CD changer had crapped out. We're very disappointed in this car and are considering a trade ASAP.

19th Mar 2006, 13:01

I purchased my 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S in October of 2001 and I haven't had any problems. It has 41000 miles on it. I have had all the recalls done and the service department at the dealership has been very accommodating. As far as, comparing it to the Honda Accord, this car was a better deal. Honda may have an edge on long term quality, but nothing comes standard on a Honda (no auto locks, no auto windows, no cruise, etc.). And the leg room in Altima is much better than the Accord. If you don't want road noise, buy a Cadillac.

5th Apr 2006, 08:06

I bought my 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 in the December of 2001. I drive a ton of miles, so I am now up to 146,000 miles on the car. There are positives and negatives with this car; I will list them: Positives-cosmetically, the car is beautiful in and out. The stereo system is solid, and the ride is acceptable. Now, the negatives: The handling is disappointing; I've had to change both 02 sensors, I've had 10 or so recalls (annoying), I am now experiencing the heating loss and oil burning that is mentioned in other posts. Also, the catalytic converter needs to be replaced (they want $400 for the part and as much in labor; are you kidding me?) I have also noticed a bunch of Altimas with the issue I have with the gas/tank release lever-it's broken and the gas tank access door has to stay open. I'm unsure if I'd get another Nissan; Honda seems to have less issues for the comparative costs.

5th Apr 2006, 19:16

I own a 2002 Nissan Altima with the 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine. It has 67,000 miles on it. When it wouldn't start one morning, I had it towed to the Nissan dealership. They later informed me that I would need an engine replacement that would cost me $4,300.00. The dealership believes it's my fault, therefore the warranty doesn't cover the repair. I went approximately 9,000 miles since my last oil change (my fault) and the oil was down approximately 2 quarts according to the dealership. It didn't leak any oil or give any indication that it was burning oil i.e. smoke coming from the exhaust, nor did the engine sound different in any way.

The oil light never came on as well.

Is going 4,000 miles over an oil change enough to blow an engine? I don't believe so. So I did some research online and found the following link.

http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/2002-2006-nissan-altima-discussion-2-5-3-5/185326-excessive-oil-consumption-2002-altima-se.html

It's page after page of individuals having the exact same problem I'm having with my 2002 Altima. Some of it stems from a recall that required the catalytic converter to be changed. Apparently, the defective catalytic converter has a metal screen inside the unit that breaks down from the heat, and is sent back into the engine, eventually destroying it. My records show that my catalytic converter was changed on a recall at 34,000 miles; ironically when I was having a routine oil change.

When I bought this car, I bought with it the Platinum Plus extended 100,000 mile warranty. It cost me approximately $1200.00 at the time. A Nissan Regional Specialist has reviewed my case and informed me that Nissan will not even share in the cost of repairs, and I've been a loyal Nissan customer for 20 years exclusively. Not any more.