2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL from North America - Comments

15th Apr 2007, 11:53

Same problems here. First the Service Engine Soon light started to come on/off, then the heater stopped working. Radiator needs fluid every few weeks, but no sign of leaks. Local auto parts shop said the code on my computer called for either new sensors or new catalytic converter. While picking up my 02 Altima from the dealer after a recent oil change, was told I needed a new head gasket at a cost of $1600.

Can anyone report solving this common problem WITHOUT replacing the engine?

20th Apr 2007, 10:21

My 2002 Altima is in the shop as I write this. Same situation. Started burning oil. Mechanic checked it out, and found there was little oil in the car. (They had just done an oil change). My wife was driving today, and the car would not go above 40 MPH. She was towed to the ship by AAA. They are now telling me the catalytic converter needs to be replaced, as well as the 2 Oxygen Sensors. We are at $1000 plus the sensors if I get this done. Shame on Nissan for not stepping up to the plate with this known defect!!

23rd May 2007, 17:42

I own a 2002 Nissan Altima. I replaced the head gasket 2 times already, and now the catalytic convertor. It seems that all Altimas come with the same problem.

14th Jun 2007, 21:29

I've been having the same problems here. I have a 2002 Nissan Altima SL. Had problems starting in the morning, car shakes when idle at stops, oil burns quickly, check engine light; problem after problem. So I took my car to a Nissan dealer to have it checked out. They told me they found coolant in the spark plug tubes. Possible headgasket and cracked head, but not 100% sure. Their suggestion is to replace engine and catalytic converter which costs all together $4200. That's not including labor. So I took my car to an auto shop. They replaced the spark plugs ($300) and the O2 sensors ($500). I just got my car out today from the shop. By reading these comments other people put on here I'm in for a long journey unless I get rid of it. It's a nice car. Looks good, drives smoothly, but when the problems start who knows when it's going to end. I know now not to buy any other Nissan model. It's just not worth it.

27th Jun 2007, 00:59

26 JUNE 03:29 On the Contrary, a catalytic converter can ruin an engine, and any shadetree mechanic knows this. If a converter becomes faulty or clogged it creates too much exhaust backpressure and can prematurely wear out piston rings, cylinder walls, even heads and head gaskets if left untreated.

30th Jun 2007, 01:46

Hello people, I am the one who made the comment on my 2003 Altima last year this time. Asking "What does the Catalyst have to do with ruining the engine"

Ooh! SO that's what it is ehh? Its the back (air) pressure that ruins the engine. I guess that sounds like MORE SENSE NOW finnally!!! WOW! So I still KNEW IT ALL ALONG, that its NOT the internal parts of the CC that gets sucked into engine. (This I NEVER NEVER HEARD OF!!) There is NO such thing, the internal parts of CC is supposed to be blown out of tail pipe if CC falls apart, NOT sucked in engine. ALL the reviews I read about the messed up CC in the 2002+ Altimas, people claim that engine consumes oil cause the parts of CC get sucked in engine causing metal to metal friction in engine, wearing out the piston rings etc. This is how I heard it. I know for a fact that there is NO SUCH THING as material from CC getting sucked in engine and causing this!!! NOW FROM THE ABOVE COMMENT: This DOES make more sense!!! Finally I have an answer here, Thank you Thank you Thank you! It does make so much sense what you had commented above, NOW I have heard that before. A clogged CC is very bad for the engine. It seems like to me, That's where the head gaskets get blown. (I read a lot of reviews about this) A clogged CC I do know for sure, that it can cause a very intense temperature increase in the combustion chambers in engines and blowing gaskets and cracking heads etc.

Now that we seem to have more info about the CC S*%@, just BE SURE you check the CC and all the Resonators etc to be sure they're unplugged, to prevent the engine from NOT being able to "breathe out!!"

Now that I got this info, I decided I now LIKE my 2003 Altima after all, hahaha!!! For the year I had my Altima, I have driven a total of 8000 miles ONLY. Oil level has been NO problem (not consuming oil), BUT I am having the symthm of the Crank shaft position sensor problem. In the mornings or when I start my car for the first time in a weeks time, my car stalls, or wants to stall on first few minutes of idle, when I take off.

6th Jul 2007, 13:51

I am about to buy a used nissan 2002...any particular things I should get checked before I buy it...

8th Jul 2007, 12:11

I also own a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5. It is a hunk of junk! The car idles rough when it first starts, there is a water rushing sound under the dash, and my check engine light has been on since 70,000 miles.

I have 75,000 miles on the car, and it has already blown a head gasket. My private mechanic, who is a family friend, notified me of the problem, and he also stated that the catalytic converter was also bad.

I did not want to pay for the repairs after reading so many negative comments of the common problems with this crappy car. I reported the problem to Nissan Consumer Affairs, and a specialist told me to take the car to a Nissan Dealership to have it diagnosed. Now the dealership wants to charge me $95.00 just for looking at my car, and telling me I have a blown head gasket, but supposedly nothing is wrong with my catalytic converter. Which I think is crap, because in CA by law O2 sensors and catalytic converters are covered up to 100,000 miles.

Thanks a lot Nissan for stepping up to the plate. Oh yeah, it's been 3 weeks and my car is still at the Nissan dealership, and I haven't heard a thing from the specialist regarding my car. Nissan has horrible customer service and sold me this lemon. I will never buy one of their cars again.

12th Jul 2007, 21:30

It has already been said! There is no such thing as catalyst parts getting sucked into the engine. If the CC fails, parts of it are supposed to get blown out the tail pipe, not sucked in the engine! If no one is going to explain how the parts of the catalyst got sucked in the engine, there is no such thing!

17th Jul 2007, 08:24

Did loss of power accompany your oil consumption? I have a 2002 Altima and it was sold to me like this from a Suzuki Dealership, 1 litre per 500 km loss. I had to sue them and settled for $3000 to replace the engine and CC. I have great mileage and the power seems fine. Usually when the exhaust system is clogged anywhere along it's length, loss of power results... remember Eddie Murphy and his banana in the tail pipe!