2nd Dec 2008, 23:34

Before you take the car in to check why the engine light is on, take off the gas cap and make sure it is on properly and tight then give a day or so, the light will turn off. If the cap isn't on properly air will get in and cause the light to turn on. Cheers.

30th Dec 2008, 11:45

I have Nissan Altima 2002 with 94000 km on it, and I'm having the same above problems.

Need to add coolant every other week, Service Engine Light came up, and the catalytic converter has to be changed, and it shakes a lot when it starts in the morning.

I have Honda Accord 1993 with 259000 kms driving for last 7 years, but still in very good shape, never give me any major trouble.

Yes we should have to do something for NISSAN, and NO MORE NISSAN in my family and friends too. Thanks.

4th Feb 2009, 14:54

2002 Altima purchased April of 2008 with 44,700 miles. Since last oil change 3 quart of oil added over 3 month's and 2800 miles of mainly highway driving (does not leak or burn oil).

Car has valve tap when cold.

Blows cold air at idle even after running for 45 minutes.

Coolant full.

No signs of head gasket issues.

Regretting the purchase. Thinking of dumping this pig before things get worse.

My story is same as hundreds of others on I read on Internet. Dealership claims I should just check my oil more often and fill as needed. No American car I have ever owned had these problems. It's back to American made for me...

16th Feb 2009, 04:26

I bought a 2002 altima on Dec 08. Having same issues. Hard start on cold days. When it finally starts there's a lot of black smoke. My Service Engine Light is on. Heater doesn't work. Had flushing done and thermostat replaced. Heater worked for 4 days and gone again.

I regret not doing proper research before making this investment. Would jump on any class action.

21st Feb 2009, 21:11

I just got my 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S in December 2008. So far I am not having major problems with it except for the heat that turns to cold air. It has 146,000 miles on it. Should I start getting worried and get rid of it based on what I have read so far?


6th May 2009, 04:00

I have the same sad story as everyone else... my Nissan 2002 Altima uses an incomprehensible amount of oil due to a poorly designed engine/cc, etc. that Nissan clearly knew about and chose not to step up to the plate.

I think half the reason our country needs to consider alternative energy sources these days other than oil, is because most of it has been going into my Nissan Altima over the past couple of years.

I took the car into the dealership a couple years ago with 70K miles on it when I noticed a fluttering noise coming from the engine, and they told me it was just low on oil. I change the oil every 3K miles and take very good care of my car, so this was odd to hear.

I noticed that the excessive oil consumption and fluttering noise continued again and again over the next year, so I took it back in while the car was still under the extended warranty (98K miles). They again did not know what was wrong with it (or so they said), and said it just needed oil... and almost acted like it was my fault.

Well, here we are a year later and the car is out of warranty now and wouldn't you guess... yep, they told me that it needs a new engine for $5,000. Very convenient that they waited for me to come out of warranty to tell me this when I have known there was a problem all along. Nissan Consumer Affairs basically told me to go pound salt and deal with the lemon they sold me... not even sure why there is a Nissan Consumer Affairs Dept. This is the epitome of shady and unprofessional business. In a time where there is plenty of competition and the economy is bad, you would think they would do right by their customers. Whatever happened to pride, integrity, and doing a good service? Nissan clearly could care less about people! It is a very sad day for all of us who own the 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 4CL.

Good luck to everyone.

Todd (Chicago)

7th Jun 2009, 18:01

A friend of mine owns a 2002 Altima. It starting losing anti-freeze, but it turned out to be a microscopic pin hole in plastic radiator. Then she started using oil and started coding for a catalytic converter. I'm no licensed mechanic, but I do a little work. The problem with the exhaust is allegedly not the catalytic converter but the PRE-CATALYST. That's what falls apart. And because of valve overlap there is a period where both the intake and exhaust valves are open, that's how particles get SUCKED into the engine. Apparently the only damage these particles do is to the cylinder walls--- that's what causes the oil consumption and it is the LACK OF OIL that is ruining the engine, not the particles directly. So keep oil in the car.

9th Aug 2009, 08:51

I have an 02 Altima with a stalling problem. The SES light comes on & the car doesn't go over 1500rpms, no matter how hard I mash the pedal. I have that water flushing sound in the dash also. My plastic reserve coolant tank runs out quick.

What's going on with these Altimas? Wish I would have known about all these defects before I bought the car last year. I bought the car with the intentions of giving it to my son when he turns 18, but that's now a no go.

12th Aug 2009, 17:46

I have an 02 Altima 2.5. Recently it began running ruff, hard idle and breaking down at highway speed. Finally it would not start at all. Dealer suspected a bad Pre Cat. He was right, it was covered with baked on oil. After warranty replacement I was informed that the head gasket was bad. I know quite a lot about engines and this one runs lean and very hot. It is my opinion that the back pressure and excessive temperature from the failed cat baked the gasket. NNA is of the opinion that it failed from regular maintenance and will fund half of the repair. I feel that Pre Cat was the cause and since they replaced it at no charge they assumed responsibility for damages that ensued.


11th Nov 2009, 17:19

I own a 2002 Altima, has 125k, the engine has been replaced due to the precat issue like everyone has.

I have a valve tapping sound under the hood. Keep in mind the motor only has 41k on it, was replaced under warranty, around the 100,001k. My Nissan dealership told me this engine is junk as well, and said it needed a new motor at my expense. They also told me the screws on the butterflapper thing all came loose and fell into the cylinders and scored one of the cylinder walls.

To be honest, I'm never gonna buy another Nissan product again, my first Nissan was a 2000 Altima GXE, it exploded into a fireball in a parking lot, I thought maybe it was a defect in the design or something, so I bought another Nissan, this 2002, which is the biggest mistake I'll never forget.

Since the new motor was put in, I've had to replace the belt tensioner twice, shocks, struts, 2 sets of tires, new brakes.

The whole under carriage of this car is rusted out, needs new floor plans. Where you put the gas in the funnel to the tank is rusted out, looks can be deceiving. If I was you stay away from this car, I'm in the process of saving up for another car, this time I'll go back and buy myself a Ford.

I have owned this car for about 3.5 years now, it's been an OK car, but can see it will need to be replaced in another 1.5 years. I hoped to own this car till it reached the 300k mark, but I don't think that will be possible with the crappy design. If there is a class action lawsuit, I'd be willing to chip in.