When we bought the car it was not in the best of conditions. I do not think the previous owner took good care of it, and therefor lead to the problems that ensued.
Paint enamel was almost completely gone. I guess the factory paint didn't stand the test of time well at all.
The passenger side window seems to rattle a lot for some reason. This fault was present in both of the sentra's we've owned.
Brakes and rotors needed to be replaced, but that's pretty standard.
The starter randomly failed about a year after we got it. There was no warning, just one day it wouldn't start. The starter is a pain to replace, cost about 180$.
Soon after the starter failed, we noticed that when turning the car made a clicking sound, steering was horrible and there was a lot of shuddering. CV joints and axles had to be replaced.
Lots of electrical problems, the panel lights were dimming randomly, the other lights flickered and made a strange whining sound. The radio stopped working soon after. This lead to the car eventually not wanting to start, some electrical part under the alternator had to be replaced along with the battery which it had ruined. The whining and flickering however continued.
Front seals leaked severely, had to be replaced. However, instead of fixing the problem it lead to a whole slew of other problems, including the oil being dropped into the exhaust, car will now not accelerate beyond 30mph.
The interior is a little cheap looking, but what do you expect from an economy car. Its nothing that can't be lived with. For some reason all of these cars come equipped with the most drab color of paint/interior upholstery possible.
This is a tight car, easy and fun to drive and has a lot of pick up. Its great on gas, puts the newer economy cars to shame in this respect.
Despite all the problems we've had with this car, I am still a firm believer that these cars are one of the best and most reliable you can own for their age. We have owned two of these cars at different times, and I would swear by them. I think we were just unlucky as to have bought a car that the previous owner did not take the best care of. Change the oil and get a tune up every once in a while and these cars can last forever.