I bought my 2002 Sentra GXE because I had a mid-80's vintage Nissan Sentra that was very reliable and mechanically indestructible. Furthermore, Nissan's customer service was superb at the time. I had a warranty issue -- albeit minor -- which they went out off their way to correct. Overall, I was very satisfied with my Nissan experience at the time.
I cannot say this for my 2002 Sentra GXE. At about 12,000 miles my car developed a dangerous intermittent high-idle/sudden acceleration problem. Since my car fell outside the Lemon Law time/mileage limits for our state when this problem began, I’m stuck with this junker. I have taken the car back to numerous Nissan dealers and none of them can find the problem. All they ever do is hook it up to the computer and if they find no code, they do nothing. Sorry, but this is not the sign of “skilled” mechanics. I can train just about anyone to read computer codes in a day – it doesn’t take a genius. A good mechanic will do extensive manual diagnostics if he cannot find the problem via a stored computer code. And if that doesn’t lead him to a cause, then he uses his knowledge, experience, and research to make an educated guess on what part is the cause and replaces it.
Complaining to Nissan Customer Service was a waste of time since they did nothing other than call the clueless mechanics at the dealerships to get their opinion. Furthermore, they treated me like my Nissan’s defect was my problem. Like I have the time to make up problems and repeatedly take the car back to the dealer! Based on my own research and the opinion of several independent mechanics I have asked, the intermittent problem my car has is most likely caused by one of 3 parts. One of these potential culprits has already been replaced under warranty due to a massive recall – the Crank Position Sensor. I mentioned my findings on numerous occasions to the dealership mechanics and to Nissan Customer Service, but they just blow me off and say that they can do nothing for me if no codes are stored. Years ago, Nissan would have replaced these 2 parts under warranty just to make sure –especially since this is a safety issue. Not anymore. Now they have the arrogant, big corporation attitude that permeates the majority of the auto industry.
In addition, I have repeatedly complained about a sticky gas pedal since the car has been about 18 months old. After getting nowhere with Nissan on this, I finally went in and carefully cleaned the throttle body with throttle body cleaner on the advice of a long-time mechanic friend. I had asked the mechanics at Nissan if this needed to be done when this problem first started and they said ‘no’. Furthermore, nowhere in the owners manual does it say to clean or check this on a regular basis. It’s amazing how this simple cleaning solved the sticking throttle issue I’d been complaining about for a year which the genius “factory-trained mechanics” at Nissan couldn’t figure out.
At about 13,000 miles my car developed warped rotors. To me that indicates junk parts. But did Nissan replace them? No, they simply turned them and replaced the brake pads. And I suspect this problem will return in the future, but then it will be my problem because the warranty will be over. What does Nissan care – they’ve ‘saved’ on warranty repair costs.
If Nissan thinks they can get away with poor quality such as this, they should think again. They can only ride their previous quality reputation for so long. GM thought they could get away with it too and in the long run ended up losing 20% of their market share. AMC as we all know went out of business thanks to the junkers they produced. I know many long-time Nissan buyers who have bought recent Nissan models and have had so many problems that they have vowed never to buy another Nissan again. I too will never buy another vehicle from Nissan in my lifetime nor will anyone in my family. Nissan can fool people for awhile, but not forever. Companies like this deserve to go out of business. Nissan is no longer a quality automaker. They’ve proven to me that they don’t back up what they sell. I definitely do not recommend any vehicle to anyone from their lineup.