Who told you it had to be a nissan alternator? I've owned mine since 2000, and have had to replace the alternator twice. First time I let the mechanic do it, cost me around 320. A year later, the alt. died again, bought one from discount auto parts with lifetime warranty for 110 dollars and I did it myself, never had any problem with warning lights or anything, plus it's pretty easy to replace yourself rather than pay 60-70$ an hour for a mechanic.
-Amanda, '93 xe.
Most FWD cars need to have the CV joints changed regardless of the make and model. It's just a fact they go out. I replaced one, hit a piece of plastic on the bay bridge and had to replace it again within 2 weeks. Just bad luck of hitting something. I had a small oil leak too, but my buddy fixed it for $90. Since then no leaks and 165k miles seems to be doing fine.
The great thing about this car is that an entire front drive axle (boots, CV joint, spline, etc) can be purchased for about 65 dollars. It takes less than an hour to do it with no special tools required using a floor jack.
ALL the franchise automotive shops are less than decent.
I worked for Midas in the late 80s and nothing has changed. Cheap exhaust tubing that rots within 4 years. The front end and brake parts are no better.
Meineke wanted 461 dollars to replace the exhaust pipe on my Sentra that runs from the front of the converter to the collector tube. I bought a good piece of Walker tubing for 53 dollars and did it myself an an hour (including cutting and through drilling the rotted cat studs).