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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair

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  • condensation problem- defroster clears it up quickly. As for
    the rattling, does it sound like its idle related. Mine is an automatic and when its in gear sitting at idle, there is a slight
    vibration which can be heard from inside the car if the radio is
    off and the windows are up, almost like an echo caused by the vibration. Other owners have reported this problem on various car related web sites. Just wondering if its the same
    problem. Dealer blames it on the 4 cyl - says its normal, i don't
    think so. I must admit though other than that we love the car,
    great handling, acceleration. Let us know what dealer says.
  • I have an '02Altima S. 3 months old. 1800. mi. When I turned on the heater a few days ago, I heard a terrible noise from the fan area. After bringing it to the dealer, it was apparent that a squirrel has been "squirreling" away many,many acorns up in the fan area. It was packed full. Since the acorns must have bent the fan, the blower unit needs to be replaced w/the filter- to a tune of over $600.00. P&L I don't quite understand how a squirrel gains access to this area. You would think there would be a safeguard in place to prevent this from happening.
    Has anyone else had this problem?
  • I have a nissan altima and pulling to the right was just one of my problems. I hate the damn car. I just purchased it and I regret it. My car pulls to the right all the time. I took it in and the tires are new. They did a new 4 wheel rotation, balance, and alignment and the stupid thing does still pull to the right. I hate it.
  • The reason I consider 1/4qt oil loss a problem is I commute 70 miles rt daily 65-70mph no stop and go and this is a new vehicle.

    I have a Jetta which is another story that has 110K and it does not burn any oil and that is changing the synthetic oil every 5k to 6k miles. If a brand new broke in alty can't do better than a 7yr old vw there is a problem. My dealer also agreed to replace the engine.
  • I traded a 2000 camry for my 2003 2.5s. The camry
    used about 1/2 qt between oil changes. Toyota claims that all high speed highway driving such as you described makes oil usage more noticeable. Reason is you don't get any condensation diluting
    the oil like you would thru short trips and stop and go driving. Thats toyotas theory - for what its worth.
  • I bought my '03 Nissan Altima in Sept. and I've had some problems that should be noted and I was wondering how many other people are having the same problems. When I first took the car home and drove it for about two weeks I decided to check the oil and too my surprise it was down around a quart. I put the quart in and ran it another 1,500 miles and checked it and it was fine. After recently having my oil change I checked the oil after running the car for about a week and to my dismay it was down a quart of oil again, I don't know if it's the car or the dealership just didn't put enough oil in the car. My second problem with this car has been a "constant" vibration in the steering wheel that steadily gets worse the faster you drive the car and the car was pulling to the left real bad. I brought it to the dealership and they did a four wheel alignment and spun balance all four tires. The car know still has the same vibration in the steering wheel and now the car pulls to the right but not half as bad as it did when it pulled to the left. I notice even when the car is idling I can feel a vibration in the wheel, I guess it must be the engine. Overall I really like the car and hope to keep it for a long time but I'm a little concerned about the long term reliability of this car and hope I didn't make a mistake in buying it. I would really like some feedback from owners of this car and wonder if there experiencing the same problems I am.
  • I have close to 8k miles on my 3.5 and I checked the tires just the other day and they are not worn.

    BTW: The "H" series may be cheaper than the "V" series but they are also rated for lower speeds too.

    From what flea is reporting here it sounds like (s)he may need the higher speed "V" rated tires. I wonder if flea is lending the car out to anyone (kid)?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    Of course, the H-rated tires are rating at a maximum of 130 mph for a 24 HOUR duration!! The Vs are rated at 149 mph. Where, on the face of our Earth, are you going to go 130 for 24 hours, except the Firestone test track in Ft Stockton, TX?

    If H-rated tires are allowed by the manufacturer or can be substituted, use them.
  • I have a 2003 2.5s- love the looks,handling and performance but like you have some issues.

    The day after i bought it i checked the oil and it was low approx 1/2 qt also the coolant reservoir was overfilled. I don't think the dealers do any prep at all on new cars. I now have 2500 miles on the car and checking oil regularly, i don't think its burning any. Whether its prep or oil change you cannot trust them. I always check and recheck the fluid levels.

    As for the high speed vibration - could be caused by alot of things most of them minor- try flip-flopping front tires, if pulling changes sides, could be a bad tire.

    Now for my biggest complaint - the vibration at idle. The vibration itself is very mild but the knocking sound that goes with it really bugs me- you can only hear it from inside the car with windows up and radio off. Others have posted about this, dealer claims its normal for 4 cyl engine. I'd appreciate it if any other 2.5s owners who have opinions or info on this 'vibration at idle' would post it here.
  • Excuse me, you seem to agree but quickly digress. Where does the 24 hours come from? Wouldn't air temperature, type of driving and the road conditions come into play here? Why are "H" series cheaper than the "V" zeus? Doesn't the higher rating have something to do with the ability of the sidewall to stand up during heavy slalom driving? What about noise suppression, doesn't the "V" do more to reduce it and improve the ride since it is a softer tire?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    "BTW: The "H" series may be cheaper than the "V" series but they are also rated for lower speeds too."

    H rated tires are based on a testing procedure that tests a tire for a 24 hour period at a constant 130 mph. My concept is that no car is going to be driven like that and H rated tires will fulfill anyone's needs for a normal car.

    V rated tires, being stiffer, will cause more noise.
    The V rated tires will be stiffer and usually have a lower treadwear rating.
  • bsappbsapp Posts: 21
    Whampa65 & tmnjalt, check my posts # 32, 34 & 69. I experienced the exact same problems you describe except the vibration at speed. My 2.5 was smooth at speed, but vibrated terribly (in my opinion) at idle. I won't make this a long message by repeating all that I've said previously so please refer to the posts.

    However, not since 1993 and my experience with a new Chrysler Concorde have I EVER been so disappointed in an automobile.

    Bill
  • It is unfortunate that you were unable to answer any of the questions in my previous message, but instead threw back the same opinion as you had before.

    I really don't think Firestone, never mind me, cares too much about your concept of which tire consumers should buy. I have not seen you in the Altima forum before, have you even drive the SE? Probably not, It is a performance vehicle.

    BTW: I don't know why you quoted my comment, maybe you did not read it correctly, it means that the H is cheaper $ and is also rated for slower speeds. The H would probably be well suited for a less performing car such as a Mustang or something.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    than the Altima? Please.

    I've spent several years as a regional manager for Super Shops, a high performance auto parts and service chain (before they went bankrupt due to bad financial planning) and handled hundreds and thousands of performance tire and wheel transactions for consumers.

    The reason I quoted you is that perhaps you don't understand the testing criteria for an H or V rated tire, but I do. Don't dispense advice unless you know what's up.

    You actually think that a V rated tire is "softer" than an H tire. It is, in some ways - the tread compound is softer, and stickier, but the sidewalls are stiffer, transmitting more vibration and noise than an H rated tire.

    I currently race SCCA Solo II, and have for 16 years - I've owner many, many performance vehicles - I DO understand performance.

    I don't own an Altima. Not that's it not a great car, it just doesn't fit my needs since I have my daily driver/race car and an SUV because of the kids and a big dog.

    I'm here because I consult for a lawfirm on dealer fraud and lemon law cases and I take every chance I can get to learn more about current problems with vehicles.

    Now that the pleasantries are finished, I'll be glad to help - that's all I'm here for.
  • And still, I get no answers to any of my previous questions from zeus!
    Well, at least I am able to get some level of agreement regarding the tires even though zeus can't seem to help but throw in alot of noise aka chest beating. But please, just agree rather than disagree and then repeat what I have already said, it doesn't make you look knowledgeable and I actually find it tiring. It seems that you are under the impression that you are the only one here that has owned/driven a hot rod or understands cars and just because you raced a car does not make you any great shakes either.
    If you can answer my questions instead of bantering of your opinions then perhaps I will listen. I mean, come on wouldn't Nissan save big bucks by putting "H" series tire on all Altima SE's as you suggest? Instead of getting answers I get noise from an industry expert(?).

    And you drive an SUV (Stupid Useless Vehicle)...I'm running now!
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    I think it's time for a group hug around here! Let's face it, the only reason we're here is that we all truly love cars and enjoy reading about them and talking to others about them. Let's try to keep things in perspective, shall we!!
    Now back to the discussion.

    The Sandman :-)
    (P.S. Zues, I for one am pretty impressed with your credentials!)
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    you never asked a question, but I'm getting beat up for not answering it?

    Yes, you could easily run an H rated tire in place of the V rated OEM tires. Me personally? I would keep the Vs or upgrade to a Z rated tire like the Bridgestone Pole Position, BF Goodrich KDW or Kuhmo 712, but I don't mind paying a little more and sacrificing road manners (quietness, smoothness versus harshness and noise) to get a little more juice. I also don't mind replacing my tires more frequently because that's a fact of life considering the way I drive and my competition participation.

    For someone who wants good performance, but a bit softer ride and more longevity (read more value), the H rated tires are great.
  • Just brought home an 02 3.5SE with 250 miles on it tonight. It seems perfect & runs smoothly, however, at highway speeds when the car requires no acceleration for a period then I very lightly depress it, or when I'm lightly pressing then about to let off, the car has a slight odd feeling, maybe a shutter or light kind of bouncy feeling. It does not do this when I use cruise control.

    Drives fine at town speeds, not noticeable when accelerating quickly.

    Is this normal or just me not adjusted to the shifting points? Or something else?

    I am otherwise very happy with the vehicle. The transmission shifts smoothly when accelerating & the engine runs smoothly at idle.

    I'm feeling very uneasy about this-- being my first new car and coming from a 10 year old car that had weak torque converter springs, this is ever so slightly reminiscent...

    Feedback of "doesn't happen" is just as valuable to me as someone knowing what it is/might be.

    I've only had a 2.5 at highway speeds before this one and I didn't notice a thing like this.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Scott
  • Just brought home an 02 3.5SE with 250 miles on it tonight. It seems perfect & runs smoothly, however, at highway speeds when the car requires no acceleration for a period then I very lightly depress it, or when I'm lightly pressing then about to let off, the car has a slight odd feeling, maybe a shutter or light kind of bouncy feeling. It does not do this when I use cruise control.

    Drives fine at town speeds, not noticeable when accelerating quickly or during downshifts during braking.

    Is this normal or just me not adjusted to the shifting points? Or something else?

    I am otherwise very happy with the vehicle. The transmission shifts smoothly when accelerating & the engine runs smoothly at idle.

    I'm feeling very uneasy about this-- being my first new car and coming from a 10 year old car that had weak torque converter springs, this is ever so slightly reminiscent...

    Feedback of "doesn't happen" is just as valuable to me as someone knowing what it is/might be.

    I've only had a 2.5 at highway speeds before this one and I didn't notice a thing like this.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Scott
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    of the torque converter locking up and releasing. There are times when you can feel a hesitation or a shudder at different stages of acceleration.

    Just a thought - if it still feels weird, don't hesitate dropping by the dealer. It may not be normal at all.
  • I have an 02 3.5SE with 3500 miles on it now. I have not experienced anything like you describe. It does not sound normal. My car shifts very smoothly(much smoother than my 99 honda LX 6 cylinder) and there is no vibration of any kind. Maybe you should have someone else drive it and see what they think or just bring it back to the dealer. Since you got the car with 250 miles on it they won't be able to say it was something you did to it.
  • I'm getting ready to buy my first new car in January. My husband and I absolutely love the 03 Altima(2.5S) and that's really the only that we're looking at buying. I'm wondering if everyone that has a new one is happy with it and what they like best about it as well as what they don't like along with any advice for me. I've done a ton of research on the car but I'd like to get some "real people" opinions. Thanks so much!
  • Flea had reported premature wear (replacement at 3500 miles) to the tires on his/her '02 SE. Your recommendation was to replace the "V" series with an "H" series. My argument is that your recommendation is unfounded.
    My suggestion to Flea differs from Zeus' and is to bring the car to another dealer for a second opinion, not buy a different set of tires (as recommended by Zeus), especially since I, along with others that happen to own 3.5 SE (Zeus doesn't), reported no visible tire wear after the same mileage duration Flea was having to change tires. I would also like to report that I have just put another 1700 miles on the car (9700 now) and the tires look fine and have not been rotated since new. If Flea's car in performing properly, then the only other thing I can think of that may be causing this tire failure is someone (bsides flea) is doing some serious burnouts with this car.
  • My 3.5 is an automatic. I have noticed that as I am cruising along on the hiway and then take my foot off of the accelerator to slow-up and then reapply the gas that there is a slight thud, like something is engaging, in the powertrain. I believe that this is the torque converter re-engaging and assume it is just a characteristic of the car. Hope this helps and let us know if you find out there is a problem.
  • I have no idea why I'm on the Altima board, but anyway I'll respond to your question.

    I have a 2002 Pathfinder, we have the same engine, the 3.5 V6.

    I know what you are talking about, it happens as well to me on the highway when I release the gas pedal (even when I am barely depressing on it before, and sometimes with a gradual release of it).

    I don't know if its normal, have not told the dealer or attempted to find a remedy. Just thought I'd say that your not the only one.
  • Hi all,

    I have a 2000 Altima with 50k miles on it. Till date never had to take it to the dealer for any problem. recently, the dealer said I needed new brake pads in front. After I had that done, I have noticed a low speed wobble in the steering, that disappears at speeds above 30MPH. Anybody have a clue what it could be?
  • I have had Bridgestone Tauranzas now for a few weeks after replacing Continentals with them. I am very annoyed at this point. These are my 3rd set of tires on a car with 5k miles on it and I am having the same problems as with the Continentals. The inside of my car sounds like a washing machine spin cycle after I drive my car for a short period of time to heat up the tires. Nissan says they won't replace the rims and refuse to allow me to see a factory rep. You believe it! Thanks god there is a lemon law in my state and that I keep service records.
  • 3 sets of tires in 5000 miles is outrageous..Obviously it's not the tires..Sounds like the car is way out of alignment or perhaps was in some sort of accident BEFORE you took ownnership. I have seen brand new cars(with the Stickers still on the window) in body shops with severe damage. Have you tried calling 1-800-Nissan1 ? I think if you open an incident with them they might be of some help
  • Sounds incredible- are these brand new tires ?
    Have they been balanced ? Has the car been
    aligned? Are any suspension parts loose or defective? Did the dealer techs test drive the car after latest fix?

    The car sounds undrivable - you say sounds like
    washer spin cycle, is it the sound or is there also vibration ?
  • The damn thing shifts real bad when you accelerate hard.... gets up to 5K rpm and then hangs for a few seconds before shifting softly. For $27K i would expect the damn thing to be a little more snappy, if not break your neck shifting under hard acceleration.
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