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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • Now how exactly does the dealer know the oil pump has a "leak"? I really want to hear this! Maybe they mean front crankcase seal or ?????
  • andy2470andy2470 Posts: 9
    I have a 96 Altima GXE with 138,000 miles which is mostly highway miles. I wish I could say that I have not had many problems but right now I am completely disgusted with this car. As I type this reply the car is DEAD. The distributor has gone bad and I don't know exactly the cost for repair but I have heard it is $700. The distributor on this car has a high failure rate. I have also had numerous problems with the check engine light. It goes off and on every 1000 miles or so. The first time I had this problem it was an oxygen sensor. The second time was a knock sensor(EXPENSIVE). Now it is on for a catalyst problem. I have a power steering leak and the valve cover gasket is leaking. I have had two front brake replacements in three years and now it needs a third. I have replaced the alternator once and the battery twice in three years. I have had to replace the NV axles already ($300). I have also replaced FOUR wheel covers because Nissan wheels covers are FLIMSY and either break easily or fall off the car and are lost. I can't wait until I can bid this car FAREWELL! I have not abused this car so that is not the cause of the numerous problems I am having.
  • Does anyone know what the most likely cause would be for the Check Engine light to illuminate on a 95 Altima GXE?
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Read the previous post... It could either be the O2 sensor or the knock sensor if you engine runs OK(well at least it sounds normal.) otherwise, that is a bad thing....
  • nivbonivbo Posts: 1
    Can you give me some advice on what problems I may encounter with this vehicle in the next 20-30,000 miles? I'm looking for a reliable car to own about a year. This one's being sold by owner for $7000. It's clean with 80,000 miles on it, this second owner picked up from dealer who got it back at the end of a lease. I've read the other posts about problems with the oil pumps, distributor, airbag controller light and head gasket...makes me wonder what I'm in for! We had great luck with a '82 Stanza-had it 9 years, and a 93 maxima-had it 7 years, so we thought we'd check out the Altima.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Well, from my experience, Altima is a reliable car (especially a fairly low mileage one, they might have some problem if it is a high mileage-which is true for any cars.)

    If I were you, I would try to find a 95 with lower miles (i.e. around 60k miles) that will cost you almost the same (about 7-8k depends on the condition of the car.)
  • andy2470andy2470 Posts: 9
    As I mentioned in a previous post my Altima is currently dead due to a failed distributor. This I have found out is a common Altima problem. If yours fails here is what I suggest you do. Do NOT go to the Nissan dealer for this part. They will happily sell it to your for $450. If you have friends who are mechanically inclined then purchase the Hayes repair manual which contains step by step instructions for distributor replacement. In order to get the part without breaking the bank you will need to go to a parts store such as AutoZone, Napa or Pep Boys but in this case you may have to wait a few days for the distributor to be shipped in. One parts store I called could not get the distributor I needed which by the way was $134 because this is a nationwide problem with this car and the part has been on backorder for thirteen weeks. I was able to find it at another store for $154 and it will be here in three days. If your Altima stalls in traffic and acts as if it is running out of gas when it is not then you are in trouble. Sometimes this will be mistaken for a bad fuel pump. The car may straighten itself out for a few days but don't be fooled like I was. IT WILL FAIL and when it does the car is DEAD until the distributor is replaced.
  • hoser7hoser7 Posts: 3
    Read your post on bad Altima distributors... what year is your Altima? Any idea the years this may affect?
  • bli1bli1 Posts: 1
    My 94 Altima (78K) has same problem. It all started 2 weeks ago. It was finally dead last week. I have it towed to PepBoy's, they said a seal in the distributor cracked, so the oil leaked into the distributor and caused problem. They checked almost every store around, and nobody has it on stock. The Nissan does have plenty, but they charge $460 for the distributor that you should be able to get for $142. I checked around myself, one guy told me he had a lady looking for it last week too. And she need 50 of them. Anyway, my car is running again, since mechanics cleaned the oil in the distributor. But just like you said, it can strike again any time. And it seems there is no place in this world that I can find that damn distributor tomorrow. I am so frastrated that I was going to buy a new car tomorrow. Anyway, I have a lot of problem with this car too. Especially in the past three months. I have to use rental car to work twice in the past three months. Just like you, I have front brake and wheel cover problem too.I also have to change battery twice in three years. I guess none of us will buy an Altima again...
  • I have an oil leak problem which requires me to pour in a bottle of motor oil a month. Brought it to two dealerships and both gave estimate of $800 -$900. Mostly it's labor because they say it's a leak in the timing cover and they have to take the engine apart. I was told Nissan experimented with a new sealant in models made 94-96(?) and it fails on a lot of Altimas. I was wondering if this is the cause of the distributor failures andy2470 and bli1 mentioned?

    I also replaced wheel cover twice. Bad!
  • vu2000vu2000 Posts: 58
    Hi, I have a 98 Altima GXE automatic owned since new. I have been hearing a "creaking" possibly metallic sounding noise coming from the engine compartment intermittently after the car is started after parking over several hours. This noise is only heard when the temperature is at or below 50F. And this noise is only heard when the transmission is shifted into drive or reverse after start up. Also this noise only lasts about 5 minutes after start up. I have checked the fan and power steering belts and they appeared to be on tight. I have bought the car to two different Nissan dealership, but they did not hear the noise and dismiss it. Again this noise is intermittent and after the car is parked over a few hours. I would appreciate any help.
  • vu2000vu2000 Posts: 58
    By the way, the car had 38,000 miles and no known engine problems. Thanks.
  • shmangshmang Posts: 297
    Regarding the noise, I would suspect it is the valve. When the car is cold(as you mentioned, it happens only when below 50F), the valve will tap a little bit (especially when a valve adjustment is required). When the car is new, you would not have that problem, b/c even it is cold the valve clearance is still in tolerance, but after like 30k miles, a valve adjustment is recommended. If you don't do it, maybe it will be OK for a while (but you will hear those noise when the engine is cold), and at certain time, the valve get more wear and tear, it start to leak, then, you need to have them re-worked or you will have compression problem or leaking.

    Hope this helps.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    The windows in our Alty move around a bit in their casings. Does anyone have any info on this problem, I'm taking it into the dealer on the 4th of April to check this out and I think I read somewhere that there is an easy fix for this problem. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks all.
  • saharanutsaharanut Posts: 134
    My radio in my Altima has quit working...
    its is gettting power but no sound.
    I cannot figure out how to get the radio out..
    I have another factory radio to replace it(2000 Fontier)
    Can someone help me?

  • vu2000vu2000 Posts: 58
    Thank you, I will ask my local mechanic to look at it and adjust the valves if necessary.
  • johnse6johnse6 Posts: 1
    The gas gauge on my car has stopped working. Does anyone know if this a "normal" problem, and how much it will cost to fix?
  • nychucknychuck Posts: 1
    I own a 99Altima GXE with 37,000 miles. Ever since I purchase this car new I feel like it has had a excessive amount of wind noise, particularly when you go over 40 MPH. I mean when this car is on the highway, it sounds like there is a huge wind storm outside. Funny thing is that it has never has a water leak. Gone to dealer with my problem. Hasn't been fixed and now the warranty period is up. Anyone else have this problem with the Altima ?
  • I have a 98 Altmia GLE (34K miles) and the service engine soon light is now on. The engine runs just as well as before. What danger do I have in waiting a week or so before getting it looked at? From What I read it is likely an O2 sensor - but what exactly does that mean.

  • r34r34 Posts: 178

    I tried your procedure 4-5 times and the airbag light is gone now ! Thanks a lot for your help. It saves me $600-$700.

    Actually, the airbag light flashed at a slower speed for the first couple tries.

    I will bring my car to Nissan to double-check the airbag control module.
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