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Nissan Sentra 2006 and earlier



  • hjr2hjr2 Posts: 105
    my first sentra was good, 1990 XE 3speed automatic. white, 2 door.

    It had to be towed at 7000 miles due to not starting., the plugs were fried , they did not due the pre-buyers check on i, and the timing was out of whack and it messed up the plugs.
    AT 8000 miles, we got our am/fm/cassette player died.
    At 10,000, the black strips on the doors fell off, replaced under the 12month/12,000 miles warranty.
    The bulbs in the dash area were replaced every 6 months or so, $20 a pop.

    Had CV boots replaced 3x @ $400. Had Takata seatbelt recall for original ownership of car(alot of japanese cars and a few rebadged usa cars had this recall) seat belts could shred and break. Had belts replaced about every 2 years.(had the car 9 years).

    It did get 233,000+ miles. It was sturdy car, but it had problems.
    200sx(a sentra with 2 doors)1997 model, base, automatic. Hmmmm..where to start..the old car was good, excep for MINOR stuff.
    This one, well, at 63,000 miles, the plugs,ignition coil and starter were burnt to a crisp..$1000 repairs.
    Seat frame acutally broke through the foam backing and was never replaced. This was becasue this happened at 40,000 miles, Warranty only up to 36,000 miles.
    Engine Light kept coming on, but , the shop couldn't find anything wrong.

    I also had problems similar to this to Chevy car I owned in 1980's.

    My father in law had a Toyota truck...and he had problems.

    ALL cars (maybe not all..) But rthere is no such thing as a perfect car Mfg. We have 2 Hyundais. Our 1999 SOnata V6, at 58,000(2000 miles before time) the timing belt was worn still ran, but....Guess what? They replace dit free, under warranty.
    Not bad deal..saved me $400, if it were Nissan or about anyone else, we'd have been left to pay for it ourselves.(like the broken car seat, CV boots the first time,etc).

    Just a thought.
  • I have two Sentra's one of them is an 89 Sentra which is very reliable because it has 200,000 miles on it and still runs well. The only problem is a minor oil leak and I had to replace the transmission mostly because it was my fault (rather not explain).
  • What about the other Sentra? In 1991, I bought a new SE-R and loved it. The temp gauge stopped working and they tried 3 times to fix it, bit couldn't. Other than that, it was great. Looking to get a new one next year.
  • What are the feelings of current generation Sentra owners with over 10,000 miles? I understand a recall just came out for the 2001 Sentra due to something in the engine could lead to stalling? In this car segment, the Sentra does not top my list in any one category, but looking over a series of categories, the Sentra seems to be the best fit. It costs more than Elantra, less than Civic. It has a larger interior than Civic, but Civic has higher crash test scores. A GXE with automatic, keyless entry and CD is a couple thousand cheaper than a Civic LX with a 5-speed, but the Civic has higher resale. A big problem I have with Sentra, though, is that the owners do seem real satisfied with their cars for one reason or another. The engine recall also has me looking harder at the little things. I will wait a few months to see how things play out, but I was hoping to get some feedback from owners--be it good, bad, or ugly. Thanks.
  • I'm cheating a bit, because I'm a bit shy of 10K in my 2001 Sentra, but I've had it long enough to know what it's like in all conditions.

    First, a couple of thoughts about what you're looking for: you had an original SE-R, right? So I assume you like to drive and you're more passionate about cars than the average driver. Therefore, I'd say that things like crash test ratings and resale value are abstractions that don't do a lot for your daily driving experience. So I wouldn't overvalue them compared to how a car feels and drives to you.

    Another thought--you may get the impression that people here are at best lukewarm about their Sentras. But it's been my experience in the Town Hall forums that we all love to nitpick, and since no car is perfect for everybody, there's always plenty to nitpick about. Especially in this class of car, where all the manufacturers have to cut corners one way or another to keep costs down. In the Sentra topics, it seems to me that people are often trying to compare them to more expensive or more purely sporting cars. So that's a sign that Nissan's coming up with something a little better than your average econobeater.

    All that said, I'm really happy with my Sentra SE, and I plan to own it for a long time, so I don't really care about future resale. I like it better now than when I first got it. I have total confidence in the car, it's fast enough, handles well, is comfy, the mileage is good, it's not a lot to insure, car thieves ignore it, etc. I had two disappointing Hondas before this Nissan, one a '99 Accord that was a FAR INFERIOR car to the Sentra in every way, yet cost a couple grand more even as a stripper. For the money, I think Nissan has done a great job of making the Sentra drive like a car in a pricier class. It's the most European-feeling Japanese car I've owned.

    My other thought--why get a GXE if you can still find a 2001 SE (which I bet you can)? For one thing, you get the recall-free 2.0 engine with 20 more horsepower, and I think the SE has all the options of the GXE, if not more. It'll remind you of your old SE-R least a little.

    One last jab against Honda--the current Civics are just insipid appliances compared to earlier versions. Decontenting has been massive in that car. Maybe the new Si will be OK, but the Civic is a car that didn't benefit from its most recent overhaul. Nissan is trying to make its cars better each time they revise them, at least.
  • Thanks for the insight. I did buy a new SE-R in 1991. But, that was a 22 year old fresh out of college with no family. I'm not that same person anymore! I would like, however, to get a commuter that is fun to drive when not going to work. I would love to get a new SE-R, but I'm not paying sticker for one. It's the principle of the thing. I haggled my last one from $14,000 to $11,000, so I may wait for the novelty to wear off and see what I can do. It is my past experience that keeps me coming back to Sentra, and I'm hoping to hear more good reviews.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I agree with kstephen. I have the SE and really it is what makes the car. It may be the best 4 cyl ever built. I have the auto because of the wife's requirements. The auto-tranny went out right from the get-go. However I have had zero other problems after 13K. The vehicle is very well built. The vehicle is quite reliable. I get 34 mpg on trips. The seats are very comfortable. I would also try to get the 2001 SE. If I could not get the SE, I would consider the Protege.

    Here is a link to Sentra Owners:

  • My last car was a '93 Sentra. No problems at all. Given that & the Sentra's overall rep for reliability, I purchased a 2001 Sentra last year.

    No less than THREE recalls so far on the model. Wheel might come off, due to faulty bolt on the front suspension. Wheel might come off, due to cracks that may develop from burrs on the steel wheel. And now the engine-stall problem that I read about in this forum.

    So far, I've received NO letters from Nissan announcing any of the recalls. But I'm scared -- and my car already has an unusual vibration at high speeds (vibration is one of the symptoms of the bolt problem)-- so I'm taking my car in as soon as possible.

    I have a feeling Nissan is riding on its reputation, and skimping when it comes to its newer vehicles -- but that's just my opinion. (THREE recalls on the same model? That's crazy!)

    Anyone know where I can find out if my car is part of the recall from its Vehicle ID Number?
  • (Recall #1:)

    2001 Nissan Sentra Recalled
    Detroit, MI (SafetyAlerts) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a recall affecting certain 2001 Nissan Sentra automobiles manufactured between July 2000 and April 2001.

    One or more of the three bolts used to attach each front suspension lower control arm to the body on the left and right sides may not have been properly manufactured. The bolts could fracture, increasing the risk of a crash.

    80,000 vehicles are affected by this recall.

    Dealers will replace the lower control arm attachment bolts. Owner notification is expected to begin by the end of June 2001.

    Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261. Also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).

    [NHTSA Recall No. 01V174000/Mfg. Recall No. 01V174000]


    (Recall #2)

    Detroit, MI (SafetyAlerts) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published a recall affecting 2000-2001 Nissan Sentra manufactured between February 2000 - June 2001.

    Number Involved: 115,000

    On certain passenger vehicles, the cooling holes in the
    steel wheel may have burrs on their edges as a result of improper manufacturing. These burrs can cause cracks as the vehicle is being driven. Cracks can propagate between adjacent cooling holes. If enough cracks develop between the cooling holes, the wheel could fail and separate from the mounting hub without prior warning. Separation of the wheel from the vehicle while being operated could result in a vehicle crash.

    Dealers will inspect for cracks and replace the wheel if
    cracks are discovered. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification will be conducted in two phases. The first mailing is expected to begin during October 2001, asking owners to bring their vehicles to a dealer for inspection of the wheels. Any wheels with cracks will be replaced. A second owner notification will begin in early December, at which time Nissan will have an adequate number of replacement wheels, requesting owners who only had the wheels inspected but not replaced, to return to the dealers for a wheel replacement. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.

    [NHTSA Recall No. 01V277]


    (Recall #3 -- discovered on this forum...)

    Year of Recall: 2001
    Manufacture: 2001
    Manufactured: FROM 2000JAN TO 2001MAY
    Component: ENGINE
    Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles equipped with a 1.8 liter engine. The engine could stop running while being driven due to a defective crank position sensor. This could also result in the "Service Engine Soon" warning light coming on or reduced engine power.

    If the engine stops running while driving, this could result in a crash.

    Dealers will replace the crank position sensors. Owner notification is expected to begin during December 2001. Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Nissan at 1-800-647-7261. Also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).

  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    The Sentra is made very wel and is a solidly designed vehicle. The bolt problem was obviously from one of their supliers and probably didn't come up to tensile radings. Probably won't fail in a million years. The engine problem on the engine is obviously due to the newness of the design. Thats why I opted for the SE. The burr on the wheel while may me troubling if it causes a failure to me doesn't show a trend of decreased quality or reliability. Now if you want to talk recalls look at the Focus!!!
  • rxurxu Posts: 5
    Just got a 02 5spd GXE and when I do 70mile/h on freeway the tacho is over 3000rpm. This is a little concern me cause the auto one only hit 2000 something on 70mile/h. Is this the way this manual car desigened in or I shuold worry about? Any input? Thanks.
  • The gear ratios on manual transmission Sentras are a little short, no question. But 3000+ rpms at 70 is not abnormal for a four-cylinder car. It's absolutely nothing to worry about...many VTEC Hondas turn way higher revs at that speed. The only concern is if you find the noise from the engine annoying over 3000 rpms. But there's not much you can do about that short of trading in the car.

    One of the biggest misconceptions is that "the car is going to be hurt by high revs"--I've seen this discussion in several forums, and it's pretty laughable. Modern cars are designed to be able to run up to their redlines for hours if not days at a time. If the engine was dangerously stressed by running anything near the redline, the manufacture would lower the redline. They don't want to deal with the warranty claims of engines that blow up under normal use.

    The only thing you need to worry about is making sure the car is properly warmed up before driving it at high rpms, and that you keep up on scheduled maintenance, especially oil/filter changes.

    So, don't worry about your GXE...hope you enjoy the car!
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    runs at 2700 rpm@ 70 mph. Being a somewhat stronger engine, 3K rpm would probably be about right. I have an auto.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    My '93 NX2000 (Sentra SE-R twin) revved at 3000 rpm at 60 mph in 5th gear. I just sold it at 83k miles with no significant problems, despite probably 75% of those miles being driven at ~70 mph and 3500 rpm.
  • sksk8rsksk8r Posts: 4
    I am so excited, just purchased a 02 Sentra GXE with the Synergy package and I think I got a pretty good deal on it. It is white and out the door I paid $14,600. I test drove the civic and the corolla and def. liked the look and handling of the Sentra. Does anyone know if there are anything different between the 2001 and the 2002 Sentras.

  • Congrats on your new car! I like the Synergy package a lot myself. That is a GREAT price! I'm guessing it's 5 speed? Where did you get that price? I've been considering the Sentra since last year and in my research, I have not realy found any differences between the model years. Your Synergy package takes the place of last year's SE model since there was no SE-R last year. I just hope Nissan fixed the problem with the engines this year so there is no recall again!
  • sksk8rsksk8r Posts: 4
    The price was for an automatic. I walked into the dealer just to check out the Sentras and just my luck, they were having a special deal on just the GXE models. I really wanted the SE but all they had in stock was the GXE with the Synergy package so I said close enough. To my knowlege the only difference is that the SE have a better engine and a sunroof compared to the GXE with the Synergy package, please correct me if I am wrong. So my price for the GXE model with the Synergy package was $13,888 w/ auto trans, out the door I paid $14,600. This dealership is in Daly City, CA.
  • Yeah, that is good. I had a dealer quote me $14,400 for a GXE with Synergy package--with a manual transission! I had a feeling that was a little high because I see regular GXE models advertised for about $12,000. I think the Synergy package is about a $1000 option, so I guess $14,400 is not very good now that I think about it. I do know last year's SE had the 2.0l engine, but I don't think it had a sunroof. Any 2001 SE owners know?
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    Yes, 2001 Sentra SE had sunroof. At least mine has it. :-)
  • Yeah, I threw out my 2001 brochure when the 2002 came out, so I could not look it up for sure. Wasn't it available only when bought with something else? Like the 2002 SE-R is the only Sentra able to get one, but you have to get the automatic transmission AND "audio fanatic" package to get it. I only wondered because when I read the C&D comparo between the SE, Civic EX and Corolla S last year, the SE was the only one tested without a sunroof. Thanks for the update, though. It's good to see some traffic on this thread!
  • The sunroof was a stand-alone option on the 2001 SE, not part of the Performance Package...I think it cost around $600. The other package was the ABS/side airbags package. I was very lucky to get a five-speed with the PP, sunroof, and ABS/airbags...apparently, that's not a common combination.
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    are different in Canada and US. In Canada the ABS, sunroof, spoiler, 16" wheels,180W stereo and LSD are the part of PP. Either you get PP with all of these options or you don't get any. Of course you can go to dealer installed options, but dealer can't install ABS.
  • sksk8rsksk8r Posts: 4
    My sentra only has 106 miles on it and I wanted to take it on a road trip so I called three different Nissan service dept. and asked them about the "break in" period. The response I got was to drive it anyway you want it because the car doesnt need to be broken in. If I got that answer from only one service department then I would question it but three different service departments told me the same thing. Are there any truth to the answers that I received? I own a 2002 sentra.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    In general you should change speeds frequently and work your way up to maximum rpm over the break in period. Do not use cruise control during the break in period. Periodically get off of the gas for a few seconds. This helpe suck more oil into the rings. Obviously no hard accelerations.

    Here's another point of view: (find the "break in" topic)

  • When in doubt about ANY topic, do what the book says and you'll be just fine. The service departments may be right, but the book is never wrong!
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    Hello Fellow Sentra Owners,
    It is good to be able to get online and see what is new in the world of the Sentra. I used to visit this website EVERY day for a while back in early 2001. I purchased my new Sentra SE during the Memorial Day weekend.

    I now have 24,900 miles, mostly from driving back and forth between San Diego and Vallejo California...(about 500 miles each way.) I have had my share of problems, but nothing significant. It took 4 trips to the dealer to get the air conditioning problem fixed. I finally demanded a new compressor, as the original one became very noisy. Cooling was virtually non-existent.

    The most annoying problem has been heat shield rattles, and the loss of bolts on the front heat shield. I have had the bolts replaced 3 times. They just vibrate off. I guess it is due to 8 to 9 hours of constant 4000 rpm operation each trip I make.

    The car is powerful, but the engine is buzzy above 4000 rpm. It really needs another gear. I hope I don't get that CD problem at the 8 or 9 month mark, which is next month. I use my CD EVERY day while driving. Wished I had a cassette deck too, but why complain?

    Everything else about the car is good. The tires are wearing very well..(I keep them properly inflated) I get excessive torque steer only when one front tire is a bit lower in air pressure than the other.

    The 2002 SE-R and Spec V's take a little getting used to though. I don't like the new front end as much, and I don't like the fact that the accelerator has no cable linkage between the pedal and the throttle body on the engine. It is the new "drive-by-wire" arrangement. The throttle is opened by an electronic "actuator" and the accelerator has a variable resistor that moves as you press the accelerator. I hope that doesn't go out while driving. It is spring loaded to the "off" position, and will not run away, but if it goes out, it will not speed up to get out of traffic.

    I have been out of the country in Penang Malaysia for a few months. I got to see the foreign version of the Sentra, complete with steering wheel on the right side, and everything. It is on a larger body than the one we have. Once I find out how to put the pictures I took with my camera, I will post them, and everyone can see them.

    Well, I have been on long enough.My car will get another rest when I return to malaysia in March for about a month.

    Take care and thanks again!
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    2500 rpm gives you 60 mpg.
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    Hello Again,
    Yes I feel that another gear in the 2001 Sentra SE would help tremendously. The engine is real buzzy around 3500 to 4000 rpm, and a sixth gear would lower the rpms significantly.

    I am not worried about engine wear, but at higher rpm, the engine develops a resonance, or a point where everything seems to be vibrating in unison, so to speak. That is when the little heat shield bolts start backing out. I do not want to use "lock-tite" or another similar chemical on the manifold. I have already had 1 heat shield replaced due to cracking around those bolts. It may need to be replaced again soon.

    It is good to be back on the forum. I hope some of my old friends remember me, and start posting comments again.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    and say 3000 rpm 2L engine just may not have the torque. How often can you drive 85 mph? Oh well its a dead issue anyway-SE's gone.
  • gserep1gserep1 Posts: 92
    I will agree that the 2001 SE's are not the "IN" car anymore since the arrival of the SE-R and the SPEC V, but I can assure you that the Sentra SE 2.0L engine can comfortably run 85 miles per hour all day. I live in California, and Interstate 5 is my playground. It has been for nearly 30 years. I don't consider myself a "speed demon", but running the speed limit of 70 mph in certain stretchs of that road can be dangerous. Even the big trucks will run over you out there.

    My Sentra does all I want it to do and then some. It has more horsepower than any other 4 cylinder in it's class in 2001. Pound for pound, this car literally whips up on other cars in it's class like the Toyota Corolla, and Honda Civic, AND the Mazda Protege. If my Sentra does not have enough power to run 85, then NEITHER do any of the cars I just mentioned. I make no excuses for my car. It will be with me for a long time to come.

    NOW we can say this is a dead issue! I have made my point.

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