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Nissan Sentra 2006 and earlier



  • Hello, im in the market for a new car and ive narrowed my choices to the '05 nissan sentra 1.8s and the corolla s but when i visited the msn/auto website i noticed that under the reliability/review ratings they stated that from 2000, 2001, and 2002 the sentra had major problems with its engine. Im wondering if I should reconsider purchasing a sentra even though its less expensive than corolla due its significant engine problems in the past.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    No real problems with the car except that the mileage isn't as good as the Corolla. Besides that, not a bad car for the money.


    The Sandman :-)
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I would imagine the bad engine ratings were due to a few recalls issued. The engines themselves are reliable but there were a few recalls for parts that could lead to engine failure. There have been no further recalls since 2002 on the engine. I must say though that the Sentra is quite archaic compared to the Corolla, or any other economy car for that matter. If you can get one for cheap, its a reasonable set of wheels, but definitely not very refined, powerful, fuel efficient, or roomy.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I agree. This Sentra's time has passed, unless you're looking at an SE-R or SE-R Spec V.


    I love my 03 2.5LE (purchased Jan 03)- but at that point, it had comparative advantages- a 165hp 4 cylinder, 4 wheel discs with ABS, and side airbags with head protection.


    Now, many competitors offer similar features, more room, better crash scores, fuel economy, etc.


    I'd recommend a Hyundai Elantra for bargain shoppers, and if you can find one with ABS and side curtains, the Corolla is an excellent mix of economy, safety, refinement, room, and reliability.


  • I was wondering if anyone can tell me the best winter tires for my new Spec V? I definitely cannot survive here in New England on the stock tires in the winter. Thanks guys!

  • I purchased a 2004 1.8S with the road trip package, inboard micro filter, and the splash guards all for $10.5k out the door. It was a lost leader and they only sold 2 of these.

    Great car!!!!
  • Hey i just joined this forum to look for some answers. A friend of mine told me that the motors for the SE-R and the Spec-V go bad at about every 40,000 miles. He mentioned somethin about the motors blowing of seizing up. I assume by your message that you are talking about the same subject. Even if you are not, do you know anything about this. I am very pleaseed with my 2002 SE-R v-spec but I just dont want anything to happen that will affect my wallet. But what would my friend know he drives a 97 Caviler so hes prolly just running his mouth. Thanks for the help. NISMO power!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I dont think thats the case, or else Nissan would be facing a much bigger issue, since the same engine powers 85% of Altimas on the road. Tell your friend to enjoy his 8 year old Cavalier.

  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    Hi all

    Does any one get the spy-shot/info about 2006 sentra? It was great to see the 2006 Civic Si with 2L with 200hp! Hope 2006 SE-R will be more than 175hp!
  • I am starting to get radio interference on the AM (560 AM if this freq helps). The interference is RPM dependent. Has anyone had any interference from the ignition system, and what did you do to correct it?

  • mjchsfmjchsf Posts: 16
    Why was it so cheap? What incentives did you get? The invoice is close to $15,000 including destination charge for an automatic. Is it manual or auto?
  • I'd like to know the answer to this - I have a 1998 with 122,000 miles on it and I've never changed the timing belt. How come it isn't listed in the Nissan maintenance on-line information at
  • turboshadowturboshadow Posts: 349
    Because it has a timing *chain* not a timing belt. It does not need to be changed. This is one of the major reasons I purchased a Sentra. I got tired of 60K belt replacements on Hondas.

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Don't become complacent with that timing chain. They may not need to be replaced at certain intervals but you still need to keep an eye on the chain guides. If you let them wear out, or allow the auto adjustment system to leak oil, the chain will stretch and break just like any belt. The chain broke on my former 91 Stanza at 144k due to worn guides and trashed the head. Had it been a belt that was changed at regular intervals, it never would have happened. Timing chains give a false sense of never needing attention. Since that occured, I no longer feel a chain provides much of an improvement over a belt, especially when most belts only require changing every 100k.
  • maj4479maj4479 Posts: 1
    I agree that your father cannot be in this car if this is going to keep happening. I have a 2000 Nissan Sentra GXE, and the mass air flow meter/sensor has gone out for the second time. I suggest you do your best to harp on Nissan North America to get your fathers car fixed for free. The corporation apparently doesn't care about the safety and financial burdone's regular people have to face with lemons. I hate this car now! If Nissan is not gonna care about your situation, of course they are not going to care about anyone's.
  • eugene4eugene4 Posts: 1
    I had a questiion about my insrument panel lights were you see the gear your in for an automatic. If is not lit up do I change a fuse or what?
  • apm994apm994 Posts: 1
    i just bought an '87 sentra hatchback for 900 bucks and i was wondering if there is a more powerful engine i can swap in for it, and if so how fast can i make this car if i really wanted too, i know it is an 87 but im poor and i go to college
    if anyone can help me out i thank you greatly
  • baja1baja1 Posts: 1
    I'm considering getting my daughter a 2001 Sentra GXE for her first car. The one she likes is abit of a distance from where we live.

    The dealer is unsure if the vehicle has ABS brakes. This is one of our "must haves". Does anyone know how you can determine if this car has abs brakes short of driving it? Is there a code in the VIN# or somewhere else in the vehicle.

    BTW it has 41000 miles and he's asking $6900. What should the vehicle sell for in good + condition?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • Found this site trying to troubleshoot new noises coming from my '01 Sentra GXE. I just wanted to put my two cents in, and say I hate this car. This is the first new car I ever bought, and it has really not met my expectations. The power windows don't work (roll down but have to force them back up) The CD Player won't read discs (less than 2 years old)
    The plastic dipstick broke inside the tube, had to spend hours to fish it out, only to be replaced by another that is just as bad. Uses much more gas than expected. I have an '89 Honda Civic that I don't even take good care of, and yet never gives me problems and still gives me 35mpg after 239k miles. I would recommend anything other than a Sentra!!!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    03 Sentra 2.5LE. Not a single problem in 43,000 mi other than two easily taken care of voluntary recalls. The rear seat is cramped, the cupholders suck, and the resale value isnt that great. Those are the negatives. Otherwise, I love the car's 165 hp engine, side impact head protection airbags, reliability, and handling. The all wheel disc ABS bring the car down to a stop quite affirmatively as well. My average MPG isnt spectacular- about 25- but I drive fairly aggressively.

    The car isnt tops in its class, and one similar to mine is no longer offered, but I LOVE it, and can't wait to see what Nissan does for the redesign. At this time, I think the best bet for most people is a Mazda 3 with ABS/Side Curtains, a Corolla LE with ABS/Side Curtains, or on the bargain front, a (soon to be replaced) Elantra with ABS.

  • Hey all,
    I have a 200 Sentra GXE, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas to upgrade my performance. If it is even worth it. I only have 31,500 miles. so far its been a good little car. besides for the Mass air flow sensor and both axles going bad
  • skilgroskilgro Posts: 1
    check this site out, I have a maxima and I would assume it would be the same, all I had to do is remove the glove box and change the filter.'s Garage/2002MaxSE/In-Cabin Microfilter Change.htm
  • mgrablinmgrablin Posts: 1
    Looking for someone who solved this problem. I parked my 2002 Nissan Sentra SER Spec V. within a few minutes I tried to start the vehicle. It acted like the battery was suddenly dead. I had a three red lights on the dash but the rest was dead. Could not even close the moon roof. A battery charger would not solve the problem. With the charger attached I was able to get dome light the the started clicks like a low battery. The terminals are clean and all the fuses beside the battery look good. Any suggestions
  • drewnsdrewns Posts: 4
    Hey, I'm new to this message board and just so happened that saw your topic. I do agree with you. I also got a Nissan Sentra GXE 2001. I got it used though. Nissan dealer said the car was only used during show rooms. Anyway, I agree about the gas...terrible. No pick up at all, my old ford festiva accelerates even better. I do have a question that you might know. The light on my gear shift is no longer lighting up when the car is on. Do you know how to change that? I can't figure out how to take the whole thing apart. Any advise other than get rid of it. he he Thanks. Drewns
  • drewnsdrewns Posts: 4
    Anyone know how to replace the light in the gear shift? I doesn't look like it's easy to remove the cover? It's the light that lits up so you can see if you're on Park, Drive, Neutral and so forth. Any help from someone will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Drew- OHIO
  • drewnsdrewns Posts: 4
    Cool, I just posted the same question today. Did you get a response yet? I do have 2001 Nissan Sentra GXE. Drew-OHIO
  • I have the same problem either on my 2000 Sentra GXE. And the mpg is about 25 local. I don't know if it is reasonable.
  • drewnsdrewns Posts: 4
    Maybe for automatic, 25 mpg local is about right but not great either. How's you car's pick up? I have to use the overdrive a lot of times when taking off. My 2001 Sentra GXE doesn't have any power at all. Maybe that's why I use a lot of gas during take offs or when I have to speed up, I have to floor it just to get a little bit over 65 mph.
  • My 16 yr old daughter wants to buy a 1993 Sentra, 2dr, 99K miles, auto trans. ....any feedback on these older models?
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