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Nissan Altima Care and Maintenance

squirrel11squirrel11 Posts: 7
edited June 2014 in Nissan
One salesman showed us this neat trick of the Altima 2.5SL ( I don't know if all Altimas have this), but you can do a check of the lights/horn/fan/windowwipers. I couldn't find a reference in the manual but it involved something like opening the car door and hitting the door frame button about 6 goes through some sort of diagnostic check. I assume he had turned the car on to ACC but I was standing outside the car and couldn't really tell.

We bought the car at another dealership. We didn't do the test drive before we bought the car there because we had already had 3 test drives at other dealerships. The salewoman didn't show us this feature when we picked up the car because either A, she didn't know about it or B, it was cold and rainy and she didn't think about it.

Anyone else have specific insight into this?


  • Two dealers told me two different types of gas required by 2.5 Altima. One said regular 87 Oct., the other told me the engine requires 89 Oct., does anyone know what type of gas the engine requires?????Please respond to my e-mail, "" Thanks
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    According to the owner's manual, the 2.5 requires 87 octane, and IMO it is a waste to run anything higher than that. Contrary to popular belief, higher octane gas is not necessarily "better" gas, it just has a higher resistance to detonation. If your car is not designed for premium gas, using it can actually hurt your performance and mileage.

    Here is what our federal government has to say on this issue:

    "In most cases, using a higher octane gasoline than your owner’s manual recommends offers absolutely no benefit. It won’t make your car perform better, go faster, get better mileage or run cleaner. Your best bet: listen to your owner’s manual."

  • I've been using 87 octane in our 2.5S, & until the last few days the weather here in So. Cal. has been extremely hot. The car runs great - no 'pinging', easy starts, no 'dieseling', plenty of power. I like cars that run on the cheapest possible fuel, and the 2.5 engine definitely qualifies. Except for a hi-perf. car that is driven only occasionally, I wouldn't own a car that requires premium fuel - it's a waste of $. That's just my 2c.
  • Does anyone know what the recommended tire pressure is for the Bridgestone Turanza 215/55 R17s? My car is missing the sticker on the door and dealers seem to give a generic response to my question.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    33 lbs. front, 30 lbs. rear. The sticker is on the underside of the center console lid.
  • We have until tomorrow to decide if want the Nissan extended warranty, it's supposedly a bumper to bumper type warranty, I'm very leery on warranties since I've been burned before by them.

    I plan on keeping the car at least 5 years, so we would be buying an extra 2 years of warranty.

    Is anyone familiar with this warranty, it's offered by Nissan.
  • cspetecspete Posts: 1
    I am looking into buying a previously leased 2002 Altima. It currently has 22,000 miles on it. I will be putting about 30,000 miles on it a year. I have read lots of message boards and consumer ratings on this site as well as others, all of which tell me people are very happy with this car. But I have yet to read anything specific about high mileage. Any advice?
  • cjs2002cjs2002 Posts: 341
    Greatings and Salutations,

         I'm currently looking at buying a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL. I love the car and everything about it, even if it has a few inside look draw backs. Reciently I was washing my parents malibue and noticed that no matter what I did the car still looked dirty, and always had water marks aprearing on the hood. I'm a bit of a neat freak when if comes to my car because I like my car to look like it just rolled off the lot that day. to many this is a pain to keep washing your car but to me it gives me great satisfaction in knowing that as I go down the road I get comments on how nice my car looks. if any one could please give some tips on washing advice I'd be very appriciative
  • fastaltfastalt Posts: 24
    I own an Altima and have been using car care products by Zaino Brothers..I am not a Zaino delaer so I have nothing to gain from telling you this but the Zaino products are the best I have ever used for exterior car care..they are expensive but they do a supeior can reach them at
  • I bought a 100k zero deductible for $800.00.
    Shop around and try the last day of the month.
    Highest bid was $1600.00. I had 26k on my car when I bought the warranty.
  • ultimaultima Posts: 96
    I found this info at:

    "TIP: You can protect yourself from costly future repairs by purchasing an extended warranty -- Warranty Direct offers coverage at half the price that dealers charge."

    Have never used myself, but worth looking into, I guess?
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    My daughter-in-law has an '02 Altima 2.5. When idling, the heater blows cold air. Once the car is moving, heat comes out. The radiator is full of coolant, as is the overflow tank. I'm suspicious of a poor water pump.

    She has taken it back to the dealer once and they "blew out" the coolant lines---which didn't help anything (if they actually blew air into the heater lines, that could have made it worse).

    Has anyone else run into this issue in the cold?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    I found some archived discussions that may interest those seeking more info on Warrantydirect.

    Anyone had experience with WarrantyDirect?

    Warranty Direct

    Check the Finance, Warranty, Insurance board for discussions of other extended warranty companies and issues.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • In my 3.5SE, the seat heaters only generate heat once someone is sitting in them. I don't know if this is normal or not. The electrical obviously works, as the seats get toasty when sitting in them, but if I start the car for 10 minutes in the morning and then get into it, they are not already heated. Never having had heated seats before, I don't know if this is how they should work. Any comments would be appreciated. :)
  • jax717jax717 Posts: 2
    I have 49k on my 02 altima.I understand the cabin
    filter should be changed once a year or every
    12k. Anyone tried to do it yourself? If so how
    hard is it to change.
  • hello, i just purchased a new altima. it just came off the truck when i found it at the dealer. does anyone know how long i have to waite till i put on my first wax job? also, what is a good wax to use? please advise. thanks
  • Which gas is better to use for my 2003 SE Altima, unleaded regular or premium? Or does it not matter?
  • I own a 2003 Altima with the charcoal interior and it seems to be a magnet for lint. I tried vaccuuming the lint off the interior, but it doesn't help much. Does anyone have any suggestions? If so, please email me at:
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,974

    I've got it too. Looks completely sharp but shows everything. I carry a lint brush in the console. I guess that all you can do it be vigilant about it.
  • I got a 97 Altima last night and it's listed as a '97.5' model. Does anyone know of what makes this different?
  • I've had several experiences along with some of my friends and I wouldn't trust the warranties outside of Nissan. Yes you can get reduced prices from aftermarket groups but they charge you up front and then go out of business a year later and you have no where to go to get your money back. Check out the horror stories on the BBB web site, J.D. Powers and Kelly Bluebook. Some dealers use these outside providers, sell you the policy, and then tell you they aren't responsible, you have to go to the provider. Check with the BBB before buying. I finally went with Nissan because I'm confident they will still be there long after my cars gone. I got bumper -to-bumper 72K/100,000 for $775 from Nissan.
  • jmorjmor Posts: 1
    paid 1355 dollars for a 72month 100,000 warantee . I am seeking true value of this gold premieum guarantee? appreciate information. paid 22500 for 3.5 se auto just mats and auto splash guards . jmor
  • ray_h71ray_h71 Posts: 212
    I'm just a visitor who drives another make car. If your owner's manual specifies unleaded regular gasoline (87 octane), the use of higher octane gas is usually tantamount to burning money and farting it out the exhaust. You will usually experience NO increase in mileage or power with unleaded premium (91 octane). The exception to this is with engines equipped with "knock sensors" wired to the ECM. The sensors are essentially microphones (more correctly, "transducers") screwed into the block which feed the rappings of subaudible (to human ears) "pinging" to the ECM which will then retard the ignition timing to just under the threshold that set off the sensors. These engines give drivers the best of both worlds. They don't ping on 87 octane, yet when 91 octane is pumped, the ECM responds by advancing the ignition timing up but not above the setting that allows smooth operation without pinging. The engines with these devices are literally self-tuning while you drive. Bottom line? About 3-5 additional horsepower if you're willing to pay the price of 91 octane, but no engine damage if you're satisfied with the performance of 87 octane. I have no idea whether the engines installed in Altimas are equipped with knock sensors, but consulting your dealer's service department should provide the answer. Also, if your owner's manual or a sales brochure happens to list a compression ratio of more than 9.5:1 for Altima engines, it's a good bet there IS/ARE knock sensors aboard. (I-4s, usually one, but two for V-6s)
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,974
    I'm closing in on 10k miles on my 2.5S. I know that the stock Conti tires have been largely criticized by many people here. I'm generally OK with them, but was wondering just how long should I expect them to last for? What have other people purchased and how did it go?
  • I purchased my 02 Altima with those horrible tires. They were very well, (atleast in my opinion) for the first 13000miles or so. After that first year, they were making this horrible howling sound. It seemed like all 4 tires were making that sound, the rear tires in particular were very loud. At one certain point, i had to raise the volume of the radio to downplay the sounds they were making. it sounded like i was running the car on flat tires. After numerous complaints to the dealer, they only wanted to replace the 2 rear with the same crappy tires which didn't help the situation at all. So I finally decided to purchase some new tires at a local tire shop in my area. Although I've never heard of these tires before (Sigma) they were very smooth, quiet, and had a very long warranty. I had to upsize a bit, cause I believe they only had 2 tires available for the altimas tire size. But, so far so good.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,974
    I ran over a bottle the other night in my 03 2.5S and took a flat. I had heard alot of complaints about the Contis but I never had a problem with my ties. The reason why, much to my surpise, I've got Bridgestone Turenzas. The cost almost twice as much as the Contis, but with tires, you get what you pay for. I'm just wondering, how did I end up with Bridgestones?
  • cedomancedoman Posts: 2
    I have a 03 3.5SE...and yeah the continentals do suck very much due to the road noise, wear and hydroplane... I am thinking of buying the Yokohama H4's because of their price...and also because of the great rating they have on What other tires should I consider that are less noisier and considerably priced?
  • I just bought the Michelin Hydroedge 215/60R-17. What a difference in every aspect. They are a perfect replacement the Brigdestone Turanzas and the Continetals. Very quiet, great on wet roads, excellent grip and they do not rub up agaisnt the tire wall if that is what some readers are thinking. The slightly bigger profile size of the tire prevents them from blowing when you hit a pothole and protects the bushings of the car from being pounded all day like the stock Turanzas did I bought them online for $544 with a rebate offer of $40 from
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,974
    I have a 2003 2.5S with just under 16k. It's recently developed a problem where the engine emits a squeaking noise on first start up in the morning. The sound is definitely coming from the front of the engine. As the car warms up, the squeaking quiets down but I am not sure if it goes away all together. I haven't noticed any degradation in engine performance.

    Since it's summer, the car is not getting overly cold so I'm worried that something may not be getting lubricated correctly. Has anyone encountered this problem or heard about a TSB on this?

    Any info will be greatly appreciated.
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