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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • 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.
  • I purchased a 2000 Altima GXE used with 13,500 mi in May 2000. I've taken it to the dealer at least 4 times for the rattling in the windows and the wind noise. I know they're counting the miles - I have 31,110 on it now and soon they'll get some $ from me for my visits. They've replaced the regulators and "made adjustments" but I still hear the rattling and it always sounds like I need to put the windows up when on the highway (and I'm NOT a speed demon).

    I'm looking at getting out of this car after only 1 year. My last car ('93 Mazda Protege') was bumped from the rear, tapped in the front and had dents and dings from tree limbs during a storm and NEVER skipped a beat. It was in good condition after 7 years and 121,000 mil and I sold it because surgery forced me to stop driving a 5 speed. My aunt had great service from her Stanza and I tried a move to Nissan. However small, rattling windows and wind noise are a constant distraction and I'm tired of catching the shuttle, missing and having to make up time at work to pick up and drop off my car, and/or having to catch rides on a car that I pay every month for. You'd think that after calling the manufacturer, the dealer's mechanics could get it right. A "jack leg" couldn't have done any worse.

    Thanks for allowing me to vent.
  • I recently bought a 2001 Altima GXE.But after only
    800 miles,the service engine soon light goes on.
    Do I need to get to get my car looked into and what are the likely problems/faults with the engine?
    Please advise.
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    Check out the new 2002 altima on
    This puppy is totally new. Base engine is 180 hp 2.5 l and optional one is 3.5 l 240 hp V-6. What a change. This engine makes way into maxima also but with 260 HP! It looks really good in the photos.
  • cassie6cassie6 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Altima and the side mirrors have become faded and discolored and no longer match the pearl beige paint. Any help would be appreciated.
  • robg63robg63 Posts: 2
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Took our Alty in for a check on the windows and alignment last week and they said the loose windows were normal. I disagree so will take it to another dealer soon. They said we get a free alignment during the first year so they did it and it seems not to pull to the right as much. They broke one of the screw caps on the hub cap and didn't tell me. When the car came out to me, I noticed it. They said it cracked and after a fuss with the service manager, he replaced the whole hub cap. He got real ugly about it though! I asked him why it wasn't written down on the receipt or told to me about the so called cracked hub. He could not answer me! A piece of advice, check your Alty's all around after the dealer works on them!
  • tims63tims63 Posts: 14
    Just saw some of the messages on distributors. My car died last weekend-- thought it was the battery. I replaced the battery and the car has started fine. However, the check engine light came on after I put in the new battery. I thought maybe the old battery had triggered something to set off the light. I took the car to my dealer who performed a diagnostic and told me I needed to replace the distributor--$625. I called my local mechanic (who I trust) and he told me I'm better off going to the dealer. He said he'd have to order the part from Nissan and they'd mark it up so that it was more expensive for him to do the repair. What am I missing, here? I can't believe my mechanic would tell me to go to the dealer for $625 if he could make money on the job for say $350 ($140 part plus labor). Are these replacement distributors to which you refer good replacements for the Nissan distributors?
  • zhiyuanyanzhiyuanyan Posts: 2
    Hi, all,

    I have very little experience with Altima and I can definitely use some expert's opinion about this problem.

    I am looking to buy a 96 Nissan Altima SE. When I test drove the car on the highway, it (the whole car not the steering wheel) vibrated when the speed is over 70mph. I thought maybe it is the front alignment. But the car just had its scheduled maintenance service at Car-X and the folks at Car-X said the front alignment checked
    out fine. Later I took the car to the Nissan dealer in Savoy for a buyer's check. They say the reason for that is the right front wheel is bent. If this is right, then it's no big deal. I am
    just worried something more serious is wrong with the car. Is this common to Altimas? Should I be worried about this?

    Thank you
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Put the spare on the right front and road test it again. Doesn't matter if it's a spacesaver spare. A bent right front wheel on any car is as common as high curbs.
  • fishbookfishbook Posts: 5
    Hi Guys,

    I bought this car used at about 100k. It's been running great for 4 months until recently this annoying thing comes up. During idling, the rpm keeps shifting between about 600 to 900. It's like 3 seconds on 600 and then 2 seconds on 900, which brings bigger noise, and then back to 600. But I don't detect any change on mileage. A rookie here, I thank you in advance for any advice.
  • nvisionenvisione Posts: 1

    i've just bought a '94 altima se. it's a very smooth-riding car except for a very peculiar noice coming behind the air vents. the noise is faint but noticeable, and sounds like something is rubbing against rubber in a very constant interval--*wud wud wud wud..* (imagine placing a sheet of rubber over a slow-turning fan)

    this noise seems to persist on all air vent modes EXEPT the "body&legs" mode. setting the fan at different speeds does not seem to effect it.

    anyone knows what's going on here? any help is greatly appreciated. many thanks.

  • nursedivanursediva Posts: 1
    where can I go for discounted Nissan parts, in particular rims or wheel covers
  • I have a 95 Altima which has served me well for almost six years now. 105K with little problem except the usual consumable (brakes, tires, lights etc.)

    Just recently the A/-Heat switch will only work on the high setting. The other three settings are DO. Just replace the switch? Sounds strange since I would expect a switch to either go all the way, or loose one setting (a burned or dirty contact would be common)

    Any help would be great.

  • I recently bought a 2001 altima and have had 2 cracked windshields. The cracks are NOT due to an external force (rocks etc.) There is no visible point of impact so they appear to be an internal stress fracture. I was wondering if anyone had a similar problem. The 2 windshields broke 3-4 weeks after installation.
  • cargulcargul Posts: 1
    my battery went dead while on a trip, I had it replaced but when I was driving out of there I noticed the check engine light on. I thought it would go out since I got a new battery, but it hasn't. The service station wants $70 to turn it off - there must be an easier way. Thanks.
  • orman1orman1 Posts: 7
    For most 96 and newer vehicles, the light can come on if the gas cap is not tightened enough. The OBD 2 emission control system is very sensitive to noticing excess fuel system venting pressure. If you have to disconnect the battery, what you can do is plug in a 9v battery (or a larger 12 volt lantern battery if you have one). Connect it to the power outlet. Key on if you need to to get power to the outlet. Or, run wires to the new battery first. Works good if you have presets in the radio and keeps the sensors from any excess voltage spikes.
  • tobiusnctobiusnc Posts: 1
    I had the exact same problem in my '89 Probe. Lived with it for quite some time before taking the time to pull and diagnose the switch. Turned out it had nothing to do with the switch.

    By calling the dealer I found out there is a resistor pack under the dash near the blower that had burned out. The part wasn't exactly cheap ($70 doesn't sound like much, but look at the part and it seems like a lot), but aside from having to work upside-down under the dash, replacement was a snap. I would assume the Altima has a similar set-up but a dealer should be able to help you find the offending module. Hope this helps!
  • buy_whatbuy_what Posts: 3
    Sorry if this has been posted before...
    Does anyone know of pricing info on the 2002 Altima yet? Nissan's web site has some specs and photos of the car, and it is a great looking car. Far different from the current Altima. The base engine is listed at 180hp, which tops the 170hp of a base Passat. It also will have an optional 260hp V6. I wonder what kind of pricing they will have on these compared to current model Altima's and also not wanting to cut into their strong Maxima market too much. Any thoughts, ideas?
  • Same person from message #41. I grew tired of taking my car back and forth to the dealership and they could never reproduce the noise I heard. At one point after my April post, a service consultant said they could put in a tighter part on the regulator and that should make the windows tighter, but it would probably result in more wind noise. Considering I was constantly checking to see if the windows were all the way up as is, I was concerned how "more" wind noise would be.

    I also heard a noise that appeared to come from the wheels, like a belt or a tap, tap, tap noise when the windows are all the way down. An after market repair shop heard it too, but couldn't detect the problem. So, I took it back to Nissan. They couldn't hear the noise.

    Also, while backing down a decline, I heard a sound like a spring had popped. It would do it each time I backed into the driveway (which is on a decline). It did it once when coming into a STOP (moving forward, of course). My passenger and I just looked at each other and turned our heads. Nissan couldn't hear that either.

    Well, maybe if Nissan drove the car further than around the corner on a flat surface, they could hear something.

    Anyway. Yesterday was the last straw. I unloaded that 2000 Altima last night, cut my losses and moved on.

    I wish all of you well with your Altimas. It has so many great features, and were it not for the annoying noises no one at Nissan could hear, I would still be driving mine today.
  • laugslaugs Posts: 1
    This morning the battery in my wife's Altima exploded when she turned the key. Literally. I came out and checked under the hood after hearing a loud bang and the battery casing was in pieces.

    Does anyone have electrical problems whereby the battery might be overcharged? Are Nissan batteries prone to this condition? I am thinking of simply replacing the battery and seeing if it, too, explodes before I take the car to a dealer.

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