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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • I have problem starting car in the morning.Car will not start untill i give gas.I went to mechanic & he changed distributor cap& wires.He also changed distributor assembly(p/n 3158470).Also changed ignition wires.After all this i still have problem.Every time i go to him he is finding different parts need to be change.So far i spent close to $1000.After intial start i don't have any problem.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,578
    Which year Altima is this? Many owners of 2002+ models report a cold start issue when the temperature is low. The suggested solutions I have seen are to give it gas until it starts, or change to synthetic oil that flows better in cold weather. I'd get a second opinion before spending any more money.
  • I have a 95 nissan altima automatic. I'm trying to figure out whats wrong with my transmission, It won't go into third gear, if i hit the gas hard sometimes it will go into third. My engine code pop up with 3rd trans signal. This started as soon as we started getting cold weather. MY egr valve not working either would that cause that not to shift up.
  • ops1ops1 Posts: 25
    I have a 1999 Altima with 41,000 miles. About a year ago, I noticed a metallic rattling noise mostly during idle (but not all the time). It would get more pronounced at higher rpms. I brought the car to the dealer back then, but they could not replicate the noise. Since then I have heard the noise occasionally but usually while the car is in reverse immediately after starting. I brought the car to the dealer again to look at this because my powertrain warranty is up at the end of the year. This time they heard the noise and told me the tensioner pulley needs replacement. Their estimate is $350 (together with a couple of other items they would replace at the same time) and they claim it is not covered by the warranty. I took a quick look at the powertrain warranty and it does cover the the "timing chain and tensioner" under the engine section. Has anyone else had this problem? Any chance that it is in fact covered by the warranty (only 18 days until the warranty expires!!!)?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,578
    For a squeaking noise, the tensioner they are referring to is for the drive belt. The Altima does have a timing chain but that's not what's causing the noise. If you are not averse to working on your own car, you can probably replace the drive belt and tensioner for around $150 plus an hour of your time.
  • ops1ops1 Posts: 25
    Thanks for the input re the drive belt. One more question - is this something that should go at 41K? I know I heard it way before 35K. The car has had no other issues since original purchase. As to working on my own car, I know my limitations.
  • I have an 02 se and noticed after washing it, there seems to be an excessive amount of water which has collected on all 4 door sills and door columns. I don't have wind noise, but it's anoying, as I don't seem to recall this on any other car I've had.. Anybody else have this problem ??????????????
    Also, it was good to read the posts re:the radio.. I've notice I can't seem to get alot of radio stations, as well as some of the pre-sets are static... I'm going to contact the dealer..
    Other than that, I like the car!
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,578
    It should have lasted longer, but as they say, stuff happens....
  • I have a 2002 Altima SL with 26,000 miles. Let me just say first that the Continental Tires are terrible, slippier than a wet seal on anything but dry pavement. I am buying Kumo Tires recommended by Tire Rack. Second, the back started bouncing around all over the place at about 15,000 miles. I had a 4 wheel alignment, which helped immediately, but now already seems to be loosening up again. Has anyone had similar problems?
  • ops1ops1 Posts: 25
    I just heard back from Nissan, and they will cover the tensioner pulley and the belt. They said the belt is technically not covered, but they agreed to do it since there is no additional labor. Thanks again for your input.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,578
    The rear was out of alignment when I bought my used Altima. It wasn't pulling, but the two rear tires were wearing unevenly. I replaced the two bad tires and had a four wheel alignment. No problems since then. I suggest getting a shop that warrants the alignment to do it. You pay more upfront, but get more than one alignment included in the upfront cost.

    That's great that Nissan agreed to cover everything. This sort of goodwill gesture happens all too infrequently.
  • The radiator fans keep running 30-45 seconds after turning engine off. Thermostat has been changed and radiator flushed car never runs hot.
    Nissan said this is normal for car with 42000 miles. I think not. Can anyone help.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    There is a service bulletin for water leaks around the door sills. Look for NTB02-042 on this page:
  • If it helps the fans on my '99 Altima (66k miles) have almost always run for a short amount of time after turning off the car. It's been like that since I bought the car (new).
  • This has happened twice now - I have an '02Altima 2.5S with 31K, bought used with 28K. Driving along just fine and suddenly, virtually no transmission, car will eek along at about 2mph. Put in park and rev to see rpms, also will get rpms in neutral. Put car in gear, any gear, and you feel it go into gear, step on the gas, and nothing, barely crawling at 1-2mph. When you turn it off, it may or may not restart, if it doesn't you get a clicking sound. First time this happened (6 days ago), I had it towed to the dealer, they took it off the trailer, it started and ran fine. It ran fine the next morning for them also. They ran diagnostics which showed nothing. Dealer said they received a bulletin from Nissan on the same day (12/23) about faulty sensors. These sensors were replaced, thinking this may be the problem. It happened again tonight, one minute driving along, next minute coasting. This time the car would not restart, only clicking. The tow truck came and tried jumping it which worked, and it would also then "move" when in gear. I made it home.... While waiting for the tow truck, even though the key was not in the ignition, I heard a rapid continuous clicking. When I moved my headlight setting from auto to off, it quit. When trying to start again, it didn't even click. Any suggestions before I go back to the dealer on Monday to ring someone's neck?
  • I have an 03 Altima SE, V6. Has about 5,000 miles.After I change the oil and recheck it after it's been sitting level overnight, it still doesn't check full. I put in just the amount called for...a little over 4 quarts. I am finding it is the most difficult car I've ever worked on to get the oil to read at the correct level. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,578
    Sounds like a problem with the charging system or battery. The clicking with the car off could have been the auto headlamp delay-off relay, which stopped when you switched the car off. You could have a loose or weak wire somewhere in the electrical system.
  • To Cricket01, I've had this same exact problem....dead battery and no go. I saw the symptoms from another post at another forum and printed it out and showed the Nissan service manager. The problem is the crank and cam sensors, which they replaced even though no codes showed up in diagnostices. I had to press them hard to replace the sensors as it's Nissan's policy to not replace anything unless there's a code. I've not had that problem anymore. There is a redesign of these sensors coming in a recall in the near future.
  • I just got a 1997.5 GXE "Special Edition". Does anyone know more about these?

    Also, what made the 97.5 different from 97's?
  • I just had simular problem. Change fluid and filter Dextron 111. Make sure it is not type F. Also IAC/high idle valve needs to be adjusted to approx 800-1000RPM in park. Looking at eng from passenger side of vehicle, look straight down behind valve cover between intake manifold. You will see Idle adjustment screw. Adjust to reflect correct idle. Also coolant temp sensor might be affecting your trans problem. located next to idle valve, the one with 1 wire. Then reset ecm computer. Are you sure EGR valve is not working? I don't think this would affect trans problem.
  • After three trips to Nissan and still no luck solving my once-every-five-days-or-so problem with a stalling engine on my 97 Altima GXE, the engine light finally went on, giving us diagnostic codes previously unavailable.

    Seems there was a problem with the air mass sensor. It's been about a week since it was fixed, and no stalling, yet. Perhaps this will help those of you with the persistent stalling problems in the older Altimas.
  • rberardrberard Posts: 22
    Our daugther's car has only 7000 miles and the radiator just needed to be replaced. The warranty covered it. Make sure your Alty is not leaking radiator fluid!
  • ray_h71ray_h71 Posts: 212
    sshedge, if you're checking the oil level when the engine is cold, it will appear to be lower since hot oil will expand to a higher level in the sump and contract to a lower level in the sump when it cools. If you live in an area being hit hard by ol' man winter, the effect will be even more pronounced. ALWAYS check the engine oil level with the the car parked LEVEL. Check the level, cold, each day over a week. If it's not dropping further from its "low" reading, you're probably OK. Also check it about a minute after shutting down the fully warmed engine (gives oil in the upper galleries a chance to drain back to the sump). When at normal operating temperature, the oil level may be about where you expect it. At 5,000 miles, ordinarily the piston rings are traditionally pretty-well seated to the cylinder walls, but modern motor oils (even conventional) may retard break-in rate 'cause of their upgraded anti-wear properties. During break-in, it's not unusual for an engine to consume some oil. If after all this, the level's still dropping, it's Nissan's problem - take your car to your dealer. During your sleuthing, note EVERYTHING you've done and the results briefly each day in a notepad log so you can present it to the service department yahoos. Otherwise, one of the happy-merry workers'll just top your oil level up and tell you to keep track and document oil usage over a week or two. Wasted car service appointments are almost as frustrating as paying income tax...
  • I have a 94 GLE auto Nissan Altima (137K) and so far no major problems except replacing the alternator. But lately, when I have been idling, the lights on the dash (esp ABS and O/D light) have been coming on and soon all the lights come on like it is about to stall, the radio comes in and out like it is about to short circuit, and the clock resets. Eventually the car stalls and needs to be restarted (it starts up fine). The other day, I was going about 65 on the highway and the car began to sputter or "jump" foward while I was accelerating and pushing on the gas just caused the car to jump more. I eventually slowed and pulled over, and the car completely stalled out. I don't know if this is electrical or fuel related. I tried changing the fuel filter last night but the hoses were SOO tight that I gave up. I am going to try again tonight (thanks for the earlier tips). Any ideas to the problem? Have others experienced this also? My check engine light has not come on yet. thanks!
  • Sorry if this issue has already been brought up but I don't have time right now to read through 623 messages :)...I have had my Altima for almost 2 years now and the only problem I have with it is that on occasion (has happened 4 times since I've owned the car, usually happens at night time when my headlights are on) my directional chime will not work, the directional blinks but does not make the blinking sound and at that same time when I stop the car and turn the key off and pull the key out of the ignition the ignition/key chime makes an awful loud ear piercing sound. The dealership has no clue what is causing this as it isn't happening often as I said. Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so, what needs to be fixed so I can bring it back to the dealership to have them fix it... Thanks for any help
  • danmoodanmoo Posts: 2
    We have a 2002 2.5S with 34k miles on it. At 24K miles, we had to replace two Continental tires because of cupping on them. At that time we replaced them with a new pair of Contis and did 4 wheel alignment.

    Thanks to seeluck2's posting, I did notice that the Contis are a bit too slippery--they slip a lot on wet pavement. Once when the car was only 1 month old, my wife slammed on the brakes on a DRY (not wet) downhill slope. The car spun 180 degrees and she found herself facing oncoming PA turnpike traffic. She did not swerve to avoid the semi that suddenly veered in her path. At that time, I thought it may have been a slippery patch on the road but now I wonder if its the Contis.

    Now at 34k miles, the other two tires wore out badly. We've just replaced them yesterday with Kumho ecsta tires. They're cheaper than contis and so far seem to have better traction. When its time to replace the other two 'newer' Contis, I'll get Kumhos. Also, I had to do 4 wheel alignment again. Is it me or does the altima need to be aligned more frequently than other cars?

    Seeluck2, how are your kumho's holding up so far?
  • Danmoo--I have a 94 altima with 137K. I bought the car with 77K and have actually had about 5 or 6 alignments done already. The guy at the shop said my warranty on my tires that I purchased would no longer be valid if I didn't get the car aligned. It just wears my tires down so quickly--I seem to have to replace them over and over again also. So I don't think its just you.
  • gino45gino45 Posts: 52
    Frantersch- are you sure there is nothing wrong with your suspension? I have a 98 SE with 90,000 miles that is constantly pulling towards the passenger side. I have had it aligned three times within the last 6 months. Each time I have asked the technician to verify if something is wrong with the suspension. Their only reply is that everything if fine and all that is needed is a toe adjustment. I do not believe this to accurate, though I have used three different garages to perform the alignments. Has anyone encountered a similar problem? Could a undetected broken suspension component be responsible for this? BTW- I haven't been experiencing faster wear than usual on my tires.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,578
    This is a common problem. There is a circuit board in the dash that needs to be replaced to get the sound back. The parts are cataloged as "Combination meter [non-permissible content removed]'y(needle)" and "Meter housing/printed circuit." Have the dealer call the Nissan techline if they can't figure it out. From reading other posts from owners who have this problem, it looks like they will have to have your car overnight so that the mileage in the instrument cluster will stay the same. Are you still under warranty?
  • Thank you very much for your info. I will pass this onto the dealership and have them contact Nissan. Yes, my car is still under warranty. It's only 2 years old and only has 20600 miles. Thanks again for your help
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