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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • ultimaultima Posts: 96

    Print this and take it to your Nissan Dealer:

    Hope this helps.

  • onerepaironerepair Posts: 3
    Hi guys! I presently own an '00 Mercury Sable LS Premium. So what the hell am I doing in your group, right? Well, I'm going to purchase a new car shortly, and I've become quite partial to the '05 Altima 3.5 SL. Rather than read recent reviews of people who have just bought new Altimas, (and of course 99 out of 100 tell me what wonderful cars they are), I like to get right "down in the dirt", and find out what problems have been occurring in later year models.

    To understand my concern, let me tell you my '00 Sable has been to the dealer only once in the last 4 years, (not counting oil changes). They replaced an emmission valve, and installed a new brake switch wiring harness. Just dumb luck, right? Nope! I had a '96 Sable before the '00, and in three years that car never cast its shadow in a dealer's garage. Now are you beginning to understand my concerns about how much time ( or should I say how little), a different car will spend in the repair bay ?

    Alas, the Sable will be gone after this year, and while Ford will still have that marvelous Duratec engine, it simply boils down to wanting something different.

    I detest "down time" in a car - especially at a dealer. I'm not that concerned about depreciation, or the fact that I might have to pay a few thousand more for a Nissan. I AM concerned most of all about overall reliability with the absence of repeated nagging problems and/or repairs. Could I get some HONEST opinions from some of you present long term owners? Thanks!
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Go for the V6, the I4 seems to be more troublesome so you will be fine if you get the 3.5SL.

    My I4 is having transmission problems. I hate to say it, but I will probably trade this Altima in in 07 and get the redesigned V6 if I like it enough.
  • gunnersmategunnersmate Posts: 243
    Greetings all, I own a 2003 Altima 3.5 SE Black w/ auto. We love the car so far but have recently had to take up an issue with the paint, dealer, inspector and Nissan. No one seems to think it is a defect and I have to say this car is garage kept at home as well as at work and it is meticulously hand washed in the most retentive fashion possible. I will be happy to share the methods I employ should you want but you will probably think I am sick individual when you hear them.

    Any way the problem with the paint has to do with the coat on the trunk deck lid on the passengers side. The paint has a solid coat from the drivers side to about 2/3 of the way to the passengers where it begins to speckle and gives you a view of the primer.

    The dealer says they have no say in it and the inspector took a photo, which will not properly portray this issue due to the fine speckling, and not to be age discrematory but he was 80+ and mentioned that he could not see it but didnt matter casue he gets paid either way and doesnt make the decision.

    Nissan-1 my rep, rather non-rep, lucia is not only disrespectful but she is also unknowledgeable of the processes involved and has demonstrated that she is not the least bit concerned about the problem. The impression that I got from her was that there is no grievance process and that I have no recourse.

    She seemed to be stuck on this loop of telling me to go to another dealer to have it inspected when she know darn well that the dealer has nothing to do with the inspection or approval/disapproval process.

    I would like to know if anyone else has had to fight them on this issue and what I can expect.

    At any rate this is my last Nissan despite my years of happy ownership of various nissan cars.
  • cenglishcenglish Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info Bill. I was looking a a used 2003s today that had 34,000 miles for $12,900....good looking car but everything I have read in here from this message board makes my stay away from it now. Thanks!
  • msahmedmsahmed Posts: 13
    Hi all,

    I have a 95 Nissan Altima that has both CV boots almost torn and the lubricant has started to come out. I have checked with different shops (including dealers) to have the CV boots replaced. But all of them are interested to have the complete drive axles replaced. The cost estimate varies significantly from dealers to other shops ($600+ for dealers and about $320 for other shops with remanufactured parts). The dealers provide 1 year/12000 miles and the other shops provide 3 year / 25000 miles warranty. So I have decided to go with the non dealers shop.

    Any one has any suggestion if I should be able do the CV boots replaced by myself?
  • Onerepair,
    No, no, no. If you are afraid of one repair on a car do not buy the Altima. My wife and I have had nothing but problems with our manual transmission. We bought our 2002 3.5SE with high hopes. Those hopes were quickly destroyed when we took this junker in for its first of many visits to the dealer. Six months after we bought it, the dealer had to replace the clutch plate. We hoped this would be a one-time ordeal. Much to our surprise every five months after that we have had to take the car in for service on the clutch. The clutch finally went totally out two days ago. We have 34,000 miles on it and the dealer said that after 10,000 miles the clutch is no longer covered. I was tricked into buying the $1,600 extended warranty which of coarse doesn't cover this. So, long story short, the Altima has plenty of power but requires a DEEP pocket book and plenty of patience. Please let me know if you end up succumbing to the need for speed, I am very interested in knowing if you have any problems. Take care.
  • Vinder,
    I too have a 2002, the reflection is horrible. Has anyone given any fix for this?
  • waidadawaidada Posts: 2
    After I handwash my 02Altima, it could not start! And it wasn't just once! It happened 3 times! The first 2 times, I thought it just ran out of battery even I am sure I didn't left the headlight on, nor I left the radio playing while I wash the car. The third time I am sure I didn't do anything wrong. All I did is to pull the car out of the garage, turn off everythign and take the key out. I spend about 2 hrs on washing and afteward the car wouldn't start!

    This is driving me nuts because I don't know what's wrong w/ the car! Anybody could give me any light on this? Thanks!
  • ediamiamediamiam Posts: 17
    I believe you managed to flood your engine. You need to let the engine run for a few minutes to burn off the rich fuel mixture when starting from cold, otw the fuel wets the sparkplugs and there is no ignition. I've managed to do this twice over the last ten years on fuel injected cars. Not as much as a problem on carbureted cars, as you can just hold the pedal down and crank to void the cylinder.
  • abenissanabenissan Posts: 1
    My Altima stalls once or twice a week after being driven for a while in an intersections or at red light, BUT also after being driven then parked for 15-20 minutes...after that it wouldn't start. it does crank but wouldn't start. I leave it for 30 minutes or more then it will work fine. I took it to a mechanic and he kept it for a week but he couldn't duplicate the problem. I took it back and the problem happened the next day...any idea?
  • gunnersmategunnersmate Posts: 243
    Yeah we have an 03 and it is down right unsafe at times. There come points during driving that the reflected light is so bright that it becomes a hinderance to safety.

    In fact when i clean the car I no longer dust the dash in hopes that the build up will reduce the glare.
  • ediamiamediamiam Posts: 17
    get one of those dash covers, or put black carpeting cut to size, over the dash. that should kill reflections. can buy that stuff at the auto stores.
  • rollyso2rollyso2 Posts: 7
    My 2002 2.5S makes a swooshing noise on takeoff. It sounds as if it's coming from the front right side. Other than this noise, my car has been trouble free. Any suggestions or others with the same condition?
  • citygirlcitygirl Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying a 93 GLE w/ 132K, only problem I know of: when you start the car it idles high for about 20-30 min. until about 40 mph then goes back to 0mph. I have never heard of this. Anyone else? HOw much to fix? The purchase price is about $1500. Should I even bother?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,579
    Take it to an import mechanic and have it inspected. It's worth the cost of the inspection! If it's nothing major, and the car is otherwise in good condition, that sounds like a good deal for the money.
  • mrholtymrholty Posts: 10
    Ok- I hope someone can help me figure out what I need to do with my car.

    History: Feb 2003- Driving home from airport at 1:00am on Sunday night, I start to hear a schreeching and figure its a belt. I get it home and on the way to work the next day it breaks before I can set up an appointment. Local gas station repairs serpentine belt (fine) at reasonable cost. However, summer of 2003 comes along and guess what my air conditioning doesn't work. I don't worry about it as I was busy and I like to drive with the windows down.

    Unfortunately, in fall of 2003 the drivers window starts to stick, (sometimes it would work after holding the button down for 20 seconds or holding both driver and passenger side window down until the driver side started). After a few weeks of this, the issue stops with the driver side but the passenger side doesn't work at all. At this point I take it to local dealer to check out a/c and window. He tells me the compressor motor for the a/c is frozen (I have no idea) and needs to be replaced. He also tells me I have to replace a window motor in the passenger door. I agree to that. When I pick up the car, the driver's side seems to be fine ( a little quicker than before) but the passenger side still doesn't work. I fight with him that he is charging me $300 for work not completed and I get into an argument with his boss. I eventually leave after I see enough crap at this dealer to last me 3 lifetimes, between how I was handled and two other customers. I contacted Nissan by email and phone to no satisfaction, ultimately giving up and eating the $300 repair that wasn't.

    Now about two months ago, with the drivers side window still not working I bring it in to a different shop and he gives me a quote for a new a/c compressor and a new passenger motor. he tells me "I am lucky about the a/c compressor being purposely disconnected or I could have had an engine fire" additionally he tells me can replace the window motor on the passenger side and it will be fine. Strange enough the next day while I am waiting for him to give me a full quote including labor, the back rear window stops working as well, and the drivers side window feels underpowered. Sometimes in winter with snow on window it would not work even after heating up.

    So my questions are:
    1. What do i need to get replaced to get all my windows working again with adequate power?

    2. How does the a/c system work and what do I need to get that replaced?

    3. Could this be all related, after all this all started after my serpentine belt broke. the second mechanic I spoke with (believes they unhooked my a/c when replacing my serpentine belt but didn't rehook it up, causing the a/c compressor to run all the time allowing it to freeze. (that is how I understood what he said, I may be screwed in the head) If it is related, do I have any way to go back to the original gas station that repaired my serpentine belt to pay for these costs?

    Suggestions, comments please?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,579
    If you were holding down the buttons for 20 seconds the motors for the power windows are probably toast. Wiring may be suspect as well, but if there was too much current flowing through it should have blown a fuse, in theory at least.

    If the gas station disconnected the a/c, it would just never run, not run all the time, besides lots of cars with auto climate control have the compressor running all the time without problems.
  • mrholtymrholty Posts: 10
    Thanks for the reply. this is only the second car I have ever owned and I trashed the other one. How does one go about checking the wiring, is there any equipment I can get to check it out to see if there is arcing or anything.

    Thanks, for the note on the a/c conditioning as well, I thought that if it was disconnected it wouldn't work.

    I'd really like to work on the window issue myself and see if I can fix that. Any suggestions where to start. Hopefully, I can learn a little bit about some wiring of cars and that would help me in the future.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,579
    And get out your multimeter. See if the window motor is getting +12V when you press the button, if so, replacing the motor is probably a good place to start. If you are looking to save money, try to find one off a junkyard car (they aren't interchangeable so you'll have to get one corresponding to the door you want to replace). Check for carbon trails, frayed wiring, etc...
  • david7david7 Posts: 1
    I just purchased a '98 Altima SE for my daughter and am having trouble activating a new remote control she purchased on line. The existing remote that came with the car is burnt and cracked so we want to replace it even though it worked with new batteries. I followed the instructions that came with the new remote and ended up deactivating the old one. Now I have two remotes but still cannot get them to operate. Both have new batteries.

    Another point to mention is that the old remote takes 2 batteries (CR2016) but the new one takes only one (CR2025). Does that make a difference? Can anyone assist me so I don't have to pay the high hourly rate at the dealership?

    There are several TSB's on this year Altima and I've experienced some of these issues. Is the dealership obligated to correct these at their cost?

    Thank you.
  • boyandboyand Posts: 2
    I am having the same problem right now. Worse still, I have to pass the IL emission test soon and this "check emission control system" lamp is what they are looking for. I had to change my catalytic converter 1 or 2 years ago, but since the Nissan dealer wanted $700, I went with a local repair shop that used a generic converter in which they placed a Nissan original oxygen sensor. Now I don't know if I take the car to Nissan, if they will blame it on the generic part, and even if I change the catalytic converter again, can I be sure the light will go off?
  • gjeangjean Posts: 3
    Get some polarized sun glasses, you will be amazed. No more reflections, that is what the polarized glasses do, remove reflected light.
  • I get the same swooshing noise in my 2002 2.5 SL when the car accelerates. It sounds like liquid moving rapidly and the sound does come through the right vent. I hope someone can help explain this one.
  • Is this true?

    I just took my 2002 2.5 SL to the Nissan Dealer for a myriad of issues (including the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light issue AGAIN, random car stalling, shocks leaking).

    The AC & Heater don't seem to "kick in" (so to speak) until I accelerate in the car. Once the engine idles (while driving or stationary) the AC & Heater seem to just shut off completely while the fan continues to blow air, and the car warms up (when the AC is on) or gets colder (when the Heater is on).

    The dealer informed me that for this particular make and model of the Altima, the thermostat is the problem, and that the thermostat needs to be replaced every 50,000 miles. Replacement of this (which is NOT covered under my extended warranty apparently) will cost near $600.00. Needless to say, I declined this work, and since I thankfully live in a mild climate, I can live with the AC/Heater not working at full force for a while until I can figure out what all of my options are.

    $600.00 every 50K miles for a THERMOSTAT? This seems ridiculous to me. Any thoughts or related experiences would be greatly appreciated.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,579
    Poor heater performance in these cars is usually due to air bubbles in the heater core. There is a TSB with procedure to bleed the bubbles out. There is another TSB on poor A/C performance. Heater performance will decrease at idle but if the car is warmed up it shouldn't blow cold air.
  • FYI- I have no advice what so ever, but I wanted to share with you.
    Your post sounds a little bit familiar!! My serpentine belt went on my '96 and I had it replaced; since then I am too embarrassed to even turn on my air conditioner, because I turn so many heads with the screeching coming from under the hood. Someone has told me, it's because the folks at the Nissan dealer replaced it with a cheap belt?
    My last day to drive my '96 will be this Friday the 13th; I upgraded to a newer model. Other than that, for the 5 years that I drove it, I had NO problems what so ever. My husband has a 2000 and I am a new owner of a 2002.
    Good luck. :)
  • You've probably figured it out by now, but...

    Congrats on your purchase. I have owned a 98 Altima SE since new and it continues to serve me well. Other than oil changes and 30/60k services, a battery and belts are all the repairs i've made in 78k miles. Car has been from WA state to Louisiana and back twice and I'd take it again tomorrow.

    Regarding the remotes and otherwise, check which is full of Altima-specific forums which usually have the programming instructions. You do have to program both remotes at the same time, which may be the source of your problems, plus programming two different remote models may be a problem. Factory remote is a CR2025; mine is still going strong on its original single battery.

    TSBs, as far as I understand, are basically solutions given by the factory to dealers for problems that recur commonly in its cars. The dealer is only obligated to correct the problem gratis if the car is still under warranty. If the car is recalled (which AFAIK the 98 Altima never has) then repairs are gratis.

    If you don't mind, would you post the details of your purchase (miles/color/options/condition of car, location, purchase price) as I am entertaining the thought of selling mine and wondering what it's worth.
  • rholtrholt Posts: 1
    I just recently purchased an '03 Nissan Altima 2.5 S also. It had 24k when we bought it a month ago. I've run 3 tanks of gas through it and got 27, 30, 28 mpg with each respective tank.

    In Utah, we use the air conditioning quite a bit and I run it up a few canyon roads here locally so I'm not complaining.

    I've also found the using premium gas helps with the mileage.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Hi Everybody,

    Since I moved and went to college my gas mileage has gotten much better.

    Here at Clemson, there are far more hilly areas and what not but there is far more highway driving as well.

    The reason I got bad gas mileage in the first place was my heavy lead foot. I laid it off the gas pedal and now I at least get 27.7 mpg. Better than the 23 and below that I was getting.
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