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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • I'm having the exact same problem with my Altima. It is a 2001 with 107K miles. My mechanic suspected the distributor and has replaced it. Problem persists. He is stumped. Have you had any luck with your car? At lease I was able to reproduce the problem with my mechanic. He believes we have a real problem but can't isolate it. Please let me know if you've found a solution.

  • roughneckroughneck Posts: 21

    I posted earlier the same exact things as yours. Except for the smoke. Mine is a 2.5 auto though. My guess is maybe your piston rings haven't set yet. Check your oil level. But I am just guessing. As far as the vibration I think it might be the electric fans kicking on. Except for the smoke I wouldn't lose any sleep over the other things.
  • albertjralbertjr Posts: 1
    I worked for Goodyear for many years and also own a 95 nissan altima. I've had this car since new, I had the same problem with my nissan. The problem is the ignition coil, when the coil gets hot it makes the veh shoot down, yes it will restart but only if the ignition coil cools off. You must replace the ignition coil.
  • catwoman1catwoman1 Posts: 1
    I had a nissan altima 1997 and I was having the same problem. For me it was the air flow meter. My car would stay in idle and the rpm would stay between 1 and 2. Is this happening to you? By the way the diagnostics will not pick up the problem, they found mine by running it on the emissions machine.
  • shekharshekhar Posts: 23
    The car AC is DEAD. I bought "R134a PLUS System" from al-Mart with an intention to add 134a gas to the AC unit. With the AC ON and car engine running, I connected the pressure guage at the "low pressure end" hook up -to get the initial pressure reading. I was expecting to find low reading, from the empty system. Instead - the pressure reading was exceedingly high (more than 100PSI, which is the limit of the gauge). I am wondering what could be the cause of such a problem. I do not have the means to check pressure at the "H" end. Is there a remedy? Also, what is "AC tune up" service ? Any help will be appreciated.
  • shekharshekhar Posts: 23
    Mine idles at 700-800 rpm when AC is off. With AC ON idle speed goes to 1000-1200 rpm. Other than a slight shudder at the begining (after pressing tthe AC button to ON) there is no discernable noise. All the belts move normally without any screeching!
    Did you get your car fixed? How much did it cost? Thanks.
  • Greetings! I have a 1995 Altima that I've had no problems with, with one exception: In cold weather, when I start my engine it will die unless I hold my foot down on the gas for 15-30 seconds, depending on how cold it is. During this time frame, the engine surges so badly that the whole car shakes and I fear for my engine. It then smooths out and has no further issues. What could this possibly be? Injectors? Ran some injector cleaner thru it, which seemed to help very very slightly for a short time.
  • vladpvladp Posts: 2
    Hi to you all. I drive a '05 Altima and in the last couple of months I detected a couple of problems. First, at gear shifting from 1'st to 2'nd (green light start) the transition is very rough. Is this particular to my car or has anybody else encountered it? What could be the problem?
    As for the interior comfort, lately the central piece of plastic imitating metal housing the air conditioning controls has started crepitating whenever the car slows down or accelerates, makes a turn or goes over a bump. I was thinking it could be the differential dilatation coefficient or simply poor assembly; does anybody have any idea if that could be mended (and, if so, covered by warranty)?
    Thanks a lot.

  • vladpvladp Posts: 2
    Hi, Zapczyn!
    I'm sorry to say, but I have the same problem in my 2.5S. I had a visible vibration in the steering wheel at around 55mph, but I thought it was from a light crash about 3 months ago. I went for the semi-annual maintenance and they confirmed a tire imbalance and "corrected" it. One day later, the vibration is there again, but at least not visible. Don't know what the problem is, but, to be honest, after reading the posts on this forum, I'm not going back to the dealer, because I already know the outcome. Sorry I can't encourage you more.
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    I don't care HOW many times you have had your tires balanced or where! Your tires need to be balanced properly. DO NOT GO TO A CAR DEALER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I suggest that you find a tire shop that has the Hunter GSP 9700 balancer.
    This machine measures road force and a lot of other goodies ( of course you need a knowledgeable technician operating it )

    Trust me . I've been down this road many times. This machine, along with a good tech., will solve your problems. You probably have a slightly out of round tire/tires,
    and only the Hunter 9700 will tell you this. Call around and find a shop that has one of these machines. Since your car is new, you can use the machine print-out to take to your car dealer and get a new tire , if needed. But remember, don't have the car dealer mount and balance it. Go to the tire dealer.
  • aingeainge Posts: 4
    I got my Altima back after three days in the shop. They were never able to dupicate the problems. Charged me $210 for diagnostics, because they did put time in on the car. They said they drove it to lunch, one tech drove it home twice with the computer hooked up to it... Nothing.
    I get the car back, and guess what. That very day, I'm driving it and the gauges all go dead again. I called the service advisor I had been working with and told him I'm coming back to show him. They see the problem and get to work on it. They say I have a short in my instrument panel cluster making my gauges go haywire, but can't say if that would contribute to the dying issues.
    They've had the car for two full weeks because the part was on back order, but I'm supposed to pick it up tonight.
    The dealership was kind enough to give me a loaner vehicle for the two weeks while my car was in service. (I had purchased an extended warranty when I bought the car and that was one of the provisions) As icing on the cake though, while I was driving the car I was involved in a parking lot incident that damaged the back bumper cover. Very minor, but the cover will have to be replaced, and guess who gets to pay for that... :cry:
  • :mad:
  • :mad:
  • When the knock sensor is bad, what type of symptoms does your car have? I was told that I needed to replace my knock sensor, is this an easy fix and where is the knock sensor located?
  • Hi Brian & Greg,

    I have a 2003 Altima 2.5 SL and I just had my front left strut replaced for the second time. I have less than 24K miles on it and it makes me doubt the reliability of the car. What also concerned me was the dealership started off by telling me it may not be covered under the warranty...what B.S. Fortunately, they changed their mind.

    I have three year lease up in July 06 and was considering buying it, but now I am not so sure.

    This was my first new car. All of my previous used cars never had a strut problem except for a twenty year old cutlass with 270K miles.

    My advice to anyone out there with an Altima is to get the struts replaced or at least checked before your warranty expires.
  • shekharshekhar Posts: 23
    Paid $20 to "All Tune & Lube" joint for checkup. They checked the fuses, relays (all was OK) and finallyadvised me to go for a $60 removal & refill process. By that time the technician found one electrical connection to be broken, this is for the wire that goes into the compressor. They chartged me additional $25 for "splicing the wire" :mad: but that solved the problem. They wanted to sell me 1 lb of freon for $40 which I politely declined.
    All in all, it pays to check the wiring "beyond the fuses and relays"
    Lesson Learnt!
  • jft26jft26 Posts: 35
    Does anyone know the location of the Flasher Relay for this vehicle? Thanks.
  • Any of you guys know where I can get some cheap airbags for my 98 alti. The dealership is saying they haved to order them at a cost of about $1000.00. Even if they are used but in excellent condition.
  • financfinanc Posts: 6

    I noticed the same thing last week and I have an appointment with the local Nissan service this week to have this problem checked. How did they treat the case? Did they take it as a problem or did they claim it was a design feature that we should learn to live with?

    Thanks for any response.
  • Sales guy looked at it and said I could have the tech guys look at it but I asked to see another 3.5 SE 2005 and test it out. He let me sit in another 3.5 SE and I played around with the A/C controls and the same results. So I chalked it up to a design issue. Here is the interesting part. I went to an auction and they had a 3.5SL 2005 and I tried the A/C controls on it. On the 3.5SL you cant have A/C on with out having the recirculate button on. If you trun off the recirculate the A/C light will automatically go off and if you turn on the A/C the recirculate light will automatically go on. This does not happen in the 3.5SE. Thats a bunch of crap. I really think that the 3.5SE has design issues but was just designed for speed and performance and 3.5SL has the good quality/design that the 3.5SE lacks. Reply back on what the dealer says about your A/C
  • financfinanc Posts: 6

    Thanks for the response. Mine is a 2005 S and as long as I don't touch the recirculate
    button, A/C button works fine. If the recirculate button is turned on for any reason either by me or by pushing the MAX A/C, the A/C compressor comes on as if the A/C button was pushed and it stays on till the engine is shut down. For example, I can start the A/C by only pushing the recirculate button although the A/C button is off. Since you can start A/C by pushing the recirculate button, why do you need to have an A/C button? I hope they don't claim that is a design feature built into the A/C system. I hope to post the response I get from the Nissan Service tomorrow.

  • The car has no oil pressure. We changed the oil filter & still has no oil pressure. What could the problem be? The car runs just has no oil pressure. Help!!
  • mrachmrach Posts: 1
    Thanks for the info. This worked! 100% better. Have a 2005 Altima SL and the vibration was so bad above 60 mph I dreaded getting into the thing each day. Like others, I was getting the run-a-round at the dealership; wheel balancings, excuses and Nissan reps. Took me longer to gather the screw driver and pliers to remove the clips than it did to take them out. What is the purpose of the air dam? Can it be left off?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Remove the oil pressure sending unit and install a mechanical pressure guage to verify oil pressure.
  • What are the main differences between the 2005 Altima and the 2005 2.5S Altima. I just need to know in case i go used. thanks
  • ewe2ewe2 Posts: 20
    I just purchased a new 2005S and also went to the dealer about this. This info is on pages 4-12 thru 4-21 of the owners manual and unfortunately it is a built in feature. I am currently selling my 2005 Altima after only 600 mile because of this feature. And the A/C will turn on if you use the windshield/floor setting and windshield only setting. Once it's activated the only way to turn the A/C off is to restart your car. Very bad design especially with the raising price of gas. Quoted from the pages of the owners manual.

    Taken from the owners manual.

    Defrosting or defogging.

    When the "Windshield Only symbol" is selected. The air conditioning automatically turns on (However the indicator light will not illuminate) if the outside temperature is more than 36 degrees. The air conditioning system will continue to operate until the vehicle is restarted, even if the the air flow control dial is turned to a position other than the "Windshield" position.

    Heating and defogging.

    When the "Windshield and Floor symbol" is selected. The air conditioning automatically turns on (However the indicator light will not illuminate) if the outside temperature is more than 36 degrees. The air conditioning system will continue to operate until the vehicle is restarted, even if the the air flow control dial is turned to a position other than the "Windshield and Floor" position.

    Dehumidified defogging.

    When the "Windshield Only symbol or the Windshield and Floor symbol", or positions in between are selected, the air conditioning automatically turns on (However the indicator light will not illuminate) if the outside temperature is more than 36 degrees. The air conditioning system will continue to operate until the vehicle is restarted, even if the the air flow control dial is turned to a position other than the "Windshield" position.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    You're joking I hope...right? Can't you just live with the a/c system the way it is? Why take a loss on something so...minor? Am I missing something here or what. If the a/c works cold like it should, what's the problem? I can see if you had serious issues like some on the Mazda 3 boards, but sell because of this...?
    Someone please help me understand in a simple reply, don't need all the details, just the necessary facts about what's wrong and what y'all think about the way it should work.
    Thanks all. On our '01 Alty, the a/c system was so simple and it always worked. Even our new 3 a/c works like it should.

    The Sandman :)
  • Are you saying that the A/C NEVER turns off once it is started other than turning off the car? It should turn off when you turn off the fan. It should not run when the fan is off even if the A/C button is pressed or recirculate is pressed. I would deal with having to turn the fan off and on instead of taking a loss of like 2k-3k on a brand new car. I only have 700 miles on my 3.5SE and I would not take the loss. Also the warm months are less then half of the year. You won't need the A/C in the other months.
  • ewe2ewe2 Posts: 20
    But if you re-read what I copied from the owner's manual it states. If you use the defroster/heater mode or the defroster only mode, the AC turns on if the outside temp is above 36 degree. And the only way to keep it off is to not use the defroster mode at all. I live in the north east where you use these settings most of the fall/winter/spring seasons. So you will end up driving your car with the AC always on. Unless as you say, turn the fan off. But when you turn the fan back on, the AC will come back on.

    Unless you go outside in the morning. Start your car and turn the defroster on to de -fog/ice your windshield. And then when your ready to leave. Restart your car with the defroster setting off and drive. But remember. If during that drive you need to use your defroster again. The AC will be on until you shut your car off.

    Now I commute on the NYS Thruway 50 miles each way to work. So if I have to use my defroster during that commute. I end up running the AC thus decreasing my gas mileage.

    It's a very poor design. And to me. Yes, worth the 2 or 3 grand loss.
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