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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • So when you took it to the dealer, it went in reverse for them but it won't for you? That happened the first time we dropped the Altima off at the mechanic -- they said it was fine. And it worked fine for a few more days, but then it stopped going in reverse again. It revs like it's in neutral, but won't move. So we dropped it off at the dealer over the weekend. They confirmed it wouldn't go in reverse but wanted to charge $3,300 for a new transmission. The warranty has ended because it was used when my boyfriend bought it. Ironically, had he bought it new, Nissan would have to replace the transmission because it'd be under warranty. So now, we're just sort of in disbelief that a Nissan's transmission would need to be replaced after less than 60,000 miles!
  • ewe2ewe2 Posts: 20
    I've complained about the same thing. Seems Nissan did this because this car has a tendency to fog the windows and they were receiving complaints about the fogging. I guess it was too hard for people to push the ac button when needed themselves.

    I'm also finding out that the fogging problem might be due to the cabin filter. So I am going to take the filter out and see of the fogging problem disappears.

    Honda will be a replacement for this piece of crap.

    Nissan replaced the Stanza with the Altima and it's never been as good. It might be faster but that is all it has got going for it.

  • That's funny, I have a 2002 3.5 with just about the same amount of miles. Yes I'm having the same oil problem. A mechanic said the same leak. He did mention that it could be the piston rings; I'm not a mechanic but I know that's an expensive fix. Between oil changes I'm accustom to dropping a quart of fresh oil into the engine, seems to work. The Fall weather seems to help. Question: is your Altima making "marble-like" noises around 2500 RPM? Could it be that the chain belt needs tightening?
  • Just as an update: it turned out to be a bad drive shaft pulley. It was not allowing the serpentine belt, and the various other belts, to move as they should. As a result the car wasn't shifting out of 1st or second gear so thats why i had the problem accelerating and the poor gas mileage. It cost about $150.00 to repair - not bad.
  • I had the same problem. Misfire on 4 code. Changed injector,distcap,spark plug wires,checked compression. Finally looked to see if the coil was jumping spark. Took two screws off inside stater cover. Found tempered disk had been bent and lost a couple little lines in the sensor spokes I guess you call them. Any way I went to the auto salvage yesterday and bought a distributor. Put it in last night and it smoothed out and the light went out after about half a mile. So far so good!!
  • mrk94mrk94 Posts: 3
    My '94 started making a clicking noise behind the dash a few months ago whenever I used the AC or just ventilation, but I could play with the selection buttons and in time would usually find a way to stop the noise. Somewhere along the way the fan's infamous 1st speed resistor went out, leaving me speeds 2,3, and 4...I don't recall if it was before or after the noise appeared. Now, the clicking is there whenever I have any button other than Bi-Level selected...EVEN WITHOUT THE FAN BEING TURNED ON! Recirc. doesn't make any difference. The output is still directed according to the button selected, so I'm suspecting something at the air mix door since Bi-Level keeps it at sort of a "middle" position. Anyone ever diagnosed this? A worn part that keeps ratcheting when anything other than Bi-Level is on? Probably have to take half the dash apart!!! Thanks for any help!!!
  • I have had varied problems with my 2005 SE 3.5 (auto) ever since I bought it in July. The main problem I have is hearing a low rumble and vibration when traveling at certain speeds. When cruising at a constant speed of about 32, 40, and 50-something is when it happens the most. I get this vibration that can be felt through the gas pedal, steering wheel, etc... but is barely audible. It is a very low pitched rumble. It doesn't happen at all speeds, in fact only at very specific ones. I know this is not normal... the one I test drove didn't do this at all.

    It also seems to shift a hard from 1 - 2 and 2 - 3 when under light - moderate acceleration. Therefore, I have been thinking this is all transmission related... but the dealership refuses to acknowledge any of this is a problem.

    Any ideas, suggestions or similar experiences with an '05 out there????
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    I have no experience with the Altima, but from general experience I believe it's safe to say without fear of contradiction that when the selling dealer refuses to acknowledge an owner complaint, it's either time to request the service manager take a demo ride with you, try a different dealership's service department, or contact the manufacturer and request a zone rep meet to take a test drive with you. If he agrees with your complaint, then what HE says to the service manager, GOES. Unfortunately, not all new car dealerships take their responsibilities regarding warranty work as seriously as they should.* Fortunately, owners usually have choice within reasonable driving distance.

    *There was a time when auto manufacturers paid the dealership's regionally-adjusted normal shop hourly labor rate without question. The labor hourly rate would then be multiplied by the flat rate manual's listed repair time in hours for the final warranty claim compensation to be paid by the manufacturer for a warrantable repair. According to an article in "Consumer Reports" several years ago, that's no longer always true. Some manufacturers have scaled back to an arbitrary national hourly. In respsonse, some dealers who feel they're adversely affected by the manufacturer's attempts to control warranty costs (and who have a thriving service department adding to the dealership's bottom line with out of warranty repairs for which the dealer can and does charge full bore to the owners) have become a bit stingy about the work they'll accept on warranty repairs by solemnly claiming they can't duplicate or hear the problem the customer complains about. After all, they reason, why should they accept a pittance and tie up a service bay when there's some guy with cash or CC on hand who'll pay their regular shop rates just to be on the road again. Works out to, "Heads we win, tales you lose." for people needing warranty work since they can count on many warranted owners not pressing ahead to the next level.
  • edvkedvk Posts: 8
    All I can say is Welcome to the club, and good luck getting them to fix it.

    I have had the same problems, but they appear to going away (or I am just getting use to it).

    There was a bulletin posted that the heat shield on the catalytic converted may come loose, causing vibration during acceleration. Check out, under the 2005 Altima's

    I am looking forward to switching to winter tires, because I thing the Turanza's are a big part of the problem.

    Keep us posted if you resolve anything.
  • I have seen air bag light reset procedures for various years of the Altima where you turn ignition on and press the drivers door switch at least 5 times in 7 seconds. Is this procedure applicable to a 1999 year model of the Altima?
  • I'm so sorry! The light came back on and is still misfiring on 4. I would love to know what to do next!

    Sorry again!
  • doyindoyin Posts: 22
    You've most likely got an intake gasket leak.
  • doyindoyin Posts: 22
    Ive got a 97 altima which throws this code.It means the ECM and TCU arent communicating.No driveability problems because the TCU and ECM are directing their respective sensors,just not interacting with each other.Checked the connecting wire from ecm to tcu,no breaks but I think there's a connector in between which I havent been able to find.Anybody have any similar issue?
  • edvkedvk Posts: 8
    The temperature is -9 Celsius this morning. When I turned on the vent control to defrost on my 2005 3.5 SE, the A/C light turns on. Does this happen to others?

    Also, at the end of my trip, I was sitting in the car with it on, and notice the idle is not smooth, with intermittent stutters. Does this happen to others?

    Is there a fix for this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • doyindoyin Posts: 22
    A/C light coming up is normal.

    Dont know about the idling.
  • I also have terrible radio reception in my 2005 Altima! That along with wind noise inside car with windows up and, the starting problem when the car has been ran for an hour then sits for an hour, it cranks for a while then starts. My Altima has a whole 15,000. miles on it. I have taken my car to nissan dealer 4 times now, and Finally I think they are going to fix my car, they are also renting me a car while it is being done. I guess it pays to threaten to off load the car and buy a Honda!!
  • My 02 altima has 68k miles and for the last 10k it's been burning oil. At first they said it was a fluke, then since I had no leak they said it could only be the pcv valve which was serviced. Now the dealer has called me to say that I need a new engine for a mere $5600 because it turns out it is a blown head gasket and oil and coolant have leaked into the engine.

    Because my google search easily yielded a few people with the same problem, I think there may be serious problems with the 02s. Another symptom I had was that my heat wasn't working; turns out that was leaking into my engine also. I have seen a few people post about this problem too.

    I have contacted nissan consumer affairs because this car is a baby by nissan standards and SHOULD NOT NEED A NEW ENGINE. Have you explored your problem any further?
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    Very sad. It'll be interesting to hear how Nissan Corporate responds since the company is now owned by Renault - which, itself, is partially French government owned. (It's always bad when cousins marry or a government gets involved in private enterprise in peace time...)
  • considering buying my 1st Nissan, 1998 Altima.

    Tranny was recently replaced (automatic with push button over drive).
    The new tranny doesn't have OD (or is not hooked up correctly).
    1. What transmission would have been compatible that did not have over drive?
    2. What can I look for to see if it does have OD but isn't hooked up correctly?
    I saw no cables on the transmission so I'm assuming it's electronic, but how can I validate?
    Also, car has a VERY HARD shift 1-2 and 2-D, are these two issues related in anyway?

    Thanks in advance.
  • My Altima has 93K miles. However, ever since it had 12772 miles right after an oil change on June 3 2002, it started missing. Or rather jerking. I took it in and they told me they could not duplicate it. They did this several times. Finally they told me to put 91 or higher octane gas in the car. This helped but the problem never went away. And should I use regular gas the problem would definitely resurface even stronger. Now the engine light is one and it is doing it even worst. And, it is now gossling gas. Where before it didn't. I have had to go to Nissan Consumer Affairs also. It is documented that my car has had this problem from back then. I am waiting to hear from Nissan Consunmer Affairs. Or can someone suggest what action I can further take. I have to agree that there are serious problems with the 02s. The question is how can we get Nissan to accept responsibility for these problems. Several other poeple have written about the jerking problem which at a given point causes the engine light to come on. We all need some help.
  • My 02 along with missing or some put it jerking is also idling very high now. The idling high has just begun but like I stated before the jerking started within six months of having the car. Right after they serviced it. Now it is not just jerking it is jumping forward when you stop or put on the brakes which is very dangerous. I will agree with the person who stated that based on the information from goolge the Nissan Altima 02 does have serious problems.
  • I have several concerns after reading the last years worth of mechanical problems and lack of dealership support. However, I am still a die-hard Nissan fan after putting 150K on my 96 Maxima and having no problems other than normal wear. The problem I hear most often with the SE-R is if you live in the frozen tundra, your screwed with the low profile tires. Is there a reason people aren't putting on a winter all-season radial to combat that problem? Also interested in other SE-R owner comments / experiences. Thanks
  • xgxxgx Posts: 1
    :confuse: Mine is an Nissan Altima 96, 93,000 miles on it. Three weeks ago, it failed to start. Mechanics replaced the distributor and a sensor, saying there was an oil leak...cost me about 600 :sick: totally broken on this...three days later, it died on the road again and mechanics can't check anything out. When the engine cooled down for about half an hour, I could start it and drive fine. I feel I'm driving with a bomb...please help!!!Thanks..
  • under heavy accel. engine revs high but sounds like trans slipping. yes fluid is up to level any thoughts thanks for your input . Aaron
  • just posted a mess about my altima 03. having problem with slipping, my understanding is warr for 60,000
  • I own a 1994 Altima with the sane problem-There is a 12 volt solinoid inside the shift console that releases a pawl that keeps the shift lever from working until the brakes are applied.Once the brakes are applied the solinoid is energized and releases the pawl allowing you to shift out of park-The part is called: "shift lockout solinoid" it may be going bad or is binding.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    My son had the same problem on my 94 altima. Mechanic cleaned it up and drilled a small hole for oil to leak out of it. The leak of oil into the distributor is not uncommon. When you go over a bump it can splash up and coat the distributor. The hole will keep the oil from building up inside the distributor. I'm not a mechanic, so this is as close as I come to understanding the problem and solution. But, there has been no problems since.

    Good Luck
  • I am having issues with my 2005 altima not starting. It has been intermittent. Sometimes it starts right up and other times it does nothing as if there is no battery at all. It always has accessory power and it doesn't need a jump.. Took it to the dealer last weekend and they said the Idle Air flow module was programed incorrectly. When I went to pick up the car they said it was fixed but it happened again in their parking lot.....Thank GOD!!! The car only has 6300 miles on it and it is 4months old! The y better come up with something!! Any ideas?
  • After driving my 03 Altima 3.5 SE and then shutting off the engine, after about 30 seconds I hear a one-time metallic ping or popping sound. It seems to be from underneath rather than from the engine compartment. Normally it does it after I shut the car off, but on occasion it has done it when I stop for a red-light or Stop sign. Any ideas?
  • haefrhaefr Posts: 600
    My best guess would be contraction of the exhaust plumbing as it cools. May be nothng to worry about, but it might be a worth the peace of mind to have your mechanic check. If a clamp nut has worked loose, better to have it retorqued to avoid the possibility of lethal carbon monoxide gas entering a closed cabin now that cold weather is setting in.
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