Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Nissan Altima Engine Failures



  • I'm in the process of replacing my engine as well for my 2003 Altima 2.5L and Nissan consumer affairs was downright rude about my claim. I'm considering taking them to small claims court as I also replaced the headgasket on the failed engine and the cat converter for $2500 only for the engine to go majorly downhill after that. The only reason I'm replacing the engine is the dealer has agreed to install the engine at their cost for all my trouble.

    I also purchased this car new (from said dealer) and have babied the car over the last 7 years. Nissan is now dead to me....

    Has anyone had an luck taking on Nissan in small claims court? My car has 108K miles on it so I think my legal grounds are shaky. Hopefully they would just settle and I can get something back for my pain.
  • masterbigrahmasterbigrah Posts: 8
    edited March 2011
    I am going throught the EXACT same issues (108K miles on my 2003 Altima) and had the EXACT same experience with Nissan Customer Affairs. Talk about insult to injury! The dealer is playing stupid too which really chaps my hide!

    Lots of discussion of class action lawsuit but no sucess from what I can find. I guess there is too many other lower hanging lemons out there??

    Best thing we can do is encourage everyone you know not to buy a Nissan EVER!
  • I would seriously reconsider buying a Nissan. There styling is great but it is what's under the hood and how they treat their customers that counts.
  • I had the recall done at 40,000miles and my engine still failed at 108,000 miles because of the precat issue. It appears there are many others in my boat as well. I would suggest having that part of the exhaust removed/modded as that seems to be the only way to ensure the issue doesn't occur. Definitely watch the oil consumption because it can go downhill fast.

    Good luck!
  • tonderstonders Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot for your help. I plan on doing this modification. The 2002 Nissan which I have is currently running great, but I definitely want to ensure that it lasts. There are currently 97,000 miles on it and it just really worries me that so many people keep talking about how their engines go bad around 108,000.
  • tonderstonders Posts: 3
    Does anyone know once you purchase the header, do you also need to purchase a pipe to go along with it?
  • I am in the same boat as you. I took mine in for the recall at 22k and they didn't do anything. Now I'm at 107, and engine is on the verge of failing. Did Nissan do anything for you even though you were over the 100k mark?
  • Nissan Corporate didn't do anything for me. They told me, basically that I was SOL. The dealership, however bent over backwards for me and got me a great deal on a used car. I refused to put more money into my altima. As much as I loved the car initially, I had to get rid of it.
  • yelldogyelldog Posts: 3
    I hate my 2002 Altima. I hit 100K in 2008, the cat went out on the freeway, $1K hit at the dealership. That same year, the engine had to be replaced, another $3K hit. A week after the warranty expired on the 2nd cat, it went out again. Nissan is so sorry, they would not provide me any credit or help me out. I went after market and spent about $600.00. Jan 2011, my alternator went out, another $700.00 hit. It has been the biggest nightmare. At this point, I have to keep it just to depreciate all the money spent. Getting stranded and having no confidence, it is not a good feeling. I agree with masterbigrah, get rid of it before 100k, complete lemon. Atleast it has been paid for awhile.
  • nybrokernybroker Posts: 19
    I am considering an Altima 3.5SR -6Cyl engine those are ok please let me know if not this is a bit worrysome and I know Nissan support is the pits cant count on them for beans.
  • Amazingly, after literally a hundred calls to my Nissan dealer and Nissan North America, Nissan did agree to pay for a new refurbished engine fo my Altima. This was after my claim was initially turned down twice. I also had recently had the cat converter and head gasket replaced so I had already put $2500 in the car right before the engine failed.

    My local dealer really jerked me around as well and had my car for a total of 2 months while I was fighting Nissan. I believe the dealer ultimately had my claim raised to a claims manager at Nissan who approved the New Engine since they really felt sorry for all I had been through.

    In my case, the car has 107K miles on it, I bought it new from the same dealer and I had all of the service records for the car (all scheduled maintence was done at the dealer). I believe having he dealer put continued pessure on Nissan is ultimately what got their attention.

    My best advice is to be persistent! Good luck!
  • I have not been here in a long time, I just stopped in to see what is happening. I seen that the same problems continue to be happening with the Nissan Altima 2.5 engine. This has been a horrible mess for many owners, and nissan has done little to nothing to help. Please, all of you GO BACK AND READ THE PREVIOUS MESSEGES FROM THE BEGINING OF THIS FORUM. My first messege was #75, that's when I had my first experience with the nissan altima 2.5 engine precat problem, and it caused me much grief for a long time. The final and best solution was to get rid of the car. I now drive Toyotas and I have NO problems and am very happy with them. My best advice to you is to get rid of your nissan altima 2.5 and buy a Toyota or a Honda. You will be MUCH happier, like me. I recommend buying a car with a 4 cylinder engine. I get 35 mpg on the road with decent performance. Please try to encourage everyone you know to NOT buy nissans.
    Good Luck to All of You,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • ndiboyndiboy Posts: 36
    Please which of the Toyota's? Camry, Corolla or which one. Nissan is still good though not the best. Some of the facilities in the Altima is lacking in the Toyotas like winding down the front glasses with the key in the SL, MPG facility that Nissan introduced in the Altima in the Altima in2002 was added in 2008 by toyota Camry and 2010 for the corolla!!!!
  • I drive a 05 Pontiac Vibe (it has a Toyota Corolla 1.8L 4 cylinder Engine and drivetrain) and wife drives a 04 Toyota Highlander with 3.3L V6 engine. I get about 25 mpg around town and about 35 mpg on the road. Wifes highlander gets about 19 around town and about 24 on the road. Both very reliable & comfortable. The engines are so smooth on both, you can't even tell the engine is running when you stop at a light, you have to check the tach to tell.
    Which one to get? Just find one that suites you. They are all good, it just depends on what you need & what you want. Im not particular, as long as mine can haul all my tools and ladders and I can listen to AM radio, I'm fine. It does everything I need very well, including how the back glass opens up (most important, since I work out of my car, reach in to get tools out of the back).
  • jennylgljennylgl Posts: 3
    Hi Folks,

    I, too, am going through this experience. :lemon: I have started a blog detailing every bit of contact I've had with Nissan, as it happens.

    I would love for you to comment and share your stories. If you could comment and follow the blog, perhaps we could pressure Nissan to do SOMETHING.

    If you would like to share any details with me about your experience for posting on the blog, please email them to me at

    Thank you!
  • djmawndjmawn Posts: 1
    Who did you work with at head quarters? I am working with a Vakessha hood an arbitration specialist. I need a new engine as well and they will only pay for half. It would greatly be appreciated!
  • jennylgljennylgl Posts: 3
    edited May 2011
    Right now, I'm working with Lindsay Stevens -- apparently she normally works on the Nissan Leaf stuff ? They just did a re-org and the woman that was originally handling my case was Rebeeca and she is being trained to work in another department now. Her supervisor's name is Helena, but I haven't spoken to her. I'm not really clear how Lindsay Stevens got involved, but I don't get the idea that she is a manger or anything. I set up a facebook page if you want to join and tell your story. I'm trying to bring a lot of attention to this issue.!/pages/2003-Altima-Blown-Engine-Experience/1706774696- 57794
  • .. I was turned down because the VIN of my car was not among those recalled by Nissan.. despite the fact that I experienced the exact catastropic engine failure that caused the recall. BTW this catastropic engine failure is not limited to Altimas alone , sentras with the 2.5L engine are also affected.
    I will not buy another Nissan product because of the way I was treated. I was a die hard Nissan car guy, my wife had a maxima, I had a 300ZX twin wurbo, my son had an Altima, and my daughter had the murano. Nissan spends a lot of money on commercials to attract new buyers to their dealerships... all that money is now wasted on me.
  • unclelukeuncleluke Posts: 1
    Head gasket are blown because of overheating due to low oil. Jumped timing due to low oil pressure. ALL NISSAN ENGINES GO BAD BECAUSE THE OIL DISAPPEARS. The reason for the oil consumption issue IS caused by a bad catalyst. The engine sucks the substrate in and it scores the cylinder walls. This allows the oil to blow past the oil rings and burn in the combustion chamber and causes the loss of oil.

    I live in FLA where there is no inspections. I took my catalytic converter out. Issue solved. My 2002 Nissan Altima with 190,000 miles on it runs superbly. But if you're having issues with the engine do one or two things. Replace the engine with an used used 04 or 05 altima engine or dump it.

    Good Luck everyone
  • hfrendhfrend Posts: 1
    This morning my SES (service engine soon) light came on & stayed on in my 2007 Nissan Altima 3.5SL. When accelerating, my car jerks back & forth. It also will not go above 2nd & 40mph. I had a friend check my fluids (they are fine), he also hooked it up to his diagnostic machine to check for codes, which one code came up P1217 -meaning Engine Over Temperature (Overheat).
    With that said, let me also tell you that yesterday we had a really bad storm that caused flooding everywhere. I had to drive in water that was deep. Not up to my window deep, but above my undercarriage deep. Would that cause the problems I'm having? Someone please HELP!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    No, if your engine hydro-locked by sucking in water it would be dead, dead, dead.

    Sounds like the engine is going into some kind of protective "default" mode.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I have a 2002 Altima 2.5 with144,000 miles that is having the oil consumption issues that everyone else seems to have. In addition, I had low coolant a couple of weeks ago. I agree about the bad design of the "precat" being so close to the exhaust manifold which is in my opinion, a design flaw that Nissan is responsible for. If anyone has any information on a class action lawsuit against Nissan for this problem, let me know. It seems that is the only way they will be held accountable for this problem. It seems to be getting worse recently. I drive a lot of highway miles on my cars and have never had problems like this with any other vehicle I have had. I thought this would be a reliable car but I'm finding out that it's anything but.
  • Nissan did not give me anything... I had to pay $4500 for a Nissan dealership to install a rebuilt engine in my 02 altima.... the reason they gave me was that my vehicle was not a part of the recall.. Nissan has lost me as a consumer of their products .. .. that is the bottom line ... my last two vehicle purchases were from Honda ...
    If you bought the car new from a Nissan dealership go back there and make them aware of your problems. Call them , Email them, make them aware that if they do not; in some way, rectify, or make some concessions that you deem appropriate as a consumer, then you too will be a EX Nissan customer. Good Luck with your quest. Some people have been re-imbursed by Nissan . I was not one of them.. if you fight long and hard enough maybe they will do the right thing and pay for a new engine ..D
  • This is ridiculous. Anyone who has a computer and does the research elsewhere too knows Nissan is totally covering up a bunch of crap adn they will do anything adn everything to weasel their way out of it. Sure. EVERY car has problems. Agreed. BUT. . Type in Ford complaints. . HYUNDAI complaints. . NADA. . maybe a few hear and there NON LIFE THREATNING TOO. . THEN Type in Nissan oil consumption. . Nissan master cylinder, Nissan catalyc converter, Nissan FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Nissan stops WITH NO WARNIONG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY. . HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!! INTERESTING. . Isn't it? I have an 07 and the dealer actually pulled out the "SLUDGE CLAIM" on me after my car died in the middle of the road IN THE MIDDLE OF A TURN with oncoming traffic and my eight year old in the back seat. The warning light came on at a very inconvenient time, might I add! They said they would not honor the warranty because there was no way I didnt do that to my own engine. This is interesting considering I have had other cars in the past with NO probs whatsoever!! Iv'e evemn owned General Motors bottom of the barrel cars. . No life threatning scary issues! They "cleaned out the engine" Then suddenly a few months later I am unable to break very well and the brake light comes on for ONLY 2 seconds!! I take it in LEAK in master cylinder. Hmmm . They honor the warranty, of course, and fix it. I told them SOMETHING is wrong because of the rotten egg smell and white exhaust. . The bad acceleration. . the clicking when it starts the clicking as I accelerate. . and they said gee we can't find anything HMMMM INTERESTING. . Maybe this is because they lied to me from the get -go KNOWING this is the problem which caused the engine to cease on me?? THIS IS WHAT THE RESEARCH IV'E DONE SUGGESTS. . NOT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!!! I changed my oil. . I just didnt know I was suppose to change it EVERY 200 MILES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the last complaints I read was about a man opulling his wife and baby to safetey when a car caught fire and then in minutes engulfed in flames with no warning. . OMG!?!?! SERIOSLY?!??! THAT Does NOT happen people . Nissan is SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I'm at the point to where I have to replace the engine in my 02 Altima, but I'm worried once I do this and spend the money am I going to run into the same problems again? I thought the previous owner ran the car out of oil...I was wrong. Apparently this is Nissan's problem and they will not own up to it. I have read article after article on the 02's loosing oil..same thing I'm going thru, but now mine has the smoke to go along with it...So my question is....has anyone replaced their motor and have you had any problems since then?
  • Had an 2002 and 2003 Altima. Replaced the engine in the 2002 twice with the same problem. The 2003 engine was replaced once. I finally gave up and sold the cars. No more Nissans for me
  • Our 03 Altima problems have been similar to the others. Oil consumption at about 90,000 miles. It started at about 1qt. per 1000 miles and by the time my wife had to quit driving it , I had just put in 3 qts. after 70 miles. It was cheaper to drive our 84 GMC truck at 9 miles to the gallon. I had read the Technical Service Bulletin addressing the cat problem and the recall. We bought the car new but were never notified of the recall. I gave the VIN # to the dealer, but they showed no recall for that #. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and they had me get a diagnostic on the car at a Nissan dealer at a cost of $95.00.The results confirmed what I had suspected. The cat was coming apart from the inside and getting into the engine. Because the car was out of warranty, Nissan said they couldn't help me.
    After reading other forums, I really didn't have much hope for help anyway. I had to take that $95.00 chance. We had our Altima 2.5 engine rebuilt, and replaced the cat. The total cost was around $3100.00. Looking back on it now, I should have scrapped the car. Tha AC quit about 3 mos. later. Another problem these cars seem to have. The findings were the cylinders were out of round, 4 vaves were broken up on their perimeters, 1 cylinder had no compression at all. When I purchased the new cat, they charged me a $140.00 core charge. I questioned this, stating I had never paid a core charge on what is supposedly a new part. The parts guy couldn't give me an answer why. When I went back to dealer to return the old cat for the core charge, I made the same statement to a different person behind the counter and asked him how long Nissan had been doing core charges on their cats. He said they started in January of this year and that it started out as an $80.00 charge. I told him that the cat is what ruined the engine. I made another comment, that in my opinion, this was a way for Nissan to get these defective parts back. He said "it wouldn't surprise me". He said he was told that Nissan was running tests on them. I figure I have about 70,000 miles before this cat starts taking its toll on the rebuild. Hopeully my financial situation will improve so I won't have the car any longer than that. In 34 years, this is only the second new car we have ever purchased. I will never own another Nissan (this was our first) and would never recommend one to anyone.
  • I posted awhile back about this issue (I've started the blog and the fb page to bring attention to this problem.) and have since replaced the engine.

    I also replaced several sensors, including the mass airflow sensor. When I went to pick the car up, it still wasn't quite right and it sounds like there was water running through the glove box (kind of like a fish tank). Since then, I have had the thermostat changed, the water control valve and radiator changed. They have so far refused to acknowledge that there is somethign wrong with the engine or that they caused some kind of damage to the coolant system when changing out the new engine. They claim that the head gasket is fine, but that air has to be getting in from somewhere. Also, I never had this problem until they put the new engine in, so it stands to reason that they have caused some kind of problem. Right now, they claim I need to drive it get the air out. It's been over 300 miles and it's still trickling intermittently. I'm starting to regret not dumping the car when I had the chance. I erroneously thought I'd at least get a few more years out of the car with a new engine and new cats since my failure didn't occur until 90,0000 miles (though I had problems with it before then, it was still driveable). Any thoughts on what could be causing air to get into the coolant system? It is most prevelant when pressing the accelerator, though when there's lots of air, it will do it upon starting the vehicle.
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • sjv3sjv3 Posts: 5
    I replaced the engine on my '02 Altima last year after the head gasket and cat were bad. It consumed tons of coolant, wasn't burning oil yet, but all the shops said repairing would not be worth it. Found a shop that installed a Nissan rebuilt engine for about $3500 (much less than dealer).

    Two weeks before the 1-yr warranty expired, the new engine started burning lots of oil. Nissan required an 'oil consumption test' that I had to pay for, before admitting the engine was defective. Engine #2 now installed, but Nissan would not cover labor since they did not install it. Looking back, I would have got rid of the car if I knew what junk these engines are.
  • absalom231absalom231 Posts: 4
    edited October 2011
    was the engine you replace a remanufactured 2007 engine or was it the 02 engine? im asking becuase i 've had my nissan for almost 4 yrs and i never had any problems, (transmission was leaking in 09) but i purchase this car from a dealer ship and the engine has a seal of a remanufactured 2007 engine, the car fax shows in 07 the cat and engine were replaced and it runs pretty good. i wanted to know becuase im thinking of trading it in if im goin to end up with the same issues that everyone else is having. :confuse:
Sign In or Register to comment.