Long Term Reliability of Nissan Altima

bitpohbitpoh Member Posts: 9
edited May 2015 in Nissan
Hi all,

A newbie here. I am in the market for a new car with the intention of keeping it for long term use (thinking at least 10 years). I am very interested in the Altima 2.5s CVT sedan, but wife is a little worried about long-term reliability of Nissan cars.

A little bit of history: A few years ago I bought a used Nissa Altima 1995. Really like how the car drove, but it was giving me a lot of maintenance issues. Ultimately the headgasket blew at around 120k miles and I sold the car.

Wife remembers that car well. Hence her doubt about me purchasing another Altima. The way she puts it to me: "I keep hearing/reading stories about Hondas running up to 300k mile just fine, but you don't hear the same about Nissans do you?"

So, any long-term Altima owners out there? How long have you had your Altima, and how reliable has it been? Would really appreciate any input you would have on the subject matter. TIA!

See Also: Nissan Maintenance and Repair


  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    Well, I can't speak long term for the altima (mine is 2007), but I can speak for nissan reliablilty. First nissan I bought was a 1990 sentra XE. I put 220,000 miles on it over 12 years and traded it in running. in that time, I had to replace 2 cv boots, and one cv joint (about $150) 2 batteries, and a muffler. When I traded it in in 2002, it still had the original belts, hoses, atlenator, water pump transmission, clutch ect. The cv boots and joint were the only mechanical parts i ever replaced.

    Having been so reliable, in 1998 I bought my second nissan. A 200sx se. It now has 145,000 miles on it, and is 9 years old. In that time, the only work that was ever done to it was
    1. same day I bought it had to take it back to have a defective radiator cap replaced. the car still ran, but hot. the radiator cap wasn't properly pressurizing the system
    2. was recalled in 2000 (i think) because of a possibly faulty seal on one the windshield wiper motor.
    3. Replaced the front disc brakes at 79,000 miles, and 120,000 miles. the rear brakes are still original

    And that its. One defective part, one recall, and two sets of brakes.

    Its the reason I stuck with nissan and bought my altima.
  • bitpohbitpoh Member Posts: 9
    Hi jd, thanks for your reply. Certainly makes me feel more comfortable. I am surprise nobody else has responded to my question so far. Maybe they are out driving instead of spending time on this forum :).

    Anyway, any complaints so far for your 2007 Altima?
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    Not a one. It has actually exceeded my expectations. smooth, quiet, powerfull, roomy, and many more.

    Oh, and by the way, don't base reliability on used car experiences. some people abuse the hell out of their cars.
  • gar01gar01 Member Posts: 1
    I am the happy owner of a 97 Altima, actually purchased new in July of 96. As of eleven years now, I can say that there have only been two instances that my Altima did not start. The first incident was because I accidently left the interior light on overnight, (my own fault). The last incident was the distributor failing at the 139,000 mile mark. I now have 167,000 miles logged on this car. It also has the original timing chain which is supposed to be good for 100,000 miles. How's that for long term reliability?
  • sjv1944sjv1944 Member Posts: 6
    We purchased a new Altima in 1994 and drove it for 13 years and 137,000 miles. We had to replace the speedometer, radiator, and distributor in that time (I've since learned that the original distributor could have been fixed easily and much more cheaply than the $250 + labor that I paid but that is hindsight). The car was still running and driving perfectly when it was involved in a minor collision (some front damage and set off the air bags, $1500 to replace). We donated it to Goodwill and they auctioned it for $700 even with the damage.
  • wildestkabswildestkabs Member Posts: 13
    I have had 2 Altimas in the past. The first one, a 1996 model was absolutely trouble free. It got involved in an accident this year but I loved it so much, that I ended up buying a 1995 Altima SE. This one however, had its share of issues. But the main (only) reason for those issues was the extremely poor way in which the owner had handled the vehicle. I had to get some work done on it, but having been a Nissan owner in the past, I knew it was worth it. It now drives like a dream. Its got 135000 miles on it, no isses at all.

    Actually, a month or so back, I traded it in for a 2003 Honda Accord V6. I had been a huge fan of the Accord and had always wanted it. However, when I kept it for 3 weeks and drove it for 1000+ miles, it was no fun and totally boring. Fortunately for me, the deal fell through and I was able to get my Nissan back..

    This is just my opinion but I will tell you that I love driving the 1995 Altima more than the 2003 Accord V6. The Altima might not have the same power that the Accord does, but it definitely feels much sportier. I especially love its thick, leather wrapped meaty steering wheel. The leather on the Altima feels different and much better than the one on the Accord's steering..
  • ncage1974ncage1974 Member Posts: 15
    I also have had the same concerns as you but i was looking at the 3.5L engine. Nissan QA seems to have dropped significantly. From what i can tell when they merged/bought out by renault thats when their quality went down. Here is an article back in 04 about it:

    You can not look at older vehicles and compare reliability because from 2000 to 2007 there were so many changes. I looked at reliability at both JD Power & Consumer Reports and, in general the Nissans aren't highly regarded. Even below domestics. Most people not in the know will think Nissan are very reliable because its a [non-permissible content removed] car.

    Its a shame to because i REALLY liked the design and performance of the 3.5SE Altima. I don't know if i would ever get one though because of the worries about QA/long term reliability.

    Oh and on a side note. I have an 03 ford F150 4x4 FX4 with the 5.4L. Other than a seat sqeak its been 100% reliable. A guy at work has a 05 Nissan Frontier NISMO with a 3.5L engine. He bought his car 2 years after mine and he has had more problems than me (fuel pump went out almost immediatly after he bought the truck). He bought his truck new. Also his truck is not nearly as big as mine yet his gas mileage is the same or worse than my truck and he has to put premium in his.
  • hiwaymanhiwayman Member Posts: 98
    I have two Nissans. I have a '96 Nissan Pickup Truck. The only odd thing about it is that the paint on the wheel rims peeled off quite a while back. Other than that, the ONLY thing I've needed to do to the truck is replace the belts, which is quite normal. I have used and abused the truck for more than a decade, and it just keeps rolling.

    I've recently purchased a Nissan Altima Hybrid, so there's no long-term data to be had, there. It seems well made, and only minor bugs have made themselves known. Oddly enough, a rattle developed in the overhead soon after we bought the car. We took it in to the dealer, who found that my wife's sunglasses were rattling in the sunglasses holder :blush:

    It's important when checking for long term reliability of a car to NOT get sucked in by anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is when you judge a car (or anything, for that matter) based upon a couple of stories, rather than a trend of hundreds of instances. If you have a neighbor who's Nissan is a lemon, that is not a reason to not buy Nissans, any more than the neighbor on the other side who has a Nissan that never needs gas, has gone to the moon and back without a hickup, and can levitate ;) .

    A good place to go to see long-term reliability is Consumer Reports and organizations like that. While you may not be able to see evidence of your particular model if it's a new one, you can get a general sense of the stable of all the Nissans by looking at the reports. Those reports are gathered through questionnaires sent out to new car and not-so-new-car owners. They're usually pretty good.

    Nissan's record of reliability has been somewhat spotty for some vehicles, and better for others. Nissan is paying attention, though, and I personally believe they are the hidden gem of brands. Their cars in the past few years have gotten significantly better across the board. They are fighting that legacy reputation, but the quality of their product is now very good.
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    Nissan quality is fine. they did drop a some a couple years back, but it wasn't due to the renault deal. It had a lot more to do with the companies near bankruptcy. But, things are better now. their current so-so reliabilty ratings has a lot more to do with the competition greatly improving than nissan falling.
  • bitpohbitpoh Member Posts: 9
    Wow, this thread has certainly gotten more active lately. Unfortunately I haven't yet purchased my car. Got laid off recently due to company shutting down. So now everything has to wait. . . I have however had a chance to test drive the 2007 Altima 2.5s CVT since my original post and I am liking it quite a bit.
  • autojavaautojava Member Posts: 3
    Mine has several problem:
    1) about 56000 mileage (6 years old), I need to rebuild the auto trans with $3000.
    2) alternator need to be changed with $200 at about 80000 mileage,
    3) at about 90000 mileage (8 years), the intake gasket
    need to be replaced (leak with code P0304) with $700.
    Now it has been 110000 mileage.
  • karsickkarsick Member Posts: 312
    Just a little testimony to Nissan...

    We're looking to trade our Infiniti G20 (Nissan Primera to the rest of the world) for a new Altima.

    The 1994 G20 has 249,000 miles, with NO engine issues ever (other than one fouled injector at 110k).
    Never needed a CV joint or axle.
    Still blows ice-cold A/C.
    Interior w/black leather is immaculate.
    Drives & steers tight & sharp.
    No rattles or loose trim.
    Pearl paint is still rich & deep.

    Only issue now is a worn 5th gear synchro.

    That G20 was my first Nissan product, and the reason I'm considering another. :)
  • ken75ken75 Member Posts: 52
    I was in a similar situation two weeks ago. I did not know a lot about Nissan but I liked the Altima. Did a lot of research and finally bought the 2008 Altima 2.5 SL which, I am finding, is a great car to drive. I am looking for excuses to drive the thing leading the wife to think I may have something going on the side. I traded a great Ford F-150 which I had purchased for a particular purpose, and I have not regretted it yet. Two weeks does not make a history, but I hope everything goes good. If not, that is why I purchased the seven year warranty. Could be money down the toilet, but on the other hand...........
  • waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
    Nissan has already changed its image since 2002 and is now more concerned with performance, style, and looks. Nissan is no longer interested in high reliability like they did in the 80s and would rather get only average reliability ratings instead.

    According to Consumer Reports, the 1999 Nissan Altima is the most reliable Altima ever made in history. There's a high chance I think that Nissan will not make another reliable Altima again that will be better than the 1999. After 1999, Nissan Altima is getting more black dots. Toyota Camry and Honda Accord will continue to improve, but not Nissan Altima. Nissan is done, I think.
  • gooddeal2gooddeal2 Member Posts: 750
    Toyota Camry and Honda Accord will continue to improve, but not Nissan Altima. Nissan is done, I think.

    Did you know that Camry is not on the Consumer Reports recommended list anymore? :blush:
  • waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
    Yes I know the poor rating, but I can really bet for sure that the 2011 Toyota Camry, which will be the last year of this current generation, will be more reliable than the 2011 Nissan Altima. Like I said before, Nissan is done.
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    Like I said before, Nissan is done.

  • dtownmildtownmil Member Posts: 23
    "Nissan is done", what a joke. That's just dumb. I had a 97 Altima, 125,000 miles and ran like a top. Sister is driving it still with no problems. Now have a 2004 Altima with 40,000 miles, love it. Runs great, plenty of power for a 4 cyl. (2.5L) and wonderful gas mileage. I drove a 2007 rental for 2 weeks with the 4 cyl and CVT and loved it as well. The CVT is awesome! The 07 did feel a bit lighter and perhaps "cheaper" in some way than my 04 however.

    Looking at purchasing a Pathfinder or X-terra soon. Oh, wait...Nissan is done...Ha.
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    You're right waltchan, Nissan IS done, if they don't change their ways. The 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S seems to be proof of that. There are more reports every day of the Catalytic Converters failing, engines burning lots of oil and engines needing to be replaced. Just look over in the Edmunds Nissan Altima Engine Failures Forum. I already had to pull the head off a 2002 Altima 2.5L to fix the engine. Please don't buy a Nissan without first checking the history out throughly.
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    lol, your funny man. you do realize nissan just completed a year that saw better sales gains then GM, Ford, Toyota, and Honda? over 6% growth in a down market. thye also consistently run higher margins than all thier competitor, earing billions of $$$ a year. Yea, they're about finished if you ask me.

    sure, they're some people how had engine problems with the altima. but the number of them compared to the over 1 million altima cars sold make it staticticaly meaningless.
  • hackdhackd Member Posts: 65
    I actually saw on the news that Nissan just claimed bankruptcy. They cited the fact that electricdesign from the Edmonds board claimed they are done so knew the writing was on the wall.
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    Ha ha ha! That is funny man!
    Maybe there are a lot of people that are happy with Nissan, but some are not. I'm not sure how the numbers run, but when it happens to you, then it's a lot more personal. When you get screwed by Nissan, it does'nt make you want to go out and buy another Nissan.

    I'm glad you guys are happy with your Nissans, and I hope they keep running well for you. But as for me, my next car will be a Toyota.
  • hackdhackd Member Posts: 65
    It is good to see you can take a joke as that all it was and nothing more. You have every right to not trust their cars due to a personal experience and I would probably feel the same way if I got burned by them. However, in terms of their success as a company jd10013 pretty much hit the nail on the head....they are more on the up swing these days. It seems every time I turn my head on the road I see an Altima or Murano. I actually don't own a Nissan but am considering one to replace my current car. I have been reading reviews and comments on this forums for all the companies to guide me on my decision and you will practically find owners with problems for all of them. Good luck on your next Toyota.
  • nofeernofeer Member Posts: 381
    when i last checked consumer reports the altima is the top family sedan above accord and camry. i drove one, soooo impressed with that engine/cvt combo--like who needs the v6, it's that responsive. my wife loved it, except for the sloping hood.
    maybe you can speak to the bluetooth in the altima, i can't find a local dealer that has one in stock (looked around christmas so inventory may be down)

    things my wife likes about this car
    push button start---won't have to fumble for keys
    bluetooth--won't have to fumbe for phone
    performance--than 4cyl with cvt is just great in the city perfomers like her turbo volvo
    looks (except for hood is "long" she has a volvo s40 now)

    the steering is lighter than the volvo she likes a bit more "sport" resistance in the turning

    trying to figure out if she can put the kids in the coupe WHICH IS SHARP
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    Maybe there are a lot of people that are happy with Nissan, but some are not. I'm not sure how the numbers run, but when it happens to you, then it's a lot more personal. When you get screwed by Nissan, it does'nt make you want to go out and buy another Nissan.

    no car company is perfect, and they all make lemons and have their share of problems. I don't blame you a bit for not ever being willing to buy a nissan again. there are several makes of cars that I won't touch for the same reason.

    You right, it does suck to get a :lemon: .
  • ken75ken75 Member Posts: 52
    In view of all I have read on this thread, I must wonder if the 2008 Altima 2.5 SL that we have had for two months will be operating by the end of the year. I have only 700 miles on the vehicle and think it is one of the finer vehicles I have driven with the CVT being pretty hard to beat. The only draw back would be the motor that sounds like the valves need adjusting. I do mostly city driving so I will call it 60% city and 40 % highway and I am seing fuel economy of 24.1 mpg as recorded by the on board system. Everything on the car seems to work as I would expect for a new vehicle and the in line four supplies more than enough ponies for what I need. The tires could have been upgraded to a higher quality, but as the car runs now, I am pretty happy. Fit and finish on the interior are certailny good enough on a 25K car but if I were paying 50K for a Lexus I may have a few gripes.
    What I am saying is that this is probably one of, if not the nicest, cars I have owned and as I have heard from others, longevity will have the final say. I put 6500 miles on a car per year and it will take a long time to get to the 80,000 to 100,000 mile mark where most of the observed problems have been seen, if there will be any problems at all.
    I am hopeful that all problems with the 2.5 L motor have been fixed or that if problems arise, the extended 7 year warranty I paid a lot for will work. I had more problems with my wifes 2006 Honda CR-V so this cannot be much worse. All I can do is hope that Nissan's engineering will do the job.
    When id10013 says "no car company is perfect" he says all that has to be said.
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    I don't think you have a thing to worry about, since you put such low miles on the car, you probably won't acumulate enough miles to see any significant problems. In your case, the long term longevity will not be a concern for you. Everybody loves those cars when they are new, so enjoy yours.
    My concerns about the longevity of the cars I buy is Great because I can not afford to buy new cars and trade them in every 3 or four years. I have only $12K to buy a car that I have to drive for six years, and I drive 15K miles per year. So with $12 K, I can buy an SUV that is about 5 years old with maybe 75K to 100K miles on it. Then I have to drive and maintain it for 6 years and another 90K miles, so it will have about 165K to 200K miles on it before I am ready to get another 5 year old SUV. So that period of miles between 75K and 200K MUST be reliable milage, hence I do a massive amount of research to be sure I get good reliable vehicles that will last a long time. During the time that I own the SUV, I do not want to have to pull the engine apart or pull out the transmission. I expect to do ONLY routine mantenance, such as engine oil and filter changes, air filters, transmission fluid flush and fluid changes, tires, etc.
    By the way, I drive a 2000 Ford Explorer XLT V8 5L Automatic with 148K miles on it, bought in 2005 and will sell it in 2011. Reliablity is extremely good, gas milage sucks. My wife drives a 1997 Ford Explorer XLT V8 5L Automatic with 164K miles on it, bought in 2002 and we will sell it in 2 months. Reliablity is extremely good, gas milage sucks. Next car for my wife may be a 2004 Toyota Highlander, we are looking now.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • gleppertgleppert Member Posts: 19
    Interested in purchasing a 2005 Altima 2.5S. Pics look great and sounds great on paper. An eBay Motors purchase. I'm looking for any feedback from '05 owners regarding vehicle reliability. Please reply regarding any issues.

    Also, looking for any feedback regarding dealings with eBay Motors. Thanks.
  • sinman1sinman1 Member Posts: 1
    I am also interested in buying a 2005 Altima 3.5SE. Can anyone please say anything about the "05 Altimas and if they are reliable or not.

  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    you can't go wrong with the 3.5. nissan's VQ engine that is in it is one of the best, most reliable engines on the market. Its also one of the fastest :shades:
  • winsanwinsan Member Posts: 36
    You can search the reliability at Consumer Reports. They usually have annual car buying guide - both for used and new car. Your local library should have the copy of it, or you can go online to your local library to download the electronic version.
  • pennyarcadepennyarcade Member Posts: 5
    :) I bought a 1993 Altima new. I still have the car. It has 285,000 miles on it. It is now having transmission problems, and I fear transmission repair or replacement would not be cost effective. I still love the car, the quality, reliability, solid feeling, and actually everything about it. The body and the interior are in great condition. The power windows work sporadically, and the a/c died last summer. I think it's time to say goodbye, but I'm emotionally attached to the car. We've been through a lot together. I researched new vehicles and found I really couldn't afford a new Altima. I bought a 2009 Toyota Corolla XLE 3 weeks ago and I love it. It reminds me so much of my Altima: the thick, leatherlike steering wheel, the interior, even down to the "wood" trim, solid feeling of the car, the console, the trunk, etc, etc. In fact, the only complaint I ever had with my Altima was its inability to turn short. My new Corolla even has a nice tight turning radius. Sooo ... I'm in love again. I only hope my new Corolla is as reliable in 15 years as the Altima has been. Just kidding, I don't plan to keep it that long ! I didn't plan to keep the Altima that long, either. Life got in the way.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    Since you liked the Altima so much, did you consider the Sentra (since you bought the competition...Corolla)?

    Just curious, since my daughter is looking at a new car purchase soon.
  • pennyarcadepennyarcade Member Posts: 5
    Busiris, I went to the Cleveland Auto Show and checked out the Nissan Altima, Sentra, Honda Civic and Accord, and the Toyota Corolla. I didn't like the way the Hondas "felt" when I sat in them; the deeply sloping windshields reminded me of a Neon I once rented in Boston. I actually liked the Nissan Sentra but discovered it was made in Mexico. My Corolla was made in Fremont, CA, but could have been made in Japan as well. No problem; to me, Japanese = quality. Mexican really doesn't. Perhaps the Sentra is made in more than one factory, like the Corolla. I did not research it. The one on display at the Auto show was 100% Mexican assembled. I've owned Toyotas in the past, so I went that direction instead. :)
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    Thanx! I appreciate your candid opinion.
  • elnino2783elnino2783 Member Posts: 5
    I've had mine since June 2006 and have never had a problem with it with 34.5K miles on it, 14K of them mine. The only "problem" I've had with it is that it has become a magnet for other cars to rear end 3 times now since moving to Washington State near Seattle. Washington state drivers = worst drivers ever. I only put a claim on the first accident though, since that was the hardest hit, but the replacement cost was about $300-$350 to repaint and refurb the bumper that came out of the other person's insurance. I only had them check it out to make sure nothing had been damaged where I couldn't see it, and nothing had been. I even get 34+mpg on the highway, but closer to 20-21mpg city.

    One other issue I learned within one week of having it was that the power windows had been calibrated incorrectly and they would move to a default position of partially open whenever I fully closed them. Problem solved the next day when I brought it in.
  • enelson92enelson92 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 05 Nissan Altima 2.5S. I bought it in 2005 with 10k miles on it. I love this car. It will be three years old in two weeks and I just rolled 88k miles lastnight. I spend quite a bit of time driving and my car has been great with no mechanical problems. I took it in once for recall work and all they ended up having to do was adjust the computer setting. I never even noticed a problem, just following up with the recall request. I get great gas mileage and I plan on keeping it for quite a long time. This was my first foreign car purchase and Im happy I did it. I would definitely recommend an Altima to anyone.
  • roadrunner70roadrunner70 Member Posts: 241
    my 03 murano needed a new gas cap at about 35000 miles. my new altima's gas cap seems to loosen on its own, sometimes i can tighten it and the light goes off, sometimes i can't and it stays on.

    anyone else having issues with nissan gas caps.

    the dealer is taking its time replacing the altima's cap.

    thanks, rr70
  • altimadude00altimadude00 Member Posts: 5
    I bought an '05 Altima with 38k last August. The owner hadn't performed a 30k maintenance on the engine before I bought it. However, after having it done, the car runs smoother and had a 3-4 increase in fuel econ.

    It's my personal belief that the engine failures were with early versions of the engine and had been addressed before the 05 models came out. My engine does not burn any oil.

    The car does have some wear issues on the inside. (Again, my car was used.) The glove box door has deep scratches in it and the "wood" trim has a soft clear coat and scratches very easily. Beyond that, nothing has fallen off, torn, or broken. I've had no electronic issues with the car either.

    The car has 43k on it now and runs fine. I have had only one mechanical issue:

    Parking overnight on an incline, the fuel apparently drained away from the engine, and it wouldn't start. After pumping the gas pedal while cranking it, the engine started. Afterwards, I dumped a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the tank and since did the 30k maintenance on it. This may have been a fluke since I have not been able to repeat it, or the treatments to the fuel system fixed the problem.

    I have also had to repeatedly align the car (three times since purchase 8/08). This may be the fault of the shop just as it might be with the car.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy your Altima! :)
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    It's my personal belief that the engine failures were with early versions of the engine and had been addressed before the 05 models came out. My engine does not burn any oil.

    the thing to keep in mind with the oil problem is that; even though it it real, and has happened to a lot of people,
    it still represents a very small percentage of altima's on the road. the altima is the best selling vehicle nissan has, or has ever had. It has sold well over a million units, and continues to be outsold by only the camry and accord.

    I know thats of little consolation to those who have had the engine problems. but it does get blown out of proportion here. For every person here who's had an altima develop the dreaded "oil consumption" problem, there are thousands who haven't. and being as the problem didn't show up in every altima equipped with with QR25DE engine, it only stands to reason that it must require a fairly precise sequence of events to cause it. Probably involving driving habits, type of fuel, and whether or not the recall was performed, and performed properly. It's probably also notable that most of the people who have had the problem have had it on cars they've bough used.
  • electricdesignelectricdesign Member Posts: 681
    Additional comments:
    It seems that most people that own 2002 on up Altimas, who have the excessive oil consumption problem or the bad cat problem, are people who bought them used and have milage above and beyond the warrenty. Though some cases have appeared during warrenty, most I have heard of are after the warrenty period, but still in a timeframe where you would expect an engine to last. So, how long do you think and engine should last? From my long experience, I think a well cared for engine should easily last over 200,000 miles. I drive all my cars to at least 160K to 200K miles, and they remain reliable and trouble free, with no major engine or transmission work, BUT you have to buy the RIGHT ones, do the right maintenance, and most of all do your extensive research before you buy the vehicle.
    The problem starting with the 2002 Altima is that it had a NEW 4 cylinder engine, the QR25DE and had no history to research at the time. But as time has went by, it has now developed a history of unreliability for some of the owners. My personal opinion is that the fault is not in the engine itself, as I have torn down and worked on the engine, and it seems quite well built. It seems to me that the problem stems from 2 possible sources,
    First, the computer programming may allow lean mixtures at inappropriate times, causing the exhaust to run too hot "under certain conditions" burning the catalytic converter top screen, thus allowing some inner cat material chemicals to break loose and get sucked back into the engine, damaging the inside of the engine.
    Second, the precat itself fails because the top screen fails or burns and allows the precatalyst material to be released and get sucked back into the engine and producing excessive wear in the pistons, piston rings, and cylinder walls.

    From what I can surmise, there are two ways that this problem could have been avoided.
    First, the computer should have been programed properly. Those that are not should be "reflashed" to correct the computer programing.
    Second, the Precatalyst should have been better made with a heavier duty top screen that would not burn out and allow the release of the catalyst material back into the engine.

    Further comments;
    Other manufacturers use the same precatalyst set up on their cars with no problem, Toyota and Honda as examples. That is because the computers are programed properly and the Precatylitic converters are well made to contain their chemicals.

    E,D. in Sunny Florida
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779

    First, the computer should have been programed properly. Those that are not should be "reflashed" to correct the computer programing.

    there was a recall issued to deal with the programming of the ECU. I'd be willing to bet that in the majority of cases involving the oil consumption problem that the recall either:

    1. wasn't performed
    2. wasn't performed properly
    3. was performed after the cat was damaged.

    any of those three would also explain why this problem only happens to some, and not all altima's with the QR25DE engine, and why it almost exclusively happens in cars bought used.
  • adambommb29adambommb29 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2003 Altima 2.5S. I have enjoyed it since I first got it in late 2002. The engine just began burning oil at 160,000 miles and my mechanic said that I need to get a new catalytic converter. I love the car and would have considered a new one, but my mechanic told me that 2009 verstion is still being made the same way and may encounter the same problem because of the location of the cat. conv.

    Should I expect the same problems with the '09 verstion? He said I should look at the 3.5 because it definitely would not have the same problem.
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    I haven't heard of any problems with the 2007 and up altima. But he is correct, the 3.5 is a much better engine. it's been on Wards top ten engine list for about 12 years now.
  • clarencehollowclarencehollow Member Posts: 60
    Those stories about Honda's are just that - stories. The new Altima is excellent and will last you 40 years. Remember that since 1995 we've made a lot of progress in the world. if you don't think Honda's require a lot of maintenance, just watch the service department at a major Honda dealership... many sick cars go there, and many of them don't make it past 100,000 miles.
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    I own a honda in addition to my 2 nissans. and honda builds excellent cars. though I probably wouldn't buy one for myself, I wouldn't hesitate to get another one for my wife, or even on of the kids when they can drive.
  • whitallwhitall Member Posts: 190
    Also posted this question on maintenance board.

    Helping my son make decisions. He will spend $12,000 to 15,000 on a used car. He really likes the Altima and can get a 2006 with mid-high 30,000 miles for about 12k. He can get a 2008 with mid 20,000 mileage for 15k+. These are all pretty entry level cars without upgrades.

    I vote for the 2008 because it had warranty left on it and comes with lots of airbags and ABS. Some of the 2006's have ABS, but not side airbags. He is 19 and could care less about safety.

    He will (without a doubt) be putting bigger rims on it, I've herad him mention 20's, 18's minimum. He WILL be putting in a sub, amp and head unit (wants some DVD thing). So there is no point in getting one with upgraded sound and steering wheel controls.

    This stuff will void out parts of his warranty, right? Making the warranty on the '08 less of an issue.

    Altima redesigned in 2007? Is that year one to stay away from? I had told him re-design years are usually bad. I have an 06 Murano that is great (really low miles though) and read horror stories on the early model years, that is why I am afraid of the 2007. SHould we be afraid of the '07? 2007 would give him a little warranty...I like the idea of him getting the "newer" design for value, but the '06 has a nice price! (most of the cars with good prices are fleet or rentals)

    OR, he hasn't looked at the Accord. HOw does that compare safety wise, price wise?
  • jd10013jd10013 Member Posts: 779
    OR, he hasn't looked at the Accord. HOw does that compare safety wise, price wise?

    safety wise, they're probably about the same. I would imagine the crash ratings are pretty near ientical. Price wise, you're going to pay more for the accord. The accord has the best resale value in the class, so if your buying used, its going to cost you more. and because of the exceptional resale of the accord, a 2008 is probably going to cost pretty close to what a 2009 would.
  • rondholrondhol Member Posts: 32
    weak engine mounts, bad pre-cat, ECU program updates, weak front struts, weak MAF sensor on 02-03 model, body flex (creaking noise under the suspension) noise cause by loose brace bolts under the cowl, head gasket failure.

    Check all those problems before you buy any altima 02-06.
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    You are correct, the engine problem is getting blown out of proportion by people hear; every car manufacture has at least 1 or 2 cars out of every 100 that are defective mechanically, technically, etc; those 1 or 2 people who get those vehicles come on hear and bad mouth an entire brand based on their bad experience; I have several relatives that have several pass generation altimas with over 120k miles on them who have had no major mechanical/technical problems with the altima other than normal maintenance; I drive a 08 Acura TL and had several technical and quality (build-quality) problem has soon as I got the vehicle and Acura is suppose to be one of the best quality/reliable cars up there with lexus yet I had problems yet I don't put acura down as a brand because I have had another acura with no problems what so ever and they do make pretty nice vehicles yet people come on and bad mouth nissan like they are crap; I test drove both a 2009 3.5SL Altima and a 2010 Camry XLE V6 last week and felt the build-quality and materials in the altima were far superior than the camry; in the camry, the buttons felt flimsy and there were gaps in body panels, lose body panels, and rattles during the test drive; I saw none of this in the altima; since 2007, nissan has come a long way with the altima and I feel the altima has surpassed the camry and is very close to quality to the accord; I think that when the redesigned 2012 altima comes, it will be even better than this one
Sign In or Register to comment.