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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • vgvgvgvg Posts: 12
    My husband says it is a rubber piece, looks like it was glued up to the floorboard. The zig zag is actually a tear. What's up with that????
  • lorjosclorjosc Posts: 2
    There is a class action lawsuit that is in the beginning stages go here to sign up
  • skinsfan3skinsfan3 Posts: 78
    As far as I know, the altima does not have a timing chain.
  • karolpl7karolpl7 Posts: 40
    I have a Nissan Altima Hybrid 2008 model and just received an offer to update GPS software for $99. Usuall price is $200 and sometimes Nissan would send coupons for $20-$30, but this is 50% off so best deal yet.

    Did anyone have experience with the update? Is it worth it or are there any updates to the way GPS operates?


  • gollsgolls Posts: 21
    This appears to be a common problem with 2002 Nissan Altima - the catalytic converter goes bad, the head gasket blows, the engine starts burning oil like mad and finally it needs engine replacement. My car has all of these problems. According to Kelly Blue Book, the private-party value of this car in good condition is $6k. The dealer is asking me for roughly $4k to replace the engine and the catalytic converter. My car has less than 80k miles and it is less than 8 years old, but the dealer is refusing to replace the cat and the engine under warranty because I drove the car with a known blown head gasket problem for a couple of months. So, I am not sure what to do now. Should I pour 4 grand into this ? My worry is that there may be other problems that surface after I put so much money into it. Would I be better off donating the car/selling it off as is and buying another used one (maybe a Hyundai or a Kia which has a 10 year/100k miles warranty)? I recently bought a new Toyota Sienna and I only need a second car for commute to work (8 miles each way). Looking forward to some good advice. Thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Tough call. The problem with major repairs like this is that it becomes difficult to control costs. You have the engine out, pieces all over the floor, and while the estimate was $4K, they call you up and say (perhaps quite honestly) "well, we found a bad____" OR "Look, while we're in there, it's crazy not to replace the ____".

    I don't think $6K is a realistic price if this is a 2.5S model---more like $4500 to $5K in the real world is all your car is worth. So really the car is totalled if you think about it.

    The REAL question you should be asking I think is not about what your car is worth, but:

    "What can I buy for the amount of $$$ I"m going to put into my car?"

    If after $4K you feel you'll end up with a clean, good running car with NO OTHER PROBLEMS (like bad tires, other issues), then I'm thinking you can't buy much on the used car market for $4K.

    But for $6,000 or so, there are some attractive used cars out there.

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  • gollsgolls Posts: 21
    Thanks for your perspective! I agree that the car can be considered almost totalled. The decision is still tough because at least I know I have taken good care of this car, and there are no other major expenses imminent (tires are in good shape, brakes were replaced recently, shocks/struts replaced recently, AC works fine), but I will have no idea about another used car I buy in the market.
    On the other hand, given the number of problems I have experienced with this car in the last year, I am not confident that the car will be entirely trouble free after $4k. With another used car, may be I can get it thoroughly inspected before buying, or buy a certified used car, or a car still under powertrain warranty and get some peace of mind. Even if the used car costs more than $4k, that car will probably have more residual value when I decide to sell it compared to my Altima, which will not sell that well given its repair history (and also the fact that it has an accident on record). Not sure what to do :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    There's no easy or obvious answer here as your situation is a bit of a fence-sitter. I'd just sleep on it and rely on your gut feeling after considering the pros and cons. Keep in mind though, that your car, unfixed, is worth very little to anyone.

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  • 2002 Altima 3.5SE has a surging alternator, it fluctuates between 12.5 and 13 (amps?), which is apparently a normal range. This was tested at Autozone. Also, the alternator does not come on until engine has been revved past 2000 rpms. Once on, it ebbs and flows causing any lighted object to flicker. Also, when in drive there is a slight lunge forward sensation, which is most notable at or near a complete stop. If put in nuetral, the lunging stops and the idle goes from 700 to 1200 rpms. Otherwise, the car operates normally. At this point it is more annoying then anything else. (The battery light and brake light both stay on until alternator starts. No problems starting the car. No check engine light.)

    A new alternator is $500-600 installed, so I was hoping it might be a sensor or other less expensive fix. Any suggestions?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    between 12.5 and 13V is not a normal range at all. That's a toasted alternator.

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  • It may have been 13.5 to 14 volts. This was at idle and was at the low range of normal operation, at least according to the Autozone guy. Is this perhaps a voltage regulator problem? If so, is this sensor part of the alternator? I would hate to replace the alternator, only to find out it was actually something else.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Well you'd have to be sure of the test reading on the alternator in order to make that decision. The regulator is part of the alternator, near as I recall for the Altima.

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  • danny44danny44 Posts: 14
    so here is the deal: I start out with everything being fine, the battery is hooked up as normal, getting good voltage reading with my multimeter accross the battery posts them selves good reading from neg to neg side engine mount ground and good reading from pos battery side to neg engine mount ground. I go to try to turn it over, power is good, i engage the solenoid (i hear it click) and everything goes dead. absolutlely no power to anything. i go back to the engine compartment with out doing anything to the battery yet check voltage across battery posts=good, neg batt post to neg ground=good, pos batt post to neg ground=bad. i disconnect the neg batt and reconnect and everything is restored, good readings from the three test points i've been using and power is restored to the car, until i try to turn it over again solenoid clicks and BAM dead. i think it might be grounding out someplace in the starting circuit, maybe AT the solenoid? any ideas or hints so i can rule things out or at least verify that the solenoid is the culprit? thanks in advance
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    edited April 2010
    When it goes dead, see if your headlights work. If not, you have a bad battery of corroded / loose battery cables. If they do go on after the car is "dead", then you probably have a bad solenoid or a bad starter (dead spot on the armature).

    Keep in mind you are only measuring no-load battery voltage. You aren't testing the battery under load conditions. 8 flashlight batteries would give you the same readings, but couldn't start a car.

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  • wise1wise1 Posts: 91
    My other half just acquired a 99 Altima that is running good at this time, what problems should we expect in the near future?? It has 112K miles on it. I removed the spark plugs #1 and #2 and they were both very heavily coated in oil. How difficult will it be to put in a plug seal kit?? Will I have to put on a new valve cover gasket too?? I'm still a novice but like the challenge! :surprise: :surprise:
  • chrisp80chrisp80 Posts: 1
    have a 1997 altima gxe with front end body damage. was wondering what other years and models could be used to replace hood, headlights, grill, radiator core support. im not sure if 1993-1997 altimas and stanzas are pretty much the same. thanks for any help with this!
  • Call a junkyard and ask for a price on a "Front End Clip" for your car. The clip includes the fenders, so if you don't need them, ask for parts separately. The junk yard can "cross over" the 1997 parts to other years, and give you parts availability and prices. Call several junk yards to compare parts and prices.
  • I have a 03 altima 2.5s and we are having the same issues. I disassembled the floor console and found this switch. Unfortunately you cant buy just this switch from the dealer. They want you to buy the whole shifter assembly for $370, yeah that's screwed up. all for a simple switch. so i just unhooked the switch and tied off the actual lock until we can afford the whole assembly or i can find just a switch.
  • Yes! i have a 03 altima and sometimes it wont turn over but most of the time it will. after alot of researching i discovered there is a safety switch under the shifter assembly that allows the shifter to move from park ( and to start the car) after bypassing it it starts fine. but the lock doesnt work now. you cant buy just the switch they want you to spend $370 for the whole shifter assembly so if u find somewhere to buy just the switch please let me know... thanks
  • my 2005 altima idles fine but when i put it in gear it just boggs down and has no power...HELP!!!
  • You might have a plugged up Catalytic Converter or plugged exhaust. Check the exhaust gas at the tail pipes to see if enough exhaust gas is coming out. If you try to rev the engine and little exhaust gas comes out the tail pipes, you may have a plugged cat or plugged muffler. If this is the case, you can do a test to relieve the exhaust backpressure by either removing the lower oxygen sensor or disconnecting the exhaust pipe from the bottom of the exhaust manifold, whichever is easier for you. It will be noisey for the test, but if the engine starts and revs up, that means you found the problem.

    See messege #75 in the Nissan Altima Engine Failures Forum for more info on diagnosis and repair.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. in Sunny Florida
  • tomscot2tomscot2 Posts: 33
    I cannot figure out how to get to the tail light bulb on my 07 Altima Hybrid? The owners manual says to contact the dealer.

    Thanks for any help.
  • neo_neo_ Posts: 14
    I have done ~28K so far. Yesterday, I took the car to the dealership as I was feeling pulsation while applying brakes. I was told that all 4 rotors had got badly rusted and needed replacement. Front brake pads too. It cost me $610 :( I have had this problem before too when they just machined the rotors. I don't think the rotors should get rusted so soon. When I asked, rain and snow were given as the reason. I live in Milwaukee.

    What do you guys think? Is think normal wear and tear? I am mainly concerned about the rotors needing replacement so soon.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    Sounds like the rotors were replaced because they were warped, not rusted. Some surface rust on the rotors of a car in everyday use is not a problem at all, but warpage would cause the pulsing pedal.

    Brake wear depends a lot on how your drive and where you live.

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  • skinsfan3skinsfan3 Posts: 78
    I have a 2003 2.5s with close to 90K miles. It is going in today for the same. I was quoted about $750 plus tax and the car will be finished tomorrow. I am having the work done by my local mechanic, whom I have used for years on our old Z. If I have had any problem with their work, they have always stood behind what they have done.
  • neo_neo_ Posts: 14
    That's the thing, I am a very careful driver. I don't accelerate or brake too hard. That's what's puzzling me even more.

    Are there any Altima owners around Milwaukee with similar problem?? Those who have changed their rotors, at what mileage did you have to do it?
  • roopsterroopster Posts: 3
    I took my 2007 Altima 2.5S in for it's yearly inspection, & the station owner/mechanic, who is very reliable in our town said I should have the front brakes done. The car has 45,000k on it, & he said they weren't even that bad. The rear axle was just fine. He replaced the factory pads with ceramics, & turned the rotors. We have bad winters & plenty of hills. Plus, my wife is not very brake friendly. I would venture to say your rotors are warped.
  • dllaserdllaser Posts: 4
    After 1.5hrs highway driving, did a pit stop. Car had NO power going forward.
    Eventually got above 15MPH and then car accelerated normally.

    Dealer says this is the 2nd car they have with this problem and are waiting for the CVT Valve Body from Nissan to repair. Said Valve Body unavailable in US.

    Can anyone shed some light on this situation?
  • markm12markm12 Posts: 2
    My wife tells me that her A/C starts when she starts the car but then only blows hot air after she starts driving. Took it in, and had Freon recharged and problem still occured. Then noticed that it was the compressor that would start (spinning) when the car starts, cold air blows through the vents in the car and then the compressor stops spinning, blowing hot air. Has anyone experienced this or do you know what could cause it to start and stop? An A/C switch maybe?
  • gailalonggailalong Posts: 12
    I am pretty close to purchasing an Altima-new 2010. I read this threated and it has scared me a bit. The problems with the climate control and CVT particularly are of concern. I am a single woman and cannot be without a car or AC especially here in Texas. Am I making a mistake to buy an Altima?

    Secondly, if I do buy one, would I have less problems by not getting the one with convenience plus package-moonroof and dual/digital AC control? Please need advise quickly. Thanks for your help!!
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