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Nissan Sentra 2006 and earlier



  • lou111lou111 Posts: 1
    I have had a chirping/sqealing noise coming from under the hood of my 2000 Sentra GXS. First they replaced the belts, then the belt pulleys and now the alternator. The noise is still there. Has anyone had a similar problem??? Please help!!! thanks.
  • davejaydavejay Posts: 18
    I've been getting my 2000 Sentra GXE serviced at one Southern California dealership since we moved here in mid-2000. I've been getting my 2001 Sentra GXE (yes, we have two) serviced at a different Southern California dealership since purchasing it at that dealership a year ago.

    I recently decided it was time to start maintaining my own cars again; to that end, I purchased the necessary items to change the oil and some filters on the two cars this weekend.

    Well, here's what I found:

    2001 GXE:
    - Overfilled with oil by a significant margin
    - Oil drain plug severely overtightened (could not get it off; have to have dealership break it loose
    - It appears that the support plates on top of the front suspension towers may be missing on both sides (need to verify, as my only evidence is the presence of these plates on my 2000; if they are missing, I assume it occurred during a recall repair to the front end).

    So this annoyed me...but THIS really made me angry:
    2002 GXE:
    - Windshield washer resevoir open
    - Most of the battery caps loose, one so loose that I touched it and it came off
    - Oil dipstick HAS NO DIPSTICK! Whoever broke the dipstick off in the engine (or broke it while it was out of the car) put the yellow dipstick ring back on the dipstick tube, but there's no metal blade attached.

    I have to blame the dealer for these things, as the last service was to change the oil/filter and check the fluids.

    My question: has anyone else had an experience like this? I'm still fuming.
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    sounds like a good explanation! >:(
  • davejaydavejay Posts: 18
    Just a quick correction -- in my complaint a few posts ago, I typed "2002" instead of "2000" in the list of problems I found after a dealer visit on that particular car. Just wanted to avoid confusion.
  • davejaydavejay Posts: 18
    To the "Squeals and Rattles" person -- did you buy the car used, or was it in an accident? I ask because my 2001 and 2000 don't have any problem even slightly resembling this one...sounds like the alignment is WAY off.

    To the "1997 Nissan GXE" person -- I'd do a Google search (, just in case you don't know) for 'electronic anti-corrosion device "Total Protection"'. You might be interested in what you find. I don't know if the product in question is a "Total Protection" device, but I suspect the information you find on Google will go a long way in educating you on the usefulness of similar products. :)
  • wgrwgr Posts: 127
    I am new to this board. Does anyone know if & when Nissan is re-doing the Sentra as they have the Altima and will do the Maxima ?
  • I bought my 2001 Sentra GXE new, in April of 2001. It was a PROBLEM from the start. First off I bought the car from Bennington Motor Car, where I got screwed with the price, and the techicians couldnt not fix a car to save their lives. The first 12 months were a was in the shop 26 TIMES. I tried to get the lemon law but nissan has so many loop holes in their contract that there is no way to do it, not even with legal advise.
    Here are some of the problems I had with it....

    -2 days after I bought it.....clicking noise coming from drivers side, front wheel
    they said it was nothing but there was a recall that finlly took care of the problem about 3 months later.

    -Trunk WOULD NOT CLOSE this was an on going problem. it would bounce back a good 3 or 4 times before it caught.
    garage said it was a latch problem and was didnt work.
    trunk was "misalligned"

    -Breaks pulsated....which I brought the car to the shop and I signed a paper, (which i asked what it was and was told it was just for permission to work on the car, when in fact it was a warrenty waiver) SCREWED AGAIN BY NISSAN.
    Rotors were worn, but not the break pads *intresting* machanics said it was warp from highway driving when the car heats up and than hitting a puddle and it cools quickly *rolls eyes*
    anyways, it was covered under the lil thing they like to call "warrenty" and I was told they had replaced the rotors, but when in fact i found out that they had only been turned down, not replaced when the breaks went again (see below)

    -wouldnt start......

    -after a long road trip the hubcap melted to the rim.

    -belt squeeled. Took to Bennington Motor Car, and they tighted it, but apparently to much cuz when I got to Massachusetts, it broke off cuz it was TOO TIGHT!!! Car had to be towed.

    -belt tensioner broke

    -belt to loose, fell off

    -starter went at about 14,000 miles

    -breaks went again- had to replace rotors, no break shoes though.......this time it wasnt under warrenty and you can only get them through NISSAN MOTOR I was screwed with those prices...
    $340 for new rotors.

    -seat belt broke

    -lost lighting to dashboard, what told it was an "out bulb". Replaced worked fine, but lost shifter lights about 5 hrs after driving it off the garage lot. Replaced that too....than 2 days after getting that replaced, the radio lost its lighting, and the dome light wasnt working now. GOOD JOB!!! They deined it was ever an eletrical problem.

    -Factory CD players EJECT button broke off...GOD DAMN IT!!

    -Alarm would go off randomly. This is intresting seeing as the ALARM SYSTEM NEVER WORKED IN THE FIRST PLACE

    -trasmission was sticking...seemed to always get stuck in 2nd gear

    -Over drive broke...

    -Oil leak...faulty seals

    -motor in passengers side door broke

    and than there was the RECALLS....
    I think that there was about 4 or 5 of them on my car, which I hear issnt that bad considering FORD FOCUS has about 7.....which BENNINGTON MOTOR CAR ALSO SELLS.

    I have owned a Ford Escort, and it was a POS but I dont think that it compared to the Nissan.

    Luck would have it that i totalled it with 38,000 miles on it when I plowed into a car stopped in front of me at about 65mph. THANK GOD ITS GONE!!

    Oh yeah, and in the accident....NO AIRBAGS!!!!!!
    Not a single one. Lemme remind you that I hit a stopped object head on, at 65mph. Smashed the frame to hell, along with the entire front end, nope no airbags, no airbag light, no nothing, but an ambulace ride to the hospital and pounding headaches, and a $500,000 lawsuit on NISSAN.

    One other thing that turned me off to nissan was the fact that I was just ignored everytime I tried to call NISSAN OF returned phone calls, no updates, no nothing. I can be sure of one thing. Never again will I own another nissan.....anyone considering this car, i strongly advise against it, and trust me, im not the only one....a friends sister, as just as many issues with her 2001 sentra gxe.

    Closing I will say this.....Your better off buying an American Product, but rather buy the New 2002 HYUNDAI ELANTRA GT. :)
    (at the same price, better warrenty, leather, moonroof, cd, cruise, power everything, awesome sound system, much much more, and much sportier, and betting looking than the ghetto boody nissan sentra)
  • I had the same issue with my nissan,(2001 nissan sentra GXE) as a matter of fact it was the last sounds that came from my car as i plowed into the car infront of me...i mean, other than the crunching metal sounds that came from plastic and metal searing together.
  • ntmtntmt Posts: 9
    :(, i'm thinking about to get a Spec V, and read your note, kind of wonder how did u get that lemon. I owned a Nissan Stanza GXE 1987, bought it grand new and still running. But any way your not is very interesting.
  • carlitocarlito Posts: 1
    El 20 de Julio compre por primera vez la Marca nissan, la verdad es que el sentra ha estado tan recomendado que por eso lo escogi. Asi que lo traje en carrera desde nuevo y la verdad que la aceleracion no fue muy buena. Hasta cumplidos los 5000 Kms (3500 Miles) se desahogo y ahora corre como todo un campeon.

    Espero que sea un buen auto y que dure muchos años. La verdad que me gustaria estar preparado sabiendo cuales son las piezas que primero se dañan para ir ahorrando y preparandome para cambiarlas.

    (ask for the version in English at
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome to the Town Hall!

    We are an English-only site, so if you could repost in English, that would be much appreciated!

    I'm sure lots of us would like to know what you have to say about your new Sentra, but most of us do not know Español and it's not very community-friendly to ask us to email you for the translation.

    We are pleased to have you as a new member here and we hope that you will enjoy our community. Please drop me an email if I can help you find your way around!

    Sedans Host
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    ... and I need to brush up on my spanish anyway, I'm learning...

    "On July 20 for the first time I bought a Nissan (car). Its true that the Sentra has been so recommended, and for this reason I chose (it). Having completed 3500 miles, I am relieved and it runs like a champ.

    I hope that it is/will be a great car and that it will last many years. It is true that I would like to be prepared, knowing which are the parts that will need repairing first so I am ready to change(fix) them."

    I may have butchered that. But I tried. I think this person is intending to ask about Maintenance and the Sentra, to which I would tell him/her to check out the maintenance section of


    PS-When will we get pricing for next years 2.5LE model, with the Altima engine?
  • jlgoldenjlgolden Posts: 32
    I read with great disappointment of girl_racer's bad Sentra experience. Once in a while, every car manufacturer has a few lemons in the crop - even Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Toyota - you name it, and someone has had a terrible experience with one of those products. This does not mean that all examples of that product are crap. I had my "lemon" Olds Alero repurchased by GM, and I replaced it with a Sentra based on solid reliability / satisfaction ratings and recommendations from Consumer Reports, etc.
  • First off, let me say i sympathize with you on your problematic experieince with your nissan sentra. Ironically, i've owned 3 (2 sentras and a 200SX) and never experienced a problem with either. I'm a very aggressive driver, and I love to push my cars to their limits, and sometimes beyond. In 2000, I purchased a brand new Sentra XE, 5SP Tranny. After about a year and a half, I had 53,000 miles on it, and not one problem. I live in Southern Califorina, and here, stop and go traffic is a very common occurance. I never had any problems with the brakes, or any other mechanics of the car, although, I did have that clicking sound when I first bought the car. It was a suspension part that was replaced under the recall. I have to agree with jlgolden, every car company from BMW down to Kia has cars every now and then that are sub par on quality. For example, Hyundai, which you mentioned in your post, used to be rated as a very unreliable, poor quality car. Through many efforts, redesigns, etc, Hyundai is making a huge effort to turn that reputation around. Since then, they have become more respected in the car industry. I can understand your frustration, one of my best friends had her car in the shop about every 3 days. It was a Honda Civic. Now, Hondas have always been known for their reliable cars, but let me tell you, this car made a Yugo look desirable. It's all about the luck of the draw, really. I've never had any problems with the Nissans I've owned, and as I said, I pretty much drive my cars like they were Corvettes. The 1995 200SX I owned had 97,000 miles when i got rid of it in 1999, and the 2000 sentra I had, had 53,000 miles when i got rid of it in May of this year. I now own a 2002 Sentra SE-R SpecV and I absolutely love this car. It's unfortunate that you had to experience this loss, and I really hope that Nissan stands behind their cause and does the right thing by compensating you for your loss. As for the Dealership, you pretty much got screwed, and should hold them liable as well. I've had problems with a Nissan Dealership here in San Diego before, but a few calls from my lawyer, and they shaped up real quick. You just gotta call them on their crap. At any rate, I'm just rambling now. But in closing, I wouldn't discredit a whole crop of cars because they had a few bad lemons. That's your personal choice of course, and I respect that. But would you stop eating at your favorite restaurant cuz you had a couple times of bad service or a mediocre meal? Nah. As a loyal Nissan owner and a HUGE fan of Nissan's cars, I hope someday, you give them another chance:)
  • Anyone can end up with a dud vehicle {being polite}.It is the dealers that should stand behind their products. I can give you {2} examples of this.#1 My 94 SENTRA LE had a problem with the drivers side electric window not wanting to roll up in cold weather.The NISSAN dealer lubed the glass channel under warranty. This worked temporarily,then it acted up again,next they replaced glass run {again under warranty].This worked till next winter,then it failed again.Now it is out of warranty. Dealer replaces some window rails and rubber seals.I have to dig deep in my pocket,and I tell service desk this is an ongoing problem.I am assured it is fixed.Well it still rolls up slow but I make due that winter. Now next winter same problem.Back to dealer again. I explain to service desk the continuing problem.They check it out and say it is the glass run and rubber seals. They order some. I go in to have them put on and as I talk to mechanic he says that the glass run and seals are not the problem. I talk tro service desk and after mechanic and service desk concur they decide this is the problem.So parts get put on and once again temporary fix.{There was nothing wrong with the oter glass run and seals}.I dig deep again in my pockets and squeeze BEN FRANKLIN hard{to make him squeal}. Well to make a long story short come cold weather here in ARKANSAS I will just wear a heavy jacket and not roll that darn window down!#2 While they were MICKEY MOUSEING around with the door panel they lost a snap on cover that goes on a screw head.They make me buy a package of 10 at $2.00 apiece.I told them that they were the ones that lost it and it is ridiculous to buy ten when I only needed one. It fell on deaf ears.So because I only have one dealer in my area I am going to avoid buying another NISSAN.Not because of the car{I like it} but because of an uncaring dealer. Sorry about the long post.
  • chevyk10chevyk10 Posts: 12
    Does anyone here have an idea of how long an SR20DE engine lasts? I'm looking to buy a car with one. What kind of milage can I expect before this thing blows up?
  • robbk6robbk6 Posts: 13
    They can last quite a long time. You have to be careful how the car was originally treated though. This is a potent engine and there are quite a few things routinely done to these engines to up the HP. Early sentras have more trouble with the transmissions than the motors.
  • I've noticed that the new Sentra GXEs have standard 15-inch wheels. Can I change out the old 14-inch ones on my 2001?
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    It's no problem to upgrade to 15" wheels on your Sentra.
  • venlevivenlevi Posts: 1

    New to boards...My husband and I both have 2001 Nissan Sentra SE's fully loaded, Alloy, ABS, Moon roof, etc...including paint clear coat--paid mid $17k. He got his in Jan 2001 and I got mine in March 2001, so it's different productions, but saw both the cars come off the new car carrier at the dealer. Luckilly, I have had no problems with mine and I am for the most part happy, but coming from an Accord, I'm missing some power, but expected it when I downgraded to a lower HP engine. He on the other hand has had problem after problem. Aside from the small squeaks and rattles that occur randomly ever so often, that dealer has fixed, he has this on again off again horrible grinding sound when he steps on the brakes with medium to hard pressure, regardless of speed travelling, road conditions or weather. Sounds like when the rotors are grinding and pads are worn, but they aren't. He has done all scheduled maintenance on time. Dealer is very responsive to compalins and shoves us in on Saturday's when we call with no notice. Dealer service dept says that nothing is wrong and inspected brakes, rotors, pads, etc...several times and finds nothing, but replaced pads once to see if it would help--it didn't. This has been happening since the car was about 6 months old with just under 10k, car now has 22k, warranty up in 11k. I saw the above posts about people crashing, some with airbags not deploying, and I am very concerned. This past weekend on Friday night, car wouldn't start...key goes in, wont turn, and steering wheel and brake pedal locks. Tried his key, my key, valet key--nothing. Had to be towed to the paid...only 22k miles and still under warranty so they had to. Dealer says starter and ignition need to be replaced and will be covered free of charge under warranty. 3 days later (tuesday) the part came in from the factory and they are installing this afternoon, hope to get the car back tonight. Does anyone else have these problems? Husband is going to keep it to about 30k, then selling it before the warranty is up so we don't have to spend our savings repairing the thing. I'm also looking to sell as well before any problems start--got the 5 year, 60k extended warranty, but I'm not waiting, and I'm going back to get another honda accord.
  • lgoldinlgoldin Posts: 90
    I really regret to hear about your problems with Sentra. I have the same SE as your husband and bought it about the same time. So far the car was flawless(knock on the wood).
    I only want to comment on airbags not deployed. If you read the post where girl complained about it, you would find something interesting. She claims that she had a crash at 65MPH, airbags didn't deploy and she walked from it?! It is either Sentra a heck of a strength or she was below 30MPH and then it is normal that bags didn't work.
    Anyway, good luck with your decision and next car.
  • wgrwgr Posts: 127
    Anyone know when the Sentra is scheduled to be redesigned ?
  • robbk6robbk6 Posts: 13
    I'm starting to hear 2006
  • jlgoldenjlgolden Posts: 32
    We may see little cosmetic changes here and there over the next couple of years, but expect a redesigned Sentra for the 2005 model year.
    In response to venlevi: Every brand of car experiences what you have with your Sentra. Honda, Lexus, Audi, - you name it, and you can find people who have had one of those products fail repeatedly. On the whole, the Sentra's reliability is above average. But I can certainly understand your frustration with the car. Having a dealer that is responsive helps, though. I had a crummy Oldsmobile Alero, but a great Olds dealer - who also sells Nissans. My Olds was returned to the manufacturer under "lemon law", and the manufacturer and dealer wanted to trade me into another Olds - NO WAY! I lost confidence! Most Olds Alero owners have minimal trouble with their cars, but it will take some time for me to trust any GM car again. Now I have a great Sentra SE-R.
  • wgrwgr Posts: 127
    I just saw that for 2003, there is a new model - the 2.5 Limited Edition. This looks like it is the regular body and 15" tires, but with the same engine, suspension, etc. of the SE-R. From what I can tell, it is about $1,200 cheaper than the SE-R. Anybody have more details ?
  • I'm not certain that it has the same suspension as the SE-R. My understanding is that it's a GXE with the 2.5 and an auto (no manual offered). However I have seen one to verify this info.
  • The 2.5 Limited Edition is noting more than a base Sentra with the 2.5 engine that comes in the SER, and a few goodies. It comes with 15" aluminum wheels, a 7 spkr 180W stereo system, front and rear disc brakes, leather wrapped steering wheel, and keyless entry, all standard. It's also only available in automatic. No suspension modifications were made, as far as Nissan has indicated. The standard SER comes with the 165 HP 2.5 L engine, 16" wheels, and is available with a 5 SP manual transmission. It also has a sport tuned suspension and is available with the 300W Rockford Fosgate system. You can go to and find out more. The specs are there.
  • I have an '01 Sentra GXE with the 14" Dunlops and, as all 01 GXEs, rear drum brakes & no ABS. I noticed the brakes felt strange somehow, was a little concerned that they didn't seem to have much power. I almost had a very sad incident that confirmed this --- on a wet road I skidded and almost rear-ended when I should have been able to stop easily. I think the rear brakes didn't do anything, only the fronts were actuating properly. Dealer offered to 'clean the brakes' at my expense, didn't want to adjust them (There's nothing wrong bla bla bla). I confirmed the problem on a snowpacked road... slammed on the brakes HARD, only the fronts locked, the rear brakes did not lock!! Now, if you need to stop quick on a surface with minimal friction, you want and expect all 4 wheels to lock up (if you're pointed in the right direction that is). Two ain't enough, and it meant something is very wrong with the rear brakes!

    The rear drum brakes are supposed to self-adjust. I think it works something like this: a ratchet mechanism in the rear wheel is activated whenever you pull up the e-brake handle, moving the shoes toward the drum a little. I suspect what happened is mine weren't even close to proper adjustment as it came from the factory. So I tried pumping the e-brake handle repetitively, maybe 40 times or so, until the feel changed. Sure enough, the braking feel was much different then, and I no longer get the feeling they are substandard brakes.
  • I'm sad to say this, since I have worked for Nissan in the past, but the first Nissans I have purchased may be my last. The cars themselves are great, and I am glad I bought them. The dealers, unfortunately, leave much to be desired.

    We own a 2000 GXE Automatic, and a 2001 GXE 5-Speed. We had a few minor problems with the 2000, and so far not a hitch with the 2001 (which is more than a year old).

    On the other hand, I have experienced dealer problems up the wazoo, which is something that seems to be a trend on this and other Sentra-related forums.

    Happily, there are many dealers in my area, so I can pick and choose. Still, after having an oil change at one dealer that left me with a broken dipstick and the battery ports all unscrewed (five loose, one just sitting on the battery), I am not surprised to hear that some dealers are unable to repair serious problems (like 01sentragxe's brake adjustment issue).

    A final note on this: for many reasons, Nissan is not the only manufacturer with dealership problems.

    Ultimately, your best defense against bad dealerships is knowledge and options. Take the time to learn about cars (or befriend someone who already has) so you'll know what you're talking about, and make sure there is more than one dealership in your area so that you have options.
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