The Nissan Altima is a mid-size sedan that can work for daily commutes, long-distance trips, and is also a family vehicle. It’s one of Nissan’s most stable cars and is known for getting the job done. Read this post to the end and learn the common faults of the Nissan Altima.
Regarding its resale value, a Nissan Altima will depreciate 59% after 5 years. It is recommended to get the 2018 model year for the best value. Read on to be sure you make the best decision when purchasing one of these vehicles.
How good is the Nissan Altima?
The Nissan Altima has done pretty well in all the major reliability ratings. It earned a score of 4.0 out of 5.0 in a RepairPal study, ranking 11th out of 24 models in the midsize sedan category. It enjoys a low average annual cost of repair because it doesn’t experience problems very often.
The problems that do arise are usually easy and cheap to fix. Recent model years have also improved fuel consumption .
It’s not uncommon to find vintage Altimas with 200,000 miles on the record or more selling on the used car market and still in good condition. As long as you stick to the recommended service schedule and have regular maintenance checks, you can get your car to 300,000 miles.
Common failures of the Nissan Altima
No vehicle is perfect . Even the reliable Nissan Altima can develop mechanical problems. Understandably, some model years are more problematic than others. Here we have the most frequently reported Nissan Altima failures for its different models:
1- The engine shuts down
This problem is one of the most common Nissan Altima failures for those who drive it. While some have reported stalling while the car was stationary, many cases have taken place while driving on the highway.
There are many reasons why an engine might stall, and it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause right away. In the case of the Nissan Altima, a possible cause is a faulty camshaft or crankshaft position sensor. If any of the sensors stop sending accurate data to the power control module, the engine can run less efficiently or even die .
In December 2007, Nissan announced a voluntary recall campaign for model years 2002, 2005, and 2006 equipped with the 2.5-liter engine to replace faulty camshaft and crankshaft position sensors.
2- Failures in the catalyst
The Nissan Altima’s catalytic converter cleans exhaust gases from the engine before releasing them into the environment. When the catalytic converter stops working properly, the check engine light in the instrument cluster illuminates to warn the driver.
A faulty catalytic converter must be replaced as soon as possible . Otherwise, materials from the catalyst can be absorbed into the engine and damage internal engine parts, adding another expensive repair to your list.
This issue is common among model years 1999 through 2015. However, the automaker has not issued a Nissan Altima recall for any of the affected vehicles.
3- Problems with the fuel pump
The owners of the brand have reported as possible failures of the Nissan Altima, problems with the fuel pump from the beginning. Some of the warning signs they have encountered include difficulty starting the engine, excessive vibrations, and stalling when driving at low speeds.
Nissan issued a recall for the 1991 and 1993 Altima, as well as the 2001 through 2015 model years, to replace the fuel pump on the affected vehicles.
Some 2019 model units have also been recalled due to a poorly locked retaining clip on the fuel pump. This clip holds the low pressure fuel hose to the high pressure fuel pump. If it becomes unlocked, it could cause engine shutdown, fuel leaks and increase the risk of fire.
4- The engine does not start or runs badly
In addition to stalling, the Nissan Altima’s engine can also malfunction in other ways. Cases have been reported where the engine will not start or runs rough once started. In some cases, the car suddenly dies on the highway and refuses to start. A leak in a faulty distributor fed by the camshaft can also cause the engine to not crank despite starting.
Engine problems are common failures of the long-running Nissan Altima. They first appeared in the 1993 model year and affected all the following model years up to the 2008 Altima . The 2010 and 2015 Nissan Altima also have similar engine problems.
5- Failures in the motor seals
Nissan Altima models equipped with the 3.5L V6 engine often have oil leaks from the cooler O-ring. If the leak continues long enough, the engine will begin to make strange noises as the oil pressure level drops.
On this engine, the oil filter is attached directly to the cooler. If you carelessly remove the filter and install a new one, you could ruin the cooler seal, allowing engine oil to leak out of the cooler.
Depending on the severity of the leak, you may need to replace the O-ring or the entire oil cooler. To avoid damaging the radiator gasket, always use care when removing or replacing the oil filter.
6- Transmission problems
Many owners have complained about the Nissan Altima’s transmission problems, reporting that the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) slows down on the throttle and causes jerks or jerks when accelerating. In some cases, the Altima’s transmission has failed completely.
Updating the CVT software can fix some of the transmission issues on units with the QR25DE four-cylinder engine or the VQ35DE V6 engine. If the transmission is damaged, some parts may need to be replaced. In the worst case, you may have to replace the entire transmission.
Also, the CVT in the Nissan Altima can go into failsafe mode when the transmission fluid gets too hot. This mode prevents further damage by reducing engine power . However, this can be problematic if activated while driving up a steep grade.
This problem is known to affect models from 2007 to 2012. An external transmission cooler can be used to prevent overheating of the transmission fluid. But if the CVT is badly damaged, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
The Nissan Altima is a solid choice if you’re in the market for a new midsize sedan. If you are planning to purchase a used Altima, it is a good idea to research the common faults for the Nissan Altima associated with the model year you are planning to purchase in order to anticipate the cost of maintaining your vehicle for years to come.