The 12 Most Common Altima Problems

We've pulled together a list of the problems Altima owners.

  1. Should You Trust Nissan's CVT?

    For a while cracked radiators were the number one enemy of Nissan transmissions, but these days it appears the transmissions are their own worst enemy.

    Continue
  2. Altima Hood Latch Failure

    The 2013-2018 Altima is at constant risk of having its hood fly open while driving. It's a problem responsible for at least 16 accidents and a significant number of code brown moments.

    Continue
  3. Nissan Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Problems

    Malfunctions in Nissan’s AEB are causing vehicles to suddenly brake even when there’s no obstructions on the road ahead. The sudden stops are creating dangerous situations that often lead to rear-end collisions.

    Continue
  4. Altima Rusted Floorboards

    Altima owners have a dangerous problem lurking beneath their feet. The 3rd generation (2002-06) sedan has floorboards that seem particularly susceptible to corrosion. The result? Widespread rust that’s often concealed by the interior carpet…

    Continue
  5. Sunroof Rattles and Explodes

    Heads up, Nissan owners! That giant piece of glass above your head may soon be on its way down in a thousand little pieces. Lawsuits accuse Nissan of using a faulty tempering process for their sunroofs since 2008.

    Continue
  6. Altima's Dim Headlights

    The low-beam headlights in the 5th generation Altima are dangerously dim, and it has nothing to do with the bulb. The problem is worst in the 2013-2015 model years as material inside the assembly breaks down creating a less effective headla…

    Continue
  7. Timing Chain Defects

    Nissan says their timing chains are just noisy, but not defective. Try telling that to the owners who have seen loose timing chains rattled their engines apart, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages.

    Continue
  8. Inaccurate Fuel Gauge

    That's because a wide swath of Nissan vehicles have gas gauges that never read full even after filling up, stop working below 1/4 of a tank, or show a low fuel warning even when there's plenty of miles to go. In other words, they're complet…

    Continue
  9. Steering Wheel Locked

    Nissan owners are fed up with not being able to start their cars due to a ESCL defect. A new service campaign means defective steering locks will be fixed (at least in some models)…

    Continue
  10. OCS Warning and Airbag Problems

    The occupant classification system (OCS) in many Nissan vehicles is so unreliable for the front passenger seat that you should probably think twice before calling 'shotgun.'…

    Continue
  11. EVAP Clogs and Gas Spills

    Nissan owners are experiencing 'gas splash back' at the pump and it's likely because of a clog in the EVAP system.

    Continue
  12. Premature Automatic Transmission Failure

    Whether it's hesitation between gears, rough shifting, sudden stops or diminished acceleration, there's absolutely nothing good about these garbage transmissions.

    Continue

What Altima Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

What Breaks

Years to Avoid

Altima Generations

The Altima has 6 generations, each with their own issues. Using the same PainRank™ system we've determined that you're better off avoiding the 5th generation (2013–2018).

  1. 6th Generation Altima

    Years
    2019–2020
    Reliability
    6th of 54
    PainRank
    0.96
    Complaints
    7
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Altima
  2. 5th Generation Altima

    Years
    2013–2018
    Reliability
    54th of 54
    PainRank
    59.71
    Complaints
    1484
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Altima
  3. 4th Generation Altima

    Years
    2007–2012
    Reliability
    52nd of 54
    PainRank
    39.02
    Complaints
    1300
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Altima
  4. 3rd Generation Altima

    Years
    2002–2006
    Reliability
    53rd of 54
    PainRank
    40.42
    Complaints
    1566
    Continue
  5. 2nd Generation Altima

    Years
    1998–2001
    Reliability
    35th of 54
    PainRank
    11.52
    Complaints
    413
    Continue
  6. 1st Generation Altima

    Years
    1993–1997
    Reliability
    13th of 54
    PainRank
    1.77
    Complaints
    43
    Continue

Altima Key Numbers

  1. 4,814 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 589 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 55 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

Recent Relevant Lawsuits

The Altima has been named as a class vehicle in the following lawsuits.

Recent Altima News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. A lawsuit claiming Nissan's automatic emergency braking (AEB) system has dangerous defects will continue in court

    following a U.S. District Court judge tossing out the automaker's motion to dismiss. AEB systems monitor the road and can apply the brakes if the system detects a collision is imminnent. But according to the lawsuit, Nissan's AEB detects items that aren't there and can randomly bring the car to a screeching halt.…

    keep reading
  2. Nissan says error code P0087 could be a sign your Altima is about to go up in flames

    which is problematic. That's why they're recalling the 2019 model year to prevent possible fuel leaks and, subsequently, possible fires.

    The automaker learned that retainer clips meant to hold the low-pressure fuel lines onto the high-pressure fuel pumps weren’t locked into position during manufacturing. That’ll likely cause fuel to leak out and error code P0087 to trigger the check engine light. Of course, you might not notice the light since you’re too distracted by the wall of flames where your car once sat.

    keep reading
  3. Nissan is recalling 341,000 Altima sedans for the second time to stop the rear doors from unlatching when the windows are rolled down.

    The door’s latch-lock cable is interfering with the window regulator and previous attempts to re-route the cable didn’t work.

    Nissan’s new plan involves a different route for the cable and harness clips to keep everything in place. Whoever came up with the first plan should be shown the door.

    keep reading
  4. Nissan has asked a judge to toss out an Altima floorboard lawsuit

    after spotting some holes in the plaintiff’s argument about holes in their floorboard. Paritcularly how the work to repair a rusty floorboard was performed seven whole years after the corrosion warranty expired.…

    keep reading
  5. Nissan has been hit with another lawsuit for their forward emergency braking system

    that detects objects that aren’t really there. Instead of protecting drivers, system creates perfect conditions for rear-end and side crashes. A safety feature that actually causes crashes? Talk about awwwkward.

    keep reading

See All Altima News