Skip to main content

The Most Common Nissan Problems

By combining owner complaint data from with investigation, recall, and Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we’ve put together a list of some of the most widespread problems out there. We can sometimes use this data to predict which cars might experience issues in the future, and what owners can do about it in the meantime.

Problems You've Had (Or Will Have Soon)

Overhead view of a Nissan CVT

Should You Trust Nissan's CVT?

All signs point to it being CVTerrible.

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.

Overhead view of bent valves from busted timing chain

Timing Chain Tensioning System Defects

It's not a stretch to call this a disaster

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.

Fuel gauge with the arrow on empty

Inaccurate Fuel Gauge

Running on empty. We think.

Nissan fuel tanks are coming up empty, even when the gauge says there’s another 60-80 miles in the tank. A recall proves Nissan has the issue, but it only covers a small percentage of the affected vehicles.

View of Nissan engine with coolant leak

Coolant Leaks are Destroying Nissan Transmissions

Under a radiator attack

The transmissions of some 2005–2010 Nissan vehicles are under attack from radiators. Cracked radiators are leaking coolant into the transmission, and when it mixes with the transmission fluid it creates a toxic hell stew that irreversibly damages everything around it.

Push start ignition with start crossed out and replaced with stop

ESCL Locks the Steering Wheel

Service campaign will help some

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)

Illustration of airbag warning light

Airbag Warning Light Stays On

The OCS is a POS

Think twice before calling ‘shotgun’ on your next ride in a Nissan vehicle. There’s a long history of Occupant Classification System (OCS) problems which means the airbags won’t deploy when it should.

Gas station at night

EVAP System Clogs and Gas Spills Out

Here's the plunger you need.

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

Deployed airbag

Is Your Nissan Part of the Takata Recalls?

Most likely, yes.

Parts supplier, Takata, manufactured defective, shrapnel-hurling airbag inflators that need to be recalled. The issue affects 34 million+ vehicles spread out across 24 brands, making it one of the largest (and most dangerous) recalls in automotive history.

Flat front tire from busted coil spring

Oh, Snap. Fractured Versa Coil Springs Recalled

Nissan finally springs for the repairs

After years of the front suspension coil springs in the 2007-12 Versa are fracturing and popping tires, they were finally recalled.

Big hole in the middle of a rusted floorboard

Gaping Rusted Holes in Altima Floors

Not a problem if you're a Flintstone

There’s a danger lurking right beneath Nissan Altima owner’s feet as their floorboard are rusting out. Nissan knows about it, but will they do anything?

Cross section of transmission

Jerking Transmission in 2004-2007 Models

What a jerk.

Some 2004-07 Nissans have frustrating transmission problems ranging from rough shifting between gears, hesitation while accelerating and sudden stops or jerking.

Have Something You'd Like Us to Cover?

Needless to say there are more than 12 Nissan problems. We're just scratching the surface and adding more problems all the time. Have a suggestion on what we should cover next?