pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
85,900 miles
Total Complaints:
105 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace intake manifold gasket (54 reports)
  2. not sure (48 reports)
  3. new intake fuel gasket and valve cover gasket (3 reports)
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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #85

Sep 242008

Altima GEX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Before i knew about this site, i went to a local mechanic, told me it was my #4 injector sticking and it had to be replaced for about $300. When i picked it up, it was still rough idling. Did some research on the internet, found out about this being caused by the intake gasket, went back to the same local place. bitched at them, they fixed the seal for another $200. POS car

- T K., Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #84

Jul 082008

Altima GXE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I'm experiencing the same problem as a lot of people. The car shakes violently when idling, even goes dead at times. Sometimes it does help to slip it into neutral, but not always.

I haven't gotten it fixed yet because it was my wife's car before we got married and my father-in-law took it to multiple mechanics spending at least $2,000 trying to get it fixed. Most were left just scratching their heads. He eventually took it to one that was able to make it go away. That lasted for about two years, but it is now doing it again. We weren't in a position to put that much money into so we decided to cross our fingers and ride it out. It has been doing it for about 8months now this time.

Thanks to this site, a buddy and I are going to try and tackle replacing the intake gasket in a couple weeks.

- Scott M., McDonough, GA, USA

problem #83

Jun 172008

Altima SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

This is the bad design from Nissan that caused lot of problem on intake manifold leaks.

There are suck. Nissan should recall it back and pay for the cost.

- leuang, Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #82

Apr 032009

Altima ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Wow am I glad to have stumbled across this site! I'm sure I will eventually be replacing aforementioned intake manifold gasket and requesting 2 additional heat shields/ fiberglass sleeves @ the intake manifold... However. My car felt like it would die at any moment- squealed when cranked, shuddered when idling then lo and behold while DRIVING (scary). My trusted and reasonable mechanic says there's water in the plugs he's drying out and should fix the issue. So I guess I'm saving my $700 for now. Went ahead and emailed Nissan anyway to say if the manifold gasket is such a frickin issue for 2000-01 Altimas, they need to keep their customers by covering a recall. I guess at 140mi, she's still a pretty great gal. Thanks for all the info posters!

- ezspre79, Grovetown, GA, USA

problem #81

Dec 032008

Altima GLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

It seems we are all having this problem. It also seems that the fix is, to much of your surprise, a 10 to 15 dollar part. So instead of taking it to a mechanic, buy a maintenance manual and fix it yourself. Its not a complicated thing to do. I promise.

- derrickw, Somerset, Kwntucky, USA

problem #80

Mar 152009

Altima GXE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Hello All,

I too am facing this problem -the car shakes when idling - for the past 2months. I thought of going to a car service / dealer to understand the problem as my "Check Engine" light has been on for the past 2 weeks. Fortunately, I went through similar problems that have already been stated in this forum.

Now my question is, has anyone continued riding the car having this problem & without doing any replacement or repair work? Can I go ahead and try one of the options suggested in this forum? How long will the car run with this problem and WITHOUT any repair? Because I see that performing some repair work to fix this problem is of no use. One of my friends (not a professional mechanic) says the spark plugs (4 cylinder) are misfiring and the car may break down, down the line 3-4months. Please let me know your thoughts.



- Bala S., Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #79

Mar 312009

Altima GLX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

What a shame, Nissan really should have a recall for this problem. My car is well maintained, and has a low mileage. This will be my last Nissan and I will let my friends/colleagues who are shopping for cars know how bad Nissan is.

- jimi35294, Hummelstown, PA, USA

problem #78

Dec 102008

Altima GLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,800 miles

We left the car in the garage until Feb although the problem occurred in December because we were out of town. When we returned we took it to the shop and described the problem of the intermittent high idle at stop lights and told the mechanic to change the plugs, do an oil change and change the air filter AFTER he fixed the problem. My husband was clear that he wanted to know the cost involved so he could decide whether to keep the car. We were not at home when the mechanic called with the estimate, so he replaced a "back pressure valve" which he had guessed would fix the idle problem, did the oil change, replaced the air filter and put in plugs and charged us $357.36. He then told us that he had not fixed the problem and he needed to replace the throttle body. Annoyed that he had done the maintenance work and gotten the bill so high without fixing the problem, we drove the car home.

On the way home the transmission slipped in second (when accelerating from 18 mph to 20 mph). The mechanic stated that he had nothing to do with that problem. Seems pretty strange that the transmission worked before this mechanic put his hands on the car. So instead of fixing the problem, he created another one and our car is in worse shape than before we brought it in.

From what I am reading on this website, he is also off base on his diagnosis that we need to replace the throttle body. When I saw that the majority on this website fixed the problem by replacing the intake manifesto gasket, I looked at our old service invoices. We had replaced the intake manifold gasket at 40,338 miles. It was under warranty but my husband had to call the regional office to get the bill covered as the local Nissan dealer said that it was not under warranty. So if any of you are inside of your warranty period, that gasket is a covered item. My daughter has the same car and her intake manifold gasket needed replacement 3 weeks past the warranty period and Nissan would not even discount the part and service. So I don't expect them to do anything for us at this stage. I notice that Consumers Report has given this year's Altima a high rating. I guess that their analysts did not read this website. They certainly won't get any repeat business from us.

- Marge E., Dumfries, VA, USA

problem #77

Jan 202009

Altima GXE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I have had my nissan altima for about 5 years now. I hardly had any problems with it. I had been doing all the oil changes and maintenance with it. I thought it was a good car and reliable and worth a serious consideration for a second vehicle...until recently.

The nissan altima I have has been fairly good until about Oct-Nov 08. That is when the check engine lights started to come on intermittently. I got it examined by a local car mechanic. He ran a series of diagnostics on it. He made me replace the spark plug, NOx sensor, O2 sensor, and some cables. All this cost me ~800$ and the car was in his shop for 3 days. The result: NO CHANGE. So the money was down the drain! I wish I had looked at this blog earlier.

I have driven the car about 1000 miles since then. It seems the red light problem is beginning to become worse. I personally cannot afford more money on this and intend to run this thing out. However I don't trust the car with my baby and wife, in spite of having good insurance that covers the towing.

after reading the comments I get the sense that there are several people suffering a similar problem. I think the I am fortunate that my car worked at least till 90k+ miles. I think nissan should own its responsibility and do the right thing by recalling this faulty piece of machinery. They are not just providing less than perfect equipment, but reading some of the comments, potentially endangering the lives of the occupants that drive these things at high speeds.I hope someone from nissan is reading this !!!!

- R S., Reno, NV, USA

problem #76

Feb 012009

Altima GXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,374 miles

The car seems to shake fairly hard when i'm stopped and its a real annoyance.

- Josh K., Manalapan, NJ, USA

problem #75

Jan 142009

Altima GXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

My Nissan is really a good sedan until recently. After Christmas 2008, I went to the Nissan dealer for oil change (mileage: 57,000). but they talked me into a 60,000 mile service which costing me $549. After the service, the technician told me that he observed the intake manifold gasket starting leakage. He said I had to bring back the car once the engine service light on. Then, 3 weeks after the service, my Nissan started rough idle or shaking while idling. It was really pain in the ass. Last week, the service engine light on. I checked the website and ran into the auto beef. Just realized so many fellows got screwed by the same problem. I paid the dealer $820 to fix the issue. Right now, it is all done and running as before.

Hopefully, this Nissan bug will not come back, say.. 8 years later..

- adamsogood, Maple Shade, NJ, USA

problem #74

Jan 152009

Altima LXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,900 miles

Like many others, like clockwork, at 83,900 miles, engine idle became rough. Felt like a miss in a cylinder. I replaced sparkplugs, ignition wires, distributor rotor and cover, fuel filter and also because of oil in the #1 cylinder sparkplug tube, I replaced the valve cover gasket. After all that the problem was the same. I sprayed carb cleaner around each cylinder intake manifold and when I sprayed near #4 cylinder, idle smoothed out. Exactly as described by others. I will try to shop around dealers this week to see if I can get a competitive quote. Other than this, this car has never been to a shop for any repair other than front brake pads replaced. I have been able to maintain myself with oil changes, new battery, changed antifreeze, air filter etc. Car has been very reliable. One other tip, stupidly when I replaced battery I bought the wrong replacement with the terminals opposite to what I needed, I tried to hook up cables backwards and blew out the main 100amp fuse in fuse box next to battery compartment. I couldn't get the fuse out of the box. I called several dealer parts departments and was told it just pulls out. I went on-line for advice and got the same advice. Everyone was wrong! There is a bolt holding in this fuse and access is from an obscure access panel in the side of the fuse box that needs to be pried open. After removing the bolt, the fuse came right out.

- Tom M., Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #73

Jan 112009

Altima GXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

I am getting the same problem. I do not know what to do. Did any body talked to Nissan about this issue ? We should talk to Nissan itself.

- narendra, Lowell, MA, USA

problem #72

Apr 012008

Altima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Car idles rough when stopped. I think this is a recall item and repair should be paid in full by the manufacturer. Too many people are reporting this type of issue with their 200 and 2001 Altima.

- messan, Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #71

Aug 062008

Altima GLE Limited 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

GRRR, I really am starting to hate this car!! In Aug 08, car was in shop for rough idle when stopped. Diagnostics came up with Mass Air Flow Sensor. Cost---$695.22 just for the part. Two weeks later, same thing started again! Unfortunately, Hurricane Ike hit us and most of us were without power for a long time included my repair shop. Finally, (after my crazy life settled down) got this car back to the shop this week. Guess what, Intake Manifold Gasket. Cost---$759.78.

Hopefully this takes care of the problem. This car was bought brand new in Jan 2001, we've put over $5k in repairs (not maintenance) into it in 100,000 miles. (Includes A/C, MAS, MIG, O2 Sensor, cracked radiator, Valve Cover Gasket, part I can't remember and we still need to replace the leaking power steering pump and a bad motor mount) Hubby's truck was bought brand new in June 1995 (Ford Ranger XLT), we've only spent $1,700 in repairs and it has over 300,000 miles on it!!

Hubby and I take very good care of our cars and have all regular maintenance done regularly. As far as the radiator, I did not forget to check/replace hoses and it had never overheated. I'm not a typical "girl" with a car, I used to do ALL my own repair work until these computerized systems took over.

Should this tell Nissan they are making a bunch of crap and passing it off to the public???

- nonprego, Houston, TX, USA

problem #70

Sep 212008

Altima GLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

So..... My brother in law came to me with the same issue, rough idle after engine warms up at ilde in drive or park where the rpm's drop from about 1100 down to fluttering from 430 to 750 sounding like this thing has a serious cam! After a Sunday spent replacing brakes, smoking his tail lamps, and trying to diagnose this issue with a Snap On Solus (codes p0300, p0301, and another with bank 1 too lean) and getting the same drop offs to flat line on o2 sensors and maf sensors and air fuel ratio going from 100 to 125 and dropping back to 100 before acting up every time, I gave up for the evening and tried a good ol' G**gle search of "2001 Nissan Altima erratic idle" and bam! Here's this posting of 67+ complaints of the same issue. All of the posts seem to point to the gasket deteriorating and needing replaced and additional heat protection to prevent it from re-occuring. I will post with the results as soon as he brings his car back to me. AS FOR THE RECALL COMPLAINTS READ THIS: Recalls

How does the automobile recall process begin?

A manufacturer may issue a recall in response to owner complaints. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) influences the recall process, and orders many recalls. The NHTSA fields safety-related complaints through letters and its toll-free telephone hot line. When the NHTSA registers enough complaints, NHTSA engineers perform an engineering analysis. Then the NHTSA engineers contact the automobile's manufacturer. The manufacturer must either remedy the defect or launch its own defect investigation.

- David H., Timonium, MD, USA

problem #69

Sep 032008

Altima GXE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

A po420 code keeps coming up despite a new catalytic converter.

I've had the intake manifold repaired twice in the past two years. It shook madly.

- Bob S., San Diego, CA, USA

problem #68

Sep 052008

Altima GXE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Earlier this year a friend and colleague presented me with a problem he had been having with his 2001 Altima. Let me say I have a long history (20+ years) of auto repair and maintenance experience as a side job servicing vehicles belonging to family, friends and colleagues. He described to me the same rough idle all of you with intake manifold gasket leaks are experiencing. My preliminary investigation revealed the engine had never had a tune-up, not even the air filter had been replaced by almost 50,000 miles. Unaware of the design flaw in the engine I naturally suggested he let me do a tune-up since it was clearly due and would not be a waste of money even if this didn't solve the problem. After replacing the spark plugs, air filter, distributor cap and rotor and fuel filter the performance of the engine improved. However, the idle was still slightly rough. At this point an Internet search was done which lead to this website. Plan B: I removed and replaced the intake manifold gasket along with the throttle body gasket which solved the problem. Indeed the end of the gasket near cylinder #4 was brittle and cracking. I suspect the extra heat associated with the pipe connecting the exhaust manifold to the EGR valve caused the gasket to break down at that end of the engine. There is a short fiberglass sleeve or heat shield surrounding the upper end of the pipe protecting the fuel lines from the intense heat. I believe if Nissan had only opted for a longer fiberglass sleeve, thus shielding the head and intake manifold maybe it would have prevented this problem. I suggest when and if all of you have this repaired that you have two more fiberglass heat shields/sleeves added to the length of pipe in the area of the intake manifold. Then this just might be the last time you have this repaired. If any of you wish me to do the repair ($450) and it's cost effective to bring your car to Horsham, PA 19044 you may contact me at g.stelman@yahoo.com. I may be saving you several hundred $$.

- gstelman, Horsham, PA, USA

problem #67

Jan 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

Been shaking for a while. Replaced cap, wires, etc. Now I find this site. Argh! I need a new GASKET????? Bummer. Has started stalling in the past couple weeks, so it seems to be getting worse. Wish I had time to do it myself - anyone in Buffalo do this work on the side?

- John M., Buffalo, NY, US

problem #66

Feb 202008

Altima GXE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

This problem has been happening for some time. I had a family recommended auto shop check out the car, they changed the Nock Sensor in my car, but that didn't work. Firestone said there was some kind of gasket leak, and I took it back to that auto shop. My check engine light was on, and they checked that and claimed they fixed everything, saying that the problem was a cylinder misfire.

The fix maybe lasted a few days (just like before) then it started up again. The auto shop even tried to call a guy at Nissan and they never heard of the issue. Now how is that when there is at least 65 known issues. Is there anyway to get a RECALL for this issue? I am the original owner in my case, and I have done the required maintenance on my car. A car that is maintained well should last longer then 7-8 yrs. The mileage hasn't even reached 100,000 yet.

One thing I did notice, when the shake happens, I turn on the AC and it stops. Also putting the car in neutral helps a little, but not as much as the AC. Maybe if the economy wasn't so bad and gas so high, I could actually fix the problem ;O)

- Michele L., Rocky Hill, CT, USA

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