pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,900 miles
Total Complaints:
23 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace cam and crank position sensors (11 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. replace crank shaft sensor (4 reports)
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problem #23

Feb 092018

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,250 miles

I loved my Altima for the first six years anyway. Then well how should I say it, every other month I had to have the cam shaft sensor replaced. Most the time I had warning it was going to happen. Then one time it just died mid turn. I had no brakes not way to control the car what so ever. I was lucky it was in the parking lot where I worked. I just never knew when I got in it if I was going to get where I was going or not. Not a great feeling.

I couldn't afford to get a new car so I kept putting money into this car. Well on April 8, 2018 the car was put out of my misery by being totaled by a driver running a red light. Sometime next week it will be taken to its final resting place. I am looking for a new car, but now I just don't know about buying another Nissan after reading some of the reports of the Rouge.

- sabrina.frank92067, Columbus, US

problem #22

Jun 102016

Altima SL 2.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 235,000 miles

You need to be double jointed and pull your shoulder out of the socket to reach in the back of the engine to replace the cam shaft sensor. And have some of your favorite music going on because you'll have to do a small finger dance to find the bolt that holds it on. The sensors must be made of cheap materials because they go out quite frequently. The girl at the Auto Parts has one and said she has the same problems with her Altima. I never want to do this again for as long as I live out my short life. I rather be doing something else meaningful besides serving the Nissan Car God.

As I look up from behind my Altima hood and see the world driving Honda's and Toyota's to their delight. Then I have to humbly put my head down into that engine hell and start turning that wrench, whimpering in my stupidity for buying this endless money pit. Like throwing money into the fire, gone forever.

- uptohere , Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #21

Jun 112012

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Nissan always knew these sensors were faulty, but never recalled them. Presumed normal "wear and tear" but they can cause the vehicle to stall which can be dangerous. Most cars will last perhaps 7-10 years before they fail.

- wd678, Seattle, WA, USA

problem #20

Jul 302014

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Replaced original bad Nissan cam and crank sensors with Duralast sensors around 70,000 miles after car went dead while driving at night, car surged and would shift jerky and often be in too high of gear for speed travelling with the Duralast aftermarket sensors there after. Service engine soon light would come back on and cam or crankshaft sensor would always be the culpret not long after replacing. Bill at different shops varied but was in the hundreds of dollars! On 07/30/14 I decided to get the Nissan re engineered sealed sensors that cost 92.00 dollars for each and the car ran good for a while with no hard shifting or jerking but after only 44 days after replacing with the Nissan sensors , Altima started stalling every so often and then the service engine light appeared again so now I am back where it all began! Will run this by a attorney this week and get a resolution to this ordeal that Nissan wants no part of! I will never buy another Nissan, new or used!!

- Joel W., Opelika, AL, USA

problem #19

Nov 012011

Altima 2.5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Cam sensor failed (intermittently). The CEL/SES light came on & code pointed to cam sensor (didn't save code -- this was a couple years ago). The car was running ok when the fault was first detected. Seems like it failed hot, so engine wouldn't start when warm, but did start when cold. Replacing sensor fixed the problem (replacement sensor was a little different, but has been working fine for >2 years now). The part was pretty easy to get to & replace (found help on the web).

- D S., Manassas, VA, US

problem #18

May 182010

Altima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,033 miles

vehicle was stalling when I braked or slowed down. very dangerous situation

- Callie A., Huntsville, AL, US

problem #17

Aug 032012

Altima LS 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

when I got the car the dealer told us no warranty and we had to fix the problem ourselves,this is horrible as I am on a fixed income and this is to expensive for me to fix.i bought the car so my daughter could go to college and she could take me to the doctors,but I only get 10miles for 20.00fix the Altimas before you sell them out to the public Nissan

- lweeks, Hardeeville, SC, USA

problem #16

Apr 082013

Altima ES 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,590 miles

I am tired of being stuck cause once I cut this damm car off, it takes 20 to 30 minutes for it to start back up.

- Tanisha F., Wilson, NC, USA

problem #15

Sep 102012

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,500 miles

Same as others posted: failed at BUSY intersection, albeit, thankfully, while waiting at a red light. No accidents/injuries, just angry drivers behind me. That was the first time. Took 7--8 tries to restart. Has cut out and died at least five different occasions over the course of the last day and a half. Anytime I would shut the engine off, for example to park, when I attempted to start it, it wouldn't until the fifth try, maybe. Other times it cut out were, again, when I was sitting idle at a stoplight.

Repair is NOT covered under recall, go figure. Currently my car is with a local mechanic, I didn't even bother to go to the Nissan dealership. My car: 2003 2.5 model, around 113,500 miles. I regularly perform preventative maintenance and stay on top of oil changes, etc. My understanding from the mechanic, its just a shoddy part that Nissan put out, no matter how much you take care of your vehicle to maintain it, there isn't much to do to prevent this crankshaft/cam sensor failure.

- xxmwxx, Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 192012

Altima Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I have a 2003 Nissan Altima (Limited Edition 3.2L 57K miles) and haven't had a single problem with it until this problem came up. The camshaft sensors were worn out and my car stalled. There was a recall on the part, but unfortunately, I missed the window to have it fixed free. Then I forgot about the issue. It's been nine years since the car was purchased. My mother bought it new and then she died six months later. I inherited the car. I have maintained the car with regular oil changes and I use mid-grade petroleum to keep the engine running well. I have never had a problem with Nissan products and will continue to purchase Nissan when this car hits its the 100,000 mark. I have a very honest and reliable mechanic who charges a base minimum. He uses ONLY Nissan parts to fix Nissan cars, but I do not go to the Nissan dealership. I believe, when one uses after-market products on a car that is designed for specific parts, one takes their chances. You get what you pay for! For those of you "Do It Yourselfers" I suggest not owning anything with computers. You have to be an IT expert and a mechanical engineer to fix a car these days. I too used to fix my own cars (I replaced an alternator in an old RX7) and yeah, I'm a girly-girl. I broke every one of my fingernails, but I can work on engines. I knew I couldn't fix this issue without tearing my flesh off. Don't be angry with Nissan if you chose to use an after-market product and chose to do it yourself. Had you chosen to have the work done by a professional and with the right products, I'm certain you would still be singing Nissan's praises.

- Lynne K., San Jose, CA, USA

problem #13

May 202011

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,900 miles

My saga began recently after buying my car new and driving it for 8 years. The engine started burning oil at a significant level (starting buying oil in bulk at Costco). Then I failed emissions testing and had it hooked up to the computer. Sensors for O2 and crank shaft were replaced. The engine light has been on steady for over 1 year with some rough starting and idle problems. Took it back to the mechanic today and they are saying catalytic convertor needs to be replaced and the computer needs replace for a mere $2500. I am really getting worried after reading everyone's posts. Not sure if it is worth the fix...

- melsinor, Eldersburg, MD, USA

problem #12

Sep 072011

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,500 miles

2.5L, 4cylinder engine has begun to die while at stop lights or at stop signs and would have to restart several times before engine would wake up. Damn Nissan dealer wants to charge me $90 for a diagnostic fee, but I already know it's the crank shaft and cam shaft position sensor that have gone bad.

Nissan has these black plastic square sensors that are poorly designed and cause oil to leak into the electric plug. Oil or dirt in the electric sensor plug causes the computer to not get a signal briefly and it then shuts off. The new designed sensor is made of a round aluminum and you can pick them up at Auto Zone for about $35 each. The Auto Zone brand is Duralast and part # is SU6364. The crank shaft and camshaft position sensors are both the same identical part, so you might as well pick up 2 sensors and save yourself the hassle of trying to figure out which sensor went bad on your Altima by replacing both of them at the same time.

The Nissan Dealer service rep lied to me and said they ran my VIN and no service recalls or updates showed up for my car. They don't want to replace the sensors, because the crank shaft position sensor is a bitch to get to and you will donate blood to your car while trying to remove and install it. Dealer wants $225 to replace both sensors and I said, "No way fuk u cheating bastards."

The crank position sensor is located toward the back driver side firewall and can't easily be seen. The wiring plug that connects it is very difficult to remove. There's a green tab that must be slid forward (don't push down) with a stubby flat head screwdriver until you hear it click into place, before you can unplug the wire harness connector. DO NOT pull on the wire harness, because you will break it and that part can only be found at the junk yard or by paying boo coo money at the auto parts dealer. Use a flat stubby screwdriver and wedge it between the sensor and plastic sensor plug harness. Then turn clockwise and it will separate the harness and sensor just enough for you to use our hand or channel lock pliers to pull the wire connector plug off. The cam shaft position sensor is super easy to replace compared to the crank position sensor and is easily accessible on the upper right side of the engine driver side. Both sensors are replaced and the engine does not rough idle or stop on me. I quickly got some quotes from various auto dealers and sold the car before the catalytic converter goes bad.

You would be wise to do the same, because the 2002-2006 model Nissan Altimas are sh*t. The catalytic converter will go bad and start to deteriorate around 65000 miles. Your engine will suck up the debris and metal parts and grind to a halt. Of course the Nissan dealer doesn't want to pay over 4 grand to replace your engine for free and so they will deny and blame it on you as user negligence for not getting your regular oil changes or driving the car too hard.

No more Nissans for this grease monkey!!

- Mike H., University, MO, USA

problem #11

Dec 092010

Altima 2.5S 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles


- Seazon N., Columbus, GA, US

problem #10

Feb 082010

Altima SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

this was a major problem to be driving 55 mph down the road and suddenly stop in the middle of rush hour traffic. when I took the car in for service, they told me this was a common occurrence.

- K G., Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #9

Sep 092010

Altima SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I just replaced the crankshaft sensor in my 2003 Nissan Altima. It failed at 116,000 miles. The camshaft sensor was also replaced at 90,000 miles. These sensors are are identical and carry the same part number, they are made of plastic and not covered under any recalls for the 2003 model year. I spent $30.00 each to replace them. I don't remember if it was hard to change the cam sensor but the crank sensor was a pain in the rear, literally. The darn thin is located at the rear of the engine in an extremely confined space, It took 3 hours to locate and change it! If, you do this repair yourself it helps to have small hands... Best of Luck to you Altima owners, count on having to do this repair.

- teshub, Grafton, IL, USA

problem #8

May 212010

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

When my car stall at an intersection, I was scared out of my mind! Thank God, no one was around or else it would had been a disaster! The check engine light came on so after many attempts to get the car started again, it finally start again and i drove it to a shop to get check out. They told me the crankshaft need to be replaced. I took it to the a Nissan dealership in Stockton, Ca because I've known about the recalls on crankshaft failure. they said my model wasn't included in the recall so I would have to pay out of pocket. They wanted ME to PAY for the diagnostic testing to see if the crankshaft is the problem. Why should I pay for a recall testing?!?!?! Lucky for me, my dad is a mechanic so I went around to look for the parts and he replaced it for me. I live in Los Angeles, so lucky for me the problem showed up when I was around someone who's knowledgeable about cars and whom I trust. It been 3 days since my dad replaced the crankshaft. Today, the check engine light came on again so I took it to a shop nearby my place and they said I need to replace the crankshaft and position sensor crap. This is going to cost me 300!!!

- h8theunexpected, Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 142010

Altima 2.5 SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,800 miles

It's too bad companies don't stand behind their products and make their mistakes right. They should have done a recall and replaced these parts. I don't believe I will purchase another Nissan.

Update from Apr 19, 2010: Just found out from mechanic that the "pigtail harness" in the crankshaft is bad. He is telling me that "someone" has messed with it. The only person(s) who ever worked on my car where the mechanics at the dealership and they deny they did anything to my car. That comes as no surprise. I am told I am looking at $1000 if they have to order a new part. What a costly mistake for me because of their gross incompetence. My car only has not even 47,000 miles on it. Where is the customer support?

- Holly L., Davenport, IA, USA

problem #6

Mar 112010

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I have a 2003 Nissan Altima which was just handed down to my daughter as her first car for her 17th birthday in January. While on her way to school one morning in March the car just shut off at a stop light at a very busy intersection. She obviously had no idea what to do and it was pouring rain. Someone behind her was kind enough to help a stranded teenager and she was able to call me. When I arrived to the intersection I hopped in her car, turned the ignition off and then back on, put the car in drive and it seemed fine. I noticed that the service engine soon light had come on. I immediately drove the car to a mechanic and he pulled up a recall for my EXACT vehicle and the EXACT situation. It reads: Crank Position Sensor Recall - This could cause the "service engine soon" warning light to come on and the engine to stop running without warning during vehicle operation, which could result in a crash.

He referred me to see the dealership right away. I drove straight to the dealership and they claim that this recall was VIN specific and my vehicle was NOT affected. I'm here to tell you that my vehicle IS affected and that Nissan does not stand behind the product they produce. Furthermore, Nissan apparently has no regard for the safety of their customers and the peace of mind that the car we bought is reliable. The Nissan dealer said it will be no less than $350 to replace both the cam and crank position sensors with labor. The mechanic shop I went to quoted me $110 for parts and $50 labor totaling $160.

Again, I was very disappointed with Nissan. I can tell you for sure that my family will NEVER purchase another Nissan vehicle. I will do my very best to encourage car shoppers to stay far away from Nissan because of the simple fact that after the initial purchase you are on your own. I strongly encourage Nissan to reconsider this particular recall and perform better business practices and customer satisfaction.

- James T., Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #5

Jun 012009

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

My 2003 nissan altima just cut off while i was driving down the highway and without any warnings.I put it in park and then it cranks up fine.The next day I was at a stop light and again it cut off.So I'm thinking like what the hell is doing on here.I can just keep on with the same old thing its still cutting off.I got a trouble shoot done to my car and a code about the crank shaft sensor.So I go on line and I see that I'm not the only one who's having these same problems..So I gets in touch with the dealership Nissan USA, and they tell me that they are not responsible for the crank shaft sensor nor the cam sensor.They said i need to replace it and then they will reset my ECM but their not responsible for the sensors and they quoted me for about $250.00...

I think that Nissan should be responsible for their mess ups..Its bad when you pay so much for cars and then the company messes up and you have to come out the pocket for thier mistakes..I will never purchase another car from Nissan again..

- Michelle G., Cheraw, SC, USA

problem #4

Nov 062007

(reported on)

Altima SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

My car has been shutting off on me for 2 yrs now. At first I was petrified because it happened right in the middle of a busy intersection (literally in the middle as I was turning!!). I have had SO many problems with the dealership's service dept in my area that I just refuse to go back! When I received the recall notice, I called the dealership to get the recall work done and they informed me I had to pay for a diagnostic before getting the recall work done?!!? They also said they needed to keep my car (I'm a soccer mom and there's NO way I can sit there for hours let alone leave the vehicle) There's no rhyme or reason as to when or where it shuts down. I can go months with no problem then in 2 days have the car shut down 3 times! I just flip the hazards now, put the car in park, shut off all the electric, wait a minute and crank it back up. I have filed a complaint w/Nissan USA. And to give a little history, this is the 6th Nissan I've owned and the ONLY one I've had problems with!! The first one was well over 250,000 miles before I retired it. If this is how the newer ones are coming out, you can count me out!!

- pgrace, Palm Coast, FL, USA

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