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What are some common problems with the 2002 Nissan Altima?

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Quick Answer

Common problems with the 2002 Nissan Altima include failed crankshafts or camshaft sensors that lead to engine stall, and oil leaks when the engine oil cooler's external seal fails. Owners also report excessive engine movement due to right side engine mount wear, and catalytic converter failure that triggers the check engine light. Altima owners should correct the catalytic converter problem promptly to avoid internal damage. Nissan recalled 2002 Altimas and other models to replace the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors.

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Hundreds of 2002 Nissan Altima owners report engine stalls when their crankshaft position sensors and camshaft position sensors fail. As the sensors warm with the vehicle engines, they fail intermittently, and the engines can stall, slow or stop running without warning. In November 2003, Nissan recalled 2002 Altimas and several other models of Infiniti and Nissan vehicles with defective sensors. Under the recall, dealers replaced the camshaft position sensors and the crank position sensors. Dealers also replaced the variable timing control sensors in some vehicles.

It is common for the catalytic converter closest to the cylinder head to fail in the 2002 Altima, and when it does, vehicle owners should act quickly to fix the problem. Internal damage can occur if the engine inhales catalyst material. Vehicles driven from 11,800 to 1,400,000 miles have experienced this problem.

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