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2005 Nissan Altima Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2005 Nissan Altima based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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22
Known Problems

The thermostat may become stuck closed, causing an overheating condition. Replacement of the thermostat will be required to correct this concern.

The catalytic converter closest to the cylinder head can fail causing illumination of the Check Engine Light. Prompt repair of this problem is recommended because the catalyst material can be sucked into the engine and cause internal damage.

The camshaft driven distributor can leak oil and cause a malfunction of the crankshaft position sensor. The engine may crank but not start or run very poorly.

Failure of the ignition power transistor can cause a "crank-no start" condition.

The engine may stall at times due to a failed crankshaft position sensor and/or camshaft position sensor, These sensors can fail intermittently as they warm with the engine. Sensors on certain models have been recalled by Nissan and will be replaced as necessary. Please visit our recall section for this model to see if your vehicle is covered by this recall.

Nissan issued a recall on the fuel pump for premature failure. There was an owner notification program and labels were placed on the fuel pump access panel and next to the AC charge label in the engine compartment.

Crankshaft  and  camshaft  position sensors can leak oil into the connector causing  Check Engine Light  illumination. The engine may also stall as a result. Leaking sensors should be replaced. Certain 2002 models were recalled for a separate camshaft and crankshaft sensor issue. For more information on the recall please click  here»

The engine mount on the right side can wear prematurely and cause excessive engine movement.

An engine vacuum leak from the  intake manifold gasket may cause the engine to misfire or have a rough idle which may also illuminating the Check Engine Light.

The throttle body for the Nissan Altima is known for carbon buildup, and requires regular, light cleaning to maintain peak performance. After cleaning the throttle body, many owners notice a very high idle, erratic (bouncing) idle, and unpredictable power surging. 

The cause is normal ECU adaptation: When the throttle body builds up carbon, the rate of airflow is slightly decreased. The vehicles computer reads this decrease in air volume, and adjusts the throttle body settings to maintain the proper engine idle speed. When the carbon is cleaned out, the ECU now registers too much air, and cannot adjust back to the original settings. While it is trying to change settings, the idle will bounce from low to high, and the car will surge forward at times. 

It has been recommended to simply wipe inside the throttle body every 12,000 miles, and never to touch the flap inside. Also, the cleaning procedure may be best left to a qualified technician.

The solution can be as simple as disconnecting the battery for at least an hour, having the dealer reset the computer, or, in extreme cases, replace the throttle bodies. 

The electronic throttle actuator (throttle body) can fail causing a loss of power and illumination of the Check Engine Light.

The external seal on the engine oil cooler can fail and create an oil leak.

Welds on the catalytic converter heat shield can corrode causing a rattle during acceleration and possibly causing Check Engine Light illumination. The common repair for this issue is replacement of the damaged catalytic converter.

Several owners have reported instances of vehicle stalling at random. Professional diagnosis by a qualified shop is recommended. Issues could begin with various engine control sensors to fuel system modules and other major components. Diagnosis of the issue will prevent unnecessary part replacement and expenditure.

The front struts can wear prematurely and create a knocking noise when driving over bumps.