2004 Nissan Altima Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2004 Nissan Altima as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

Refine by vehicle
×
Choose your vehicle
18
Known Problems

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Rattling and tapping in the front of the engine on the 2002-2016 Nissan Altima V6 is very evident, especially on cold starts. This rattling noise should not be taken lightly as it warns of upcoming timing chain failure. 

The cause of the noise is faulty timing chain guide rails and timing chain tensioners that wear out well ahead of schedule. These components are there to keep the timing chain tight and properly positioned. When these parts fail, the timing chain becomes loose, and pieces of the timing chain guides break off, falling into the oil pan. 

To remedy the situation, Nissan/Infiniti has made revised guides and tensioners, but replacement can be very costly. 

Proper oil change intervals and oil type may help slow or prevent the situation. 

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.

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.

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

The AC system may blow warm air due to refrigerant loss caused by a leaking low pressure AC hose. These hoses commonly develop a leak at the hose crimp connection.

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»