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2009 Nissan Altima Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2009 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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18
Known Problems

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.

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 right-side motor mount can wear prematurely and cause excessive engine movement. Symptoms you may experience from a failed motor mount are vibrations at idle, noises while going over a bump and vibrations when the transmission is shifting. Replacement of the motor mount is needed to fix the issue. 

Nissan Altima's with the 3.5L V6 engine can experience oil leaks from the engine due to a leaking oil cooler o-ring. This leak often occurs after an oil change because the oil filter is attached to the cooler and removing and installing the oil filter can alter the oil cooler o-ring sealing capabilities. 

Repairing the leak requires removing the oil filter and the oil cooler and replacing the 0-ring. In some cases, it's recommended you replace the oil cooler but if this is suggested, be sure to get validation from the mechanic as to why they aren't replacing just the o-ring.

In severe cases where the oil has been leaking for a considerable amount of time and the oil level drops very low, owners have reported noise from the engine due to low oil pressure and/or a check engine light on with an OBD-II Code P0011 DTC set. 

The engine may stall when the engine is warmed up. This can be caused by a failed crankshaft position sensor and/or camshaft position sensor. These sensors can fail intermittently so the problem may come and go. Sensors on certain models have been recalled by Nissan and will be replaced as necessary. Please visit our recall section to see if your Nissan is covered by this recall.

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»

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 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.

The Camshaft position sensor can leak oil into its electrical connector causing the Check Engine light to illuminate. The engine may also stall intermittently as a result.

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 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.