How many miles can a Nissan Altima last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Altima, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a Nissan Altima lasts between 220.000 – 260.000 miles. An Altima needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.27 times per year, with a 12% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Altima owners spend an average of $483 per year on repair costs.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles an Altima can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much an Altima costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!
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How Many Miles Can A Nissan Altima Last?
To know the exact answer to this question, looking at only a couple of high mileage Nissan Altimas is not enough. Our team at thedriveradviser has looked at over seventeen thousand Nissan Altimas to determine how many miles they will last before eventually going to heaven.
Our approach looks at these 17000+ Nissan Altimas and compares their mileage data in categories. In this way, we can safely give the statistical data of how many miles they will last you. To make things simple, we have divided the whole mileage cascade into four categories, the most important one being the 150k+ mile category.
|Number Of Miles||Percentage Of Cars|
|Cars With 150,000+||3.52%|
|Cars With 100,000 – 149,000||11.62%|
|Cars With 45,000 – 99,999||48.55%|
|Cars With 0 – 44,999||36.28%|
If a vehicle can show us more than 3% crossing the 150k mile mark, it would be considered reliable because those vehicles that can cross the 150k mile barrier with at least 3% are reliable indeed. So when we were finished with all the research, it turned out that Nissan Altima achieved the minimum requirement with a little over 3% of them crossing the 150k mile mark.
This data suggests that the Nissan Altima is a reliable vehicle. Our research also showed that those who achieved higher miles were mostly 2010+ model years. So, if you are looking for a reliable Nissan Altima that will last you 250k+ miles, it has to be some model above 2010.
The remaining categories also suggest that the ones that weren’t able to reach the 150k mile barrier are close to getting there, and in the long run, we will eventually see them in the 150K miles category. The most prominent percentage contributing to this possibility is the below 45k mile category because most vehicles would have this percentage around 50; however, it is significantly better in the case of Nissan Altima.
So in the first test on our list of reliability tests, Nissan Altima did a great job; however, it’s not enough to declare that the Nissan Altima is a reliable vehicle. To make sure, we have a list of tests to which we will subject the Nissan Altima and see how reliable it can be in the long run by taking into account all the reliability aspects.
We will be comparing the mileage data with the competitors and other Nissans. Then, we will look at the common problems, maintenance costs, and maintenance schedules to get the bigger picture of its reliability.
How Reliable Is A Nissan Altima Compared To Its Competitors?
The comparison with the competition is the proving ground for any vehicle in question. Today, we compare the mileage data of the Nissan Altima with its competitors as the competition includes the industry’s big reliability names, i.e., the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Hyundai Sonata.
Even before we had the same mileage approach as the competitors, we knew that the Nissan Altima wouldn’t be able to keep up, and it was true. We performed the same research against the competition, and the results are given in the table below.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150,000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150,000+||Highest Mileage|
Even though the Nissan Altima was able to pass the minimum 3%, the competition had done much better. The Toyota Camry was able to get 6.24% crossing the 150k mile mark while the Honda Accord took the lead with the highest, 6.66% of them crossing the 150k mile barrier.
We take the reliability percentage as relative marking. A vehicle in question can not be considered reliable if the competition is far ahead. In this section, you might have noticed that we have also compared the highest mileage data, and it was obvious that the Honda Accord, which had the highest percentage was, in fact, the one that showed the highest average mileage.
In this category, the Nissan Altima should have had at least shown 4% to have a better footing against the fierce competition of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Hyundai Sonata had an applaudable fight against them.
So, it turns out that even though the Nissan Altima had the minimum 3%, it couldn’t compete with other reliable vehicles of the same luxury sedan category. However, to make this official, we have to perform several different tests first, and then we will be able to know if it’s worth your hard-earned money or if the competition is better suited for you.
Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other vehicles regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)
How Reliable Is A Nissan Altima Compared To Other Nissans?
The next test shows how Nissans perform as a whole. This comparison will also give us insight into how reliable the Nissan brand is. We performed the same mileage research, and after all the strenuous calculations, we made this awesome table given below.
|Model||Sample Size||Cars With 150,000+ Miles||% Percentage Of Cars With 150,000+||Highest Mileage|
This data clearly shows that Nissan is a reliable manufacturer but not as reliable as a Honda or a Toyota.
To better understand why Nissans are not as reliable, we will perform several other tests in which we will see how the maintenance cost affects the reliability and the common problems that have prevented the Nissan Altima from reaching the 150k mile barrier in huge numbers/percentages?
How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?
If the Nissan Altima costs you a lot on maintenance, it cannot be considered reliable. We found the maintenance cost for several Nissan Altima model years and have calculated the average annual maintenance cost.
|Model Year||Annual Maintenance Cost|
The average cost to keep your Nissan Altima in great shape is $461. If maintenance is not taken care of, it will further lead to problems, and if the issues are not taken care of, your Nissan Altima will go to heaven.
Nissan Altima Common Problems
In this section, we will look at all the common problems in your typical Nissan Altima. For a vehicle to be considered reliable, it must not show any common issues that will cost you a fortune to fix. Minor issues are not to be taken seriously, but if a vehicle shows several expensive-to-fix problems, we cannot consider it reliable.
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.
Failing Crankshaft Position Sensor
This is a common problem we have all faced in recent years. This problem results in the car shutting itself off or stalling the engine while the vehicle is moving, which is very dangerous and can prove fatal in such situations. The issue is easily fixed by inspecting the sensor and repairing the faulty parts, costing about $210 depending on the model year and the part.
Leaking Intake Gasket Affecting Air Flow Sensor
The intake gaskets are known to have a leaking issue in Nissan Altimas, which causes the fuel economy to plummet and lose power. The air intake is responsible for feeding the engine with the right amount of air mixture. If it’s not giving the proper air mixture, the fuel economy will go down when there is leakage, and your engine might also be damaged.
The remedy for this problem is going to cost you about $300. An affordable fix is possible if you can seal the area where the air leaks out.
Failed Engine Seal
This can result in an oil leak in the engine. Research shows that the problem does not occur due to the engine but rather the O-rings used to seal it. Repairing this issue involves removing the oil filter and the oil cooler and then replacing the O-ring. Repairing the O-ring is not that pricey, but if you’re repairing both the O-ring and the oil cooler, it should cost about $700.
Most Nissans that we have reviewed have shown transmission issues, mainly because these transmissions are the notorious CVTs that are prone to fail. CVTs (Continuously variable transmissions) have a belt slipping issue or a complete mechanical failure that requires thousands of dollars to repair. The replacement will also cost you around $5000.
The best way to avoid this issue is the before-time transmission oil replacement. Nissan knows about the problem, so the powertrain warranty was amended to take into account all the known transmission issues. This problem was widespread in the models from 2007 to 2010.
Also read: The Expected Mileage Of A Nissan Altima
Is A Nissan Altima A Smart Buy?
Given all the tests we have performed so far, the Nissan Altima is not that great of an option. The competition has performed much better in terms of reliability. If you are open to alternatives, we would recommend the competition. However, if you are a Nissan fan, there is no harm in having one, except that you would have to spend extra on maintenance.
Another factor that plays an essential role in the buying decision is the depreciation of vehicles after some time. We usually calculate depreciation for five years. In the case of the Nissan Altima, the depreciation came out to be 58% which is a lot of depreciation compared to the competitors.
It means that a Nissan Altima will lose 58% of its worth after the first five years of its journey in the outside world—meaning outside the dealership. The Honda Accord depreciates about 42% and the Toyota Camry 48% to give you a quick comparison. Lower depreciation means that you won’t lose much money when selling.
The most significant depreciation is faced by the owner who bought it new, so if you purchase a Nissan Altima from the used market, you will benefit from depreciation. In contrast, if you bought it new, you are at a disadvantage.
When buying off the used market, always go for the clean titles, as the salvage ones would be nothing but trouble. You can also ensure the service history is good and all the maintenance has been taken care of in the best of manners. And lastly, go for the ones having fewer miles on the clock.
Nissan Altima Maintenance Schedule
If you want to avoid spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on repair bills, you must ensure that your vehicle is well maintained. Smaller maintenance checks can help you steer clear of the larger repair bills.
Before/On Every 7,500 Miles
- Engine oil needs to be changed
- The oil filter needs to be changed
- General inspection and service
- Tire rotation, also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Nissan Altima
Before/On Every 20,000 Miles
- Cabin air filter replacement
- Brakes inspection
- Electronics inspection
Before/On Every 40,000 Miles
- Transmission fluid requires replacement usually at 40k miles; however, it’s best to replace before/on 35k miles.
- Brake rotors and brake pads inspection and replacement if necessary
Before/On Every 60,000 Miles
- Tire replacement; further required wheel balancing and wheel alignment
- Spark plugs replacement
- PCV Cleaning
- Throttle body cleaning
- EVAP system inspection
- Ignition coil replacement
- Fuel filter replacement
- Fuel pump and fuel injectors cleaning/replacement.
- Coolant inspection
- Suspension components examination replacement
Other Maintenance Tips
- Use manufacturer’s recommended Fuel Additives
- Use the manufacturer’s recommended Octane
- Use the manufacturer’s recommended Engine Oil
- If you can keep your Nissan Altima clean, you will be able to keep it maintained.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!