How many miles can a Nissan Sentra last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Sentra, that’s 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 Sentra lasts between 200.000 – 250.000 miles. A Sentra needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.23 times per year, with a 12% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Sentra owners spend an average of $491 per year on repair costs.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below, we’ll explain in more detail how many miles a Sentra can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a Sentra costs annually 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 Sentra Last?
Today, we will analyze how many miles a Nissan Sentra can last. We conducted in-depth research on several different platforms to answer these questions. First, we have to look at the Nissan Sentra as a group. For this, we went to Autotrader.com to gather our sample size.
We took a pool of 10.138 Nissan Sentras and divided them into groups based on the miles they had already driven. The results of this research are displayed in the table below.
|Number Of Miles
|Percentage Of Cars
|Cars With 150,000+
|Cars With 100,000 – 149,000
|Cars With 45,000 – 99,999
|Cars With 0 – 44,999
What we can see in the table above is the fact that 2.17% of Sentras that are for sale in the United States have crossed the 150.000 miles mark. By itself, this number doesn´t say a lot. However, from writing hundreds of articles like this, we know that we expect a car to achieve a number between 3-5%.
At first glance, these numbers indicate that the Sentra isn´t as reliable as we would like them to be. However, there´s undoubtedly some nuance to it. The main factor dragging down the average percentage is that Nissan has sold many more Sentras in the past eight years than they did before.
For this reason, many Sentras on the market today are pretty new and haven´t had time to reach higher mileage. Therefore, it seems more reasonable to conclude the Sentra achieves reliability as expected. However, there´s more factors to look at to come to a definite conclusion.
How Reliable Is A Nissan Sentra Compared To Its Competitors?
Even when you see a vehicle having hundreds of thousands of miles on the gauge cluster, more proof is necessary to know for sure what you are buying is, in fact, the most reliable and long-lasting vehicle.
In the table below, we´ve displayed the expected and highest recorded mileage of different Sentra competitors. Please keep in mind we´ve written separate articles for these vehicles as well, and therefore we´re confident in the displayed results.
What becomes apparent in the table above is the fact that the Sentra isn´t holding up in terms of potential mileage. Now, we have to say that 225.000 expected miles aren´t bad at all. However, the Sentra just so happens to compete with many vehicles known for their extreme reliability and long lifespan. The Civic, Elantra, and Corolla are all heavy hitters in that sense.
This data clarifies that the Sentra is definitely a reasonable car, but its competitors are much better.
How Reliable Is A Nissan Sentra Compared To Other Nissans?
We took several Nissan models and examined their reliability based on the same data. We took the mileage numbers of these models and compared them with the mileage numbers of the Nissan Sentra.
What becomes clear from this table immediately is the fact that Nissan builds vehicles with a proper lifespan. Car brands typically have vehicles that last between 200.000 – 250.000 miles; anything above that is rare. Nissan fall right into that range with most models, some overperform slightly, and some underperform somewhat.
What becomes apparent in the table below is the fact that the Sentra holds up quite well compared to other Nissan. Of course, there will always be the Frontier and the Altima, with their incredible lifespan. However, the Sentra still puts up solid numbers for the brand overall.
How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?
The maintenance cost must be as low as possible for a vehicle to be truly reliable. Any unreliable vehicle can achieve high mileage if money is put into repairs. But a reliable car does not require those expensive repairs. In the table below, we´ve gathered the Sentra´s maintenance costs for many model years. This data was acquired from Repairpal and Caredge.com.
On average, we expect to pay $491 in annual maintenance costs for a Nissan Sentra. Let it be clear that this is a solid number. Typically, it costs a car owner $526 annually to keep a midsize car like the Sentra on the road. Therefore, the Sentra is well over $30 cheaper yearly than its competition.
However, what becomes clear from the data is that some model years are much more expensive to maintain than others. Especially the 2010 – 2014 models seem to have some inherent problem causing maintenance costs to skyrocket. We´ll dive deeper into that in a moment.
|Annual Maintenance Cost
Owners’ Reviews Of The Nisan Sentras Reliability
Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the Sentra. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Truecar, and Cars.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.
We saw on these different websites that the scores are a bit mixed. Diving deeper into the reviews, we found that the build quality of this generation of the Sentra varies from model to model. Most seem to be quite fine, while others have serious issues or need to get to the shop for minor repairs. The lack of power is also frequently mentioned.
Especially the 2019 – 2020 models seem to be difficult; they received a 3.1 and a 3.4 on Edmunds (on a scale of 1-5). The quote below sums up the sentiment quite well:
I haven’t had any problems with this car, except for the camera when cruise control is on. Nissan replaced it when I went in for a oil change. I didn’t even ask. They just did it. I don’t like the tires. They make the ride hard. I will change that when it is time to buy new tires.
I don’t like the nonpower when I go to pass someone. other than that it is a nice little ride. When driving 55 I got 43 mpg. But I can’t keep driving 55. I need speed.Source
Nissan Sentra Common Problems
If you´re in the market for a Nissan Sentra, you should also be aware of the vehicle’s common problems. Below, we´ve created a summary. If you want to know all the most common problems of the past years, read this article we wrote earlier.
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.
Faulty Brake Booster
In some Nissan Sentra models, especially the 2013 – 2015 model, the owners complained that the brakes became non-compliant and hard. This can result in a fatal car crash because the driver might be unable to estimate the braking distance.
This problem arises due to a faulty brake booster. A brake booster- or vacuum booster- increases the thrust transmitted from the brake pedal to the brake discs. In Nissan Sentra, this brake booster tends to fail due to problems with the vacuum mechanism. As the vacuum diminishes, the brake can become hard. A recall didn´t cover this issue.
This is the most common and severe problem in the 2013-2017 model years units. These models consist of CVTs (Continuously Variable Transmission). These are prone to fail and cause many problems in the vehicle, which seems to be common with a lot of Nissan models like the Murano, too.
Although you could change the CVT with a conventional transmission, it would require extensive changes to the car’s computer so that the powertrain works smoothly afterward. The repair cost would be somewhere between $3,500 to $4,000.
Faulty Tie Rods
Tie rods transmit rotational force from the steering rack to the steering arm, moving the wheel left or right. Nissan claims that it uses high-strength steel tie rods, but these are prone to bending in 2020 – 2021 models, which were recalled for the issue.
There have been various complaints of Nissan Sentra’s headlights not focusing correctly on the road ahead. The headlights are also dim, hampering the visibility at night time. Car owners complain that they frequently use the beam to see things. The 2020 model was recalled for this issue.
Crankshaft Position Sensor
There have been a few reports of this problem in recent years. But this problem is still happening in the model years before 2017. This problem causes the car to shut off on its own and be dangerous on the highway. The problem can be fixed by inspecting the sensor and repairing the parts. It would cost about $210.
The 2012 – 2019 Nissan Sentra also has airbag problems, particularly the 2015 model. Airbags are supposed to deploy in the wake of a car crash and protect the driver and the occupants. The airbag release module is connected to the Occupant Classification System or OCS for proper functioning. OCS detects when the passenger seat is occupied and deploys airbags accordingly.
Due to faulty programming of the OCS in some of the earlier 7th-generation Sentra models, the car cannot detect if the seat is occupied and cannot deploy the airbags. The 2013 – 2016 models did eventually have a recall for this issue.
Failing MAF Sensor
This part is located between the air filter and the throttle body. Air, after getting cleaned from the air filter, passes through the MAF sensor, and the latter measures the amount of air flowing into the engine.
MAF sensors can malfunction if you don’t replace the air filter regularly. This was especially the case for the 2013 – 2019 Sentra. Dirty air clogs the sensor, and your car will miscalculate the amount of air required for fuel combustion. It can be asymptomatic, or the car might have hiccups while accelerating, a check engine light might come on, and the engine can stall upon acceleration.
Is A Nissan Sentra A Smart Buy?
Finally, we have to answer whether or not the Nissan Sentra is a vehicle that´s worth buying. When we look at the potential mileage the vehicle can achieve, we see that this is reasonable. We expect a Sentra to pass the 200.000 miles mark easily, but not the 250.000 miles mark. Furthermore, some competitors have a much longer lifespan.
Moving on to the maintenance costs, we see that the Sentra has below-average costs, which will always be a positive sign. However, we also noticed that some model years are much more expensive than others.
Looking at the owners’ reviews, we see these are mixed for the current generations. Especially the 2019 – 2020 model years don´t seem to please everybody.
Finally, we see that some problems have plagued the Sentra in the past decade. Especially the CVT transmission has been causing headaches. Furthermore, the build quality of the models in the past ten years has not been perfect either.
The Sentra is not a terrible car, but it´s not perfect, either. We recommend looking at competitors in the market before settling on a Sentra. It´s especially wise to stay away from the 2013 – 2019 Sentras with a CVT since these have problems that can add up quickly.
Nissan Sentra Maintenance Schedule
The golden rule of maintenance is that you should be early or perfectly on time with it. This will make your life much easier and your vehicle much more reliable.
Before/On Every 7,500 Miles
- Engine oil replacement
- Oil filter replacement
- General inspection
- Tire rotation
Before/On Every 20,000 Miles
- Cabin air filter replacement
- Brakes inspection
- Suspension inspection
- Fluid checks, checks for any leaks
Before/On Every 40,000 Miles
- Normally, transmission fluid requires changing at 40,000 miles, but you should change it at 30,000. The CVT is bound to have problems, and it’s best to avoid them by promptly replacing the transmission fluid.
- Update software, if available
- Check and replace suspension components that require replacement.
- Inspect brake fluid and replace it if necessary.
- OBD tool scan for any problem codes
- Inspect the emissions system
Before/On Every 60,000 Miles
- Tire replacement
- Wheel balancing and alignment
- Spark plugs inspection and replacement
- Ignition coil replacement
- Fuel filter replacement
- Fuel pump inspection and replacement, if required
- Fuel injectors inspection and replacement if required.
- MAF airflow sensor cleaning
- PCV system cleaning
- Throttle body cleaning
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!