Skip to Content

How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last?

How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last?

The Nissan Altima is a popular midsize sedan that is loaded with technology. It is known for its comfortable interior, and it has a sporty exterior, too. The Nissan Altima offers a range of powerful engines and trims.

If you are thinking about the Nissan Altima, the next thing you probably want to know is how long it will last!

Nissan Altimas can be expected to last between 13 to 20 years and typically for 200,000 or more miles. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what can go wrong with a Nissan Altima over time.

Do Nissan Altimas Last a Long Time?

The Nissan Altima has a reputation as a car that can last a long time when it is cared for and maintained properly. A used Nissan Altima is an excellent choice if you find one that has had regular maintenance and that has been gently used. 

An Altima can be expected to last between 13 to 20 years, depending on how many miles it is driven over time.

Depending on where you live, factors like road salt and weather can cause rust problems. Chronic rust issues seem to become worse around 10 to 15 years. The main areas to be affected first are the exhaust, wheels, bumper, hood, and manifold. 

Taking care of these issues when they first begin to appear can help prolong the life of your Altima.

What Is High Mileage for A Nissan Altima?

Although it is difficult to determine how long your Altima will last, there have been cases of Altimas lasting 300,000 miles. Many more Altimas last at least 200,000 miles.

How Long Do Nissan Transmissions Last?

With proper maintenance, the transmission on your Altima can be expected to last between 130,000 to 180,000 miles. Some Altimas can begin having transmission problems around 53,100 miles. 

The average cost to fix the transmission is around $3,100 with no guarantee of a resolution.

Nissan Altima Years to Avoid

Several years of Altimas had more recalls than others. These include:

  • 2002: 12 recalls
  • 2003: 10 recalls
  • 2013: 12 recalls
  • 2014: 8 recalls
  • 2015: 10 recalls

Repair records indicate that the worst year for the Altima is 2013. Some of the complaints that were reported the most are the CVT shattering, vibration issues, and transmission problems. 

Other common problems with the 2013 Altima include problems with the interior accessories, faulty brake pads, engine problems, steering problems, and AC or heater problems.

The 2009 Altima is known for problems with steering wheel lock, which costs about $900 to fix. Third-generation Altimas is also one that you might want to avoid because they were the object of a class-action lawsuit due to rust issues. The third generation includes vehicles from 2002 to 2006.

Fifth Generation models from 2013-2018 were noted as the worst in reliability due to frequent transmission issues and concerns over interior problems. 

One of the more significant problems that were found is that the hood could suddenly open while you are going down the road. This issue was responsible for several accidents.

Tips for Making Your Nissan Altima Last Longer

The key to getting a long life out of your Nissan Altima depends on how well you take care of it. If you buy a new Altima, you have complete control over how well it is maintained and how hard it is driven. 

If you buy a used one, how long your Altima lasts depends on how well the previous owner took care of it. Here are a few ways you can make sure you get the longest life possible from your Altima.

  • Rust prevention. One of the best ways to prevent rust is to make sure to purchase rust prevention. Professional rust-proofing is the most effective, but if you want to do it yourself, there are sprays and coatings available.

  • Have recalls fixed. If a recall is issued on your Altima, it is important to get it into a qualified dealership quickly. You should not have a general repair shop do the repair, or it could void the warranty on your vehicle. A dealership will make sure the repair is completed to factory specifications.

  • Only use a certified Nissan dealership. When having your Nissan serviced or repaired, you should only have it done at a certified dealership. If you take your Nissan to a repair shop that is not certified, then you could void your warranty in some cases. Another reason to use a certified dealer is that they know how to do the repair to factory specifications. This means that when the repair is complete, it will be like new.

  • Keep up with maintenance. One of the most important things you can do to keep your Nissan Altima running is to keep up on routine maintenance like oil changes, radiator flushes, and other recommended care. Having fluid levels checked and seasonal maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to make your Nissan last.

  • Have regular service inspections. When you are having your Nissan serviced, the technician will usually inspect for anything that is coming up that might need to be replaced. Having items, such as brake shoes and seals replaced before they fail and cause damage to other parts can help you avoid a more costly repair and assure that your Altima is running in safe and in top shape.

  • Wash the exterior frequently. Road salt, animal droppings, and acid rain can cause your paint to wear out quickly. In some cases, damage to the paint from animal droppings can cause damage in as little as a day or two. You should wash your Altima with mild soap or take it to a car wash to prevent the paint from becoming damaged and allowing rust to settle in.

  • Don’t ignore engine lights. If an engine light comes on and stays on, you should take it into a repair shop immediately. Many people tend to assume it is a faulty sensor if they cannot find anything wrong, but this is a mistake. An engine light is a sign of trouble, and you should take it to your local dealership to have the problem diagnosed and properly fixed.

  • Avoid aggressive driving. How you drive plays a big role in how long your Altima will last. Quick take-offs can be exhilarating, and sometimes they are necessary, but this can lead to wear. Pushing the accelerator to the floor and slamming on the brakes stresses the components and makes them more likely to wear out quickly. Slow, steady driving is the best way to assure your Altima has a long life.

  • Maintain your tires. You might not think that maintaining your tires is the most important thing on the list, but it is something that can help prolong the life of your vehicle. It can affect fuel efficiency, and this stresses the role that the tires play in the operation of the engine. Keeping your tires properly inflated and maintained places less stress on many other components. It is also important for helping you avoid an accident.

  • Don’t overload your vehicle. Anything you can do to reduce the strain on your engine will help your car last longer. Overloading your Altima makes the components have to work harder, and this produces excess heat. Heat is the enemy of many of the working parts of your car.

  • Don’t let your Altima set without driving it. Letting your car set for a long time can be just as hard on it as running it too much. When cars sit for too long, seals and rubber components wear out and rust begins to collect around parts. This can cause parts to seize, and when you start the car, they can be damaged. You are not preserving your car by keeping it in the garage without driving it.

Finally, it is worth stating there are many different opinions as to how long an Altima will last and when it is time to sell. Some people consider their car to be worn out when only a few minor things are wrong. 

Others will be happy to replace an engine and transmission or two and still keep it on the road. Regardless of where you happen to fall on that spectrum, you can rest assured that an Altima can last you a long time if you take care of it and keep it maintained.

Related Altima Articles

Additional Longevity Guides

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!