2007-2012 Nissan Altima

Reliability: Consumer Reports rates a used Nissan Altima as 'Good Bet'. While the Altima doesn't have major problems, it's not as reliable as Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. There are some issues with a CVT transmission, although the CVT warranty has been extended.

Common problems: Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) could be troublesome, especially in the Rust Belt states due to corrosion at the tire pressure sensors. A faulty brake light switch can cause a variety of problems, including a no-start. Loose exhaust heat shields can produce rattling noises from underneath the car; the common fix is to secure the heat shields with worm gear clamps. Noisy brakes are not uncommon. Minor oil leaks from the oil cooler are reported often. There are some complaints about the CVT too; in response, Nissan has extended the CVT warranty to 10 years / 120,000 miles on all 2003-2010 CVT models; visit www.nissanassist.com for details.

What to look for when buying a used Nissan Altima: Check the history records to avoid cars that were previously damaged in accidents or flooded. Check all the accessories inside: the air conditioner, windows, the audio system, etc. During a test-drive watch out for a whining noise that is more noticeable at higher speeds; it could be caused by the CVT. In some cases, the whining noise is more noticeable on deceleration. A humming noise from the wheel area that is more pronounced at higher speeds can be caused by a bad wheel bearing; replacing a wheel bearing could cost from $350 to $500. See if the driver's seat shifts during turns, there are some complaints about this issue. If the engine rattles at a cold start, avoid the car. Read more: what to look for when buying a used car. It might be a good idea to pick the Altima model without Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Before buying, have the car properly inspected by a mechanic.
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Maintenance The CVT transmission requires genuine Nissan CVT fluid. The 2010 Altima Owner's Manual says:

Using transmission fluid other than Genuine NISSAN CVT Fluid NS-2 will damage the CVT

Nissan recommended using premium gasoline for early V6 models; check your owner's manual. If your car doesn't start with a push start button, check if the brake lights work. If the brake lights don't work, have the brake light switch checked. Follow this link if you need to download an electronic owner's manual. Here you can check the maintenance schedule. Check for recalls at Safety Recalls - NHTSA or Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls
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2011 Nissan Altima specifications (4-door sedan)

Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:
190.7 in (4844 mm)
70.7 in (1795 mm)
58.0 in (1473 mm)
109.3 in (2775 mm)
Cargo Volume: 15.3 cu. ft.


2.5L, 16-valve 4-cylinder DOHC
with Continuously Variable Timing Control, model QR25DE
175 hp @ 5600 rpm, 180 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm

3.5L, 24-valve V6 DOHC with
Continuously Variable Timing Control, model VQ35DE
270 hp @ 6000 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
EPA Fuel Economy (US mpg, L/100 km):
2.5L engine, automatic:

3.5L engine automatic:

city: 23 US mpg (10.2 L/100 km)
hwy: 32 US mpg (7.4 L/100 km)

city: 20 US mpg (11.8 L/100 km)
hwy: 27 US mpg (8.7 L/100 km)

Recommended Fuel:
Unleaded regular 87 AKI
Fuel Tank Capacity:

20 US gal (75.6 liters)

Engine oil capacity with filter:
Oil Change including filter:

4-7/8 US qt. (4.6 liters)
5-1/8 US qt. (4.8 liters)