Top Scrap Cars Nissan Altima

How Long Do Nissan Altimas Last?

According to Junk Car Medics data, Nissan Altimas last an average lifespan of 16 years, or vehicle model year 2008,  and 154,546 miles. A well-maintained Nissan Altima can comfortably reach 15-25 years or 200,000 - 341,000 miles.

Junk Car Medics analyzed our data of people junking their Nissan Altima to determine these numbers. People junk their cars at the end of their lives, so it's a good representation of the average. One example is a 1999 Nissan Altima with 296,000 miles on it at the end of its life.

Here's how you can clock serious mileage and get +20 years from your Nissan:

  • Inspect your Altima regularly and have it serviced on schedule to tackle wear and tear before it impacts longevity. Taking good care of your Altima keeps it looking innovative and driving smoothly.
  • Form a relationship with a trusted mechanic who knows Nissans and understands your car's history and any peculiarities.
  • Safe and sensible driving is always a best practice. Focus on your driving to minimize dangers on the road and the strain on your engine. If possible, avoid short stop-and-start trips that burden components and prevent the engine from getting a healthy run. Sensible driving is usually rewarded with lower maintenance costs, too. Given the comparatively low ground clearance on many Altimas, you don't want to spend too much time on rough, bumpy roads.

Maintenance Tips for Nissan Altima Longevity

Look at essential tips for guiding your Nissan Altima to 200,000 miles and beyond.

  • Regular maintenance: Regular oil changes, filter replacements, and adherence to the service schedule are the keys to a long vehicle life. Skipping these crucial steps accelerates wear and tear and shortens the lifespan of your engine and other working parts.
  • Inspections: Develop the habit of regular visual inspections. Look for leaks, worn components like brake pads, and any signs of damage or frayed connections under the hood. Early detection is vital and can save you grief and a hefty repair bill.
  • Tire rotations: It's always a good idea to rotate your tires at least every six months to ensure they wear evenly. This supports more consistent road holding and longer tire life.
  • Monitor fuel efficiency: Keep track of your fuel efficiency because a dramatic decrease (without an accompanying change in driving behavior) may signal a problem under the hood or with your fuel system.

Common Issues and Repairs

While it is generally a great car, Nissan Altima models have had their share of problems over the years. Here are the most significant issues that have dogged the vehicle.

  • Transmission problems: One of the most severe Nissan Altima problems is related to the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Numerous transmission failures characterized by jerking, shuddering, and difficulty accelerating have been recorded. These problems are experienced predominantly in the fourth and fifth generations (2007-2018) of cars. The fifth generation 2013 model is known to be particularly problematic, with faulty airbags and exterior lighting problems adding to its CVT failures.
  • Faulty catalytic converters: Some Nissan Altimas have suffered catalytic converters failures. Symptoms include poor engine performance and increased emissions. This problem has occurred across various model years but is evidenced mainly in the fourth and fifth generations.
  • Rust: Rust problems plague older Nissan Altima models, particularly those produced in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The severity of the problem varies depending on factors such as climate, driving conditions, and maintenance practices. Rust is most prevalent in areas that use road salt in winter and high-humidity areas. Rust typically appears in the car's undercarriage, wheel wells, door panels, and around the trunk lid.
  • Electrical system problems: Electrical issues, including malfunctioning sensors, power window failures, and problems with the dashboard display, have been witnessed across various generations of cars.
  • Brake and rotor problems: Premature wear and warping of brake pads and rotors is another common problem. This issue has been reported in various model years.

Not all Nissan Altima vehicles will experience these issues, and the seriousness of the problem will vary between vehicles. Follow these tips to address or stay ahead of problems:

  • React promptly to recalls: If Nissan issues a recall to address faults that might impact your Altima, engage quickly and have your car checked and cleared.
  • Listen to your car: Unusual engine noises, rough idling, or a drop in fuel efficiency could spell a problem. Get it checked – early detection is vital to prevent minor niggles from becoming significant issues.
  • Brake checks: Include inspection of the brake system as part of your monitoring and maintenance regime.
  • Adapt to your environment: Harsh and dusty climates, extreme temperatures, and snow salt brine can affect a car’s longevity. If your Altima is exposed to these conditions, prepare it accordingly. Frequent air filter changes, attention to fluid levels, and regular underbody inspections for potential rust (especially in winter climates) become even more relevant. Such maintenance costs and efforts will pay dividends down the road.
  • Rust: Nissan has tried to improve rust protection in newer models, but you can still take preventive steps to minimize the risk. These include regular washing and waxing, inspecting the vehicle for signs of rust, and tackling first indications urgently. Applying rustproofing treatments or undercoating will help protect the car from corrosion. Many owners swear by a Krown or equivalent treatment every few years.
  • Transmission problems: Since CVT transmission problems on some Altima models can compromise the car later in life, early detection by a qualified mechanic is crucial. Your car might require a CVT overhaul. This can cost $3,000 to $4,500, but if it prolongs your Altima's life, it's well spent. The Altima's transmission problem highlights the importance of changing your car's transmission fluid to keep this critical system lubricated and performing optimally. For a CVT transmission, you could change it as often as every 35,000 miles.

Nissan Altima Scrap Car Value and End-of-Life Options

Nissan Altimas are known for their longevity. A well-maintained motor will hold its value reasonably well. However, due to depreciation, repairs eventually become too expensive to justify. The car reaches its end of life, and its worth is effectively limited to scrap value.

A non-running car from the early 90's may be worth only $100, while a more recent model may pay over $1,500. The average scrap price of a Nissan Altima is currently $487.96. The average scrap mileage is 154,546, with the max mileage recorded at 341,000.

If you own a Nissan Altima approaching the end of its operational life and are contemplating its sale or disposal, online vehicle dealers and local scrapyards are in the market to buy your car. Contact Junk Car Medics for a free quote. We buy junk Nissans for cash and offer a fast, streamlined sales process that puts money in your pocket.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Nissan Altima one of the most reliable midsize sedans?

According to a Consumer Reports survey, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are the two top-ranking vehicles in the midsize sedan segment for longevity and dependability. The Nissan Altima fares reasonably well against most competitors but is not in the upper rank of reliable, high-mileage cars.

How can I prevent common problems and ensure my Nissan Altima lasts longer?

Being proactive with maintenance, addressing any warning signs promptly, and staying informed about manufacturer recalls can help prevent common problems and extend the lifespan of your Nissan Altima.

What are some signs that my Nissan Altima might be reaching its end of life?

Signs such as frequent breakdowns, significant rust or corrosion, excessive oil consumption, and costly repairs may indicate that your Nissan Altima is nearing the end of its useful life.

What is a CVT transmission?

A Continuously Variable Transmission, or CVT, is an automatic transmission that operates without traditional gears. A CVT uses a system of pulleys and belts or chains to provide an infinite number of gear ratios rather than fixed ones. This system allows the engine to operate more efficiently across a broader range of speeds.