How Much Will it Cost to Repair my Nissan Altima?

An Overview of Nissan Altima Problems and Repair Costs

Don’t you wish your new car would remain in brand new condition longer than it actually does? Ahhh…that new car smell and the hum of a perfectly purring engine, it’s music to your ears.

The quick and short answer is: Yes!

Unfortunately, all vehicles depreciate in value over time, and normal wear and tear is a natural occurrence. So, while you can buy “new car smell” air fresheners and do your best to give it consistent TLC, inevitably all vehicles will need regular maintenance and sadly, incur some repair costs. A common pondering that car owners typically have is: How much will it cost to repair my car?

Good question, let’s see…

Reliability and how it Impacts Repair Costs

Regardless of the auto brand, make or model, at some point in the vehicle’s lifespan, it will need repair for something. Some auto brands may have proven to be more dependable than others and in some cases, it can vary depending on the brand’s model year. The Nissan Altima is no exception. Overall it is a highly reliable and dependable car, receiving a high reliability rating from RepairPal.

So, what’s the definition of reliable in the auto industry, and why does it matter when exploring vehicle repair costs? Auto reliability and auto repair costs are directly related – one impacts the other. The more reliable a car is, the lower repair costs you’ll likely incur.

According to RepairPal, reliability is a measurement of vehicle dependability based on the cost, frequency and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance.

The Nissan Altima scores a 4 out of 5 on the RepairPal Reliability scale with an average repair cost of $483. The average of other cars in the same category is $526, and the average costs for repairs and maintenance for all vehicle models overall is $652. So, you can count on the Nissan Altima to be dependable with lower-than-average repair costs.

Commonly Reported Problems and Repair Costs

The Nissan Altima has been a popular choice in the midsize sedan category. Consumers are drawn to it for its stylish design, roomy interior, safety and reliability. But just like any car in the market, there are still a few problems that have consistently been reported. Below are the most common issues and the estimated repair costs.

Failing Camshaft or Crankshaft Position Sensor
Cost to Repair: $167 – $215
Labor costs are estimated between $50 and $64 while parts are priced between $117 and $151.

Consumers have reported rough riding after the engine starts which can be attributed to a failing camshaft or crankshaft position sensor which can also cause the vehicle to not start or cause the engine to stall while the car is moving. If you think you may have a camshaft or crankshaft position sensor issue, get it looked at immediately.

Air Flow Sensor not Working Properly due to Intake Gasket
Cost to Repair: $311 – $387 Labor costs are estimated between $273 and $345 while parts are priced between $38 and $42.

The air flow sensor not working properly is due to a leak in the intake gasket. Unfortunately, it is common for this gasket to go bad in the Nissan Altima, which not only affects the car’s air intake, but can also lead to inefficient fuel economy, the vehicle’s engine not operating efficiently or even result in engine damage.

Not Properly Sealed O-Rings
Cost to Repair: Inexpensive (if just the o-ring)
Cost to Repair: $676 – $707
Labor costs are estimated between $114 and $145 while parts are priced at $562.

The o-ring is what seals the oil cooler and prevents oil from leaking. Owners will either notice that the oil is low (again) or oil leaking from the vehicle. If the oil leakage is not detected immediately, it may cause noise to come from the engine and sometimes if the oil level drops to a very low level it can make the Check Engine Light to illuminate with a P0011 code. This problem is specific to the 3.5L V6. Tip: If both o-ring and oil cooler are being replaced, make sure to ask why the shop is not just replacing the o-ring – it could save you some money.

Faulty Fuel Pump
Cost to Repair: $772 – $1,160
Labor costs are estimated between $90 and $115 while parts are priced between $682 and $1045.

Complaints about the Nissan Altima stalling is most likely connected to the premature failure of the fuel pump. A fuel pump that is not operating properly leads to fuel starvation and ultimately results in the car not starting up or stalling while the vehicle is driving because it is not receiving enough fuel pressure.

Catalytic Converter Failure
Cost to Repair: $1,163 – $1,213
Labor costs are estimated between $177 and $224 while parts are priced between $986 and $989.

When the catalytic converter is failing, it causes the Check Engine Light to illuminate and possibly show the code: PO420. Symptoms include lack of power or fuel economy due to the catalytic converter being clogged or broken, resulting in debris and causing the converter to operate inefficiently and not allowing exhaust to release. A failing catalytic converter can lead to internal engine damage if not remedied timely.

Transmission
Cost to Diagnose: $88 – $111
Cost to Repair: $3,500 – $5,000+

Transmission issues in the Altima include difficulty accelerating, shaking and stuttering, the engine running low and shutting down suddenly. Other issues that can be caused by the CVT transmission include loss of power, transmission jerking, transmission belt slippage, coolant hose leakage and a CVT error message. To read more about Nissan’s CVT transmission, check out olive’s blog: Common Nissan Altima Problems Consumers Should Know About.

Other Nissan Altima Repair Costs

We’ve compiled a list of the other commonly asked-about repair costs specific to the Nissan Altima. The below is not an inclusive list but does capture a variety of other repair inquiries. These repair costs are estimates and do not include taxes and fees. Estimates are based on RepairPal’s research and data.

AC Compressor
The average cost for a Nissan Altima AC compressor replacement is between $860 and $953. Labor costs are estimated between $144 and $182 while parts are priced between $716 and $771.

Brake Pad
The average cost for a Nissan Altima brake pad replacement is between $249 and $269. Labor costs are estimated between $74 and $94 while parts are priced at $175.

Brake Shoes
The average cost for a Nissan Altima brake shoes replacement is between $221 and $259. Labor costs are estimated between $140 and $178 while parts are priced at $81.

CVT Transmission Fluid Change
The average cost for a Nissan Altima transmission fluid change is between $171 and $187. Labor costs are estimated between $55 and $71 while parts are priced at $116.

Exhaust Manifold
The average cost for a Nissan Altima exhaust manifold replacement is between $1,232 and $1,476. Labor costs are estimated between $455 and $575 while parts are priced between $777 and $901.

Exhaust Flex Pipe
The average cost for a Nissan Altima exhaust pipe replacement is between $1,322 and $1,357. Labor costs are estimated between $81 and $103 while parts are priced between $1241 and $1254.

Head Gasket
The average cost for a Nissan Altima head gasket replacement is between $1,390 and $1,803. Labor costs are estimated between $1185 and $1496 while parts are priced between $205 and $307.

Oil Leak (Diagnosis)
The average cost for a Nissan Altima oil leak diagnosis is between $88 and $111. Labor costs are estimated between $88 and $111. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.

Radiator
The average cost for a Nissan Altima radiator replacement is between $562 and $822. Labor costs are estimated between $229 and $290 while parts are priced between $333 and $532.

Serpentine Belt
The average cost for a Nissan Altima serpentine belt replacement is between $94 and $115. Labor costs are estimated between $50 and $65 while parts are priced between $44 and $50.

Valve Cover Gasket
The average cost for a Nissan Altima valve cover gasket replacement is between $124 and $163. Labor costs are estimated between $105 and $134 while parts are priced between $19 and $29.

Minimizing Repairs – Tips to Keep Your Ride in Tip Top Condition

Here are some tips to keep your Nissan Altima in great shape to help minimize repairs.

Drive your ride gently. It can be tempting to race your zippy Altima around, but it’s best to ease into the acceleration. Go easy on the gas, and don’t put the pedal to the metal. Not only will you extend the life of your ride, but driving gently helps the transmission too, since it is a CVT, which uses a pulley system and is not gear-based.

Check and replace your lights annually. It is recommended that they be replaced every year as they lose their brightness over time. They are inexpensive to replace and will go a long way in helping other cars see you on the road better at night.

Don’t skip your regular maintenance. Changing the oil regularly, as well as your air filter ensures your car continues to run optimally. By checking under the hood regularly your mechanic is able to check that everything is running as it should and if not, call it out so that it doesn’t become a bigger issue.

Find a trusty mechanic. Repair costs can sometimes put pressure on your finances, so it’s a good idea to build a relationship with a mechanic who you can trust to have your back. A good mechanic can help you make decisions about your car’s maintenance and repair and you won’t have to doubt you’re being taken for a ride.

Wash me! It’s a good habit to wash your car frequently to remove debris – anything from bird poop to sand and dust from the road. Consistent car washing will help with the resale of your Nissan Altima too. We recommend giving your ride a good washing about five times a year.

How to Find the Right Mechanic for Your Nissan Altima

While we never want to have to shell out cash for repairs, we most likely will have to at some point. It’s part of owning a car. So, when you have to take your Nissan in for maintenance or repair, it’s good to know that you can trust your mechanic. Here are some tips for finding the right mechanic to service your Nissan Altima.

Find a mechanic and/or auto shop that specializes in Nissan auto repairs. These shops and professionals are more likely to be up to date on the latest training and equipment to fix your Nissan. Regardless of which mechanic you go to, make sure they have Nissan’s latest technical service bulletins (TSBs), which are instructions on how to fix common problems with a particular model.

Check for certifications. Your mechanic and shop should be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

Ask for recommendations from friends and family who may have a similar vehicle. Other resources to consider include Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau and AAA’s Approved Auto Repair Network.

Find out which mechanics or auto shops service business fleets in your area. Think about taxis, company cars, government cars, shuttle companies…all those vehicles must get their service done somewhere and more than likely they are well taken care of. Do some digging or call one of the companies directly and ask them who they trust to service their vehicles.

Search online. Ask your Facebook buddies or Nextdoor community neighbors who they trust to do a good job on their ride. You can also check the “mechanic files” on cartalk.com to get a list of reputable mechanics in your area.

Do a “test drive” and try them out. Before your car needs a big repair consider using a shop or two to conduct some smaller repairs to ensure you are happy with their service.

Get Peace of Mind in the Event of the Unexpected Repair

In the event your Nissan Altima is due for a repair, you’ll want peace of mind knowing that your ride is covered. While we don’t want to plan for repairs, we should because unfortunately, they are inevitable. Let olive be there to give you that assurance.

Extended warranties on older and pre-owned vehicles have become more critical because they provide coverage in case a repair is needed. With olive you have the ability to customize your plan by choosing your deductible and monthly payment. There is an extended warranty plan that is right for you.

In general, below is an example of items covered under extended warranties.

Steering System | Electrical Components | Engine Assembly | Drivetrain | Transmission | Exhaust Systems | Alternators, Manifolds, Pumps | Heating and Cooling Assembly

Get the peace of mind you deserve with olive’s Mechanical Breakdown Insurance. Getting a quote is simple. Get an instant quote today and be covered tomorrow.

 

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