2005 Nissan Altima - What should I watch out for?

I purchased a 2005 Nissan Altima with 150k miles on it. Is this a reliable car and what major repairs should I budget for?

On a fifteen year old car it all depends on how it has been maintained and driven during those years.
These are questions that should have been asked before purchasing. As to future repairs, who knows? Maybe $200/month set aside for repairs.
I take it you did not have a pre-purchase inspection performed by an independent shop/mechanic. Have that done now. Did any maintenance documents (receipts) come with the car? If not then routine maintenance such as transmission fluid change and brake fluid change may have been postponed by previous owner(s).


There is no way to say if you bought a reliable vehicle that is used no matter the brand .
You can spend about 125.00 now and have a shop inspect the vehicle for problems that need attention now or that it should have done when you want it.
Just pick a number , say 3000.00 2years from now for repair and set that as a savings goal.

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Why do they always ask AFTER buying ?

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These cars seem really problematic based on this…

Lots of engine problems, bad paint and transmission problems are the top 3.

You might ignore saving for repairs to this car and just start saving for your next car. If the engine gives up, I doubt the cost of repair would be worth it.


oh…yeh… the doom is here and we all gonna die…

for Nissan, 2005 is actually not the worst year, take it from the guy who used to own Altimas of '96 / '01 / '07 / '12 vintage, and the ones from 2007 and up were the ones with the most painful CVT transmission problems, because they are really of “disposable” quality

2005 is most likely on “classic transmission”, so it will have the regular Nissan’s trouble of the kick when shifting from the first gear to the second, but once you get into the habit of replacing your transmission fluid regularly (like every 20K miles), this is something of lesser concern… if it kicks again, replace the fluid and keep going

the most troublesome issue with 2005 is the disintegration of the first catalytic converter substrate, which gets sucked into the engine and destroys it

so, if your car still works and engine has a good compression, it is under $200 on rockauto for direct-fit:

other than that, it is Nissan, so do not expect it to be trouble-free, but it may be a decent transport for a couple of years if taken care of

So probably brakes, upholstery, and electronics will be less troublesome? Good to hear it doesn’t have the CVT transmission.

This is such a big problem that there are aftermarket exhaust manifolds available for these engines which have no pre-cat in them, since the PCM doesn’t actually check the efficiency of the pre-cat.

Overall a reasonsble choice. Better if manual xmission but that option maybe not availsble. Nissans seem to be not quite as reliable as toyota honda and more expensive to repair but still ok. Follow service schedule to up ur odds. Use forum search feature here to see other posts about altimas .

Nissan cars in general seem to fall apart sooner than its competitors.The quality isn’t there compare to what Nissan had to offer 30 years ago. Problematic CV transmissions,poor paint quality and inadequate rust prevention to name a few isn’t helping ther case.