Nissan Sentra Problems 2016 NEED ADVICE

Needing advice… What problems have my Car Talk friends and or mechanics experienced with the 2016 Nissan Sentra?
I also want to thank all the replies I have received to my earlier discussion if I should keep my 2004 Honda with 90,000 or keep my Nissan Sentra with 6,000 with 5 more years of payments at 450 a month. This is why I am asking about the Nissan Sentra. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thank you, Karen

You don’t have a car problem, your problem is that you owe $27000 on a car you probably can’t get $12000 for. Nothing I can say will fix that. If you can’t afford to borrow $15000 or more to pay off the loan you can’t sell it.

How are your other debts and obligations? Do you have excess income to pay these off. Don’t answer these questions here, but get someone with a clear head to review your finances. Don’t go to any of the places that advertise debit management, those people are sharks. If you are going to go to a debt counselor, only consider a non profit one. And check them out online before you go.

Remember, no matter how many time our governments try to borrow themselves out of debt, it never works fpr anyone.


No experience myself, but I don’t see much in the way of serious problems. Nissan automatic transmission (CVT designs) seem to be a little problematic, so if you have the CVT that’s probably the only worry. Just keep it well serviced per the manufacture’s recommendations and fluid specs, and with a reasonable driving style you should be good to go on your Sentra.

She doesn’t actually owe $27k though, does she? I realize the total of the payments is 27k, but that includes interest throughout the loan. Or I think that’s how that works? What she owes would be the payoff, correct? Which I’m sure is still less than the value of the car. But hopefully not twice as much. I’m thinking it’s a crappy interest rate too…

Karen, I don’t know much about the reliability of the Sentra, unfortunately. I’m sure at 6k miles it’ll be problem free for quite a while, though. Of course a Honda isn’t usually considered high mileage at 90k miles, either. Both vehicles should last a good while still with proper maintenance. I’d assume the Honda might need repairs sooner since it has 84k more miles. But those repairs will be less expensive than paying off the Sentra, possibly. Find out what payoff is on the Nissan. Compare that to what Carmax will offer for it. If the sale price is considerably lower than what you owe (I’m afraid it might be), you may be forced into keeping the Sentra and selling the Honda.

Depends on the structure of the loan, some have prepayment penalties. We don;t even know for sure it is a car loan, she may have used her car as partial collateral for something. Something unusual must have occurred to wind up that much in debt for a three year old Nissan Sentra.

Just to chime in if I remember the post. Personally I wouldn’t depend on the 04 for a long term solution. It’s pretty old now and regardless of condition, driving a lot of miles on an old car could be problematic. On the other hand the math is just the issue for the other one and the car will be well worn out by the time its paid for, but agree likely upside down which makes selling it probably not real great financially. I’d probably keep the 04 and park it as a back up and drive the new one.

avg price for a 2015 is $7k in mpls. the sentra is the bottom of the line. almost as bad as a mazda 6. they give them away at the local mission. none should owe >$10k on a 2016

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Karen , as one person has said you do not have a car problem . You have a financial problem . You need a family member or friend who will be brutally honest with you . They can look at your income and outgo and maybe give you some choices to help you.

And they might even have a better idea of your vehicle choice by being there in person.

Don’t worry too much about the usual problems on your Sentra. Total problems on most cars tend to be less than 4% according the Consumer Reports annual owner’s survey. Just follow Nissan’s maintenance schedule, and you should be fine.

As I mentioned in your other thread, I’d sell the Honda because of the difference in what you owe and what you can get for selling the Sentra. I’m sure there are occasions where you would benefit from all the room in the Pilot, but most of the time you probably don’t need it. We have a similar situation. My wife wants a minivan to replace the old one we disposed of last year, but she hasn’t gotten serious about the new one because her compact sedan isn’t too small, except for a few tiimes a year.

It’s really a no-brainer to keep the 2004 Element, especially if all required maintenance has been done. It’s also a no-brainer that if your car payment/insurance for the Sentra is causing a genuine hardship, then you’re overextended financially.

Depending on your other debts and income, it may be necessary to default on the loan and/or file for bankruptcy. It is unwise to spend years in debt, struggling to make payments when you should instead be setting aside money for your eventual retirement. Cut your losses sooner, rather than later!

You have come to the wrong place for advice on this one. It is not a car issue, it is a financial issue. You really got ripped off on the Sentra as far as I can tell, but I don’t know the details of the purchase. If you had a perfectly good Honda, why would you have ever bought the Sentra in the first place.

But here is my take on the situation, if you can make the payments on the Sentra, then give up the Honda. If it has a timing belt instead of a chain, it will need to be replaced if it hasn’t been recently. It should have been changed in 2011 and 2018. There are other high cost items that also come due at around this age.

The Sentra should be a good reliable and economical vehicle so other than gas and preventative maintenance, the monthly payments and insurance should be your regular expenses. Be sure to keep up with the maintenance, oil changes, coolant changes etc because once paid off, you need to have this vehicle pay for your next vehicle. By that I mean, keep it and make the same $450 payment into a savings account for your next vehicle.

My daughter was in a similar situation once. Her credit was ruined by her ex. She got a new Corolla in 2003. The Corolla was paid off in 2008. She kept making the payments into her saving account and in 2014, she bought a new Camry XLE, paid cash for it.