We’ve scanned over 1190347 Nissan Altimas with the FIXD OBD2 scanner and app. These are the 5 most common reasons for a check engine light in your Nissan Altima.
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|P0420||LOW – Continued driving for a short period of time is okay||Your catalytic converter isn’t functioning efficiently. This could increase the output of harmful pollutants.|
|P0101||LOW – Continued driving for a short period of time is okay||The mass air flow sensor is not reading the amount of air flowing into the engine correctly. This puts the engine into limp mode|
|P0300||LOW – Continued driving for a short period of time is okay||Two or more cylinders are experiencing misfires|
|P0303||LOW – Continued driving for a short period of time is okay||Cylinder number three is experiencing misfires|
|P0128||LOW – Continued driving for a short period of time is okay||The recorded coolant temperature at the thermostat is lower than it should be.|
When To Expect These Codes With Your Nissan Altima
We’ve scanned millions of cars so we know at what mileage these common problems usually show up. Sometimes they happen sooner than expected or not at all, but these problems usually appear by the following mileages:
- P0420 usually appears after 174996 miles
- P0101 usually appears after 152060 miles
- P0300 usually appears after 166383 miles
- P0303 usually appears after 162886 miles
- P0128 usually appears after 152307 miles
Check Your Gas Cap
One of the most common reasons for a check engine light in your Altima is also the easiest problem to fix. A loose gas cap is often the reason the check engine light turns on. This happens because the engine detects a leak in the evaporative emissions system, which exists when the gas cap isn’t tightened until it clicks. It’s easy, and it’s free!
What Should I Do If the Check Engine Light Is On in My Altima?
There are many issues that can trigger the Altima engine light, from a loose gas cap to major engine issues. If this light turns on, don’t panic. Follow these steps to figure out what the problem is and get it to a trusted repair shop for inspection as soon as possible.
What the Check Engine Light Means
Your Altima’s check engine light is part of the onboard diagnostics system (OBD2). All gas-powered cars and trucks made since 1996, plus diesel cars and trucks since 2008, have a diagnostic system to manage the engine and monitor emission system performance. It alerts the driver to any problems by turning on the Check Engine Light on your dashboard. Special tools known as OBD2 scanners or car code readers can access diagnostic information from this system to find out what’s wrong with your car and how serious the problem really is.
How to Read Your Altima’s Check Engine Light
There are a few ways you can read the diagnostic trouble code stored in your car’s computer.
1) Go to your local mechanic. They will plug in their professional scan tool to read the code and identify the cause of the problem. This won’t help you on the side of the road, however, and they will charge a fee for this service. You also may not have a shop that you trust to diagnose the problem accurately, rather than try to make some extra money from repairs.
2) Go to a nearby auto parts store. Most parts stores will plug their OBD2 scanner into your car and give you the problem code and description at no charge. The person providing this service is likely not a mechanic, and may not be able to provide any more information than just the code and its technical description. It’s also possible that they may try to sell you products you don’t need in order to “fix” the problem.
3) Get the FIXD car scanner to read your own codes. There are many OBD2 scanners you can buy that will read codes and provide other engine information anytime you want. FIXD is able to translate any Altima’s check engine light trouble code into plain English directly on your smartphone.
How the FIXD Check Engine Scanner Works
The FIXD car scanner plugs into your car’s OBD2 port. This is a trapezoid shaped plug located under the dashboard on the driver’s side of the car. Read more about how to find your OBD2 port on your particular car.
The FIXD Sensor and free mobile app will tell you in plain English what problem codes exist. You will get a detailed description of the problem so that you can make informed decisions about repairs.
Understand Your CEL
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See How Serious Your CEL Is
Learn if your problem is serious or not, and whether it’s safe to keep on driving.
Get Maintenance Alerts
FIXD can automatically alert you when your Altima is due for an oil change and other routine maintenance, based on your specific model and its mileage.
Monitor the Health of Your Altima
If your check engine light turns on, FIXD will immediately send a notification to your phone. You can also monitor data in real time, such as oxygen sensor voltage, fuel trims, vehicle speed, and more.
Is It Safe to Drive with My Check Engine Light On?
That depends on what problem triggered the light to come on in the first place. You will need to use an OBD2 scan tool like the FIXD Sensor to find out exactly what’s wrong, how severe the issue is, and whether or not it’s safe to keep driving.
Generally speaking, if the indicator is a steady yellow light, it should be okay to keep driving.. This could be something like an emissions issue. While your car will keep running just fine, it’s still best to get this diagnosed and repaired sometime soon, especially if you live in a state that performs vehicle inspections.
If the light is blinking, you should stop as soon as it’s safe to do so. This indicates a serious problem, such as a misfire, that is occurring right then. It’s also good to check for low oil or overheating. If your Altima’s check engine light is red, you should stop driving immediately.
If your Altima experiences driveability issues, such as reduced power, slow down and take it easy on the engine to avoid making the problem worse.
How Can I Reset the Check Engine Light in My Altima?
If you have resolved the problem, you may want to clear the codes that triggered your Altima engine light. If you reset the light, drive, and it doesn’t turn back on, your problem is fixed.
The easiest way to reset the check engine light on your Altima is with FIXD. While auto parts stores will typically read your codes for free, they will not reset the light for you, and shops may charge more than $100 to do this.
In the FIXD app, you can reset the light anytime you want for free. After performing the engine scan, go to the Details page and click the “Clear Engine Light” button. The light will turn off, and any codes stored inside your Altima’s computer will be cleared. If the light turns back on after a few miles of driving, the issue likely still exists.
Diagnose Your Altima’s Check Engine Light with FIXD
If the check engine light turns back on, use FIXD to get detailed engine diagnostics, plain English code descriptions, issue severity warnings, and so much more. Learn more about the FIXD Sensor and mobile app today!
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.