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I am looking at buying a 1996 Nissan Altima with 140k miles. Its a manual tranny and I am wondering what are the common problems with this year or model of car. I am not firmiliar with Nissans, but comsumer reports gave this year of Altima a good review. The guy I am buying it from says he has only replaced the starter, is that common for the starter to go out? Are there any other problems I should watch out for, or have checked before I buy it? Any tips? Thank you very much.

Joey
 
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Have the timing chain guides on the bottom half of the engine checked out. On that year of altima they had problems with them breaking and ending up in the oilpan. You cannot tell by driving it. You can also listen for a slight chain slap on the lower half of the engine. Not all Altima's had this problem.
Other than that, the Altima has been a great car as far as reliability goes. I have a 96' with 72,000 miles on it and I haven't changed a thing on it ( well, except for basic maintanence ).
 
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New Altima

Get the entire exhaust system checked out, the previous owner on mine had to replace it completely at 90k. I'm still putting in a Greddy, but apparently the stock exhausts wear out around 85k-90k so be prepared to replace it.
 

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This year is Great, my mother has this one and it is the only car that lasted , we changed the altenator last year , first real replacement , drives like a dream , killer acceleration and is very easy on the eyes, its a GXE, and its the very reason i did not accept anything else for my first car that i perchased, 2 months ago, it started this nissan fanatics passion and im sure it will do the same for you. :)
 

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sure

If the price is right...go for it. My Father loves his 1997. It now has about 93K miles. It looks and drives amazing still. It has an anoying little clunk over bumps (I suspect sway bar links) but the entire car is still tight. Since new the only things we have done are: Tranny service, tune up, 2 sets of front brakes, one coolant fitting gasket, entire exhaust (at 85k miles) but other than that the car hasn't done us wrong. I plan on finding a 5 speed Alty for myself hopefully in the next two years as a winter driver to preserve my Spec V.
 
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