Nissan Altima: Explanation of general maintenance items
Additional information on the following items with “ * ”is found later in this section.
Outside the vehicle
The maintenance items listed here should be performed from time to time, unless otherwise specified.
Doors and engine hood Check that the doors and engine hood operate properly. Also ensure that all latches lock securely. Lubricate hinges, latches, latch pins, rollers and links as necessary. Make sure that the secondary latch keeps the hood from opening when the primary latch is released.
When driving in areas using road salt or other corrosive materials, check lubrication frequently. Lights* Clean the headlights on a regular basis. Make sure that the headlights, stop lights, tail lights, turn signal lights, and other lights are all operating properly and installed securely. Also check headlight aim.
Road wheel nuts (lug nuts)* When checking the tires, make sure no wheel nuts are missing, and check for any loose wheel nuts. Tighten if necessary.
Tire rotation* Tires should be rotated every 7,500 miles (12,000 km).
Tires* Check the pressure with a gauge often and always prior to long distance trips. If necessary, adjust the pressure in all tires, including the spare, to the pressure specified. Check carefully for damage, cuts or excessive wear.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) transmitter components Replace the TPMS transmitter grommet seal, valve core and cap when the tires are replaced due to wear or age. Wheel alignment and balance If the vehicle should pull to either side while driving on a straight and level road, or if you detect uneven or abnormal tire wear, there may be a need for wheel alignment. If the steering wheel or seat vibrates at normal highway speeds, wheel balancing may be needed.
● For additional information regarding tires, refer to “Important Tire Safety Information” (US) or “Tire Safety Information” (Canada) in the Warranty Information Booklet.
Windshield Clean the windshield on a regular basis. Check the windshield at least every six months for cracks or other damage. Have a damaged windshield repaired by a qualified repair facility.
Windshield wiper blades* Check for cracks or wear if they do not wipe properly.
Inside the vehicle
The maintenance items listed here should be checked on a regular basis, such as when performing periodic maintenance, cleaning the vehicle, etc.
Additional information on the following items with an “*” is found later in this section. Accelerator pedal Check the pedal for smooth operation and make sure the pedal does not bind or require uneven effort. Keep the floor mat away from the pedal.
Brake pedal Check the pedal for smooth operation. If the brake pedal suddenly goes down further than normal, the pedal feels spongy or the vehicle seems to take longer to stop, see a NISSAN dealer immediately. Keep the floor mat away from the pedal.
Brakes Check that the brakes do not pull the vehicle to one side when applied.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) P (Park) position mechanism On a fairly steep hill, check that the vehicle is held securely with the shift selector in the P (Park) position without applying any brakes.
Parking brake Check the parking brake operation regularly. The vehicle should be securely held on a fairly steep hill with only the parking brake applied. If the parking brake needs adjustment, see a NISSAN dealer.
Seats Check seat position controls such as seat adjusters, seatback recliner, etc., to ensure they operate smoothly and all latches lock securely in every position. Check that the head restraints move up and down smoothly and the lock knobs (if so equipped) hold securely in all latched positions. Seat belts Check that all parts of the seat belt system (for example, buckles, anchors, adjusters and retractors) operate properly and smoothly, and are installed securely. Check the belt webbing for cuts, fraying, wear or damage.
Steering wheel Check for changes in the steering system, such as excessive freeplay, hard steering or strange noises.
Warning lights and chimes Make sure all warning lights and chimes are operating properly. Windshield wiper and washer* Check that the wipers and washer operate properly and that the wipers do not streak.
Windshield defroster Check that the air comes out of the defroster outlets properly and in sufficient quantity when operating the heater or air conditioner.
Under the hood and vehicle
The maintenance items listed here should be checked periodically (for example, each time you check the engine oil or refuel).
Battery* Check the fluid level in each cell. It should be between the MAX and MIN lines. Vehicles operated in high temperatures or under severe conditions require frequent checks of the battery fluid level.
Brake and clutch (if so equipped) fluid levels* Make sure that the brake and clutch fluid level is between the MIN and MAX lines on the reservoir.
Engine coolant level* Check the coolant level when the engine is cold.
Engine drive belts* Make sure the drive belts are not frayed, worn, cracked or oily.
Engine oil level* Check the level after parking the vehicle on a level surface with the engine off. Wait more than 10 minutes for the oil to drain back into the oil pan.
Exhaust system Make sure there are no loose supports, cracks or holes. If the sound of the exhaust seems unusual or there is a smell of exhaust fumes, immediately have the exhaust system inspected by a NISSAN dealer. See “Exhaust gas (carbon monoxide)” in the “Starting and driving” section of this manual.
Fluid leaks Check under the vehicle for fuel, oil, water or other fluid leaks after the vehicle has been parked for a while.Water dripping from the air conditioner after use is normal. If you should notice any leaks or if gasoline fumes are evident, check for the cause and have it corrected immediately. Power steering fluid level* and lines Check the level when the fluid is cold, with the engine off. Check the lines for proper attachment, leaks, cracks, etc.
Radiator and hoses Check the front of the radiator and clean off any dirt, insects, leaves, etc., that may have accumulated. Make sure the hoses have no cracks, deformation, rot or loose connections.
Underbody The underbody is frequently exposed to corrosive substances such as those used on icy roads or to control dust. It is very important to remove these substances from the underbody, otherwise rust may form on the floor pan, frame, fuel lines and exhaust system. At the end of winter, the underbody should be thoroughly flushed with plain water, in those areas where mud and dirt may have accumulated. See the “Appearance and care” section of this manual.
Windshield-washer fluid* Check that there is adequate fluid in the reservoir.