1. Stay up to date on maintenance.
Your owner’s manual—and the technicians at Firestone Complete Auto Care—can help you keep pace with your manufacturer recommended maintenance schedule.
Your maintenance schedule will include guidance on:
- Oil changes
- Filter changes (oil, engine air, cabin air)
- Tire rotations
- Various replacements (brake pads, drive belt, shock absorber)
Regular Nissan Altima maintenance service is the best investment you can make if you want your ride to last!
2. Let a dealership handle steering wheel lockouts.
Some Nissan Altimas (mostly 2009-2010 models) experience a problem with the vehicle’s electronic steering column lock, which automatically locks the steering wheel once the car is parked and turned off. In some instances, this function will not unlock for the driver. Trying to force the steering wheel to unlock could damage the steering system.
In 2017, Nissan announced it would replace the steering lock with an electronic steering column box. Check with an authorized Nissan dealer, if you haven’t already, to see if your Altima is eligible for this free fix.
While this issue isn’t an official safety recall, ignoring it could leave you stranded in a parking lot or in your driveway when you least expect it.
3. Address all safety recalls.
Your safety is a top priority for us at Firestone Complete Auto Care, and it’s at the heart of every recommendation we make, even if we’re not the ones who perform your service or repair.
While you may think a recall doesn’t affect you—like if, for example, there’s a recall on the windshield wiper motor—it’s still important to care for your entire vehicle. Your Altima is made up of thousands of moving, interconnected parts and you never know when a small problem could turn into a big one.
Keeping up on maintenance but ignoring everything else isn’t how you get 200,000 or more miles out of a Nissan Altima, it’s how you prematurely take it off the road. Check for open safety recalls at NHTSA.gov.
4. Troubleshoot a rough idle.
Does your Altima engine sound louder than usual? Does your ride feel unusually shaky or bouncy? You could be dealing with a rough idle. Altima forums across the internet are filled with drivers experiencing these same symptoms, so you’re not “ridin’ rough” solo.
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Nissan Altimas with a rough idle might need:
- Their distributor caps cleaned. (The distributor cap fits over the engine’s distributor and distributes voltage to the spark plugs.)
- Their spark plugs checked and possibly replaced.
Besides improving your car’s ride, taking care of a rough idle is simply good engine care—the kind that will keep your Nissan Altima on the road for years to come.
5. Indulge your inner Zen with some easy driving.
Unless you find yourself in a real-life situation pulled from a “Fast and Furious” film, there’s no reason to stomp on the accelerator or slam on your brakes. Aggressive driving can wear out your Altima’s pieces and parts much faster than the manufacturer intended. In addition to extending your car’s life, smooth acceleration and braking could also help you save on gas.
6. A consistent cleaning schedule is key.
This is even more important for people who live in cold weather states that use salt on icy roads. Salt can wreak havoc on your car’s exterior, so it’s important to keep it off your Nissan Altima as much as possible.
Clean your car regularly to help prevent erosion from dirt and debris that can accumulate while driving. Don’t neglect the inside of your Altima, either. A nice polish can protect the interior from sun damage and dust bunnies!