2008 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL

It’s not much I know, but it’s my “not much”

This was my daily driver from December '16 up to August '18. I planned on selling it last summer but nothing really went through. Long story short, it still sits in my parent’s garage in Calgary which allowed me to use it as transport during winter break, and eventually this summer.

How did I end up with this thing?

Vehicle delivered to us when it was bought.

I wanted something that was comfortable, reliable and inexpensive for my first car. I didn’t give two shits about getting a fast, fun vehicle at the time. Just something that I can sit in and be cozy for the trip. Before getting the Altima, I looked at Accords, Camrys, even Impalas and Crown Victorias. The Accord was out of my budget by a longshot, the Camry was just too bland for me, the Impala I looked at had a big check engine light glaring at me while the Vic was just too barren on features and chugged fuel like there was no tomorrow.

That lead our family test-driving a beige 2007 Altima at a nearby Nissan dealership. At the time, I was drawn in, especially with how much was packed into the vehicle at such a price. Because the dealership model was out of our budget, I looked on Kijiji for an alternative, leading to this grey one. The test drive was rather quick. A few loops through the 4-way stops of Forest Lawn and it was done deal for me. With my $5000 budget, the Altima managed to just sneak under with a good amount of negotiation. I now had a car with dual-zone climate, heated leather seats, smart-key access, and a Bose sound system for just $4850. 183 000 kilometres on the deck but whatever. “Perfect”, at least I thought.

Things went wrong, didn’t they?

Absolutely. The CVT failed within the first week. It didn’t really become evident to me until I almost got rear-ended trying to change lanes from a stop.

Eventually, it was replaced under warranty as the vehicle didn’t hit 200k or turn 10 years old yet. Whew.

But that’s it, right?

Nope. When they were replacing the CVT, the steering lock also failed. We had to pay for that. The starter failed a year later too, resulting in the vehicle getting towed to the dealership. We had to pay for that too. The car also went through more than 3 batteries. At least we only had to pay for one of those.

Jesus Christ, has it been taken care of besides that?

Peep that cheeky Chinese plate :eyes:

I guess you can say that, at least in terms of the exterior. It was thoroughly polished in the summer and waxed regularly. The interior was cleaned seasonally as well. This is pretty much how auto detailing ended up as a hobby of mine.

What’s your favourite part about the car?

Most definitely the Bose sound system. To put it in as little words as possible, the sound system is excessively bassy and childish, and that’s why I love it. Any rap song will shake the interior like mad, to the point where you can see the rearview vibrating and plastic rattling even at a reasonable volume, which made blasting Playboi Carti and the like afterschool was such a fun time, especially considering how hilarious of a flex it was on everyone else’s more mundane systems. Furthermore, any passenger I had in the back seat would always mention how they can’t hear anything but bass, leaving me warning anyone who didn’t want a headache to take shotgun. I don’t know what the hell Nissan and Bose were thinking with the system, but either way, it was childishly fun and perfect for me.

Any mods?

None besides 2012-model alloys.


None so far. knocks on wood. I did however turn into a snowbank and crack a bit of the front bumper. Also tapped the garage wall once.

Future Plans?

Sell this damn thing. It’s sitting in Calgary while I’m sitting in Toronto. The rear quarter panel is developing some pretty significant rust and the blend door actuator is still making weird noises. I don’t plan on getting a vehicle until my 3rd or 4th year in university which is still a long way in the future. Perhaps a V6 RAV4 or a Honda Fit may be in my interests.

Either way, it’s been fun with this thing. The car has seen my ups and downs, been with me through the toughest times and through some of the brightest as well. Memories were definitely made; going around corners too fast to electronic music, transporting school clubs and friends, doing pathetic FWD burnouts in snow and dirt, the memories are endless. Once I sell it, it’ll be bittersweet but hey, it’s hit 193k and eventually needs to be sent somewhere else.

P.S. don’t get me wrong. It was a pretty good car when it ran. Perhaps it felt cheap in one too many places but it was a great bang for my buck. It was also the inspiration for CSR84; the only CSR I hosted.


Is it sad that i was reading and just sitting here waiting for the paragraph about the cvt failure to appear. The older nissan cvts are oof but your replacement should last long enough to resell the car.


An Update


Walked back to my car after work, tried to turn it on and got absolutely nothing. Waited an hour for a tow truck, and now it’s in the shop’s hands. Mechanic ruled out starter but apparently something’s definitely wrong with the electrical system. Moral of the story: Buy a 2000s Nissan

my chrysler pacifica


has been more reliable

but for real, this sucks :// I’m sorry man. I do know what it’s like to be stranded like this (thank you cooling system explosion) and it's no convenience.

now that i say that, the engine cradle rust will drop the engine from the car!


Ouch, good luck with everything!

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Diagnosis Update

Turns out my car’s fob was acting up ?? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ?? ? ? Starter was good, alternator was good, all they had to do was change my fob battery and now it starts? ?@ ??@ @? ?! I literally used my fob yesterday to unlock my car and hop in wtf Nissan why.