The most common problems reported for the 2010 Nissan Altima deal with the car’s electronic steering column lock, but drivers also report issues with airbags and overheating batteries that could spell disaster if not addressed.
The Nissan Altima has never had a great reputation for reliability, and the 2010 Altima is a particularly problematic year. Other years have certainly seen more problems than 2010, but the severity of the problems with the 2010 Altima has earned it CarComplaints’ dreaded “Beware of the Clunker” Badge.
The most common 2010 Nissan Altima problems
Whether you’re looking at customer complaints, reported problems, or even recalls, the 2010 Altima hasn’t had the best history.
Luckily, the most commonly-reported problem doesn’t have to do with driving—it has to do with getting the car to start. A faulty electronic steering column lock can make it suddenly impossible for this vehicle to start—the fix involves a costly tow to your nearest Nissan dealer or garage and a $1,000 replacement. Sure, you won’t need to worry about this issue causing a crash, but it’s certainly more money than most of us would like to spend to fix a known issue.
Next is another known issue that affects several Altima model years, including the 2010: melting dashboards. Yes, you read that right. Over time, as the material used to construct the dash is repeatedly subjected to the normal heat of a vehicle interior, it melts.
Somewhere around the 50–60,00 mile mark, drivers begin to notice a sticky surface on the dash that ultimately becomes shiny, creating a glare in the windshield that has been responsible for at least one crash. Luckily, no injuries or fatalities were reported, but this is an issue that seems to affect nearly every Altima from this model year.
In addition to these issues, the 2010 Altima has also been the subject of three recalls. One is to replace the battery in the Garmin navigation unit installed in some vehicles—it was known to overheat and catch fire. The other two had to do with structural issues that could result in vehicle crashes.
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Is the 2010 Nissan Altima reliable?
All things considered, the 2010 Nissan Altima can be a fairly reliable vehicle, so long as all recall repairs have been completed. The melting dashboard issue does not impact reliability, and the locked steering column issue has affected a relatively small number of drivers.
RepairPal gives the Altima a “good” rating of 4 out of 5, and J.D. Power seems to agree, awarding it 84/100 for reliability.
Consumer Reports rates the 2010 Altima only average for reliability, while CarComplaints.com, as we already noted, awarded the car the dubious honor of a “Beware of the Clunker” badge.
Even with its spotty history, drivers will be happy to learn that they don’t need to worry about overly expensive repair costs with the 2010 Altima. Altima owners should expect to pay around $435 per year for repairs, while drivers industry-wide pay an average of $652.
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The 2010 Nissan Altima has had its share of troubles, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a great car for the money. One of the best things you can do to keep your Altima running reliably is to make sure you keep to a
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