"I have always said that this is a poor man's honda. This car is as reliable as a honda, but at least 2,000 cheaper than a condition equivalent honda civic. I love honda's, but man are they expensive. Here is the history on my nissan altima SE. I bought this car in february of 2003 and it was already a high mileage car at 103,000 miles. It is now June of 2009 and I have put on 110,000 miles in a little under 6 and a half years. This car is totally great. I have ridden this car very very hard. Always accelerating fast, breaking fast, taking corners going 40 mph. I have been on at least 5 7 tri-state trips where i was driving 80 mps plus. Honestly, I have not been very nice to this car, but you know how it can be when you have a very nice performing car and you get the speed demon in you. Regular wear and tear repairs that anyone would incur on a car this old have been break changes, oil, changes, air filter changes. I changed the fuel filter once myself, but have since not really bothered with that. Non maintenance repairs that I have had include replacing the ignition switch(I used cheap keys from the hardware store for years, so that may be why that went), replacing the front drive axel( I can remember at least 4 times when I went straight over curbs going 40 mph so that probably plays a huge factor), replacing the transmision pan(it does sit very low to the ground and I went over a speed bump going 60(oops!!). I just recently had to replace most of the muffler system(but I live in Minnesota and I remember bottoming out in snowboard on many occasions)( I got the whole thing replaced though for under $300. It helps to shop around and find a small shop instead of going to dealers). The factory rims that came with the car(remember this is a 97) finally had to be replaced in the fall of 2008 because they had finally started to corrode and were leaking air from the tires so I had a hard time keeping the tires inflated.(Picked up a high quality 2 pairs of rims for $300 at discount tire.(Again it pays to shop around and price compare!!) My air conditioning belt needs to be tightened as of right now, but since it is not a necessary repair I have just gone without air for the past 3 summers. The AC still works, I just don't want to run it for fear of breaking the belt(How cheap am I!!) That is pretty much it for repairs. That really is not that many once you take into account that I am driving in Minnesota and I am a very hard driver on my car. The non maintenance repairs only came like once a year too and were never more than $300 each, so the repairs were nicely spaced out and I could always come up with the money. One more thing, I really have to recommend Good Year Triple Tread Tires on this car. I don't work for good year or anything, but I am on my second set of these tires and man do they make this car sweet to drive. Cornering is awesome, braking in rain is great, winter breaking on ice, you slide straight(no fish tailing), these are warrantied to 80,000 miles(I get about 60,000 and then take them back and get the remaining credit towards new ones. Okay, back to the nissan. Totally love this car and it is still going strong. I have 211,000 on it as of this posting and I can see no problem going to at least 300,000. When this one dies, I may try and find the same car with low miles from the same year as I have heard the newer nissans aren't quite as good as these ones were. (But they are still way better than an american car. I would love to support american cars if they could become more relieable) If you are thinking of buying a honda or toyota, please consider doing some research on nissan's instead, as they are at least a few thousand dollars cheaper, and are almost as reliable as honda's or toyota's in every respect. Thanks!!"
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