Common 2012 Nissan Sentra Problems and Issues

2012 Nissan Sentra Problems – The 2012 Nissan Sentra, an affordable compact car celebrated for its spacious interior, has been a major player in the automobile industry for several years. Despite its popularity, it has its share of reported issues, especially as the vehicle approaches the 100,000-mile mark.

This blog post aims to decode these common problems, helping you make an informed decision if you’re considering purchasing a used 2012 Nissan Sentra.

The 2012 Nissan Sentra has established itself as a favored choice among drivers seeking reliability and efficiency in their vehicles.

Beneath its seemingly flawless facade, several critical issues have emerged over time, causing distress and financial strain for some owners.

2012 Nissan Sentra Problems

The 2012 Nissan Sentra, although a budget-friendly and compact vehicle, is known to have its fair share of issues. If you’re planning to buy one, it’s essential to be informed about these potential problems.

With this car model, troubles may escalate as it nears the 100,000-mile mark, particularly issues related to the transmission, brakes, airbags, and engine.

The Nissan Sentra, a familiar name in the economical compact car arena, has been cherished by critics for its roomy interior and minimal blind spots in this model year.

Quite several owners have reported serious issues with their 2012 Nissan Sentra, which is something to keep in mind if you’re considering buying a used one.

2012 Nissan Sentra Problems

Knowing what these problems are can help you make a well-informed decision before you make a purchase, and potentially save you from unwelcome surprises later on.

1. Transmission Troubles: A Foreboding Omen

From the outset, the 2012 Nissan Sentra attracted attention for its noisy continuously variable transmission (CVT). This initial observation acted as a harbinger for a string of subsequent problems reported by owners, primarily revolving around transmission issues that tend to arise after the vehicle surpasses the six-figure mark on the odometer.

Numerous reports from 2012 Nissan Sentra drivers have highlighted significant repairs and, in severe cases, complete replacements of the CVT transmissions.

These issues commonly surface around the 90,000-mile mark and beyond.

For prospective buyers eyeing a used 2012 Sentra with higher mileage, querying any prior transmission work or issues associated with the car’s CVT is strongly advised.

2. Beyond Transmissions: Brakes, Steering, and Engine Woes

Aside from transmission concerns, owners have flagged substantial issues with the brakes, steering, and engine components. Specifically, problems have arisen with the starter, crankshaft, fuel pump, and various sensors.

While some of these issues align with the natural wear and tear of aging vehicles like the 2012 Nissan Sentra, they can still pose significant problems.

Among the most prevalent and serious problems encountered in the 2012 Sentra are transmission failures, worn-out starter motors, and steering system issues. Transmission failures, topping the list, typically manifest within the initial 80,000 miles.

Repairing or replacing the CVT—a known vulnerability in Nissan vehicles—incurs a substantial cost, averaging around $3,500, a considerable financial burden for owners.

Additionally, reports indicate worn-out starter motors occurring within the first 50,000 miles. A failed starter renders the vehicle inoperable, requiring an expense of approximately $450 for the installation of a new one.

Steering-related problems, like pulling to one side, often emerge within the initial 20,000 miles. These issues might result from various sources, including alignment problems and steering rack damage.

Realignment costs approximately $100 while repairing steering system damage can escalate costs to over $1,000.

Many 2012 Nissan Sentra owners have enjoyed trouble-free experiences, these reported issues underscore the significance of diligence and awareness when considering a purchase.

Read Also: Nissan Sentra Years To Avoid

Prospective buyers should conduct thorough inspections and inquire about the vehicle’s maintenance history, paying close attention to potential problem areas such as the transmission, starter, and steering systems.

Understanding the common problems associated with the 2012 Nissan Sentra empowers buyers to approach their purchase with clarity and take necessary precautions, ensuring a smoother and more hassle-free ownership experience.

How Much Is the 2012 Nissan Sentra Worth?

2012 Nissan Sentra Problems

So, you’re wondering, “How much is a 2012 Nissan Sentra worth?” Well, the answer can vary, depending on factors such as mileage, condition, and market demand. However, to give you a ballpark, the Blue Book values for this model range from $6,343 to $8,358.

This places the Sentra as a more wallet-friendly option compared to its contemporaries like the Elantra or Civic, which are typically about $1,000 pricier.

When the 2012 Nissan Sentra first hit the showrooms, its sticker price ranged between $16,430 and $20,990. Now, one might wonder, “Why such a price drop?” The answer lies in depreciation – a natural process that every car goes through.

In the case of the 2012 Nissan Sentra, it depreciates at a similar rate as other compact cars, shedding approximately 10% of its current value each year.

While these numbers give you a rough idea of what to expect, remember that the ultimate deciding factor will be the condition of the specific car you’re considering.

As discussed earlier, the 2012 Sentra comes with certain common issues that could influence its value.

Therefore, it’s worth taking your time to ensure you’re making a smart investment, whether it be in a 2012 Nissan Sentra or another model.

After all, a car is more than just a set of wheels; it’s a ticket to freedom, adventures, and memories to be made!

Read Also: Why is Nissan Sentra So Cheap?

Is the 2012 Nissan Sentra reliable?

2012 Nissan Sentra Problems

Reliability is a significant factor to consider when purchasing a car, and for the 2012 Nissan Sentra, this measure has been analyzed by numerous experts and owners. It’s vital to recognize that not every 2012 Sentra owner has experienced the same troubles, and quite a few have never encountered any issues at all.

To paint a clearer picture of its dependability, it’s helpful to consider the Sentra’s reliability scores from trusted sources.

Renowned automotive repair data company, RepairPal, bestows the 2012 Nissan Sentra with a 4.0 out of 5.0 reliability score. They rank this model as the 14th among 36 compact cars that they reviewed in 2012. This ranking is relatively decent, given the large number of compact cars in the market.

RepairPal estimates an average annual repair cost of $491 for the 2012 Sentra, which includes scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. They also indicate a 12% chance of unscheduled maintenance being severe, which is a mere 1% higher than the average for other cars in its class.

On the other hand, J.D. Power, a well-known consumer insights and automotive ratings company, assigns the 2012 Nissan Sentra a consumer score of 79 out of 100, and a reliability score of 78 out of 100. Both of these scores fall within the average range. It’s worth noting, though, that this model didn’t make it to J.D. Power’s list of the best cars of 2012.

How Long Will the 2012 Nissan Sentra Last?

So, how long can you expect a 2012 Nissan Sentra to be your road companion? According to industry statistics, with proper care and maintenance, a 2012 Sentra should take you about 150,000 miles.

That’s quite a journey! However, it’s important to note that this is approximately half the mileage you might expect from some of the Sentra’s top competitors like the Corolla.

In the grand scheme of things, though, 150,000 miles isn’t a bad run.

Another point to consider when looking at the longevity of a 2012 Sentra is the cost of upkeep. According to Repair Pal, the annual maintenance costs for a Sentra can be somewhat high for a compact car, averaging around $480 per year.

Regular maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of any vehicle, and it’s worth considering this ongoing cost as part of your investment in a 2012 Sentra.

But what about those larger maintenance milestones? As a Sentra edges toward the 75,000-mile mark, there are a few potential replacements that owners should prepare for.

These include the ignition coil, which can run you about $350 to replace, the blower motor with a price tag of around $400, and the throttle body which may cost upwards of $800.

These are not small expenses, but they are part of the reality of owning a vehicle that’s approaching the latter half of its average lifespan.


To wrap it up, it’s apparent that the 2012 Nissan Sentra, while an attractive option in the compact car market, does come with its fair share of common issues. However, it’s important to highlight that not all Sentras of this model year will experience these problems.

Awareness about these potential pitfalls can empower you, the potential buyer, in making a well-informed decision and also prepare you for any upcoming repair or replacement costs down the road.

Like any second-hand car, a pre-purchase inspection from a trusted mechanic is a smart move, ensuring that your potential ride is in optimal condition.

The 2012 Nissan Sentra, with its roomy interior and cost-effectiveness, could be a great fit for you, provided you go in eyes wide open about its potential issues. Happy car hunting!