The Sentra is a pleasant small sedan in everyday driving. It has a comfortable ride, a quiet cabin, a roomy backseat, and a well-designed interior. But we found the Sentra tricky to control in a simulated emergency maneuver, as it had a tendency to lose grip too easily and slide. Braking was also unimpressive.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00*
01
02
03
04
05
06
07*
08
09
10
11
12
13*
14
15
16
17
18
19
20*
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Nissan Sentra owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"ball joint failed when leaving the garage at 110000km, need to tow it to mechanic"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"Problems with struts, suspension, and steering rack. All had to be replaced."

Gerard D., RI (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"struts failed. began squeaking"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Nissan Sentra 2 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"bearings and mount struts had to be replaced on this used vehicle shortly after the purchase date. The car was still under a 36,000 3 year warranty and all the parts and labor were covered by Nissan. I had no issues with them to get the job done"

Anonymous, MA (2012 Nissan Sentra SE-R 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Although the car seemed to operate just fine, dealership pointed out knocking noise when turning and said bearings should be replaced"

John M., FL (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Catalytic converter had to be replaced as it failed and would not pass emissions test."

Michael M., UT (2012 Nissan Sentra SR 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust leaks

""Exhaust flange at muffler and middle pipe rotten""

Anonymous, ON (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Muffler

"Muffler pipe was broken, costed 250 CAD to fix in Quebec."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Other/unsure

"During the last year, the 4mergency breaking failed completely. It had to be replaced by the dealer."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Nissan Sentra SE-R 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The feature that reroutes you based on traffic issues stopped working within months of purchasing the car"

Kelly O., CA (2012 Nissan Sentra SL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Doesn't work properly. Sometimes I can't hear the caller when I answer and sometimes they can't hear me. Dealer reps don't know how to fix"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

"Static sounds through rear speakers"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Nissan Sentra SL)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"When accelerating speed, the transmission seems to struggle and grind to get to the next gear."

Anonymous, IL (2012 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

"more than likely the seals have gone bad"

Anonymous, MO (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"Brake pads were cracked and severely worn well before 20,000 miles"

Richard Y., NC (2012 Nissan Sentra SR 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaking

"The brakes seem to require hard pressing and then seems to grab."

Anonymous, IL (2012 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Air would blow, but it was hot. Dealership repaired. Still under warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It cost me $2,500 to fix my air conditioner only to have to have it stop working the next year"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Nissan Sentra)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Vehicle was slow to change gears."

Margaret B., PA (2012 Nissan Sentra S 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Wind noise

"It is very loud. Also, if you open the back windows without opening the front windows, it makes a very loud howling sound"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Nissan Sentra)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

"Had to replace control panel on door that open & close the windows"

Nanette C., FL (2012 Nissan Sentra 2.0 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

"Rusting early around trunk lid bolts holding name plate and chrome"

Jane O., QC (2012 Nissan Sentra SL)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"Had electrical trouble. Often trying to put on headlights after dark it will automatically turn my high beams in instead. Had difficulties turning on headlights, there is no rhyme or reason as to why instead of putting on my headlights it automatically goes to my high beams. Fairly frustrating."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Nissan Sentra)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Fuel leaks

"The O rings gave out and caused the cabin to fill up with gas fumes, making the car undrivable until this was repaired."

Lisa W., NC (2012 Nissan Sentra)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Compare 2012 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
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