2019 Nissan Sentra Problems Include Numerous Electronics Issues and Dangerous Transmission Woes - VehicleHistory (2023)

Alex Dodd

Mar 18, 2022

Buyers looking for an inexpensive, fuel-efficient compact car will likely have the Nissan Sentra on their list. However, the 2019 model has some serious problems with a failure-prone transmission and faulty electronics.

2019 Nissan Sentra Problems Include Numerous Electronics Issues and Dangerous Transmission Woes - VehicleHistory (1)

Key Points

  • The 2019 Nissan Sentra has two recalls, including one for a brake light switch that may become contaminated and prevent the lights from illuminating.
  • Owners have complained about multiple electrical system hiccups, including the radio randomly restarting, or the battery draining when parked.
  • Multiple drivers report taking their Sentra to the dealer over faulty electronics, only to leave without the issue being resolved.
  • The transmission in the 2019 Sentra is known to fail even before 30,000 miles, with replacement costs running around $3,500.
  • Both engines offered with the Sentra have unreliable timing chains that should be replaced at around 100,000 miles.

2019 Nissan Sentra Has Just Two Recalls, but Nearly 100 Registered Complaints Reveal Transmission and Electrical System Problems

The 2019 Nissan Sentra has been recalled by the NHTSA twice, the most serious offense for a faulty brake light switch. The switch is known to become contaminated, preventing the circuit from closing and the brake lights from illuminating.

The second recall was over a backup camera that may not display correctly.

Unfortunately, the more serious problems are some not addressed in a recall. Of the nearly 100 registered complaints, the Sentra looks to have countless electronics issues, along with transmission woes.

Nearly 20 of the complaints about the 2019 Sentra are for problems with the brake system. Drivers have reported that the automatic emergency braking system has engaged at random when driving at high speeds. Despite the multiple complaints on what is clearly a very serious issue, the problem is not being investigated.

2019 Nissan Sentra Problems Include Numerous Electronics Issues and Dangerous Transmission Woes - VehicleHistory (2)

Nissan Sentra’s Malfunctioning Electronics Can Cause Dangerous Situations on the Road

Owners report a number of issues related to the electronics in the Sentra, most concerning systems turning on or off for no reason. The most common is that the radio frequently restarts, or will turn on when the car is parked. According to Sentra owners discussing the electrical issues in a thread on Nissan Forums, the problem is fairly common, with no known fix.

Additionally, Vehicle History owner reviews show that the electronics problems go further, with the vehicle’s remote start system and windows operating on their own. Drivers also report numerous other electrical bugs that frequently leave the car with a dead battery.

Adding insult to injury, several of the Vehicle History owner reviews show that when drivers bring their Sentras to the dealership to address the issue, the dealers cannot find a specific failure point, and drivers are left to live with the problem.

2019 Nissan Sentra’s Problematic CVT May Grind, Stutter, or Cut Out at Highway Speeds

Unfortunately, the CVT is a common failure point on several Nissan models, with the Sentra being no exception. Many of the NHTSA-registered complaints about the Sentra are related to the CVT, which is known to grind, stutter or fail completely.

Multiple drivers have reported that the transmission will cut out at high speeds, while other reports show that the transmission grinds, jumps, and encounters delays when shifting. Several owners have registered complaints after needing their transmissions replaced well before 100,000 miles.

Should a transmission failure occur outside of the warranty, drivers will be in for an expensive repair. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost for a transmission replacement on the Sentra is nearly $3,800.

2019 Nissan Sentra Problems Include Numerous Electronics Issues and Dangerous Transmission Woes - VehicleHistory (3)

Engine Problems on the Sentra Include High Oil Consumption, and Timing Chain Issues

The 2019 Sentra is equipped with either a 1.6L or 1.8L four-cylinder, depending on the model. Neither engine is known to be highly troublesome, but there are some issues drivers may encounter.

According to Motor Reviewer, the 1.6L may shake at low rpms due to software in the engine controller unit. The larger 1.8L engine is known to consume too much oil and should be monitored closely to ensure the system isn’t running dry.

A stretched timing chain is typical for both engines offered in the Sentra. Increased noise and poor acceleration are common indicators that the chain may be worn. The timing chain should be replaced at 100,000 miles to prevent any damage to the engine components.

2019 Nissan Sentra Problems Include Numerous Electronics Issues and Dangerous Transmission Woes - VehicleHistory (4)

2019 Nissan Sentra Has Some Serious Safety Issues to Consider When Looking to Buy a Used Model

While the two recalls issued for the 2019 Nissan Sentra can be fixed by the dealership at no cost, the more severe and expensive problems will not. The reported electronics issues are a major concern, as they appear to affect several important vehicle systems.

Unfortunately, Nissan has not addressed or investigated these issues and is keeping these problematic vehicles on the road. Buyers should carefully consider these points when looking into a used 2019 Sentra.

Photos: Nissan

Frequently Asked Questions

By Stephanie Stephan | Mar 18, 2022

Does the 2019 Nissan Sentra Have Trouble Starting?

At least 26 owners report their 2019 Nissan Sentra will not start or turn over using the automatic key fob or automatic start. The problem is considered electrical and has been linked to a recall on a brake light switch.

Does the 2019 Nissan Sentra Have Radio Problems?

Owners report the NIssan’s radio will not play or malfunctions, switching on and off intermittently, displaying a black or blank screen. 26 NHTSA complaints exist for the Nissan’s electrical issues and no recall or known repair is associated with the radio.

Owner Reviews

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Mind your business on July 31, 2022

This is A DO NOT BUY CAR !!!

When we first purchased our vehicle we noticed it doesn’t get up to speed as fast as it should , it was lagging almost causing multiple accidents so after a while we just adjusted to how the car drive , then the radio kept turning on and off restarting itself , when you turn a corner and then hit the gas it has a loud dragging noise that we were never able to get to the bottom of , I wish I would have found these reviews beforehand we most definitely would have rode off in a Honda ! As of today the transmission has finally gave out & im am just disappointed still owe $15k on the car but I’m letting them come get this piece of s**t it’s not worth $500 a month let alone the original $17k, we should have known something was wrong for them to put is in a 2019 nissan rather a 2014 Hyundai ! Like come on now !

Ms. Hamner on July 29, 2022

Electrical problem and dead battery

Days after buy a brand new sentre the radio would come on by it self. Year or so later the battery would die. My daughter was told at the dealership Benton Nissan in hoover that it was the battery. Purchased at least 6 brand new batteries each time we took it back to the them. Would leave it over night. Truly didn't believe the diagnosed it at all and we were charged for it. Car would just turn off when driving. Towed a few times. It stopped on my daughter not far from home near a repair shop. She inquired with the owner and he instantly diagnosed it and fixed the electrical issue that next day with a charge of under $150. Nissan Benson know the problem but refuse to fix it because they purchased them with this malfunction. Never will buy or recommend anyone to deal with them.

Staci B on August 19, 2022

Brake light recall is more than brakes

When I bought this car in 2020, there was not enough information about the electronics issues available or I probably wouldn't have purchased it. Have been having a problem for several months with the car occasionally not responding to the key fob, the brake pedal not depressing and the car not starting. Sitting at the dealer after being told that it was because of the recall on the break light Electronics recall. If I had to do over again I would not buy this car.

Kai on May 22, 2022

Everything was ok until that d**n transmission broke

Everything seemed to be fine with my 2019 Sentra when I bought it at 85,000 miles. We have spent $2000 in maintenance over 9 months and now the transmission is shot and we need to give $5000. I haven't even finished paying off the car and we still owe 16k on it! That car was our lifeline for income and now it has ruined our lives. Should have gotten a honda civic

Patty Hiltibidal on July 17, 2021

Problems Started About 2 Weeks From Purchase

Drove my 2019 Sentra off the lot 2 weeks ago with 8 miles on it. Last week the forward collision warning went out. Warranty covered. Yesterday service engine light came on so back to the Nissan dealer I go. Got a rental for the night. Found out today the cam valve gear is bad. Part ordered but another day in the shop. Two different problems within 2 weeks.

Sharon B on July 19, 2022

Car won't start

I've had this happen on several occasions, but usually,, not this frequently. . In the past 2 weeks, this is the 3rd time. Engine will not turn over. Key turns, everything else works, lights on, radio works, but the engine will not start. No noise, nothing. I find it happens mainly when the car is out in the hot sun. It is very frustrating

Sharon on September 16, 2021

Electrical Issues Right After Purchase Along With Transmission Issues

I bought the car with 10 miles on it and brought it back less than a week later telling them, the radio comes on and off when I am not in the car and the windows come up and down and no key or fob around? They claim nothing is wrong, Brought it in 2 more times, nothing wrong. Also brought in for transmission problems, Nothing wrong!

Eli B on October 20, 2021

Okay Vehicle With Common Problem

I like the vehicle, had it for about a year, and I heard about a common problem that the vehicle has where at the bottom of the vehicle some welding comes off and makes one piece of the vehicle start to make a rattling noise and it sounds horrible if it does happen because it gets louder when you drive faster or turn on the ac.

Kim A on July 23, 2021

Design And Electrical Issues Nearing 800 Miles

All the buttons on the steering wheel went out before it even had 800 miles on it, had to take it in three times before they actually fixes it. One person even though it was a short in radio even tho the cruise control buttons weren't working either. This was the third Nissan we bought and will not buy another one!

Ken C on December 12, 2021

Major Issues With The Electrical System

The electrical system in this car is a nightmare, It starts by itself, and doesn't have a remote start, in-store and over the intercom was told my car is running and window's down twice, my neighbors have sat laughing watching the windows go up and by themselves, stereo coming on full blast when were in the house.

John Smith on November 3, 2021

Steering And Electrical Problems In Less Than 10k Miles

The toggle switches on the steering wheel are annoying when you make a turn you will change stations. I don't think they have the electronics figured out. Less than 10k miles and my crash detection system are malfunctioning. I also believe the transmission is starting to slip intermittently.

Jessica H on December 31, 2021

Seemed Decent Until Repair Was Needed A Lot

Seemed like a decent car when it was purchased. Have had to have a few things replaced, a motion sensor, and a left front speaker. There’s always a sound like air is coming through the passenger side window in the backseat. They said the seals are fine it just sounds like that.

Paige M on February 19, 2022

Nissan Sentra Feels Like It Has Power Issues

The first problem I had with it has been the transmission. Good for comfortable driving but not meant for any performance what’s so ever. And at times I find that it is a tad underpowered when going up more than a slight incline.

Kira C on February 9, 2022

Transmission Problems That Could Be Dangerous

The car is too small. The transmission always seems to be running on high RPMs. Makes noise when hits bumps. Not satisfied with the craftsmanship. The radio is not of good poor quality all around.

DJ Watson on June 13, 2023


We took our car to a Nissan dealership/mechanic who said our transmission is toast. $5,000 please. Uh, no. Waiting on settlement for 2019 Nissan. NEVER BUY

Patti Dixon on July 27, 2022

Only had the car in 8 months

My 2019 Nissan has a starting problem I having my car.Towed to the shop as we speak. I am very disappointed

Turtle on April 5, 2023

Transmission is garbage

Tranmission issues will cost you a fortune. Do not buy this car. Nissan does not protect their customers.

Lacey Boudreaux on August 16, 2023

Do Not Buy

AC completely went out, transmission is acting up, on third battery.

Alex Dodd

Alex Dodd is a classic car enthusiast and automotive writer specializing in late-1970s and 1980s vehicles, with experience in repair and complete restorations. Alex’s primary experience comes from restoring DeLoreans and AMCs. He is constantly learning more about the background and history of car manufacturers, with a focus on cult-classic and collector vehicles. His current project is a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am.

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