How to Install an All-Wheel Drive System in a Front-Wheel Drive Nissan Altima?

When it comes to customizing your Nissan Altima, one of the most significant modifications you can make is upgrading it from a front-wheel-drive (FWD) to an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. This is an excellent way to enhance the performance and safety of your vehicle, especially in challenging driving conditions. The AWD system allows power to be delivered to all four wheels of your vehicle, providing better traction and control.

In this article, we will guide you on how to install an AWD system in a FWD Nissan Altima. This information is primarily intended to be informational however, it’s always highly recommended to have automotive experience or seek professional help when attempting this kind of transformation.

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Understanding the Process

Before diving into the installation process, it’s crucial to understand the complexity of this task. Retrofitting a front-wheel-drive Nissan Altima with an AWD system involves more than just swapping out parts. It involves a complete transformation of your vehicle’s drive system, which requires an intricate understanding of various car mechanisms.

To start, you need to source the bestpricegradekey and bestpriceversionkey from trustworthy vehicle parts store. Make sure to crosscheck the modelcode of the Altima to ensure the parts compatibility. Also, it’s important to check the quality of the parts before making a purchase.

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Preparing the Vehicle

Before you begin the process, ensure your vehicle is updated to the latest manufacturer’s specifications. This will save you from potential complications during the installation process.

Start by lifting the Altima using a hydraulic lift or jack stands to gain access to the undercarriage. Remove the front wheels, followed by the engine and transmission. This can be done by using a cherry picker or engine hoist. Once removed, you’ll need to disconnect the drive shaft, which is connected to the front wheel drive system.

Once the engine and transmission are removed, the next step is to dismantle the rear axle. This will make room for the new AWD system. Also, remember to safely store all the important components for future use.

Installing the AWD System

After preparing the vehicle, you can now start installing the AWD system. Begin by installing the center differential. This component is the heart of the AWD system, sending power to all four wheels. The differential should be placed in the middle of the vehicle, connecting the front and rear axles.

Next, install the rear differential and the rear drive shaft. The rear drive shaft will connect the center differential to the rear differential. Make sure these components are perfectly aligned to avoid any potential drivability issues.

Once the differentials and drive shafts are installed, proceed to mount the engine and transmission back into the vehicle. Connect the powertrain to the center differential using the front drive shaft.

Mounting New Parts and Finalizing the Installation

With the main components installed, it’s time to mount the rest of the parts. Mount the new AWD suspension system, ensuring it aligns correctly with the vehicle body. This system will replace your existing suspension, providing additional support for the new AWD setup.

Next, install the new AWD-specific axles and wheel hubs. These parts are unique to AWD vehicles and are designed for the added strain and complexity of sending power to all four wheels.

After all the components are installed, refill any fluids that were drained during the process. This includes motor oil, transmission fluid, and differential fluid. Check for any leaks or loose connections.

Lastly, mount the wheels, lower the vehicle and proceed to a test drive. Make sure to drive in a controlled environment first, like an empty parking lot, to ensure everything is working correctly.

A Word on Price and Price Disclaimer

The modelprice of the AWD conversion can vary significantly based on the type of AWD system installed and the cost of labor if you decide to hire a professional. The pricedisclaimer includes the fact that prices for parts and labor can fluctuate based on location and the specific model of your Nissan Altima.

The cost can also escalate depending on the destination as some parts may need to be shipped if they are not readily available in your area. The retail cost of these parts may vary as well, and it’s advisable to do a thorough market survey before making a purchase.

By following this guide, you can transform your Nissan Altima from FWD to AWD, offering improved performance, safety, and driving experience. It’s a challenging job, but with the right tools, parts, and know-how, it’s achievable. However, remember that installing an AWD system is an intricate process that should be done with utmost care or by a professional to avoid damaging your vehicle.

Extended Warranty and Maintenance Considerations

After successfully installing the all-wheel drive system in your Nissan Altima, another important factor to consider is the impact of this modification on your vehicle’s warranty and maintenance costs. As soon as you make alterations to your vehicle’s original specifications, you may nullify your car’s warranty. It’s essential to discuss this with your dealer before starting the project.

This transformation will also have an effect on your car’s maintenance. An AWD system generally requires more regular maintenance than a FWD system. You will need to ensure regular servicing of the differentials and drive shafts, which are critical components of the AWD system. Also, remember that AWD systems can be more expensive to repair in case of a mechanical failure.

Additionally, this modification can impact the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. AWD systems, due to the extra drive components, traditionally use more fuel than FWD systems. Therefore, expect an increase in fuel consumption.

Finally, if you choose to undertake this modification, you should adjust your insurance coverage accordingly. Your insurer needs to be aware of any major changes to your vehicle, as these may affect the cost of your premium.


Transforming a Nissan Altima from a front-wheel-drive (FWD) to an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is a complex but rewarding process. It enhances the vehicle’s performance, safety, and overall driving experience, especially in challenging conditions. However, this process demands a high level of automotive knowledge or professional help.

Keep in mind the potential increase in maintenance costs and fuel consumption, and the effect on your car’s warranty and insurance. Also, the modelprice of the AWD conversion varies greatly, influenced by the bestpriceversionkey, the bestpricegradekey, and whether you hire a professional or do it yourself.

While it’s a high-risk, high-reward undertaking, the benefits of having an AWD Nissan Altima are significant. From better control and stability to improved performance, it’s a modification that will certainly transform your driving experience. Just remember to approach the project with an understanding of what’s involved and respect for the complexity of the task.

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