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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,553 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Nissan Altima electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #67

Apr 202012


  • 160,000 miles


Car began to idle roughly and was hard to start. Replaced oxygen sensors which did not cure symptoms. Was told that the 2 pre-cats (catalytic converters) needed replaced. Motor mounts also recommended. Replaced and problem persisted. Hard to start, runs rough now shutting down while driving. Ran codes myself with obd-II tool and found crankshaft and camshaft position sensors to be faulty. I heard of a recall for this very issue; even described my symptoms exactly. Even though my year model and car was recalled the Nissan of fort worth service desk told me my VIN # was not covered. My car has the exact same engine as all of the other Nissan made in this year range and the same faulty crankshaft and camshaft sensors but for some unknown reason mine are not covered by this. How is this even possible. I have replaced a lot of pricey parts all which may have been avoided by replacing the sensors. Even if I had to pay for the crank and camshaft sensors it would not have been bad if I had not paid over $3000 in repairs to other stuff that may not have needed replacing.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #66

Apr 102015


  • miles
I was driving on the highway with my kids in the car when my car shutoff all of a sudden. I was not able to get it started and cars were whizzing by me. Finally after several tries that seemed like forever, the car started and I took the first exit off the highway. Then once I made it off the highway the car check engine light came on. I made it back home but the car would not start properly. It comes on and then shutoff or stays on for a few minutes and then makes a sound like its going to cutoff if you put it in gear. Finally had the car checked and was told it was the camshaft/crankshaft sensors based on the codes. My family could have been killed if this would have happened during rush hour. Something needs to be done. These parts seem to continuously go bad and endanger the safety of everyone. I have less than 70,000 miles on this car.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #65

Apr 092015


  • 159,000 miles
Car stalled two times within 20 minutes when slowing car down to make a turn. Meineke and paul miller Nissan of fairfield, ct identified that parts 23731-al61A (crankshaft/camshaft sensor) and 23731-6J90B (camshaft posaition sensor) need to be replaced. These sensors were part a recall for the same make, year and model of car that I own. Nissan N.a. claims that my VIN was not a part of the recall. 630,000+ vehicles were affected by this recall but my vehicle does not apply. On line complaints suggests that the exact same complaint keeps reoccurring but Nissan has not expanded there VIN registery to include all cars that are affected. Spoke with Nissan N.a. case expediter who stated my vehicle VIN was not on the affected list although my complaint was the same as those vehicles on the list. Nissan representative would not tell me where my part was made and where the defective parts were in fact made. Claimed that this was internal Nissan information that they had no obligation to give me.

- Fairfield, NN, USA

problem #64

Mar 112015


  • 130,000 miles


Service engine soon lite came on, car runs sluggish, stalls while running at slow speed, put on computer stated cam shaft ignitors/sensors.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #63

Feb 182015

Altima 4-cyl

  • 160 miles
I was driving home with my husband and 3 grandchildren after having dinner noticed smoke and exited the road way to find there was a fire under hood, the inside of car filled up with smoke before we could exit, we called 911 and they responded, they said it was caused from an electrical fire was all we were told, they towed the car away with out any investigation, was wondering if any recalls have caused this? the car is at lauzons towing in malone NY, all we could think of at the time was to get the children out of the cold and off the highway then to seek what had caused this. Im writing in hopes to maybe get some answers as to what could have caused this. Hoping to hear back from someone soon on this matter. Thank you[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Brushton, NY, USA

problem #62

Nov 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
I was sitting at a red light and when it turned green I went to go and my car stalled out. My check engine light came on and it's due to cam and crankshaft sensors. Drove the car to work today the car stalled out again completely shut itself off. Once again had to pull over on the side of the rode the best I could turn the car off and thankfully it turned back on. Called Nissan today spoke with a Consumer Affairs supervisor named [xxx] and they are telling me that my VIN # is not included in the recall for this claim on crankshaft sensors and that they would be able to forward my information to a regional office for Consumer Affairs and see if they can get them to pay for the parts but in the mean time I have to get a diagnostics report done on the car at a Nissan dealership and I have to pay for the diagnostics report and they will not waive it for me and in order to get approval for the parts I have to get the diagnostics report. So they transferred me to a dealership in albany NY a Nissan dealership service department spoke with a guy named ed he said they would need my car for 24-48 hours and can not provide me with a rental, can not waive the diagnostics fee and they wouldn't be able to get my car in until aweek from now. This is outrageous. People are going to end up being seriously injured if not killed by this malfunction. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rensselaer, NY, USA

problem #61

Aug 182013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 93,500 miles


When I was came home from shopping I stop car and switch off and go home after about 15 min going to some where but car take time to start after few second car start. Try 3 times same. Next day going to work and same starting problem start car and going about 1 mile drive power cut off and luckily no one behind me able to go on side because can not do anything no brake no gas god help me after one mint start car and rich work about 2 mile. At work we have mechanic he has software for car diagnosis he check and told me code P0340 for camshaft position sensor we change one bought from dealer after 2 hr going home same problem starting. Mechanic reset and go home next day going to work same thing happened power shutoff about 1 and 1/2 able to park onside and start again and drop to repair shop. He called me and told me you have to change another camshaft sensor after wok fine for up to now. But they recall some car before for this problem if I was in highway then what happened do you think I will able to write now or die. Can you check on this and do something otherwise some one die. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #60

Aug 232011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 94,301 miles
Multiple times while driving between 30-45 mph the vehicle has stalled and not produced full engine power when pushing on the accelerator. This has caused serious concern for the safety of my family and myself. Check engine light came on and I took the vehicle to Nissan service repair (August 2011, ~94K miles). Nissan ran diagnostics and stated that the circuit board for crank/cam sensors had failed. Paid $430 to replace crankshaft and cam/crank sensors. Fast forward to December 2012 (~110K miles) where I experienced the same exact issues along with reduced engine power when pressing on the accelerator. Another local mechanic detected that the cam/crank sensors needed to be replaced again. I did some research and found out about recall #03V455000, which describes the exact symptoms that I have been having. I called the Nissan service department that replaced the sensors in 2011 who said that my VIN wasn't included in the recall so I didn't qualify. After reading the complaints on this site for this specific year/make/model, it is beyond me how nothing hasn't been flagged about this being an issue. All these people are having the same problems (multiple times) yet they are told their VIN's don't qualify under the recall?? something is fishy there. Other complaints with the same exact issue include the following numbers: ODI id numbers: 10416743, 10384742,10370526,10342438,10332467, 10318898, 10318045, 10314479, 10283487, 10278805. Thank you for any assistance or light that can be shed on this issue.

- Seminole, FL, USA

problem #59

Nov 052012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 92,150 miles
The driver side door does not open from the inside making this a severe safety issue. The only way to open the door is to keep the key in the ignition, roll down the window, reach out and open the door, then close window, shut off car, and exit the vehicle. In an emergency it will be nearly impossible to do this within a reasonable time. This issue could result in further injury or death to the driver.

- East Meadow, NY, USA

problem #58

Jun 192012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
My daughter was driving home from work in my 2003 Nissan Altima when the car suddenly stopped running, the steering wheel froze and she nearly ran off the road. Thank goodness there were no other cars coming and she was able to pull off the road with no incident. I pulled the codes and found it to be the P0335 (crankshaft position sensor) and P0725 (engine speed sensor). After searching the web, it appears there are many people with the same issue. I looked on the NHTSA website and found NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000, Nissan recall no. R3022 that states exactly what did happen - the check engine light came on and the engine stopped without warning. The remedy is that a dealer replace the crankshaft position sensor. So, I called Nissan, found the other recall that is related to the sensor, took the car to the dealer (barely - I drove and the car stopped twice - again, lucky there was no crash). The dealer called and said he could not fix this recall because the sensor was bad. Now I have to go back and pickup the car and pray again that I don't have a crash coming home. Seems totally unreasonable that Nissan would have a recall for this exact problem - the crankshaft position sensor - for, among many others, 2002-2003 Altima and yet there are many people out there with these cars that Nissan won't fix. I was laid off and certainly cannot afford a $300 fix for a $40 part so we will have to drive this death car until I can figure out how to get it fixed. And pray every time I get in it that we don't end crashing the car, hurting myself, my young twins, my older daughter or anyone else on the road. This is a severely dangerous issue and Nissan should replace all cars - not just a select few.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #57

Feb 102010

Altima 4-cyl Diesel

  • 139,000 miles


My air conditioner has always been running even when the button has been off. I've asked the dealer many times over the years and they said it's fine. Now about 2 years ago my airconditioner won't go on, it's intermittent but if it does go on it only works for 5 minutes. I finally paid the $129 to have it checked and was told the intelligan power distribution module has failed. This has been recalled in many other Nissan but not the Altima. During a search I found lots of other Altima owners with the same problem. I tried contacting Nissan but they don't care.

- Hartland, WI, USA

problem #56

Dec 192011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 140,953 miles
Vehicle has stalled - engine stopped - in traffic several times. The cam and crank shaft sensors are the cause of this issue and Nissan refuses to recall these parts. It is absurd that the same parts have been recalled for other Altima built in the same year, yet several vins, including mine, were excluded. The recall for my VIN was to reprogram the computer to prevent the failed parts from telling the computer to shut the car off. This recall has done nothing to prevent the issue. This is a safety issue, not only for myself and my family but also other drivers. This issue has been reported numerous times on the internet by other drivers. When will the NHTSA stand up for the citizens it was created to protect?

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #55

May 162011


  • 96,500 miles
This situation has happened a few times; I park my car (turn engine off) do groceries, shopping, etc, come back, I turn the car on and the car is like stalling, like its idle but you can feel the shaking on the steering wheel. I didn't want to drive on this situation. I turned the engine off, turn it back on and still the same situation. I have to wait 3-5 minutes with engine off, then I turn it on and the car starts working normal. There is no "service engine soon" light on the dashboard. This is happening time to time. At first I thought it could be someting with the gasoline in the tank, that is not the case because I left my tank almost to empty and load a new tank, different gas station and still does the same. I called the dealer where I bought it, asked for any recalls on my car's model/year. They say no recalls for this year/model. I started searching for similar problems and I read a few articles that the '02 models have been recalled for similar issues, also that the same '03 model in Canada has been recalled and serviced for same issue. Although I cannot prove that what I read is true, I believe this problem should be checked by Nissan dealership maintenance centers since there is no alert signs on the dashboards.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #54

Dec 202007

Altima 4-cyl

  • 44,277 miles
2003 Nissan Altima stalls while driving. When I go in reverse and then put the car in drive the car continues to go in reverse. Stalls when I step on the accelerator but speeds up when I step on the breaks, I have to repeatedly slam my foot on the break to avoid hitting cars in front of me. The check engine light continues to come on, when it does the car stalls even more. I took it to a Nissan dealership they gave it a diagnostic test. They stated that they entered a code for the sensors, but were not sure if that was the actual problem with the car. I have been taking this car to Nissan mechanics since I purchased it in 2007 and it is still doing the same thing in 2010. The engine light continues to come on and it continues to stall. I do not feel safe in this vehicle.

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #53

Sep 272010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Car was shaking while driving. I had the cam sensors replaced several days ago. I have researched briefly online and found other people have the same issue. Other models on the vehicle have been covered on a recall; however, Nissan Altima 2003 2.5S apparently is not recalled in this area. This is a potentially hazardous issue.

- Lake Villa, IL, USA

problem #52

Jun 012010


  • miles
I am on my 3rd set of tires on my 2003 Altima it has only 78,000 miles on it. I rotate my tires every 5,000 miles the tires sound like they are coming apart. The headlight lens are turning foggy and yellow cutting down on the headlight visibility. Motor busing went bad car would not pass state inspection. Alternator went bad at 50,000 miles. Driver door hinge is bad want stay open if car is a little uneven. Had to replace crank sensor cause car wouldn't start at around 65,000 miles the dealer said there were no recall on any these problems.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #51

Jul 192010


  • 95,000 miles
The engine stalls when stopped or moving at slow speeds. This happens intermittently, between 1-15 times a month in normal driving. There is an outstanding recall (06V242000) that matches my problem but my VIN doesn't match those being recalled.

- Papillion, NE, USA

problem #50

Jun 062010

Altima 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact attempted to tap the brakes but the vehicle just accelerated faster. The vehicle jumped over a ditch and finally landed in a canal. The contact suffered severe injuries including open wounds, fractured ribs, two cracked disks, head injury and incidents of loosing consciousness. A police report was filed. The vehicle was totaled. The failure mileage was approximately 74,000. Updated evoq 07/20/10. The vehicle was inspected and the consumer was informed by the technician he found an electric crossover connection between the brake and accelerator pedals and may have been computer related. Updated 11/23/10. Updated 12/07/10. Updated 12/21/10 updated 12/30/10 updated 01/10/11. Updated 01/12/11. The consumer stated it was a clear day and traffic was very light. He had just left his home and was less than 2 miles from his home, driving about 40 mph, when his vehicle suddenly accelerated. He tapped the brake several times; each time the vehicle accelerated faster. The vehicle jumped over a ditch and finally landed in a water-filled irrigation canal. The consumer sustained severe injuries. The vehicle was totaled. Updated 01/13/11

- Elmira, CA, USA

problem #49

Feb 282010

Altima 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
2003 Nissan Altima 3.5L V6 SE - the door locks keep locking repeatedly. Will do this while I am in and out of the car regardless of key fob use. My hazard lights flash each time. This has been ongoing for over a week and has increased in frequency and duration. It is now constant - going on every 3-5 seconds. I had trouble getting my daughter out of the car because the door kept locking on me. I worry about the ability to get out quickly if needed. It brings attention to my car throughout the night. I believe this is a safety issue on many levels. It has not been fixed yet. I have been told it may be the door lock actuators.

- Firestone, CO, USA

problem #48

Nov 052009


  • 42,038 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 5 mph the check engine light came on and there was rust on the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The dealer stated that the under carriage was damaged and that if the under carriage was removed the bolts may fall off. The dealer also stated that the fuel cap and the rear sub frame were corroded. All of the rotors on the vehicle needed to be replaced. The dealer stated that the state and ocean location may be a factor. The failure mileage was 42,000. The current mileage was 43,000.

- Medford, MA, USA

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