If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,273 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Nissan Altima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

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

problem #47

Sep 222009


  • 74,444 miles
I was driving my vehicle, 2003 Nissan Altima, at a low speed, when for no apparent reason, the vehicle died. It was during the evening hours. I was lucky the driver behind me didn't run into me. I was able to restart the car, and drive off. The car didn't do it again, but a week later, the check engine light came on. I took the car into the dealership. They told me the cause of the problem was a crank angle sensor. It was faulty and that's why my car died, without any warning. I found out that, Nissan had a recall on this item. I called Nissan North America Inc and spoke to a person name david. David confirmed that they did have a recall on the sensor but it was only on certain years for the Altima. I told david that maybe all the Altima's with this sensor should be recalled and replaced. Further investigation, I found a owner notification from Nissan telling me that my Altima, there is a possibility that the engine might stop running while being driven due to an electrical problem between the crank angle sensor and ECM. I took it to the dealer after receiving their notice. The dealer reprogram the ECM unit, but never replaced the sensor. I told david at Nissan that they should have replaced the sensor at the time when they reprogram the ECM. It was very scary when my car just died suddenly. I was very lucky I didn't get hurt. I am letting you know because I feel Nissan should recall all their vehicle equip with this sensor. I was very very lucky not to have been involved in an accident. I told david at Nissan that I don't feel safe driving my car anymore.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #46

Aug 152009


  • miles
I was sold my car from a dealership and it has had problem since day one and I keep up with my maintenance and a month after I got the vehicle I spent over 2500 in repairs now I am having a problem with catalyst and the exhaust pipe which is on the recall list from 7-30-2003 when I start the car it doesn't want to start and it is a tapping sound that is heard all the time I have tried to get in touch where I got the car from but they are out of business and I am still paying on this car I have a problem with the struts, shocks, brakes, and air conditioner just alot of stuff and now the tapping noise is so bad its scaring me and I have four children that rides with me in that car.

- Hurst, TX, USA

problem #45

Jul 292009


  • 92,000 miles
We have a 2003 Nissan Altima. The service engine light came on one day and then it went off. A few weeks later the light came on again and we had it diagnosed and the code indicated it was electrical, battery, or crank shaft sensor. Same day we got it diagnosed we went to start the car in the parking lot the car wouldn't start. We called aaa to have car towed. While waiting for tow truck we tried to start the vehicle and it started. We started driving car to get it to be repaired and while driving the car the car stopped running and my daughter had no control of the car. The steering wheel locked and everything. She pulled into someone's driveway. We called and had car towed to local repair facility. I checked the internet to see if there was any recalls and it indicated there was a recall on the crank shaft sensor. I called the Nissan dealership in salem, nh and spoke to a gentleman in service and explained about the recall. He asked for the VIN number and said there was no recalls. I disputed it with him and he said there was nothing he could do and that it would cost approx $100 dollars to diagnose and approx $125 per hour to replace plus parts. I then call Nissan consumer service and they also said there was no recall on my vehicle. I again disputed again they said there is nothing they can do about the problem. I then had the car repaired at a local repair shop and they had to replace the crank position sensor (the recalled part). We picked up the car drove down the street and the check engine light came on again. Brought the car back to repair shop and they had to replace the cam shaft sensor. I called Nissan customer relations again about the recall and they stated there is still no recall for the sensor on my VIN. She said that she could help us by refunding the repair costs. She asked where I had it repaired and I told her at a local repair center. She said I cant help you because I didn't get it repaired at a Nissan dealership. They should of told me this.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #44

Jan 262009


  • 60,000 miles
2003, Nissan Altima, 3.5L, 60,000 miles. January 2009, traveling in South Florida traffic, all dash warning lights come on and car stalls. Car restarts, hard, and is driven to ft lauderdale dealership. $100 diagnostic reveals crank shaft position sensor and 2 cam sensors need to be replaced. Our son, service writer for Nissan in Texas, tells us the dealership has doubled the estimate and to keep looking for a mechanic (since car is no longer under warranty). Tells us the maxima for this year has a recall for this but not the Altima with 3.5L. We drive to a local mechanic, stalling several more times, in rush-hour traffic, he estimates $600+/- and we leave car for repair while I enter the hospital for breast cancer surgery. Car is repaired when I leave hospital, huge bill comes out of my pocket, and Nissan will not consider reimbursement, although many hundreds of these vehicles are experiencing identical problems! no recall notice was received, no notice of the ECM recall was received and the car is now sluggish on acceleration. Car is meticulously maintained, uses only premium gas and otherwise a good vehicle to own. Nissan's refusal to acknowledge this and dealerships gouging customers makes this situation even more distasteful!

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #43

May 032009


  • 151,000 miles
2003 Nissan Altima 2.5. the car shuts off while driving, in the middle of traffic almost was hit by an 18 wheeler behind me. Sometimes it won't crank so I've had the crank shaft position sensor replaced. I've been told that all the 2003 Altima have the same problem, but there is no recall on them.

- Stringer, MS, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?