Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: Here's a disturbing trend for the 2002 Nissan Altima: the engine starts burning oil like crazy, the catalytic converter goes bad, the head gasket blows and eventually the entire engine needs replacement. Sound familiar? Like a script from a horror film, these Altimas seem doomed to fail around 95k miles.

8.5

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,300.00
Average Mileage:
71,000 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. sell it! (2 reports)
  2. complete engine replacement (1 reports)
  3. timing chain replaced (1 reports)
2003 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 112013

Altima 3.5se

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Nissan designed a real great way of putting tension on timing chain. They put a cheap nylon pad on the timing chain tensioner so when this part wore out it slipped down and skipped timing in which now I have no compression in any cylinders and my only hope is that the pistons are not damaged. Whole engine blow because of a $10 piece of plastic.

- , Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #3

Feb 162007

Altima 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

OK SO MY FIRST VEHICLE WAS A 1992 HONDA ACCORD. I WANTED A NEW CAR BAD WHICH I TRULY REGRET. I BOUGHT THIS 2003 NISSAN ALTIMA 3.5L V6. CUTE CAR BUT IT'S A LEMON. I WAS TO BUSY LOOKING AT THE EXTERIOR THAT I DIDN'T DO MY RESEARCH ON THE CAR. WHEN I CRANK IT UP IT MAKES THIS AWFUL RATTLING/TICKING NOISE AND IT IS SO LOUD. IT HATE THAT NOISE WITH A PASSION. I TOOK IT TO THE DEALER AND THE COST TO FIX THAT WAS $1200.00 AND I HAD ONLY HAD THE CAR FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS. I HAD THE CAR FINANCE SO IT DIDN'T COME WITH A WARRANTY. I TOOK IT TO NISSAN AND THEY DIDN'T SHOW TO REMORSE OF SYMPATHY BUT WHEN I WAS TRYING TO PURCHASE A CAR I WAS THEIR BEST FRIEND. IT PISSES ME OFF BECAUSE THEY SHOULD HAVE EITHER FIXED THE PROBLEM OR HAD A 30 DAY WARRANTY FOR CUSTOMER GRATITUDE. I WISH I WOULD'VE STAYED IN THE HONDA CLASS BUT AT THE TIME THEY WERE TO EXPENSIVE. THIS CAR IS S TRUE PIECE OF SH*T AND I WILL NEVER EVER EVER PURCHASE ANOTHER NISSAN AGAIN. I'M GOING TO SEE IF I CAN TRADE THE CAR IN BECAUSE I'M TIRED OF THE EMBRASSMENT. I HATE CRANKING MY CAR UP AROUND A GROUP OF PEOPLE BECAUSE IT'S THE LOUDEST NOISE YOU HEAR. ANYONE READING THIS AND THINKING ABOUT BUYING A NISSAN (DON'T)! RUN DON'T WALK AWAY AND! PLEASE PLEASE BUY A HONDA... NO NISSAN.

- , Moultrie, GA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012003

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 10,000 miles

Known defect Nissan will not acknowledge in timing chain and guide system. When the engine is cold and temperature is below 50 degrees out, the camshaft chain will rattle due to lack of lubrication. When the engine warms and the oil can flow the noise will stop. But during this warm up period the engine sounds like a diesel and I know that can't be good. I found this out on my own investigating the noise. Brought to Nissan and they said the noise was loose heat shields. I wonder where these guys train at. Any mechanic can tell this is not rattling from the heat shield. Anyway, my car still does it and Nissan still won't acknowledge its a problem. Even the new 2.5 Altima is doing it! Why? Because the engine design is still the same and has not changed.

- , O'Fallon, IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 212007

(reported on)

Altima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I had a Maxima V6 previously and was very happy, never heard bad things about 3.5L VQ but when I went in the Nissan dealer recommended engine replacement as an alternative to to just replacing timing chain as the repair was $2500. I still have had problems since with Mass Air Flow sensor as well ($1200). I did have it checked by multiple shops but the result was the same. Be careful of noisy V6 engine it can be very expensive.

- , Dartmouth, NS, Canada

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