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. 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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,793 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #48

Sep 012006


  • 103,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle jerked violently. The contact stated that the crank shaft sensor was replaced twice before but the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer advised the vehicle was not included in recall NHTSA campaign number: 06V242000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 103,000 and the current mileage was 188,000.

- Grayson , GA, USA

problem #47

Feb 152013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
I drove my car from ms to ga. When I reached my hotel and turned my car off and tried to leave again the service engine light came on and the car would not start. I had the light checked the next the and it came back reading the crank position sensor. When I made it back to ms I got the part replaced and the check engine light was turned off. 8 months later my car started cutting off at red lights and not starting again. The check engine light came back on. When I had it checked again the mechanic said it was reading for the crank position sensor again. Once I explained to him that I just had that fixed he figured it was something else. Replaced my battery, battery cables, alternator, and starter. Cars still shuts off and wont crank. When I called Nissan they said my VIN wasn't included in the recall. My car stalls on me daily and shuts off at red lights.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #46

May 082014


  • 137,095 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact made several attempts before the vehicle would start. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic test. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage were 137,095.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #45

Apr 032012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 90 miles


While at a red light, the car unknowingly stopped! I didn't even know until the light turned green and I attempted to pull off. I put the car in park and resterted the car with no issue. A couple days later the engine started a slight shake and each day the shake became more intense and the engine would shut off when driven for a while & while my feet is on the break the meter would jump from 0 to 2 and shut off wen it hit 0. also while attempting to pull off the car feels like it's stuck then it'll shoot off.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #44

Jun 072006


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle restarted and resumed normally. The failure recurred six times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer three times. On one visit, the ECM was reprogrammed and the failure persisted. The dealer was currently replacing the camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor. There was a recall related to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) but the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 113,000.

- Brentwood, MD, USA

problem #43

Mar 282014


  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the cam position sensor had failed. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 180,000.

- Ft. Collins, CO, USA

problem #42

Mar 112014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not available.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #41

Feb 222014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 128,560 miles
When I slowed down to take a right turn, my Nissan Altima stalled all of a sudden. My steering and brakes got locked. I could not start it immediately.. behind me was a cargo truck however at a more gap distance so that he could bring his truck to a halt before rear bumping me. I could have been killed if it was on a highway or if the speeds were higher. This car has given me starting problems. Nissan told that my VIN is not covered in any recall campaign, so I had get the cam shaft sensor & crank position sensor replaced at a local mechanic. After that I still face stalling problems, engine starting problems. My battery health is good and the engine cranks, but does not fire. Pissed off with this car.

- Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #40

Jul 172013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
Driving down highway and motor stopped in fast line of hwy 60 in southeast Missouri and almost got rearended by on coming traffic, thank god they stopped. Had car towed in and came to find out it blew a rod, have been told by a number of mechanic that this was a problem motor and should have been recalled years ago due to all problems these motors have caused people. You cant get a replacement motor anywhere only found one and they want $2000 I feel Nissan needs to make this right. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dexter, MO, USA

problem #39

Dec 202013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Crankshaft sensor not on recall yet 1000's have this problem.

- Cameron Park, CA, USA

problem #38

Dec 022013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 148,200 miles


I am a collage student and I bought a 2003 Nissan Altima I always like this car but I got a shock in my life the first week to school I saw the engine light blinking when I check there is no oil I odd 3 quart and it fill to the H level the next week it went to below low level I only got this car 3 weeks only and I almost used one gal oil can any one do any thing about the problem the car do not smoke it just burn the oil.

- South Ozone Park, NY, USA

problem #37

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 #36

Nov 052013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
While my son was driving, the engine began missing and started to smoke. At the same time the heater quit producing heat. The check engine light came on. Engine diagnostics indicated cylinder # 4 misfire. Took to independent mechanic where it was confirmed that the engine was destroyed by failed catalyst in the pre- catalyst. Oil had fouled the missing cylinder's spark plug. The engine oil level was full and there had no previous indication of oil consumption, but the oil was found to contain coolant. These cars are popular for parents to purchase for teenagers and appear to be hazardous. NHTSA campaign id number: 03V084000 indicated that this pre-catalyst issue was a fire hazard back in 2003. It appears whatever was done in this recall did not solve the problem. This failure seems to be fairly common occurrence.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #35

Sep 262013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 191,431 miles
I was driving and my car just slowed down and eventually cut off. I put the car in park and started it back up. When I arrived at my destination and cut the car off and tried to cut it back on it would not start.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #34

Oct 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
This problem started gradually it would just turn off while I was driving without any the middle of traffic it was scary. Thank god it would turn back on right away. I decided to see if doing a oil change spark plugs and air filter would help it didn't. one Saturday on September 21 of this year on lunch break I need to come home really quick it stopped before I made it home it would not turn back on at all! I called the tow truck he was able to make it turn back on. I took it to auto zone they said my battery was bad so I bought a new one. It continued to stop on me. It would run for a few days without stopping at all until just a few days ago it didn't want to start at all thought it was the fuel pump. Now that has been checked off the list. The engine light has then turned on and the codes that is being read out is for a recall that was issued in December 22 of 2003 R 3022 / infiniti what can I do?

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #33

Sep 122013


  • 147,655 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning light illuminated after the failure occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed, which located the failure at the camshaft sensor. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer advised the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure and current mileage was 147,655.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #32

May 082013


  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without any warnings. The contact mentioned that the vehicle had been consuming oil excessively before the failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the catalytic converter was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle had been repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling ). the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 132,000 and the current mileage was 133,931.

- Nora, VA, USA

problem #31

May 132009

Altima 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My vehicle suddenly stalled while traveling about 55 miles per hour. It was diagnosed as a bad camshaft sensor...the sensor was replaced. It works for a while then the same problem happened about 6 months later, then again about 6 months later and again 6 months later. In one case I only narrowly avoided a crash because my car stalled in the middle of a busy street. Now 4 years later we have replaced the cam shaft sensor 6 times and have the same problem. My mechanic did research and found vehicle of my same make and model were part of a recall for this problem recall 01V357 and follow up recall 33411. Nissan keeps telling me my car isn't affected. I seriously feel it should be. This is obviously the problem I am having. Despite repeated calls to Nissan they will not look at my car without charging me or consider adding it to the recall. My car is no longer operable because it stalls so violently, I am afraid I will crash and put my family in danger. Please help!

- Tijeras, NM, USA

problem #30

Aug 052013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 112,386 miles
Check engine light came on. After running diagnostics the crank shaft sensor has been identified as faulty. I have read that there is a recall on the crank shaft sensor but not for my VIN #. thought it appropriate to flag that there are other Nissan's with faulty crank shaft sensors.

- Lagrange, IL, USA

problem #29

Jun 022013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Car stalls at red light twice. Later, stalls but doesn't go dead. Gas won't work. Month later crankshaft sensor, transmission oil, fluid and screen was replaced, but when driven afterwards it stalled again.

- Sycamore, AL, USA

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