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.

1.6

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,249 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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

May 082013

Altima

  • 132,000 miles

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

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

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

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

problem #28

Jul 222013

Altima

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the engine service light. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where a diagnostic was performed, which located the failure at the camshaft position. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacture advised the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure and current mileage was 120,000.

- Chesapeak, VA, USA

problem #27

Jun 282013

Altima

  • 162,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while at a complete stop, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact also mentioned that the check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was able to be restarted approximately one hour later and was driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was later taken to a private mechanic where it was determined that the crankshaft position sensor had failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure mileage was 162,000.

- Thiboudaux, LA, USA

problem #26

Jun 212013

Altima

  • 98,000 miles

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

The contact owns 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving 25 mph the engine warning indicator illuminated continuously. The vehicle began idling once the contact stopped. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis where the contact was advised that the camshaft and crank shaft position sensors would need to be replaced. The contact referenced associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling), however the contact's VIN was not included. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Lake Forest, CA, USA

problem #25

May 282013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while entering the highway, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where it was confirmed that the crankshaft and the camshaft position sensors needed to be replaced. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling), but was advised by the manufacturer that the vehicle was not included in the recall campaign. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 63,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #24

Mar 212013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 146,315 miles
My car stalled at a stoplight twice, both while stopped at the light. The car suddenly turned off at the stoplight so I put it in park and restarted it. It started back fine. Then it turned off again after a few seconds. Turned back on again and nothing happened again for one week. Then the car stalled out while in motion! it stalled out as I accelerated after turning onto a road traveling about 30mph. Also stalled out three days ago while idling in a drive-thru.

- Bessemer City, NC, USA

problem #23

Feb 232013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 133,500 miles
While driving on the highway, engine began to make rattling noise and lost a significant amount of power during acceleration. Due to location and time of night, I coasted (barely using any acceleration) to a safe location. Turned engine off to look under the hood- could not find any problem. Tried starting car again and would not start. Had it towed the next day to mechanic- he found shards of metal in the engine oil and stated that the valves screws had came off and ruined the engine. I had always put in synthetic oil every 5K miles, and did a complete engine flush every year/25,000 miles ever since I bought the car 6 years ago. This occurred at 133500 miles and the engine cannot be salvaged. To replace the engine, the estimates I am receiving are between 2,000 and 3,000 usd.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jan 152013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles

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

On January 15, 2013, my car shut down while driving down the roadway at about 40 mph while taking my daughter to school. I was able to pull over on the side of the road and restart the car and make it back home safely. Thankfully, the person behind me when the car stopped did not hit me from behind. This is the second time that this has happened with my car. This also happened previously about 2 years ago. I was informed today by the Nissan dealership that a failed cam shaft sensor was the reason that my car was shutting down. They are replacing the sensor for approx. $400. However, this exact issue is on the NHTSA.dot website as part of a recall. NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000. My major concern is that my car could have shut down on 95, a major city highway, with my child in the car and no one wants to take ownership of this dangerous situation. I spoke to Nissan usa today, and they offered no assistance. Please assist me with this serious concern.

- Hanover, MD, USA

problem #21

Dec 152012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 78,500 miles
Recently the engine blew on my Altima. It had been function properly and received regular maintenance since its purchase date roughly 6 months ago with about 74,000 miles. The catalytic converter failed and overheated at around 78,000 miles. Currently it is burning through about 3 liters of oil a week. Because of the damage caused by catalytic converter, the engine is no longer serviceable.

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Dec 012012

Altima

  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the service engine soon warning light. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after pumping the accelerator pedal several times. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who performed a diagnostic test and advised that the circuit board for the crank position sensor failed. The dealer was then notified who advised that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was notified who confirmed that the vehicle was not included under the recall and offered no further assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 180,000.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #18

Oct 232012

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle consumed a large amount of the oil that had recently been replaced. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic advised the contact that the catalytic converter would have to be replaced. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V084000(engine and engine cooling:exhaust system:manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe) that could have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000. Updated 01/02/2013 updated 1/7/2013

- Romeoville, IL, USA

problem #17

Oct 092012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 68,835 miles
I bought Nissan Altima 2003 on August 20 2012. I drove it around 800 miles and did oil change at lube express they changed oil at 67290 miles, after driving for around 200 miles car was making weird noise from engine. I got help of a local mechanic, he confirmed that there was no engine oil in the car !!! he put full 5 quart engine oil. I again got it inspected at lube express, they also confirmed there was no leakage. The third refill does not last for long. After 3 days again 5 quart engine oil was disappeared from engine. I again got it inspected at Nissan dealership on 10/09/2012 they also confirmed that there was no oil leaks and they did burning oil consumption test, again there was no engine oil in the car. They had suggested me to change entire engine!!!. I can not drive car at all. The engine may caught fire !!! I surfed lot of websites and found that in Nissan Altima 2003, lots of people have experienced the problem and it had occurred after 60,000 miles I.e. after warranty expires and same happened with me as well. I complained at Nissan but they replied that they can not do anything since warranty expires. Problem in Altima occurs after original warranty expires!!!! Nissan is selling cars which can cause serious accidents and I want to stop this. Problem in engine occurs after warranty expires. Please help since this may case loss of life and serious accidents. Nissan can not escape from its social responsibility since they are selling junk cars to americans. I can provide lot of website and blogs to prove that Nissan sold 2003-Altima with faulty engines. They must recall Altima 2.5L - 2003 and they must find amicable solution for this problem. I know that I am at a big loss but my effort will help to save lot of lives who are driving Nissan cars on highways with huge risk. I trust in god and law of the United States of America. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #16

Mar 152012

Altima

  • 154,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact stopped the vehicle on the shoulder of the road and was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the cam and crank shaft sensor needed to be replaced. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) that may be related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 154,000.

- Columbus , OH, USA

problem #15

Jun 062012

Altima

  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 25 mph, the engine stalled with the illumination of the check engine warning indicator. The vehicle was restarted after waiting fifteen minutes. The failure recurred five times. The vehicle was taken to an independent auto mechanic for diagnosis where they stated that the defect was contributed to the crank sensor. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 06V242000 (engine and engine cooling) however, the contact's VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 87,000.

- Kisale, VA, USA

problem #14

Oct 052012

Altima

  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 133,000.

- Niagra Falls, NY, USA

problem #13

Mar 152012

Altima

  • 128,796 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that after having brake repairs performed, the vehicle failed to start. The dealer informed the contact that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 128,796.

- Macon, GA, USA

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