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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,438 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 12 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

Oct 092006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

This is the second complaint I've filed within the span of 30 days. I have been having stalling problems with my 2003 Nissan Altima for the last 2 months. The engine would completely stop during low speeds and at stop (4 times at a stop and once during a turn). I have already had issues with my Nissan dealership in servicing my recalls. First I was told that there were no recalls on my car so I drove it home. Then I went back again after researching online and found out that there was indeed a recall for the ECM. So I brought my vehicle back to the dealership and showed them the reports. The dealership decided to reprogram my ECM (as the recall states) and said they could not find anything else wrong with my vehicle that could be causing the stalls. However, just two weeks after my vehicle was serviced for the recalls, my car engine dies again. I called into the dealership to have them run a diagnostic on my car engine and once more they could not locate the problem. I have read online reports of other Nissan owners where they complained of the same situation- even after the reprogramming of the ECM, the engine still stalls. So now I have my car back but still with the same problem. I've also taken my car to an non-Nissan mechanic and he too could locate the problem. Nissan should take responsibility for their own vehicles, or at least be able to locate and fix the problems when it occurs, especially when it comes to the engine stalling which could result in a crash. Please advise.

- La Palma, CA, USA

problem #33

Jul 152006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle operated at a reduced speed, and the engine stalled without warning. Afterwards, the check light illuminated, and the engine was easily restarted. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who determined the crank position sensor needed to be replaced. There was a NHTSA recall, # 03V455000, regarding the engine and engine cooling. The vehicle was not included in the recall due to the VIN. The manufacturer was notified.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #32

Jul 232006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
I have a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S. as I have researched and seen posted in other complaints, my car wouldn't start 2 months ago and before then for a few months it would cut off in traffic while I was driving, I have taken it to a Nissan dealership thinking that it was my crank angular sensor (most recent recall). However the dealership service notified me that it is my "crank position sensor" that is causing the problem. Like others, I noticed that this was a recall on the 2002 models, but not on 2003. Like another complaint stated, 2003 and 2002 models are not that much different (if at all) and if Nissan was having this problem before, then they should make the recall on the 2003 models as well. Now I am being told to fix this problem will cost $243. Nissan should really do some further investigation on their 2003 models to find out if this really needs to be recalled, in my opinion with so many other people complaining about the same problem, it should be.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #31

Sep 112006

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,750 miles

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

: the contact stated while stopped at a traffic light the vehicle stalled and the service engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined the engine crank sensor needed to be replaced. While waiting for an estimate the contact received a recall letter #06V242000 regarding engine and engine cooling. The recall remedy was to reprogram the ECM sensor however after the ECM sensor was reprogrammed the problem persisted. To fix the problem the dealer recommended the crank sensor be replaced which would be an additional charged. The manufacturer was also alerted.

- Newburgh, NY, USA

problem #30

Sep 112006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 46,703 miles
I was at a stop light ready to turn left onto another street when suddenly my car stalls out right in the middle of the intersection. It took me a few times to get my car started again and when it fired up again I started driving away but my car would be having a hard time going as if it was starting to bog out. I later did a diagnostics test and got the code P0335 which ended up being the crankshaft position sensor. A few weeks before this happened, my car had the same symptoms but it wasn't as bad. It would just bog down like once in 2 weeks but this was the worst case scenario!.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #29

Aug 262006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
: the contact stated the engine shut down while driving 35 mph as well as when idling. The dealer replaced the crank position censor due to fuel leaking on the censor. The service dealer stated this was due to normal wear and tear on the vehicle. Updated 08/14/08

- Seminole, FL, USA

problem #28

Aug 312006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,908 miles

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

: the contact stated the vehicle hesitated and suddenly stalled without warning while driving at various speeds. The "service engine soon" light illuminated. The dealership determined the crank sensor needed to be replaced and reprogrammed the ECM. The contact received a recall notice in the mail regarding NHTSA recall # 06V242000; engine and engine cooling; crank sensor and ECM; however the dealer and manufacturer determined the vehicle's VIN was not included. The vehicle hesitated and lurched forward and the "service engine soon" light illuminated soon after the above repairs were made. The contact was charged for the above repairs even though the recall notice indicates the VIN as being included. The dealership treated the crank sensor and ECM repairs as two separate repairs, but the recall notice indicated the two were correlated together as one.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #27

Mar 152006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles
Service engine light came on all of a sudden with no warning and car stopped in middle of road. I put it back into gear and started it again - it did this 4 times within a 2 mile range. My brother put some transmission fluid in it which seemed to help a little bit. Luckily an auto parts store was near by and I made it over there for them to run a diagnostic check on it. Came back with bad crank position sensor. I finally made it home and made arrangements to get it serviced the next day. Made it to dealership with a lot of prayer because it was 15 miles away. I guess the transmission fluid helped a bit too. They replaced the crank position sensor at $170 and a whole day out of work. Today I got a recall notice on it - 5 months later. Yeah.

- Lady Lake, FL, USA

problem #26

Aug 012006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving at low speeds the engine stalled without warning. After the failure there was a couple minute delay before the engine restarted. This only occurred during warm weather. There is a NHTSA recall, #06V242000, regarding the engine and engine cooling. The dealership has not inspected the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a service shop for diagnostic testing however no codes displayed. The manufacturer was alerted and determined the vehicle was not included in the recall due to the VIN

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #25

Aug 042006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
Car stalls and dies without notice.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #24

Aug 092006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

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

: the contact stated the vehicle stalled suddenly while stopped at a stop light. The vehicle stalled in different situations but usually while stopped. There was a NHTSA recall, # 06V242000, regarding the engine and engine cooling. The vehicle was not included in the recall due to the VIN.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #23

Nov 152003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,570 miles
Service engine soon light came on, engine stop without warning while driving. This happened to me 3 times, fortunately I was not on the freeway. I know this is a part of the recall on all 2002 vehicles, recall day was Nov 04 2003. My car is 2003 but I bought it on Nov 15th 2003. Nissan should do the recall on all 2003 also. I brought the car to Nissan dealer, on the first service, they charged me for $872.73, I talk to the service director and showed him all the documents about the safety recall, he said my car is 2003, and also said this is a different problem. I said ok and paid the service by credit card. When I brought the car home, the car won't last longer than 24 hrs, this time I was driving on the freeway while exiting the freeway, I am very lucky I am still alive. The same problem that happened before I brought the car to dealer: Service engine light came on, car stopped while driving without warning. This time the service director took care of the problem by fixing the problem that I showed him one day earlier: That is replace the crank position sensors, camshaft position, which all included in the recall on 2002, NHTSA campaign id number. The worst thing was the dealer tried to charge me for 2nd service that is almost $300, I'm so upset and bring up to the service director, he voided the charge but still charged me for the part = $37.84 includes tax. I'm in the process to work with my credit card to dispute about all the charge.

- Sugar Land , TX, USA

problem #22

Jul 052006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,570 miles
Service engine soon light come on, engine stopped while driving could have resulted in a crash.

- Sugar Land , TX, USA

problem #21

May 232006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
The engine shuts off in stop and go traffic. Loss of power on highways and interstates. Will not crank after a failure. The engine has to be turned over several times before cranking. The problem is gradually getting worse.

- North Wilkesboro, NC, USA

problem #20

Jul 202006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles
2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S is part of the recall campaign surrounding the catalytic pin. My Altima stopped functioning on last year after two weeks of stopping, stalling, smoking, engine knocking, etc. The engine was replaced (supposedly) at the expense of Nissan. The exact same scenario occurred two weeks ago this year and the car again was towed to our local Nissan dealership. This time, they're refusing to make the repairs because the warranty has expired and they're claiming the problems with the engine this time is not related to the catalytic pin. Their diagnosis was "sludge" in the engine, although the oil was changed just 500 miles prior to the engine locking. After reading other people's complaints, I've learned that these Altima's require oil on a weekly basis or this is the result. What kind of car requires oil weekly? as of right now, the car is still at the dealership, which is probably where it will stay because there is no way I can afford to buy a new engine and pay the lender at the same time.

- Cedar Hill, TX, USA

problem #19

Jul 142006

Altima 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Complaint #10163230.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #18

Jul 122006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
I purchased a certified pre-owned 2003 Nissan Altima September 2004. On 7/12 I experienced the issue of recall #06V242000. My vehicle stopped running w/O warning at a stop at 2:00A.M. the Nissan dealer indicated the computer found nothing wrong. I took the car home only for it to once again stop as I departed my job at 2:00 a.M. I again took my car to the dealer who kept my car for three days. One of which I was called and asked if my car could be driven more than 60 miles away (the dealer had to pickup an item in another state) in order to recreate the problem. The next day the technician again indicated he could find nothing wrong. Upon hearing this I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs (7/19) of my situation and was advised to contact the dealer and tell them of recall #06V242000. After having done this, the Nissan dealer indicated they knew nothing of the recall, but would contact Consumer Affairs as I requested. After speaking with Consumer Affairs the dealer then indicated they were unable to determine whether recall #06V242000 was in fact my issue as the ECM indicated no such thing. Finally, I spoke with the dealer service manager who indicated that Nissan had not yet told the dealerships how to handle the issue of recall #06V24200, and therefore the only thing they could do is reprogram the ECM with the same program it currently has. With that porter Nissan released my vehicle back to me indicating I must wait until August 21, 2006 (4 weeks) before I could expect correction to the problem. Since having the car in again in my possession, I have experienced the same problem two of the three days. This issue is further exacerbated as I have a family of four that depends on the use of this vehicle as well as my job requirement if a reliable vehicle. Furthermore my job is approximately 40 miles from my home and I am required to stay there until approx. 2:00 a.M. the handling of this recall is unacceptable.

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #17

Jul 142006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,300 miles
I own a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5L 4 door. The engine light came on stating "service engine soon". before I had a chance to get to the dealer my car stalled on the freeway during low speed rush hour traffic. I was able to coast to the side of the freeway without causing and accident. The dealer diagnosed the problem as a crankshaft sensor problem. Was this problem part of the recall #06V242000?

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #16

Jun 282006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
I bought a used 2003 Nissan Altima last summer, and it's given me no problems until now. I was driving through town (25 mph) and the steering randomly locked up, the check engine light came on, and the car stopped accelerating. I drifted to the side of the road, shut the car off, and restarted it with no problem. It did this to me again the next day. I took it to mechanic who performed a computerized diagnostic on it. The test said it was the crankshaft sensor. I researched this online, and I found out that Nissan recalled 2002 Altima crank pos sensors: www.lemonauto.com/complaints/Nissan/Altima.htm the problem described for the 2002 Altima crank pos sensors is exactly the problem I'm having with my 2003 Altima. I'm not the only one this has happened to. I found another complain on the Consumer Affairs website: www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/nissan_altima.html I think that Nissan needs to look very closely into this, as it is a real safety hazard for drivers!

- Elkins, WV, USA

problem #15

Jun 212006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,955 miles
Three times my 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5S has choked down and tried to die while driving. I never get a check engine light or any codes showing, but after researching the problem, I feel assured that the problem is the crankshaft position sensor. There was a recall done on this issue, but only for 2002 models. A lot of people I know have been having this same problem on their 2003's.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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