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 4 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #194

Mar 012010

Altima

  • 100,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While having the vehicle serviced by an independent mechanic for excessive oil consumption, the contact was informed that materials from the pre-catalyst were fracturing and entering the engine which was caused by the excessive oil consumption. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and the contact was advised that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling:exhaust system:manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 118,000.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #193

Dec 232010

Altima

  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact attempted to start the vehicle but it would not respond. After approximately twenty-seven attempts, the vehicle started. The failure recurred whenever the contact attempted to start the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on numerous occasions where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The engine was replaced but the failure persisted. The failure and current mileage was 63,000.

- Middle Village, NY, USA

problem #192

Jan 172011

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that when taking her vehicle in for routine maintenance, the mechanic advised her that there was a recall 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling: Exhaust system: Manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe). Once the repairs were performed, they notified the contact and advised her that the vehicle was inoperable due to metal being jammed in the engine. Since the metal was not included in the recall they are not willing to repair the vehicle. The contact stated that prior to the mechanic advising her of the problem, she had never been informed of the recall. The vehicle was repaired for the engine components but not for the metal. The failure and current mileages were approximately 115,000. Updated 03/24/11 updated 05/02/11

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #191

Dec 012009

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles

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

2003 Nissan Altima. Consumer expresses concern that other 2003 Nissan Altima vehicles were not identified or included in campaigns related to the airbag/driver control module, airbag sensor and the crankshaft position sensor the consumer stated her vehicle was serviced at the dealer due to the continuous flashing of the air bag light. The dealer informed the consumer the air bag sensor was defective. As a result, the entire unit needed to be replaced. The consumer stated her vehicle was excluded from the air bag recall even though the vehicle was manufactured in 2002. On January 15, 2010 the vehicle began displaying problems such as difficulty cranking, sudden jerks while accelerating and loss of power. On January 16, 2010 the service engine light later illuminated. Testing revealed a defective crankshaft sensor. Also, the O2 sensor and catalytic converter had to be replaced.

- Grayson, GA, USA

problem #190

Feb 122011

Altima

  • 135,600 miles
1. engine stop running without warning while the vehicle is driven at a low spped. And check engine light came on 2. four times, first to second about 3 weeks. Second to third 2 weeks. Fourth one same day. 3. reset the code, to clear check engine light. No one knows the actual problem.

- La Habra, CA, USA

problem #189

Nov 162010

Altima

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled and completely stopped. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop where the contact was informed that the engine contained no oil. The oil had been changed three months prior to the failure. The mechanic stated that the engine needed to be replaced. The contact called the manufacturer who told him to take the vehicle to the dealer. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 160,000.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #188

Oct 012010

Altima

  • 93,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph when the vehicle began to jerk abnormally and then stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle as it operated as normal.the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the contact was told that the oxygen, crank shaft and cam shaft sensors would need to be replaced. The sensors were replaced yet the failure persisted after repairs. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was told that the engine would need to be replaced. The authorized dealer told the contact they could not perform the recall remedy associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 06V242000 (engine and engine cooling) due to the failure of the engine. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 93,000 and the current mileage was 95,602.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #187

Jul 022010

Altima

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While at a traffic light the vehicle stalled. She restarted the vehicle and it began to function normally. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer to reprogram the throttle body. The check engine light illuminated and the vehicle was taken back to the same dealer. The dealer advised her that the crank sensor was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The pre-owned vehicle was purchased in may of 2010. She called the manufacturer and was advised that there were no recalls and someone would call her back. She referenced recall 06V242000, engine and engine cooling and was told by the representative that the vehicle was no longer under warranty and the failure was not the same component as the recall. The failure mileage was unknown and the approximate current mileage was 106,500.

- Florence, AL, USA

problem #186

Oct 152010

Altima

  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5. while the contact was driving, the oil light illuminated. The contact stated that the oil had been changed 2,000 miles prior to the light. The vehicle was taken to get another oil change but the failure continued. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and a local repair shop but the failure could not be diagnosed; the mechanics stated that the problem was most likely oil consumption. The failure mileage was approximately 64,000.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #185

Jun 052010

Altima

  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 55-60 mph the vehicle stalled. He coasted the vehicle to the side of the road and waited a few minutes; however, when he restarted the vehicle it stalled again. The contact made several attempts before the vehicle started. The failure had occurred for approximately four months. The contact stated that the vehicle was rear ended because of the failure but there was no police report filed since the other driver paid for the damages. The vehicle was in the dealers possession when the complaint was filed. He referenced recall 06V242000, engine and engine cooling and stated that he was informed by the dealer that since he did not have the ECM reprogrammed that the failure occurred. The contact did not receive a recall notice in the mail. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 59,000 and the current mileage was 66,000.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #184

Sep 082004

Altima

  • 70,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While the contact was driving approximately 35 mph, there was a loud noise outside of the vehicle and smoke emitted from the tailpipe. The vehicle unexpectedly stalled and was towed to the dealer. The crank shaft sensor was replaced. The failure continued three times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on six occasions for the identical failures. The repairs on the vehicle consisted of an engine tune up and replacement of the engine intake manifold. The vehicle was diagnosed by the dealer and independent mechanic in which they informed that the failure was contributed to internal defects within the engine. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 70,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA

problem #183

Oct 012009

Altima 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
My car has turned off several times while I am driving. Yesterday this happened while I was stopped at an intersection. I almost got rear ended by a school bus. The car will shut off when I am going at a slow rate of speed. The RPM needle goes back and forth then the car just runs out of power. I took it to the mechanic where he told me about the ECM recall. I went to the dealership and filed a claim with Nissan. Now the dealership is saying that I need to replace the crank & cam shaft before they can reprogram it for the recall. And they want to charge me $317+tax. I don't see why Nissan would not be held responsible for this defect.

- Chimayo, NM, USA

problem #182

Feb 162010

Altima

  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle would suddenly stall; he noticed reduced power from the engine and it would eventually stop altogether. He was able to immediately restart the vehicle most of the time. The contact also stated that at times, the vehicle was also difficult to start. The failure was intermittent but becoming progressively worse. The contact called both the dealership and the manufacturer and was told that the vehicle was not included in recall 06V242000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 56,477. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000.

- North Holmsted, OH, USA

problem #181

Jul 032010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, she noticed that the vehicle started losing power. She drove the vehicle to a repair shop where she was informed that the catalytic converter was replaced. A few days later, the mechanic noticed that the vehicle was becoming low on oil. The contact filled the oil reservoir and noticed that there was very little oil left. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was told that she needed a new engine and the problem was widespread with the catalytic converter. The contact called the manufacturer who advised her to take the vehicle in for a diagnostic fee before they could escalate her case to a regional specialist. The contact took the vehicle into the dealership where it was confirmed that she needed a new engine; the manufacturer stated that there was nothing they could do to assist. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The contact believed the failure to be related to recall 03V084000 (engine and engine cooling:exhaust system:manifold/header/muffler/tail pipe) but the manufacturer refused to repair it since the mileage was too high. The current mileage was approximately 124,000. The failure mileage was approximately 123,000. Updated 12/02/10 updated 12/08/10 updated 05/26/11 updated 12/07/11 updated 12/12/11 updated 12/30/11 updated 06/27/12. Updated 01/29/14

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #180

Jun 152010

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. When traveling at any speed the contact noticed that the vehicle would suddenly shut off without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the camshaft sensor needed to be replaced. There were no prior warnings. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileages were 143000. Updated 12/01/10. The consumer stated the vehicle has since been repaired. The problem was the cam shaft sensor. Updated 12/13/10

- Belen, NM, USA

problem #179

Jul 292010

Altima

  • 130,000 miles
2003 Nissan Altima VIN# [xxx]. loss of power and stalling at low speed. Obd codes show P0725 and P0335 which are engine speed sensor circuit malfunction and crankshaft position sensor circuit malfunction. Problem appears to be covered by previous recall RQ06001 or 06V24200 however Nissan denies that this vehicle is included in the recall notice.

- Hilliard, FL, USA

problem #178

Jul 192010

Altima

  • 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 #177

May 042010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While driving at 45 mph, the vehicle began to overheat. There was then a loud, unusual noise followed by the vehicle attempting to stall. The contact shut off the vehicle and restarted. The failure did not persist. The dealer advised that the catalytic converter and engine would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 117,000 and the current mileage was 122,000. Updated 10/25/10 the consumer stated the vehicle was consuming a large amount of oil every week. Updated 10/27/10

- Pumona, CA, USA

problem #176

Jun 012010

Altima

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact restarted the engine and the vehicle resumed normal operation. The dealer advised that there were no recalls and any repairs would be at the contact's expense. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure persisted. The contact stated the vehicle was previously serviced under NHTSA campaign id number: 06V242000 (engine and engine cooling) which he believed to be associated with the failure. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 155,086.

- Orangeburg, SC, USA

problem #175

Jun 042010

Altima

  • 62,330 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while reversing from a parking space at speeds of 2-3 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle thirty minutes later and was taken to a local repair facility. The mechanic replaced the crankshaft sensor at the contact's expense. The contact inquired with the manufacturer about NHTSA campaign id number: 06V242000 (engine and engine cooling) however the manufacturer advised her VIN was not included in the recall. The approximate failure mileage was 62,330 and the current mileage was 62,500.

- Plano, TX, USA

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