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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,524 miles
Total Complaints:
62 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (31 reports)
  2. replace engine and cat. converter (29 reports)
  3. remove the pre cat (2 reports)
2003 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #2

Mar 102009

Altima 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 127,000 miles


The real problem is that my car burns oil. It has been burning oil since the time that I bought it. I bought the car from a dealership with 80,000 miles on it. It now has 127,000 on it and it won't pass inspection because of a crack in the manifold. $1400 to get it to pass inspection. The real problem is the engine and how it sucks up pieces of metal that breaks off near the manifold. I'm no mechanic, but I can tell you that pieces of metal floating around in your engine isn't a good thing. I can replace the manifold to get it to pass inspection but my mechanic said that the engine will just damage the manifold/catalitic converter again. You need to replace the engine. GREAT.....I only owe another $5000 dollars on the piece of sh*t and I have to replace the engine. THANKS NISSAN.

- , Concord, NH, USA

problem #1

Dec 192008

Altima 2.5S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I have owned Nissans for 20 years and raved about them to anyone who would listen. I had a Sentra that ran for 10 years and cost almost nothing to maintain, outside of the usual items.

This 2003 Altima is a hunk of crap. It's not old enough to be such a problem. It burns so much oil that it looks like someone lit a smokebomb!! I paid $500 3 months ago to have the sensor fixed--a recall item (I was not told this by the service station)--and one month later the engine is the problem. I have heard opinions that the fix will cost $3K. Forget it. I agree with other gripers, this is my last Nissan too.

- , Hartland, WI, USA

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