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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
89,368 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 Maxima engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Feb 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


While driving at approx 30 mph, the car shut off as my child and I were coming to a stoplight. I had no problem restarting and encountered this same problem 4 more times during my trip, including failure to idle. Check engine light never came on. Next time, I was driving approx 45 mph and the car shut off and it tried restarting itself while I was trying to find a safe place to pull over. The car restarted again no problem. Then as my husband and I were driving at approx. 60 mph the car began to lurch (stopping and attempting to start again by itself). Pulled off the road and was able to restart the car, all of these instances no check engine light. Lastly, I was unable to start the car after parking it away from home and it was acting like it was "flooded". after 20 minutes of attempted starting, it finally took and I drove home on the back roads. After several attempts at home to recreate the no start problem, the check engine light is finally on! at this point, I'm not driving this vehicle until we have the bank 2 camshaft position sensor replaced. We ran a code reader and got a P0345 code. Nissan has a recall on this year make/model but I, like many, many other consumers have been told, their VIN is not part of the recall from 2003. I would like to know if anyone's VIN fell into their recall. I just told the Nissan "customer service" that I am afraid driving this car could result in fatalities, and they suggested I take it to the dealership and maybe they could do something for me! like sell me a new car? never again, Nissan.

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 132013


  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving 60 mph, when the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated as the vehicle was restarted. The vehicle performed normally and was later taken to a dealer for inspection. The contact was informed that the engine sensor failed possibly due to faulty wiring. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 101,000.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #4

Mar 102011


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, a burning odor emitted inside of the vehicle with the illumination of the engine warning indicator. The transmission then failed to operate. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road. After waiting fifteen minutes, the vehicle restarted normally and the problem recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis and they were unable to locate a problem. There was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 01V3570000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was notified of the problem who stated that the vehicle had been previously repaired under the recall. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 122,000.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #3

Oct 042011


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 134,000.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #2

Feb 112013


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. After approximately ten minutes, the contact was able to restart the vehicle. The failure occurred three different times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that two cam shaft position sensors and the drive shaft shift sensor would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 118,000.

- Tampa , FL, USA

problem #1

Jan 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
While driving at a relatively low speed (~30 mph), the engine suddenly stalled. I was able to pull over to the side of the road, and restart the engine a short time later. Within 30 seconds of driving (again), the engine suddenly stalled again. I had to stop driving. Just the previous day, the check-engine-light came on, indicating error codes P0340 and P0345. Upon checking the internet, it seems that NHTSA campaign id 03V455000 may be relevant (it covers 2003 Maxima). The symptoms my car exhibited are the same as those described. However, when I called Nissan, I was told that my car's VIN was not covered by recall. It seems very, very coincidental that I would experience the same problem described in the recall, but am not subject to recall. It seems that Nissan is under-reporting the cars affected, and I fear my car would be quite unsafe to drive (with random, sudden stalls).

- Cambridge, MA, USA

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