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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,473 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 Murano drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Nissan Murano Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #46

Jan 132005


  • 5,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated the rear differential of the vehicle failed and oil was leaking into the engine. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was told that the rear differential was worn. The dealer also stated that the oil leak caused the pistons to become dry, which were destroyed. The dealer advised the contact that the pistons and the differential needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 5,000 and the current mileage was 46,015.

- Haverhill, MA, USA

problem #45

Jan 012010


  • 89,150 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated that the transmission and the alternator became inoperable simultaneously. The dealer repaired the transmission under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V123000 (power train:automatic transmission:gear position indication -prndl) but denied any assistance with repairs to the vehicle under NHTSA campaign id number: 05V319000 (electrical system: Alternator/generator/regulator). The vehicle was repaired for both failures. The failure mileage was 89,150 and the current mileage was 104,000.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #44

Dec 222011

Murano 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The cvt transmission in my Murano went out. It seems a shame Nissan won't stand by a new technology that obviously doesn't work very well. It is going to cost me over $5,000 to fix.

- Appleoton, WI, USA

problem #43

Oct 092006

Murano 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


My Nissan Murano 2003 has had this problem 3 months after I bought it. I was on a hill in san francisco and came to a stop sign. All of the sudden the car would not move forward when I stepped on the accelerator; instead it started rolling backward. It was very scary. I turned off the car and restarted and the car responded fine. I thought it was just a fluke. Then 5 months later, I was in a stop and of traffic on I80 on my way to lake Tahoe. The car refuse to move when I stepped on the accelerator again. I started pressing harder and it lurched forward. It did that over and over again in the stop and go traffic. I finally pulled over and cut off the engine and started back up; the car responded fine thereafter. However, it kept repeating the same problem; each time I will resolve it by restarting the car. Luckily, it was under warranty so it was replaced at no cost to me. The car performed without further problem until 2006. The problem reared its ugly head. I took it back in and they said it was a bad battery. So we had that changed, but the problem came back. The mechanic reset the car computer and the problem went away. Again, it didn't really cost me much other than the battery. Then in 2009, the car again started doing the lurching thing in stop and go traffic. It's always in the same situation. I knew I was out of warranty by then and it would cost me an arm and a leg so I just dealt with it by restarting the car each time and pray the traffic will move faster soon. It's now 2011 and the problem remains. After reading all the complaints from past Nissan Murano owners, I really think Nissan owes us some money. It should've been a recall since most of us paid $35K+ for this car. My car now has 145K miles. I am in the market for a new car. I like the cvt. Maybe will try a Subaru instead.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #42

Dec 022011

Murano 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
In the first quarter of 2010 Nissan extended the warranty to cover the failed cvt transmission. The dealer replaced it at no cost to me (Nissan covered the parts and labor). On Friday December 2, 2011 while the service department in fairfax, Virginia was replacing the lower oil pan gasket, and lower oil cooler housing, they noticed the transfer case was starting to fail/crack. Informed me that within the next 6 to 12 months this would need to be replaced and this is an 18 hour job. Cost estimate is $2,350. They should have informed me of the known transfer case problem last year at a minimum to save the labor cost. At a maximum Nissan should recall this known problem and pay for the parts and labor.

- Herndon, VA, USA

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problem #41

Apr 012005


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving 50 mph. The vehicle would not restart and was towed to an authorized dealer, where it was repaired under the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure began to recur a few months later. The vehicle was taken back to an authorized dealer and the transmission was repaired. The failure continued. The vehicle was since been back to the dealer on numerous occasions, but they were unable to remedy the failure. The transmission was replaced, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Cromwell, CT, USA

problem #40

Jul 032008

Murano 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


2003 Murano purchased new and well maintained. We didn't have any problems until one afternoon on our way for vacation the car went from 60 mph to 30 mph the RPM were in the redline. Turned motor off and waited a few minutes then started off again with no problem. Months went by and everything was fine. The next occurrence happened on my way home from a meeting and it was the same thing. I took the vehicle to a nissian dealership and had it looked at, they found nothing. About 6 months later the car did the same thing and I took it back to same dealer. They said they are not sure but thought it was the transmission. I have noticed a trend with 03 Muranos and they have had countless complaints about my same issue. There needs to be a recall before some gets killed.

- Richton , MS, USA

problem #39

Jul 152010

Murano 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Transmission appears to be slipping. Odbii code is P0840, which states transmission fluid pressure sensor/switch a circuit malfunction. Vehicle sometimes runs at 4-5 rpms at 70 mph. Other times you press on the gas and nothing happen. This especially occurs going up hill, when you are stopped at the bottom. If you have a running start, it is not as noticeable. Unsafe, to be driven in traffic. Taken to dealership prior to warranty running. No problem was noted. Now that I am 5,000 miles over extended warranty -- extended to 120,000 now I'm told I get the code above....estimate to repair is $3400.

- Poca, WV, USA

problem #38

Sep 152011

Murano 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Second owner, purchased with 63000 miles. First occurrence was driving on the highway a short distance (45min) started to notice the speed pulsing on flat stretches of road with the cruise control being set at 60 mph. I would manually take over the gas pedal just to have to constantly give it more gas then less gas to maintain 60 on flat ground. To the point of nailing it to maintain 60 then out of no where it would start to go accelerate suddenly up and I would let off the gas to stay @ 60mph and hold the pedal there for about 20 secs just to lose power on flat ground again and would just repeat over and over. When I got off the exit ramp it was sputtering really bad and had a hard time just getting it home w/O hurting myself or others. Next day nothing. Then over time (1 month) it happened 4 other times but is seeming to get worse. Then today I stopped in town at a red light. When it came time to go the care jus sat there and the RPM gauge moved up but the car didn't move forward. I immediately put on hazards, put car in park, shut it off, then restarted it to luckily be able to pull off. Went on highway home going 60mph and the surging back and forth with power to weakness to sudden power was the worst its ever been. Car isn't under warranty due to being 2nd owner but come on Nissan really? I'm a student/new father and the $ is crunched like most families now in this economy. I bought a Nissan B/C its reputation of quality and endurance/resilience. I would be sick if this injured my baby B/C this car wasn't in the "original recall range". it is very dangerous and could lead to both my tires locking up on the highway going 60 or even faster leaving not only us in jeopardy but everyone around me on the road also.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #37

Oct 042010

Murano 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
After driving a while in stop & go traffic the vehicle hesitates and doesn't accelerate when you depress the gas pedal. Then after a few seconds the engine revs up and the vehicle lurches forward and sometimes stalls in traffic. Once the vehicle stalls, it takes a long time before you can restart the engine. This situation happens almost every time I'm in heavy traffic, which is especially dangerous on the freeways and when making left turns at intersections. I've worked with my local Nissan dealership but they haven't come up with a solution, and it's becoming very expensive for me to have them research the problem and not find a fix.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 062011

Murano 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


I was driving on the highway at 50mph and all of a sudden Murano lost acceleration, gas pedal wasn't working at all. Some how I pulled over and turn ignition off and back on and it worked fine. Now when is a stop and go situation it does the same thing won't accelerate until like 5 seconds later and in a very dangerous way. I heard lots of people having the same problems and it's life treating situation.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #35

Aug 022011

Murano 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
Vehicle had new brakes - disks and pads added in early May 2011. July 29 2011 driving 20 + mph the vehicle started to sound like it had a flat tire. Immediately took vehicle to the shop, glancing at the car, mechanic said may be a tire rod, but wanted to look at it more in depth. He stated that the noise was coming from something loose or cracked in the transfer case. He advised me that at some point transfer case will bust and all 4 wheels will lock up. He quoted me at least $2500 for repair. The location of the transfer case makes it very difficult to repair or service. Why will Nissan not stand behind this product. There is no rust on the vehicle, but with 150,000 miles on it now, is it worth the money to repair" I have already replace the intake manfold which cracked in November. What will be the next part to break - the engine itself" love my Murano, but the company should back their product. My Murano has been driven short distances a few times since because I do not want to be on the highway when my "4 tires lock up".

- Monticlelo, WI, USA

problem #34

Sep 012010

Murano 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
After extended idle, the vehicle becomes unresponsive to fuel feed. When the gas pedal is depressed there is a hesitation (2-5 seconds) and then suddenly the vehicle will lurch forward. The problem temporarily goes away when the car is shut off for a few minutes.

- Hickory Creek, TX, USA

problem #33

Sep 092010

Murano 6-cyl

  • 73,940 miles
Car made horrible grinding noise; stopped working. Towed to pok Nissan and under extended warranty they replaced transfer case and rear differential. Now here it is barely one year later and just over 12000 miles and the transfer case is leaking again. Was told by an independent mechanic what the problem was and that Nissan should make good. Having reviewed several complaints filed with NHTSA of same problems I found it unbelievable that nissa fails to consider this as a recall or accept responsibility.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #32

Sep 242008


  • 780,000 miles
When the car first started acting up I was on the interstate on my way to work. It all of a sudded started stalling. I had to press the driving peddal all the way down and then it would take off with a very hard jolt. This would happen off and on especially if I was in stop and go traffic or came to a stop sign or stop light. The car would stall before taking off. I took it to the delearship and they kept it for three days and said they could find nothing. This is when the transmission was under warranty up to 120,000 miles. They said the car would have to do it while in ther shop or they could do nothing. I just found it so hard to believe that the car showed no signes of doing anything that I described while they had it and drove it for three days. Well of course I got the car back and it was still doing the same thing. I took it back to them and they told me that it was the transmission and the repair on it alone was going to cost me $3600 all by itself. The car was doing the very same thing when I took it in to them the first time but surprisingly after the warranty was off they all of a sudden found the problem. Somebody really needs to look into all of these complaints and get these situations under warranty so that these cars can be fixed properly. Its not fair to take the car to the dealership about a problem that could have been fixed under warranty to take it back to them for the exact same thing and they tell you that the repair is no longer under warranty and you now have to pay for it.

- Pinson, AL, USA

problem #31

Sep 042011


  • 118,000 miles
The transfer case blew up, broken teeth, while traveling on the highway. Cost of repair was $3500. Not covered under warranty or recall, despite this being a known issue with Nissan Muranos.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #30

Sep 032011


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated to accelerate from a stop. Once the vehicle began to accelerate, it accelerated at a very slow rate of speed. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop, where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- St Albans, NY, USA

problem #29

Jul 252011


  • 119,500 miles
I have a recurring problem that when I am in traffic and I put my foot on the gas pedal, there is no response and then the car surges forward. I was changing lanes and almost caused an accident. The next day I brought to the dealer and they said it was the valve body and gasket. They said the extended 120,000 warranty on the cvt transmisson would not cover the repair. I called Nissan customer support, and after investigating they agreed the repair would not be covered under the warranty. I have heard so many complaints that this did not fix the problem that I just had the transmission replaced. I was too worried about the safety hazard. This is a very serious problem, that should not happen at this mileage. I also have had to have the catalytic converter replaced and also the fuel pump, just after it turned 100,000.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #28

Jul 142011


  • 86,500 miles
There are two incidences. The first one was the transfer case which cost $3500 and the shop didn't know what could have caused it he said that they just go which I don't believe there has to be a reason. And now about two months and 2K miles later the rear differential exploded. The car is currently in the shop and at a different shop so hopefully they can find out what went wrong. I did a little research and was told that the rear diff shouldn't have a problem till at least 150,000 miles. Also the service manual doesn't say anything about service or maintain of the transfer case or the rear diff. Both should be covered up until 100,000 miles. And on god knows how much it will cost to fix this new problem. I will never buy another Nissan.

- West Babylon, NY, USA

problem #27

Jun 042011


  • 123,196 miles
While driving at 25 mph, suddenly we heard very loud ¿bum, bum, bum¿ like noise. We stopped at near gas station, and the oil appeared beneath the rear of the car. The mechanic told us that the rear differential unit is split open in half. We were told that if that would happen at high speed the flying rear differential debris could puncture the nearby gas tank.

- State College, PA, USA

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