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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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

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

problem #25

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

problem #24

Jun 072011


  • 79,811 miles
Upon normal acceleration from a stop sign onto a major road with a 35 mph speed limit, there was a loud "pop" and the car lost power and could only move at a slow crawl to the shoulder of the road. The car could rev, but very little power was getting to the wheels. There was a small oil spill under the rear axle of the car. The car had to be towed to our mechanic (we did not take it to a Nissan dealer because we thought the car was out of warranty) and the police demanded speedy dry to be put down to cover the small oil spill, which cost 45 dollars and was not covered by insurance. The mechanic determined that the continuously variable transmission (cvt) and its casing needed to be replaced, at a cost of $4922. After doing some research online, we learned that Nissan automatically extended the warranty from 5 years or 60,000 miles to 10 years and 120,000 miles, however, we received no notification from Nissan that the warranty was extended, nor did we hear from them that cvt failure was common amongst this model year, as is apparent from the numerous complaints similar to ours. We performed all scheduled maintenance on the car, including replacing the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. We have reached out to Nissan to see if they will reimburse us for the repair costs as part of their extended warranty and we are waiting to hear back from them.

- Haworth, NJ, USA

problem #23

May 242011


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact was driving 30 mph when the vehicle exhibited a loud, dragging metal noise from the front end. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who performed a diagnostic that located the failure at the transmission transfer case. The manufacturer was contacted but advised that they would not assist with the repair because of the vehicle age and mileage. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 130,000.

- Thomasville, NC, USA

problem #22

Mar 162010

Murano 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
February 2010 I was driving my 2003 Murano down the highway and all of a sudden as I was pushing the gas pedal and it wasn't responding properly began to hesitate but I was able to drive it to the Nissan dealer for repair and I was told it was a sensor malfunction so it was replaced (at my expense $1100). Then in April 2010 driving down the street I heard a thump and as I pushed the gas and then the car began to drag and hesitate. I made it safely to a bank parking lot where I called a tow truck to tow it to the Nissan dealer again. This time they say it was some sensor that dealt with the throttle and a case. Again at my expense ($3200). So in 2 months I spent $4500 and at that time I was told I should be ok. Well it is now April 2011 and I have the same problem again and this time it stopped while I was driving home from work. Now I had it towed to my house which iss were it sits because I was told sine I went more than 12K miles it is out of warranty. So I now have a car that is useless unless I spend another $4500 to fix it. Unexceptable!!!!!!! I am lucky I was not injured but this needs to be looked at soon or someone can be seriously injured.

- East Orange, NJ, USA

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problem #21

Jan 012011

Murano 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Nissan Murano. Consumer states defective and unsafe transmission. Consumer requests replacement at no cost to him the consumer stated he was assured he would have no problems with the replacement transmission. However, within 21 months, the transmission failed. The consumer was told the warranty had expired on the replacement transmission.

- Anamosa, IA, USA

problem #20

Oct 082010


  • 77,790 miles


A well maintained Nissan Murano of 7 years started making loud thumping noises after less than 78K miles. Our mechanic suspected transmission related issues, which occur frequently on Murano and advised to take the vehicle to the Nissan dealership. Nissan mechanics pinpointed a faulty transfer case to be the cause of the noise. Furthermore Nissan indicated that it would be too dangerous to drive the vehicle due to the fact that if the transfer case failed completely during driving, it would cause the vehicle to come to an immediate halt, which if driving on the highway could cause a serious hazard. Since the transfer case failure was imminent, it had to be replaced at a cost of $2650. Further investigation on the internet indicates that transfer case failure in Murano is common, however Nissan has failed to address the issue and the potential hazards it may cause.

- Pikesville, MD, USA

problem #19

Nov 022010

Murano 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
While driving my 2003 Nissan Murano AWD sl I suddenly loose acceleration, the engine will not rev and the RPM indicator is 0, the engine is still running, there are no warning light indicators. After several minutes the accelerator will re-engage and the car will accelerate again. This has happened 5 times in the last 2 weeks, took the car to the dealer and they could not find anything wrong, no codes issued. I have replaced in the past 3 years the transmission in the last 7 months the fuel pump, the catalytic converter, the O2 sensors have all been replaced. The dealer indicated that this not a problem they have been aware of and have no idea what it could be...sound like they are not being exactly forthcoming on this issue.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #18

Dec 172009


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled without warning. The engine continued running and there was an abnormal increase in engine rpms. The contact stated the vehicle would not accelerate past 20 mph. The contact was able to shut the engine off and when restarting, the vehicle resumed normal operation. Later, while merging onto a busy highway at an unknown speed, the failure recurred. The contact stated the failure would occur intermittently without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer twice yet the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure each time. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000 and the current mileage was approximately 80,000.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #17

Jun 252010


  • 118,000 miles
Car: 2003 Nissan Murano sl AWD summary: Catastrophic loss of power / stalling during driving details: There are multiple issues - all reported to Nissan - which promptly declined to do anything to address them since the car was out of warranty. However it's clear that several other 2003 Nissan Murano owners are reporting the "catastrophic" stall problem - a simple google search bears this out. To me it seems that Nissan is washing its hands off the problem. Here are some symptoms: 1) when driving on the freeway a couple of days ago, the car catastrophically lost power for several seconds - only to somewhat recover thereafter. At the time of recovery manylights on the dashboard lit up including "check engine" "AWD lock / slip" etc. This incident happened three times in a row - and I called Nissan for help. 2) I live in san francisco. When waiting at a stop sign to cross uphill, the car simply does not respond when I press on the gas pedal and starts rolling downhill instead. 3) similarly in stop and go situations - the car simply does not respond to the gas pedal - and then when it finally does lurches forward in a dangerous, out-of-control fashion increasing the chances of rear-ending the car ahead.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #16

Jun 272010


  • 81,000 miles


My 2003 AWD Nissan Murano has a cracked transfer case. The dealer says that it is quite common with all Murano's but there has not been a recall. The dealer says that it will cost approximately $4000 to replace the transfer case.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #15

May 112010


  • miles
On Tuesday May 11th my 2003 Nissan Murano began to make a loud grinding noise which has been attributed to a crack in the transfer case. The Murano has 113,000 miles. This was not caused by an accident and happened without any rigorous use of the vehicle. My concern is the commonality of this failure and no action on the part of Nissan. This is a major issue and can cause serious harm to the consumer. In doing research cost is expected to be over $3000.

- Harrisburg, PW, USA

problem #14

Jan 012010


  • 20,000 miles
2003 Nissan Murano fails to accelerate intermittently. This has been random for the past few years. Never know when it will occur but never when taken to dealer.

- Lone Tree, CO, USA

problem #13

Mar 112010


  • 113,355 miles
1: after driving the car for along period of time in stop and go traffic or on the thruway. Then coming to a complete stop and pressing the gas the car will crawl forward as if you were not pressing down the gas pedal after 1-3 sec of the car crawling into the middle of a intersect and no way to get it out of the intersect when other cars are coming down at 40mph into the intersection; will be disastrous and potentially cause a lost of life. After 1-3 sec the transmission will finally engage. The funny part is when you turn the car off and restart it the problem clears it self until it problem recurs. After reading other stories of there's cvt transmission in the Murano doing the same thing to the other Murano customer. I decided to take it to the dealer 2: this is a sporadic event and every time I took it to the dealer to get it check they could not duplicate the problem on March 9th and told me the transmission performed normal and it was engine [misfiring and slightly burning oil and compression lost related not transmission [I have enough automotive skill to tell me that this is definitely not a misfire/slightly burning oil/compression lost because once you turn the car off and turn it back on the problem disappears, witha engine misfire it would still persist, the engine is 100% running without any problem until this problem arise: So yesterday, when it started happening to my wife on her drive, I advise her to stop immediately at the dealer to have them take a look at I, to my surprise they refused!!! to take a 2nd look at it as they advise me they already diagnostic it as a engine problem and will not. I called them and demanded that a service tech, test drive it and he said nope this is a engine problem and told my wife to tell me that im making all the service department mad?!. I took it to 2 other transmission place and they verified that this is 100% indeed a transmission problem.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #12

Dec 092003


  • 2,500 miles
I purchased a Nissan Murano new in 2003. Since new it has had a problem with throttle response lag. I will be in traffic or sitting at a light and when I press the throttle to accelerate the car responds very slowly. I have nearly been hit at intersections where I am turning. The dealer replaced the throttle body at my expense. This was no help. The dealer then wanted to replace a valve in the transmission at my expense( $2600). I asked if other owners had reported similar problems to Nissan and the answer from the dealer was that no one had ever reported this problem. This is dangerous and Nissan seems to ignore the owner complaints. I guess someone needs to get killed to get their attention. This happens regularly and repeatedly since new in 2003. It's still happening today, in 2010.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #11

Jul 012008


  • 60,000 miles
I purchased a 2003 Nissan Murano. Since purchasing it, I've had ongoing problems. It has been at multiple shops every two months trying to determine what the problem is. Problem - delayed start and hesitation. I took it to a transmission specialist and there were no codes in the system when he ran the diagnostic. He couldn't tell exactly what it was. In the mornings when I drive, it stalls. When I'm in traffic, there's hesitation. It normally takes a few seconds to kick in, and then I take the risk of hitting the person in front of me. In reviewing websites regarding Nissan Muranos, there have been many complaints regarding the cvt, pressure sensors, etc. Nissan doesn't want to own up to the defect. There are thousands of complaints, but still no recalls. The only way I can fix the problem is by restarting my car and then suddenly I'm fine. This needs to be addressed asap. Why is it not? the problem doesn't occur on a daily basis so when I get it to the shop they don't recognize it. It won't show them the same symptoms I deal with. My car is at Nissan now for the air intake recall. They just called me and told me it is still attached which tells them it's not that that's causing my problems.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #10

Sep 062009


  • 69,000 miles
In stop and go city traffic, after a while of driving when you idle you step on the gas and nothing then after 5-7 seconds it propels forward without control. Late one night is almost cost me my life as I stopped at a stop sign when I depressed the gas it crawled to the middle of the intersection and just stopped for a few seconds a car was coming and almost hit my wife on passenger side. Please this issue should be addressed. I've done research and it seems many people are having the same problem with this make. I am the original owner, and I only have 68000 miles on my car.= a car I paid over 36K for.

- Richmond Hill , NY, USA

problem #9

Aug 012008


  • 90,000 miles
1. no real "events" leading up to it, it just started happening for no apparent reason. 2. the vehicle (2003 Nissan Murano) will stall after being driven at random times. You push the accelerator and nothing happens for 5-10 seconds and the it revs up almost giving you whiplash. Very dangerous when pulling into oncoming traffic. 3. absolutely nothing was done to solve the problem, Nissan doesn't even admit to there being "a problem."

- Rocheport, MO, USA

problem #8

Aug 072009


  • 91,229 miles
2003 Nissan Murano (2 wd) hesitates with no response to the throttle at low speed. For example, when accelerating from a stop sign or in traffic. After about 3 or 4 seconds, the car lurches violently forward. Problem has been consistent for the past year. Causes difficult and unsafe driving condition in good or bad weather (wheels will spin violently when there is snow on the road as the car finally responds to the throttle input after 3 or 4 seconds). Finally had enough after driving in bumper to bumper traffic in nyc yesterday and almost rear-ending the truck in front of me several times!

- Riegelsville, PA, USA

problem #7

Aug 152008


  • 65,000 miles
My 17 year old daughter was driving my 03 Nissan Murano to school when she stopped to pay a toll. When she tried to take off again the car would not move. Once the car got to 4000 RPM's it took off again. The problem stopped occurring for a couple of days and then it happened again. After that it started to happen frequently. After taking the car to the dealer I was told they were not sure what was wrong with it because a lot of different codes were coming up. Eventually I was told that I needed to get a whole new cvt transmission. This problem is very unsafe and could have caused my child to have a serious accident on a busy highway. This accident could have caused her, her life. The old transmission is not available because the dealership I brought it to told me that they were going to repair it and re sell it! I think that giving the transmission to anyone is a very dangerous idea.

- North Arlington , NJ, USA

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