definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,843 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 350Z transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Nissan 350Z Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Sep 272010


  • 51,000 miles


Transmission grind going in and out of 3rd gear. Read all the reviews too late or never would have bought it. Car is dangerous this way and with the hundreds of complaints Nissan should be recalling and replacing the transmission.

- Brandon, WI, USA

problem #20

Jan 012008

350Z 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
2003 Nissan 350Z.

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

problem #19

Jan 032010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan 350Z. The contact stated that while the vehicle was in third gear, he experienced manual transmission failure. It only failed when the vehicle was shifted into third gear or when shifted down to second gear. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 70,000. The current mileage was approximately 80,000.

- Belton, TX, USA

problem #18

May 252009


  • 99,300 miles


I am wondering, why is there not a recall on the 2003 Nissan 350Z transmission" there has been more than enough complaints on this years transmission. It is very dangerous to drive, because the transmission locks out of gear. I cannot even put it into 1st gear on a dead stop and sometimes while driving it won't even shift into gear. I feel very uncomfortable being on the road and feel for my safety and other drivers on the road. I have done some research on this 2003 Nissan 350Z year and model; and multiple complaints, and I feel more than enough to get a recall. People just don't know where to go to report this problem. I just stumbled upon this myself. This is the only car I have to drive to work and school, and everytime I get in it, I feel unsafe and ask myself when is it going to lock up on me again? for a $30,000 +, I feel Nissan owes us the right to have a car that is safe and drivable for many years to come. Please help me, what can I do to help you guys help all the owners of the 2003 350Z 's feel that they have a reliable, dependable and especially safe car. Today, I was heading to the store to grocery shop, I could not shift into first or second gear at a light, and had multiple cars behind me. I started to panic, because they were all honking, so I turned off the car. The cars that went around me threw the bird at me and some belittled me with some curse words. It was shameful and embarrassing. So I told myself I had to do something about this, so I called friends for support, and they told me that this was an ongoing problem for the 2003 Nissan 350Z. The transmission is a big problem. Either grinding going into gear or locking out of gear. So then I ask myself, who do I turn to" and I found you guys after hours of researching. I need your help. We need this years transmission to be recalled, because it is dangerous for us as the driver, and all the other people on the roads. Nissan needs to step up to the plate and fix this problem, they know its there.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #17

Feb 282008


  • 40,000 miles
Grinding getting into 2nd and 3rd from 3K RPM to 6K RPM. No problem if under 3K RPM but I was under the impression I was purchasing a "sports car". I've had the car for 15K miles bough used with 40K on it but after warranty had expired. I am waiting to save for the CD009 transmission so I can replace with the "upgrade" and do the clutch all at once. Thanks Nissan!

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #16

Jan 152009


  • 38,000 miles
Shifting from 2nd gear - 3rd gear there is always a grind and I've searched on the internet and this needs to be a recall due to all the complaints that have been said on various websites.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #15

Aug 012008


  • 98,000 miles


Transmission problems-grinding between 3rd and 4th gear sometimes in 5th when clutch fully engaged. Dealership stated to change flywheel and clutch. After about $1300 repairs, grinding still exists and Nissan unwilling to replace transmission.

- Marina Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 172007


  • 35,000 miles
The 3rd gear was grinding then second started to grind too therefore I had the transmission rebuilt at my expense and other transmission problems persist and also have the tire feathering/tire growl issue which I've took the car varies times to the alignment shop.

- Mount Vernon, NY, USA

problem #13

Nov 152007


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Manual transmission makes loud grinding noise when shifting between 2nd gear and 3rd gear.

- Ambler , PA, USA

problem #12

Sep 292008

350Z 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan 350Z. The contact purchased the vehicle only for long distance driving. As soon as she began driving the vehicle, she smelled rubber inside the passenger compartment. The dealer stated that the smell would dissipate and was present because the vehicle was new; however, the odor remained. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle would not shift from second into third gear. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle coasted to the side of the road and was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the clutch and the fly wheel were burnt. The contact called Nissan customer service to assist with the cost because it was no longer under warranty; however, they denied her claim. She wants Nissan to assist with the $2,300 repair cost. The failure mileage was 17,000. Updated 11/7/08 updated 11/13/08.

- La Selva Beach, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 062006

350Z 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


Bought a 2003 Nissan 350Z used from keyes Nissan of woodland hills, ca. Tiptronic (auto/semi-manual) transmission needed to be replaced within 45 days. Now a whining noise that is still not fixed as well as excessive heat from shifter area that causes passengers to sweat & scalding hot to touch. Car hasn't seemed to run right since. Seems every 350Z owner has the same atypical problems-tire feathering, transmissions replaced, rear axles, power window motors fail(the last 2 are my next trip to the dealer). Nissan needs to fix our nightmare. Nissan support is nonexistent as well, which makes your ordeal all the more miserable.

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 022006

350Z 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 19,000 miles
I have a 2003 Nissan 350Z and I'm having problems with grinding when I shift into 3rd gear(manual) I have only 20K miles on my stock car no major modifications done. I have taken it to Nissan and they tried to duplicate the problem but nothing was found and when they told me to drive it I found my car shifting like butter I was amazed on how smooth it was. After a few days the problem is back like it was temporarily fixed or something because it gradually started getting to where it was before I took it in. Now I don't know if I should take it back or am I stuck. I have done some talking with other "Z" owners on a well known message board and over the years hundreds have got their transmission replaced and hundreds haven't depending on dealerships.

- Porterville, CA, USA

problem #9

Feb 122006

350Z 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles
When up shifting to 5th gear the transmission will grind at higher RPM's. also have some issues with the transmission "catching" as shifting in other gears, have to press hard to get it into gear at times.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #8

Dec 062004

350Z 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,995 miles
Purchased a brand new 2003 350Z clutch blew at 9000 miles 11000 miles later clutch go's again this is not just the clutch its the transmission which makes this a horrible problem which means this is probally a lemon I recommend no 1 to purchase a 350Z manual U must get automatic

- Balto , MD, USA

problem #7

Dec 042004


  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The consumer experienced transmission problems. When driving in 5th gear, he was unable to change gears. Approximately 500 miles ago, the vehicles third gear blew out while driving.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #6

Oct 082003

350Z 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 8,000 miles
350Z manual transmission howls when the car is first started. The car displays the condition when it has sat overnight and when it idles out of gear without the clutch depressed.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #5

Nov 042003


  • miles
Various things gone wrong with this car: -rack and pinion / steering pump failed at 4000 miles. Car refused to steer when at idle. Very dangerous. Replaced under warranty after 2 weeks. -two transmission replacements. Second transmission replacement requires new flywheel, clutch disc, and pressure plate. Both under warranty. -uneven tire wear. Dealer told me that I'm a "young speed racer" and that I need to "slow down". denied my appeal for new tires, I bought new, wider rims and tires, alignment, and problem went away. Tire sizes are 245/40/18 and 275/40/18. Bridgestone potenza S03. No feathering after 11000 miles. Unfortunately, this car is not very safe... and Nissan service / customer service is very uncourteous and rude in their approach to the situation at hand.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 272003

350Z 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Transmission problem with my 2003 Nissan 350Z. 3rd gear synchronizers are defective. Did a research and found hundred of other brand new 350Z's having the same problem. Recall must be done.

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 172003

(reported on)


  • 4,000 miles
There is a hesitation when shifting into third gear, and when it goes into gear, there is a grinding noise. Dealership replaced the manual transmission, but the problem recurred 5000 miles later, and needed to be replaced again.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #2

Jun 272003

350Z 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 10,000 miles
3rd gear grinds and transmission noises. I have spoken with over 200 people with the same problem. Dealer refuses to warranty problem due to aftermarket parts.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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