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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,539 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 Altima AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Nissan Altima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 022008


  • miles


A/C was working weird in the beginning on how it turned on etc. When I took the vehicle in the first time under warranty, I was told it was normal and no issues were found. Now, A/C doesn't work at all.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 192007


  • 61,616 miles
2003 Nissan Altima with recall for a sensor. Consumer states that she would like reimbursement because she did not take it to an authorized dealer for the repair. The consumer stated the engine light illuminated and the engine seized. The consumer also stated the air condition didn't work. The rack and pinion steering bolt was found to be loose after a recall was performed.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #1

Jun 272003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
A/C compressor does not disengage when the manual selector switch is moved from the defrost position. This is covered by a service bulletin ntb03-048 dated 5-6-03 from Nissan concerning this problem. This is noted as a change in operation from earlier models and I feel it is dangerous. The only way to disengage the compressor after using the defroster is to stop the car, move the selector switch to any function that is not defroster related, turn off the ignition and restart the car. If you don't there is at least a 10% loss in mileage due to the fact that the A/C compressor is operating and the temp selector must be adjusted up or the occupants of the vehicle will freeze. This was discovered by my wife and I on our way through Chicago on I-94. I thought it was a simple warranty problem that I would be able to get fixed upon my return to waukesha. The service bulletin makes it seem that this is normal and the consumer will just have to live with the problem. Now that I know what is going on I feel this is not only dangerous and environmentally unfriendly but just another way the car manufacturer has decided to cut corners and not make two different relays for the manual and automatic climate control vehicles. I do not feel that I should have to carry blankets around in my car to keep me warm in June and July because my A/C will not shut off unless I restart my engine. What fool would do that on a busy interstate highway. This is not a dealer problem, this was in the vehicle when I bought it and that the way Nissan designed it. I understand that the vehicles with automatic climate control can hit the "auto" control and the problem stops. I don't have that button in my "manually" controlled heater/air conditioner. I hope that you will address this with Nissan. According to the service bulletin this problem started with most of the 2003 models. Thanks for your time.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

Not what you are looking for?