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:
35,009 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 accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 052007

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


I purchased a brand new 2003 Nissan. The first time I heard about a recall issue with the 2003 Altima, I took it back to the dealership and they told me there was nothing wrong. The car will sporadically not start. I have had to replace the tires early on, the plugs were also replaced because it was misfiring, the brakes were squeaky at about 20,000 miles, the ac and the heater did not work (at about 30,000 miles and we had to replace them), water sloshing sounds, and had to replace the rooter. At about 55,000 miles the car started stopping sporadically. I took it to the dealership and they claimed they had fixed it. On my daughter's birthday, (3 months later) the car stalled on us on the road and she missed her own 3rd birthday party. I took it back to the dealership and they said it was the battery (less than 3 years from the time it was replaced). 2 weeks before christmas, I was on the road with my 11 month old infant, making a left turn at a busy intersection and the car just stopped!!! the driver behind me was just inches away from rear-ending me with my infant in the back seat facing back. I called Nissan headquarter and told them what happened. I explained to them that I fear for the safety of my 2 young children and myself in the car. I explained to them that we drive on one of the busiest freeway in the country (ca ? 405). My children's lives are in danger each time I drive them in this car. I requested a replacement car from Nissan and was told that they could not do that. This vehicle is my main means of transportation. I am very frightened about driving this car. I fear being killed with my children in this car; this car is a death trap just waiting to happen. Why has Nissan refused to take responsibility and do something to prevent someone from being killed in their poorly built-malfunctioning vehicle?

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 092003


  • 18 miles
When using the heater the vents blew hot as long as the vehicle was moving. As soon as the vehicle stopped, the vents blew out cold air. Vehicle had been to the dealer four times trying to find the cause of the problem. The dealer finally informed the consumer that the temperature change was normal.

- Roselle, NJ, USA

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