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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,805 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace floor pan (7 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Nissan Altima body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #8

Jun 292016

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,450 miles


Saw that there were many Nissan Altima's (2002 - 2006) with the same problem (floor pan rusted through ) , but Nissan refuses to acknowledge it.

- , Towson, MD, USA

problem #7

May 192016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Bought this 2003 Altima brand new in October of 2003. Overall have been happy, until upon inspection during an oil change it's brought to my attention that the floor boards are so rusted out that you can touch the carpet underneath.

I'm stunned that Nissan simply turns their back on customers, and I do not think it should be the expectation that the car falls apart after 10 years. I would have to imagine that I won't be the only person to choose a different brand with the next major purchase after seeing how customers are treated.

- , Omro, WI, USA

problem #6

Dec 102015

Altima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

click to see larger images

floor pan rusted through

My daughter noticed as she tried to step out of car...unsafe situation, hole goes completely through floorboard.

- , Trumbull, CT, US

problem #5

Nov 012015

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,500 miles


click to see larger images

floor pan rusted through

i thought only my car had this issue but now I see a lot of customers like me.. hopefully its not us who pay for the flawed design...

- , Bensalem, USA

problem #4

Jul 072013

Altima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,488 miles

Basically I was cleaning my car when my hand went through the passenger side floor board of my Altima. Someone could have been sitting there while I was driving on the road and been seriously injured. I don't know how they can possibly call that safe...

- , Scarborough, ON, Canada

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problem #3

Nov 052014

Altima 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Not very happy to take my car for an oil change and check up to find out my floor has rotted out on my Nissan Altima. Now I can't use it only for work and short errands and cannot afford to have it fixed. I am very disappointed with Nissan as this was my second one especially to hear they would not be responsible to replace anything.

- , Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #2

Dec 022014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

My 2003 Nissan only has 67,000 miles as of today and back in December 2014 I had my car inspected only to find out that the floor board had a big rusted hole. I had to have it fixed in order to pass inspection. This car runs great but my mechanic told me to get rid of it this year. Who is going to buy this car with this problem. I'm not alone in this problem because it was featured on the "Today" show!

- , Allentown, PA, USA

problem #1

Jan 152014

Altima LS 2.5L 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

While doing a brake job, I was looking for a lug nut that rolled under the vehicle. I looked up and saw a large ( 15" x 8") area of severe rust through on the front passenger side of the car. I had been wondering about a musty smell inside the cabin.

After researching I found that this has occurred on many Altimas over several production years. Nissan has refused to fix this issue, as far as I researched for any cars at all. I have planned to fix this by cutting out the area and welding sheet metal in its place, priming, painting, rust proofing also. I received an email that NBC was interested in this problem so I will, as soon as weather permits, attach photos.

- , Plainfield, IL, USA

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