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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
92,840 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 252016


  • 30,200 miles


The crankshaft sensor has failed, causing my car to stall on the highway. I had to remove the key from the ignition, put it back and tried to start the engine couple times before I succeeded. This had placed me in a very dangerous situation. This has happened very frequently in recent months (year 2016)--every time I stop at the stop sign or stop at intersections for a red light... I called Nissan and they politely informed me that my specific VIN number did not qualify for the recall, even though the symptoms were the exact same as the recall I have found online.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
I was sitting at a red light and when it turned green I went to go and my car stalled out. My check engine light came on and it's due to cam and crankshaft sensors. Drove the car to work today the car stalled out again completely shut itself off. Once again had to pull over on the side of the rode the best I could turn the car off and thankfully it turned back on. Called Nissan today spoke with a Consumer Affairs supervisor named [xxx] and they are telling me that my VIN # is not included in the recall for this claim on crankshaft sensors and that they would be able to forward my information to a regional office for Consumer Affairs and see if they can get them to pay for the parts but in the mean time I have to get a diagnostics report done on the car at a Nissan dealership and I have to pay for the diagnostics report and they will not waive it for me and in order to get approval for the parts I have to get the diagnostics report. So they transferred me to a dealership in albany NY a Nissan dealership service department spoke with a guy named ed he said they would need my car for 24-48 hours and can not provide me with a rental, can not waive the diagnostics fee and they wouldn't be able to get my car in until aweek from now. This is outrageous. People are going to end up being seriously injured if not killed by this malfunction. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rensselaer, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 152013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
On January 15, 2013, my car shut down while driving down the roadway at about 40 mph while taking my daughter to school. I was able to pull over on the side of the road and restart the car and make it back home safely. Thankfully, the person behind me when the car stopped did not hit me from behind. This is the second time that this has happened with my car. This also happened previously about 2 years ago. I was informed today by the Nissan dealership that a failed cam shaft sensor was the reason that my car was shutting down. They are replacing the sensor for approx. $400. However, this exact issue is on the website as part of a recall. NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000. My major concern is that my car could have shut down on 95, a major city highway, with my child in the car and no one wants to take ownership of this dangerous situation. I spoke to Nissan usa today, and they offered no assistance. Please assist me with this serious concern.

- Hanover, MD, USA

problem #2

Sep 272009


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs outlined in recall #06V242000 (engine and engine cooling). After the repair a mechanic inspected the vehicle and concluded that the electronic control module was not replaced. As a consequence while driving the vehicle will stall without any prior warnings. The manufacturer was notified, but no assistance was provided. The current and failure mileages were 75,000.

- Hunington Park, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 112009


  • 81,000 miles
While driving through a busy intersection and a railroad crossing my car suddenly seemed to have lost all power. My car remained on. Thinking it was just the road conditions. Later same night also in a busy intersection once again only this time completely just shut down. No power coasted quickly as possible off road. Tried to restart my car but wouldn't turn over. Waited a couple minutes and tried again and my car struggled to turn on but did turn on. My car being a preowned certified car that I have purchased from lancaster Honda dealership I was not aware of any recall notices for my car and I am a very upset consumer. Brought my car to be serviced from the dealer and they want $294 to replace my cam sensor and crank sensor. I refused the work to my car and while searching the internet I found recalls for the ECM and I am shocked to see many other consumers with my same problem. Also, on two separate occasions while driving on freeway felt as if car lost power. I noticed also alot of heat coming from the inside of my car vents and the temp. Gauge on the dashboard didn't seem to be working accurately. I turned the vent full blast to be on safe side. After calling Nissan consumer complaints they advised my to bring my car now to Nissan dealer next city over and they will replace/reprogram my ECM free of charge but they are going to be also charging me $95 diagnosis charge and when I asked about them replacing the two sensors as well free of charge they said if after running the diag. And if it be that the sensors were damaged as a result then it will also be replaced.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

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