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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,352 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 202006

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,767 miles


On or about Jan. 20, 2006 while driving my vehicles' check engine light would come on and then the vehicle would cut off. We took it took it to fontana Nissan for repairs. The car was returned to us on Jan. 28, 2006. Maybe 2 - 3 hrs. After getting the vehicle, we were driving to L.a. area and the check engine light came on again. We called the service mgr. At fontana Nissan and he said to bring it back and they would look at it on the following mon. Well, we never made it back because while we were in route home (fontana) I lost control of the car while it was shutting off on the 91 fwy. To the 605 interchange. After the crash, the car was towed and the insurance company repaired the external damages (body work) but the internal was not fixed. Then in June 2006 while driving home, the car cut off again. Fontana Nissan said it was the battery. So we purchased a battery. I refused to drive the car because we feel that the next time we might not be so lucky. In Jan. 2007 there was a recall on the Nissan Altima for the same problem we had and consequently caused the crash. We were being represented by a law firm but as time passed our warranty expired. I am very afraid to drive the vehicle. Which I have not driven since 2006. I would really appreciate someone's help in this situation.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 142007

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,742 miles
The electronic module that controls timing started to fail. The engine would stop for a second, and then start again. The dealer determined via a diagnostic printout that the module was about to completely fail. When I asked how the failure might impact on safety, he service adviser stated that the engine could stop dead while traveling in traffic.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #2

Mar 032007

Altima 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 152,900 miles
I had a recall on my 2003 Nissan Altima. Recall case # R0606. Recall problem being car engine stops while driving. My car has been doing this for about six months now. I was glad to see this recall! because I had taken it to the shop a couple of times and it was never fixed. I took my Nissan into robert woodall Nissan on Friday March 2nd to have this repair done. No less than 24hrs later my Nissan was back doing the same thing again. I don't know what else to do, and I'm hesitant to drive my car much because in the recall it states this condition could result in crash without warning. Please give me any help you can.

- Blairs, VA, USA

problem #1

Sep 232006


  • miles
Recall on 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5L - electrical problem between the crank angle sensor and the ECM. My check engine light came on - I took the car to local dealership (central Carolina Nissan - sanford nc) and they refused to replace the crank angle and mass air flow sensors free of charge w/ this recall and stated these parts had to be replaced at a cost to me of apprx. $600 before they could perform the upgrade. I refused to pay this fee and took the car home and the next day it cut off while driving down the road and was able to steer it off the highway w/out incident. I managed to get the car home and called: Nca dept. Nissan N.a. Inc. And was promised a call back by mon. 9/25/6 - ref. # 5477581. No one called and I've spent a couple of hours today 9/26/6 trying to get resolution and have now been promised a call back by the end of the day 9/27/6 from the regional office. I'm holding my breathe and I'm still not able to drive my car. Rickey collins phone: (919)770-9670.

- Sanford, NC, USA

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