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:
116,873 miles
Total Complaints:
63 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (31 reports)
  2. replace engine and cat. converter (30 reports)
  3. remove the pre cat (2 reports)
2003 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine 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 (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Feb 012009

Altima 2.5S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


I am a used car dealer and I have to say Nissan surely has gone down hill. This oil consumption problem is nothing but a bunch of BULLSH-T. I'm taking it in the you know what for the second time this year so far because of this problem. I can tell you that there will never be another Nissan on my lot for sale ever again! Every single 2002 to 2006 2.5 Nissan Altima and Sentra should have been recalled. Don't bother calling Nissan for help either, all you hear is that the warranty is expired or there is too many miles on the vehicle. I'm so angry about this flaw that clearly should have been corrected from the beginning. And this oil consumption test that Nissan requires the dealer does is a joke too. They know whats wrong why bother going through the hassle of wasting customers time and money. I urge anyone who has had this problem to spread the word to stay away from these vehicles. I would love nothing more than to see this company go bankrupt right now! They sure have cost a lot of people a lot of money and aggravation such as myself.

- , Montoursville, PA, USA

problem #2

Mar 102009

Altima 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 127,000 miles

The real problem is that my car burns oil. It has been burning oil since the time that I bought it. I bought the car from a dealership with 80,000 miles on it. It now has 127,000 on it and it won't pass inspection because of a crack in the manifold. $1400 to get it to pass inspection. The real problem is the engine and how it sucks up pieces of metal that breaks off near the manifold. I'm no mechanic, but I can tell you that pieces of metal floating around in your engine isn't a good thing. I can replace the manifold to get it to pass inspection but my mechanic said that the engine will just damage the manifold/catalitic converter again. You need to replace the engine. GREAT.....I only owe another $5000 dollars on the piece of sh*t and I have to replace the engine. THANKS NISSAN.

- , Concord, NH, USA

problem #1

Dec 192008

Altima 2.5S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I have owned Nissans for 20 years and raved about them to anyone who would listen. I had a Sentra that ran for 10 years and cost almost nothing to maintain, outside of the usual items.

This 2003 Altima is a hunk of crap. It's not old enough to be such a problem. It burns so much oil that it looks like someone lit a smokebomb!! I paid $500 3 months ago to have the sensor fixed--a recall item (I was not told this by the service station)--and one month later the engine is the problem. I have heard opinions that the fix will cost $3K. Forget it. I agree with other gripers, this is my last Nissan too.

- , Hartland, WI, USA

Not what you are looking for?