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:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,188 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 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 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #4

Jul 162004


  • Manual transmission
  • 36,650 miles


We purchased a 2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 on 12/2002. On 7/16/04 the car wouldn't crank until the third try. After starting he wouldn't go but 15 mph. Took to dealer and their diagnosis was the throttle chamber was defective. It has been two weeks now and the part has not come in because their telling me its on back order. Called and talked to several service guys and requested a loaner car until my car got fixed. We don't do that anymore replied all the guys. So I called the GM manager and left a message, he called back and said he would check on a loaner and call me back in the am of 7/30/04 by 9am. He took to long so I called him at 934am went to voice mail.

- Lexington, NC, USA

problem #3

Apr 122004


  • miles
Consumer's vehicle accelerated from a stop and hit two vehicles head on. Upon impact, none of the airbags deployed. Driver sustained head injuroes.

- Sheridan, AR, USA

problem #2

Nov 152003


  • miles
Without warning the vehicle accelerated when the driver was backing out of the driveway. This caused the vehicle to hit a gate. The consumer made contact with the dealership on two occasions but the problem still occurs. Please add any further information.

- Corona, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 082003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,564 miles
While applying the brakes, the vehicle suddenly surged and accelerated towards traffic. The brakes did not stop and the vehicle had to be shifted to neutral to stop. The dealer kept the vehicle for 6 days but couldn't duplicate the problem.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

Not what you are looking for?