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:
54,486 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #12

Dec 282015


  • 55 miles


VIN: 1N4al11D83C167055 year: 2003 make: Nissan model: Altima 2.5 S number of open recalls: 1 NHTSA recall number: 03V-251 recall date: July 14, 2003 manufacturer recall number: P3142 today, December 09, 2016 @ 8:30 am, I had an appointment with jim johnson dealer regarding case #24723246. At 1:54pm they did call to pick up my car. After over 5 hours, they changed filter -fuel tank only, but not fuel pump ! customer copy # 56946 (invoice #362469) show that has been replaced part #17275-8J025, which is filter -fuel tank(not fuel pump which is open recall (just to remind you, this part cost only about $10,00, ( after replacement a new fuel pump, it should be replaced anyway)! part# 170408J005 - fuel pump Altima; 2.5L (cost about $456,00 )which is open recall, is not done ! they replaced filter-fuel tank only!(because of low cost, just to close this case...)! again, attached document (refreshed Dec.9,2016), shows that open recall is: Fuel pump ! the manufacturer has failed or is unable to remedy this safety recall for my vehicle, replacing a fuel filter, does not mean solving problem/ problem is fuel pump(which still as open recall, I have received many phone calls from manufacturer to tell me that problem is solved (replacing a fuel filter! and fuel pump is not necessary to be replaced !,this case is not closed for me, is not replaced a new fuel pump(has been replaced fuel filter only, because of low cost/ about $10,00 only! fuel pump and fuel filter-tank are 2 different things!!! this car is unsafe to drive during winter !!!,this case is not closed for me, is not replaced a new fuel pump(has been replaced fuel filter -tank only, because of low cost/ about $10,00 only!,just to close this recall and this case!!!!!!!!! fuel pump and fuel filter tank are 2 different things!!! I do not accept a phone calls, emails only !

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #11

Nov 262015


  • miles
I received a phone call from Nissan (615-725-7000) regarding my complain (open recall)...and the person says that Nissan can't perform for free that issue since this vehicle is registered in Kentucky! that's mean, because of safety reason I will be unable to drive this car to other states ! and the only option I have is to forward this case to the court and solve this problem by law !

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #10

Nov 012016


  • miles
VIN: 1N4al11D83C167055 year: 2003 make: Nissan model: Altima 2.5 S number of open recalls: 1 NHTSA recall number: Opens new window takes away from VIN lookup section>03V-251recall date: July 14, 2003 manufacturer recall number: P3142 this recall data last refreshed: Nov 20, 2016 recall status: Recall incomplete the manufacturer(and Nissan dealer in bowling green ky) has failed or is unable to remedy this safety recall for my vehicle.they refused to fix this issue!

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #9

Nov 172016


  • miles


Fuel pump (open recall) Nissan dealer in bowling green ky says "this recall for your car is not in our system..." every time during cold temperatures I have problems...twice happened engine turned off while I where driving in highway ! I'm scary driving Nissan during winter! I need Nissan in bowling green ky to schedule an appointment for my car and solve this issue. Also exhaust system, cause noise ! smell smoke inside the car !

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #8

Dec 262015


  • 2 miles
03V-251 recall date: July 14, 2003 manufacturer recall number: P3142 recall status: Recall incomplete, I requested to replace a fuel pump to jim johnson Nissan in bowling green ky they refused ! during winter I have problems driving my vehicle...scary to drive it...twice happened to turn off engine without warning..driving from ky to nc last christmas. I want you to call dealer here in bowling green ky, to schedule an appointment for my vehicle, to solve this problem!

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

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problem #7

Dec 012015


  • 90,000 miles
Everything I have had to replace/repair on this car is linked to recalls, but Nissan is denying this & refusing to help. They said my vehicle was not part of any recalls but everything that's failing is related. It has died on me in the middle of highway traffic w/ my child in the car several times. This car is defective & no one from Nissan is concerned!!!! butterfly screw/valve issues, cam/crank shaft issues--related to engine cooling, high oil consumption; alternator failing; oil leaking

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #6

Feb 012015


  • miles


I purchased a 2003 Nissan Altima with 106,000. As is no warranty. Within the first month it blew the head and needed a new engine which I paid for out of pocket. They supposedly replaced the enigine with a new crate engine once again the car lasted about 3 weeks before it was smoking so bad and will only drive at idle speed.. I dont think the place I bought it has a very good mechanic and I really would rather take it to a Nissan dealer.. but I dont want to pay for another engine I feel like ive already bought the car twice.

- Belfair, WA, USA

problem #5

Feb 092015


  • 200,000 miles
Takata recall

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #4

Mar 092015


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the service engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for routine maintenance and they cleared the code; however, the failure progressed and the vehicle stalled more than five times. The contact had to wait a brief moment and was able to restart the vehicle. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was also included in NHTSA campaign number: 03V251000 (fuel system, gasoline); however, the dealer stated that the recall did not apply to the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 91,000. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #3

Sep 212015


  • 89,280 miles
My gas tank has a four to five inch split on the seam of the gas tank. There is no damage to the tank I believe the part is defective and is extremely dangerous. I am in the process of asking Nissan corporate to warranty the gas tank as it should not have a large split on the seam. There may be other tanks like this and will catch fire, I currently drive with a fire extinguisher on my front seat because I have to drive it to work.

- Mesa , AZ, USA

problem #2

Jul 172012

Altima 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
My vehicle stopped running on a highway almost causing a severe deadly crash. When I had the car looked at by my mechanic it was determined it was the crank shaft sensor. My mechanic replaced the crank shaft sensor and the car is now fine. Upon investigation I found that their was a recall on 2003 Nissan Altima's for the sensor. I contacted Nissan and was told that my VIN was not part of the recall. Obviously their selection criteria is incorrect since my car was impacted by this recall. I asked Nissan to include my VIN and pay for the replacement of the sensor and was told not since my car was over 7 years old and had more then 100,000 miles. I am sure their are other 2003 Altima with this issue and it can be fatal. Nissan needs to correct this in all 2003 Altima's. furthermore I want Nissan to reimburse me the $200 dollars I incurred for the replacement of the crank shaft sensor.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 192007

Altima 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
While driving on the street and about to turn the car suddenly stopped running while driving. Since I was in the middle of a busy intersection, another driver came to help, he asked what happened, I said "I don't know". he got into my car, shifted to park and started it. Weird I said, and forgot about the incident until months later happened again, then months later again, the "service engine soon" light never came on so even I took the car for service and asked about the issues, it was never detected, but I kept complaining to my mechanic every month, replaced batteries each year thinking I had a power problem. I learned about the real problem because this last time it happened on 07/03/12, the help came from someone who knows about cars and he told me about the recall on the crank & cam sensors. I took the car to the nearest Nissan and, yes, that is exactly the problem with my car!. but they said because I didn't service and didn't buy the car from an authorized dealer and my car isn't on the "list" they won't fix it. The cost isn't the problem I told them, the fact the car came out of your factory defective should be your responsibility to correct it, never the less your responsibility to recall all units with the problem not just a few. I am taking the car to them to fix the problem right now and pay for the repair because I have a 4 months old baby and I don't want to be hit by another car when my car stops running in the middle of the street but I do want help and have them be responsible for reimbursing me on the cost of the repair and recall all and every single unit involved with this issue. Nissan corporate (yes, I called them too) will not take any responsibility on the case either.

- Roswell, GA, USA

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