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:
99,265 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous 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

problem #15

Aug 012016


  • 110,000 miles


Passenger and driver side floor pans, due to rust/corrosion have failed. This appears from on line resources to have been a manufacturing flaw of 2002 - 2006 Altima. A rusted through floor pan certainly affects the structural integrity of the car as well as the safety of the passengers. Road objects or passengers feet could easily puncture through what is remaining of the floor boards. Ironically, I remember having an issue similar to this on a 1979 chevette. I would have thought engineering and manufacturing process would have eliminated such a design flaw in more recent autos. While the vehicle is older such a substantial failure in sub body structure should not occur.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #14

Feb 122016


  • 590,000 miles
Both the driver side and passenger side floorboards are heavily rotting out. The passenger side seat is even moving.

- Belleville, NJ, USA

problem #13

Feb 092015


  • 200,000 miles
Takata recall

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #12

Nov 102015


  • 156,000 miles


This is the third time that the motor mount has cracked. Nissan replaced it the 1st time, I paid to replace the other side the 2nd time and Nissan refuses to replace it again due to mileage on the car. This could result in the motor falling out. Part seems to be defective. Don't know if it happens when the car is moving or not. I want Nissan to replace it free of charge.#

- Southbury, CT, USA

problem #11

Oct 282015


  • 3 miles
Car suddenly stops while your fmdriving at a low speed. Check engine comes on andturns vehicle off. This is very dangerous and I font understand why it hasnt been recalled. Most of the comments are said to be either the camshaft or crankshaft. They replaced the part and it was fine for 3 months and it ccontinues to do it. Im going to end up causing an accident and Nissan doesnt even care....

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #10

Aug 262015


  • miles
Like many others my 2003 Nissan Altima has stalled in traffic while driving. It reads no codes. There could have been a serious accident! this is a major concern I could have been on the interstate or in having traffic. I called Nissan and they state there was a recall for a problem to this affect and it was already fixed on this vehicle in 2007. They will not fix it again. Unbelieveable! also like many other my floor board has rusted. I had a patch repair to pass inspection. This car is a saftey hazord. After reading numerous reports that others have experienced similar situations of cutting off in traffic! I have not read any fatalities yet thank goodness! recall this car befor someone is killed!

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #9

Aug 102015


  • 96,000 miles


Rusted floorboard- driver and front passenger. Section of floorboard has completely rusted--all that remains between driver/front passenger and street surface is auto's carpet. I strongly believe this is a safety issue. I feel that rusting of the floorboards compromises the auto's integrity, and the weakening of the auto's structure can definitely lead to an accident and result in injury to driver and others. Nissan contends they have no responsibility, since the auto is out of warranty. Such rusting which compromises the auto's integrity and safety should be indefinitely warranted. Also, in this day and age of technology, I feel that the consumer should have confidence that an auto's floorboard won't rust out under the consumer. Nissan advertises quality/safety and should stand behind its products. I realize this is a 2003 model. But, with today's technology, 2003 is not really old for a vehicle. Should I expect another crucial part to fail"? maybe, the hood of the auto will fly off. Another comment-----is this problem an Altima issue, or do other vehicles have the same floorboard issues"

- Upper Chichester, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 102015


  • 150,000 miles
The car has given repeated problems starting and the check engine light has shown a crank and cam positon sensor error. I have paid to have these sensors changed with genuine Nissan parts and the car will not start at all.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #7

May 162015


  • 75,000 miles
Rusted passenger side floorboard. 13" by 10" hole.

- Springfield, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 262013


  • 108,000 miles
My trunk latch will randomly pop open. The first time was while driving in a residential neighborhood. The second time, I came out of a store to find my trunk open. It keeps popping open every time I drive now. It's very dangerous on the highway to suddenly have your trunk fly up blocking your view to the traffic behind you. I have jimmy rigged it with a bungee cord inside so that it only pops up about an inch or two when the latch pops. I would just duct tape it, but I need access to my daughter's stroller. I also unplugged the interior trunk light so that my battery would not be worn out. The weird thing too is that the door open light did not go on when the trunk opened. Hoping my husband can fix this during the weekend.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 012011


  • miles


Smell of wet carpet/mold after having driven in rainy conditions. Found that the driver's side mat was soaked and moldy smelling. Took car to dealer to determine source of leak. Passenger side under carriage toward door had a rusted area about 11 X 5 inches; nothing on driver's side. Explanation from dealer service department was that water was migrating to the driver's side from this leak even though passenger side was not wet. Dealer service rep said this rusted area seen on other Altima. Estimated $900 to repair. Called Nissan for explanation and assistance. Nissan denied any responsibility for the problem and would not make any attempt to resolve the issue. This was their position even when told of the numerous complaints I had found from other owners. This car was purchased new and only serviced by dealer.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #4

Oct 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
We are complaining about the fuel mileage with the Nissan Altima. It's a brand new 2003 Altima with a 2.5/4-cylinder engine that Nissan advertises on all their window stickers as getting 23/29. After the breaking period, my father still was getting only 20 mpg so returned the car along with the original window sticker to the Nissan dealer in hilliard, oh & they agreed to check it out which they did & reported that the car was fine & operating properly. When he picked the car up, he was given some papers & assumed the sticker was among them, but wasn't. when he realized he was missing the sticker, he returned to get it & was told they couldn't find it. He took his camera to the dealer & took pictures of like stickers on like model Altima clearly showing the 23/29 mpg rating. A couple of weeks later, he took it in again explaining it was still not getting any better mileage & something must be done so bonnie, the service mgr. There took over. Again they checked it out & told him the same thing...the car is performing just fine & they have no idea why he is not getting the advertised mileage. He takes it in for a 3rd time, they bring him home & keep the car for several hours. I take him back to pick it up & we wait for bonnie who tells us they have exhausted every method they have for trying to find out why the car is only getting 20mpg. She agrees to call Nissan headquarters to see if they have any suggestions or would trade out cars for my dad. Several days later she calls stating she made the call. He's really trapped & at his wits end. I subscribe to consumer reports so checked to see if they had tested the car & sure enough they had. They reported getting only 22mpg on the exact same 2003 4-cylinder model, which made me start thinking that probably nobody was getting the advertised mileage. I started asking every person I found who had a 2003 4-cylinder Altima what mileage they were getting, not 1 person ever even took a mileage check!

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #3

Jan 182004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am very unhappy with my 2003 Nissan Altima purchased in March 2003 there has been several times in this past year that my car will not start I brought car to dealer they found 2 recalls both were fixed but my car still has days were it will not start. I went back to dealer they tell me there is nothing they can do till they can find out how to fix problem it has been several months and they still have no idea what is wrong with my car they told me that several people are having same problem and there is nothing they can do right now! if they don't know how to fix my car I should get my money back or they should replace it! I never no from day to day if my car will start.

- Patchogue, NY, USA

problem #2

Oct 142003


  • 3,971 miles
Dealer still hasn't made contact about a repair on a particular recall. Vehicle is still with the dealer. The vehicle was taken tot he dealer for recall repairs but was told by the technician that they lacked all the parts and information to perform the work. The consumer request information on any other local dealers that would be capable of performing the recall.

- Caguas, PR, USA

problem #1

Dec 302003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I am very unhappy with my 2003 Nissan Altima. I purchased it used in Aug. 2002. It has been in the shop numerous times for several things. Faulty shocks, which took three visits and two different shops to get it fixed. And the latest problem, not starting. And to top it off on christmas eve stalling in the middle of an intersection. Baa hum bug, no one wanted to help, they just wanted to honk, like I chose to "park" in the middle of a turn, in the intersection. After reading all the complaints on this website I am uncertain that they fixed the correct thing. They replaced the starer coil. But when I went to pick up my car the service engine light was still on. So next they replaced a sensor that is a new recall campaign. I purchased my car with exsisting recalls that I was never notified about. The only reason I found out was because I call to complain to the factory about the treatment I got from North bay Nissan in petaluma, ca. And the lady I spoke with informed me of 4 recalls! what is Nissan standards for selling "certified" used vehicles"?" I feel robbed. I hate my car, I dont want it, I dont feel safe!

- Ca, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?