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:
79,945 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 suspension problems

suspension 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 #9

Jul 152016


  • 310,000 miles


Rack and pinon making noise had a mechanic check

- Gadsden, AL, USA

problem #8

Aug 252015


  • miles
Check engine lights - oxygen sensor - brakes and router - seatbelt

- Clarkston, GA, USA

problem #7

Mar 112015


  • 130,000 miles
Service engine soon lite came on, car runs sluggish, stalls while running at slow speed, put on computer stated cam shaft ignitors/sensors.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 172013


  • 56,106 miles


While driving home from work a couple of days ago, my car's tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)assembly on one tire fell apart/rusted out, causing my tire to deflate rapidly. I pulled off the road to a safe, flat area, and attempted to remove the damaged tire so I could attach the spare and be one my way. Unfortunately, I was unable to remove the steel wheel from the hub, and ended up calling my auto club for help. The roadside assistance person sent to help me also attempted to remove the wheel and also failed. I called my auto club again, and this time they sent out a tow truck. The tow truck driver used a piece of metal from his towing equipment to beat on the tire rim until it broke loose. He attached the spare tire, and was on his way. My inability to remove the wheel from the hub has come up twice before with different hubs on this vehicle. The last time this happened, I called my local Mazda dealer for advice, and a guy at the service desk told me to beat on the tire rim with a sledgehammer, saying "that's what we have to do sometimes to remove a wheel." Doesn't this action jeopardize the integrity of the rim" and what happens if I accidently hit another part of the car while doing so? shouldn't Mazda have a better remedy for this issue" I also had the tire pressure monitoring system assembly rust out on a different tire for this car. The owner's manual scheduled maintenance section says nothing about TPMS inspection or servicing. Deterioration and ultimate failure of this part is extremely hazardous and has the potential to cause human fatality. I want to know if my experience is just an isolated incident or if others have had similar experiences. If it's widespread, then Mazda needs to know about this and do something about it before something serious actually happens.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #5

Jul 112011


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the floor boards, front and rear suspension and the right and left stabilizer links were all covered with rust. The dealer and manufacturer were notified, but denied any assistance with repairing the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 112,000 and the current mileage was 124,000.

- Erie, PA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #4

Aug 152009


  • miles
I was sold my car from a dealership and it has had problem since day one and I keep up with my maintenance and a month after I got the vehicle I spent over 2500 in repairs now I am having a problem with catalyst and the exhaust pipe which is on the recall list from 7-30-2003 when I start the car it doesn't want to start and it is a tapping sound that is heard all the time I have tried to get in touch where I got the car from but they are out of business and I am still paying on this car I have a problem with the struts, shocks, brakes, and air conditioner just alot of stuff and now the tapping noise is so bad its scaring me and I have four children that rides with me in that car.

- Hurst, TX, USA

problem #3

Jun 122006


  • miles


2003 Nissan Altima with a long list of problems customer has learned about several recalls and wants this matter to be reviewed** three months after purchasing the vehicle, the vehicle needed new tires and an alignment. Three months later the vehicle would not start. On another occasion, the vehicle began jerking and the indicator lights illuminated. The radiator was cracked and had to be replaced. The vehicle overheated again. The consumer was never told the ECM device had some relationship to the temperature of the engine/coolant and may have contributed to the vehicle overheating.

- Hinsdale, IL, USA

problem #2

Oct 152006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have been having numerous problems with my car moving very slowly, not staying in the road, pulling away from me. I have to drive my car with 2 hands to keep in the road. I have took it back to the dealer numerous times and they have told me many different problems that might be wrong with my car. When I finally decided to take it to another maintenance shop just to make sure I was being told the truth. After 30 min of having my vehicle I was told by a Goodyear manager that I have 3X the wrong size tires on my vehicle. He told me that I should have 205/65/16 tires on my car and I have 225/60/16 tires on my vehicle. I am furious because I purchased this car from the dealership with those tires on my car and have taken my car in there several times to be maintenance and service and they knew that was the problem with the vehicle. My car is not a steady vehicle I feel unsafe in this car. I have to constantly hold it still in the road. When it rain I feel like I wreck at anytime. I have a small child and it hurts me to know that I have taken my car in there several times and not one time have they said anything about my tires. I have had those tires aligned and balance but the tech told me it would do me no good because the tires are 3 times to big. Please help I think they should replace my tires with the right size. Also my seat belts on the car will not extract I have taken this to the dealer several times and they will pull them out but when I leave after about 4 to 5 days my belts will get stuck again I also had my seat belts checked and was told it is a manufacturing problems and Nissan will not fix the problem. They told me flat out it is not there problem I can not pull a seat belt. I have to let my daughter ride in the back at times without a seat belt until I can find someone to fix the problem. The seat belts are getting hung from the core of the entrance but they will not fix the problem. *

- Gray Court, SC, USA

problem #1

Jan 202006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,400 miles
1) the car would always pull to the right. I took the car in numerous times to the dealership to have the alignment checked. I was always told that the alignment was perfect. I also took the car in numerous times to have the tires checked to see if they were defective or needed to be rotated related to this issue. The tires were rotated and inspected and no issues were found, nor was the problem resolved. 2) the car still pulls to the right. It was determined that the front right strut has given out. The car still drives, however the ride is extremely poor, especially over very minor imperfections in the road. I never take the car off road. It is used on the freeway between cities, so it has somewhat higher miles for a 2003, but ass the dealership told me the strut should not have given out this early. It is several hundred dollars to replace. Several certified professionals have told me that I need to replace both struts as a result of this issue. 3) the car is currently being repaired. I will update this complaint as events warrant. (the parts will be saved).

- Pueblo, CO, USA

Not what you are looking for?