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:
78,833 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Apr 092013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 137,500 miles


We live in pa. We took our 2003 Nissan Altima in for inspection and were told the driver and the passenger side floor panels were rusted though to the car. The car was bought new, has been garage kept, and our winters have been mild. Nothing ever has been spilled in the car and the carpet have never been wet. Had 4 local body shops give estimates (from $900 to $1500), all that said that this shouldn't happen to a 10 year old car and the rest of the car looks good. Spoke with Nissan customer affairs who had us take it to a Nissan affiliated body shop. One of the body shops researched the problem and found numerous complaints regarding this problem. I was told there is a design flaw with the drainage of the sunroof or windshield, forcing water between the floor pan and rocker bottom. Mentioned that a plug isn't sealed or installed correctly. I called Nissan and the case was sent to a regional customer affair representative. After two weeks of 2-3 calls per day leaving messages with my contact number, I finally heard back today and was told that "the decision is final and they are not willing to give any help in fixing the problem" or stand behind their product/defect/design flaw. Updated 04/09/15.

- Winfield, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 142012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
1. the floor under the front passenger has rotted out making this car very unsafe. This is the most important one. The other ones I list because I am disappointed with the life of this car and because I have heard of multiple stories of the similar complaints. 2. the door handle broke off on the front driver side and on the passenger rear side. 3. gas cap will not close/open properly 4. trunk latch will not close. 5. moon/sun roof is off its hinge and will not work properly. 5. plastic part of the key broke not allowing it to attach to a key chain.

- Norwood, MA, USA

problem #1

May 022003


  • miles
Nissan Altima 2003, with several failures, leaking gasket, etc. The consumer stated the water pump failed, the windshield leaked, the vehicle would not start, the windshield wiper failed, the heater and defroster did not work, the radiator cap and thermostat was replaced and the wheels rusted.

- Patchogue, NY, USA

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