hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,098 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 Maxima engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Jul 082016

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. On some occasions, the check engine light would illuminate after the vehicle stalled. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Updated 09/08/16 updated 09/29/16.8jb

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #38

Jul 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I have three recall notifications and Nissan customer service says they are not valid to my VIN. So are these recalls not valid or does Nissan not want to recall my vehicle? recall subject : passenger side air bag inflator may rupture report receipt date: Jun 24, 2014 NHTSA campaign number: 14V361000 component(s): Air bags recall subject : Nissan/crank/cam position sensor weld report receipt date: Nov 17, 2003 NHTSA campaign number: 03V455000 component(s): Engine and engine cooling

- Kenmore, WA, USA

problem #37

Jan 152014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 168,960 miles
My 2003 Nissan Maxima gle has had the check engine light, the ABS and the tsc lights coming on. I took it to my local dealer who ran diagnostics on it and said it was the crankshaft sensor which I had already replaced due to an intermittent problem with the speedometer quit working, or that I needed to replace the entire instrument package. As I am fairly mechanical (father was a master mechanic) this did not seem logical to me. The speedometer has now quit working completely and the tachometer is now having intermittent problems. I have also changed the camshaft sensors. The problem seems to be more electrical than mechanical--instruments only record what sensors send to them. It has now started dying in traffic which scares me as I am afraid I will have an accident. The dying in traffic problem is getting worse. So far I have been able to hit my flashers and struggle to glide it off the edge of the road to a stop when it happens until I can get it started again. Some times it is very difficult to start and sometimes it will start right back again. I have ruled out moisture in the gas has I have run several containers of heet through the gas tank the last two months. When I asked the dealer if they had seen other vehicles with the same or similar problems they said no. I asked them if my car model had any recalls and they said no again. Due to a search on the internet I have discovered that recall #03V455000 had been issued for my model year Nissan that were having this same problem with the engine dying due to soldier flux on variable timing control sensor. Please advise if my car is covered by this recall asap as I am afraid I might have an accident due to the car dying and everything locking up when it does.

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #36

Mar 282013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 143,597 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact attempted to re-start the vehicle but it took several tries before it started. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the cam position sensor needed to be replaced and that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA recall campaign id number:03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure and current mileages were 143,597.

- Burchview, IL, USA

problem #35

Jan 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
While driving at a relatively low speed (~30 mph), the engine suddenly stalled. I was able to pull over to the side of the road, and restart the engine a short time later. Within 30 seconds of driving (again), the engine suddenly stalled again. I had to stop driving. Just the previous day, the check-engine-light came on, indicating error codes P0340 and P0345. Upon checking the internet, it seems that NHTSA campaign id 03V455000 may be relevant (it covers 2003 Maxima). The symptoms my car exhibited are the same as those described. However, when I called Nissan, I was told that my car's VIN was not covered by recall. It seems very, very coincidental that I would experience the same problem described in the recall, but am not subject to recall. It seems that Nissan is under-reporting the cars affected, and I fear my car would be quite unsafe to drive (with random, sudden stalls).

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #34

Apr 032012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. While stopped at a stop light the vehicle stalled. The check engine warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for a diagnostic test. The mechanic stated that the camshaft sensor would have to be replaced. After the repair, the vehicle would not start. The failure would occur intermittently. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling), that may have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000. Updated 6/6/12 the consumer stated the vehicle would stall more frequently at a quicker and more violent rate. Updated 06/11/12

- Fallbrook, CA, USA

problem #33

Jul 112011


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated the engine failed to start and the engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. After numerous attempts, the engine began to operate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The technician informed the contact that the crank position sensor and cam position senor would need to be replaced. There was a recall related to the defect under NHTSA campaign id number 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling) but the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #32

Aug 272011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
While driving the vehicle stopped running. After researching the trouble code, we attempted to replace the part. Replacement was unsuccessful and found safety recall on this same issue. Called local dealership and they stated their was no recall on this vehicle. There should be a recall on this vehicle if it dies while driving. This problem is very dangerous.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #31

Jul 082011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 88,500 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving 30 miles per hour and while making a turn the vehicle stalled. The vehicle restarted when the first failure occurred; however, when the second failure occurred the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The diagnostic test report indicated that the camshaft position failed internally. The vehicle was repaired using the same recall remedy under NHTSA campaign id number: 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling), despite the dealer and manufacturer stating the VIN does not qualify for the recall. The failure and current mileage was 88,500. Updated 12/06/11 updated 03/12/12

- Olympia Fields, IL, USA

problem #30

May 032011


  • 134,000 miles
The engine would not start during lunch. It started after a couple of attempts after work and the "service engine soon" warning light came on. As I left my job and drove 1/2 mile, the engine stopped running on a three lane road in traffic as I was going 35-40 mph. I managed to coast past an intersection and quickly turn without power steering into a parking lot.

- O Fallon, IL, USA

problem #29

Jul 012011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles


2003 Nissan Maxima cam sensor failure. Car shut down in traffic.

- Norwood, PA, USA

problem #28

Jan 012011


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving 35 mph with the illumination of the check engine warning light. He was able to restart the vehicle and the vehicle was taken to the dealer whom performed a diagnostic test. The failure was located at the cam-shaft position sensor. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 164,000.  

- Milton, MA, USA

problem #27

Sep 162010


  • 75,000 miles
Vehicle dies while in operation and traveling to work. It happens three to four time when driving it.

- Saipan, MP, USA

problem #26

Sep 052010


  • 174,000 miles
My 2003 Nissan Maxima shuts off without any warning I had my grandbaby in the car with me and traffic was moving pretty fast, after sitting for about 5mins it started back up. I took it to my mechanic and told that the cam shaft sensor needed to be replaced. He also told me that it was a recall on this, so I took it to the Nissan dealer and they said it is not for my VIN number. I have 174,000 mileage.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 082010


  • 55,000 miles
On my 2003 Maxima SE, the "service engine :light" comes on and the moving vehicle stalls. My wife had a close escape from a crash when it happened to her yesterday. It happens when the vehicle has been in operation for a few miles. A scan of the failure code from the engine returned P0340 which implies camshaft position sensor circuit problem. Checking the internet I find that the manufacturer recalled this model for a bad solder on the camshaft position sensor electronic circuit board in 2003, but the dealer never informed me when I purchased the car. My vehicle has only 55000 miles. The dealer claims that just because there was a recall does not mean that every car from that model year will be fixed. This is a serious safety issue. You can check on the internet regarding issues with 2003 Nissan Maxima and you will see rampant problem and operational safety hazard with this specific camshaft sensor component.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #24

Apr 012010

Maxima 5-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
2003 Maxima shuts off when starting it, back to back. Car has less than 80K miles. Mechanic said it is the cam shaft sensor position & this car is horrible. This is a life threatening issue and must be fixed by Nissan only. It was their error. I have filed a complaint against Nissan as well.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #23

Mar 042010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Nissan Maxima. Consumer stated the vehicle stalled several times for no apparent reason nearly causing an accident. Soon after, the service engine soon light illuminated on the dashboard. The consumer then went to a mechanic who informed him, the problem was a recall issue. The consumer contacted Nissan and was told nothing was coming up in their computer. The consumer paid for the repairs out of pocket, after Nissan could not help him. The consumer stated he is the original owner of the vehicle and never received a recall notice.

- West Babylon, NY, USA

problem #22

Oct 292009


  • 110,311 miles
Failure to start, service engine light soon on -- took to svc station, did diagnostic bad camshaft position sensor.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #21

Sep 012009


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. The service engine warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel and the vehicle stalled. The manufacturer was notified in reference to recall # 03V455000 (engine and engine cooling). He was advised that since his vehicle identification number was excluded from the recall, he was ineligible for a free remedy. No repairs were made. The failure mileage was 92, 000. The current mileage was 93,000.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #20

Jul 132009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Maxima. While driving 30 mph, the check engine light was illuminated and the engine shut off. The contact also lost control of the steering wheel. The check engine light stays on continuously. The dealer stated the failure is related to the circuit board for the crank position sensor or cam position sensor and could have improper solder deformation which is related to NHTSA# 03V455000, component: Engine and engine cooling. The failure mileage was 86,000. Updated 10/20/09 the consumer stated the vehicle completely shut down multiple times. Updated 10/22/09.

- Swansea, MA, USA

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