really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
103,599 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 Murano engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Murano Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Oct 102012


  • 108,000 miles


Purchased this vehicle in 2012, used- bag an having issues immediately, including, no heat, stalling, windows rolling down on their own in winter- returned it to the dealer and they kept for 1 week, said there was nothing wrong except the fuel pump. We replaced it and trouble continued. Contacted Nissan and they said to take to dealer for diagnostic, a certified Nissan mechanic now looking it over and claims there is nothing wrong, we have thrown so much money into trying to get it to work. Overheats and can not climb even the smallest of incline without overheating, the Nissan company wants us yo pay for all the testing they require, we have been paying for a vehicle that is not drivable or reliable in any way- after 4 years there is still no answers as to why it will not run properly, so disappointing yo purchase a vehicle that looks good and is comfortable, and has become a lawn ornament that still has a large balance to pay- does Nissan produce things they walk away from laughing at the consumers for purchasing a non reputable vehicle. So aggravating to be told it is our problem, feel as though I could have gone to the junkyard and purchased a wrecked vehicle and had better results, we just want to be able to depend on a vehicle we purchased without the run around. Sounds like they made a problem car from the other comments on how others have experienced the same issues, without any answers. The unexpected stalling and overheating and no production of heat in the vehicle has been issue since purchasing in 2012 to now 2016, just would like some sort of answers.

- Buhl, ID, USA

problem #44

Jun 042015


  • 110,000 miles
On June 18th 2015 my car felt as if was losing power and then my brake light and battery came on. I came to a slow moving pace, like 10 mph. Very dangerous I was on the highway. Lost all power. Would not crank. Replaced battery and worked for about 2 weeks and then again same thing. Could have really caused a bad accident.... did some research and had alternator tested. Bad alternator. Replaced it. And again today same thing. This is so dangerous and getting to be very expensive. I see there was a recall about this issue but not my car. Very upset. Something needs to be done to correct this issue before someone causes an accident that could very well take someone's life. I have replaced the censor, battery and now two alternator's within 2 months.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #43

Nov 252014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Coming off exit ramp, stopped and turned left, was going around 25 mph when the car surged forward, accelerated, RPM shot up. I had to slam on the brakes and put the car into neutral. The car then slowed and began driving normally. A week later, my wife and I were on the interstate going around 60 mph when the car slowed down as though it was put into a low gear. We could only get it to go no more that 35 mph. We pulled off on the shoulder and parked. The car would not start again. Had to tow it. About a month later, I was on the interstate going around 65 when the same thing happened as before, it went into a lower gear, lowering my speed to around 30 mph which caused me to almost get hit from behind. Had it been a large truck it most likely would have hit me. I put it in neutral and pulled off to the shoulder. When I pulled out again, it drove at a normal rate of speed. I've taken it to the Nissan dealership and they claimed they couldn't find anything wrong. The internet is full of complaints from Murano owners with the same problems and stating that local Nissan dealerships cannot find the problem and if they do anything, they change out the transmission at a cost to the owner. I just purchased my Murano a few months ago in September of 2014 from a small lot. This is very frustrating for me and my family. Twice we could have very easily been hit from behind. Since this is a problem that's been going on since the first 2003 Muranos, I feel Nissan should order a recall and fix this safety issue before someone is killed.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #42

Dec 292014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 158,000 miles


As I was coming out of a tunnel driving normally at 55 mph, my Murano jolted and surged it's RPM into the red. This was very dangerous as I was driving with my 3 year old daughter. After going online and seeing that many others have had the same problem but Nissan has not conducted a recall on the cvt transmission. I called Nissan Canada today and got no where. They extended the warranty to 10 years or 200 km. Which my car now at 158K and 2014 do not apply. This is completely ridiculous as Nissan is aware of this faulty problem and is just waiting for someone to get killed. She said it wasn't Nissan who makes the rules on recalls but the NHTSA. Which to me is just a cop-out! what company produces a faulty product and refuses to take responsibility for it!

- Burnaby, WA, USA

problem #41

Jun 102014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I purchased this car from a dealer as a used vehicle in September 2013. After several months I began to notice a very serious transmission problem. All of the sudden when driving the car does not respond to the gas pedal and then all of the sudden the vehicle will lurch forward. This has been scary and unsafe when driving in high traffic areas and I have run the risk of rear ending another vehicle. Other times it has been an extreme safety hazard when entering traffic that is traveling at a higher speed and you have to speed up to merge. If your car does not move when you press on the gas pedal others can crash into you. I have read that other Nissan Muranos that are the same year as mine have experienced the same safety issues and Nissan has received a significant number of complaints with regard to cvt and front transfer case (cracks/fractures) issues but that Nissan has not had a recall to correct this serious problem. I have a three year old grand daughter that I have in my car with me on a daily basis and I am afraid to drive the car! I also purchased this car after another serious accident that totaled my other vehicle and now I have a car that has major safety issues that I am extremely concerned about!!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #40

Oct 072014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 94,548 miles
I am driving the car and it wont accelerate in traffic. A warning light goes on then goes off. This vehicle is not safe. I bought this car for my daughter and am scared to let her drive it.,I am a widow and money is very tight. I bought this car thinking it would be safe. This started happening so I goggled it to see if anyone else has or had these issues. There are a lot of complaints like this. There is a recall for the car but only certain VIN#'s. how can you rule out the other ones that are having the same issue. They are all saying that they wont going in traffic on the highway.is it going to take someone dying before Nissan will do something about this car and it's problem. My husband died in a car accident. I have post traumatic stress disorder where this is concerned and it is taking everything I can do to not to start having panic attacks where this is concerned. Nissan needs to do something and so does the government regarding the safety of this car.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #39

Dec 202013


  • 89 miles


I was driving my Nissan Murano going 45mph when suddenly the engine light flashed, the air went out, and the car shut off. I was pressing the gas but it wouldn't do anything and it suddenly shut off. I've been to several shops that can't find a problem so they told me about the recall on the 2003 Nissan Murano. They think it's maybe electrical or engine cooling.

- Chalmette, LA, USA

problem #38

Sep 122011

Murano 6-cyl

  • 210,000 miles
I bought this car years 3 years ago in miami and in the beginning I noticed about this problem but I thought that it was a minor problem that I could fix whit the time but I was wrong. If I'm sending this complaint now, is because on my effort to fix the acceleration problem I find this information on the web where it looks that I'm not the only one who has the same problem. The worst part of this began a couple mouths ago when I was getting back from Pennsylvania with my family on the highway driven around 65 miles and unexpectedly this horrible problem came "the deceleration"from 65 it was getting to 30 miles, it scared me a lot but I considered myself that I'm a good driver and my first reaction was to let the motor work by itself I didn't touch the speed and the brake and I pull over the car with the emergency lights I turn it off and I waited 20 minutes and then I turn it on the car again, fortunately it worked after this without any problem I thought. I live in New York city and honestly I don't need the car if I bought is just for pleasure to go out the city to vacation and here I find other problem; when you are driving short distances like here in the city you didn't notice about this but the problem it comes when you are driving long distances over 50 miles and then the motor loose power. This problem is getting worse every time when I do the ignition then 5 minutes latter the motor loose power. I change several auto parts on the engine system and the electrical too, I thought that may be the electrical system could be the problem a sensor a fusible or something but however I still without fix this problem I don't want drive any more this car because I don't know how could be the reaction of the car again on a highway, even I don't want even try to sell it because obviously will be badness to sell at somebody on that condition. Thank you

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #37

Jul 162014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 91,750 miles
I just purchased this vehicle on 7/15/14, drove it home and it would not start 7/16/14. I was able to get the vehicle started, but the service engine soon light came on and it shut off 2 more times while parked. I was finally able to get it started and running to go about my errands. I stopped to pick someone up from the hospital and it started up, but immediately shut off again. Eventually, it started bucking and shuddering while I was driving and seemed as if it was going to shut off. I was able to get it to the dealer I purchased it from and he is taking responsibility of getting it serviced. The diagnosis was the rear cam position sensor went bad. I called haldemann Nissan in hamilton, NJ to inquire about recalls, as I knew this was a recall issue and was told that my VIN number had no recalls.

- Bristol, PA, USA

problem #36

May 032014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
While driving on the interstate the vehicle lost acceleration completely.. it had to be re-started in order to continue driving. Once in, option again, the engine was idling extremely high and continued that way until the vehicle was turned off and sat for over an hour. Started.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #35

Jul 042013


  • 145,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated that while at a stop light, the vehicle became hesitant to acceleration attempts. The vehicle then rapidly accelerated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis where the mechanic determined the catalytic converter and accelerator pedal wiring needed to be replaced. The failure continued after the repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #34

Sep 202012

Murano 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
I was in stop/go traffic during rush hour. When I pressed the gas pedal to accelerate from a stop, nothing happened. I pumped the gas pedal to the floor 3 or 4 times and suddenly the car lurched forward and then started moving. The next time I came to a stop, I had to repeat the pumping of the gas pedal to move again. I did this several times and each time the car would lurch forward. When I could safely pull over, I turned off the engine and waited a couple of minutes. When I restarted the engine and pressed the gas pedal, everything was normal. I can go several months with everything being fine and then all of a sudden it will happen again. I haven't taken it to a dealer because there is nothing to indicate when it will happen and since everything is fine after the engine is turned off and then started again, how do I recreate the issue for a mechanic" this has the potential to be very dangerous because I never know when it's going to happen and the lurching forward has almost caused me to hit the vehicle in front of me on several occasions. I have seen numerous complaints about this problem on various blogs and on this website. In the qualifier above it asks if there has been a crash, fire or fatality. Please tell me why one of these horrific things has to happen before there is a recall on a very dangerous issue with a vehicle" a car not accelerating in traffic and then suddenly lurching forward should not be the owner's responsibility or cost to repair. It should be the responsibility and cost of the manufacturer to make sure they are selling a safe vehicle.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #33

Apr 212013

Murano 6-cyl

  • 142,410 miles
I was driving down a hill road, I decided to turn back, I performed a legal U turn and when I tried to reverse the accelerator would not perform its duty. I was going downhill and hit the dirt curb and almost went off the cliff if I had not pressed the emergency brakes. This is not the only incident. As I go on the freeway I am not able to accelerate from time to time because the step motor cannot perform its duty in making sure gears switch at a proper time. I went to a transmission expert and was told it was the step motor which affects the transmission. This part is in charge in making sure gears switch properly. I went online and I have seen that many people have issues with this same problem. I called a Nissan dealership and was told that since I had passed the 120K mileage mark they could no longer service my transmission within the warranty limits. This means I will have to pay out of pocket $2,140 for a new transmission not including labor.

- Cudahy, CA, USA

problem #32

Aug 112004

Murano 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
Initially, this car would stop in the middle of intersection and on the highway due to a faulty alternator. I almost got in an accident. The car would loss power and then take off and finally the car would stop on a busy highway. I almost got killed 3 times due the car stalling out on me. The transmission died on me 3 times. The first two times, I had only 20-30,000 miles. ( I purchased the car brand new). The very last time they replaced the transmission (costing me $6, 000) I had about 160,000 miles. Even after having Nissan replace the transmission 3 times, the car still stalls or shuts off while in motion. About a year ago, I had new cat converters installed, a new manifold and exhaust installed. It ran for about 6 months and now it is still stalling out and stopping (while in motion) me. This is very dangerous. Now Nissan thinks the crank shaft positioning is the cause of the problem but refuse to do it for free because the VIN# to my car is not listed with the rest of the 2003 Murano's (recall list). This I think is ridiculous. It seems to me that Nissan has alot problems with their older Murano's with regards to stalling, stopping suddenly while in motion. They seem to care less if the owners life is at risk. I have been dealing with these issues, since I first purchased the car. It is a piece of junk and it is an extreme hazard to drive on the highway.

- Cromwell, CT, USA

problem #31

Sep 242012

Murano 6-cyl

  • 140,724 miles
When you push on the gas the car does not go for a few seconds then when it goes it lunges forward. This makes it very hard to make a left turn in front of traffic, you do not know if the car is going to move at first or not. And when you are in stop and go traffic and go to move up just a little bit the car does not go then when it does you almost hit the car in front of you. My understanding is this is the cvt vavle body. My car is giving error code P1722 per the dealer. The paperwork they gave me says estem spd. Sig.

- La Vergne, TN, USA

problem #30

Sep 042012

Murano 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
First incident: While turning into a parking lot car shut off all warning lights on dash lit up. Since no power to car I was not able to turn or use my brakes effectively. I was stopped in the oncoming traffic lane. I was able to use my four way lights. Car had to be towed as we were unable to restart the car. Second incident: While driving on a city street at 35 miles an hour once again car turned off and I was unable to use gas or brakes related to no power. I barely was able to get about halfway into the turn lane to get out of traffic. Almost causing an accident. This te I was able to wait a few minutes and after a few unsuccessful attempts to start my car it finally began running again.

- Coloma, MI, USA

problem #29

Sep 082010


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph and stopped for a traffic stop. As the contact attempted to accelerate from the stop, there was a delayed response from the vehicle. The vehicle violently lunged froward after several seconds. The engine was turned off and the vehicle resumed normally. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was being driven for over a one hour period. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 107,000.

- Oklahoma City , OK, USA

problem #28

Jun 262010

Murano 6-cyl

  • 71,147 miles
I continue to have episodic loss of power with my 03 Murano. All instances occur after driving at interstate speed for more than 30 minutes at a rate of between 65 -80 mph during times of high heat (100 degrees+). the first incident occurred in June 2010 while driving from phoenix to flagstaff. Going up a long incline, I noticed that my speed was declining (I was using cruise control). Pushing on the accelerator - no response. The car continued to decelerate on it's own as I struggled to both change lines to get to the nonexistent shoulder of the road and avoid getting hit by the semitrucks. Turned off the car for 30 minutes and waited. Turned it back on and the car ran. I have since not used cruise control. They could find nothing wrong; car did same thing immediately after, drove it back to the shop - they could not replicate it! June 2011 - driving from la to phoenix, 105 degrees and 2 hours in to the trip, the car does the same thing. Pulled off the road, waited. Tried again; could go 10 miles before the car began losing power. Towed to a dealer - who could not reproduce the incident. April 2012 - driving from tucson to phoenix; 105 degrees and 72 miles into the trip. Loss of power on the interstate; 1 hr of waiting, and power returns, but I did not trust this car to get me home (nor did I want to be stalled in the middle of an AZ desert waiting for a tow truck.) towed to a different Nissan dealer. I have had this car in and had many things done and replaced - the cam sensor, transmission fluid, etc. No one can figure this out and more frustrating is that not one mechanic can replicate this loss of power/lack of response to the accelerator.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #27

Apr 022012


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated while driving 35 mph, the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle then jerked, hesitated, and stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who ran a diagnostic test and informed the contact that the speed sensor failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and stated that there were no recalls associated with the VIN. The failure mileage was 170,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #26

Apr 012011

Murano 6-cyl

  • 10,100 miles
After driving in stop and go traffic accelerator does not respond for 3-4 seconds then lunges forward and is very dangerous.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

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