really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
118,150 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replaced (4 reports)
2003 Nissan Murano transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Nissan Murano Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 192018

Murano LX 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 161,000 miles


Transmission gave out with no warning. Only 160,000 miles, unbelievable. Totally angry at Nissan and will not buy another.

- Terry J., Minneapolis, MN, US

problem #9

Jan 202016

Murano SL 3.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I've been having problems with my Murano for about 6 months before it really got bad and the CVT transmission started to go bad.

Wondering if others have had the same problem and is Nissan providing assistance to repair or replace.

- Ashby S., Hyattsville, MD, US

problem #8

Feb 162017

Murano SL 3.6L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 116,187 miles

After starting my car and getting on the freeway, my Murano started to vibrate badly between 40 - 60 MPH. I could smell transmission fluid starting to 'cook', and my car would lose power rapidly. I noticed over the last couple days that my gas mileage suddenly dropped from 22 MPG to approximately 15 MPG.

I had to go on a long distance trip, and I decided to take my vehicle to my trusted import car mechanic (who has won numerous quality awards from various automotive and business organizations) just to be safe. My mechanic called me a couple hours later, and confirmed that my hunch was correct, and that I needed a new transmission. I bought my Murano new in 2003. I've owned it for 14 yrs now, have babied it the entire time, and only have 116K miles on it.

The cost for this this transmission replacement is more than the Bluebook value of my car, but I do not want to start payments on a new car, but after reading all the posts o0n this site, I am heavily leaning towards purchasing a new 'non Nissan product. What stinks is that I had to invest this $4500 for the replacement transmission in order to even sell my vehicle or trade it in. My financial worth of this car now is basically $0. Maybe it would have made better sense to just give the car away as a junker, and put the $4500 towards a down payment for a new car.

I've had a few other nagging problems on my Murano to date including bad struts, catalytic convertor, failed cam sensor and ignition sensors which both left my car stranded and required a tow. The valve covers continuously leaked oil, and I had the gaskets replaced for over $1000, but my car continued to smell like it was burning oil. The quality of the interior materials is poor! The side of my drivers seat has split open in so many places, and the paint on my 'leather wrapped' steering wheel has chipped away. I've owned Chevrolet, GM, Jeep, Honda, and Nissan vehicles. I will NEVER purchase another NISSAN product again!!!!

- Dennis L., Greensboro, NC, US

problem #7

Jun 112012

Murano SE V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 128,000 miles


I have a 2003 Murano 140,000 miles I have replaced my transfer case three years ago. called Nissan for help and got no where with them I had to pay out of pocket $3ooo. Two months after that I have to replace the catalytic converter another big job. Now a month ago I had to replace the gas pump again another big expensive job. But my real problem is my transmission the problem started last summer where after driving the car for about 20 to 30 min and then get into traffic the car starts to hesitate when pressing on the gas I took the car to the dealer w/ no help they told me I had to bring the car when it was happening and this problem doesn't happen all the time. So finally I take it again and they tell me I need a new transmission. I have been doing research and found out that there was a extension on the warranty that I did not know about and was never told by Nissan. I call Nissan North America for help again and they refuse to help in any way even if you didn't know about the extension they just do not care!! This is a very dangerous and scary problem esp when merging from highway to highway. I am extremely disappointed with Nissan they do not care about the safety of there customers they know of this problem and don't do anything about it I guess several thousand people have to die before they really care. I vow to never buy another Nissan and will never recommend anyone to buy an Nissan!!!

- bgarcia78, Old Bridge, NJ, US

problem #6

Jul 142013

Murano AWD

  • CVT transmission
  • 128,700 miles

I have had a reoccurring issue with my 2003 Murano. From the posts I have found online in this forum and others, I am not alone or happy. Problem has occurred 4 times in the past 2 months. The car loses power at +60 MPH on the highway. The engine drops rpm, speed and limps along. First few times this happend, re-setting or turning off and on the car supported in it running fine. The weeks later again, then weeks later again and the 4th time yesterday.

Looking thru other owners, my worse case scenario is clear, the CVT tranmission is shot and needs replacing...my local mechanic found error codes (P1700, P1720, P0720, P1574 ) and from these codes, I concur it needs replacement. This is not the only issue with this lemon (YES - 2003 Murano's are LEMONS) of a car, Exhaust systems, Struts and other problems have plague us as owners.

I WILL NEVER buy a NISSAN again. Period. The local dealer was worthless event with an extended 100K warranty. Very unhelpful over the years, and I cannot trust them again.

- Brent C., Haddonfield, NJ, US

problem #5

Jul 112011


  • CVT transmission
  • 169,663 miles

I am extremely disappointed with my Nissan Murano. I purchased a new 2003 murano from Girard Nissan, Groton Ct. I was anticipating a wonderful experience with this vehicle instead, I inherited a over priced mess. I have had a series of problems. from the car stopping in the middle to street to to faulty distributer cap, 3 failed transmissions.

My Transmission has failed 3 times. The first time the car stoped in the middle of the highway and it would not accelerate. Almost got in a accident. That was at 54,096 miles. Girard nissan had to ship the transmission out of state to be repaired.

At 55,271 miles had the same exact problem, Girard nissan, Groton Ct had to ship it out to be replaced.

at 168,000 had the same problem, a priviate mechanic missdiagnosed it. They replaced the 2 cats . Car ran for two weeks and at 169,000 the car had the same problem . I had the car sent to Middletown Nissan. They diagnosied needs CVT trans assy, no oil , scan codes P1778, P0725 eng speed, tcm pwr supply, p0746prs cnt solnoid

Any ideas?

Next time I promise never to purchase another nissan product. Nissan corp was unwilling to assist me. Total waste of time and money.

- kitten, Cromwell, CT, US

problem #4

Aug 012008

Murano SEL V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 90,000 miles


Love the car, hate the problems. I purchased my Murano used in 2007 with 88,000 miles thinking (my mistake) that it would last me at very least another 200,000 miles. I started noticing issues with it at about 90,000 miles. Scared the crap out of me when I pulled up to a stop sign, crossing traffic on a highway that goes 60 mph and I went to step on the gas and slowly creeped into the traffic and then darted forward. The car will stall for no apparent reason. I have to turn it off, then back on and it's fine for a hour, few hours, few days, whatever. There have been multiple complaints on Edmunds and the NHTSA but Nissan, as far as I know, still has not owned up to the problem with these cars. It's a shame because they are great vehicle otherwise. I actually traded my Ford Minivan that had 205,000 miles for this. Should have kept the minivan! I have also had to replace the manifold ($600), ONE of the emission controls need to be replaced ($1000) and from what I have read, the transmission runs $7500!!! What do you do with a lemon? I still owe half of what I paid for it. I have written Nissan and hopefully if enough people have complaints or worse yet, someon gets killed, that they will wake up and take responsibility for their defective vehicle or a class action lawsuit will take place. Please take the time to file your complaints, otherwise nothing will be done!

- Kathy R., Rocheport, MO, US

problem #3

Apr 052009

Murano SL

  • CVT transmission
  • 86,992 miles

I had an electrical failure which rendered the transmission inoperable. The dealer has told me that a solenoid inside the transmission has failed and because of this, the entire transmission will need to be replaced. My extended warranty has recently expired but I'm trying to get Nissan to stand behind their product which obviously has a design flaw. $10 solenoid vs. $4,000 transmission. So far everything is pointing to the fact that I'll be on my own on this one. All I get from Nissan are idiots that have no common sense on the phone. No transmission shop that I have talked to touches these things. My suggestion is dump your Murano while it still works because there is no economical fix for this inevitable failure.

If you're thinking about buying a new or used Nissan, know that these people follow the warranty to the letter. These people are shysters, not people interested in running an honest business. I shouldn't need a piece of paper that tells them they HAVE to take care of me, they should just do it.

- Ian B., Saskatoon, SK, Canada

problem #2

Jul 252008

Murano AWD SL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,778 miles

Nissan sold me a lemon, The TRANSFER CASE had to be replaced because the vehicle only bucked and finally did not move. Call was made to Valerie Nissan Consumer Affairs Department 866 799-1690 ext.1442 to report the problem and attempt to receive an explanation and compensation for this problem. I did not receive an explanation or any compensation for catastrophic problem that seem to of happen only to my family. We depended on Nissan when we purchase the Murano to keep us safe and strong to meet the years to come. That belief has not happen, in fact we believe that because the new belt driven transmission has failed us as a consumer and we plan to seek our legal options in our efforts to get reimbursed on the parts and labor in the amount of $3,216.00.

- tredom1234, Fairfield, CA, Gabon

problem #1

Jul 082008

Murano SL V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Driving down the interstate and the car just acted like you put it out of gear. Towed to Nissan dealer and was told it needed a new transmission for $7500.00. They really did not know what happened to the transmission because there are no parts available to fix the transmission, just replacing it was the only option. Called Nissan and ask them to help fix it and was told no. They did say it should last longer than it did. I found the transmission on the internet at only one place and had to send it there and have it rebuilt. Fluid for the transmission was $20.00 a quart and only available at Nissan dealer. It needed 12 quarts. No car should cost this much to repair. I will never by another Nissan for these reasons. The bad thing is that I really liked the car but the cost and reliability is terrible to say the least.

- needy, Rocky Gap, VA, US

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