really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
69,283 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace head gasket (2 reports)
2003 Nissan Sentra cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Nissan Sentra Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 212011

Sentra GXE 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 67,108 miles


I had many problems with this car. In the first year, the engine starts and stops. Then I lost for no reason, a front cover of the engine. And now no heat, replace water pump and not sure if it's the head gasket or not. So far it will cost me $1500 for an used car (2003). When I bought this car, I thought I could keep it for a long period of time, like my old Tercel. Definitely not recommended, next car will be Toyota or Honda.

- , Laval, QC, Canada

problem #1

Apr 022009

Sentra GXE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,458 miles

Anyone who looses heat (blower working but no or little heat coming out) on a Nissan Sentra 2003 with a 1.8L engine PRAY that it turns out to be the thermostat or even a bad water pump...BUT...be ready to accept the fact that it's MOST LIKELY a blown head gasket and be prepared to "bail out" your local repair shop with a "stimulus package" worth over $1000, more like $1500 dependent on what other things they will find when they take your engine apart.

These things should not be happening to cars that are driven by regular folks (like me) to work and back (I don't street or drag race it). I'm not a mechanic, but I know a lot about cars, I've maintained and worked on them for 20 years...this is, as I'm finding out now...a design flaw in the Nissan 1.8L engine one that the media HYPE about Japanese car's reliability has been able to mask until now (thank you internet).

If there ever was/is a class action for this problem, COUNT ME IN :)

- , Montreal, QC, Canada

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