2003 Nissan Altima LX 2.5L from North America


Needs help


Ignition problems, sporadic starting.

General Comments:

For the most part, it's been a reliable vehicle, with the exception of now it won't start out of the blue. We drove our car to a local pharmacy, and it died, literally, in the parking lot. After two attempts to have it "double jumped" by the towing service, it would start, but wouldn't stay running. I intitially thought it was the alternator, but after reading this blog will have the cam sensor checked out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th September, 2006

2003 Nissan Altima SL 2.5 from North America




We have had this to the dealer 4 times for the intermittent cold starting problem. They have kept it for 2 weeks and said it started every morning for them. However I know that can't be true bc it happens at least 3-4 time a week when the temp is below 35 degrees. I am now hearing the fluid in the dashboard that others are talking about too. Talk about buying a BRAND NEW LEMON!

General Comments:

Does anyone else WANT TO GET AN ATTORNEY with me? Nissan should deal with this problem instead of passing the buck on their consumers! Reinhart1@fuse.net.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th September, 2006

2003 Nissan Altima LSE 3.5L from North America


Outstanding performing vehicle, until engine failure


The Oil Pump failed, resulting in a certified dealer determening compalete engine failure. Nissan has refused to service the 2003 Altima under warranty as I did not have every single receipt for oil changes. While I had six receipts, the others were through a company that purged their database annually, causing me to not have access to five other receipts.

Nissan commented that we should have used an authorized dealer for service, even though the owner warranty made no such requirement. Four Nissan representatives assured me that the car would be covered, until the fifth, a Regional Service Representative indicated she did not care what others had promised and declined the warranty service coverage.

This was my fourth, and last, Nissan. They may have saved the cost of warranty coverage for this car, but they have lost my business forever.

General Comments:

The car was an outstanding performing automobile, until this serious failure in the drive train. I have documented that the cause for the engine failure was directly resultant to the oil pump failure (not due to maintenance issues).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th August, 2006

2003 Nissan Altima from North America


Better than a ford Taurus I previously owned


I've had intermittent, no starts similar to the comments of others. I'm in agreement that there is some common problem with the 2003 Altimas.

I'm now investigating the check engine light. It may be a coincidence, but it seemed to come on when the ethanol was added to the gas.

General Comments:

It is a commuter car that I plan to run into the ground.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th August, 2006

2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 2.5L I-4 from North America


Great car - I will buy another one!


Absolutely nothing (except one headlight bulb at 102,000 miles) has gone wrong with this car. It is a joy to own and drive.

General Comments:

This is a fantastic car for the money. I commute 200+ miles/day, and average 30+ m.p.g. in the winter, and 32-34 m.p.g. in the summer.

Practical, comfortable, absolutely reliable, easy to keep and service.

Replaced original Continental tires (horrible!) at 68,000 miles with a set of Kumho Solus HP4. Great improvement in road noise, comfort, wet and snow handling.

Only items that were replaced (they were NOT failed) : accessory belt (92,000 miles), rear brake pads (the front are still original!), transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, spark plugs (at 102,000 miles).

I change oil every 10,000 miles (regular 5W/30), drive conservatively, mostly on highway.

Great room for people and luggage, easy and light to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2006

19th Jul 2006, 22:42

Did you really drive 102k miles on your car. Have you ever needed to replace the engine (recall on catalyst). You say you NEVER had problems with the car in all that time?

13th Jan 2007, 08:41

To your question: yes, actually I have 136,000+ miles on this car and everything runs great. I just replaced the radiator, though, since it was starting leaking from the top.

Other than that, this is all I replaced:

- 1 set of tires (I got Kumho tires - excellent buy!)

- 1 accessory belt (for precaution)

- spark plugs (at 102,000 miles)

- rear brake pads (at 85,000 miles)

- front brake pads (at 112,000 miles)

The car looks and drives like new. Oil consumption: less than 1/2 quart every 10,000 miles.

27th Feb 2010, 15:07

To all of you reporting (or fearing) all these terrible issues with '03 Altimas: I reached 258,000 (yes, it is not a typo) miles with mine with NO ISSUES at all. No replaced cats, no check engine lights, no broken engines, nada. Looks and runs great. Oil burn: 1 qt. every 6,000 miles (still better than many new cars). Never a "check engine" light, and all diagnostics are running (checked with an OBD tester).

I am quite sure I will pass 300k miles without major issues.

Guys, treat your cars with respect (no need to be maniacs: I change oil every 10,000 miles, regular 5W-30) and you will be amazed about how long they will last.

Thank you Nissan for a very honest car.