10th Oct 2008, 14:19

I own a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5S. Ever since I bought the car I have had problems with it. The ECM was recalled so I took it to the dealership and had it reprogrammed... 3 TIMES!!! Now it is acting up AGAIN... and what do you know, that Crank Shaft Positioning Sensor is bad and was also apart of the recall with the ECM.

I called Corp Nissan and they tell me that my exhaust system was just recalled, but I'm SOL on the sensor. It is going to cost me a couple hundred dollars for the repair, plus once the new sensor is put in, the ECM will need to be reprogrammed once again, so that I won't have to continue replacing that sensor over and over again.

Had I known of all these problems with the car before I got it, I would never have bought it.

It has shut off while driving down the interstate; it shut off on me while turning left thru an intersection. one day I'm bound to get hurt or killed if this continues, and unfortunately I just don't have the money to keep pouring into this car that is continuing to be extremely unreliable.

27th Oct 2008, 10:03

I don't even know where to begin. I have a 2003 Altima 2.5 SL. About a month ago, I got stranded twice because the car would not start. It would crank but not start. After I let it sit about an hour and came back it would start. No SES light on at this point.

Dealership thought it was battery as battery failed test. Original battery so figured why not. $200.

ABout 3 days later, same thing happens. Take it to dealership -- SES light on this time. Error code says it's bad cam sensor. Sensor is replaced for $300.

That weekend I am driving on turnpike doing 70 and the SES light is now blinking and car feels like it's about to shut off. Luckily I make it off the exit. Take car in next day. There is now a misfire on cylinder 1. Dealership thinks it's a bad ignition coil. They move the coil to cylinder 3. They tell me if the SES light comes on again and there's a misfire in cylinder 3, they will know it's a bad ignition coil.

Drive the car for about 3 days... last night SES light comes on. Take it into dealership... every light I have to stop at car is literally SHAKING. SES light is now on again as I pull in. They just called... broken ignition coil...$300.

Um yeah, this is the LAST time I take the car in. I will not deal with this crap anymore. This is LUDICROUS.

5th Nov 2008, 14:13

I have a 2002 Altima 3.5 that I bought used in 2003 with about 20K miles on it. It replaced our 1991 Stanza. The Stanza had 200K miles and ran like a charm. The Altima has always been serviced by Nissan (including oil changes) and now at 74K miles I have a check engine light. It is P0021 and is "Intake Valve Timing (IVT) control circuit failure-bank 2.

Under possible causes is shows:

IVT control solenoid open or shorted.

Cam/crank sensors out of phase.

Dirt buildup at control valve.

I contacted my local Nissan dealer and was told it would cost $89. to diagnose the problem even though I had two other mechanics diagnose the code for free. I was also told it was the 02 Sensors, not the cam/crank sensors.

Has anyone experienced this problem, and if so what did you do?


22nd Nov 2008, 22:20

I have a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL. Tonight I was at a stop light, the car was in drive, had my foot on the brake, and it died. Later the Service Engine Soon light came on, so in a parking lot I let the vehicle run in Drive and kept my foot on the brake, it died again. However, if I put the car in park it will run forever. I am assuming that maybe my problem is also a sensor of some sort. I haven't taken it in to have it checked out yet.

2nd Dec 2008, 08:23

I have a 2003 Altima SL. It just hit 90,950 miles. I paid it off approximately 2 weeks ago. The morning - the very morning after my last car payment, the heat went out. I have had constant problems with the car idling low and approaching a stall whenever I am in traffic or stopped at a light. Yesterday, my service engine light came on. Went straight to the dealer, I am now told it needs a new engine for $4,000. The coolant leaked and fused the gasket heads to the engine. To remove them will destroy the engine. I am junking this car and donating it to charity. I am furious. I have done everything right. Had all of my servicing done when I was supposed to (by the dealer), had all of my oil changes done when I was supposed to. I will never purchase a Nissan ever again.

5th Jan 2009, 16:51

Hello Everyone.

I've been 'wrestling' with a similar Nissan 03 Altima problem, but with a slightly different rub.

Over the course of 18months, the car becomes increasingly more difficult to start. However, it will start if you depress the gas pedal slightly when you turn the key. My local dealership has replaced the battery 3X, and always checks the alternator. The last time, I figured enough with the Nissan battery, and now I am at the 14 month mark and having trouble. The problem occurs across the board on weather, driving history, etc...

In the past month, I've too experienced the SES flashing, but it doesn't stay on. The first time, the car was parked at an airport lot and had a lot of very cold rain. The second time was today, as I was driving back to work from lunch. The car runs a little rough, then the SES flashes a few times, then it all subsides. In general, I just deal with it, but if it starts dying while I'm driving, then I'm going to be more aggressive in getting to the bottom of the issue. I did have a timing sensor replaced last year, when the SES light came on twice, the second time as I was driving to the dealer - I was told it was only a $100 repair but was covered by my extended warranty. My extended warranty of course expired during the summer.

6th Jan 2009, 20:19

2003 Altima 2.5 SE

Yep, same no start problem that no one can fix (yes, the sensors have been changed) and now my mechanic says no compression in 3 of 4 cylinders, and time for a new engine at 89k miles!!! How does a car run fine when you park it and have three dead cylinders in the morning? Let's get a class action going. OMGosh!!!

7th Jan 2009, 19:45

I have a 03 Altima. For the last 6 months, the car has either died while at a traffic light, or the motor will jerk while driving it. The SES light came on last week for the first time, and it was the crankshaft sensor, replaced it but the car is still doing the same thing. Nissan told me that I need a mass air flow sensor and that will cost 650.00. At this point, after reading everyone else's problems, I don't know that this car can be fixed???