18th Jan 2009, 19:55

Nissan 2003. Won't start in cold weather. Battery shows 17-18 volts, had battery erosion crud cleaned off. Still won't start reliably. Getting ready to start jogging to classes. Healthier anyway.

28th Jan 2009, 19:45

Happened to me today for the first time. The best part are all of the strange organic chemical smells until the cylinders clear.

I changed the spark plugs because they looked fouled.

Had to pump and crank and let it sit for most of the morning.

I did drive it last night in the cold to move it a couple feet forward, I guess I won't do that again.

3rd Feb 2009, 22:30

I too have a 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL that is having the same problems. It's been starting fine and then occasionally cuts out when I'm driving or come to a stop. A couple of times it's jerked around and acted like it was going to die on the freeway. Now tonight, I went to go to the store and it dies every time I put it into gear. My check engine light is on and I too have had diagnostics ran and told there is nothing wrong with it. Yeah right! After reading all of these comments, I'm really feeling discouraged. I don't have the money to be wasting on this car if they can't fix it properly. Up until 3 months ago, I have never had any problems with it. The car has 85K on it and I shouldn't need a new engine at this point. I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow but judging by what you all had to say this is just going to be a money pit for me.

3rd Feb 2009, 23:09

2003 Nissan Altima SE - Same issues as most here. Check engine light stays on, car would drive fine one day and drive like it was missing terribly the next, got worse, could not get any speed on highway, car kept dying, would not restart right away.

Took it to a mechanic, BOTH catalytic converters are bad, yes this car has 2 of them, had to replace them along with manifold, cylinder number 3 had to be replaced also. Still in shop waiting for more problems to be found. 80k miles on car. Not reliable, not safe. $23,000 paid for this lemon.

16th Feb 2009, 14:21

I too have the 2003 Nissan Altima. I bought it with 112K miles on it from a dealer (I was desperate). So within 2 weeks the car started idling high while I was in park; my gauges were all over the place, and the car would lurch forward while I was in park, so luckily under the 30 day used car warranty they repaired a few things.

Now Feb 2009 I turned the car on and it started shuddering pretty hard. So I thought to myself maybe it will stop - Um No! So it shook like crazy while I reversed and then all the way back to work while driving. Then the Engine Light came on. So, begins the road of many travelers. The dealership has my car "right now" AND he said it's #1 Bad ignition coil, and he suggests that all 4 be replaced at the same time. I am looking at $1200. minimum. Thanks NISSAN.

11th May 2009, 01:53

Purchased a 2003 Nissan Altima in March 2009 with 57500k. It is my first car and I financed it on my own without any help from my parents (I'm 19 years old by the way). I had test driven an 05 Altima (which was unfortunately out of my price range) and decided I HAD to have a 3rd gen Altima (02-06)

My car had a cracked and bent alloy rim, which caused the car to badly shake any speed over 55mph, obviously not mechanical and it was a cheap fix.

Car was in dire need of an oil change when I bought it, had that taken care of right away at 58100k. Service Engine Light has been on since I bought the car.

I just found out today that my car had virtually no oil in the engine. None! And I'm now at 60650k. I have a friend who's studying to be a mechanic and I let him take a look at the car. He told me it could be an oil leak, valve seals, or bad piston rings causing this huge oil consumption.

I had also taken my car to Auto-zone to do a diagnostic, and the code came up that the sensors might just be dirty or I need a new catalytic converter. I believe it may just be a sensor because my car starts 100% and drives 100%, 100% of the time.

The engine had been making a weird grinding noise as I would accelerate at a green light, but would cut out after reaching a certain gear, this sound went away when I added the oil.

In my parking spot at work I had noticed there seemed to be a small but rather fresh oil stain in my spot. I had the car parked there for a majority of the day, and since public employees are required to park far away, I doubt anybody had my space while I was on break.

I also noticed a small stain where I usually park my car at night, neighbors had friends over a few days ago, could be their stain. I don't notice any visible leak from my car.

Also when I start the car and rev the engine to a high rpm, then drop it back down, the car often emits blue oil related smoke, however it does not do this when I drive, I was told it also could be carbon build up.

I've had my car nearly 2 months now and I have loved every minute of it. This car feels, looks, and drives as if it were brand new. But after reading everyone else's problems and them all being the same thing, I'm very worried something will happen to my car.

14th May 2009, 15:55

03 Altima 2.5SL intermittent start problems. SES lights.

Feel all the pain of everyone here. My Altima has actually been very good until last year when the cam position sensor had to be replaced, not on recall or warranty.

I have been researching the issues and have come across a couple of fixes:


True, disconnecting the battery does reset the computer, but this is not a long term fix. Ensure your plugs are good, and filter is clean as well.


Not sure, but I found this under recalls for the 350, which sounds a lot like the same problems that we have all been having! Here goes:


15th May 2009, 12:50

From: http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/Knowledgebase.html?catid=369


Recall NTB06-051A

22nd Aug 2009, 23:55

This is perplexing to me. I have the 03 bought it in 07 no problems unless I DON'T CHANGE THE OIL ON TIME! BTW that Lucas cleaner stuff that goes in the gas tank works great. The recall work has been done and no problems so far. Great car, 128k, I check my SES light myself and have had sensor issues, but a quick oil change ALWAYS fixes it. This is a great car, no complaints. Lets all not be so whiny cause not all the Altimas are broke or suck.