2003 Nissan Sentra SE-r Spec V 2.5 from North America


Good car, just needs some help..


I bought my cay from a college student who didn't really drive it. He did not run it hard, it was more or less his little commuter car to home and around town. When I bought it from him, it had 55k miles. I liked the fact that it was fast, and had 4 doors, was a manual and good on gas.

I picked it up, drove home 3 hours, it drove fine.. I had my car for about 3 thousand miles and I started noticing the rpms would just stay at 0 when I was driving, and I felt like it was holding back. Once in awhile had a hard time starting. Finally I was driving to work and just turned off and the check engine light came on. I took it into the shop - they told me it was the crank sensor. So I had that replaced.

Drove it for about 3 months, and this time check engine light came on again with a rattling, and it would shake. When I was driving home one night it just shut off. I figured it was the same problem that it was before. I hooked it to scanner and it said random cylinder misfire. I'm cheap and not too sure on the warranties because of buying it from a personal buyer, so I had my cousin look at it. The spark plug was just destroyed. Had those all replaced and he also checked my oil. Oil was low, but I didn't need a an oil change. Him being a mechanic, he gave me a whole tune-up.

That lasted about a month until the same thing happened. So we checked the spark plugs and this time it was a different spark plug, with the sensor scanner saying misfire again. This time the new spark plugs lasted a good half a day. Now it's sitting in front of my house. I feel like I keep putting money into something that doesn't stay fixed...

I do tend to drive it hard, but not to the point where all this should be happening. I love the car and like everything about it. How it handles, it's roomy, the stereo systems hits hard, everything works great. It's just the engine.

I need help or advice on what I should do because I do not have warranties on it any longer. I'm wondering if I bought a lemon and this is always going to happen? Should I just replace everything that I think it could be? The coils, the cats, obviously the spark plugs... not sure what else..

Another thing; when I took the spark plug out you can see oil by the piston..?? I didn't think that it was supposed to be in there.. it looks almost like burnt.

This is my first car and I thought it was a good choice.. I hope to fix it and keep it for awhile...

General Comments:

This car to me seems like a good car. It just has things on it that need to be replaced or just done aftermarket as soon as you get it.

After reading what others have to say about the SE-r Spec V.. either it runs good or it's a "lemon". I'm hoping to fix it and keep it fixed if it is a "lemon".

Please email me with advice or any comments.


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th March, 2009

4th Nov 2009, 18:19

I have the same year and model SpecV. I have the same problem with the spark plugs and also a coil plug burning up. I have replaced the same coil plug twice now in the matter of a month. I would say it's a manufacturer default given the comparison. That model car also had a ECU recall.

2003 Nissan Sentra SER Spec V 2.5 from North America


A car with an expiration date, best before 30k


Troubles with the car first started with the tires. After 10k my tires needed to be replaced. I was told that my tires would need to be rotated at 6k and that would extend the life of my tires. Yeah I suppose, but nowhere past 15k.

Major trouble hit at about 65k. A faulty head gasket caused loss of coolant till my engine blew. Now from what I've read online, if that didn't kill my engine, the faulty cat converters usually break apart, get sucked into the engine, then blow the motor. I've seen several motors needing replacement on the same model car.

Just as my extended warranty was expiring, my heater core, thermostat, radiator, and A/C condenser all decided to go. So fortunately were covered by warranty, but each issue carried its own deductible, so that cost about $300. Not bad in the scope of things, but still not too happy to pay for it.

Last issue I have now is that my horn doesn't work. I got the power tested all the way to the horn and looks like the horn is bad.

General Comments:

The car was fun to drive and seemed like a great build for about the first 35k. But just after the factory warranty expires, it's like the milk went sour and things just fall apart.

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

Review Date: 18th December, 2008