2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V from North America - Comments

28th May 2009, 20:17

This is the absolute worst car my father and I have ever bought combined. Do not buy this car.

31st May 2009, 19:23

I agree with you all. I had all the problems almost you all experienced. I had to replace my engine, if anyone has any idea on how to get back at Nissan?

12th Jun 2009, 12:38

I own a 2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R and it now has 215,000 miles on it.

The only problems I've had is with the computer and probably ran about $1,000 in repairs. Other than that I've had just routine maintenance: tires, brakes, oil, etc.

I'm sorry for the people who've had so many problems.

23rd Jun 2009, 07:39

I own a SENTRA 2002 QR25DE and now I live in Mexico. Drove from New Jersey. Now my problem is the control module or computer, because my car starts up, but cannot walk at all.

I speed up, but the engine stops. They say the computer must reprogrammed. Can anybody tell me the price and place in the states I can buy one for my 2.5 QR25DE Sentra 2002? I appreciate it.

9th Jul 2009, 19:30

Hi, my name is Andy D, and me and my wife own a 2002 Nissan Sentra SeR. We got it brand new in 2002.

When the car was about 6 months old, it was very hard to start. We took it to 2 dealers; they said they could not find the problem.

When the tire blew on the way home from work, we took it back to the dealership, and asked them to look at the starting problem again. They said it was the fuel pump - $500. Had to pay for it myself as it now had 40,000 miles on it.

The horn went bad too, and so did the CD player.

Computer has been replaced 2 times. The car now has 55,000 miles on it and it uses oil, also the fuel pump is going out again.

I agree cars that come from Mexico are junk. Examples of this are Ford Focus, VW Beetle, Rabbit, Golf; all of these cars have very streaky quality. NISSAN, NEVER AGAIN.

20th Aug 2009, 21:16

I also carry computers for these sentra's from years 2001 2002 and 2003. My computer ECM's are guaranteed so giver me a call. 800-649-9936.

6th Sep 2009, 23:07

02 Nissan Sentra SE-R = the worst car I or anyone I know has ever owned.

The problems started day one when I bought it brand new.

First minor problems: switches stuck, vent fans jammed, power windows not working, etc. Nothing too bad, just annoying.

About a year into owning this nightmare is when the real problems started. Not only was it recalled 3 times in a 6 month period, the dealer was as unhelpful as possible not giving me a loaner and taking there sweet time in fixing the problem.

Then random parts literally started falling off the car. Just 3 years into ownership and the computer and A/C went.

Now the car has 95k miles on it and it's basically DONE. New engine needed, trunk is rusting through, and apparently the frame is starting to bend due to parking on my slanted driveway. I probably could have built a better quality car myself. Nissan - NEVER AGAIN!

23rd Apr 2010, 19:33

I have a 2002 Nissan Sentra SeR. Have had some of the same problems as you all, yet I also understand that only the displeased owners post the problems.

One thing to keep in mind; Nissan built how many tens of thousands of these cars, they can't all be perfect and trouble free. Cars break down. PERIOD. Manufacturers don't claim their cars last forever, they guarantee them for the stated warranty coverage in the owners manual. Be mad at yourself for not reading it.

If you bought it used at a car lot, I'm sure you were offered the option of an extended warranty for an additional cost. I bought one when I purchased my car, $1,700 well spent, trans failed, $50.00 deductible. Head gasket failed, $50.00 deductible. Head gasket blew again, warranty supplied used 22k engine. $50.00 deductible. Receipts for total repairs $4765.00.

24th May 2010, 00:49

I agree with everyone who says Nissans are no good. I am a mechanic and I see nothing but problems with these cars. I'm not trying to advertise for other car makers, but I promise you if you buy a Nissan or any Korean car, you will be very sorry.

This site is absolutely great for getting a good idea of what to expect for all cars. God bless carsurvey dot org!

5th Jul 2010, 21:47

Cars made in different countries follow exactly what their bosses tell them to do. Doesn't matter if the car is American, Japanese, Korean or German.

It is the design and the poor parts that they are buying from suppliers that have to cut their prices to the lowest level, just to survive.

I bought a new Honda Accord, and the quality compared with the previous years (2007-20010) is poor.

I do know what to buy next time, because seems to be that all the cars (and trucks) are coming with more problems than ever.

My daughter went to California in her 2003 Sentra SER and got stuck in the freeway, because of a failure with of a new alternator installed 8 months ago.

The third alternator ($483.00) was installed and one week later the computer ($1089.36) stopped working.

What else is coming? I asked my daughter to sell the car and I hope to find something better than Nissan.

8th Jul 2010, 21:47

Thank everybody for posting this stuff. I was considering an 03 Spec-V, and am glad to hear these reviews before making a mistake.

2nd Aug 2010, 17:40

What else is coming?... I haven't had the blown head gasket yet and hopefully don't.. but I did have the timing chain tensioner go.. the part was about $150, the labor was 13 hours!!.. And as if that wasn't bad enough, after they finished, the car wouldn't start. ECM issue most of you already discussed.. Total to get my car back after those two problems, $2,300..

That was a year ago.. oil burns like crazy, watch it like a hawk now so I don't run into the timing chain problem again, because that is what apparently caused the issue. So if you have this car, stay on top of the oil level. Even better yet, buy an aftermarket header before the problem starts.

18th Aug 2010, 16:08

I have also had a few of the same problems with my 02 Spec-V. The most major being the oil consumption at 98000 km. Was told when I replaced the motor to put an aftermarket header on it, and it should be fine, knock on wood. Put on a hot shot header, and full aftermarket exhaust; haven't had a problem since. The car now has 225000 on her, and still works better than when she had 95000.

11th Oct 2010, 22:29

I own a 2002 Sentra 1.8. Thought it was great for the first 5 years, until I had to pay the dealer $308.00 to tell me my mileage and idling problem is the computer. They would gladly repair it for $1800+. I don't think the car is worth this much, so I asked for the numbers off the computer, so maybe I could find a used one. They said they don't know the numbers, but were willing to order me a new one. Remember, I already paid $308.00.

So I phoned the Western division of Canada for some answers. They replied I would have to get along with the dealer. Only one in our area. The small dealer we had for years tried to please the people, but these large AUTO Group dealers only want volume and money, they can care less about where the money comes from, and I think they want you to give up and buy another one. I just did, but NEVER another Nissan, and stay away from auto groups.

3rd May 2011, 13:32

Well I'd say you saved yourself 3000, but then again, an 8 year old car shouldn't have those kind of big repairs/problems.

I was gonna by a nice 03 SER, but after reading about all the problems, I'll stick with a Honda.

26th Mar 2013, 17:03

My 2003 SE-R has 113k and still rips... even though it has been rolled... LOL.

21st Mar 2014, 16:59

I bought my 02 Spec V with 94k miles. Now has 146k 5 years later.

LOTS of annoying little problems.

2 rear brake calipers, horn, 2 window motors, serpentine belt tensioner broke yesterday LOL, flex pipe goes all the time, exhaust leaks are constant and expensive.

Replaced trans, clutch and flywheel a thousand miles ago.

It came with aftermarket equal length headers and is pretty zippy.

No problem with oil consumption; thank God that's the only thing I haven't had a problem with.

Check engine light has been on for 5 years.

A/C compressor had seized and broke the serpentine belt and left me stranded.

Alternator just replaced, steering rack leaked a quart a week from when I bought it. Thank god for Lucas stop leak!

Gas mileage is terrible for a 4 cylinder.

But all in all, I love the car. Gonna keep it a while longer till I can afford that Mustang.... Which may be impossible with this money pit LOL. Ahhhh, lottery please...

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