CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2013 Nissan Altima has multiple problem trends including the CVT transmission, and now that this model is out of warranty, it earns our "avoid like the plague" badge.

Owners complain about vibration and transmission failure related to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), a whining noise from the power steering pump, and constant windshield problems that appear to be the result of poor design.

Be warned: the 2014 & 2015 Nissan Altima appears to share these same problems.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,319 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2013 Nissan Altima drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #52

Apr 122014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 31,764 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Cvt transmission failure. This is an event in which the automobile transmission and throttle simply stops working while the car is being driven. I experienced this event this past Saturday on a trip into boston. It is quite terrifying to be driving along in the middle of traffic and have your car stop functioning with respect to having no power or gears such that you have no control or ability to make the car respond.

- Portsmouth, NH, USA

problem #51

Mar 032014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 22,170 miles
While leaving a stop, the vehicle was moving at about 5 mph and when I pressed down on the accelerator to move forward the engine RPM went to 5000rpm but the vehicle failed to accelerate. It maintained the constant speed of approximately 5 mph. After backing off on the accelerator and then pressing down on the accelerator again the car accelerated. This event has occurred three times in the past month. I have taken the vehicle to the dealership to determine the problem but they could not duplicate the problem. This is not an isolated incident and I consider the fact that the vehicle may fail to respond to a need for increased speed a safety issue.

- La Vernia , TX, USA

problem #50

Mar 042014

Altima

  • 22,000 miles
11 month old car. 22,000 miles. Transmission failure. Car would start - but stalls out when placed in gear.

- Hammonton, NJ, USA

problem #49

Jun 182013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 3,600 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Altima 2.5L eng. Engine vibrations/cvt shuttering started approx. 3600 miles but has continually gotten worse with more miles (7000 mi 12/31/13). Vibrations felt at 1500-2000 RPM (enough to shake the dash components), then vibration goes away. Slight acceleration under load at 1500-2000 RPM and at any speed (20-30, 40-55, 72 mph) will result in vibrations (everytime). Had Nissan service writer ride with me, then he drove the vehicle and confirmed the vibrations. Said to return next week Jan 2014 to further document. Guess what, he said they haven't had this problem"?" however, this problem has been reported to Nissan many times over this past year. I now believe this vibration is coming from the eng not from the cvt since I can feel the vibrations when the vehicle is stopped (in park or in neutral). Nissan has an engineering design problem they have been unable to resolve and fail to admit.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #48

Nov 212012

Altima

  • 3,000 miles
Noticed car shaking violently while coasting at about 17 mph and then accelerating. Contacted dealership. Was told that it is a defect with the torque converter that causes it to shift between gears at about 28 mph. I told them that mine was happening at about 17 or 18 mph. Was told they were looking into it. Called again about a week later, was told that it was a design flaw and Nissan was not going to do anything about it.

- St. Augustine, FL, USA

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problem #47

Jun 052013

Altima

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle failed to shift into gear and there was a sudden increase in engine rpms. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 36,000.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #46

Jun 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 3,600 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Altima 2.5L eng. Problem: Engine vibrations/cvt shuttering since approx. 3600 miles, but has continually gotten worse with more miles (7000 mi 12/31/13). Vibrations felt at 1500-2000 rpms (enough to shake and vibrate the dash components), then vibration goes away. Slight acceleration under load at 1500-2000 rpms and at any speed (20-30, 40-55, 72 mph) will result in droning/vibrations (everytime). Had Nissan service mgr. Ride with me, then he drove the vehicle and confirmed the vibrations. He said to return the vehicle in Jan 2014 to further document this problem that Nissan does not admit exists. However, this problem has been reported to Nissan many times over this past year (2013). I now believe this vibration is coming from the engine and not from the cvt since I can feel vibrations 1500-2000 RPM even when the vehicle is stopped (in park or in neutral). Update: 1/08/14 Nissan dealer replaced engine alternator, problem still exists, no change in vibrations. 1/10/14 Nissan replaced tensioner and engine serpentine belt, problem still exists, no change in vibrations. 1/13/14 filed complaint with Nissan Consumer Affairs.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #45

Nov 302013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 13,657 miles
Car is vibrating when going 40 mph. Vibration also occurring after long drives and then coming to a stop. Car will shake. It is not happening all the time, but is nerve racking when it does. Intermittent issue with the key id not being recognized when entering the car when the doors are locked and you press the unlock button on the door handle. Or when getting into an unlocked car the key is not recognized. Lock the doors and auto start the car button on the key fob not starting the car. Happening on both key fobs. Headlights during long trip were dimming, then would brighten. This during a 6 hour drive. Gas mileage has dropped from 38.4 mpg to 33.1 mpg highway driving. Same issue with around town about 5 mpg drop. Mileage seems to differ when filling up car. Goes from over 600+ miles to around 580+ miles. Not sure why when you fill it all the way up the mileage is not the same. Tire pressure seems to differ. Not sure that is reliable reading.

- Holland, MI, USA

problem #44

Mar 172013

Altima

  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle abnormally swayed back and forth. The vehicle was easier to control once the speed decelerated to 50 mph and below. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The technician stated that it was a manufacturing defect. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #43

Sep 032013

Altima

  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the torque converter would remain locked until the vehicle came to a stop. In order to maintain the torque converter in the locked position, the rpms would have to be high above 1,000, which the contact stated that the normal idle was 750. The contact stated that the brakes were also prematurely wearing due to the engine not assisting in decelerating. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was advised that the vehicle was performing as designed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 4,000.

- Agoura Hills, CA, USA

problem #42

Sep 172013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 1,700 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Sporadically when starting car (from a cold start or after 2 hours) the rpms will do the normal going up then slowly down and then lower once in gear; however, once started to drive and stop the car will shake and appear to be trying to choke....took to service dept could not duplicate the problem and nothing is in the log.....took to dealership while problem occurring the mechanic felt the shaking and the big bump and said the idle rpms needed to be changed to higher level within 36 hours the car would do the same sporadic problem just at a higher RPM......took it to dealership again left overnight they did not find a problem stated everything is normal and the salesperson demo supposedly does the same thing (which it started normal).

- Alexandria, LA, USA

problem #41

Aug 232013

Altima

  • 10,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph when the vehicle down shifted automatically. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle would jolt forward and exhibit an abnormal banging noise when the air conditioner was activated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 10,500. The VIN was not available.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #40

May 152013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The contact stated that while using the air conditioner and coasting from 45 mph to 35 mph, the vehicle downshifted hard enough to jolt the car. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The mechanic and service manager test drove the vehicle and stated when inspecting the vehicle the failure could not be duplicated. It was recommended to bring the car back when the problem recurred. The failure recurred numerous times. Around 20000 miles the hard shifting also began to occur while the car was accelerating. The owner requested to bring the car to the dealership while the incident was occurring, but the dealership declined as they were busy and to call back after the holiday. When the owner called back after the holiday, the service person asked if the car felt like it was shifting hard. The owner stated yes, and was told that this feeling is normal in a cvt transmission and there was no need to bring the vehicle into the dealership. The car shifts so hard, sometimes the tires squeal. This happens often in traffic and will cause an accident, especially in icy or wet conditions. To date, the vehicle had not been repaired.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #39

Jul 012013

Altima

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle shook violently without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the part needed to complete the repair was on back order. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000 and the current mileage was 16,300.

- Kent , WA, USA

problem #38

May 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
We first began noticing what felt like a hard downshift when coasting at speeds under 50 mph. The problem was first diagnosed as a antilock brake programming error, but repairs did not solve the problem and the severity increased. When traveling at a speed of 30 - 45 mph and we'd take our foot off the accelerator, it almost felt like we were being rear-ended. It became clear that this was a problem with the new continuous acceleration transmission (I.e., no shift). Once the maintenance technician felt the problem when it happened, a new transmission was ordered and installed (approx. At 10,000 miles). After the new transmission was installed, we had no problems until around 15,000 miles, when the problem resurfaced. We took it back in for repairs, as the vehicle is not safe to drive with such a hard jerking problem. They tried replacing the transmission controller, but that also did not work. When they told us that they were going to need to install another new transmission we told them we didn't want the car any longer. The dealership worked on our behalf to try to get help from Nissan for a new vehicle, but with very little success. Fortunately, our dealership still did the right thing and we have a new vehicle.

- Satsuma, FL, USA

problem #37

Jun 032013

Altima

  • 1,100 miles
The best I can do to explain the problem I am having with my 2013 Altima is to compare it to the jerking you will experience in a stick shift vehicle if you do not clutch and shift properly almost causing the vehicle to stop. Once I was entering onto the highway, the car acted as if the parking brake was applied while driving. I took my car to the dealer from which I purchased it (St.clair auto mall), the mechanic drove it and almost immediately he experienced the problem. We drove back to the dealership (service dept.). he looked up some information in the computer, said diagnostics tests were ran but the test(s) turned up nothing. And also there were no lights on the dash indicating a problem. So, for that reason nothing could be done.

- Ofallon, IL, USA

problem #36

Jan 232013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 8,324 miles
Noticed problem back in Jan. Car would make a banging noise & jolt forward when coasting to a stop. Same problem also occurs when stopping and going to accelerate after stop. Have take car to dealer I purchased it at 5 times & was told there was nothing wrong, they could not duplicate the issue I was having. On July 11, 2013 the technician took the car home & they finally and was able to document the issue was real and now a new transmission is required! in Dec 2012 there was a recall done on the tcm that's when the problem started after recall.

- Clifton Heights, PA, USA

problem #35

May 202013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 800 miles
Resuming after a stop the car was sluggish. It felt like the transmission was slipping. There were several strong jerking motions for a few seconds. Then when it fully engaged the car lurched forward at a higher than expected speed. I did not have enough reaction time to brake and I hit the car in front of me. I didn't realize what had happened at the time but since then the car has done the same thing starting out from a stop. It happens several times a week. I have to leave plenty of distance between me and the car in front to avoid another accident.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #34

Jun 072013

Altima

  • 800 miles
Turning right from a stop and as I was accelerating, had violent thunk and vibration in car with loss if acceleration for 1-2 seconds. Before and after that, consistently experience vibration/shudder and decreased acceleration at about 20mph when I let off the gas or don't continue with same level of acceleration.

- Swansea, IL, USA

problem #33

Mar 022013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
The cvt transmission causes the vehicle to shutter and vibrate at light acceleration between 1200-2000 rpms. I have contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs division 800-343-6913 ext457206 several times and have case #'s [xxx] and [xxx] on two separate vehicles with the same issue. I have been told repeatedly that Nissan engineers are aware of the problem and are working on a solution. There are many, many complaints of this same issue on several web sites. I have heard nothing since 3/26/2013 from Nissan in regards to my complaint. I have had my car in for service at orland park nisan, orland park, il and have also contacted them numerous times to see if there was any repair that has been issued to rectify this problem. They acknowledge and are aware of this problem. There answer is they have done the recommended service bulletins sent to them from Nissan to repair this problem. There is absolutely no difference in the performance of the vehicle after performing these repairs. Nissan knows they have a problem and should be forced to stand behind the performance of their product. Please help!!!!!!!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Romeoville, IL, USA

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