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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2013 Nissan Altima is showing multiple early problem trends, prompting us to give it our “beware of this clunker” badge.

Owners are complaining about a whining noise from the power steering pump and a concerning amount vibration related to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Not to mention constant windshield problems that appear to be the result of poor design.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,899 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #42

Aug 122012


  • 7,996 miles


When turning my car cut off a few different times and you can hear a pop noise when turning coming from the right tire, I took may car to Nissan I was advised that they couldnt find a code and didnt no why it cut off, and didnt hear the noise, or feel the slack in the steering wheel, my car was there at 7996 miles and out at 7996 miles which means no one test drove the car to even try to see what was going on they did a so called dianogtic which the check engine light didnt even come on. And I was told they drove my car to see what I was talking about. 4 months later it do the same thing but being that they didnt do what they said the first time I didnt take it back. In 12/14 it did it again while getting on and off the freeway and coming to a stop took it to Nissan and was told I needed a air filter which was changed 2 oil changes before this happened. Took it home and it cut off many more times, now 4/15 it did it again but worse sitting in traffic it cut off and everytime I start it and put in drive it cut of but will go in reverse and it jerk really bad, and when it do go its hesitate and when smashing on the gas it takes a long time to go then takes off when it decides to. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and was advised they were going to call to where I take my car to 3 days later I get a call back and was advised to call Nissan and go have a dianogstic, like it was set up. When I asked for the name I was giving that Consumer Affairs was talking to she didnt have a clue to what I was talking about, when I called the lady I been talking to at Consumer Affairs I didnt get a answer nor a call back. But im sure they will not find anything wrong with my car due to no one will drive it to see what it do. Im scared to drive my car due to it may stop and someone can hit me or being that when smashing on the gas it take off when it want to and I can hit someone.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #41

Mar 032015


  • 65,000 miles
Car was purchased on 2/27/2015. Left the car lot and went back to have tire sensor replaced after 30 minutes of driving. On 3/3/2015, my husband was in the car when it stopped at a red light and wouldn't move. The engine would start but wouldn't move. Called dealership. They sent a tow truck and got us a rental car. After a couple of days, was told that the torque converter was gone in the transmission. This was replaced costing me $100 deductible. All of this before my first car note is paid.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #40

Jun 182013


  • 9,977 miles
My car have some some issue I took the car complaining about the pax light airbag ntsa num 14V138000 but as of now the problem exist and another ntsa 13V069000 occupant detection system may disable pas airbag and this problem still exist on my car and another problem that I have my car has 3 new transmissions and only has 24763 miles.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #39

Feb 222015


  • miles


Ongoing hard starting when wet or cold. Finally started after grinding for about 3 minutes. Ran rough awhile.engine light on now. Runs ok for now. Suspect crank or cam sensors. Just turned 50K miles. My 97 Altima is more reliable. Anyone else reporting problems like this? this is rediculess.

- Morgantownn, WV, USA

problem #38

Aug 222014


  • 30,733 miles
Wife was driving West bound on Ohio St rt 125 doing 40 mph when a car going East bound on Ohio St rt 125 attempted to make a left hand turn in front of her and hit her head on bringing the car to a complete stop in just a couple feet. None of the airbags went off. The seatbelt did not lock up. None of the safety equipment on this car worked during this head on collision.... updated 02/19/15

- Bethel, OH, USA

problem #37

Sep 162014


  • 32,000 miles
This card start shuddering and with enough vibration to shake the cabin dashboard. Vehicle start shuddering around: 20 / 40 / 55mph when RPM stay around 1500 -- 2000 RPM. With light accelaration, the car will shudder just like with a stick shift with 1 gear higher. Very annoying. Nissan dealer offer no help. First was replace a alternator, but after 10000 miles, it come back again. And the car still suddering with enough vibration to make you crazy and tire of it. The transmission should on a recall.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #36

Jan 082015


  • 57,000 miles


January the 8th I was driving from work to home my job is about 30 miles from my home. I was driving no faster than 50-45 miles an hour due to construction in the areas on my way home. There are cameras at the lights in a city 7 miles before my city. If you go over the line a bit they take pictures of your license plate and send you a picture and ticket in the mail with an image of you going over the line indicating you've run a red light. So I pressed on the breaks to slow down as the light turned yellow to assure I did not go over the line. As I slowed down my car jerked I had a 2011 Altima that did the same thing so I was thinking its nothing its how the transmission runs. But within a 12-15 feet distance I stopped as I completely came to a stop my car jerked forward, the brakes locked up, hazard lights on the dash showed up, and the engine shut off. I could not get my car to drive forward it was embarrassing as cars honked for me to drive. I returned my car to Nissan and they updated some recalls. Then stated their system is not showing in issues. This has occurred multiple times and once I was on a hill the car was in drive and it started rolling backwards. I hope the recalls they have fixed resolves the issue I am scared that the car will die and cut off while I am on a busy highway. I hope and pray my issues are resolved and, I do not get crushed in a collision.

- Taylor, TX, USA

problem #35

Nov 012014


  • 24,000 miles
I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima S from carmax on 10/5/14. The car was suppose to be a birthday present to myself seeing as though I had not purchased a car in 12 years. I was very excited, but shortly after purchasing the Altima, I started to hear squealing coming from the brakes, and also roaring and rumbling which started in the front of the car, and proceeded to the center. I also complained about the car locking up and driving sluggish, and then releasing once the rumbling briefly stopped. I am also hearing an annoying whining sound coming from the right side of the vehicle. When I took the car back to carmax, they told me the roaring was coming from my windshield washer compartment that was loose, and that my brakes were fixed. Needless to say, I left and drove around the corner, and the squealing brakes and roaring came back. I took the car to a Nissan dealership in my area, and after telling them about the roaring and the whining, the service manager told me that he's quite familiar with the sound, and there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. He stated that the whining sound is coming from the power steering and the roaring is coming from the way I am driving the vehicle. How dare he! I only had the vehicle for a month before I took it to the Nissan dealership. He would not even try to look into the list of issues I requested to be fixed. The Nissan manager told me to go back to carmax or I would have to pay for the brakes to be fixed, and even charged me to rotate my tires. I left paying him for a service that I did not originally come in for. I went back to carmax and they finally fixed my brakes, but still could not find anything wrong that would cause the extremely annoying roaring and whining noises. This has been a nightmare, and I am thinking about taking legal action.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #34

Oct 272014


  • 27,000 miles
I have these issues everyday driving this car. Shuttering at low RPM when accelerating or decelerating, noticeable delay in gears shifting when shuttering is occurring between 1200 and 1800 RPM. RPM's increase rapidly(sharp spike) when car is going down hill but does not allow the car to gain speed. The ramping of RPM's is loud and resembles when you hit gas to accelerate to enter a highway only you are not getting the acceleration in speed. Also coming up hill the car gives off a burning smell. I have not located the source of the burning smell and it goes away after going back to flatter terrain for awhile. The smell lingers enough to cause concern.

- Thurmont, MD, USA

problem #33

Nov 102014


  • 6,266 miles
I was trying to get into my car to get to work. The key fob was not working at all, the das was telling me that my key I'd was incorrect. It took several hours and the car finally started. I called Nissan and they told me it was my battery. I have since changed my battery and still am having the problem. Tonight I was stuck outside of my car for hours B4 it would open.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #32

Nov 142014


  • 63,000 miles


On Friday 14, 2014 approximately8:33 P.M. I was driving down N. tyron St in charlotte, nc in traffic when my car shut down automatically due to the key not being detected. The key was in the car with me and then a lady miss hitting me in the rear by a inch; due to my car just cutting off indicating my key was not in the car. I tried to start the car again and it would not start back up when I press the start key and the brake at the same time time; it will say the key is not being detected. When I press the automatic start button on the key, the car would start up but when I press the start button and the brake together it cut off and the say thing comes up on the dashboard. Then once it did cut on when I tried to put the car in drive the cuts off and says the key is not being detected. This a safety issues and very dangerous, if the lady behind me was not paying attention it would of been a bad accident. I don't trust my car and I am afraid to drive it again. When I called Nissan they didn't know anything and did not assist me until the following Wednesday 19,2014 and I have been without a car since. No customer service or concern about their customers well-being at all. It been 12 recalls on my vehicle, I have not received any notification of any of them by capital Nissan of wilmington or the regional office.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #31

Apr 152013


  • 8,515 miles
I have a new 2013 Nissan Altima sl V6 I have had several problems with this new car. Blind side warning, and traction control light stayed on one time. My car wouldn't start up several times after walking up to the car and pressing the button on the door. The key wouldn't unlock the doors, it wouldn't auto start the car. I had to wait to get in my car, I actually had to stick my key in the door to get in the car. When I did finally get in the car and try to start it nothing happened, it said no key this is dangerous I am a female god forbids somebody tries to rape or kill me and I am not able to get away in my new car that I pay all this money for every month. The dashboard says: Key not detected or no key, or incorrect key id. My car has been in and out of the shop and they still doesn't know what's wrong. I've recently went to a different dealer hoping they can work on my car and get me the results I'm looking for... I completely hate this car because it has been N the shop more times than my last car. All they kept saying was more computer problems. I got my car 12/2012 and my car has been in the shop over 20 times with lots of issues. I'm still within my 36000 warranty. I also hear a clicking noise in the front tire. Dealership replaced some bolts and greased it as well. They said it needed grease.. the noise has came back about 2 weeks later!! its time consuming to keep going back to the dealership to get repairs!! but I have to do it. I had the recall for air bags but it still didn't register an adult who sat in the front seat who weighed about 103 lbs. So his air bag wouldn't deploy if we got in an accident. That isn't safe at all.. pls fix and change that feature for the sake of smaller adults. Nissan shouldn't restrict the weight of a front seat passenger.. all these problems.... I will be opening up a lemon law case!! this is ridiculous!!!!

- Landover Hills, MD, USA

problem #30

Oct 102014


  • 30,330 miles
Smoke, then fire. Engine burned up. Vehicle "totalled."

- Freehold, NJ, USA

problem #29

Jun 162014


  • 24,000 miles
While slowing down for an intersection all electronics on car stopped with no warning and motor shut down. No indicator lights on dash. Car became completely malfunctioning in an instant. No power breaks or steering, dash lights, console display or ignition on indicator. Got car to a stop. Put the car in park and restarted with no errors or indications that the car mechanically and electronically just died. Clock was set to the correct time but trip odometer and many other customized settings were reset. Acted as if the ECM did a reset while driving.

- Hudson Falls , NY, USA

problem #28

Jun 112014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 67,725 miles
I was driving my car on the highway when it started to shutter. It was first happening on inclines then all the time. It eventually just slowed down and I had to quickly exit to avoid getting stuck in the middle of the highway. I have brought the shuttering/jerking issue to the dealer previously and was told that no issue was found. Now I am told that I have to replace the transmission which is $3,500. After doing some internet searches I learned that several other drivers are having issues with the transmission on their "new" Nissan Altima (2013).

- Mahopac, NY, USA

problem #27

May 102014


  • 70,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph on uneven pavement, all of the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel and there was a burning odor. The vehicle was powered off and smoke emitted from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 70,600.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #26

Dec 092013


  • 17,000 miles
Car shakes at 1900 RPM (everytime you pass by 1900rpm) and when stopped at light (when you have brakes applied). This vibration can be feeled by driver & passenger and whole car shakes. I had it pointed out during the servicing/oil changes to Nissan technician and all I got is "it is normal for cvt so car will vibrate". this vibration is a safety issue as on an avg I driver the car for an hour a day. And if I stop at lights for 10 minutes on an avg, then I am exposing my self to this vibration for that much time a day which is bad. Its specially bad for my legs. Nissan does not have a fix at the moment for this issue but I epxect a brand new car not to vibrate as horrible as this. My 10 year old car was much smoother then this. The overall experiance is horrible and will advise all to stay away from Nissan because they are not admitting the problem and they dont have the solution for such a problem. This is a safety issue when you consider the effects on long term exposure and I feel goverment should do something about it.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #25

Jun 182013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
When I drive my car in the city, sometimes it will goes "numb", in other words doesn't response to my commands when speed is 30mph+RPM is 2K or speed is 20mph+RPM is 1.5K.(only at these two unique combination, e.g. is the speed is 30mph+rph is 1.5K, the issue will not occur). Either applying gas or brake doesn't work as I when my car is functioning normally. The duration of this "numb" issue is usually abt 10-15 min, and often happens when I use my car from cold start.(but that usually happens after a warm-up of 5min and being on the road for abt 10-15min). When the issue happens, I feel like something is controlling my car instead of me and my car doesnt listen to me, e.g. my car was going downhill smoothly and all of a sudden it goes numb, I was trying to make the speed lower than 30 mph but wasn't able to, luckily it finally slow down when I applied a hard brake that make the vehicle almost stopped. The operation and safety issue annoys me. Sometimes it gave me sudden pause on the road(20-30 mph speed). I have took my car to dealership 4 times since June 2013, my transmission system got reprogrammed 2 times. 12/30/2013, I was driving on the high way and the brake light came on, after that my car started operating weird (feels like lack of power). Took my car to dealership the next day and got transmission reprogrammed, plus some parts changed (I don't know what they exactly changed). Almost everyday, I experience my car goes "numb" out of nowhere, and had to live with it being unable to control my car when it happens because Nissan blames the "cold" weather in California and my sensitivity in driving.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #24

Oct 122013


  • 2,500 miles
I bought my 1st 2013 Nissan on August 18, 2023 and it had approx. 3,000 miles on it at the time of purchase. After a few days, I noticed a sputtering in the car when de-accelerating and also when accelerating. After 10 days it had got so bad, I took the car back to the dealer. Luckily, it happened very badly when they drove the car. I spoke with the store manager and he agreed to give me a new car with less than 100 miles on it. Low and behold. The new car started sputtering very little (hardly noticeable) after about 2,000 miles. Trying to give the car the benefit of the doubt, I didn't take it back. Fast forward, ,,,,,,the car now has 14,000 miles and is sputtering more and more. I also noticed that the car sometimes smells as if it is running a little hot when I get out of the car. I am taking the car in this weekend and hopefully the sputtering will be recreated. If not, I will continue to take the car back when it sputters and make certain to get documentation each time I take it in. This is terrible and I don't want to be stuck with a car with issues such as this. I am 64 years of age and this was supposed to be my retirement car.....a new car without car problems, as I don't need to be trying to pay for major car repairs on a fixed income!!!

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #23

Nov 212012


  • 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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