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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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,127 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

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 #38

Sep 022013


  • 10 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel would drift to the right or left independently. The contact stated that when holding the steering wheel in place, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnosis. The technician was unable to locate a problem. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10.

- Delmar , MD, USA

problem #37

Jun 202014


  • 1,500 miles
When I test drove and purchased my vehicle, everything seemed great. It was a very short test drive though. Not even 1month after buying the car, I have problems with it. I noticed the suspension and steering to be not as tight or responsive (diminished) and also notice a lot of wander in the font end and understeer/oversteer. Along with the suspension and steering problems came the transmission shutter. At lower speed acceleration (approx. 25-40mph), there is a shutter or jumpy feeling. Took the car to Nissan multiple times to fix the problem and has yet to be done. My service tech has been able to duplicate all the problems, but Nissan tech line refuses to fix anything because "it is up to Nissan standards". in order for them to even begin to replace or work on anything, it has to meet certain circumstances (basically jump through hoops), even though it is a known problem with the car and has been duplicated by one of their own techs. I have contacted the BBB and have started arbitration to get this matter resolved. This entire ordeal has cost me time off work and about a total of 4weeks without my car.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #36

Jul 052014


  • 1,900 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle began to drift to the right and the steering wheel seized causing the contact to lose control of the vehicle. As a result, the contact crashed into a parked vehicle. The contact was not injured and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 1,900.

- Boiling Brook, IL, USA

problem #35

Sep 132013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while traveling 55 mph, the power steering failed. The power steering warning light illuminated. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 08/11/14

- Delmar, MD, USA

problem #34

Aug 012013


  • 40 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle veered from side to side and became uncontrollable. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 40 and the current mileage was 20,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #33

Jul 092012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100 miles


Within the first week of having the vehicle I noticed the car pulled to the left. Had the alignment fixed. 7 months later I had the car back in the shop because the passenger air bag light said the air bag was not turned on. This occurred with a 128 pound girl in the seat and on another occasion with a 215 pound man in the passenger seat. The dealership stated that there was no problem and that the air bag would deploy if necessary. Less than a month after that I still have the problem and now my elec. Stability did not start working till about 15 min of slipping around on snow while driving home from work. Ever since it finally came on the light now stays on the majority of the time and occasionally goes off but the roads have been both wet and completely dry when this occurs. Also now my steering wheel is tilted about 30 degrees to the left when I have my car driving on a straight away because my alignment has went completely off again but even worse than before.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #32

Nov 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
My Altima acts as if the alignment is out. At all speeds it drifts and I usually drive 55-70 on the highway and it will drift to the extreme right and left. I have to continue to steer left and right to keep it in between the lines of the direction I am traveling. If there is any wind I have to drive holding the wheel with both hands to keep it in my lane. I had a gust of wind cause my vehicle to travel in the oncoming lane because of the drift. This vehicle is a danger and life threatening to my family and me. I have taken it to Firestone for alignments and to landers mcclarty Nissan of huntsville Alabama and it remains a danger to my family. Alignments did not fix anything.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #31

Dec 032013


  • 26,300 miles
Nothing happen yet, but need to update and alert about a problem that can be dangerous.the Nissan Altima 2013 and 2014 have a new design for the power steering pump(electronic) this made a whisper sound inside of the cabin very high, when you drive from 0-30 miles. This continuous sound is irresistible and made you uncomforted when you drive.this is a safety concern and the decibels inside of cabin is too much.also my autistic child is very sensitive to this sound and react again.that can be so dangerous because they irritated again the sound(you can control) and after 30-35 is go.can you imagine have to drive all day on the city limits. I spoke with Nissan North America and they said is normal. Can we aware of the potential problem this can made, can we made the Nissan create a recall and try to solve this situation with the power steering sound inside of the cabin. Thanks

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #30

Nov 272013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 275 miles
There is a loud whining noise under the hood, directly behind the passenger side headlight. The noise became louder when the steering wheel was turned slightly in either direction. The noise came into the passenger compartment. Dealership said they were able to fix the whining noise coming into the passenger compartment. However; all 2013 Altima make this noise under the hood. The source can easily be identified by popping the hood and looking behind a small piece of sound absorbing material (which obviously doesn't work). Have been told this is a "characteristic" of the new electric steering and all Altima make this annoying sound.

- West Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #29

Mar 012013


  • miles


As many have already described, when driving at low speeds, the car emits a high pitch noise. This noise was not present when test driving the car and apparently only begins to manifest itself after having been driven a few hundred miles. When I brought the car in for the first attempt to fix it, we test drove a brand new car on the lot to compare the noise, and it did not make this noise. On my first attempt to fix the noise I was told there was a bulletin to address the problem but ultimately the bulletin did not solve the issue. We tried again.it appears that it is the bracket which is holding the pump in place that is causing the noise. When the mechanic removed the bracket, the noise disappeared. The bracket needed to be put back for safety reasons but as soon as we did, the noise reappeared. The mechanic ultimately did something that reduced the noise and I was happy. Unfortunately, the noise returned and when I brought it back, I was told that there was nothing to do. A regional person was going to be at the dealership the following week and I was asked to bring my car back for his assessment. His assessment was that the noise was normal. Nissan deems the noise normal because all the cars are producing the noise" that makes it normal??? the noise is unacceptable and had it presented itself during the drive, I would never have bought it. I shouldn't have to turn on my radio at a high volume in order not to hear the high pitch noise. It's embarrassing when I have passengers in the car who ask me what the noise is" I complained to Nissan customer satisfaction (that's a joke) who is telling me that if the dealership says that there is nothing to fix, then there is no problem.the mechanic said that mine is not an isolated issue and that others have brought their car in for the same problem. Corporate is taking no responsibility for this.this is not acceptable!

- Sharon, MA, USA

problem #28

Oct 012012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Purchased the vehicle 9/2012. Several weeks after driving, found the vehicle to have a steering problem. The car constantly wanders across the road, left, sometimes right. It requires you to hold the steering wheel with both hands with a very tight grip, otherwise you will end up in the next lane, off the road, or possibly into another vehicle. Also notice the car practically loses control with even the slightest wind, again this requires you to tightly hold the steering wheel. There has to be something wrong with this vehicle, it is dangerous to drive. I've returned the car 3 times to the dealer, with no results.

- Woodbine, GA, USA

problem #27

Apr 012013


  • 500 miles
I leased this vehicle 3/29/13. A couple weeks in it began making a loud whining noise. Dealership said it is "normal for electric power steering systems". it's not. There is not another line out there, foreign or domestic, that does it. It has been through the shop 4 times now for this issue. Currently I have a formal complaint filed with Nissan and am filing a lemon law claim. If they cannot determine the issue how can they determine that it is safe"?" vehicle seems to handle "loosely" at higher speeds also. It also randomly has issues on startup and my gas mileage seems to get worse as time goes by. Not to mention now that it's known in the market about this issue the value on my car has drastically decreased.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #26

Sep 152013


  • 200 miles
When driving between 2 to 25 mph hear loud high pitch whining sound from engine. This started after about 200 miles on vehicle. Vehicle had 51 miles on it when purchased. Dealer said this is normal it is the electric power assist system. The whining noise is very disturbing and distracting while driving. Such noise is not normal. Nissan needs to come up with a fix. Just purchased from dealer on 9/13/2013.

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #25

Nov 262012

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Safety concern, proper operation of air bags (SRS light on). This is a major safety concern. One month after purchasing a brand new Nissan Altima 2013, a major light indicator came on. This light brought up concerns. Are the air bags working properly" will the air bags deploy correctly upon impact? are the air bags working at all? will the air bags deploy while driving? will the air bags implode and affect the steering process? is this an indication that there is an electronic or electrical circuit malfunction? after buying a brand new vehicle, should I even have to deal with these issues, questions or concerns? in addition to the above safety concern, the list of electronic, electrical and mechanical issues continues for the newly bought vehicle. There was an issue with the power steering, the brake system, bubbling paint and concerns with the engine compartment and interior compartment of the above mentioned vehicle. All this is reflected in each of the invoices submitted for your perusal. In addition, upon starting the vehicle, it continuously has a rough idle, a rough start at times the vehicle stalls out. He is at a loss because who should he take his vehicle with this concern" all in all, sir all these vehicle discrepancies are troubling to have with a brand new Nissan Altima 2013 and all of these issues within the last nine months. Also, there were problems with the power steering, the brake system and concerns with the engine and interior compartments. In addition, upon starting the vehicle, it continuously had a rough idle, a rough start at all times and the vehicle would stall.

- Ojai, CA, USA

problem #24

Aug 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 4,300 miles
My family and I were heading down a major highway into a metro area for the evening and the power steering went out nearly causing me to hit a wall on an exit ramp. This is only one of several issues I have had with the vehicle, this one being the most serious. I will be seeking to return the vehicle for full refund as I do not believe this car is safe. Please push Nissan to resolve the issues.

- Aurora, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 212013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I first noticed it driving the car home from the dealership. I felt as though the front tires were moving in different directions at the same time and there is a metallic sound in the front end (can only hear when your next to barriers or bridges on the highway). The car drift is so bad I feel I will be pulled over for dui!!!! I was planning a trip that week to Texas with my grandchildren and I had already had an issue with the airbag light being on so I took the car back to the dealer to look at it, they couldn't get me in!!! I made my trip anyway and it was the scariest most dangerous trip I have ever made!!!! I was all over the highway on any straightaway, the slightest wind or another vehicle passing me would send me into the other lane. I finally was able to get the car into the dealer and advised them to take the car on the highway and listen for the noise as well at overpasses (when you have noise coming back at you) the rep came out and said that his tech could not find any thing wrong with the car and that it drives like all other Altima's! this is not true!! and they said they never heard the noise, which I find very hard to believe because I hear it all the time! the driverside front-end sounds like a 10 year old car when it hits a bump in the road or parking lot, like its shocks or something are bad... I am soooo disappointed in Nissan and with the Altima completely, what is the use having a beautiful car when it is a danger on the highway!!!!!!!!!! I will post on all websites about this car! it is dangerous!!!

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #22

Apr 162013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 15 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the steering wheel was very loose and that made it hard to keep the vehicle straight. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed an alignment. The contact stated that did not correct the problem. The failure mileage was 15 and the current mileage was 3,250.

- Wharton, NJ, USA

problem #21

Jun 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 75 miles
At highway speeds the car is difficult to control - very poor handling. A lot of sway in the steering and suspension. Car constantly drifts side to side at highway speeds requiring continuous steering correction. Not a mechanical or electrical malfunction, just poor handling.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #20

Jun 212013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
Car lost the control when I speed over 60 mile per hour. Feeling like losing control. I have to hold the steering with two hands. Difficult to stay in the lane. Feel like driving in windy condition.

- Rockville, MD, USA

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