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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
41,636 miles
Total Complaints:
106 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (34 reports)
  2. new transmission (33 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (15 reports)
  4. replace transmission (15 reports)
  5. complete cvt replacement (4 reports)
  6. cvt transmission failed; need replacement (3 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #106

Jan 222017

Altima SL 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 62,137 miles


I owned ALTIMA 13 v6 3.5 L, Purchased 29448$ first owner.

A very normal driver using vehicle going to work, i have never exceed 120 km speed. Every single service maintained only in nissan what ever parts required replace am always giving them approval by phone to get replaced. The care maintained extremely well. After warranty expired by 9 months ago, i was feeling small hesitation between (20~60) speeds, Ignored for while then it become daily not every 3 days. So i drop it to dealer and have small ride he said i couldn't see any issues so far, i told him i want full checkup and verify car has no problems. He said will charge you 92$. Agreed, after two days get call transmission failed you have to replace it and your warranty expired. Price for new transmission is 7163$ with lab chargers. I have declined it and open a case with nissan middle east. Got one more call that the cost would be divided on two you and us, i declined it. When met the general manager i have told him if you tell me the reason of getting this fail defiantly i would pay 7163$ now. He didn't answer my question, at the end he said it's CVT that's why !! Imagine you are a customer and authorized dealer saying that, what you will feel

Finally we agreed to pay 1326$ and rest will be handled by them. I have get new loan for this replacement. Just to let everybody knows loan on vehicle and a loan for transmission replacement for a vehicle less than 4 years old. Gearbox replaced, car with me, thinking of selling it, lost is big for me. I will never get altima or nissan in future for sure, i think if nissan trust this sh*t gear they would give 10 year warranty on gearbox minimum. It's really shame if you had a vehicle well maintained in agent and less than 4 years old getting major defect. I request nissan to refund amount paid, they stealing, what i have understood from people the new gearbox is generation 7 and my old one is gen 5. So, i think every one has generation 5 gear box he may face this problem soon. Nissan must replace their gearboxes for free, it's nothing with customer to let this happen. As i don't have the control to get this happens, and maintaning it perfectly i deserve full refund

- , Bah, Bahrain

problem #105

Dec 152016

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 56,000 miles

I have a 2013 Nissan Altima. I had experienced a shudder or hesitation when I both accelerate or decelerate, much like other drivers have experienced. However, I was driving on the highway today and got off the exit ramp. As I was approaching the light and close to a dead stop, my car stalled or "locked up". All lights were on but I had no power-steering and my check engine and battery light came on. The traffic behind me was having to complete to a quick halt as they got off the highway and weren't expecting to have to stop when there was a green light! I put the car in park and started it again. It started but then when I put it in drive, the same thing happened as it stalled. I repeated the process and the second time around, it sputtered and stayed on while in drive.

I quickly drove it to the Nissan dealer down the street and left it with them. They were closed and I have yet to talk to them but after reading up on it, I'm absolutely convinced that the sputtering and stall are a correlation of a bad CVT transmission. Luckily, I should still be covered by the warranty since I bought it in 2012 and only have 56,000 miles on it. Still it shouldn't be happening and could have really ended up causing an accident. I'm interested to see what the dealership will have to say!

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #104

Oct 272016

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 118,014 miles

Jeniffer thought she had a great car when she got this used Altima until it started lurching, and then missing gears while the engine raced. Then it would stall after coming to a stop then race just to engage and jump start. Took it to the Nissan dealer who supposedly did a diagnostic over 5 days, and after charging her for it, said there were no trouble codes, but that it had acted up once when he was driving it home. Told her with no trouble codes there was nothing he could do to help her and sent her back out on the road with the car in this same dangerous state. She needed a car to get to work so the wonderful helpful people at Nissan. urged her to buy a brand new Focus. I co signed and asked what was wrong with the Altima. She said it went crazy and handed me the key. I made it to the end of the block and had to rev it up just to get it to move. all downhill from there, it was truly scary. I did a quick inspection and it was obvious the tranny was not original, not even the correct match for this car. I saw the memo another lucky Altima owner posted, looks like an uphill battle. Thanks for the open mike.

- , San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #103

Oct 152015

Altima SL 2.5L I4

  • CVT transmission
  • 62,000 miles


Starting around 62,000 miles the car would jerk every now and then randomly. We told the dealership and they test drove it and said it needed a new transmission. We were 2,000 miles out of the warranty, but Nissan paid for it. Which is good because they know that their CVT's are garbage and break. I was mad that the transmission malfunctioned on such a young car, bu at least I didn't have to pay for the transmission to get fixed.

- , Eunice, LA, USA

problem #102

Jul 032014

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 21,000 miles

The CVT transmission in this 2013 Nissan Altima SV is very unsafe and dangerous. When going 35mph or less and letting off the gas the car jumps as if everything inside mechanically is about to blow. Something is very dangerous and not right with the transmission in this car. Took it in several times under warranty and they can't seem to replicate the problem. It typically occurs when it is very warm outside. You have to be decelerating with the foot of the accelerator from about 40mph.

There are many many complaints on this year/model so nissan needs to extend the warranty on this transmission and finally fix the problem. The car now has 63K miles and is out of manufacturer warranty. It is very unsafe and is an accident waiting to happen. I've had relatives in the car when this sudden "jerk" or "transmission shudder" occurs and they refuse to ride in the car again.

Nissan Motor Corp needs to do the right thing and totally recall the transmission or extend the warranty to 10yr/120K miles like they did here / This is a known issue and will prevent me from ever buying another Nissan again. Bought the car new and at first didn't realize how bad the problem was. I just thought it was an occasional mechanical mis-align. After nearly being thrown through the window several times upon deceleration from about 35mph without pushing the break, I now know it isn't normal and very dangerous.

I have videos of this occurring. I hope no one has gotten hurt or into an accident because of this defect. We should all push Nissan to extend the warranty on this car and finally make it right.

- , Ramer, TN, USA

problem #101

Jan 032017

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 71,743 miles

I recently purchased the car and even took to my old mechanic and everything was fine. Soon after this starts and now I have this nice looking car that doesn't even move. Nissan used to be a brand I gave great reviews, but what happened. There is an old saying: "If it aint broke don't fix it"!!!

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #100

Sep 052016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,300 miles


The transmission was covered under warranty, just made it at 59,300 miles. I was very irritated. Then I had to pay for a vehicle upgrade, on my rental. But it was repaired fairly quickly.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #99

Nov 012016


  • CVT transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Bought a 2013 Nissan Altima used with 32,000 miles on it. Ran great mostly except for a few brake issues and a noisy heat shield. then one day on the road from a long trip the car starts sputtering and shutting off in the middle of traffic with my family in the car. It was a dangerous experience. took it to a local mechanic and they illustrated that they could do nothing unless the computer was sending out a code to detail the issue.

Took it to Nissan and they said it may be the throttle body, but that would require a replacement of he transmission with a cost of 4742.00 dollars. At this point I was still unaware of the CVT issues with Nissan.

After doing research and after reading so many complaints about Nissan vehicles I am livid. I am stuck paying a car not on a car that's inoperable and Nissan will do nothing to help me or any other owner here. It is unconscionable that they would be so irresponsible and unresponsive. I will never buy another Nissan again. So much for reputations and standing behind the product you sell to consumers.

Nissan is a joke.


- , Waldorf, DC, USA

problem #98

Nov 072016

Altima SV

  • Manual transmission
  • 82,467 miles

Warning, Warning, Warning- do not buy a NISSAN!!!

They do not stand behind their car defects. I purchased a brand new 2013 Nissan Altima and wish I hadn't. Two major issues with the vehicle 1) the Instrument Cluster Panel failed at 42K miles; out of warranty and the repair cost was well over $1K. 2) Now, with 82,000 miles on my vehicle the CVT transmisson failed. The cost to replace was in the thousands of dollars. Then, the replacement transmission that was put in by the Nissan Dealer failed within 5 days. So, I am on transmission number three..... After I contacted Nissan USA I received a claim #. After escalating the issue, Nissan USA informed me that they would not be providing assitance towards the thousands of $$$$$ that I was out of pocket. What a travesty.

It is a know issue!!! Please see the memo that Nissan sent regarign their 2002-2010 models with the CVT Transmission.

"On behalf of everyone at Nissan, we would like to thank you for choosing to drive a Nissan. One of the many technologically-advanced features of your vehicle is the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), an innovative transmission that offers smooth, seamless shifting, while tailoring the vehicle's output to your driving style. While Nissan is proud to offer this technology on many of our models, a small percentage of owners of early models equipped with CVTs have expressed concerns about the cost of repair of their transmissions after the warranty expires. We take these comments about the cost of vehicle ownership seriously. We strive to provide an exceptional ownership experience and are implementing a thorough Customer Satisfaction Program to address this topic. First, to provide you with additional assurance regarding your overall cost of ownership we have doubled the warranty period for the Continuously Variable Transmission in your Nissan. The existing powertrain warranty coverage of 5 years/60,000 miles will be extended at no cost to you, for CVT repairs, replacements or related towing, to 10 years/120,000 miles, whichever comes first. This extension is effective immediately and requires no action on your part. The remainder of your powertrain warranty coverage for components other than the transmission remains unchanged, at 5 years/60,000 miles, and your basic warranty coverage also remains unchanged. All other warranty terms, limitations and conditions otherwise apply. This extended transmission warranty is also fully transferable to future owners of your vehicle. Second, Nissan will reimburse customers who have previously paid to repair or replace their CVT, if the repairs would have been covered within the new extended warranty period. Even if you no longer own your Nissan we will reimburse you for past CVT repairs that would have been covered under this extension of the warranty. Further, in the unlikely event that your vehicle's transmission should need repair beyond the extended warranty period we are working to decrease the cost of repair and have already reduced the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of a replacement CVT. In addition, we continuously strive to enhance our products, and have made ongoing improvements to our CVTs over the years. Nissan is taking these actions to demonstrate our confidence in the CVT technology and to show our commitment to stand behind our products. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO The extended warranty coverage for CVT repair or replacement is effective immediately. If you seek coverage for a repair under this extended warranty you will need to bring your vehicle to an authorized Nissan dealer. The factory-trained technical staff at the Nissan dealer will have the diagnostic tools and knowledge to provide you with the appropriate service and submit your warranty claim. If you have additional questions regarding this program, contact Nissan Consumer Affairs at 800-647-7261 for assistance. At Nissan we and our dealers work daily to deliver an outstanding ownership experience that will earn your confidence and trust. We are committed to doing the right thing for our customers and look forward to a long relationship that you find satisfying and rewarding. Thank you for choosing Nissan.

- , West Chester, PA, USA

problem #97

Sep 052016

Altima SL 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 75,000 miles

My wife and I purchased our 2013 pre-owned, with around 35,000. We have had several Nissan vehicles over the years and have always had good luck with them. This one not so much. It does get great gas mileage and we planned on keeping it a few more years, but that all changed a few months ago. We pulled up at a stop light, just like we do many time every day, but this time it died. It started easy enough, but when I would shift it to Drive, it would die. It was like driving a manual transmission without using the clutch. With that in mind, I found that I could give it gas and then drop it into drive and it would drive, so we got home that way. Took it to a well known transmission shop and when I told him it was the CVT transmission, he told me the the problem before I told him. Seems like this transmission is a boom for his business. The car had 75,000 miles and Nissan was less than helpful. Needless to say we had to replace the transmission. We did get a 12 month warranty on the transmission and before that 12 months is up this car will be gone and we will never own another Nissan.

- , Olathe, KS, USA

problem #96

Oct 172016

Altima SV 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 34,950 miles


Bought the car used with 32,310 miles on it. Ran fine for a while but noticed early on that it didn't have a smooth ride. Intermittent shuddering at times and feeling of driving on a rough road. Then one day it started jerking at slow speeds and the climax came when it completely shut the car off while braking for a stop at a traffic light. Talk about a scary and dangerous situation. I was able to put the gear back at Park and restart the car before the light changed to green. This was at rush hour traffic mind you. After I restarted the car it stuttered off and got better as I gained speed. I've been hesitant to drive it around and have had it completely shut off on two other occasions. Calling Nissan tomorrow to see if the warranty will cover replacement of the transmission. I've seen so many other complaints on this site of the identical problems that I am having. I hope I can get this resolved with cooperation by the dealership and Nissan.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #95

Oct 262016


  • CVT transmission
  • 69,000 miles

2013 Nissan Altima with 69,000 miles. CVT transmission is messing up and I am having to go through and file a case with Nissan to see if they will cover it. This is the same type issues that they were having with the older models and increased the warranty to 120,000 miles. It's sad that Nissan hasn't come up with a fix. Look all over the internet and there are lots of complaints with this issue.

- , Newton Grove, NC, USA

problem #94

Oct 092016

Altima SV 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 30,100 miles

Bought the car with 29,xxx miles on it. It was certified pre-owned and we bought the extended warranty. Oh, it had new tires too! Day after we drove it off the lot, I noticed there was a feeling of sputtering at low RPMs and it seemed to get worse uphill. I chalked it up to the old roads.

On the 5th day I was driving up a significant incline about 10 mph (it was a driveway to a grocery store) and the car sputtered and jerked hard over and over. The car almost stalled on the driveway. Immediately took it in and since there isn't a transmission code being spit out, the dealer insists it is a bent rim. Which of course, based on my experience, it couldn't be. The salesman who sold me the car told me how lucky I would be if it was the transmission because I'd have a new transmission. I told him I didn't want another faulty factory transmission.

I accused the dealer of knowing that this year, make and model has significant issues (I didn't look here before I bought, huge mistake). The dealer claims they have no knowledge of any issues specific to this year.

I'm getting the car back tomorrow. If I take it in for the same problem two more times within 90 days of my purchase it will be a lemon. However, I don't know if the lemon law is based off of the same customer complaints or the same diagnosis. If the latter, the dealer will get around it.

- , Hadley, MA, USA

problem #93

Oct 182016

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,587 miles

2013 Nissan Altima 2.5. Transmission FAILED!!!!!! Told the dealership and they did now believe until one week later. Called Nissan Consumer Affairs and they gave me an extended warranty, but I ask them to buy back my car. This car is unreliable. LEMON!!!! They did not improve the CVT. IT GOT WORSE!!!! I am in the works of suing Nissan.

- , Azusa, CA, USA

problem #92

Sep 052016

Altima SL 2.5L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,141 miles

After 3-4 times of going back to the dealer for stalling and hesitation of the vehicle they finally were able to make the transmission fail and replace it. Other strange issues have come out of the car such as whining noise of the power steering motor and rattling noises. I also experience much vibration when the vehicle is idling.

- , Allentown, PA, USA

problem #91

Sep 212016

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 70,129 miles

2013 Nissan Altima was purchased last year with 47,427 miles and currently has 70,189 miles. Vehicle had no prior issues other than routine maintenance but it turned out new transmission is needed when I took the car into Nissan dealer when car started to shutter and vibrate when coming to stop or moving in low speed.

After diagnosis, I was astounded when dealer told me I needed new transmission because the internal mechanism was locked and whole new transmission was needed. The cost to replace the transmission was more absurd when they told me it would cost $4319.09 to replace it.

- , Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #90

Sep 082016

Altima 4S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

I did purchase an extended warranty but it has JUST run out. I was told by my mechanic that this is an ongoing problem with this model and year of Nissan Altima.

- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #89

Sep 142016

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I bought a brand new 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5L in Jan 2013, the car has been driven daily to work - all highway miles. The car currently has 98,000 miles. A couple of days ago, the car started vibrating and jerking whenever I tried to pick up from a stop. Then at one red light, the car just died when I gave gas. I shifted to park and restarted the car, and then I tried to pickup again and same thing, vibration and jerk, but i was able to get it started. Then yesterday, when I stopped at a stop sign and making my turn, the car wouldn't pickup at all, I was hitting almost 5k RPM and it slowly inched and then a sudden jerk and it picked up. I thought it might have been bad gas, but no. Today morning, the car just wouldn't shift at all. I had it towed to the Nissan dealership and their initial take is the transmission is gone. How does a transmission fail with less then 100k miles, where I have maintained the car with all the maintenance required. So after doing some research, apparently Nissan has gotten many of these complaints for the CVT transmission at various mileages.

Update from Sep 20, 2016: So after one day at the dealership, and after the $125 diagnostics, they concluded the CVT transmission has failed. They found metal pieces in the transmission fluid. After talking to the dealership, they mentioned that there was enough transmission fluid and there was nothing wrong in the way I had operated the car (all highway miles). The total cost for the repair was around $4200.00; the dealership couldn't do anything about it since it was out of warranty.

I had to call Nissan Consumer Affairs (1-800-647-7261) and explain my issue and see if they were able to provide any assistance since this was a defect in their CVT transmission. They did get back to me within 24 hours. Initially, they told me that they couldn't do anything for me since it was out of warranty (over 60,000 miles); however after talking to the Rep that I have been a loyal Nissan customer since 2000, have gotten the major services done at the dealership, and I currently own 2 Nissans, he was willing to re-review my case. (In the background, I was keeping the dealership in the loop of the situation; they also had email them with my case number and explained the situation and how this was a defect not operator related).

The Rep mentioned that he will contact the dealership and see what can be done. After 2 more days, they sent someone to the dealership to see the car and review the case. Finally, they came back and said that they will pay for the parts, but I would have to pay for the labor. So bottom line was, I had to pay $1300 for this repair.

- , Edison, NJ, USA

problem #88

Mar 232016


  • CVT transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I have had this POS car for less than a year and this will be the THIRD CVT tranny that i have had to replace in the last 12 months. I am so upset and now of course, I am 4000 miles past my warranty and now they will not replace it! I understand that I am outside of my warranty but on my gosh. I shouldn't have to pay out of pocket for this when I just had it fixed less than 6 months ago! I HATE NISSANS!

- , Duluth, MN, USA

problem #87

Aug 082016

Altima 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 67,000 miles

My car is only 3 years old, I've had it for almost 2 and the transmission needs to be replaced for almost $4,000! The warranty ended at 60,000. I feel they know about the problem and that is why the warranty ends when it does. When a warranty ends I expect to pay a few hundred dollars, not several thousands! This is beyond acceptable and Nissan should be forced to issue a recall and repay the thousands of individuals that were affected.

- , Syracuse, NY, USA

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