Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

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.

8.2

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,153.00
Average Mileage:
40,537 miles
Total Complaints:
101 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (32 reports)
  2. new transmission (31 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (15 reports)
  4. replace transmission (15 reports)
  5. complete cvt replacement (3 reports)
  6. cvt transmission failed; need replacement (3 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Nissan Altima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #101

Jan 032017

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 71,743 miles

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

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

Altima

  • 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

Altima

  • 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.

Obsidian

- , Waldorf, DC, USA

problem #98

Nov 072016

Altima SV

  • Manual transmission
  • 82,467 miles

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

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

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 69,000 miles

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

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

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

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

Altima

  • 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

problem #86

Aug 062016

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I dropped my 2013 Altima off last Sunday morning (7 AUG) after experiencing transmission issues before leaving on a much needed vacation. Luckily the issue occurred while putting my Altima into reverse in front of my house the night before. I was able to drive it to the dealership the next morning but it shuttered and bucked the entire way. I had to avoid stopping at stop signs and lights in fear of stalling. This issue had occurred once before about a year earlier where I incorrectly diagnosed the issue as bad gas. Looking back the car showed minor signs of CVT issues since the first occurrence but nothing as major as the initial and current shuttering and stalling.

By purchasing this vehicle brand new from Causeway Nissan in Manahawkin NJ only 3 years ago, these were the types of problems I was trying to avoid. With only 72K miles on the car and still making payments you can imagine my frustration.

Causeway service technicians confirmed that the issue was indeed the CVT and it requires a replacement transmission. After a quick Google search I was able to find many other dissatisfied 2013 Nissan owners with CVTs issue and that Nissan had even extended their CVT warranty on models before 2011 due to known defects.

One of the service representative at Causeway recommended I open a claim with Nissan which I have already done. Nissan notified me yesterday that they have agreed to cover the cost of the parts but not the labor. They have suggested speaking with the Manager at Causeway, since Nissan provides an allocated amount of money each month to dealerships in order perform labor for instances similar to mine. This is where I currently wait... Total cost quoted for the repair is $3,400 with labor being $860 of that cost.

This is the second major issue I have experienced with this vehicle, first being a water intrusion problem where Causeway said it was the sunroof. Nissan eventually sent a representative who worked with Causeway's technicians to determine it was not the sunroof at all but a condenser hose leaking into the interior of my vehicle.

- , Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #85

Apr 012015

Altima 3.2L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Car was shuddering at just under 20 miles an hour and was getting worse. When I took it in to the dealership I took a printout of all the complaints and left the stack in the passenger seat. I told the service manager that I loved the car but the transmission issue worried and scared me - especially what I've read online from other Altima owners. The dealer gave me a loaner, kept the car for a day, said they did some test drives but didn't notice anything, asked to keep it another day, called me the second day and said they did notice a problem and they were ordering a new transmission. I think someone saw/read all of the complaints and decided I probably wasn't going to let this go and it was easier to just do the transmission. I did get a new transmission and it started acting up after about 12 months but not as bad as before. Took it in, they "adjusted" it and I haven't noticed any problems since then. But I am not keeping this car. Trading it in soon on something other than a Nissan. I HIGHLY recommend that anyone with any problems print out all of the complaints and use those as a tool in negotiations to get the dealer to replace the transmission - and then get rid of the car!

- , Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #84

Jul 282016

Altima S 2.5s

  • CVT transmission
  • 44,551 miles

My situation is almost verbatim to what I have read here. The car has 44,500 miles and was growling, shuttering and vibrating when driving. Especially at acceleration and stopping. Finally I was stopped at a red light when the car jerked harshly and shut off. It would start right back up, but then die when put into (D) Drive. The road was a very dangerous highway and I was alone so could not push car to the side. Finally after about 20 start and 15 minutes, I managed to engage into drive. I drove it to the Nissan Dealer directly while it was bucking, jerking and would not accelerate. I blew threw 2 red lights because it would not downshift to stop. The dealer had the car aprroximately 6.5 hours when they called to tell me that no lights were on and they could not find a problem. If I wanted to pay $120 diagnostic fee, they could go ahead with some work. I asked to speak to manager, however had left for the day. About 20 minutes later, they called again stating that he spoke to the manager and it is most likely an ABS system problem, but I would still have to pay the $120 diagnosic fee. I am disappointed because I was loyal to Nissan and always drove Altimas. I did not have any trouble with my previous models (lastely a 2003) but simply wanted to get a new car. Any help or would be appreciated.

- , Atlantic City, NJ, USA

problem #83

Jun 162016

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 33,796 miles

Oh boy I thought my 2006 GMC Envoy with over 220k miles had issues. I decided to purchase a Nissan Altima after my 1997 Nissan Sentra was totaled in a car wreck. I owned my Sentra for 18 years with over 233k miles and my Envoy for 10 years.

On March 10, 2016, I purchased my Altima with an odometer reading at 23, 399 mines. At the point I loved the car. I felt like I was able to get everything I wanted in a slightly used vehicle. On June 11, 2016, my car began to have all of the problems I have read. It stalled when I stopped at stop signs and it took a lot of effort to accelerate. I immediately knew there was a problem.

I took it the mechanic who maintained my Sentra and Envoy for over 10 years. While he was driving the vehicle (with me in the passenger seat), the check engine light came on. He told me it’s the transmission before he officially ran any diagnostic codes. At the shop, the he confirmed the problem. He told me to take it to Nissan. It was a Saturday and I knew the service department would be closing soon, and I needed a vehicle.

I contacted Nissan and told them what my mechanic told me. I managed to drive the car to the Nissan dealer before the service department closed at 3 pm. I knew my car would not be inspected until Monday, but I needed a loaner vehicle. During this time I began doing my research and discovered this site. No wonder there were over two dozens of these vehicles on the used car lot. On Monday, officially at 33,796 miles the, service manager at Nissan contacted me and confirmed that my transmission needed replacing. He stated that Nissan approved them to give me a transmission. He stated that my vehicle will be ready by the end of the week. On Thursday, my vehicle was ready for pickup.

- , Morrow, GA, USA

problem #82

Aug 072015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Run away from this car! transmission was reprogrammed at 12k miles. Drove well, no issues and all scheduled maintenance done regularly at the dealer. At 65k transmission started shuddering and then vehicle would stall and die in traffic, very dangerous. Vehicle was sent into dealership three separate times, for engine pulley, reprogramming, completely new ECM. Each time the car ran worse. The vehicle is the worst I have ever owned, and would never buy another Nissan due to this. I think Nissan is cutting corners and their dealerships are trained to not admit to any issues when asked. Just go take a peek in the back of ant Nissan dealer and see how many Altimas are parked back there. I've owned vehicles from 8 different mfg and this Altima was the worst. $5000

- , Austin, TX, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?