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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.

7.6

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
12,284 miles
Total Complaints:
27 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. new transmission (6 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (5 reports)
  4. replace transmission (2 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Oct 182014

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 63,000 miles

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

Car runs nicely from a cold start in the morning (November in New England) for approximately 5 minutes. After that, the transmission upshifts too quickly and keeps the engine RPMs too low (1200 - 1500 RPMs) for any acceleration. This is accompanied by much shuddering and vibration.

Took to Nissan dealer for diagnosis and was told that nothing is broken and there is no official "fix".I was given a list of items that could be replaced that "may" help - no guarantees, though.

Bought this car used with 62000 miles on it. It looks great, but is a major disappointment so far. Will not recommend to anyone.

- , New Britain, CT, USA

problem #26

Sep 052014

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Sometimes when you accelerate and also sometimes when you decelerate the transmission shakes and shutters the car like its stuck in too high of a gear. It feels like an old standard transmission when you let the clutch out and you should have down shifted first. The dealership won't do anything about it and Nissan won't do anything about it because it doesn't throw a code and they can't replicate the problem. The worst day we had it did it five times in one day then nothing for the next two weeks. Of course that was the two weeks it was in the shop!

- , Hyde Park, Utah, USA

problem #25

Aug 072014

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 37,000 miles

I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima in July 2014 with 36,000 miles. About 3 weeks after purchasing this vehicle, the check engine light came on. I took it into the local Nissan dealer to determine the cause. I was told that they couldn't find the source and it would require further diagnostic testing for $80. I disagreed and left. Two days later, my daughter and I were traveling along Interstate 10 when suddenly the car wouldn't accelerate. As I merged over to the left lane, every light on the dash came on and the engine went dead just as I made it to the shoulder. I put the car in park and waited 10 minutes before I attempted to start it up again. The following day, I took the car back to my local Nissan dealer. At that point, they told me there was an electrical malfunction that was covered under warranty but they would need to order a replacement part. I was without a vehicle for 3 days when I received a call that the car was ready. I sent my mother to pick up the car because I was at work. They didn't provide any repair summary to show what repairs were made. Fast forward three weeks...My family was traveling to Mobile, Alabama to depart for our annual Walt Disney World trip, when you guessed it...the car wouldn't accelerate although my foot was literally on the ground. I pulled over once again and didn't try to start the engine again for about 20 minutes. The service engine light has been on every since. I have constantly fought with the seller (Bob Tyler Toyota) about returning this vehicle. I sold a 2006 Honda Accord EX-L with 176,000 miles to purchase this lemon. It is an absolute clunker. Will someone please suggest other options for me???

- , Gulfport, Mississippi, USA

problem #24

Aug 202014

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,500 miles

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

I lease my Nissan Altima, I never had a problem with my 2009 Nissan. My new 2013 Nissan Altima is a different story .At approximately 10,000 miles my transmission started to clunk when searching for which gear to shift into. It happens more when in traffic stopping and starting at approximately 30 miles per hour.

I took it to Nissan and they couldn't find a problem. They said they reprogramed the computer. it worked for a short time and then off and on it would do it again ( the clunking while shifting ) Yesterday I had gone approximately 20 miles and it was acting up . I was out of the car for 3 hours and then was getting ready to go home, I shifted into gear and the car wouldn't move. I tried reverse and other positions and then gave it more gas and it clunked into gear. Boy o Boy...going home was the worst ever. It wouldn't go over 20 mph. I babied it home and am calling Nissan again. Hopefully get some results.

They asked me for my experience with Nissan, you can guess what I told them.....Nissan told me if they can't find the problem. They would have to get Nissan specialist from the company to come and see what the problem is. I asked if this is a problem with all Nissans? Because if my car is the only one I should hit the lottery. I will let you know what if anything gets done at Nissan this time.

- , Brentwood, New York, USA

problem #23

Jul 242013

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 11,360 miles

BACK ON 7/24/13 I TOOK MY ALTIMA IN FOR THE BASIC OIL/FILTER CHANGE. AT THAT TIME I REPORTED THAT MY CAR WAS MAKING A ROARING NOISE AND THE CAR WAS SHUDDERING LIKE IT WANTED TO STOP ON ME. I WAS TOLD BY THE DEALER THAT I WOULD HAVE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TO GET IT CHECKED OUT SO I DID. I TOOK IT BACK 07/27/13 TO HAVE IT CHECKED OUT. I DID A TEST DRIVE WITH THE SERVICE TECH AND A MECHANIC. AFTER THE TEST DRIVE THE MECHANIC STATED HE NEEDED TO CHECK TO SEE IF THERE WERE ANY INFORMATION ON THE NOISE AND SHUDDERING WITH NISSAN. HE DID AND TOLD THE SERVICE TECH THERE WAS INDEED A RECALL NTB13-040 WHICH REVEAL IT WAS THE ALT ASSY CAUSING THE NOISE AND THAT THE ALTERNATOR WAS THE REASON FOR THE NOISE SO IT WAS REPLACED UNDER WARRANTY. ALSO THAT THE SHUDDERING WAS DUE TO SERVICE BULLETIN NTB13-054 SO PER THE BULLETIN THEY REPROGRAM ENGINE CONTROL MODULE-ECM. NOW 20,000 MILES LATER THE SHUDDERING HAS RETURN AND IS GETTING WORST BY THE DAY! I WAS ALMOST HIT BY ANOTHER CAR YESTERDAY WITH MY GRAND-BOYS BECAUSE OF THE DAMN SHUDDERING. I HAD TO GAS IT TO GET OUT OF THE WAY AND TO GET PASS THE SHUDDERING. MY CAR FELT LIKE IT WAS QUITTING ON ME AND REALLY FELT IT WAS MISSING GEARS. I JUST COMPLETED A FORM ON THE NISSAN WEBSITE TO INQUIRE ABOUT ANY RECALLS ON THE CVT. I'M WAITING TO HEAR BACK FROM THEM BUT IN THE MEANTIME I WILL BE SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE DEALER ONCE AGAIN TO GET THIS LOOK AT IMMEDIATELY! I'M LOOKING FOR ANY ASSISTANCE FROM ANYONE ON THIS AND HOW TO HANDLE IT. ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE GREAT! BY THE WAY THIS IS MY 2ND NISSAN. I HAD A 2008 NISSAN AND HAD NO ISSUES WITH IT AND NOW I FEEL I SHOULD HAVE KEPT IT OR PURCHASED A DAMN HONDA OR TOYOTA.

- , Dallas, TX Texas, USA

problem #22

Jun 252014

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 39,400 miles

I had this car for 18 months, and had just over 39k miles. Didn't have a problem until 6/25/2014. Was driving home from a business trip, and was 1.5 hours away from home. The car started shaking at a stop light, and within five minutes the engine was revving very high and I could not increase my speed. I was only going 40mph at the time, and so I pulled off to the side of the highway.

I called the service department at my dealership which was going to close 10 minutes later. They told me to keep the car turned off for one hour and then try to drive the car home. They thought that possibly the transmission was overheating and that if I let it sit for one hour it would cool off and I could get home. After one hour I turned on the car and the same problem was occurring...I made it a few minutes farther down the road before it quit working at all.

I had to get the car towed which cost $496. Nissan would not pay the tow since it wasn't an approved tow company of theirs. I suppose that I should have known who is and isn't approved by Nissan when my car died after hours. They did say they would reimburse me on the tow, but only a maximum of $250. Apparently that's the max Nissan will do. Since I am still under 60k miles, the warranty covered the new transmission. I was told that the cost of this new transmission would have been $5,000 had it not been under warranty. I was not given a rental/loaner while my car was repaired. They said that Nissan does not provide that under their warranty.

Since the repair I have not driven the car very much. The car does feel a little different than before...especially at low RPM's. Maybe a little shaky...maybe just me being paranoid. They did say that this was an "updated transmission". They told me that transmission problems were common with the early 2013 model, and that Nissan updated the transmission.

I'm curious about others experience after having their transmission replaced on a 2013 Altima, and if they were told it was an "updated transmission"?

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #21

Nov 152013

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 6,500 miles

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

Like other reports of a vibration and growling/rattling noise that starts at 1200 rpm through 1500 rpm. AT 1500 rpm it is very noisy and at its worst, The vibration is felt in the steering wheel, also in the seat and on your foot that's on the gas pedal. When you reach 2000 rpm there is a very loud drowning sound that resonates through out the car.

Took it in twice. the 1st time at [6500miles on the car]they said it was a heat guard by the exhaust that was loose and rattling. I went back the next day to tell them the problem was still there, that the same noises were still there at the same rpm. I made a appointment again for the Nissan dealership to look at it. The second visit now the car has [11500 miles on it] I was told they had to adjust the motor mount and that they were ordering a new alternator and belt because they noticed a growling noise from the alternator. They said that from the motor mount being off of adjustment it caused the belt to turn at an angle and caused the alternator to wear. It was putting out the right current but they noticed a noise coming from the alternator. Sounds like a load of crap to me.

They also said it was safe and OK to drive until the parts came in. Really, I would think that if the belt was turning at an angle it would also put a strain on the water pump too. As I drove home the car acted and sounded the same, not one bit different. From the 1st time I took it in I told them I THINK IT IS THE CVT TRANSMISION where the noises are coming from. They will not even go there with this, knowing very well that they will lose money and time to replace a transmission that's still under warranty. Just replace parts that can be changed quicker than changing a transmission. Keep that up until the warranty is off the car RITE!!! I will NEVER NEVER buy a Nissan again!

- , Stevens Point, WI, USA

problem #20

Dec 062013

Altima 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 7,500 miles

My wife & I bought our new Nissan Altima in May of 2013. Everything has worked fine up until recently when the CVT transmission started vibrating. I brought it to the dealer today for its scheduled maintenance of oil/filter, tire rotation and let them know about what was happening and how it's never happened before. The technician and I went for a ride and I told him to drive the car. We got on the highway because that's when my wife was experiencing the shuddering throughout the cabin, at highway speeds. Being familiar with cars and their problems, having fixed my own for the last 25 years, I knew this was not a wheel/tire vibration problem as soon as I drove the car myself.

The tech was driving and right away he noticed exactly what I was telling him as soon as it started happening. He said "it feels like a transmission problem". We arrived back at the shop and he said he was going to make some calls to see if there were any other complaints out there. He came back to me with some line like "it's normal operation". Which in turn I had a reply that went something like "I'm sorry, but that won't fly with me pal. If it's normal for the car to be doing this, then I would have experienced this crap from day 1 when I picked up the car new." That's when another tech intervened who had never even drove my car and said "the reason why it's doing that now as opposed to when you had your car new is because the computers in the transmission have picked up on your driving habits and they are reacting to that now." Then I got really angry because I don't like being talked down to by some kid in a grubby tech uniform who thinks I don't know a thing about cars. "You didn't even drive my damn car kid! How the hell do you think you can even offer any advice here you jackass?"

Update from Dec 9, 2013: Now I have to go back and drive a new Altima off of their lot this week because I want to see if a brand spanking new one will do the exact same thing. Even if it does it won't make a difference to me. I'm gonna fight to get this crap straightened out and get our money back so we can get a Honda Accord. Nissan, you suck. Stop dodging the inevitable, that your cars have an engineering defect and you need to own up to it! And that's THAT!!

- , Mayfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #19

Dec 012013

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

My cars has been vibrating now for several months, I feel this vibration at different speeds and it seems to be getting worse. I can feel this vibration in my feet and through the seat, now I also can hear the sound of these vibrations.

I took my car to my dealer and was told that there wasn't anything wrong and if something is broke it would be covered. I called Nissan and have been in contact with them, they told me to take the car to another dealer which I did but got the same opinion after a short test drive, when I left and on my way home the sound and vibration was still there. I feel that it has to be the transmission and will take it back for them to take another test drive. I am ready to trade in this car and get rid of this problem.

- , Grayson, KY, USA

problem #18

Jun 212013

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 1,000 miles

While driving on the highway I notice vibration at certain speeds. I didn't think much of it at the time, but the longer I had the car the more I noticed it. At my first oil change about 3500 miles I failed to notify the dealer of the issue. I am now due for my 2nd oil change so I will definitely report the problem. I checked a few chat sights on Nissan Altima issues and found numerous complaints that stated a rattle/vibration related to the cvt around 1500 rpm but I couldn't find a fix for the issue. It was reported that the dealership tried several fixes but the problem returned. When I get my oil changed I will find out if there is a fix. This the second Altima that I have leased and this new model has gone down hill, it just feels like a cheaper car... I don't plan on purchasing this car off lease as I did with the previous lease.

- , Meriden, CT, USA

problem #17

Aug 012013

Altima ES V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 7,645 miles

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

Noticed loud vibrations that continue at all speeds and you could feel them with hands on steering wheel about four months after purchase . Dealership is working with me and replaced the transmission but the vibrations are even worse now . I think the CVT is just a bad transmission that needs to be shelved . We are hoping for a viable solution .

- , Villa Hills, KY, USA

problem #16

Nov 272013

Altima SV 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 13,500 miles

FOURTH TRIP TO DEALERSHIP – December 7, 2013. We drop the car off with other tech and take a rental home.

Dealership – Called yesterday twice to check on the status of my car, first call I get other tech’s VM (4:23pm 12.10.13). I decide to call back before they close (12.10.13 5:19pm) leave a message on Original Tech’s VM.

Melloy - On 12/11/2013 8:52am - I call dealership to speak with tech, no answer. I left a message. I explained that my cell signal is weak here at work and to call my landline # at work, I provided the number.

11:31a.m. - I get a voicemail on my cell phone. Tech says they are still working on the car and “they don’t know what’s going on with the car.”

12.11.13 – Returned Tech's call to get a better explanation: VOICEMAIL 1:56pm

12.11.13 2:25pm – (Tech) NIssan wants us to record data with vehicle hooked up. We’ve been on it since Monday. They are pulling it back into the shop right now. Completed the entire test and will print out, and send it to Nissan. They want to see all this recorded data; they are getting it to screw up more than before, the data monitor is recording everything. They definitely will help us; Nissan is involved in the whole thing. Boss knows everything, we don’t know what the next step is and not sure how long they will have the car. No worries about the rental car. Have u called consumer affairs? Never has this happened, but everyone is on it and trying to figure out what’s going on. ASST MGR and another tech are taking the car on drives and have got it mess up a lot. We definitely won’t get it back this weekend. I will keep you posted as much as I can.

- , Shiprock, NM, USA

problem #15

Dec 072013

Altima SV 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 13,500 miles

don't get an altima, it is too much trouble, I've contacted the NM Attorney Generals Office and currently starting a buy back process. Which ever comes first..

- , Shiprock, NM, USA

problem #14

Sep 132013

Altima V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 1,493 miles

We purchased our new Altima on 30 Aug 2013. Around 500 miles my husband and I noticed a shutter around 2nd gear that continually got worse. Called about it and then finally at 1493 miles, on 13 Sept 2013 we had enough! Took the car in, they found an issue and replaced our transmission. While it was in for repair they also found other issues.

- , Gainesville, TX, USA

problem #13

Apr 012013

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 100 miles

From the day I picked up the car the transmission was way loud at certain RPM. Under load such as going up hill or accelerating to enter the highway the CVT is very loud. Comes in at about 2500 RPM. Back to the dealer twice with the complain and both times told that it's "normal". I don't think so. Called 800-NISSAN1. Told that a rep would call me back yesterday. Still Waiting. I hate the car.

Update from Mar 21, 2014: Nissan finally got back to me, but gave me no satisfaction. They just contacted the service department of the dealer I took it to and reported back to me that same thing that the dealer told me. Then I told them that I wanted them to buy it back. Took a couple weeks to get back to me and they refused that too. I'm done with NIssan. Hello Honda.

- , Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #12

Sep 262013

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 16,000 miles

Two months ago, car started the jerking/shuddering upon deceleration. Would be coasting toward a stop light & car would suddenly jerk - reminded me of how an old manual transmission would sound when you down-shifted wrong. I'd catch myself looking in the rear-view mirror to see if I'd left any part of the car in the road. My 3 year old would even comment, "Mom, don't do that!" --- Took car to dealership...they couldn't re-create the issue so they couldn't do anything. (?)

Fast-forward a month, now in addition to the jerking upon deceleration, the car began to shudder upon acceleration. Felt like I was driving over a washboard or cobblestones. It would settle down at about 35-40 mph. Again, both kiddos in the back noticed it too. --- Called dealership again, made appointment to bring in car.

Two days before appointment, car decided not to accelerate when the light turned green. I left off brake, car rolled a bit, RPM shot up as I pushed gas -- took a few seconds but then it got going. At that moment was on my dealership...slowed to turn left & yield to oncoming traffic, and car would not go at all. Luckily was able to roll through intersection & pull to shoulder. Car would rev up just fine, but transmission would not 'engage'. Ended up being towed :-(

Have been in loaner for 8 days now. The recall wasn't the fix, something to do with steel belts or something - I'm getting a brand new transmission. Probably will be another week before I get my car.

On the up side, my dealership is taking care of me. Got the tow & loaner with no hassle. Service advisor keeping in touch with me. Just sucks that a transmission goes out on a car that's 1 year old. :-(

- , McKinney, TX, USA

problem #11

Oct 012012

Altima 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,055 miles

Stuttering intermittently, sometimes really aggravating! Dealership cannot duplicate the problem. Going today to pickup my vehicle - again, with no fix. Dealer anxious to get their 'rental' vehicle back! Will take car in, and leave it again, next week. Very frustrated - Regional consumer affairs was to return my call and they HAVE NOT. Loved my 2005 Altima but really am disappointed in the 2013!

- , Scottdale, PA, USA

problem #10

Jul 052013

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 8,100 miles

I am aggrevated that this happened but thankful it's covered under warranty. I was planning on taking it on a road trip to SC so glad this issue arose before then. It's coming up on 2 weeks without my car. I definitely do miss my car but the rental, that the dealership is paying for, isn't bad.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #9

Jun 192013

Altima SV 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 12,000 miles

cvt transmission has low rpm growl/shutter and was getting worse. I brought car to dealership and mechanic took test drive with me. I pointed out sound and he conferred. He said he was glad I went on test drive cause he may not have experienced sound without me pointing it out. Mechanic received info from area rep that sound is coming from bad tensioner on belt. He replaced belt and shutter went away. I was extremely happy until two months latter sound has returned ! I will bring it back. I am wondering if root of problem is transmission which wears out belt tensioner so quickly causing shutter of belt vibrating at low rpm acceleration.

- , New Gloucester, Maine, USA

problem #8

Oct 122012

Altima SV 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 102 miles

From day one this car had transmission problems. And, the reason I bought the car was because my older car also had tranny problems but it is 13 yrs old. This Altima won't even make it that long. The car's been back 4 times and they have already replaced the transmission, torque converter, did some recalls, and reset the computer. I don't think they did anything as there's been absolutely no improvement. The car bucks, chugs, surges exactly at 25 mph and vibrates when stopped. Nissan doesn't even return your call and the dealership keeps saying they cannot replicate the issue. Really? Then why everyone else who's driven or ridden in the car feels it? I will pursue the Lemon law just because of the audacity they have shown. I have filed complaints with every agency I can think of. Come on Nissan, do the right thing before some one gets killed.

- , New City, NY, USA

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