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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.

7.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
17,141 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (15 reports)
  2. new transmission (9 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (6 reports)
  4. replace transmission (5 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Mar 192015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

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

For a couple weeks I was having my car shudder and shake a lot while I was driving. When I took it into the dealership to get my oil changed, and tires rotated. They told me that it was probably just bad gas and sent me on my way. A couple weeks later I was driving down the highway and it started again. When I got off the exit my car started to stall. I had to put it into neutral and press the gas to keep it going. I had to restart my car twice before I could move from the red light and get it into a parking lot. Finally I just got it towed to the dealership and they called to inform me that my transmission went on a two year old Altima with approx 36000 miles on it!

How does that happen! I am not thrilled about this and even though it is covered under warranty, I am getting rid of this car and not buying another Nissan. I have had other problems with the car also, the very loud power steering, I had a rattle in my roof that they tried to fix 3 times before finally taking apart my roof and replacing something in the sunroof attachment. When I got it back, something happened when they took the windshield out that my mirror fell off the window and cracked my entire windshield. Also, has anyone ever been able to get an estimated 31 mpg? Mine is around 15-16 mpg.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #34

Mar 302015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,758 miles

I have heard of Nissans running 200k and more. I thought buying one would make sense but I was wrong. Apparently the standards for craftsmanship and integrity have gone down down down. My Nissan showed signs of distress in February 2015. Now because I failed to bring it in immediately I am suffering. Nissan says they will not help. (surprise). Only 62k on the odometer. The warranty expired at 60k. I've heard of transmissions failing at 36k. Nissan knows there are flaws in the design. I saw a great list of complaints similar to my own. They have ruined their reputation and stuck me with a burden. ($3900 bill) I am not going to pay. I have not had it fixed I cannot afford to. I am thinking about rolling it into a ravine. Sincerely, Ticked off

- , Rainsville, AL, USA

problem #33

Mar 022015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 30,000 miles

When problem first happened the judder would shake the car really bad at very low speeds and even stall out. Problem was worse in stop and go traffic. The judder eventually happened at nearly every speed when you would lightly press the gas.

Took in to Nissan the first time and they couldn't duplicate and I wasted my time. Car continued to have the issues and I almost got into 2 accidents because of it.

Finally took it back to Nissan when the problem was happening more frequently and drove with the Service Manager. He was able to duplicate and they replaced the transmission under warranty. I was given a rental for free while they replaced it.

Have been driving it for a few days now and the problem is gone.

I really hope this isn't a design flaw and that I don't have to come back in another 25,000 miles....

- , Lebanon, TN, USA

problem #32

Feb 042015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 68,000 miles

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

My 2013 Altima 2.5L S series was paid for outright. . . . cash money. Now flash forward 2 years. 2 YEARS!

The car started to "shudder" - I thought I had bad gas as I had just filled the tank. Kept going with high octane at each stop. It seemed to get better for about 3 weeks. It started shuddering again. I barely made it off the interstate the day the transmission finally completely went out at week four.

The warranty on the transmission is for 60,000 miles. Mine has just shy of 68,000 miles. After researching the issue while my vehicle was in the shop over the weekend, I found that there are A LOT of issues with this CVT transmission. Every warranty up to 2010 was extended to 120,000 miles. Nissan says that after this year, the problems with the CVT were corrected. So at this point, I decided: I'm not gonna take it! I filed a complaint with the Consumer Affairs division with Nissan. They offered to pay the labor and I'm on the hook for the "parts" a total of $2,500 after tax. If there is a no issue with the transmission, why would they offer to pay for anything?

Every aspect of this experience has just about driven me insane, including the experience with the service center. I feel like Nissan is trying to use the service center to make their cash, not from selling reliable vehicles.

My dad has worked for Nissan in Smyrna, TN for 20+ years. I have driven a Nissan now for around 15 years. I am at a complete loss how they won't even take care of family or attempt to keep me as a customer!??!!

I am hitting EVERY forum I can. If anyone has advice on where to send complaints, let me know.

- , Nashville, TN, USA

problem #31

Nov 032014

Altima SL 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 24,000 miles

With everybody but Nissan owning up to the issue with the CVT transmission.. you have to wonder how much longer before there is a class action lawsuit or a recall to hopefully fix the problem.. It hard to believe that each and every one of us has a issue that the dealer can't duplicate..

Our transmission has already been replaced once and it did little to fix the problem..but also interesting is for the first 23,000 miles it ran great and we liked the transmission not feeling it shifting...but now when just about every time you drive it the car shutters shakes and the steering wheel vibrates.. you have to ask just how long can Nissan continue to say... we can't duplicate it...

I've been in contact with Nissan and so far there answer has been pretty much the same..either they can't duplicate it or that is now the new norm..but my answer continues to be.. how did it drive with no problems for so long and now we only have problems.. also why did Nissan extend the warranty just because they could... or it sounded good... it does.. but if you never fix it you still have a car that you worry about just how safe it is...because it also happens when you are downshifting and hit the gas to go... it wants to think about what it's next move is..nice looking car but damn sure got issues with the CVT transmission...

- , Gautier, MS, USA

problem #30

Feb 052015

Altima SE 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 21,000 miles

I just put a complaint in and I would like to add, maybe all the people complaining about this same problem should get together and start a class action law suit against Nissan.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #29

Jun 012014

Altima SL 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 20,000 miles

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

I have owned multiple Nissans with no problems. I can't believe my 2013 already needs a new transmission and alternator.

- , Pittsboro, NC, USA

problem #28

Jul 152014

Altima S 3.5

  • CVT transmission
  • 7,500 miles

NISSAN? NEVER AGAIN! I purchased a NEW 2013 Nissan Altima 3.5S at the end of 2012. As my daily commute is less than 5 miles (each way) I hardly put any miles on the car.

(1) At 7,000 miles the car would not downshift on slow upward gradients and would shudder very badly as if it was about to stall - as in a manual shift. Although it never stalled, it required a good pump of the gas peddle to get the car to upshfit and stop shuddering. Took it to Nissan dealership who replaced the entire transmission with a brand new one under warranty, stating that they would have to send it to Nissan R&D center to figure out what the problem was.

(2) A day after the "new" transmission was installed, the car started to make a loud metal grinding sound when accelerating above 3,000 RPM. Back to the dealership. The CVT had "transmission fluid retention" issues and was "fixed".

(3) Since then, the car shudder abruptly at idle / stop light as if it has just realized that it needs to downshift.

I HAVE NOW GIVEN UP TRYING TO GET IT FIXED,

This was my first time, and will be my last, buying a Nissan. I wish I had spent the $27K on a pre-owned 5-year old Audi.

- , Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #27

Oct 182014

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 63,000 miles

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, UT, USA

problem #25

Aug 072014

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 37,000 miles

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

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, MS, USA

problem #24

Aug 202014

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,500 miles

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, NY, 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

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

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

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