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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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
26,465 miles
Total Complaints:
52 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (19 reports)
  2. new transmission (14 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (10 reports)
  4. replace transmission (9 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Jun 302015

Altima SV 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 49,000 miles


I purchased this vehicle certified with 48K miles relying that maybe if I buy a used certified vehicle, it would be like brand new. I test drove the vehicle before purchase and didn't show any signs of symptoms. Almost two weeks with the vehicle, I began noticing vibrations, hesitations, and terrible jerking. Best way to describe it is driving a stick shift and releasing the clutch untimely. Almost feels like stalling. It does often during traffic when I slowly accelerate. At times, when you're driving at high speed, it feels rough.

I've taken it to the dealership to have it checked but to no surprise, they couldn't duplicate my complaint. They updated the transmission software and I'm not so sure it did anything as I can still feel that roughness when driving this vehicle. I wish Nissan would find a way to fix this problem as it seems to be common problem among Nissan owners. It's terrible. This will be the last Nissan I ever purchase.

- , Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #51

Oct 122015

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I bought a new 2013 Nissan Altima in August of 2013 to use with my work. I travel about 35,000 miles per year. the transmission began to shudder at 45,000 miles. It was mild at first. At 55,000 miles it got much worse. The engine would actually die at times when I would come to a stop. I took it in to the local Nissan dealership where I purchased it and asked if there had been issues with the transmission of this model as I had read several complaints on the internet. They assured me that there were no problems that they were aware of. They inspected my car and said that it needed a new transmission. The transmission was covered under warranty up to 60,000 miles. They replaced it and I went on my way thinking that the problem was fixed.

After about 10,000 miles on the new transmission, it started "shuttering" again. I took it in to the dealer but could not replicate the issue with them in the car. It now has 81,000 miles on it and seems to be getting worse. I am going to take it in this week and have them look at it again. When the transmission was replaced, they said it had a 60,000 mile warranty. My fear is that the CVT transmission that they use is just NOT RELIABLE. I don't want to have to replace the transmission every time it gets 30-40k miles on it.

Bottom line, I buy a lot of cars. I have 2 college age sons and a wife. We have 4 vehicles. I WILL NOT BUY ANOTHER CAR WITH A CVT TRANSMISSION, especially a Nissan. I love the way the Altima looks, but if it isn't reliable it's not worth the trouble. I had 2 Toyota Camrys prior to this Altima and the only thing I had to do was change the oil and put gas in the car. I did have to get a brake job at 110,000 miles on both cars. My sons now have the cars and they have over 150,000 miles on them and we NEVER have problems with them. I will get a Camry next time.

- , Tyler, TX, USA

problem #50

Aug 142014

Altima SL 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 12,000 miles

Problems started in August of 2014, many trips to service department. Finally in June 2015, new CVT Transmission installed. Since new CVT Transmission installed, not even 3 full months or 3000 miles, car has severely shuddered/jerked worse than before replacement. Again, service unable to duplicate to get computer documentation for Nissan. Loud front end noise being heard since new replacement. I was told this was a wheel bearing. New wheel bearing installed. After 3 different complete stop and restarts, noise is still present. Current mileage on car, less than 29,000.

- , Necedah, WI, USA

problem #49

Oct 012015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 58,000 miles


This is actually my 2nd Nissan Altima. Had 2006 2.5s and had no problems. I purchased this vehicle in april 2014 with 19,000 miles on it. Started having random shifting problems coasting on the highway and at stop signs.

My alternator went a year later one on 2 yr old car. Ran over roadkill and puncture my fuel tank a month later. This past week the car has idle rough and stalls out at stop lights. Today it starts up fine and I shift it in any gear and car dies. If i shift out of park to drive and gas it. I can drive it but looking at all the complaints below looks like i have 2,000 miles to get this fix or I'm going to be out a lot of money. dropping my car off tomorrow at the dealership. Keep you guys up to date.

- , Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #48

Aug 122014

Altima SL 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 12,400 miles

After transmission replacement, Car is still randomly shuddering at highway speeds. The loud growling noise that started after the new transmission was replaced was thought to be a "bad wheel bearing". It was replaced. Guess what, the same noise is still happening when driving.

I am amazed that Nissan doesn't have the technology to narrow the transmission and/or engine problems down to correct the situation the first time. But rather has the excessive funds to keep "repairing" (insert sarcastic smirk here) the same issues over and over. Not a satisfied customer. I have come across those "I just love my Nissan" owners. My first question is how old is your car? To which is typically 2010,2009,2008...etc.

Not many I talk to owning a 2011 and newer that have been overly impressed with the recurring problems the car has. I am quick to let these "satisfied" Nissan customers know to be very, very leery about getting a newer model. In fact, I let everyone know the issues/unresolved issues I am still having.

- , Necedah, WI, USA

problem #47

Sep 042015


  • CVT transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Loved the car, enjoyed the great mileage etc etc. Then one day I couldn't get the car out of park. 3 days later it stalls at a light. Freaked my wife out because she was driving. Took it back to the dealer they told me it was a loose battery post. They fixed that problem my wife drove it home and it stalled again before she even got home. Long story short...(too late) lol went with my wife to take it back. Off course they told me it's showing no codes. My wife found this site and was able to tell them what the problem was. Everything listed about this car she has experienced. Thank you!! Your comments were very helpful. I'll let you know when and if it gets fixed.

- , Sun City, CA, USA

problem #46

Aug 012014

Altima SL 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 12,000 miles


When start moving after complete stop, can feel vibration on gas pedal and steering wheel, between 1st and 2nd gear.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #45

Jun 172015

Altima SL 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 31,000 miles

Noticed the shuttering problem about a month before reporting it as it became more pronounced. They immediately diagnosed it as a transmission problem and said of course that this is very rare, but they were going to replace it with a new one, which they did.

- , New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #44

May 122015

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,996 miles

I purchased my third Nissan vehicle so I think of myself as a loyal Nissan customer. My first car was a Nissan Nentra, second car was a 2004 Nissan Maxima which the transmission when bad on it so I traded it in for a 2013 Nissan Altima from Carmax in June of 2014 with 36000 miles on it.

Never had a problem with the car until one day I'm driving down the highway with my three children and my car starts vibrating and would not go into gear, scared to death because I'm on the highway with my three children. Took it to the Nissan dealership in High point, NC, well it was not what I wanted to hear. It was my transmission that when out in the car, my car completely not driveable because I barely could even drive it to the dealership!

Nissan told me they had 2 other newer Nissans in their shop with bad transmissions so that tell me something. My car has 62996 miles on it, spoke to Crystal at Nissan corporate and told he they could not pay for my transmission, which they told me would cost $3400 and not even had the car for a year and still paying on the car. That the car was 2996 miles over the manufacturer warranty, absolutely crazy!!!!!! There was obviously a bad transmission in the car and Nissan should pay to get another one!!

Crystal who I spoke with at consumer affairs, was very unhelpful, refused to let me speak with someone else, she kept saying to me that she was gonna disconnect the call "RUDE" then finally she told me she would get her supervisor to call me to probably get me off the phone, and basically told me I was wasting my time because her supervisor was gonna agree with her. Kept talking over me, and kept saying that she understood how upset I am when she doesn't, so I finally ask her how could she understand, and then she couldn't tell me.

This is my first review I have ever written on anything I have ever purchased!! I feel like I have been completely cheated on buying this car and someone needs to talk to Crystal on how she's suppose to speak with people!!! I am a single mother of three children and I purchased this car because I needed a reliable vehicle. I will never purchase another Nissan again and make sure my family and friends don't do the same thing!! I am looking now to get rid of this car ASAP as Nissan corporate and their bad cars have made a very difficult time for me!!

- , High Point, NC, USA

problem #43

Apr 012015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 52,045 miles

We bought this car new and it was great up to this point. Now we have very little confidence in this car. After some online searching, we realized that we aren't the only ones with this problem. We planned to have this car for a long time because my wife depends on it to do her job.

- , East Palatka, FL, USA

problem #42

Jul 162015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 59,495 miles


This is the second time our car had to be taken to the Nissan dealership for this shuddering issue. We feel it but wouldn't you know the Nissan techs couldn't find a problem. As a result, they checked it out but ultimately nothing was done to remedy the problem.

- , East Palatka, FL, USA

problem #41

Apr 092015

Altima S 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,234 miles

The transmission in this car is horrible . It shakes the car , vibrates very bad as you accelerate and then once you get going it then it subsides. Nissan needs to recall these transmissions. I had it in for service and they said it needed to be adjusted. But even after they did that it still vibrated the car at many different speeds when you would go to accelerate.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #40

May 242015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I have felt the shutter for a week or so but decided I would take my 2013 Nissan on a golf trip with friends Memorial Day Weekend. On the way home it puked on I77 near Beckley WV. Great experience with AAA and it started out a good experience with dealership.

2 days in to repair of the solenoid on the tranny I received a call that in fact they couldn't replace just the part they had to do a whole tranny. I received a quote for 3 hours labor and the part for $790. Approved the repair then get a call and told that that repair can't happen! Now waiting 3 - 5 days for a tranny delivered and the price goes to $2600 approx. I ask if there was anything Nissan would do and was told No. Out of warranty too many miles.

Wow a 2 year old Nissan that cost $26,000 and nothing can been done to help. They extended all prior year warranties but the 13 obviously is too big a piece of junk to back. I am or rather was a loyal Nissan guy but never again!!!

- , Carrollton, OH, USA

problem #39

Apr 042015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 57,000 miles

On March of the current year (2015) I decided to purchase a used 2013 nissan altima 2.5 S

The car drove nice for about 2 weeks, until the transmission seemly and loudly started acting up. Every time I let my foot off the gas pedal and the car downshifts with the driving speed descending from between 30 to 20 mph the vehicle suddenly jerks very badly as if it wants to stall on me. Sometimes occasionally it jerks while I'm accelerating too but normally I take my foot off the gas as soon as I feel the first jerk then step on it again a couple seconds ago.

I was reading through the complaints on here and it seems that a lot of consumers are having the same issue, what's worse is that I called Nissan consumer affairs complaints to obtain further information on the issue and to see what could be done by Nissan. The rep told me that because the car had been title as a rebuilt after getting in an accident, all factory warranties were cancelled and advised me to take the car to a Nissan certified dealership to have a technician run a diagnosis which is estimated to cost between $200-$300 so that the diagnosis report can be sent to Nissan and maybe they'll consider offering "good will" assistance on the issue.

All I can say is Nissan starts a recall campaign soon and have their crappy cvt transmissions fixed or replaced. What do you folks think? is it worth it paying for a diagnosis and cross my fingers Nissan will admit is a factory defect? I read that the problem only gets worse after so many miles where the car just stalls and the transmission goes completely out and is done, my odometer is at 57,000k.


- , Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #38

Mar 302015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,033 miles

Well I bought my Altima used in August 2014, loved it until May this year... Everything ran fine, looked good, great gas mileage, and then after sitting in the carpool line picking my son up my car went to pot... (Trying to keep it clean here) My son got in and buckled and as I let off the brake my car lerched forward and jerked very badly as if I was driving a stick and didn't know how. I hadn't even put my foot on the gas! It seemed to go away as quick as it started and I brushed it off as a fluke. Few miles down the rd we stopped at a drive through. As I came to a stop it felt as if the car behind me bumped into me... He was too far back to have hit me. I ordered and proceeded to pull forward and my car started jerking again, then idled very rough. At the window my car stalled. I could crank it but as soon as I put it in any gear it died.... Called Nissan and well, I was above factory warranty by 33 miles, and there wasn't anything they could do... What?!!! Anyway, as I was looking for the warranty into I found that I unknowingly purchased an extended warranty, phew! $85, for a tow, $100 deductible and 3 weeks of aggravation waiting for the car to be fixed I was told they had to replace the transmission. Ridiculous! 60033 miles? So... The warranty company sent Nissan dealership a "not new" transmission and they put it in. Got my car back yesterday, didn't think I would make it home! It's worse than before!!!

Shakes and jerks badly, feels like driving over small rocks. Acts like it wants to stall out. Very loud and whinny. RPMs bounce all over the place. The shifter doesn't seem to be set right. D is in the N spot and Ds in the D spot, and it can bump from one the the other with the slightest nudge. There is a place between N and D that you can sit out of gear completely.

Guess I'll be back at the dealership Monday...

I want a new car! :(

- , Eatonton, GA, USA

problem #37

Mar 152015

Altima LX 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 63,000 miles

I bought 4 Nissans in 7 years starting in 2006. I loved all my Nissans except for this one. Actually, I loved this one until the transmission went up!

I took it to the dealer in November at 58K miles because it was jerking and stalling when stopped at lights. At that point, nothing could be found wrong. They did my PA inspection, a recall, and an update (because it was available). Three months later, it has the same issue - now at 63K miles and the dealer told us that he would talk to the warranty rep to try and get it covered since we had been there for the same issues before it hit 60K miles.

The warranty rep, Nathan, was a nightmare! He wouldn't return my calls timely, said he would upgrade my issue to a supervisor (who did not call for 5 days and that was only after I called to threaten a lawyer). I commute 100 miles per day to work and was without a car for 2 weeks. In the end, Nissan paid for the part and I paid $900 some dollars for labor.

It boils down to their CVTs are CRAP and so is their customer service (wouldn't give phone numbers, supervisors names, etc.). There were issues with the CVTs in 2010 and prior. They changed the CVT in the 2014 Altimas (which is what the warranty rep told us). After the transmission was replaced, I quickly traded the car in (for fear that this would happen again!).

I will never buy another Nissan - at this point, it was more about the customer service - then the transmission (sadly). They don't back their products or their products. And just to be clear, this wasn't about the dealership, it's about Nissan!

- , York, USA

problem #36

Oct 102012

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,025 miles

The Nissan Altima 2013 in particular and Nissan cars in general are a disaster. Their CVT transmission is an absolute failure.

My strongest advice to all potential buyers is, DO NOT BUY a Nissan even if it is the last car available on earth!

My car has been back to dealer twice to remedy the transmission failure but it is not resolved. Also, their service quality is Very BAD. Once you are stuck with a Nissan, you rarely have any option to go elsewhere for service and when you go to one, you are mistreated.

I bought my Nissan Altima 2013 from Woodchester Nissan in Mississauga, Ontario and you could be made to wait for up to 1 hour 45 minutes for an oil change, even if you reached your service appointment before time. My sincere advice to all readers is, do not buy Nissan and even if you must, then not from Woodchester Nissan of Mississauga because their after sales service is DISGUSTING !!

- , Mississauga, ON, Canada

problem #35

Mar 192015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

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

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