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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,613 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (22 reports)
  2. not sure (13 reports)
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2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

May 312016

Altima 2.5

  • CVT transmission
  • 68,000 miles


I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima in September of 2015 with less than 43,000 miles. The car was really good gas and I was really happy with the purchase. in February of 2016 while me and my husband was driving in traffic we came to a stop and the car shut off. We started the car up fine but as soon as we placed the car in drive it shut off again. We repeated these steps over and over again until he was able to keep the car running while in drive so we could pull on the side of the road. we were very close to the warranty expiring so we took the car to Antioch, CA Nissan dealership. They said that they would have to "duplicate" the problem before moving forward. They kept our car for 3 days to no avail. They said that they could not "duplicate" the problem and to come pick up the car. 2 days later we started experiencing the same problem. We decided to take the car to a different Nissan dealership in Concord, CA hoping that we would get a different outcome. Needless to say they couldn't "duplicate" the problem for 2 weeks!! The guy in Services admitted that they have MANY cars coming in with the same exact problem and he knew how to get the car to act up so that they could move forward. How crazy is that??? He called me 2 weeks later and told me that they had to "reset" the transmission system. He also told me that even though I was very close to my warranty expiring that if the problem occurs again that they would still honor the warranty because the problem pre-existed. Not even a whole 2 months passed when my husband and I were moving from California to Texas did my car started having the exact same problems it had before but this time I noticed that the transmission was slipping. I was going 80 miles per hour on the freeway when my car slowed all the way down to 40 miles per hour while driving in front and on the side of a big rig!!!! I was so scared for my life I had to call my husband who was driving our moving truck to tell him the situation I was in just in case I was in an accident and to pull off on the next exit because the car would not make it any further. after that the car would take a few seconds to pull off when in drive or reverse so we definitely knew that it was the transmission dying. I contacted Nissan Affairs the same day asking them to buy their dangerous car back and opened up a case. I waited several weeks just for them to deny me and not honor their problem to take care of me because my warranty had expired!!! I argued back and forth with them telling them all the stories I had came across VERY similar to mines and they only offered to cover 20% of the cost which is around $3400!!! I have only made 9 payments on this 3 year old car that only has 68,000 miles on it!! This is unbelievable and something needs to be done about it!! this car also had other problems that I did not mention above. The passenger airbag light stayed on while me or my husband would be sitting in the passenger seat, so you can only imagine what would have happened in the case of an accident!! The Bluetooth would work when it wanted too, the idling dropped and jumped while driving and now looking back on it the transmission started slipping right before the car cut off on us in traffic the very first time in Feb 2016. This car is unsafe and a piece of junk!! Does someone has to die before they make these parts safe and reliable??? Why aren't all these complaints I'm reading on the internet reaching Nissan Affairs and the news?! HOW DO WE START A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT???? Us consumers put our trust in Nissan and they completely let us and our families down!! These cars are unsafe to drive!! In my denial letter regarding buying the car back they wrote "As a company interested in winning lifelong customers, Nissan apologizes for any inconvenience you may have experienced." lifelong customers??? they apologize for any inconvenience?? you will NEVER have lifelong customers if you keep up at the rate your company is going and not standing behind your product. Your company is in denial and refusing to see the manufacturer defect in you products. How can Nissan turn a blind eye to all their consumers complaining about the EXACT same problems?! How could your company not do a recall on these CVT transmissions and invest in greater transmissions and invest in safer product for your consumers?! We have to do something about this, better yet NISSAN should do something about this. I will NEVER buy Nissan again. This is my first and last and I will let everyone know about this horrible experience with Nissan.

- , Lewisville, Texas (TX), United States

problem #34

May 172017

Altima 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I think Nissan needs to get to the bottom of this and do something! How does a transmission go out under 100,000 miles? My 1996 Dodge Ram transmission runs perfect with triple the miles. I will never purchase a Nissan ever again.

- , Hesperia, CA, US

problem #33

Apr 262017

Altima SV V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Nissan has a hx of problems with this transmission . I had no idea. Lesson learned, never buy a Nissan and do more research before purchasing any car. They stopped helping their customers with this known problem in 2010.

- , Wilkes Barre, US

problem #32

Apr 132017

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles


Every time I would stop my car and let it idle in gear (at a stop light or stop sign) the car would stall out and if I restarted it and put it back in gear before I could touch the gas pedal it would stall out again. I took it to the Nissan dealership and they said I needed to replace the tranny....... are you friggin serious?!?! This car only has 79,000 miles. So I called Nissan directly since this replacement would be out of warranty and completely out of pocket and put in a claim for assistance with helping to cover the costs and they called me back the next day and agreed to pay for all of the parts and I would only have to pay for the labor costs.

Thank you Nissan for owning and taking care of your customer!


problem #31

Apr 152017

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 46,708 miles

Well, it all started out like a normally Saturday afternoon...wait let me start from the beginning. I have a 2013 Nissan Altima, that I purchased brand new with only 7 miles on it. I keep up with all my maintenance and recalls (we all this damn car has had more recalls than Total Recall). I took my vehicle to the dealership on Feb 28 2017 for them to fix the CVT recall and two others, I was there for about an hour and everything was fine. So back to this normally April 15th Saturday afternoon....I am driving my car like I always do and come to red light where of course I stop. Its a nice day so I am singing with the windows down...the light turns green. I go to accelerate and nothing happens. My car shuts down and ALL of my lights come on. The brake light, check engine light YOU NAME IT! I cannot accelerate and I am unable to brake as well, but the car is coasting (I am at the bottom of a slight hill) and I am freaking out. I throw on my hazards, the cars behind me are honking (oh its only ONE LANE at this light and Im holding up traffic). My car coast through the light and I turn my wheel to hit the curb so I can at least STOP and freak out in a safe and orderly fashion. I slam on my brakes as hard as I can and my car jerks, I throw it in park and try to cut the car push to start doesnt turn off. I wait about 30 seconds and try it again and it turns off. I wait a few minutes to turn it back on and she started up fine as if nothing happened. As if she didnt almost cause me to have an accident and ruin lives. I call the dealership( Jones Junction Nissan) and the sweet little girl who answered could have cared less about my car just cutting off. Her suggestion was to have them tow it, I get a loaner (which would only be free for 24 hours) while my car sits until Monday and they try and figure out what is wrong with the car. No Im sorry this happened to you and I can tell you are shook up. I have no idea what the issue is or even if the issue will be duplicated when they get the car. I should not have this issue on a car with 47,000 miles on it, -NEVER GETTING ANOTHER NISSAN AGAIN

- , Baltimore, US

problem #30

Aug 012016

Altima 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Transmission failure at 82,000 miles and nissan is aware of cvt problems and simply doesn't care. They are keeping the service department busy and adding business. I would strongly suggest not buying a nissan due to this problem and the lack of concern from nissan corporation. They do not care about the consumer!

- , Senatobia, MS, USA

problem #29

Mar 072017


  • CVT transmission
  • 120,000 miles


a 4 year old vehicle at 120k miles and the transmission goes is not a good thing, I am steering clear of CVT transmission going forward, not worth the extra gas mileage you get.

- , Fowlerville, MI, US

problem #28

Feb 172017

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 85,000 miles

when I first bought the car there was some vibration and shimming in the car, unbeknownst to me that was the beginnings of a transmission problem! Now, a little over 3 and a half years I need a replacement?? Nissan offered no solution other than, "that will be $4000 please. This issue with this transmission has been going on since 2005 and you mean to tell me you (Nissan) continue to use and not improve, fix, warn, or inform customers??? SAME ON YOU!!!! Now I'm without transportation, working two jobs, catching the bus, Lyft, and begging family and friends for rides....PISSED THE HELL OFF!!!!! Not to mention I need to find a way to get my car fix, but definitely not by Nissan. Them Bitches couldn't get it right the first time!!!!! Unless it's at not cost to me.

Update from Mar 10, 2017: I had the transmission replaced with a new one 3/8/2017 and that transmission didn't even pass road testing or reprogramming coding. This is absolutely shameful, absolutely shameful. thank God I did not drive off the lot, that would have been another 4K!! Nissan continues to install this transmission into their vehicles. I don't understand!!!! When this nightmare is over I will never support anything Nissan related! NEVER!! I just wondering why isn't there a class action suit against them????

Update from Apr 3, 2017: April 1, 2017 and two transmission installs later my car is still not working. What the hell!!! I am now being told there is not much they can do. Totally frustrated, hands tied, still paying faithfully every month for a car that is absolutely useless to me. Someone needs to be held accountable for this! I understand a business is in business to make money. However, to do so with the intent to defraud and to use deceitful practices to line your pockets is malicious and you should be held accountable! Over six weeks with the smoke blowing and still NO CAR!!!!!!

- , Newark, US

problem #27

Feb 282017

Altima 2.5 S 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 75,500 miles

Tuesday 02/28/2017 My 2013 Nissan Altima stalled in the middle of a highway during the rush hour morning commute. After multiple tries and getting stuck on the highway for 15 minutes, I was able to drive the car to work(less than 10 miles). I managed to take my car to a local mechanic who diagnosed it as transmission failure and asked me to take the car to a Nissan dealer. The local mechanic charged me 49.25$ for running the diagnostics. I tried to drive the car to the dealer, but was not able to get the car out of the parking lot. I called the Nissan Customer service and spoke to a representative who told me a Consumer Affairs specialist would contact me in the next business day.

Wednesday 03/01/2017 The next day I had to tow my car to the dealer and I spent 120$ towards towing expenses. After diagnosing the issue Nissan dealer told me that the issue was indeed with the transmission. As I did not have warranty, I was told the expenses to get it fixed would be around 4600$. The same time I found out that there was a CVT campaign on my car and would need a software update. I still did not hear from the Consumer Affairs specialist.

Thursday 03/02/2017 The next day I spoke to a local mechanic who agreed to diagnose the car and quoted me 3900$ to replace the transmission. I towed my car from the dealer to the mechanic after paying my dealer 126.95$ for running the diagnostics and paid 100$ towards towing expenses. The mechanic confirmed that the problem was with the transmission and the only option was to have it replaced. I called the Nissan customer service again and was assured that a Consumer affairs representative would contact me within the next business day.

Friday 03/03/2017 I had no option but to ask the mechanic to get it fixed since the price he quoted was less than what the delaer had quoted. On this day I heard back from Nissan Consumer Affairs representative and he said that he will review my case.

Saturday and Sunday I did not hear from the Nissan Consumer Affairs. My mechanic already started working on the repairs over the weekend.

Monday 03/06/2017 The mechanic told me that the transmission were ordered and he would assemble it in a day. The same day I missed a call from Consumer affairs representative because I was in an important meeting and I tried reaching them back but was not able to contact them.

Tuesday 03/07/2017 I heard back from the Consumer Affairs representative again and he told me that Nissan was willing to pay for the expenses if I get it fixed at the dealer. At this point I called my mechanic and he said that the car was repaired. I again called the Consumer Affairs specialist and he said that they would not reimburse me for any expenses if the car was not repaired at a Nissan dealership.

I only took my car to the mechanic because he had quoted less than the dealer, and because the dealer had told me that my expenses were not covered because of expired warranty.

I paid a lot of money to fix my 4 year old car, because I need my car to go to work everyday. I expect them to pay for their faulty transmission, no matter where the car is fixed.

- , Belmont, US

problem #26

Nov 302016


  • CVT transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Where in the world do I start!!!! I had a Nissan Sentra that I loved and NEVER had a moments issue with. Then Aug 2016 we decided to trade in the Sentra for a gently used 2013 Altima had only 48,000 miles we thought it was a good car.. I've always wanted one and thought they looked good and everything. So everything was ok till the end of Nov 2016. I was at a red light and car died..i restarted it several times with no luck. Finally was able to start it to start and got 2 blocks from home. Now at a stop sign-car jerks forward several times with my foot on the brake. Take car to dealership and they say its transmission, but they don't replace it completely just replace some parts. Then in early Jan 2017 car has to be towed back to dealership because car dies when put in drive I was in rush hour traffic on a busy road. I restarted car about 20 times and it would die i when put in drive. After many people staring at me a kind group of guys pushed my car into a parking lot. So now i wait with my kids for the tow-truck. This time after dealership got the car they had the same issues at 1st. After codes were clear it worked fine they couldn't make it do it again. THEY FIXED NOTHING CUZ THEY CLEARED THE CODES. So get car back and its worked ok for a month, but every time I get in it "I wonder if it's going to act up today?" So tonight (Feb 12 2016) on my way to work at the hospital it dies again about a 4th of a mile from work. I have to walk the rest of the way. Car again has been towed back to dealership. Husband had to bring his truck for when i get off in morning and get a ride home by friends. This car is such a pain in the a**. Now I have 7 miles until my 60,000 so if is still the transmission I'm good. To make matters worse I've only had this car 6 months its not even 60,000 and has been towed TWICE now and transmission has been fixed once about 15,000 miles ago..I think I have a lemon I want to get rid of. Will never own one again!!!

- , Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #25

Jan 302017

Altima LX 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


I am on my fourth car that I brought new and this is the first time I got a Nissan. Big mistake I will never own one again .The transmission just let me down . Start my car in the morning put it on reverse it took about 4 sec to respond . I put it on drive same about 3 sec to respond .I drove about 5 miles I came to a light . After the light turn green I step on the gas nothing it just shut off .I restart it put it on drive I took of very slow I put more gas nothing the rpm was at 3000 and the car was going slow .Two miles before the dealer I came to another light .This time the car just would not move .I tow it to the dealer .Transmission is gone .$4570 to fix .This is not right Nissan should reimburse everyone the have a Altima or fix it for free .I am done with Nissan and no one in my family will buy it again .I have a 1998 Toyota Avalon with 298000 miles on it never change the transmission and this is the first time I change a trans mission at 90000 miles .

- , Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #24

Nov 012016

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 101,000 miles

car 4 years old, well taken care of, all highway miles. transmission should not have failed so soon been a loyal nissan owner for years this will be my last purchase

- , Pine Bush, NY, USA

problem #23

May 202016

Altima Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,500 miles

This should not be happening with a barely-driven new car.

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #22

Dec 012016

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Nissan's has ongoing issues with CVTs. Most vehicles up to 2010 were covered for 10yrs/120,000. Doesn't help much when the problem is still occurring in 2013. Awaiting a call from a Nissan Regional Specialist.

- , Lomax, IL, USA

problem #21

Nov 052016


  • CVT transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I was stopped at a stop sign with my Altima in drive and it completely shut off. I was able to start it, and put it in neutral but placing it in Drive or Reverse would immediately cause my car to shut off. Thank goodness I was at a stop sign and not driving on the highway - which is where I usually am driving. It would have been a life threatening accident. I have read other complaints and I cannot understand why Nissan has not gotten into trouble for this. It is an extremely dangerous problem. The car is at the dealership, who has already suggested replacing the battery. When the car went to the shop I had NO battery issues - but now I'm being told my battery is dead. The car started riding roughly about two days prior - just slightly sluggish at acceleration. Two days later the car is dead! I hope the dealership can fix this issue because I cannot drive this car if the problem isn't fixed. It would be too dangerous!

- , Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #20

Oct 242016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,514 miles

I have had my 2013 Nissan Altima for 2 years. It hasn't been performing correctly for almost a year. When driving down a hill or accelerating on the highway, the RPM's would quickly change and the car wouldn't accelerate properly. I was told 2 months ago that it was a problem with the gas and put gas cleaner in the tank. It continued to shake and not drive the way it was supposed to. When stopped with my foot on the brake, it would shake as if the car would die. The final straw, was the car started going in reverse when in drive (as if it couldn't catch the proper gear.) It then wouldn't go anywhere when in drive and I pushed the gas. The transmission failed at 63, 500 miles. Nissan regional department and customer affairs did not care at all about me or the poorly designed CVT transmission. Terrible customer service and terribly built car.

- , Kingston Springs, TN, USA

problem #19

Jul 132016


  • CVT transmission
  • 107,000 miles

I have kept my car services. For the last few months as I'm driving, it would hesitate. I was told it was gas, so I upgraded the gas that I put in it and used gas treatments once per month. Then that faithful day came where it stopped on me. I thought I was out of gas and stopped and put more in it and it began driving again. The RPM's went extremely high, but the car would not go over 10 mph. I had to pull over, but a day later, it drove fine for about 15 minutes then the RPM went up again and the speed went back to going slow no matter how much I pushed the gas pedal. No warranty because of miles. Quoted $4000 to replace transmission.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #18

Sep 302016

Altima SDN I4 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 97,541 miles

2013 Nissan Altima....very nice car....Decided that I should get the Transmission Fluid changed before 100,000 miles.....did not follow recommendations to do at 30,000 (which seems like it must be very crappy transmission fluid to change that often). Took vehicle in with no transmission problems; had transmission fluid replaced. Took the vehicle on a 85 mile drive immediately after.....did not get 10 miles until I noticed the shuddering in the transmission. Originally, I thought it was bad gas, but the shuddering got worse (matches descriptions of all others here who have had the same problem). The shuddering got extremely bad....I stopped at a convenience store for a pit stop - when I came out, it would not shift into gear....had to do it a couple of times before it worked. On the way home (after a football game), I had some friends follow just in case....I got only 25 miles before the transmission went completely out!

I contacted the dealer the next morning, they towed it in to check it....just got a call from them telling me the fluid level was full and clean but dropping the transmission pan revealed metal pieces (no kidding). Since I hadn't taken care of it at 30,000 miles they could do nothing.....they quoted me $4450 to repair/replace. I insisted I had had no problems before this, but he indicated that it would have eventually gone bad anyway. I have since set up an appt. to talk to his supervisor, but it probably won't get me anywhere. Do Not Get a Car with this Transmission!

Update from Oct 13, 2016: The dealership (Youngblood Nissan in Springfield, MO) obviously wouldn't take any blame for the Transmission service. Said they didn't extend the life of the transmission by doing the service or end the life of the transmission by doing the service. No help from them. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs, they pushed it up quickly for review, and after a week of waiting, one person ultimately decided against helping me. With pleads and complaining about service and with the promise that they were losing a customer and that I would tell everyone not to purchase or work with Nissan again, she still decided against any help at all. I had the vehicle towed to a different transmission shop and ultimately paid $3600 to replace the transmission.

Here's hoping that Nissan gets sued over these crappy transmissions!!

- , Ozark, MO, USA

problem #17

Aug 192016

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 73,200 miles

Bought 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 S with 53,000 miles. Never had any problems til at 73,000 miles I was on my way to work and I stopped at the store and when I went to take off upon restarting car it would die when put into gear. Googled and realized that I am one of MANY who have this problem. It is at shop and funny thing is when I told the mechanic over the phone what it was doing he said bad torque converter. Nissans knows for this. No check engine light or warning. starts up fine just dies when put into gear.

Any new info on this and having Nissan take care of problem?

- , Tualatin, OR, USA

problem #16

Jul 052016

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 91,000 miles

I bought a used 2013 PureDrive Altima SV with 91,000 miles on it from a very reputable dealer in my town. It is in mint condition outside and in. After owning it for 4 days, I stopped at a gas station to refill the original tank of gas that came with the car when I bought it.

After starting the car after refueling, I could feel it running very rough as I put the car in gear. I had a 10 mile drive home on mostly 2 and 4 lane rural roads. After pulling out of the gas station, the car began to stall while in Drive at red lights and stop lights. The car idled perfectly fine in Neutral and Park but as soon as it was put in Drive/Reverse/Drive Sport in sputtered and stalled. I was stuck at multiple lights and once had to make a left turn at a stop sign on to a major 55 mph 4 lane road that was a touch scary as if the car had stalled I would have been toast. To get the car to run, you had to hit the gas pedal and the precise time it was shifted from Park to Drive.

I was able to get it home after no less than 20 re starts on that drive home. I immediately had it towed back to the dealer. They initially thought it was bad gas but after an examination they informed me the transmission was bad. It was a $4200 repair that took 8 days to replace the bad transmission with a New Nissan Factory OEM transmission. The dealer paid for 75% of it and I paid 25%. I was lucky they agreed to help me with this cost as I did not buy a warranty.

I wish I would have found this web site prior to buying this car. I like everything about it but am scared to death I will have this problem again very soon. Does anyone know whether Nissan has in fact made any changes to the transmission since 2013 that would eliminate or improve this problem? I can't get a good answer from my dealership on this. Thanks for any help.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

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