CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2013 Nissan Altima has multiple problem trends including the CVT transmission, and now that this model is out of warranty, it earns our "avoid like the plague" badge.

Owners complain about vibration and transmission failure related to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), a whining noise from the power steering pump, and constant windshield problems that appear to be the result of poor design.

Be warned: the 2014 & 2015 Nissan Altima appears to share these same problems.

8.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,525.00
Average Mileage:
70,471 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (18 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
Get free help with your lemon!
close ad
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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

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

2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Nov 302016

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 55,000 miles

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

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

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

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

Altima

  • 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

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,514 miles

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

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

Altima

  • 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

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

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

problem #15

Jun 012016

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

The car won't accelerate over 20 mph. I had to have my car towed to a mechanic. I got it back 3 weeks later and then the car broke down 3 days afterwards.

- , Monticello, MS, USA

problem #14

Mar 012016

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My first car off a dealership, everyone told me not to get a Nissan because of the transmission problems. I ignored them all just because of how good the car looked. first 6 months were good. Then the nightmares happened. Fist at a stop light the car turned off, ok put the car in park and shifted to Drive- turn off again. After trying for a couple minutes and frustrated I shifted one last time and stepped on the gas pedal pissed off it worked. Made it to the dealership where they took the car in because it was under warranty still. Days later they called to tell me my car was ready at no cost,, it was a computer issue.

Weeks later I started noticing that while traveling on the freeway at a steady speed the RPMs would jump a bit, the dealership told me it was normal because of the CVT transmission of the Altimas.

Weeks later it was really bad going 65 on cruise control and the RPM would jump drastically. when going up a hill I would literally be flooring the gas pedal and I would me lucky to hit 25MPH. I barely made it home where the car stopped and it was done.

Nissan replaced the transmission at no cost because it was under the 60,000 miles. at 67,000 miles I didn't think twice and went ahead and traded it in my Altima for a Toyota Tacoma

- , Chula Vista, CA, US

problem #13

Apr 112016

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Car started vibrating and cutting off weeks before. Took in for oil change before at trip. On my trip car would hesitate, slow down on highway. Finally on 4/11/16 car wold start but not move. Had towed was told transmission was shot. Called Nissan corporate and no help. My car has only been serviced at the dealership, dealership tried to help and spoke with Nissan corporate first Nissan I will never purchase another one. I will stick with toyota. They kow ther is an issue with this transmission and refuse to correct it. This particular transmission has been recalled in Japan. Shame on Nissan poor customer service will never ever ever purchase another one. I wouldn't take a free one

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #12

Dec 302015

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Every 5k, like clockwork, at the dealer for service. The guys at work call me grandpa when I drive. I baby this thing. All highway miles. Mostly commuting with 1 210lb person.

It had to break over the holiday break, during a 500 mile trip. This sounds like a comedy, but this was the next to last day of 2015, mother in law in surgery the next morning, a 6 year old grandson in the car, and no one would repair in a reasonable time to make the return trip home except the dealer. I paid out the nose. Oh, wait! They included $100 of transmission fluid for free.

- , Oxford, NC, US

problem #11

Oct 092015

Altima Siver 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Transmission went bad at 71K, had to have vehicle towed, lucky to make it home safely. Submitted concern with Nissan corporate, they called me back after 3 days and said they wouldn't help. No real reason because I wasn't speaking with a person who made the decision. The messenger didn't have any answers and was obviously reading from some boiler plate answer sheet. I wasn't allowed to speak to anyone who made the decision. So I'm SOL.

I spoke to dealer I bought it from. He was looking into helping me but I haven't heard anything back. So, I'm on the hook for a new transmission. It's funny, I have a couple of older used vehicle which I purchased extended warranties on. I never thought I would need it for the vehicle from 2013 but boy was I wrong. And still don't understand why they extended the warranty on some older models with CVT but not the newer ones. Very disappointed in Nissan for not standing by their vehicle knowing there are problems. Never again.

Update from Oct 21, 2015: Contacted the dealer's (from where I purchased) General manager via e-mail and no reply. I got his name off of google reviews because he was replying to bad reviews. I thought he would appreciate me contacting him directly. This tells me they know there's a problem and essentially have washed their hands.

Very important to owners- I have read some problems of people having issues at idle. My Altima did the same thing about 3 weeks before the transmission went. There were no code errors and I was told it was probably bad gas.

If this happens to you go trade the car in and cut your losses before the trans goes. I wish I had of.**

Update from Nov 12, 2015: General Manager called me from Mechanicsville, Va Nissan and left me message stating he had been out of town for couple weeks and he would look into it and call me the next day. That was 3 weeks ago. Got my car back from the shop after getting a used transmission put in with 16k on it. Total cost 1600. Found out another fun fact. These cars do not come with dipsticks and a new dipstick cost $400.00. Last Nissan for me.

- , Swansboro, NC, US

problem #10

Dec 182015

Altima S 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,212 miles

We bought our 2013 Altima with only 3000 miles from the previous owner. At first at low speeds the transmission would shake the car at low speed acceleration, then after it happening so often I finally took it to Nissan. They said they had to adjust something. Last week I was coming home from working out and when I was at a traffic light, the light turned green and I stepped on the gas pedal and the car wouldn't move at all. Finally after about 10 seconds it engaged and started to move, but as I was driving I noticed the transmission jerking and then the engine rpms would jump about 2000 and then the car was acting like it was in neutral. Then the tranny would grab again and take off.

The next day I got in it to take it to Nissan and I put it in reverse and the car wouldn't move at all for about 10 seconds and then finally the tranny engaged and I was able to back out of the garage. The dealer said it would be a $120 diagnostic fee for the mechanic to look at it and if it was the tranny then it would be covered under warranty.They called me on Monday to tell me it needs a valve body and it will take 2 weeks to get the part, so I asked for a loaner car, but he said he Nissan doesn't give loaners for cars while they are getting repair, I guess its because there cars are junk.

Now after reading all of everyone else problems with the transmissions, I am worried that when I get it back that the transmission wont last long. Dont buy Nissans, do your research and find a reliable car.

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #9

Nov 132015

Altima S 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

At 73,000 miles my car started shuttering one day. I stopped by the Nissan place and they said it was the transmission and they would fix it for $3,500. The problem seemed to fix itself for a while. I drove 20,000 more miles and it just left me stranded. A 2013 car is sitting in my driveway in 2015 not able to be driven and I am still making payments on the car. Now I am driving my 1999 Toyota Camry with over 325,000 miles on it and the transmission is fine in it.

I truly loved my Altima. It drove great and got very good gas mileage and it really is one of the best looking cars on the road of that class but mine just isn't on the road any more. I would not buy another Nissan.

- , Abbeville, SC, USA

problem #8

Jul 012015

Altima LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

The dealership replaced 2 transmission and still having problems. I believed this car is a lemon. This has really pissed me off. I will never purchase a Nissan again.

- , Evanston, IL, USA

problem #7

Nov 112015

Altima ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

My car is almost new. The Nissan dealer told me that they have to change the torque converter.

Update from Feb 3, 2016: The transmission was replaced in Mossy Nissan between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford Houston under my warranty of 60,000 miles

but now I have other problem My gear shift will not move from park

they said I have to change all for $ 1000 I'm using a little screwdriver to push the neutral safety switch each time

that I want to drive, I don't have extended warranty, I don't know if whey they changed the transmission something else was damaged.

- , Houston, TX, USA

Read the next 6 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?