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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2008 Altima has a defect trend of CVT transmission failure showing up around the 100,000 mile mark.

It's an expensive repair at nearly $4,000 average repair cost. For more information see Nissan Altima CVT defect info on NissanProblems.com.

8.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,780
Average Mileage:
125,000 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (22 reports)
  2. not sure (6 reports)
2008 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

May 212018

Altima 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 141,128 miles

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

CVT transmission problems. I only had the car for 3 months. I also cant not put my car in drive. It makes a loud grinding noise I can not move the car whatsoever.

- Jasmine G., Richmond, US

problem #27

Sep 122018

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 143,000 miles

I monitor carcomplaints often and new the CVT transmission was suspect. I took a chance and chose to keep my Nissan Altima (that I bought new in 2008) and hope for the best. My previous Nissans, 1991 Sentra and a 1998 Altima both gave me over 200k miles without any major repairs. I currently own a 12 Pathfinder and a 16 Altima 3.5SR and may decide to part with them earlier than I expected.

- pss3286, Kings Park, US

problem #26

Jul 132018

Altima ES V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 117,000 miles

On a recent trip out-of-town, I traveled approximately 225 miles, stopping several times along the way. I checked into a motel, made a couple of phone calls, and drove to dinner. Unfortunately, approximately 1 mile from the motel the vehicle slowed to nearly a stop. The accelerator could be pressed to the floor with no acceleration; however, the vehicle would travel at a very slow rate and I was able to “limp” it off the street and out of traffic. I sat there for over an hour.

At first the vehicle would start but would not move. In “park” there were RPMs, but in “drive” there were no RPMs. I was forced to call a towing service to have the vehicle towed back to the motel. The next day I tried to start the vehicle and it would not start. I contacted an auto repair shop and had the vehicle towed to the repair shop. Diagnostics only indicated a low battery. I asked the mechanic to replace the battery. After replacing the battery, the vehicle seemed to run normally.

I drove the vehicle approximately 150 miles on the open highway and through various towns. Coming into a town, I slowed for a traffic light and the vehicle again went into “limp mode.” I was able to limp it off the highway and into a parking lot. I waited for approximately a half hour to see if the vehicle would start. It did not. Had to have it towed again - to the Nissan dealer.

A couple of days later, Service Advisor contacted me to tell me that the transmission was most likely overheating due to the transmission fluid possibly being overfilled, and therefore failing, and that was what caused the “limp mode.” The Service Advisor asked me if I wanted her to price a new transmission. I said, No. She then suggested that I leave the vehicle so it could be driven until the failure was duplicated. I was told that the problem is CVT failure. There is no way to determine how many miles will need to be driven before a failure duplication.

All service records indicate that the transmission fluid checks OK. The July 14, 2018 inspection report states that the transmission fluid was “checked and OK at this time.” However, the description section states, in part, that: “No codes in vehicle, checked CVT level and found HE CVT overfilled by 1 quart. Overfilled may cause CVT to overheat on long drives and go into fail safe or limp mode. Test drove twice a total of 13 miles and checked codes again, nothing further found at this time.” A review of service records dating back to 2008 show that at no time has the transmission fluid been refilled.

There are several class-action lawsuits which allege that vehicles equipped with continuously variable transmissions slip, jerk, bind, lag, and stop suddenly without warning. Other Nissan CVT lawsuits claim that the automaker has known about the transmission issues for at least 10 years. Nissan markets the CVT as being new and more durable than other transmissions. However, it is alleged that the CVT does not last as long as the typical automatic transmission. In fact, most of them only last around 100,000 miles or less. Even more important is the fact that when they fail, 9 times out of 10 they must be replaced as a repair does not remedy the failure.

When purchasing a vehicle, the consumer relies on the integrity of the automaker. In the case of the CVT, the failure is a defect and a tremendous void in motorist safety. Consumers expect that their vehicle will be safe to drive, and it is in the automaker’s interest to make sure that their vehicles are indeed safe. Automakers have become more adept at catching potential defects earlier and fixing problems before the need to open investigations and issue recalls. To that end, in 2009 Nissan extended the 5 year/60,000 mile warranty on 2003-2010 vehicles equipped with a CVT to 10 years/120,000 miles.

I frequently travel alone, and the recent out-of-town trip was under 600 miles. It’s not uncommon for me to drive the vehicle to Wyoming, Florida or California. A breakdown is a malfunction, and transmission failure in a remote area, or on a congested freeway or interstate could be extremely dangerous or even deadly. Ensuring the safety of the vehicle and its occupants should be a priority.

The CVT in my vehicle is covered under the extended warranty, and the failures experienced are unsafe. Without a replacement transmission, failures are likely to become more frequent and my safety is being seriously compromised.

- Deborah H., Grand Junction, US

problem #25

Nov 092017

Altima 2.5 S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 105,000 miles

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

While driving the transmission began to fail. I called at least 8 repairmen including 2 Nissan dealerships. All of them said they have problems with the CVT transmission. I want to go on record saying that we spent $3,700 to replace the transmission with a new one. Many other model years also have problems with this transmission. I think it is time for a recall!

- MIck W., Morrison, IL, USA

problem #24

Feb 212018

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles

I had noticed some vibration/stuttering at stop lights around ~100k miles. Took car to Nissan dealership explicitly asking them to look over the transmission. I was told there were no issues and the transmission was great. At 125k miles, took the vehicle to a different Nissan dealership with concerns about the transmission. An "expert" test drive/fluid check came back perfect and I was told there were no issues. At 133k miles the transmission failed. Jerky sputtering/high pitch whining/engine dies etc. We're looking for a new vehicle now and I'm avoiding Nissan and CVT's like the plague.

- laknermi, Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 272018

Altima 2.5s

  • CVT transmission
  • 135,700 miles

I purchased a used 2008 Nissan Altima from Sutherlin Nissan in Orlando, FL at approximately 74,000 miles on the odometer in 2014-15. At purchase I was told that there was no extended warranty being offered to me at all. I had noticed that something was wrong with the vehicle over time, as it would feel as if my car was coasting, or refusing to accelerate. But, after parking it for a few hours the problem pretty much went away and it was impossible to prove the issue to the mechanics. Each time that I had a mechanic check on this vehicle I was told that everything was fine.

I had been to Nissan to refill the transmission fluid last year and had come for an oil change some time back in 2016 and inquired about the issue and was told to bring it in the next time I experienced the problem. I was never alerted of a cvt extended warranty at all or transmission issues either. I was 2 hours out of town on interstate 95 when the transmission began failing in a peculiar acceleration deceleration manner until finally no longer allowing me to accelerate beyond 15 mph. I was lucky enough to make it off the highway without being annihilated by an SUV or Semi.

This time after working my 10 hour shift, I figured the car would run fine as it was notorious for mis-performing and then resuming without problem. However, this time the car refused to accelerate beyond 15 mph and I was forced to slowly but surely get it to the Firestone 2 miles from me and spend the night in their parking lot since I wouldn't be able to drive it the 2 hours back home. In the morning Firestone performed a diagnostic on the vehicle ($100 fee) and while I was waiting for the mechanic to come back with news, discovered VIA THE INTERNET about the issues surrounding the Nissan's faulty CVT transmission.

I was shocked at Nissan's inhumane care to do a total recall on the vehicles after being FULLY AWARE THAT THEY INSTALLED FAULTY TRANSMISSIONS IN THESE VEHICLES as I believed whole heartedly in Nissan's reputation of being an excellent manufacturer next to Toyota and Honda. Shortly after, the mechanic returns and utters the words, "your transmission is done, you will need to take it to the dealer or a transmission shop." I then had to tow the vehicle 2 hours back to Orlando, while exceeding my AAA allowance, and then had to come out of pocket $180 for the remaining mileage. After replacing the transmission fluid ( $150) the transmission sensor ($50) and flushing the unit and then paying the mechanic to do the labor ($150) the car was still in fail safe mode.

I called Nissan and told them about my vehicle, which was when I learned that my vehicle was never registered through their system, despite purchasing it from their Sutherlin Nissan Dealership, they then told me that there is nothing that they can do unless their mechanics take a look at the vehicle. So, I brought the vehicle to Nissan (another $100+ service fee.) The mechanics confirm that the transmission is done and the radiator needs to be replaced. After escalating the call with Nissan I was told by the agent rep. Summer (615) 544-7198 on my case: 29776719 that since my car was over the $120,000 mile allowance that they will not offer/extend any assistance to repair the car what so ever. Despite the fact that I was not informed by their dealer of an extension in the warranty because of the issue (if in the know, I would have adamantly fought to prove the case of the transmission slipping) I was also told that they have not 1 service visit recorded on file for me which is not true ( I even have a picture of myself sitting in their lobby on July 10th and the text message that I sent to my boss specifically explaining that I was there for a transmission fluid refill), Nissan is no longer responsible for the repairs to the vehicle.

After researching the issue further, the transmissions on these vehicles are failing primarily after the 120,000 mile extended threshold/allowance and it should be noted that even after having the transmissions completely replaced they are repeatedly failing after approximately 15,000 additional mileage after being serviced or replaced. That's probably why Nissan decided to opt for an extension in warranty as opposed to a total recall. Summer also admitted that it is the dealer's job to inform the consumer and that with vehicle resales the dealers are not responsible for logging the new owners. THAT IS ABSURD!!!!!!

SO IF YOU BUY A PRE-OWNED VEHICLE FROM THEIR VERY OWN LOT THEN YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT FOR THEM TO DO THEIR JOB AND LOG A CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP, BUT SHOULD FULLY EXPECT THEM TO TAKE YOUR MONEY FOR ALL REPAIRS AND SELL YOU A VEHICLE IN WHICH THEY WILL NOT CONTACT/INFORM THE NEW CONSUMER OF ANY CONCESSIONS, EXTENDED WARRANTIES OR RECALLS THAT WERE ISSUED/TRANSFERRED TO THEM AT TIME OF PURCHASE!!!!!

THIS COMPANY IS INCREDIBLY SHEISTY FOR WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO THEIR CONSUMERS. I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER VEHICLE FROM THIS COMPANY AGAIN. THEY HAVE COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED ANY BELIEF AND CREDIBILITY THAT THEY ARE A RELIABLE AND RESPECTABLE AUTO MANUFACTURER. SHAME ON YOU FOR TREATING YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH SUCH DISRESPECT AND DISMISSAL!

- Shade C., ORLANDO, FL, US

problem #22

Mar 152016

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 122,000 miles

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

Car was only 2,000 miles over extended warranty Nissan put in place to cover this dumb transmission. Contacted Nissan for some type of assistance or exception since this is my daughter's car and she's in college and didn't have $4000 to fix it.

The dealer (Coggin Nissan) was nice enough, as a token of good will, to provide the labor and we pay for parts ($2000).

- flguy, Macclenny, US

problem #21

Jun 142017

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 163,440 miles

THIS CAR HAS BEEN VERY DEPENDABLE FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS. I GET DOWN TO ONLY OWING 980.00 IN PAYMENTS AND IT BREAKS DOWN ON ME. I WOULD LIKE TO GET IT REPAIRED BUT AFTER READING ALL THE COMPLAINTS I AM LEANING TOWARD GETTING ANOTHER ONE. JUST DON'T WANT ANOTHER CAR PAYMENT! NISSAN IS VERY SLOW WITH THEIR RESPONSES. I LIVE IN A RURAL AREA AND TO GET IT TO A DEALER WILL BE OVER 50 MILES AWAY WHICH MEANS TOO MUCH FOR TOWING. AND I JUST BOUGHT A NEW SET OF TIRES TOO!!!

THE CAR QUITS WHEN I PUT IT IN GEAR, FORWARD OR REVERSE. I HAD A TRANSMISSION MECHANIC LOOK AT IT AND CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT. HE THINKS IT MAY BE THE CVT TRANSMISSION COMPUTER, WHICH APPARENTLY, HE CAN'T FIX. I AM SORRY TO SAY BUT I DON'T TRUST DEALER REPAIR SHOPS AT ALL!!!

ANYONE HAVE SOME ADVICE TO OFFER?

- Sandra C., Jonesboro, AR, US

problem #20

Mar 032017

Altima 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Ammco in Roseville, said I had a seal leak and the had to fix twice, then they said I need a new Transmission for 4K, then they ran over my key pod and destroyed it, now I have to bring them my second POD, they are on my sh*t list

- Nelson K., Roseville, US

problem #19

Feb 142014

Altima SE 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 117,240 miles

The CVT failed at 117,240 miles. Fortunately, the CVT was replaced by Nissan. The dealership advised Nissan had extended the CVT warranty to 120,000. Very disappointed at the failure of the CVT.

- fromo, Lubbock, US

problem #18

May 152015

Altima SE 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 61,000 miles

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

I purchased a 2005 Nissan Altima 3.5 and had a wonderful experience. The car was totaled in an accident and I was blessed that this vehicle saved my life, I couldn't wait to purchase my next Altima and so I did. I purchased a 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 with an extended warranty. The dreaded CVT Transmission has become a nightmare with repeated trips to Nissan Dealerships. While the warranty was in effect the car began to lose power during acceleration. Initially it was subtle and I thought it was my imagination as I'm driving city miles. I took the car to the dealership for diagnosis and repairs several times and they continuously told me that the problem did not exist (after holding onto my vehicle for at least a week at a time) and that the problem would have to be occurring at the time in order for any diagnosis could be made. I continued to drive the vehicle because the car was stalling on occasion until while I'm driving the car wouldn't accelerate or I wouldn't have any power driving on an incline. Very dangerous. Funny thing the car would operate fine if the car was either cold from sitting or driven in cold weather. No help from Nissan, I sought help from transmission specialist to be informed that the problem absolutely exists but its a manufacturers defect inside of the CVT transmission. Nissan has known about it probably always but unable to assist their customers with a recall. I did find out that the CVT trans has been discontinued. Don't think I'll be purchasing any other Nissan products based on their deception and the cost to repair running between $2M and $4M dollars

- butlerpa, Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #17

Oct 232016

Altima 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 99,000 miles

My car is paid for, thus really stinks! I heard a grinding noise when driving, then the car lost power, I was told I needed to replace the throttle body, spent 200.00 to do this, then the RPM's would go down under 200, spent another 129.00 at the dealer only to be told the brand new part I just bought is defective, then I was told the solenoid.

- Patricia H., Durham, NC, USA

problem #16

Aug 092016

Altima SE

  • CVT transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Today my Nissan Altima's Transmission Died! The kicker-- I just made my very last car payment this month!!!! I was driving on my way to work and had my baby in the car to drop off at Grandma's house and my car started grinding really bad and shifting horribly. Then all of a sudden it simply stops moving and won't shift into drive. I manage to steer it to the side of the road. I power the car off and then restart (that works for computers, right?!) put back into drive and it's making the most awful noise ever. Had it towed to a mechanic specializing in transmission work, he groaned when I told him over the phone it was an Altima CVT trans.

Got the call this morning that it is beyond repair. Needs to be replaced. What?! I thought Nissan's last for a long time. I've had the car for 5 years. He doesn't work on CVTs so it needs to go to a dealer. Called Nissan.. It's 10,000 miles over the extended warranty they wont fix it. So I'm on the hook for 4k?! I don't think so. I'll sell it for scrap metal and get a new car. Guarantee it won't be a Nissan I am buying. Shame on Nissan for putting such a crappy transmission in their cars then giving you no recourse. I was going to buy a Rogue but I hate Nissan and will never buy a car from them ever.

Update from Aug 18, 2016: CVT Transmission completely failed at 132000 miles. Nissan Consumer Affairs refuses to help because it is out of their "extended warranty of 120k" Car lost power wouldn't shift while driving in traffic, luckily we were not in an accident. How can Nissan put these junk transmissions in and refuse to stand by their product. Going to small claims court.

- Erika W., Wyandotte, MI, USA

problem #15

May 252016

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Transmission broke down yesterday am, on my way to work. I knew it was transmission so I had it towed to Aamco. They're putting in re-manufactured tranny, cost of $3,600 all in.

I just found out today that the warranty was extended, and so I called Nissan. He tells me, "yes your car is covered. Just bring it to a Nissan dealer." Uh oh, I just heard from Aamco that they put the new transmission in. So I ask whether they can reimburse me for a third party repair. They're not sure, and they're assigning a "Regional Specialist" to the case, who will call me back.

Does anyone on here have experience with this situation? Surely I'm not the first person to get an emergency repair at somewhere other than a Nissan dealership.

thanks,

Frank

- Frank S., Summit, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jan 272016

Altima 2.5S 2.5L 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 144,540 miles

On August 1, 2015 I purchased a 2008 Nissan Altima 2.5S with 130,812 miles for $7,500. On January 27, 2016 the transmission went out with 144,540 miles. The diagnosis for the Nissan Altima was a transmission failure requiring replacement with an estimated $4,135 cost. This is over ½ the amount I paid for the vehicle and 60% of the current market value.

I began doing research into transmission issues with the CVT transmissions in Nissan Altimas. I was completely amazed to discover numerous reports of similar failures. I learned from Nissan USA’s website that Nissan extended the warranty on the CVT transmission on 2007-2010 Altimas to 10 years and 120,000. This is a clear indication to me that Nissan recognizes a major quality issue with the CVT transmission,

I am a Quality Manager for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, so began doing additional searching for data. I discovered that self reported transmission failures for 2008 Nissan Altimas are 3.6%. Comparing this to a similar class competitive model average for 2008 of 0.76%, the Altima is nearly 5-times the industry average failure rate. I am certain Nissan has much more detailed data on failure by mileage. However, using the same data source for comparison across 8-manufacturers and finding a 5-times greater incidence rate is an obvious indication of an inferior product.

This is most likely the last Nissan I will own.

- Keith H., Ellerslie, GA, USA

problem #13

Nov 232015

Altima 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

This is simply a crappy transmission. Nissan knows about the problem and extended their warranty. After researching the complaints the transmissions are going out after their 120k warranty. I have contacted Nissan to see if there is anything they will do and will update this comment when I find out.

- Jim R., Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #12

Oct 032015

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

My car has a lot of hwy miles because I use to travel a lot. I keep my oil changed, tires rotated, everything checked, and etc. My car has had things happen here and there you know, it's only 7 years old. I've had several cars from Nissan and this has all been so disappointing for me. This is my only transportation, I have to transport my child around you know. I took my car to several body shops because just anyone can't fix a Nissan.They put it on the computer at three different locations and it was all the same. They say because I was using wrong gas it went out..I HAVE NEVER HEARD THAT IN MY LIFE..I really can't afford to have my car fixed, I've already cleaned my savings and paid $1,200 and now they saying I need another $3,000 for a transmission not including there fee. Why?????

- dkeishaj14, Foxworth, MS, USA

problem #11

Aug 022015

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 128,000 miles

I always thought my Nissan Altima was a great car, until I am faced with replacing my second transmission at 128,000 miles. Apparently this is a common problem for 2008 Altimas and Nissan has known about it. I was not aware of the extended warranty they put on their transmissions due to this common problem but I'm beyond that now. The cost to replace it is more than the trade-in value so I won't be fixing it. And, I'm sad to say, I'm not buying another Nissan.

- dymees, Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #10

Feb 262014

Altima V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Okay well today is 7/8/2015 and I had to pay for my first transmission that wasn't under warrant last year. Now the transmission a year later is going out again. So this will be the forth transmission for this car. It upset me that Nissan knows that that years was bad transmission problem and doing nothing about. I'm not even sure if the newer cars have better transmission or not.

- Cealia T., Round Rock, TX, US

problem #9

Jul 282014

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I just wish that Nissan would step up to the plate and cover those beyond the 120,000 extended warranty. This is ridiculous. I made my last car payment and determined I needed a new transmission all in the same month.

All could have been avoided if Nissan would have recalled and put in the now unavailable transmission cooler when they identified the problem.

- Krissy B., Mesquite, TX, USA

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