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
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,821 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2013 Nissan Altima brakes problems

brakes problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Feb 112015


  • miles


The brakes started squealing after a couple a days after I purchased the car, and continue to squeal after replacement. Ti have contacted the dealer and they told me that it is common, and there is nothing they can do. This car squeals really loud when it is in motion, and when the brakes get hot.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #34

Nov 262016


  • 34,000 miles
I took my car for servicing at Nissan service center and they told me that car brakes needs to be changed. My car's mileage is only 34 K.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #33

Oct 012016


  • 40,000 miles
The brakes on the 2013 Nissan Altima squeak, when backing up. I had this looked at three times and the brakes are fine so there must be a manufacturing defect.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #32

Sep 242016


  • 771,800 miles


I was in an accident and the air bags did not deploy. My children and I were injured. I serviced my car at Nissan for the airbag recall twice. I received a recall from NHTSA and Nissan wouldn't comply. Every time I've taken my car for the brake pads to be serviced I only need rotors never brake pads! the driver side door handle broke for no reason what so ever this car is a clunker!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #31

Jan 252016


  • 29,000 miles
Driving at the rate of 45 miles per hour. My 2013 Nissan Altima 3.5 sl start surging going faster than the speed limit. I applied on brakes pushing them down to the floor my car hit a 2013 durango SUV on the driver side knocking the rear wheel completely off. My car still surging faster on a congested high-way to avoid causing any fatalities my car spend around three times. Before coming to a stop. No air bag deployed on my driver's side occupant seat was unoccupied. My Nissan Altima 3.5 sl was a total loss, A-frame severely damage beyond repair. The seat beast on the driver side turn my large intestine, several feature bilateral pelvic bone, whip lash, neurological disturbance, (L) torn rotator cuff, spinal cord injury where partial paralysis have start to set in my legs. Irreversible nerve damage, poor sight, broken teeth whereas; I have to get them all pulled out & go into the hospital to have a complete mouth of implants. The seat belt was so tight that it torn a muscle in my chest cavity (L) side causing my heart not to fill up completely. Seeing a psychiatrist after the aftermath of the incident, gastrointestinal doctor, pain specialist,

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #30

May 142016


  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 5 mph, the brakes squeaked intermittently. The dealer diagnosed that the brakes needed to be replaced. The brake failure occurred without warning. The brakes were repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 27,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #29

Mar 102016


  • 71,000 miles


Driving in rush hour traffic on the interstate, I heard a noise but could not distinguish what it was or were it came from. The noise eventually got louder and after applying brakes in traffic the car struggled to engage into drive. I made it off the expressway to a dealership. Upon inspection, the brake caliper came off and was grinding into the wheel.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #28

Jun 132014


  • 34,000 miles
The brakes make noise all the time even with new brake pads and rotors, the emergency brake like turn on while I was driving on the freeway so decided to park the car to check the emegency brake was not on, it turned off after the car rested for 2hrs. Also when I reverse the car then put it in drive there is a slight delay to accelerate

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #27

Jan 022016


  • 36,000 miles
In less than three years and just over 36,000 miles we have serviced the transmission 3-4 times (I've lost count), had it brought in for brake noise (screeching) at least 4 times, and just this week the bearings in both rear wheels had to be replaced. The brakes screech is ear splitting. They reconditioned the surface of the rotors, re-shimmed the pads and replaced the pads 9 months ago. I warned them then that I knew this was only a temporary fix and that I was concerned that they would get noisy again once the warranty expires and that is exactly what has happened. A few months before that they shimmed the pads which made it better temporarily. I told them shims were a band aid for a design flaw and that it wouldn't last. Several weeks later it was back in the shop. The tranny has the shakes. It has been reprogrammed, the alternator was replaced because supposedly the voltage variation was affecting the timing of the tranny, and most recently a vale body was replaced. The oscillation problem is better for now but my wife had it buck again last week just not as bad. It's just a matter of time on this too. Their competitors do not have this problem. I am highly concerned that I have more bearing issues in the future. Two out of two bearing sets failing (the fronts bearings are different) is a 100% failure rate in less than 36K. All three problems (brakes, transmission and bearings) are known issues in this year, google it.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #26

Dec 022015


  • 38,000 miles
Purchased car may of 2013, pre-owned certified and only 21000miles. From onset of ownership, brakes made noises, "cyclop brake light in rear window would blink constantly, dash lights would go from dim to bright all the time. The car would hesitate when leaving stop position, pushing electronic start button would not work often. Dealership always said that the situation could not be duplicated. On Dec. 2nd, 2015 while driving home I was approaching a stopped car in the middle of the road and tried to slow below the 20mph I was driving and the brake pedal went all the way to the floor and all dash lights went blank and the car stalled resulting in a collision. The car would not start for over 2 hours. The dealership asked about the key fob location and battery condition and the batteries were good and key fob was on front seat where it always was. I filed a customer complaint with Nissan Consumer Affairs on Dec, 4th 2015 and constantly got run-arounds with no call backs several time. I was left without a vehicle and no help from dealership or Nissan Consumer Affairs. While reading the many complaints of other Altima's I was so concerned with my safety and health I purchased another car. I believe I had an electrical issue from the beginning and it could not be diagnosed and it ended up with a collision involving another car.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #25

Jul 192015


  • 57,072 miles


If I'm driving, when I try to stop the car, I press the brakes the brakes do not activate. The car does not stop it keep rolling on. I have to pat the brakes to stop the car or press the brake a second time for the brakes to catch. It feels as though it slips pass the brakes! I also took my car to Nissan for the latch recall every since I got the recall "fixed" the pass air bag light pops on when no is in the passenger seat and my car will state that I have 100 miles (more or less) of fuel but my fuel gage will read empty and I will need gas as the gauge states!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #24

May 212015


  • 10,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 30 mph, the transmission shifted from drive into the neutral position independently and an abnormal noise emitted. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but the mechanic was unable to duplicate or locate the failure. The contact experienced multiple unrelated failures with the vehicle that included the exterior door failing to unlock or lock with the key fob until after several attempts. A burning odor emitted from the air vents when the air conditioner or heater was activated. There were no flames present. Also, the brakes squeaked intermittently when depressed. The contact stated there was concern regarding a potential health hazard with the push button starter causing cancer. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 10,600.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #23

Jul 052013


  • 1,600 miles
First and foremost, this vehicle is not safe since the air bag light for the passenger has never worked. More than 6 times the dealer has tried to fix to no avail. I wont let passengers sit in the front for their safety. I always have them sit in the back. It looks like I am their employee/driver. Also a huge problem is the cvt transmission. It shudders, grumbles and the whole car vibrates intermittently. First the dealer said it was the alternator and replaced it, that didnt fix it so they said it was a bolt, that wasnt it, finally they just gave up and said they dont know and "they cant reproduce the problem" its all a scam. This car is defective.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #22

Jan 202015


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving at any speed and depressing the brake pedal, the contact heard an abnormal noise. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who stated that the vehicle was functioning as designed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Oklahoma City , OK, USA

problem #21

Jan 052015


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that approximately 30 minutes after starting the engine, the brake sensor light illuminated and indicated that the brake system was faulty. The failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 37,000.

- Pearl, MS, USA

problem #20

Feb 182015


  • 25,000 miles
I was driving northbound on maxwell road North of hyne road in brighton, mi. In preparation to make a 90 right hand turn to stay on maxfield, I applied the brakes well in advance of the turn. After doing so, the ABS brakes pulsed the brake pressure repeatedly rendering the brakes useless. I tried to complete the turn and halfway through the turn, I realized I was heading at ~45 right into a tree. I took my foot off of the brake and cut the wheel as hard as I could to the left. The front right bumper and fender hit the tree. I had considered writing a complaint regarding the ABS and traction control on this vehicle previously as there have been several instances where I have feared for my safety as the vehicle does not stop in a reasonable distance and I have almost slid into a busy intersection several times. Also, power to the wheels is cut much more than what is reasonable when starting on damp or snowy roads to the point that I fear pulling out onto a road and have to wait until there is no traffic for over a mile. I believe that the tuning of the ABS system and traction control should be investigated to determine if there is an issue. It seems as though they are turned this way to protect the cvt from any sort of impulse due to the wheels slipping and then grabbing pavement.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #19

Feb 132015


  • 47,955 miles
Brakes faulty and malfunctioning. Issue for many owners of 2013 Nissan Altima. This mechanism should be recalled before someone is injured or killed.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #18

Jan 082015


  • 57,000 miles
January the 8th I was driving from work to home my job is about 30 miles from my home. I was driving no faster than 50-45 miles an hour due to construction in the areas on my way home. There are cameras at the lights in a city 7 miles before my city. If you go over the line a bit they take pictures of your license plate and send you a picture and ticket in the mail with an image of you going over the line indicating you've run a red light. So I pressed on the breaks to slow down as the light turned yellow to assure I did not go over the line. As I slowed down my car jerked I had a 2011 Altima that did the same thing so I was thinking its nothing its how the transmission runs. But within a 12-15 feet distance I stopped as I completely came to a stop my car jerked forward, the brakes locked up, hazard lights on the dash showed up, and the engine shut off. I could not get my car to drive forward it was embarrassing as cars honked for me to drive. I returned my car to Nissan and they updated some recalls. Then stated their system is not showing in issues. This has occurred multiple times and once I was on a hill the car was in drive and it started rolling backwards. I hope the recalls they have fixed resolves the issue I am scared that the car will die and cut off while I am on a busy highway. I hope and pray my issues are resolved and, I do not get crushed in a collision.

- Taylor, TX, USA

problem #17

May 202014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 12,872 miles
While parking in a parking lot, brake pedal went to the floor and the car did not stop. In the first incident 5/20/14 there was no accident of damage. The car continued to travel through the intended parking space and drifted to a stop. The second incident 8/25/14 resulted in an accident where the driver's front impacted the driver's front of a car that was parked.

- Blackwood, NJ, USA

problem #16

Sep 252012


  • 328 miles
I have had major issues with this vehicle since the third day after purchase. The brakes have malfunctioned. The brake light would intermittently come on and I had it in several times, but the dealership could never "duplicate" anything. Then the car started to misfire and emit a thick black smoke from exhaust. I contacted the dealership and at first they said it was normal because the car has a cvt transmission. Then they said bring it in for assessment. A service technician test drove with me and experienced this first hand. I was told they could not service it that day, but to bring it back in. When I took it back a week later, they "could not duplicate" the problem. There has been much back and forth. I asked them to buy the car back because the problems were life threatening. The car actually shut off on me, twice, in traffic. When I last contacted the dealership, on July 24th, 2014, about the major issues I've been experiencing; the earliest they said they could see me would be on August 11th, 2014. On yesterday, it finally shut off for good, in the middle of the interstate. As I was on a trip, I had to have the vehicle towed 125 miles to my hometown dealership at the cost of $230, out of pocket. The only reason I got it home that cheaply was because I have four roadside assistance coverage packages and luckily one of them covered towing up to 100 miles. The car is now sitting on the dealership's parking lot.

- Greenville, MS, USA

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