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:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,319 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #132

May 252016


  • 86,062 miles


Transmission stopped working while I was driving on Wednesday May 25th 2016. While I was driving the car cutoff twice, after the car restarted and I placed it in drive it would not drive.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #131

May 252016


  • miles
Car stopped responding to pressure on the gas pedal - took its time getting in gear, both from a cold start, and after stopping at an intersection. Even after the car was moving, car was slow to respond to gas pedal. Repair shop diagnosed it as a cvt failure; we've had to replace the transmission on a 3 year old vehicle at 74,000 miles.

- New Albany, IN, USA

problem #130

May 212016


  • 56,000 miles
I purchased my 2013 Nissan Altima (44K miles) in May 2015. I had no issues with this vehicle until I reached the 50K mile mark in January 2016. The first issue started when the vehicle would push really hard driving up a hill. The next issue happened on 5/2/16 when I placed the vehicle in żdriveż and it went forward for a few seconds and it completely shut off. To be clear, it was not the battery. Everything worked in the car except its ability to actually drive. I took it to the Nissan dealership and they kept the vehicle for about 2 days for inspection. I was told that they couldn't find a thing wrong with the vehicle; no error codes or driving issues while the vehicle was with them. I had no choice but to take back my vehicle and hope for the best. However, on May 21, 2016, the vehicle shut off again. I was almost rear-ended because it shut off while the vehicle was in motion. I sat in the middle of a busy street for 20 mins before the vehicle decided to drive again. I'm almost sure that it is the cvt transmission. I have researched this problem and it seems as if I'm not the only Nissan owner with this problem. The cvt transmission seems to "go out" at the 50K mile mark. I find it hard to believe that this vehicle can shut off while in use and there is no code or trail as to why. The most dangerous part of this experience is that the car shuts off while it is being actively driven. I use the freeway twice a week and there would life-threatening effects if the vehicle shut off in that type of traffic (65-75 mph). I have never had a vehicle that completely shut off and a certified mechanic could not tell you why. As I previously mentioned, I'm sure it has something to do with the transmission because the vehicle's driving capabilities are affected. There's no telling what other parts are being affected by this issue.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #129

Apr 042016


  • miles


My gear shift is stuck. Each time I want to drive, I have to use my key to push in the manual override for the gear shift. Not safe.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #128

May 062015


  • 148,013 miles
Shacking and unable to control and no one till this day"?? why ? I'm sorry but Dodge Chrysler nor any dealer ship has my air bag and 98% of parts in stock... so now what??" I spent a lot of much $$$$...

- Washington, DC, USA

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problem #127

Mar 172016


  • 74,000 miles
Cvt transmission recall. At 74000 miles, the transmission unexpectedly went out. Called Nissan dealership and a mechanic was able to identify issue. He stated that it is unfortunately very common. Car judders while in drive. Initially started whole driving on the highway.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #126

Jan 142016


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While parked, the vehicle rolled backwards and crashed into another vehicle. A police report was not filed. The passenger sustained a head injury that required medical attention. On several occasions, the vehicle accelerated independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.....updated 06/15/16

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #125

Mar 082016


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle slowed independently to 45 mph. The vehicle then independently accelerated to 65 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The vehicle went into safe mode. The contact was also informed that the cvt transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #124

Mar 012015


  • miles
Transmission lags severely around 2,000 RPM. Family member bought the 2015 Altima and the cvt transmission, seems fine / steady. Mine however needs additional gas applied just to avoid the car slowing significantly. Have read many reviews about the 2013 faulty transmission, and the fact that Nissan refused to recall. Will not be considering another Nissan if this clear issue isn't recalled.

- Don't Like Junk Mail, NJ, USA

problem #123

Mar 112016


  • 71,000 miles
I was stopped at an intersection when the vehicle started jerking and moving forward. I thought I got rear ended by the car behind me, so I turned the ignition off. It turns out the cvt was having issues. I turned the car back on and started driving.the car would feel like it was downshifting while driving, almost causing accidents with the vehicles behind me. I brought the car to the dealer where they said the cvt needed to be replaced.

- Huntley, IL, USA

problem #122

Mar 112016


  • 87,000 miles


Driving down road (pkw 55 miles per hr speed limit), started to loose power, RPM's dropped, slower till car would no longer go forward. Stopped in middle of rush hour traffic. Transmission had failed. Many reports of same problems with this cvt transmission on internet of transmission failing with no warning..

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #121

Feb 082016


  • 62,000 miles
I put my car in reverse and it would not move. It eventually started about 10 seconds later. Then when driving it began to sputter and jump in and out of acclerating. It did not accelerate correctly... I would push the gas pedal and it would not move, then it would jolt in to forward. The car barely got me to work. I took it to a Nissan dealer where they diagnosed it with a bad transmission. However, Nissan would not replace the transmission, even thought the car is only 2.5 years old... because it has 62,000 miles, which is 2,000 over the powertrain warranty. I have to pay one fourth the price of the car (which I still pay a note on) to replace the transmission.

- Bridge City, TX, USA

problem #120

Feb 152016


  • 50,000 miles
Transmission abruptly started bucking/malfunctioning while both traveling as well as at a stop sign. I took it to the dealer who could not replicate it, then it happened again, and again dealer could not replicate but put some software down. Then it happened again on the nys thruway---bucking to the point it was abruptly slowing down and I almost got hit by a semi. This time the dealer said the cvt transmission was bad. Car was purchased new 2 years ago and has 50K miles on it.

- Highland Mills, NY, USA

problem #119

Feb 292016


  • 39,898 miles
My car shuts off at traffic lights and hesitate upon take off..makes noises when I put it in park...I got this car in 2013 brand new..

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #118

Feb 292016


  • 80,000 miles
80K miles and tranny bearing gone!!

- Sandwich, MA, USA

problem #117

Feb 092016


  • miles
Car jutter & stalled when came to a stop. Took car to local Nissan dealership and they placed car on diagnostic which came back clear and could not duplicate problem for 2 days. Received car back and car did the same thing, took it to a different Nissan dealership that said they have heard of same complaints but they have had my car for 5 days and claim to not be able to duplicate the problem. Car warranty is almost up and Nissan seems to be of no help. Passenger airbag light also stays on from time to time. I have read and printed out several identical complaints and there seems to be no resolve.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #116

Sep 132015


  • miles
The vehicle would not accelerate after getting on the highway coming from the main street. Car had to be towed because the vehicle could no longer move. After review by mechanics they deemed the issue being the transmission. The car was newly purchased at 88K miles. No liability or responsibility was picked up Nissan after I was assured that the new cvt was great on the new models.

- Conley, GA, USA

problem #115

Feb 082016


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine and traction control warning lights illuminated. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was able to restart, but stalled immediately when the gear lever was shifted into drive. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Travelers, SC, USA

problem #114

Feb 012016


  • 15,000 miles
Loud vibrating sound when depressing the accelerator at 40mph and 70mph. At low rpms to car also vibrates around 25mph. It also vibrates at 40mph and 70mph when pressing on the accelerator.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #113

Sep 112015


  • 98,000 miles
The cvt transmission started jerking and shuttering before warranty was expired. I took it to the dealership and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Now that the warranty is expired it is getting worse. When driving down the highway it will jerk and shutter.

- Benton, AR, USA

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