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 1 of 9)

problem #172

Jan 152017


  • 38,000 miles


When I get into my car it starts but it will not come out of park. Initially I had to turn my car off turn it back on three or four times and sometimes it still won't work. This is unsafe as you can be stranded in cold or unsafe medical conditions. Dealer instructed if gear locks up in park and will not move you press the shift over ride with a key. This is not obvious and the only car I have had this issue. Now this happens 100% of the time. Only 38000 miles on the car. Vehicle is stationary when this happens.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #171

Jan 042017


  • 66,000 miles
I have a Nissan Altima S 2013 and I financed it zero meter in Sept 2013. Yesternight my car died/shutdown while trying to accelerate, after stopping at the stop light. I had no clue what happened at my car. I was in full stop at the moment and was trying to make a left turn. There was no warning and I just had a cold car all of a sudden. I could not move my car, the car shuts all electrical power. I tried to restart my car, and it did, but when put it in drive and tried to accelerate the car would power down again. I turned my hazard lights on and call the tow company as I was not far from my home. Unfortunately my car has 66K miles while its only 3yrs and 5 months old. My warranty expired after driving my car for more than 60K (only 6K miles over). I suppose the main issue is that, there is no warning sign. This could have happened and put me in danger and other drivers around me. I lost my confidence on my car because the electrical system powered off and it can stopped anywhere. This is a ongoing problem with Nissan cvt transmission. They must need to recall all the Nissan Altima which have cvt transmission and correct the problem, and for me I need a reliable car not this piece of junk, (american car runs more efficiently than Nissan, a Japanese piece of junk) "no more Nissan for me". I took my car to the crest Nissan frisco, tx. Lets see what they say"?"

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #170

Dec 222016


  • 81,000 miles
To whom this may concern, I own a 2013 Nissan Altima 4 cylinder with roughly 81000 miles on it. About 2 weeks ago I was driving and the car kept stalling out when I would come to a stop light, but I was able to restart and move on. However, in the middle of the high way it completely shut off on me and didn't restart. Thankfully the truck behind me had enough room to swerve to avoid hitting me. Me and my car would have been totaled. I received no warning lights before this issue, it happened out of no where. I received a diagnosis of "bad transmission" and was given an estimate of $4200+ tax. I was told that since my extended warranty ran out that I would be responsible for the payment in total. I did my research on this problem and it seems that many people are having the same issue as I am. I am beyond disappointed in Nissan and their inability to warn customers about such a dangerous malfunction in their cars. This is incredibly unsafe and needs some type of investigation or recall done on the transmission. God forbid anyone has this issue and it costs their life. Sincerely, pinal patel

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #169

Dec 172016


  • 97,500 miles


My car has 97,500 miles on it equipped with a cvt transmission. Nissan in the past has had issues with these transmissions and extended transmission warranty to 120K miles in 08-2010 models. After doing research found 2013-14 Altima and rougues have had same issue. 2 days prior before getting my car to dealer to have transmission checked out, I first noticed my rpms reving up and down while on cruise control. Following workday I was at a stop light. Light turned green and cars approaching fast behind me took my vehichle 2,000 rpms to move from stop light almost getting rearended, I was only 1,100 miles over my paid extended warranty communicated with Nissan about the issues with the cvt transmission. Long story short they wont backk up this faulty transmission and now I have to pay $3,200 for my transmission to be fixed the above research show they have issues and at some point someone can be injured or killed or like me having to fork over eccessive cash for a transmission replacement nissian needs to step up and warranty their deffective transmissions

- Weatherford, OK, USA

problem #168

Dec 132016


  • 71,000 miles
Takata recall my 2013 Altima transmission went out when I was on my way home the car stalled and then broke down twice on me after we got it home my husband tested it and it said it was the cvt transmission we had it towed in to Nissan and found out we had 3 recalls on this car and one of them was the cvt and a few days later Nissan said it was transmission and it will cost $5000 to fix it. Corporations refused to keep there promises on there product and said they will not pay for it. However it was under there recall.

- Montgomery, IL, USA

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problem #167

Dec 162016


  • 91,515 miles
When first starting the car the rpms start jumping. Wen U go to put it in gear it cluncks. And when I go to accelerate it wont go faster than 40. (gas pedal to the floor)

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #166

Nov 072016


  • 64,500 miles


Car would shut off when stopped at times even on a busy highway. Later became jerky and bumping with acceleration. These issues were caused by the cvt transmission at about 64500 miles on the car.

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #165

Dec 092016


  • 93,985 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shift into gear to reverse. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 93,985.

- Bridgewater, MA, USA

problem #164

Dec 052016


  • 91,080 miles
Car stalls to accelerate when pressing the gas pedal. Last night the car was making noticeable noise and jerked as I was driving. This morning the car was stalling as I pressed the acceleration on multiple occasions.

- Jacsksonville, FL, USA

problem #163

Nov 202016


  • 79,000 miles
I just exited highway 580 turning left on highway 84 stoplight when my car died/shutdown while trying to accelerate. I had no clue what happened at my car. I was in full stop at the moment and was trying to make a left turn. There was no warning and I just had a cold car all of a sudden. I could not move my car, the car shuts all electrical power. I tried to restart my car, and it did, but when put it in drive and tried to accelerate the car would power down again. This happened for at least four times. I turned my hazard lights on fearing that the cars exiting the freeway would hit me considering we had the green. I did not want to get out of my car because I was in the middle lane and feared that the on coming drivers will not see me. This happened around 5:10pm and we have a light shower. I finally got my car to move when I restarted my car and put the gear on sports mode or D2 instead of drive. The car moved without hesitation and while I was hoping to see any issue or warning on the dashboard I found nothing. As if there no issue and could not replicate the issue. I contacted Nissan dealer to make and appointment, and got me a slotted the next day. The final diagnosis is that my car needs a new transmission. Unfortunately my car has 79K miles while its only 4yrs old. They told me that my car is deemed unsafe to drive and that the whole ordeal will cost me $3500. My warranty expired after driving my car for more than 60K. The main issue I suppose the main issue is that, there is no warning or tell tell sign. This could have happened and put me in danger and other drivers around me. I lost total control of my car because the electrical system powered off.

- Mountain House, CA, USA

problem #162

Nov 082016


  • 54,000 miles


Stopped on the driveway waiting for the garage door to open and the car died. The car starts and idles, but it dies when putting in gear. Gas is 3/4 full, all lights work and are not dim.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #161

Nov 072016


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle began to stall. The dealer diagnosed that the continuous variable automatic transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,000.

- Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #160

Nov 062016


  • miles
My car has 46000 miles in it. Several times now while I am driving mostly when slowing down or starting again after being stopped the car shakes really bad and then dies. It is while driving. This is very dangerous and if it occurs while on the highway could be disasterous. There are many complaints about this. See the link here to other owners hacing the same problem.

- Cicero, NY, USA

problem #159

Oct 132016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. When approaching a stop or when shifting gears into drive, the vehicle had a strong hesitation and stalled several times without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the transmission failed and needed to be diagnosed by a transmission specialist. The dealer reprogrammed the transmission, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was not available.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #158

Mar 252015


  • 80,000 miles
I finance a 2013 Nissan Altima S, I noticed that my engine light, air bag light, brake light and tire pressure light kept coming on all at once, and would stay on for a day or two and then would go away on it's own yet the car never gave any physical signs that a problem was going on. So I assumed that maybe there was a sensor problem. I was leaving from work when I approached a stop sign and came to a stop. As I proceed to step on the gas to go is when I noticed that the car had shut off on me yet the radio and lights were still working. I tried to start the car up when the warning symbol came on stating that my key pad was invalid.that continued until the tow truck driver arrived resulting in him towing the car away to cherry hill Nissan. It was there that I was told that at 80,000 miles my transmission had went yet no one could give me an explanation as to why or what caused the problem. Now as of 10/22/2016 I am having the same signs and symptoms that were going on before my transmission went the first time with all the warning symbols coming on for a few days then going back off all on their own. 10/26/2016 my car cut off on me as I was in route. After getting it to start back up I immediately stopped at auto zone where they hooked my car up to their diagnostic machine and reported to me that my computer brain was malfunctioning.I won't know for certain what is actually going with my car until Monday 10/31/2016 when I take it into Nissan of turnersville so they can run test. In which I was informed over the phone that beings though the warning symbols come on and off on their own they may not be able to diagnosis what the actual problem is. How do I handle this matter if they can't figure out what causing the problem? I've already contacted corporate Nissan and they couldn't even tell me if the recalls that occurred prior to me getting the car were ever address

- Lawnside, NJ, USA

problem #157

Oct 282016


  • miles
Cvt transmission failure at 76,000 miles. Within in 2 days the car went from a slight shudder to complete failure. According to my research and viewin thousands of other complaints, 2013 Nissan Altima should have a transmission recall. Had it failed on the freeway with my children in the car, I would be filing a lawsuit. Car is currently at a dealership and will remain there until I can afford $3500-$4000 for repairs. I have filed a complaint with Nissan Consumer Affairs.

- West Bend, WI, USA

problem #156

Aug 062016


  • 75,000 miles
I have a 2013 Nissan Altima that I purchased one year ago. When I purchased the vehicle it only had 25,000 miles on it and was still under warranty. About one month ago my car just died in the middle of the highway while I was driving it and I had to merge off of the highway before I was hit by other vehicles. The car would start right up after I turned it off, but not matter how hard I pressed on the gas peddle it would just sit there. I had the car towed to the local Nissan dealership and I was told that my cvt transmission had failed. I only have 75,000 miles on the car, but of course, the warranty was up at 60,000 miles. The service center at Nissan suggested that I call corporate Nissan and see if there was anything that they can do to help. I called Nissan and after weeks of playing phone tag with the representative handling my case, I was told that there wasn't anything that they would do to help me. I proceeded to ask her if she was aware that there is a class action law suit again Nissan regarding their faulty cvt transmissions and she said "yes" and that they would rather me sue them than just replace their faulty transmission. Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed with Nissan and will never buy another one of their vehicles again. The total cost to replace my transmission was $5,000, plus a month and a half of rental car charges.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #155

Oct 052016


  • miles
Shift assembly - transmission: My car is a 2013 Nissan Altima and it will not go out of park at times there is a default with the shift gear assembly that need to be recalled or investigated. I have had this car for only a year. I have also hear rumors about these type of cars having transmission issues. The cost for the repairs to fix this car is $600 and this should be on the manufacture end and not the consumer. I actually believed Nissan and honest company when it came to vehicle safety but the tech advised me that if it is not under recall then there is nothing that they can do. So ok that means unless someone is not injured or killed this is your problem even though we know these cars have this problem. I would like for anyone who is having these issues to please report it because I am trading this piece of junk in as soon as possible.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #154

Sep 262016


  • 90,000 miles
My car was going about 75mph then it started stalling and losing speed. When I stopped and parked I put the car back in drive and the car wouldn't move. I had to push the gas pedal all the way to the floor. Then the car jumped into gear. But it stalls. They said it's a failed transmission.

- Hopewell, VA, USA

problem #153

Aug 152016


  • 60,000 miles
I have a 2013 Nissan, Altima with 60,000 miles and my transmission has gone out. I had a 2010 Altima and the transmission went out on I it as well. I purchased both vehicles from nalley Nissan. When I purchased the 2013 Altima the salesman told us that they have made some improvements to the transmission, but that is a lie. I

- Norcross, GA, USA

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