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:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,730 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #52

Apr 302013


  • 3,000 miles


I have a bad rattle coming from the right side of my car along with a whine noise coming from the same area. Also have a very bad vibration/rattle in the car that seems to be from the transmission at acceleration from a start and acceleration while switching lanes on a city street. You can coast and press the gas again and then the whole car rattles. It has been in to a Nissan dealership and they said they can feel it but don't know where or what is causing it. Also headlights give very very poor visibility when driving at night and when raining at night.

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #51

Oct 222015


  • 28,000 miles
Car intermittently stalls without warning. Car is under original manufacturer warranty. Car died once while I was in motion driving through an intersection, 3 times while stopped on a highway at a traffic light and once in my driveway while I was moving. Has been to 2 different dealers, 2 times each for a total of 4 repair attempts, continues to stall. 5th repair attempt scheduled.

- West Milford, NJ, USA

problem #50

Oct 302015


  • 60,000 miles
Car randomly shuts off in stop and go traffic after driving over 20 miles. Car has been towed to local dealership twice, however, the dealer is unable to duplicate. Car shakes, shudders, cuts off. Car will restart but gas has to pressed excessively hard for engine to turn over, car continue to jerk while restarting. Local dealership has had my car for 30 days! I was told that Nissan America was contacted for direction, car may require software upgrade and/or new transmission. Which is speculation! the service advisor was told by the mechanic that they are not 100% that this solution will fix the problem. Since the local dealership was unable to duplicate no repairs have been made. I have seen several complaints of the same issue on the 2013 and prior year models. I will also file another formal compliant with Nissan America. This car is not safe to drive as it randomly shuts off without warning other than the violent shaking and shudder immediately before the car shuts off! thus far the car cuts off when stationary, if the gas is pressed before the car cuts off completely the car will self correct and not shut off. This has happened twice in 6 months on a city street, this car has a little over 60K miles.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #49

Oct 012014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled in the park gear and hesitated to restart. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #48

May 202015


  • 25,000 miles
I have a 2013 Altima that shudders/hesitate/vibrates intermittently upon acceleration. I have taken it to the dealership twice. Upon picking up my car, I have been told that the issue could not be duplicated. The problem started at approximately 25,000 miles. I am know at 54,000 miles and fear that the warranty will be up before a solution is found. The shuddering/vibration/hesitancy can happen anywhere. I have researched the issue online and found numerous complaints, however, no recalls.. I am sure Nissan knew of the defect prior to releasing the vehicles and something needs to be dont to correct this issue.

- Elgin, SC, USA

problem #47

Oct 262015


  • 36,320 miles
While driving at slow speeds the car begins to lurch and then stalls. This has happened 3 times in the past two days. In addition, when you stop at a redlight and then start to go at the green light the car stalls. This happened last night and we were almost hit by the car behind us. The car stalled at the light so we had to put the car in park, then put your foot on the brake to start the car, and then put in drive. The car lunged forward but stalled again in the middle of a intersection. We repeated the start up process and the car drove home. This morning the same thing happened again. We called Nissan and they advised there are no recalls for this. This car is simply not safe to drive in this state. We dropped the car off at a dealer this morning. I am providing this information because many others have as well. Our car just went over 36000 miles

- Mays Landing, NM, USA

problem #46

Aug 272015


  • 45,800 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving at 20 mph and coming to a stop, the vehicle shook and then stalled. The vehicle was taken to a dealer on two separate occasions where the vehicle was reprogrammed and the transmission was replaced but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,800.

- Wenatchee, WA, USA

problem #45

Jul 142015


  • 62,000 miles
When slowing down for traffic light, car stalled. Would start but would not move. Transmission stalled and it rolled backward although I was in drive and pushing on gas. Transmission finally engaged once up to 4000 RPM and car began to move, slowly. Various cars almost rear-ended me at different times when light was green, I had foot off brake, and was trying to move forward. This happened various times before the transmission actually went out at 62,500 miles. Had it hooked up to computer at Nissan dealer and showed no defect.

- Dixon, IL, USA

problem #44

Aug 122012


  • 7,996 miles
When turning my car cut off a few different times and you can hear a pop noise when turning coming from the right tire, I took may car to Nissan I was advised that they couldn't find a code and didn't no why it cut off, and didn't hear the noise, or feel the slack in the steering wheel, my car was there at 7996 miles and out at 7996 miles which means no one test drove the car to even try to see what was going on they did a so called diagnostic which the check engine light didn't even come on. And I was told they drove my car to see what I was talking about. 4 months later it do the same thing but being that they didn't do what they said the first time I didn't take it back. In 12/14 it did it again while getting on and off the freeway and coming to a stop took it to Nissan and was told I needed a air filter which was changed 2 oil changes before this happened. Took it home and it cut off many more times, now 4/15 it did it again but worse sitting in traffic it cut off and everytime I start it and put in drive it cut of but will go in reverse and it jerk really bad, and when it do go its hesitate and when smashing on the gas it takes a long time to go then takes off when it decides to. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and was advised they were going to call to where I take my car to 3 days later I get a call back and was advised to call Nissan and go have a diagnostic, like it was set up. When I asked for the name I was giving that Consumer Affairs was talking to she didn't have a clue to what I was talking about, when I called the lady I been talking to at Consumer Affairs I didn't get a answer nor a call back. But im sure they will not find anything wrong with my car due to no one will drive it to see what it do. Im scared to drive my car due to it may stop and someone can hit me or being that when smashing on the gas it take off when it want to and I can hit someone.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #43

Mar 032015


  • 65,000 miles
Car was purchased on 2/27/2015. Left the car lot and went back to have tire sensor replaced after 30 minutes of driving. On 3/3/2015, my husband was in the car when it stopped at a red light and wouldn't move. The engine would start but wouldn't move. Called dealership. They sent a tow truck and got us a rental car. After a couple of days, was told that the torque converter was gone in the transmission. This was replaced costing me $100 deductible. All of this before my first car note is paid.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #42

Jun 182013


  • 9,977 miles


My car have some issue I took the car complaining about the pax light airbag NHTSA num 14V138000 but as of now the problem exist and another NHTSA 13V069000 occupant detection system may disable pas airbag and this problem still exist on my car and another problem that I have my car has 3 new transmissions and only has 24763 miles.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #41

Feb 222015


  • miles
Ongoing hard starting when wet or cold. Finally started after grinding for about 3 minutes. Ran rough awhile.engine light on now. Runs ok for now. Suspect crank or cam sensors. Just turned 50K miles. My 97 Altima is more reliable. Anyone else reporting problems like this? this is ridiculous.

- Morgantownn, WV, USA

problem #40

Aug 222014


  • 30,733 miles
Wife was driving West bound on Ohio St rt 125 doing 40 mph when a car going East bound on Ohio St rt 125 attempted to make a left hand turn in front of her and hit her head on bringing the car to a complete stop in just a couple feet. None of the airbags went off. The seatbelt did not lock up. None of the safety equipment on this car worked during this head on collision.... updated 02/19/15 updated 10/28/2015

- Bethel, OH, USA

problem #39

Sep 162014


  • 32,000 miles
This card start shuddering and with enough vibration to shake the cabin dashboard. Vehicle start shuddering around: 20 / 40 / 55mph when RPM stay around 1500 -- 2000 RPM. With light accelaration, the car will shudder just like with a stick shift with 1 gear higher. Very annoying. Nissan dealer offer no help. First was replace a alternator, but after 10000 miles, it come back again. And the car still suddering with enough vibration to make you crazy and tire of it. The transmission should on a recall.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #38

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 #37

Nov 012014


  • 24,000 miles
I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima S from carmax on 10/5/14. The car was suppose to be a birthday present to myself seeing as though I had not purchased a car in 12 years. I was very excited, but shortly after purchasing the Altima, I started to hear squealing coming from the brakes, and also roaring and rumbling which started in the front of the car, and proceeded to the center. I also complained about the car locking up and driving sluggish, and then releasing once the rumbling briefly stopped. I am also hearing an annoying whining sound coming from the right side of the vehicle. When I took the car back to carmax, they told me the roaring was coming from my windshield washer compartment that was loose, and that my brakes were fixed. Needless to say, I left and drove around the corner, and the squealing brakes and roaring came back. I took the car to a Nissan dealership in my area, and after telling them about the roaring and the whining, the service manager told me that he's quite familiar with the sound, and there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. He stated that the whining sound is coming from the power steering and the roaring is coming from the way I am driving the vehicle. How dare he! I only had the vehicle for a month before I took it to the Nissan dealership. He would not even try to look into the list of issues I requested to be fixed. The Nissan manager told me to go back to carmax or I would have to pay for the brakes to be fixed, and even charged me to rotate my tires. I left paying him for a service that I did not originally come in for. I went back to carmax and they finally fixed my brakes, but still could not find anything wrong that would cause the extremely annoying roaring and whining noises. This has been a nightmare, and I am thinking about taking legal action.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #36

Apr 142014


  • 48,000 miles
Have you had any recalls on these parts alternator they say mind id bad and a nother lady was there she had to replace hers I cannot believe these would have to be replace so soon.there must be a fault some where.

- Osceola , AR, USA

problem #35

Oct 272014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
I have these issues everyday driving this car. Shuttering at low RPM when accelerating or decelerating, noticeable delay in gears shifting when shuttering is occurring between 1200 and 1800 RPM. RPM's increase rapidly(sharp spike) when car is going down hill but does not allow the car to gain speed. The ramping of RPM's is loud and resembles when you hit gas to accelerate to enter a highway only you are not getting the acceleration in speed. Also coming up hill the car gives off a burning smell. I have not located the source of the burning smell and it goes away after going back to flatter terrain for awhile. The smell lingers enough to cause concern.

- Thurmont, MD, USA

problem #34

Nov 102014


  • 6,266 miles
I was trying to get into my car to get to work. The key fob was not working at all, the das was telling me that my key I'd was incorrect. It took several hours and the car finally started. I called Nissan and they told me it was my battery. I have since changed my battery and still am having the problem. Tonight I was stuck outside of my car for hours B4 it would open.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #33

Nov 292014


  • 72,000 miles
Lost power while underway on a secondary road. Just before the incident, the check engine and the battery light came on. There was just enough inertia to move off to the side of the road.

- Andover, MA, USA

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