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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,931 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 1 of 2)

problem #22

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 #21

Sep 012016


  • 69,000 miles
I bought a Nissan Altima 2013. Back in February the car would start and would shut off when I put it on drive and reverse. This happen in the middle of the street. I took it to the dealership and left it there for a month and they still were not able to tell me what was wrong with the car. Even though a technician duplicated the problem the car computer would still say the car is fine.I took it to get a second opinion from a Nissan master technician and they weren't able to tell me what was wrong with the car. After about a month the car started working again. I was told by a 3rd place I took the car that it might be a sensor issue and the car literally decides when's going to work and not and that this is an on going issue iwth the Altima. A couple of days ago the car would took off with me at a red light when I just tap the gas. I was at a red light the light turn green I tp the gas the rpms jumped ad the accelarated in high speeds. Also the car would not go forward or backwards after I put it in reverse immidiately, it would stay idel for about 5 ten seconds than go. The Nissan dealership has not been able to diagnose that anything is wrong with my car he computers keeps saying the cr is fine. I have told Nissan headquaters that I feel unsafe when I'm driving the car. Looking online I see that this a on going defect with the Altima 2013 that Nissan refuses to address. I have called Nissan and told them that this car is defective and im starting to feel its putting my life and someone S with this carelse in danger and there response was basically tough luck. Right now the car is cranking but not start. I feel like Nissan did a poor job with this car and it should have been sold

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #20

Jul 152016


  • 47,000 miles
Intermittently the car is completely shutting off while driving on the road. The engine starts vibrating while slowing down or braking and turns off. It will start immediately7-8 times in a row but will turn turn off as soon as the transmission is put into drive. This has happened 5-6 times in the past 2 weeks. We have taken this to the Nissan dealer only for them to tell us they can't fix it because there are no codes showing up! our concern is the number of other people who have complained about the same issue and there is no recall for whatever is causing this.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #19

Sep 212015


  • 58,000 miles


While driving, the vehicle stalls when the accelerator is depressed and does not respond no matter how much the pedal is depressed. The accelerator must be depressed a second or third time for the engine and the car to respond. I have had several near miss accidents due to sluggish or nonresponsive acceleration. The sluggish and nonresponsive acceleration occurs without warning and can be on a flat or incline surface.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #18

Jan 062015


  • 27,000 miles
While I was driving it just stop and forcing to start when have it check they say said its gas pump with other several problem, I recently bought the car not even after three months it start gave those problem, now it have been sitting for almost a year now without driving, I still makes my payment every month, I can't have you guys a exact date when it really happened but I really need a investigation for the car as soon as possible my cell number [xxx]. thank you information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Jan 252016


  • 29,000 miles


The contact owned a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle revved and accelerated without warning. The contact depressed the brake pedal, but the vehicle did not respond. As a result, the contact's vehicle crashed into another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The driver sustained injuries to the pelvic, both legs, head, teeth, and. Medical attention was required. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 29,000.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #15

Feb 182016


  • miles
I simply turned on my car when the RPM and speed gauge went out of control from 0 to max in stationary mode, the car was parked in my garage spot. This process occurred several times in a row, along with this the car engine was extremely loud making roaring noises and shuddering and vibratign. When I put my foot on the brake pedal nothing happened the car continued with the RPM and speed gauge cycling from 0 to max, I did not feel safe to attempt to drive the car. Last month I had to have the car service because it would not accelerate while I was on the freeway the max speed on the car was 30 miles per hour. I got off the highway immediately and the car turned off when I parked it on the street. It took 3 attempts to finally turn on. The car did this again on a second occurrence before I could get it to the dealer, I was driving on the street and again the same issue occurred. The car stalls, jerks, vibrates on its own at random times. Each time I have had my preventive services done at the dealer the car is in near perfect condition and nothing can be diagnosed, then the car has these incidents occur with no warning.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 072015


  • 89,000 miles
This is a combination of problems. Approximately around Nov. 7, 2015 the check engine light came on while at the dealer (almost one year after the last time). I have not owned my vehicle 2 years yet. I thought they had taken care of it when they told me the light shouldn't come back on. They said the code was for reprogramming the mass air system. About 2 weeks later the same light came on but this time I lost acceleration again while getting on the freeway. I had a couple of close calls on being rear-ended while having my son in the car. I had to get off immediately and drive down to the dealer which took me it seemed forever because it would barely move. I had to leave the vehicle as it was closing. The following day I was called and told that it required reprogramming of the mass air system. I had them do it but it took them 1 day to return the vehicle to me. About 2 days later the check engine light came back on again and I took it back to the same dealer. This time finding the problem wasn't as easy. They kept my vehicle for 3 days before letting me know that I needed to have the throttle chamber replaced. Really now...check engine light on a total of 2 times in 1 year + 2 more time in another year, 1 alternator replaced in 1 year, 1 throttle chamber replaced in almost 2 years, leaking rear shocks in 1 year and Nissan does nothing to replace my vehicle which is a constant safety hazard for me and my family.

- Colton, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 052015


  • 31,898 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to respond when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The contact also stated that the air conditioning unit failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact was informed that the transmission and air conditioning unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. While driving and pulling into a parking space, there was an abnormal electrical odor coming through the air condition vents. The vehicle caught fire. While trying to exit the vehicle, the door handle failed to work. The contact was able to exit the vehicle through the driver side window. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 31,898....updated 01/07/16

- Valley Village, CA, USA

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

Dec 022014


  • 25,000 miles
Transmission shudders during acceleration, generally between 1st and 2nd gear thus hesitation occurs when entering higher speed lanes.(I.e. a momentary hesitation in power during acceleration)

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #9

Apr 072014


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 60 mph, the speedometer failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the speedometer needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #8

Aug 012014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
Occurrence has happened 8 times while driving. The vehicle shudders which leaves about 4 seconds of no throttle response. A loud noise is heard from the transmission area, the vehicle jerks hard and the rpms drop as well. Usually occurs when driving 25-35 mph while slowing down and/or turning.

- Bremerton , WA, USA

problem #7

Apr 302014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 29,920 miles
Hello I purchase a 2013 Nissan Altima in may of 2013 with 20 miles on it..this year in April of 2014 I starting have problem with the transmission.I was on the crescent city bridge coming home from work with alot of traffic my car all of a suddenly just slowed down and will not pick up speed I push the accelerator all the way to the floor and the car still will not pick up speed.I than took it to Nissan and they had it for a day called me to come get it said they restarted the transmission..okay. After a week later it happen again on 5-14-14 again they kept it for another day and called me to come get it..I asked them were they sure it want do it again because I was scared it will get me in a car accident and hurt some one..the man at Nissan said everything was okay again it happen to me again with my son and grandson in the car this time.again slowed down and will not pick up speed on the bridge causing cars to blow at me like I just stopped on top of the bridge.again I took it to Nissan again on the 5-20-14 they than keep it and put me in a rental for 2 days.they again said they fixed the I go to get my car and yes again it happen the man at Nissan said wad car was still under warranty but wanted me to give them $240 for something that was still underwarranty so I am still stuck wit this problem.what do I do next.wait til someone get killed or hurry in this car..I don't understand what's I hope this help me out before its to late.

- New Orleans , LA, USA

problem #6

Apr 012014


  • 7,445 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while sitting with the vehicle in park and the brakes depressed, the vehicle independently jumped the curb and landed on the median. The vehicle then stalled and could not be restarted. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer, who was unable to diagnose the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 7,445.

- Kinston, NC, USA

problem #5

Mar 312014


  • 15,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that upon starting the vehicle, the engine rpms increased excessively without warning. Also, the contact stated that the air bag warning light would illuminate intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 15,500.

- Daunn Loring , VA, USA

problem #4

Oct 122013


  • 2,500 miles
I bought my 1st 2013 Nissan on August 18, 2023 and it had approx. 3,000 miles on it at the time of purchase. After a few days, I noticed a sputtering in the car when de-accelerating and also when accelerating. After 10 days it had got so bad, I took the car back to the dealer. Luckily, it happened very badly when they drove the car. I spoke with the store manager and he agreed to give me a new car with less than 100 miles on it. Low and behold. The new car started sputtering very little (hardly noticeable) after about 2,000 miles. Trying to give the car the benefit of the doubt, I didn't take it back. Fast forward, ,,,,,,the car now has 14,000 miles and is sputtering more and more. I also noticed that the car sometimes smells as if it is running a little hot when I get out of the car. I am taking the car in this weekend and hopefully the sputtering will be recreated. If not, I will continue to take the car back when it sputters and make certain to get documentation each time I take it in. This is terrible and I don't want to be stuck with a car with issues such as this. I am 64 years of age and this was supposed to be my retirement car.....a new car without car problems, as I don't need to be trying to pay for major car repairs on a fixed income!!!

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #3

Oct 252013


  • 300 miles
I purchased my 2013 Nissan Altima 3.5sl one week earlier. As I was driving I noticed that when I began to accelerate and get to 20-40 mph the car would jerk violently as if my car was in the wrong gear. I took my car into the dealership and they did a software update on the transmission and kept my car for 4 days. They put 75 miles on my car to "ensure" they corrected the problem. I picked up my car on the 4th day and drove 2 miles from the dealership and encountered the same jerking and shuddering problem. I turned around and went back to the dealership where I was greeted by a service manager that insisted we go for a drive to see if he could experience what I was talking about. After taking the ride he explained that he did feel the jerking and shuddering but it is within normal limits. I was told to contact Nissan usa and make a complaint but the dealership really does not want to do anything further to correct the issue unless they are contacted by corporate. I do not feel safe in this car!!! I am afraid this car is going to stall on me at the worse possible time.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

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