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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,031 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #5

Mar 132014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles


We bought our car in January and it had 1,900 miles on it. We didn't drive it very much because it was winter and the roads in wv are bad. But I remember in March when I went to see my daughter it started jerking like it wanted to stop on the road. I remember I had let the gas get down to a quarter of a tank of gas when it first started and I thought I had got some bad gas. So I continued to drive it sometimes it would do it and then it wouldn't for a while. But the past month in June it is so bad it feels like you slam on the brakes while you are driving and sounds like the motor is going to fall out. I also noticed I had let the gas go down to a quarter tank again and it is scary so I called the Nissan dealer and they told me if it didn't set the code they couldn't tell me what was wrong. They suggested that we had water in the gas and told us to put the water treatment in the gas and we did. It didn't help at all it is getting worse so they have finally set up an appointment for us to bring it in. I have did some research and found that there have been lots of complaints with the same thing that is going on with our Nissan. It is so bad I am afraid now that it is going to stop running while I am driving it to the dealership. I wonder if that is why the previous owner traded it in.

- Danese , WV, USA

problem #4

Mar 222014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 6,657 miles
The advertised mpg for this vehicle is 38 mpg. 3/22/2014 made a trip to tulsa, ok. Filled up at I-430 headed to tulsa at 6,657 miles. Drove 401 miles and refilled at 7,058 with 13.218 gallons 30.3374 mpg. Filled up again at I-430 at end of road trip at 7,221 after 163 miles with 5.085 gallons 32.05506391. All highway! we bought a new Nissan Altima late in 2013 with a highway rated miles per gallon of 38. We love this vehicle except for the gas mileage. We were debating on a Toyota prius V and the Altima when we made our purchase and felt we had a better buy with the Altima and expected to get close to the rated mpg when on trips. We are both in our 60's have good driving records and habits. We previous owned a new 2004 Toyota prius and a new 2007 prius. I have a spreadsheet on the 2004 that I kept for some time reflecting roughly 45 mpg, about 90% of the rated mpg. This was an average of daily driving that included driving from our rural home in the county to work in the city. We did not keep records on the 2007 as mileage checks showed we were getting very similar positive results. We felt we should reasonably expect to achieve some 90% of the 38 mpg when driving the Altima on road trips. Saturday, March 22, 2014 we checked and we were not getting close to the 90%. we filled up the tank at the nearest station to I-430 on colonel glenn road in little rock on a trip to tulsa, ok. We filled up after 400 miles on our way home from tulsa, and at the same station on colonel glenn after exiting I-430. These were 564 highway miles on these two tanks of fuel requiring 18.303 gallons for a 30.814 miles per gallon. This is only 81% of the 38 expected miles per gallon on the sticker for highway miles. I would like to know how to come closer to the 38 mpg and why it is permissible to give a rating so much higher than one can achieve.

- Alexander, AR, USA

problem #3

Mar 042013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
I noticed a tapping sound coming from underneath my rear seat of the car. I believe this has somethying to do with my fuel pump, as my old car did similar things and that was the result of it.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 082013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Well I have noticed that I have a bad vibration and grinding noise between 1,200 and 1,800 RPM's worst at 1,500. This happens no matter what speed. I have brought it in to the dealership 2 different times for this and they tell me this is normal. I am sorry but when a transmission is vibrating or making bad noises like this it has something wrong with it. I believe this is contributing to my very poor gas mileage. Also while from a stop and accelerating I have had my car surge and have no power while trying to accelerate. This has happened three times and 2 of the times I had a car come up on me fast because I was not able to accelerate. This can be a big safety issue.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #1

Feb 072013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Well the main selling point on this vehicle is that the dealer told me they were top in mpg's with 27 city and 38 highway. After a week or so I noticed that my mpg average is no more than 23.1. and that was with more than 50% travel on highways with no traffic(never went under the speed limit). I figured it had something to do with it being new and it would average out better later. So after 5,000 miles on the car I took it in and they told me that this is just because every driver averages different and I kept saying but I am not even getting close to the 27 city and I drive more highway. But they told me that everything is normal and they reset the average calculator. After a week it was worse than it was before and I was bringing it back for my many other problems I have with this car. They had my car for 4 days and finally told me that while they had it a check engine light came on saying that my air fuel ratio sensor was faulty. They replaced it and told me that was the fix. I have put about a tanks worth of mileage on it since and I am getting under 23 mpg still. Either something is very wrong with my car or Nissan is lying about the mpg's and yes I get that they are presented by the epa but Nissan does the test first then sends it to the epa and then the epa tests later on. Either way the mpg's are wrong and I drive to try to get the best mpg's I don't even go over 2,000 RPM's unless going up hill. Which brings me to the vibration from the trans. But that's in another complaint. Nissan needs to fix this problem because I chose this over the Honda Accord just for the mpg's.

- Reston, VA, USA

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