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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,650 miles
Total Complaints:
63 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (31 reports)
  2. replace headlight assembly (31 reports)
  3. reemplazae bombillas por hid (1 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima lights problems

lights problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #63

Oct 012019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


I cannot see in the dark with my low beams on. I have to drive to work in the dark. It is very expensive to fix this problem, and it is a major safety issue. It is ridiculous that Nissan will not fix this with a safety recall. That is what a company led with integrity would do. I have been in love with Nissan for a long time, and for several vehicles, but I think it's time for a divorce.

- Jennie S., Clarksville, US

problem #62

Jul 072015

Altima 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

These headlights are so bad, now seven years old, I have to drive with high beams 100% of the time. Which is dangerous for incoming traffic, not to mention that it's illegal. Even when I purchased this car brand new, they were not good. Now, they are almost zilch projection. I can't believe these are not being recalled and replaced. They are really a danger to me and to others. I have almost hit people walking on the side of the road. I BEG YOU TO PLEASE RECALL THESE HEADLIGHTS!!!

- Rebecca S., Jacksonville, US

problem #61

Sep 052020

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I bought this car used. It has been a nightmare since day one. Constantly having check engine light issues. But recently I have found that I cannot drive at night at all with this car. I can't see a thing with the low beams on. This lack of vision caused me to crash over a cement island in a parking lot causing damage to my front bumper and maybe the undercarriage. This lack of being able to see in the dark could have had more serious consequences. Nissan should man up and fix the problem or in my case problems. There are a lot of them on the road but I'm not sure why.

- Kerry M., Aptos, US

problem #60

Jan 012021

Altima 2.5sv

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


The low-beam headlamps provide almost NO illumination of the road ahead at night. Seriously, turning them off or on, it's almost impossible to tell the difference from the driver's seat. I had one headlamp replaced, but that made NO difference. People literally flash their high-beams at us at night because they think we are driving with our headlights off. This is not a subtle problem, but rather AN EXTRAORDINARILY DANGEROUS SAFETY HAZARD.

THIS PROBLEM IS WELL KNOWN. See for example, : "The low-beam headlights in the 5th generation Altima are dangerously dim. The reflective material inside the projector headlights can wear down, drastically reducing the beam's power. In December of 2018 this problem ranked 10th in top problem trends list." Yet Nissan has done nothing about this dreadful safety hazard, as of March 2021. (Just checked Nissan's vehicle recall site, 3/15/2021).

Reportedly, Attorneys Chimicles & Tikellis are investigating a potential class-action lawsuit against the automaker. This will not be of much solace if my daughter has a car crash or hits a pedestrian because she can't see ahead of her when driving at night. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE--NOW!

- Patrick O., Decatur, US

problem #59

Oct 012014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

The headlights on the Nissan Altima are literally so bad I've almost been in several accidents while driving at night!!! Everyone that gets in my car always ask "Are your headlights on"? I've been pulled over to do a sobriety test due to driving on the wrong side of the road because I LITERALLY CAN NOT SEE!!!! Ridiculous and still yet to be recalled!

- Mandi B., Tampa, US

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problem #58

May 012017

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

2013 Altima’s Low Beam Headlights are extremely dim, it is unsafe to drive the vehicle at night.

- Kenneth B., Douglasville, GA, US

problem #57

Aug 232018

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,700 miles


Lights are so dim that high beams are required after dark to see in the city. This is causing police interference!!! But how can I see without the high beams?

Nissan offers no solution that actually works to provide the correct amount of aluminum required to see in the dark. Where else is light required other than in the dark?

There needs to be a recall and a fix!!! An expectation of an automobile is that there are WORKING headlights. You don’t even question when purchasing; oh, by the way, do the headlights work? What a trick Nissan has perpetrated on owners of this vehicle.

- jacque19a, Baltimore, US

problem #56

Apr 012021

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,430 miles

Lights are so dim, I must drive with high beams all the time after dark. Lights don’t project Illumination at all. This is standard equipment in automobiles. How could a car be made and lights don’t work? Need a recall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nissan has FAILED its customers!!!!!! I will not own another.

- jacque19a, Baltimore, US

problem #55

Aug 202016

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,265 miles

The lights were so dim I had to drive from Richmond, VA to Baltimore, MD with high beams on US-95. Had the bulbs replaced twice at a total cost approximately $385. Had the entire light structures replaced, $1100. But absolutely no change. It’s caused me to not drive at night.


- jacque19a, Baltimore, US

problem #54

Feb 182019

Altima 2.5 SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 65,000 miles

The lights in my car grew so dim over time that I questioned whether they were even on when driving down dark roads or in rainy conditions. This is a serious problem that can lead to dangerous driving conditions!

This issue is caused by the coating on the inside of the headlight assembly wearing away due to high heat of the bulbs. The mirror finish behind the bulb no longer reflects light, so even if you replace the bulbs, there is nothing to focus the light out ahead of the car. Nissan factory replacements list for $700-800 for the pair, and you can expect them to fail just like the originals a few years down the road. Aftermarket assemblies are available for around $200, but installation requires removal of the whole front bumper cover.

- Paul L., Belchertown, US

problem #53

Dec 012020

Altima S 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 273,496 miles


Low beams are so dim sometimes it looks like I don’t have lights on. I work nights need to be able to see what’s ahead of me.

- John H., Syracuse, US

problem #52

Jun 022019

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Can hardly see when my headlights are on dim. Started about 2 years ago. I replaced the bulbs but it has gotten steadily worse. I have to drive with my lights on bright but when I meet another car and dim mine I almost have to stop because I can't see the road. I try to avoid driving at night but with the time change It's almost dark when I leave for home and full dark by the time I get home. If it's raining it is even more dangerous.

- mg2006, Pinnacle, US

problem #51

Aug 102019

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

It looks as though I do not have my headlights on when they are on low beam, and that is at night. I am having a real hard time seeing which is very dangerous when you are driving. I have to turn on my bright lights to be able to see at all if there are no street lights. Other car lights seem to be blinding because I cannot see with my car lights. My car is 8 years old and I have never had a problem like this with any other car I have owned.

The dealership told me it would not help to replace the bulbs. To replace the headlights is going to cost me a thousand dollars. I wish I had any confidence that would fix the problem but I am afraid if it does, it will be temporary.

Nissan definitely needs to do a recall on this problem. I am surprised I have not heard of more accidents because of this issue.

- Lisa S., Clayton, NC, US

problem #50

Apr 202016

Altima SL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

The low beams were very dim when I purchased the car in 2016. Over the years the problem has gotten much worse and it appears to the driver that the lights are not even on. It is necessary to use the high beams to drive to see the road at all. This problem warrants a recall on Nissan's part but Nissan has chosen to remain silent.

I have replaced the bulbs with new halogen bulbs on 2 separate occasions and you can see no difference.

- Stephanie B., Kimberly, US

problem #49

Aug 012019

Altima ES 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

My low beams have slowly gotten worse over the years until now. I can't drive after dark at all. I've tried a variety of different brand bulbs with no luck. I stopped driving after dark completely after the 2nd minor accident from not being able to see at night. I've read that each light assembly needs replaced in order to fix the problem. Nissan should have recalled this long ago. Hopefully no one is killed as a result of their negligence.

- Michael M., Birmingham, US

problem #48

Nov 302020

Altima SV 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I recently purchased purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima for my son and the headlights don't illuminate properly. It's difficult to see and I feel that Nissan should be responsible.

- Kimberly J., Birmingham, AL, US

problem #47

Jan 012018

Altima SV 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Light are terrible at night. It would cost 1000.00 for each headlight. I wouldn't get another Nissan because of this.

- cardaj, Holmdel, US

problem #46

Nov 012020

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

Dim light - my lights just dimmed out of the blue. I’ve had the headlight professionally clean & mechanic change the low beam bulbs. Even after replacing, I can barely see the road which is a hazard. The Nissan shop advised there is diagnostic fee, part fee, service fee - which is estimated to be over $1000.

- Tonya W., Columbia, US

problem #45

Nov 142020

Altima SL

  • CVT transmission
  • 143,500 miles

Just acquired this 8 year old Altima from a relative having been forewarned the low beams are quite dim and not cheap to fix. Come to find out this is a well-known flaw without a permanent fix, and which can only be mitigated by replacing the entire assembly at a cost of $1k.

Update from May 31, 2021: Hi,

Received notification from a lawfirm that a class action settlement has been reached in PA.

If this is on the level, and if the settlement is finalized, here’s the gist.


You previously contacted us about our Nissan Altima headlight class action. We are pleased to inform you that we have reached a class action settlement with Nissan. Please note, the settlement has not yet been approved by the Court. If and when it receives preliminary approval, we will send you additional information.

Our lawsuit alleges that a reflective surface inside the halogen headlamps in 2013-2018 Nissan Altimas degrades, causing them to become dangerously dim.

On May 24, 2021 we filed a motion asking the court to preliminarily approve a settlement with Nissan. Approval is a two-step process. If the Court preliminarily approves the settlement, a formal notice will be sent via US Mail to Class Members who can be reasonably identified. That notice will include additional details on the settlement, such as how to submit claims. Then, the court will hold a final fairness hearing. The entire process will take several months, so please be patient.

Assuming it receives final approval by Court, the settlement will provide the following key benefits:

Reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs incurred to replace headlamps prior to the Notice Date. (The Notice Date is the date after preliminary approval when Notice will be sent, and has not yet been determined). To receive reimbursement, you will need to submit a timely claim form and evidence of the cost, such as a receipt. Reimbursement is uncapped for replacements performed by authorized Nissan dealers, and capped at $1,200 per headlamp pair for replacement performed by independent repair facilities. A 3-year extended warranty (meaning a total of 6 years) covering headlamp delamination, subject to the same terms as the original factory warranty.
A Window of Opportunity for Replacement Outside of the Extended Warranty. All current owners who have delaminated headlamps will have an opportunity to receive one free set of replacement headlamps, even if they are outside the extended warranty. To receive replacements outside the 3-year extended warranty, you will need to submit a claim form within 65 days after the settlement becomes effective and the replacement must occur within a six-month window thereafter. A special notice will be sent after final approval providing information about how and when to file this type of claim.

This email is just a summary, and you do not need to do anything now. Please keep an eye out for further notices. Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP 361 W Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

- Kenneth S., New York, US

problem #44

Sep 042017

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

I almost crashed 2 times driving at night and on streets that have no street lights. This has hindered my ability to drive in certain areas at night. Areas where visibility is extremely poor at night.

- Basil W., East Orange, NJ, US

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