2013 Nissan Altima lights problems: dim low beams

Dim Low Beams

2013 Nissan Altima (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Nissan dealer.

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CarComplaints.com 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:
73,700 miles
Total Complaints:
34 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (18 reports)
  2. replace headlight assembly (15 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 2)

problem #34

Oct 122013

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


I just purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima,10/2013. I was strictly a Honda person. I had heard good things about Nissan so long decided to buy one. All seemed to be fine, until l drove the car the first night after purchasing. The low beam lights were very dim .It was difficult driving without using the high beam when l could. I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of a long list of problems. The forum's l viewed, stated this is a common problem with 2013-2018. This is unsatisfactory for the Nissan brand.

Update from Nov 9, 2019: I purchased both light assemblies from 1A Auto and replaced them myself. I replaced them for under 200.00 with all new bulbs included and the problem was solved.It would be a justure if Nissan would reimburse me for the cost,no labor.

- Darrell M., Macon, US

problem #33

May 022016

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

My headlights are so dim. I've seen online that it's a common problem which Nissan refuses to address. Driving after dark with cars lining the street is sometimes terrifying because I'm always afraid of hitting someone I don't see because, over 30mph, you're out driving your headlights.

- Rob S., Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #32

May 062019

Altima SL 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I was quoted $1000.00 to fix this problem. This is not my fault it is Nissan's fault and they should be responsible for fixing the problem. I cannot drive at night because of the dim lights. This is ridiculous and makes Nissan look awful! Shame on you Nissan!!

- Loraine D., Summerville, US

problem #31

Sep 092019

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles


I have a 2013 Nissan Altima S and low beam lights are really bad at night and I can not see with them on. I have to drive with the high beams on which is a really bad safety issue for myself and other drivers. I have gotten blown at and cursed at because of this and even gotten pulled over. Nissan please fix this problem because it is unsafe to drive like this.

- Sha W., Bessemer, US

problem #30

Jan 012016

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 50,000 miles

The headlights are dim and a big safety hazard. This has received several complaints and no word from Nissan about a replacement.

- mail4asim, Milford, OH, US

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problem #29

Jan 102018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,609 miles


We bought our Altima new in 2013 and realized slowly, over time, that the light seemed to get dimmer and dimmer. Every time we had the car serviced, the lights passed the inspection with “green” meaning they were in good working order. We replaced both bulbs more than once without improvement. The lights are so dim we have to drive with high beams. We filed a complaint with Nissan North America and they rudely denied there is a widespread problem stating that it is the customer’s responsibility to repair the problem at $1200.00 The lights were giving us trouble while the car was under warranty, but Nissan continued to state the lights were fine. Now that the car is out of warranty, they are telling us to replace the lights. Changing the bulbs will not fix the problem. The entire headlight assembly must be replaced. This is a safety issue and the NHTSA needs to know how many consumers have this problem......so please, file a complaint online or by phone. The contact information is :


Or, 888-327-4236. And have your VIN available. Thank you! Maybe our collective voices will be heard.

Update from Sep 25, 2019: I continued to correspond with Nissan and they did honor/extend our warranty to cover the replacement of the headlights. I would like to acknowledge their cooperation.

- momthree, Cincinnati, US

problem #28

Jun 282019

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 29,813 miles


Low beam headlights are now so dim that I cannot drive safely without use of fog lights and high beams. It is especially dangerous in rain or wet road conditions. Traffic island curbs are impossible to see - very dangerous!! Other drivers are not safe either when I have to drive with high beams on and they must think I am a jerk when I can't turn off the brights when they signal me. Road signs on roadside and painted on lane pavement are extremely hard to see. This is a super dangerous condition Nissan has created.

My son (35) drove the car 2 weeks ago and was shocked that there did not seem to be any low beam illumination at all!

- Ed W., Fairfax, US

problem #27

Jun 142016

Altima LS 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles

This is a very dangerous situation. The headlamps of the 2013 Ultima are dangerously low. It is difficult for me to use the high beam because I do not want to blind the driver coming toward me. Often times at night, I have to look to the right and down to spot the line for the shoulder of the road. I think it is terrible that Nissan has not recalled these headlamps and had them replaced with brighter ones.

- Peter L., Freehold, US

problem #26

Jan 082015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 12,000 miles

Brought the car in before warranty ended. Passenger headlight was dim, left side was ok. I tried changing bulbs but it didn't matter, still dim, it was not good. They ended up replacing the headlight but not fixing my visor and replace my back up camera. Wouldn't fix my driver's visor that was falling down still broken. Now my AC is broken out of warranty, should be a recall. Not sure I would buy another Nissan.

- Lou E., Miami, FL, US

problem #25

Nov 252018

Altima SV 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 159,000 miles

I have a complaint which I have noticed for awhile involving my headlights. They seem to be getting dimmer each time I drive it at night. I've cleaned the headlight covers but it hasn't helped. The light only hits about 100 ft ahead of me and at a low angle not keeping it bright enough for cars or pedestrians to even know that I'm in the area. I've had to drive with high beams on in darker spots just so I can see where I'm supposed to go.

I heard that this is a newer problem now with the Altimas of the same year. People have tried everything from replacing the light bulb to replacing the whole headlight but the problem persists. It has to be something electrical or maybe weaker power source in vehicle now.

I just want someone to acknowledge the problems I'm facing with this car since I bought the vehicle brand new in 2013.

- Carol C., Colton, CA, US

problem #24

Dec 012018

Altima LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


The headlamps (low beam) no longer illuminate the road in a safe manner. Furthermore, without the aid of the high beams I am unable to navigate unlit roads at the posted speed. This condition creates a preventable road hazard for both myself and others with whom I share the road. I believe the headlights have somehow deteriorated and are no longer able to meet the safety standards which were in place when the automobile was manufactured. It is also my position that Nissan should make some type of fair warranty compensation for this defect. This is my 3rd Altima and it will last if something is not done.

- Jeanne B., Sun City Center, US

problem #23

Jan 012019

Altima S 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 145,000 miles

Can't hardly tell the headlights are on at night. I was afraid that I was going blind for a minute. Thank goodness for Google, letting me know that it's not just me. There are times that I'm not sure the headlights are on, so I'll turn them off and back on, while driving, to see if I can see a difference. It's terrible.

- Angel M., Mebane, US

problem #22

Apr 062017

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 69,986 miles

2013 Nissan Altima, purchased brand new, low beams were gradually dimming throughout the life of the vehicle until finally, 4 years after purchase of vehicle, I replaced both bulbs when the passenger low beam bulb went out. I replaced them with the Sylvania Xtra-vision bulbs. It seemed strange at the time that the brightness of the low beam seemed to be diminishing and thought using an improved version would make them brighter. Still didn't seem to help. I adjusted the beams to raise them slightly thinking they were aimed too low. Still no improvement. Then, I went for a ride with a friend in his Chevy Malibu and was like, wow, this is how low beam lights are supposed to shine bright. Did some internet searches for complaints about Altima low beam brightness issues and voila!, here I am. So, no Recall from Nissan. Not surprised. Thanks, Nissan, love you too. Purchased some aftermarket headlight assemblies on one of the more popular internet sales websites, (can you guess which one, bet you can).

Anyway, that's my sad story, $168.00 dollars but fortunately free shipping. Purchase reviews were somewhat positive. I figured that after Nissan made me by a remanufactured CVT, remove and replace, transmission for $3,500.00 I'm on my own for everything else on my Altima that fails due to no fault of mine. Off to U-tube to learn how to change headlight assemblies, do love the age of computers..TTFN,

- DayInTheLife ., North Adams, MA, US

problem #21

Dec 292018

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,600 miles

My low beam headlights are very dim. The reflector bowl deteriorates and won't reflect the light as designed. From what I've read this is a common problem for 5th generation Nissan Altimas. This is a very dangerous problem (a SAFETY ISSUE) you can not see the road. Nissan has not issued a recall which is a disgrace! VERY DISAPPOINTED. I thought Nissan had a good reputation.

- Ed R., Fort Lauderdale, US

problem #20

Nov 052018

Altima SL 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,722 miles

I purchased my 2013 Nissan Altima SL used on 05/28/15 with 32,000 miles. I maintained the vehicles and performed necessary maintenance when required. I drive the car with headlights always on as I believe it makes it easier for other drivers to see you.

About six months ago I began to have a hard time seeing things at night while driving the car. I first thought it was my eyes or the windshield was dirty and causing too much glare. I had my eyes checked and used professional cleaner on the inside and out of the windshield with no improvement. Shortly after my wife was driving my car and states “are the headlights even on, they’re barely throwing light down the road they’re so dim.” I then drove her car shortly after which is 2017 Honda CR-V and noticed a major difference. I had gotten so used to driving with these dim lights I didn’t know what real headlights were like.

I needed to get this fixed because it was unsafe, the lights weren’t extending to the sides and down the road far enough and with all of the deer in the area it was certainly a safety issue. I talked to my dealership and they said we would have to run a diagnostics test which would cost around $100. I decided to wait and do some internet research. This seemed to be a common problem with this year of the Altima and I had found in blogs quite a few others with the same complaint and that simply replacing the headlight bulb didn’t improve the situation and that the entire headlight assembly needed to be replaced costing close to $1,000 for both lights.

I figured I’d call Nissan USA and see if they could help and they basically stated we would need to see the diagnostics report first from your dealership. I explained the situation to my dealership and they ran the diagnostics on 11/5/18 at the time my vehicle had 72,722 miles and confirmed that replacing the bulbs didn’t improve the situation and the whole assembly would need to be replaced costing around $900. Graciously they didn’t charge me for the diagnostic and I took my car back and called Nissan USA before proceeding with the repair.

To my understanding the HID headlight bulb either heats up too much inside the headlight and either burns the back of the projector lens that controls the light out of the assembly. So, if you replaced the headlight bulbs without replacing the whole headlight all the light would still be trapped because it couldn’t get thru the “burned” projector lens.” After explaining the situation to Nissan USA and sending them the diagnostic report they offered to be 70% of the cost and that I would be responsible for 30% of the cost which came out to be $260 which I had completed on 11/15/18. I argued with them quite a bit about it that I shouldn’t be responsible for any of it but in the end took their offer because I wanted to be able to see down the road and they could’ve offered me nothing.

After having the bulbs and light assemblies replaced it is an enormous difference the headlights thrown light down the road to the sides much better. I can tell my lights are on as they are hitting the asphalt in front of me and on the bumper of a car in front of me when stopped at a light. With all of this I believe Nissan should issue a recall for their headlight assemblies and that owners shouldn’t be responsible for any cost associated to this defect. Having to replace a headlight bulb is understandable it is a wear and tear item and bulbs burn out it is unreasonable to ask an owner to spend nearly $1,000 every 5 years to replace entire headlight assemblies because the projection lens melts.

This is a safety issue as well and many owners probably don’t know they have an issue because the light slowly fades over time opposed to instantly and many owners probably don’t drive with their headlights on so the projection lens isn’t exposed to as much heat as drivers that drive with them on all the time. I’ve owned a handful of car in my lifetime and replaced light bulbs with no problem I’ve never seen/heard of anything so ridiculous in my life in regards to headlights and I firmly believe Nissan should be held accountable.

- Joseph B., Blue Bell, US

problem #19

Dec 012019

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

My 2013 Nissan Altima has low beam lights that are dangerous and a pain in the ass to drive at night. I was told the only way to fix them was to replace at a cost of approx. $1000.00. HELP!!!!

- James W., clay, US

problem #18

Oct 202018

Altima SV 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 94,600 miles

I cleaned the headlight covers thinking that the problem would get better which it did for maybe 2 weeks. Over the next 2 weeks the problem continued. I can barely see 10ft in front of me when driving at night and if it's raining OH MY GOODNESS IT IS horrendous and nerve racking. The issue alone is extremely unsafe. This issue needs to be fixed by Nissan. I have a friend who also owns a 2013 Nissan Altima with the same issue. I don't want to have to pay my money for an issue that needs to be taken care of by Nissan. This issue is dangerous for every person who owns a Nissan and who are having this problem.

- Takeka K., Hueytown, AL, US

problem #17

Dec 082018

Altima SV 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Same issue with headlights last night low beams too dim. And add rain and wind to this issue low beam headlights being too dim . I could barely see 10 feet in front of me. It was almost as if my headlights were not on. Very dangerous situation.

- Takeka K., Hueytown, AL, US

problem #16

Oct 012018

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I purchased my 2013 Altima 2.5 SV used with 36,000 miles on it in May 2014. I had no issues w the vehicle at all until 2017. My car began cutting out / stalling out while it would downshift. Fast forward, even though my car was out of warranty (at 4+ yrs old), my Nissan dealership agreed to replace the transmission free of cost. There was an issue with CVT & had a recall of some sort. Once the recall was fixed, that's when the transmission starting failing so they covered.

Anyways, here we are a year later and I just began to notice that I can barely see at night. The lights appear to be on from the outside, but I can't even see but maybe a couple feet in front of me while I'm driving. To be honest, at first I thought maybe I just needed new headlights and I was going to be cheap and just say screw it and use my high beams (I don't drive much at night anyway and if I do, I don't go far). So, I've been doing that a couple months now and nobody even flashes me which leads me to believe that my high beams probably suck too.

Nonetheless, last night, I needed to go somewhere and it was pretty dark & misting out. I legit couldn't see anything at all with my low beams. Nothing. Turned them off and there was no difference. So, I thought to myself, there is no way I need new headlights. I'd assume they'd just burn out instead of dim out. Now I'm researching the interwebs and finding all types of complaints on this vehicle so now I'm concerned and kind of angry too. A little unsure WHY this has not been recalled.

- Stephanie D., Salisbury, MD, US

problem #15

May 012016

Altima SV 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 48,500 miles

I've owned two 2013 Nissan Altima sedans and both have terrible headlights. I can't see anything at night even after replacing bulbs on two occasions. I have to use the high beam to drive at night. Is anything being done. This is very dangerous

I bought the vehicle in 2015 with 48,500 miles and it now sits on 100k and the lights seem to have gotten a lot worse. It doesn't even look like the headlights are on at nights even in places with no light posts. I have to continually turn my high beams in order to see. This is extremely dangerous and frustrating that nothing is being done to remedy this. I talked to my dealership and was advised that the headlights are only covered during the first 36K miles.

I seriously hope that Nissan losses a lot of business even with the newly 2019 model. Their vehicles are awful.

- jagger, Alexandria, VA, US

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