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:
84,200 miles
Total Complaints:
92 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace headlight assembly (52 reports)
  2. not sure (39 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 5)

problem #92

Nov 012020

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


I received information on the settlement against Nissan in 2022 and registered to receive the headlight replacement. I made an appointment at my local Nissan dealer and waited over 1 year for the headlights to arrive. At every oil change I would ask about my order. One day in late 2023 when I took the car in for service I asked to speak with the service manager about the headlights. He called the parts department and the headlights were there. At the same time I started hearing a discussion in the service area about this and then was told that my car was out of warranty. They showed me a sheet with all the warranty recall items with dates of validity ( I had not been made aware of any of these except for a hood latch replacement) and was told that I would have to pay for the headlights. They confirmed that I had requested the lights in the valid time frame but unfortunately I was past the final date for the replacement, as if this was my fault. I will NEVER again purchase a Nissan.

- Javier R., Miami, FL, US

problem #91

Oct 122022

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 129,000 miles

Hi, I went online and filled out a form about getting my dim headlights fixed, and I never heard back from anyone, so now I'm trying to get them replaced or fixed. I struggle to drive at night seeing I have to be at work 5am. It is still dark outside and I'm afraid I might run up on the curb and run into the Hardees restaurant.

I don't have money to fix this myself. I have glaucoma and cataract, and these dim headlights really don't help. I want to know if the Nissan Corporation will help me. Lord if I can just get some help some way, some how so I can see where I'm going in the dark.

- dcannon, Newport News, US

problem #90

Feb 022013

Altima LX 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,952 miles

I brought my car to the dealer and they said that they could not fix the headlight, and that I should contact the Nissan complaint department. There always been something wrong with the headlights, the problem was with the manufacturer. I put in 2 complaints to the Nissan complaints department and they said that they were not going to authorize the repair.

I found out that there was a Class action suit for all the Nissan Altima from 2013 to 2018 for the halogen head lamps, they have a defect that causes an interior reflecting surface of the headlamp to deteriorate resulting in dimming of the low beam headlights. I registered for the Class Action suit and was hoping that I would of been contacted but I never heard any thing after that, even though I reached out to dealer to find if the Class action suit came through.

My car is a 2013 Altima and you can not drive it at night because you can hardly see the road and is very dangerous. This is my 3rd Nissan from the same dealer BUT I WILL NEVER BUY another Nissan again and neither will my family OR friends ( This is very irresponsible from NISSAN)

The Dealer told me to trade in the car (so it will be someone 's else problem (NOT a good solution) I guess I got the LEMON. If anybody knows a way to cover this $1000 expense let me know, Thank You

- josephinemc, Forked River, US

problem #89

Oct 012021

Altima 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 144,759 miles


The headlights are too dim to see to drive my vehicle at night. Even with 55 watt HID bulb it is way to dark.

- Ryan H., Barnhart, MO, US

problem #88

Sep 292022

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 121,478 miles

The headlights are so dim you can't even tell they are on at night, and it's not covered under Nissan's recall for this vehicle.

- Daniel Z., North Olmsted, OH, US

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problem #87

Sep 012022

Altima SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,500 miles

I've had two 2013 Nissan Altimas. Before I purchased my second one, I told the dealership my biggest gripe was difficulty seeing at night. Of course, I was assured this was no longer a problem. 3 months after purchase, I got my oil changed at the same location and was informed there was a recall out on my head light assembly... only they have no idea when it will be available, nor do they know if it will fix the problem.

- Tim M., Hoboken, US

problem #86

Aug 012019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


I noticed my lights had got dim shortly after I purchased the vehicle in March of 2018. I have replaced the bulbs and paid for labor and issue is still not resolved. It is extremely hard for me to see when driving at night and early mornings since the roads are extremely dark and I don't have the option to arrive at work late due to my lights.

- Tenisha B., Stillwater, OK, US

problem #85

Feb 012022

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 47,400 miles

Headlights are so dim that when it is dark, I use Hi beams while driving. I have joined the class action suit, but now it has turned into a recall. I took car to the dealer, and they checked it and said it was okay. It passed lumens test.

What are my options now? They also said parts are backlogged and hard to get.

I do not feel I should have to pay to replace the headlights. I have 50,000 miles on my car, I am original owner, and the car is in excellent condition.

What are my options now??

- Rita M., East Islip, NY, US

problem #84

Feb 012021

Altima SL 2.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 74,565 miles

It has been a problem since I purchased it second hand 5 years ago. Our older 2009 Altima had better projection (actually - so does our flashlight). I paid for a bulb replacement (new halogen bulbs) at a Nissan dealership and that did nothing to improve the situation. I then returned to that same dealership and asked for a new LED bulb replacement. That provided marginal improvement. Night driving with this situation is dangerous.

The light projection is so poor that headlight beams from vehicles coming up from behind create a shadow outline in front of the car. When driving in areas without streetlights you are in big trouble! After our 2009 Altima’s CVT transmission died, we purchased a new vehicle (2021 Honda CR-V - sorry Nissan - no more gambles). We cannot drive our now second car at night unless it is a short trip in areas with street lights. Sure there are far more important issues in this world - but - frankly, it is unbelievable just how dangerously poor the headlight performance is on our 2013 Nissan Altima.

- Mark F., Amhertview, ON, Canada

problem #83

Jan 012018

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

click to see larger images

dim low beams dim low beams

I have a problem see at night because of my dim low beam that force me to turn on my high beams.

- Leontrae V., Riverview, US

problem #82

May 012014

Altima S 2.8L

  • CVT transmission
  • 62,000 miles


I have sent various emails to Nissan regarding our lights about the unsafe lighting distance they give at night. When driving in fog it is much worse. I have done many changes of bulbs experimenting with different brands and intensities and no change. I have also driven another vehicle and let my wife drive the Altima towards me on a rural road at night and the headlights are very dim to oncoming traffic. This increases the fact and rule of driving which is "your eyes can only see ahead what your lights only cover".

It is unsafe to drive slower due to the fact of how many drivers drive ridiculously fast, and with dim lights makes it even more difficult for them to see you or you to see them. Nissan needs to take action in this matter immediately. We have taken our vehicle to get serviced at our local Nissan dealership and they have many complaints regarding this issue but Nissan corporation needs to step up and make the recall to fix it, not the dealer. This is our 4th Nissan we have owned and I hope it isn't our last.

- obediah007, Hollister, US

problem #81

Nov 012019

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Cannot see at night or in the morning. Going to have to replace light assembly.

- Adam B., Hightstown, NJ, US

problem #80

Mar 012021

Altima SL

  • CVT transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This is a huge safety issue and should really be part of a recall.

- Connie K., Weirsdale, US

problem #79

Nov 012015

Altima SL 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 13,000 miles

The low beam headlights are extremely dim and getting worse all the time. I recently had to drive 100 miles on a dark night on 2 lane State roads. It was a terrifying experience not being able to see the road ahead or any signs. I tried to follow other cars but when they turned off, it was guesswork where the road went. I slowed down to the point where many cars stacked up behind me. I couldn't see to pull off anywhere to let them by. When possible I used my high beams, but of course could not keep them on due to much on-coming traffic. It's a miracle I didn't have an accident that night. I will only be driving this car in town after dark.

This is a significant safety issue, not only for the driver of this vehicle, but for other drivers of cars on the road. My headlight covers are not cloudy or fogged. They are clear and clean.

- Betty H., Elizabethtown, PA, US

problem #78

Oct 012015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 35,000 miles

The dims on the Altima are VERY DIM and it requires me to drive with the high beams on to see, even in residential areas. I have not been stopped by the police yet but it is bound to happen.

- Gary S., Oconomowoc, WI, US

problem #77

Oct 052021

Altima SL 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 87,227 miles

I had not driven at night for quite a while, so October 5th 2021 I did. Oh my, I could not believe how when I turned my low beams on for oncoming traffic my lights were so dim!! I could hardly see 50 feet in front of my car!! There is no way in the world I can safely drive this car at night because of this problem!!!!

- Dawnn S., Elon College, NC, US

problem #76

Nov 012018

Altima ES 2.5L 4 Cyc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

Wife started noticing around a year ago that it was getting harder to see at night driving with low beams on, especially on rural roads. After thinking it was just maybe eyesight getting weak, my daughter and myself both noticed we all had the same issue of having to turn on high beams to see well. Also, we talked to our friends that have (had) the same year model Altima and they wear experiencing the same thing.

After reading online forums this seems to be a wide spread issue with a lot of owners. I mentioned it to my local dealer that have serviced the vehicle since new and they said they had never heard of this issue (sigh). I would like to see a recall and resolution before any of my family members have an accident. Have owned many vehicles and never have I seen so many of the same complaints on headlights that is a known, and costly repair.

- Brian S., Olive Branch, US

problem #75

Dec 282019


  • CVT transmission
  • 153,000 miles

I poor I can't afford this... I love this car! And it sucks to have to worry about this crap every nig

ht when I leave work

- Maria L., Benson, NC, US

problem #74

Oct 132021

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,121 miles

I will never buy another Nissan again. It was dangerous to drive this car after the headlights got so dim, I could not see. I am glad there is a class action lawsuit against Nissan. I hope to get my money back for this repair.

- Peggy Suzanne A., Topeka, US

problem #73

Feb 022019

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,009 miles

We have tried changing bulbs, polishing the headlight casing and nothing has helped - and it isn't right to only drive with brights on. My brights are good but my dims are absolutely horrid. I might be able to see 10 feet AT MOST and that is giving a lot of credit really. We have gotten to the point where we don't even take the Altima if we know we will be traveling in the dark at all. I love my car and this sucks for me more than you could imagine, I've had to do more traveling this past year due to the losses of my dad and sister, and can't take my car because of the lights, which makes me spend even more in gas because my Altima uses so much less. Really wish this wasn't even an issue.

- Janelle W., Iola, KS, US

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