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:
4 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
33,204 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Dec 212016


  • 20,000 miles


In late December 2016 our 2013 Nissan Altima was being driven in high point, North Carolina when the hood of the car flew open against the windshield causing zero visibility and the car was forced off the road causing it to be damaged. This incident involves a 2016 Nissan recall on this car for a hood lock assembly replacement that was never done properly to this car. There was body damage to this vehicle due to this accident. The driver has medical injuries from this accident. The car is having smells since the accident. Nissan assigned a case number and an arbitration specialist to this accident and the car is at the dealership under review. However, nobody from Nissan is authorizing repair, providing medical assistance or providing transportation until the car repairs are completed. Thank you for any assitance you can provide

- Jamestown, NC, USA

problem #51

Jan 052017


  • 31,000 miles
I have 31,00 miles on my 2013 Altima which I purchased about three-and-A-half years ago. I was in my car, and I tried to get out. I pulled on the door handle and the door wouldn't happen. I had to leave my car running in my garage and open the window to get out of the car. This would be dangerous in an emergency situation. This problem can result in death. If someone is in an accident and their window won't roll down, they wouldn't be able to get out of the car, and could get severely injured or killed by being trapped in the car.

- Newington, CT, USA

problem #50

Nov 222016


  • 65,000 miles
I was driving on highway at about 60mph on rt 95 in Maryland and my sunroof exploded and glass fell all around me. The glass that was left was raised up, suggesting that the cause of the shatter was from something other than an item falling onto the sunroof from the outside.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #49

Oct 152016


  • 55,000 miles


The car gets stuck in park and will not shift, always when put in park will not shift and I noticed it happens with too many Altima....should be a recall

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #48

Oct 012016


  • miles
Brakes make squeaky noise all the time. Passanger airbag sign does not show even if someone is sitting

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

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problem #47

Oct 012016


  • 40,000 miles
The back-up camera does not always operate correctly. At times, the camera picture is too dark to view and other times the picture is mostly orange. This takes away from the reliability of this safety device. I had this looked at three times. Since it does not happen all the time, the malfunction was not repeated during the service visits.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #46

Jan 252016


  • 29,000 miles


Didn't deploy I hit the 2013 danrango truck from behind on my passenger front knocking the tire completely off the truck on the driver rar wheel.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #45

Aug 122016


  • 54,000 miles
While entering onto interstate 64 in hampton, Virginia I noticed fire coming up from the console between the gear shift and the arm rest. There were no warnings. The vehicle was completely destroyed. Fire investigation report states that is was a mechanical failure. Nissan company has been notified and a case number provided. They have stated they will investigate.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #44

Sep 052016


  • 38,500 miles
Shift gear locks up in park and will not move unless you press the shift over ride. Only 39000 miles on the car. Vehicle is stationary when this happens.0

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #43

Jul 182016


  • 85,000 miles
I currently have a 2013 Nissan Altima and have just found out that my car needs a new head gasket!! the car always got its scheduled maintenance with oil, gas, and fluid levels always at the proper level. I went in for a check engine light and a noise coming from my car, also my air conditioning had suddenly went out. I found out I needed a new radiator. I did not drive the car after this, I ordered my parts and had the radiator installed a week later. The car was driving great. Then I parked it shut it off and could not get it to start again. So the mechanic ran diagnostic on it and had a new code of cylinder misfire. So I changed out my spark plugs, but same thing happened. The car would start but once shut off it could not start again. Then the mechanic noticed the plugs were wet and said that it was anti-freeze dripping in, thus his diagnosis a new head gasket is needed.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #42

Jun 012016


  • 25,000 miles


We noticed that our car's black dashboard was becoming sticky and shiny during the summer. This has developed into a serious safety issue because it affects my visibility when IżM driving. The melting dashboard creates a strong glare or reflection on the windshield which impedes my ability to see the road and my surrounds. I notified my local dealership and they refused to help me with this problem. I called Nissan Consumer Affairs which also denied my request to solve this issue. It appears that the dashboard material that is used was not properly tested for higher temperatures or that this is simply a defective part. The residue on the surface of the dashboard could also be a health hazard as the dashboard is clearly degrading and may be emitting fumes within the cabin. I also suspect that left untreated, this melting dashboard has the potential to impact the deployment of airbags within the vehicle. I expect that Nissan addresses these concerns and offers a solution to this manufacturing defect before it causes an accident.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #41

Aug 072016


  • 43,000 miles
Passenger door handle does not open door even when manuel lock is in open position. Can not exit car unless you roll down window and open from outside handle. Once door is open you have to leave car running door open to roll up window before shutting off car. Only inside door handle won't open car. Outside getting into car is no problem. Car was stationary on city street.

- Zephyrhills, FL, USA

problem #40

Jul 252016


  • 61,320 miles
A/C failure and doesn't blow cold. Compressor need replacement. In the beginning the car will stay cool on the freeway and sometime will blow cold when at a stand still. Now will blow hot air because of compressor failure. I have seen this happen to 4 cars already in the past 4 motnhs.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #39

Jun 012016


  • miles
I received two recall notices (airbag related and hood latch). I contacted the dealer as advised on the notice and was told that a recall specialist would have to call me me back to schedule. I did not hear from anyone for two weeks and then called the number listed on the notice for Nissan national Consumer Affairs, as this was recommended if the dealer is unresponsive. The representative gave me a case number (22894092) and transferred me to my local dealer again. I was again told that I would be contacted by the service department to schedule this maintenance, but I have not heard back. It has been over one month since I initially called to schedule.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #38

May 012016


  • miles
My auto do not even have 70,000 miles and needs a new transmission. $ 4,000 "?? really??"

- Golden,, CO, USA

problem #37

Jun 152016


  • 0 miles
The windows on the front driver and passenger will not open from the inside of the car. In order to open the door you have to roll down the windows to open from the outside.

- Mansfield, TX, USA

problem #36

May 232016


  • 86,000 miles
I purchased this car 1 year ago, and in the past 2 days (at 86K miles), it has died at a stop a total of 4 times while on the road when I came to a stop (3 times in 1/4 mile, uphill - could not get it back into drive, had 6 people push it to the side parking lot). I was not able to get it started till the 6th try in the parking lot (had to switch to neutral and then to drive in order for it to not shut off). This is absolutely the most terrifying experience I've ever had driving. I got this car because it had high safety ratings, what a joke - worst investment of my life!! I am now $12K in debt with a car that can't even get me from point a to point B without breaking down.

- Longview, WA, USA

problem #35

Apr 262016


  • 52,000 miles
A/C does not cooling, just hot air.

- Johns Creek, GA, USA

problem #34

Apr 012016


  • miles
I had my 3 pending recalls repaired this week at the Nissan dealership, yet one is still left on the website (even though it shows no recalls on the Nissan website) I cannot export my car overseas until the site has been updated. Please assist, thank you.

- Camp Springs, MD, USA

problem #33

Mar 152015


  • 45,000 miles
I'm having and issues with the passenger side airbag not engaging when I have a passenger in the front seat, not registering that there is someone sitting in the seat.. another issues is water saturating the passenger floor boards all the way to the back seat when is rains outside

- Racine, WI, USA

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