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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,388 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Dec 032013


  • 26,300 miles


Nothing happen yet, but need to update and alert about a problem that can be dangerous.the Nissan Altima 2013 and 2014 have a new design for the power steering pump(electronic) this made a whisper sound inside of the cabin very high, when you drive from 0-30 miles. This continuous sound is irresistible and made you uncomforted when you drive.this is a safety concern and the decibels inside of cabin is too much.also my autistic child is very sensitive to this sound and react again.that can be so dangerous because they irritated again the sound(you can control) and after 30-35 is go.can you imagine have to drive all day on the city limits. I spoke with Nissan North America and they said is normal. Can we aware of the potential problem this can made, can we made the Nissan create a recall and try to solve this situation with the power steering sound inside of the cabin. Thanks

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #30

Nov 272013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 275 miles
There is a loud whining noise under the hood, directly behind the passenger side headlight. The noise became louder when the steering wheel was turned slightly in either direction. The noise came into the passenger compartment. Dealership said they were able to fix the whining noise coming into the passenger compartment. However; all 2013 Altima make this noise under the hood. The source can easily be identified by popping the hood and looking behind a small piece of sound absorbing material (which obviously doesn't work). Have been told this is a "characteristic" of the new electric steering and all Altima make this annoying sound.

- West Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #29

Mar 012013


  • miles
As many have already described, when driving at low speeds, the car emits a high pitch noise. This noise was not present when test driving the car and apparently only begins to manifest itself after having been driven a few hundred miles. When I brought the car in for the first attempt to fix it, we test drove a brand new car on the lot to compare the noise, and it did not make this noise. On my first attempt to fix the noise I was told there was a bulletin to address the problem but ultimately the bulletin did not solve the issue. We tried appears that it is the bracket which is holding the pump in place that is causing the noise. When the mechanic removed the bracket, the noise disappeared. The bracket needed to be put back for safety reasons but as soon as we did, the noise reappeared. The mechanic ultimately did something that reduced the noise and I was happy. Unfortunately, the noise returned and when I brought it back, I was told that there was nothing to do. A regional person was going to be at the dealership the following week and I was asked to bring my car back for his assessment. His assessment was that the noise was normal. Nissan deems the noise normal because all the cars are producing the noise" that makes it normal??? the noise is unacceptable and had it presented itself during the drive, I would never have bought it. I shouldn't have to turn on my radio at a high volume in order not to hear the high pitch noise. It's embarrassing when I have passengers in the car who ask me what the noise is" I complained to Nissan customer satisfaction (that's a joke) who is telling me that if the dealership says that there is nothing to fix, then there is no problem.the mechanic said that mine is not an isolated issue and that others have brought their car in for the same problem. Corporate is taking no responsibility for this.this is not acceptable!

- Sharon, MA, USA

problem #28

Oct 012012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles


Purchased the vehicle 9/2012. Several weeks after driving, found the vehicle to have a steering problem. The car constantly wanders across the road, left, sometimes right. It requires you to hold the steering wheel with both hands with a very tight grip, otherwise you will end up in the next lane, off the road, or possibly into another vehicle. Also notice the car practically loses control with even the slightest wind, again this requires you to tightly hold the steering wheel. There has to be something wrong with this vehicle, it is dangerous to drive. I've returned the car 3 times to the dealer, with no results.

- Woodbine, GA, USA

problem #27

Apr 012013


  • 500 miles
I leased this vehicle 3/29/13. A couple weeks in it began making a loud whining noise. Dealership said it is "normal for electric power steering systems". it's not. There is not another line out there, foreign or domestic, that does it. It has been through the shop 4 times now for this issue. Currently I have a formal complaint filed with Nissan and am filing a lemon law claim. If they cannot determine the issue how can they determine that it is safe"?" vehicle seems to handle "loosely" at higher speeds also. It also randomly has issues on startup and my gas mileage seems to get worse as time goes by. Not to mention now that it's known in the market about this issue the value on my car has drastically decreased.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #26

Sep 152013


  • 200 miles
When driving between 2 to 25 mph hear loud high pitch whining sound from engine. This started after about 200 miles on vehicle. Vehicle had 51 miles on it when purchased. Dealer said this is normal it is the electric power assist system. The whining noise is very disturbing and distracting while driving. Such noise is not normal. Nissan needs to come up with a fix. Just purchased from dealer on 9/13/2013.

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #25

Nov 262012

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles


Safety concern, proper operation of air bags (SRS light on). This is a major safety concern. One month after purchasing a brand new Nissan Altima 2013, a major light indicator came on. This light brought up concerns. Are the air bags working properly" will the air bags deploy correctly upon impact? are the air bags working at all? will the air bags deploy while driving? will the air bags implode and affect the steering process? is this an indication that there is an electronic or electrical circuit malfunction? after buying a brand new vehicle, should I even have to deal with these issues, questions or concerns? in addition to the above safety concern, the list of electronic, electrical and mechanical issues continues for the newly bought vehicle. There was an issue with the power steering, the brake system, bubbling paint and concerns with the engine compartment and interior compartment of the above mentioned vehicle. All this is reflected in each of the invoices submitted for your perusal. In addition, upon starting the vehicle, it continuously has a rough idle, a rough start at times the vehicle stalls out. He is at a loss because who should he take his vehicle with this concern" all in all, sir all these vehicle discrepancies are troubling to have with a brand new Nissan Altima 2013 and all of these issues within the last nine months. Also, there were problems with the power steering, the brake system and concerns with the engine and interior compartments. In addition, upon starting the vehicle, it continuously had a rough idle, a rough start at all times and the vehicle would stall.

- Ojai, CA, USA

problem #24

Aug 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 4,300 miles
My family and I were heading down a major highway into a metro area for the evening and the power steering went out nearly causing me to hit a wall on an exit ramp. This is only one of several issues I have had with the vehicle, this one being the most serious. I will be seeking to return the vehicle for full refund as I do not believe this car is safe. Please push Nissan to resolve the issues.

- Aurora, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 212013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I first noticed it driving the car home from the dealership. I felt as though the front tires were moving in different directions at the same time and there is a metallic sound in the front end (can only hear when your next to barriers or bridges on the highway). The car drift is so bad I feel I will be pulled over for dui!!!! I was planning a trip that week to Texas with my grandchildren and I had already had an issue with the airbag light being on so I took the car back to the dealer to look at it, they couldn't get me in!!! I made my trip anyway and it was the scariest most dangerous trip I have ever made!!!! I was all over the highway on any straightaway, the slightest wind or another vehicle passing me would send me into the other lane. I finally was able to get the car into the dealer and advised them to take the car on the highway and listen for the noise as well at overpasses (when you have noise coming back at you) the rep came out and said that his tech could not find any thing wrong with the car and that it drives like all other Altima's! this is not true!! and they said they never heard the noise, which I find very hard to believe because I hear it all the time! the driverside front-end sounds like a 10 year old car when it hits a bump in the road or parking lot, like its shocks or something are bad... I am soooo disappointed in Nissan and with the Altima completely, what is the use having a beautiful car when it is a danger on the highway!!!!!!!!!! I will post on all websites about this car! it is dangerous!!!

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #22

Apr 162013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 15 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the steering wheel was very loose and that made it hard to keep the vehicle straight. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed an alignment. The contact stated that did not correct the problem. The failure mileage was 15 and the current mileage was 3,250.

- Wharton, NJ, USA

problem #21

Jun 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 75 miles


At highway speeds the car is difficult to control - very poor handling. A lot of sway in the steering and suspension. Car constantly drifts side to side at highway speeds requiring continuous steering correction. Not a mechanical or electrical malfunction, just poor handling.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #20

Jun 212013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
Car lost the control when I speed over 60 mile per hour. Feeling like losing control. I have to hold the steering with two hands. Difficult to stay in the lane. Feel like driving in windy condition.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #19

Dec 282012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 4,062 miles
2013 Nissan Altima has a very annoying whining/whistling noise. Dealer said they heard noise and checked other cars on lot and they had same noise, this is normal. I've seen others complaining of noise and some seem to be getting resolution. Took car back to dealer and complained again. Told once again this is normal. Noise is very annoying and for the money spent on new car expect better results. Nissan needs to fix this.

- Bluffton, IN, USA

problem #18

Jan 222013


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle exhibited an abnormal knocking when turning the steering wheel. In addition, there were various warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The faiure recurred sporadically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they were unable to determine the cause of failure. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 6,000. The current mileage was 17,000.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #17

Dec 012012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,850 miles
Passenger's air bag turns on and off randomly while an adult (150 lbs) is sitting while car is moving at different speeds (0 to 80 mph). I took car to dealership in January and reported problem to the service manager and he stated that it was normal. I explained to the manager how that could not be normal because the passenger can suffer serious injuries or even death if we had an accident. The service manager stated he checked the car's computer and there we no error codes. The car is not included in the recall Nissan issued in April. Now, I'm nervous/worried when I have a somebody in the passenger's side and the airbag light turns off randomly. In addition, the electrical steering pump makes a loud vibrating noise at low speeds. Service manager stated it's not normal but Nissan does not know how to fix the problem.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #16

Mar 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
This vehicle wanders left and right, especially at highway speeds. It feels like you are driving in breezy conditions, even when there is no wind at all. The effect is amplified on concrete highways with light drainage grooves. When the road is wet, it feels very unstable. It is difficult to keep the car going on a straight course, with constant steering corrections needed. The vehicle is also very sensitive to slight crosswinds or passing vehicles which send the car off its course. The dealer said it was caused by the tires but I know this is not true because I have a 2013 Honda Odyssey that has the same contiprocontact tires and it drives like a dream.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
I love the fact that my car has the heated steering wheel and for paying so much for this vehicle to have this wonderful feature you would expect it to work. Well it did for the first month, but I used it alot, usually on highway trips when it would cut off I would turn it back on, then about a month after that I noticed it was only getting warm at the top of the steering wheel and not the rest. Then a little later it doesn't even get warm anymore. I have taken it to service at least 2 different times, and they just tell me that it is normal. But in the armada, and maxima they loaned me while my car was in the shop those seemed to work fine. Their answer to that is that in the Altima it reads the temperature inside the car to determine how hot it gets. This is not the problem because in March of 2013 here in northern va we had a big snowfall. I went to my car at 3:40 am the day of the snowfall, and started it. It was about 28 degrees outside, and the inside of the car felt the same. I turn on the heated steering it I never felt it the entire 30 miles I drove. To me it feels like the electricity is not getting to any or all of the heating element. Nissan says to take it to another dealership, but all the dealers around me are owned and managed by the same.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #14

Mar 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
So I have been hearing a whining sound coming from the engine compartment of my car at low speeds. I took it in and the dealership told me it was a normal power steering noise. And said there was nothing they could do, I brought it back a week later after I found out the next day that their is a Nissan technical bulletin on this. And they had it for a few days with my other concerns and returned it to me saying that my car did not qualify for the repair. Why is this" it is making intolerable noises and yet they do not fix it" to this day I am still getting these noises and have read that the steering pump has failed on other 2013 Nissan Altima. There needs to be a recall!

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #13

Oct 192012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 189 miles
Since new this car has had a serious handling issue. It did arrive new with defective tires. New tires were installed, problem caused by tires was know gone. However, the car still handled very poorly at speeds over 65 mph. The handling is so bad that I feel it is dangerous at freeway speeds. Handling is a very subjective complaint, and because it is, I do not feel that this is being treated the way it should be. The may issue of popular mechanics describes this issue perfectly. "against the competition the Altima feels disjointed, as if different engineering teams had calibrated the steering, suspension, and powertrain without talking to one another.when we pitched the car hard into a corner, for instance, the light steering made us wonder if we'd be able to complete the turn. We found that the body bobs and weaves during a hard run through the canyons, leaving the driver without confidence in its handling.' I have contacted Nissan, and I truly believe this is a very serious issue that needs to be addressed before someone is injured or worse.

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #12

Dec 142012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 20 miles
There is a shuttering vibration in drive train when engine is at 1500 RPM and going up an incline. Eventually it is going to cause loosing of bolts and cause crash.

- Throop, PA, USA

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