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 1 of 3)

problem #51

Oct 012016


  • miles


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

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #50

Aug 222016


  • 73,000 miles
Hi I took my vehicle for regular inspection and have reported a problem with the passenger side wheels making noise. Also reporting car drift side ways while at high speeds. With initial analysis from Nissan service center have mentioned that there is some issue with shifting of a spring on the on the track rods. I raised this to my extended warranty service provider. And they have mentioned that it has to be done under tsb and will not undertake the repair. Hence I am submitting this incident report you you so investigate if it actually falls under tsb or not. And if it is then how I can get it fixed under tsb norms.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #49

May 012016


  • 37,000 miles
I own a 2013 Altima sv purchased brand new, April 2013 and I am having serious steering issues when driving over 60-65mph, car feels like it is wandering all over the road, I constantly feel like I have to correct the steering, very unsafe feeling and wears you out, one coplaint I read mentioned that its like driving on ice, great analogy unfortunately it really does!! my husband travels and drives a great deal as part of his job and he drives everywhere, he stated that he even feels uncomfortable driving at higher speeds in this car also and he drives all kinds of cars. I have actually started taking alternate routes to avoid driving on the highway at these higher speeds, which is completely ludicrous, it's only a 3 year old car with less than 40,000 miles on it and purchased brand new by me and I should feel safe in it, and at the higher speeds, I do not feel safe in it!!! I have read lots of reviews and complaints about this, so obviously Nissan has got to know about this, all you have to do is search on the internet and you will find there are tons of, when is something going to be done about this."?? Nissan needs to step up and issue a recall because something very clearly is not right with the steering as evidenced by many complaints, ,we can't all be making this up!!!! at lower speeds it is fine, I don't have the problem until I hit about 60-65 and no, I will not get used to it, as Nissan likes to tell their customers! we even put brand new Bridgestone turanza tires on it thinking maybe that was the problem but it is still doing it.. but what good is that when it still feels unsafe??" I used to love my Nissan, I also have a 2001 maxima bought brand new that my son now drives, great car and now this Altima, but I would definitely not buy another Nissan if this issue isn't resolved!!

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #48

May 062015


  • 148,013 miles


Shacking and unable to control and no one till this day"?? why ? I'm sorry but Dodge Chrysler nor any dealer ship has my air bag and 98% of parts in stock... so now what??" I spent a lot of much $$$$...

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #47

Jan 142016


  • miles
My 2013 Nissan ultima driving on that highway stop and when off 20 sec later starts took it to the dealer they say I need a new transmission I only have 61,000 miles and they have a lot of complaints from different people they want me to pay almost $5000 but I did not get fixed

- Madison, TN, USA

problem #46

Sep 302015


  • 31,000 miles
Note: This car was purchased used with about 30,000 miles on it. When driving at highway speeds, both hands on the wheel, going straight, unexpectedly and without warning the car starts to wander and veer off to the other lane. It is much worse if it is a windy day. You have to be ready immediately to make a steering correction or you run the risk of getting into and accident. On the Nissan forum, many 2013 Altima owners are complaining about this steering and suspension defect. Nissan has not addressed this safety issue but has known about it and has fixed it on the 2016 models. Why haven't they issued a bulletin with a fix or recalled these year model Altima that are affected?

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #45

Jun 272015


  • 45,000 miles


I have been to the dealer several times with the complaint of the car constantly drifting left and right and not being able to control the handling of the vehicle. It often feels like you are driving on three wheels and the stability shifts. I do not feel safe driving the car as I don't have full control, nor do I like having my son in the vehicle and try to avoid freeways but it pretty much drifts at all speeds. I have spoken to the service manager, service director, and regional manager at Nissan North America but they claim to not be able to reproduce the issue. However, every time I get in it I feel vibrations and experience weird whining noises as well as the drifting and bouncing all over the roads. I have also experienced where I'm trying to slow down and it seems like the car speeds up and when trying to speed up the car is sluggish. Nissan really needs to take ownership to fix the issue before someone loses their life!! this is ridiculous to have to deal with these issues for a newer car that people are still paying for!!

- Laveen, AZ, USA

problem #44

Jul 102015


  • 23,000 miles
I was driving to work at approximately 5:30 am and took exit 10B off of I85 North. Went to reach down to get my coffee and hit the grass which in turn slung me into the guard rail. This is not the first time this has happened. This wreck done 10,000 dollars of damage to my car. The steering is very touchy. This has happened several times. My air bag light on the passenger side does not work either. I have taken this car in because it does act right when you accelerate but I was told there was nothing wrong with my vehicle. I have also took it in for a leak and they told my it wasn't leaking it was a 2013 and it was to new. But there is a spot in my driveway and I am the only one that parks there.

- Kings Mountain, NC, USA

problem #43

Aug 302013


  • 15,000 miles
My car wonders at highway speeds. It requires constant and is very dangerous. I have my alignment checked at every 5000 miles. There are so many complaints about the Altima's drifting at highway speeds. During windy conditions it can drift into other lanes. I complained before and was told to take the car to the dealer and I did. They said it is normal.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #42

Aug 122012


  • 7,996 miles
When turning my car cut off a few different times and you can hear a pop noise when turning coming from the right tire, I took may car to Nissan I was advised that they couldn't find a code and didn't no why it cut off, and didn't hear the noise, or feel the slack in the steering wheel, my car was there at 7996 miles and out at 7996 miles which means no one test drove the car to even try to see what was going on they did a so called diagnostic which the check engine light didn't even come on. And I was told they drove my car to see what I was talking about. 4 months later it do the same thing but being that they didn't do what they said the first time I didn't take it back. In 12/14 it did it again while getting on and off the freeway and coming to a stop took it to Nissan and was told I needed a air filter which was changed 2 oil changes before this happened. Took it home and it cut off many more times, now 4/15 it did it again but worse sitting in traffic it cut off and everytime I start it and put in drive it cut of but will go in reverse and it jerk really bad, and when it do go its hesitate and when smashing on the gas it takes a long time to go then takes off when it decides to. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and was advised they were going to call to where I take my car to 3 days later I get a call back and was advised to call Nissan and go have a diagnostic, like it was set up. When I asked for the name I was giving that Consumer Affairs was talking to she didn't have a clue to what I was talking about, when I called the lady I been talking to at Consumer Affairs I didn't get a answer nor a call back. But im sure they will not find anything wrong with my car due to no one will drive it to see what it do. Im scared to drive my car due to it may stop and someone can hit me or being that when smashing on the gas it take off when it want to and I can hit someone.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #41

Feb 042015


  • 31,000 miles


Vehicle vibrates up through steering wheel at 2,000 RPM regardless of speed. Nissan dealer and Nissan usa, Inc. Have come to the conclusion that this is a "characteristic" of the vehicle and that they do not intend to repair or address in any manner. This is despite comments by the technician at middletown Nissan of middletown, ct that he's never seen a Nissan Altima exhibit this much vibration before. I've stated that neither I or my wife feel safe in the car and are now concerned that a component of the vehicle could vibrate loose.

- Middletown, CT, USA

problem #40

Mar 102015


  • 35,859 miles
Tie rod lose with so few miles how could this of happened. I have never heard of this ever before and am seriously going to watch out for problems. Our dealership was excellent in finding it with their inspection. I can only praise the dealership and service department. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #39

Nov 012014


  • 24,000 miles
I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima S from carmax on 10/5/14. The car was suppose to be a birthday present to myself seeing as though I had not purchased a car in 12 years. I was very excited, but shortly after purchasing the Altima, I started to hear squealing coming from the brakes, and also roaring and rumbling which started in the front of the car, and proceeded to the center. I also complained about the car locking up and driving sluggish, and then releasing once the rumbling briefly stopped. I am also hearing an annoying whining sound coming from the right side of the vehicle. When I took the car back to carmax, they told me the roaring was coming from my windshield washer compartment that was loose, and that my brakes were fixed. Needless to say, I left and drove around the corner, and the squealing brakes and roaring came back. I took the car to a Nissan dealership in my area, and after telling them about the roaring and the whining, the service manager told me that he's quite familiar with the sound, and there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. He stated that the whining sound is coming from the power steering and the roaring is coming from the way I am driving the vehicle. How dare he! I only had the vehicle for a month before I took it to the Nissan dealership. He would not even try to look into the list of issues I requested to be fixed. The Nissan manager told me to go back to carmax or I would have to pay for the brakes to be fixed, and even charged me to rotate my tires. I left paying him for a service that I did not originally come in for. I went back to carmax and they finally fixed my brakes, but still could not find anything wrong that would cause the extremely annoying roaring and whining noises. This has been a nightmare, and I am thinking about taking legal action.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #38

Sep 022013


  • 10 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel would drift to the right or left independently. The contact stated that when holding the steering wheel in place, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnosis. The technician was unable to locate a problem. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10.

- Delmar , MD, USA

problem #37

Jun 202014


  • 1,500 miles
When I test drove and purchased my vehicle, everything seemed great. It was a very short test drive though. Not even 1month after buying the car, I have problems with it. I noticed the suspension and steering to be not as tight or responsive (diminished) and also notice a lot of wander in the font end and understeer/oversteer. Along with the suspension and steering problems came the transmission shutter. At lower speed acceleration (approx. 25-40mph), there is a shutter or jumpy feeling. Took the car to Nissan multiple times to fix the problem and has yet to be done. My service tech has been able to duplicate all the problems, but Nissan tech line refuses to fix anything because "it is up to Nissan standards". in order for them to even begin to replace or work on anything, it has to meet certain circumstances (basically jump through hoops), even though it is a known problem with the car and has been duplicated by one of their own techs. I have contacted the BBB and have started arbitration to get this matter resolved. This entire ordeal has cost me time off work and about a total of 4weeks without my car.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #36

Jul 052014


  • 1,900 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle began to drift to the right and the steering wheel seized causing the contact to lose control of the vehicle. As a result, the contact crashed into a parked vehicle. The contact was not injured and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 1,900.

- Boiling Brook, IL, USA

problem #35

Sep 132013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while traveling 55 mph, the power steering failed. The power steering warning light illuminated. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 08/11/14

- Delmar, MD, USA

problem #34

Aug 012013


  • 40 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle veered from side to side and became uncontrollable. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 40 and the current mileage was 20,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #33

Jul 092012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Within the first week of having the vehicle I noticed the car pulled to the left. Had the alignment fixed. 7 months later I had the car back in the shop because the passenger air bag light said the air bag was not turned on. This occurred with a 128 pound girl in the seat and on another occasion with a 215 pound man in the passenger seat. The dealership stated that there was no problem and that the air bag would deploy if necessary. Less than a month after that I still have the problem and now my elec. Stability did not start working till about 15 min of slipping around on snow while driving home from work. Ever since it finally came on the light now stays on the majority of the time and occasionally goes off but the roads have been both wet and completely dry when this occurs. Also now my steering wheel is tilted about 30 degrees to the left when I have my car driving on a straight away because my alignment has went completely off again but even worse than before.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #32

Nov 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
My Altima acts as if the alignment is out. At all speeds it drifts and I usually drive 55-70 on the highway and it will drift to the extreme right and left. I have to continue to steer left and right to keep it in between the lines of the direction I am traveling. If there is any wind I have to drive holding the wheel with both hands to keep it in my lane. I had a gust of wind cause my vehicle to travel in the oncoming lane because of the drift. This vehicle is a danger and life threatening to my family and me. I have taken it to Firestone for alignments and to landers mcclarty Nissan of huntsville Alabama and it remains a danger to my family. Alignments did not fix anything.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

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