2013 Nissan Altima suspension problems: control arm broke while driving

Control Arm Broke While Driving

2013 Nissan Altima

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

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

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.

9.3

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$910
Average Mileage:
113,250 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace control arm (13 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
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2013 Nissan Altima suspension problems

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #17

Oct 022018

Altima SV 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 97,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

click to see larger images

control arm broke while driving control arm broke while driving

My wife and I were getting ready to drive to Savannah, GA from NJ the night this happened. My wife was traveling on a major NJ highway when suddenly and without warning the driver side rear control arm snapped at the weld point due to excessive rust and corrosion. Thankfully she was able to gain control of the car and did not hit anyone and no one hit her. She was able to pull into a rest stop and compose herself. She called me and I was ready to call a tow truck but somehow she managed to drive it to our mechanic some 10+ miles away.

When I met her at our mechanic we immediately saw the left read wheel well sunken very low over the tire and saw the tire was at approx. 10-15 degree angle. Our mechanic placed it on the lift and immediately saw the broken control arm. His words were how she wasn't in an accident and was able to drive it to him was a miracle.

I am just thankful my wife was not killed however just 3 months early the car was at our local Nissan dealership where I always take it for oil change and maintenance. I feel that this type of issue should have been caught by them via their "Complimentary Multi-point Inspection" in the section of Under Vehicle specifically Rear shocks/Suspension it was checked off as PASS along with the rear subframe also marked as PASS.

We tried calling corporate Nissan, they blew me off and told me to go to the dealership, my wife just went to the dealership and spoke to the service manager, he blew her off and said, "Not much I can do". ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? She could have been killed and this is their response?? You are going to tell me in 3 months the rear control arm rusted and corroded that much that NO ONE saw during the last "inspection". Yes I live near the ocean and I know all about salt air, etc, etc But I personally blame two things, the Brines that they now put on the highways in the winter along with the salt from the snow storms but also a crappy weld job because again my mechanic pointed it out, the control arm snapped right at the weld spot.

This is now the 3rd welding issue diagnosed with my car but Nissan sees nothing wrong with this. I not done with my complaint on this. I plan on complaining to the NHTSA, the local BBB, local news if I have to, anyone that will listen. I will not be ignored or dismissed and my voice will be heard. Someone should have caught this and suggested service on it instead of now blaming my wife that when this occurred why didn't we bring it to the dealership to be fixed. Are you kidding me?? Something like that happens and you are just happy to be alive not, "Oh, maybe I should get my car to the dealership now" instead of, "OH MY GOD!!! I'M JUST GLAD I AM ALIVE".

I find it appauling and disgusting that Nissan feels like this is not an issue and that they can just ignore it and it will go away. They need to be responsible for the vehicles that they put on the road.

- Michael C., Leonardo, NJ, US

problem #16

May 182019

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles

Suspension control arm broke off, luckily while backing up in the Driveway - The mechanic ended up replacing both - because I told them to check both - When I went to pick up the mechanic showed me the two control arms and pointed out the crack that was beginning on the other one...

I've had older vehicles than this. The mechanic indicated that they would be certainly looking out for it!

This could have been a lot worse!

- James P., Orangeville, ON, Canada

problem #15

Apr 282019

Altima LS 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 97,000 miles

click to see larger images

control arm broke while driving control arm broke while driving control arm broke while driving

2013 Altima SUCKS!!! I've owned the car for less than 2 years - it's a 6 year old car with a single previous owner, always lived in a garage, well maintained, etc. I was driving home ON THE FREEWAY one morning and suddenly my steering wheel yanked out of my hands, swerved to the right, and locked up. I could barely keep the car in the lane and had to drive like a video game, constantly shaking the steering wheel back and forth. I tried to make it one more exit, but couldn't safely so I pulled over.

Going 60+ mph and losing control of your car is not a fun feeling. Thankfully I was driving right behind my parents, so they turned around and came back to help me. When we first looked at the car on the side of the exit ramp, we could not determine what the problem was. Only had to test drive it ~20 feet before we realized the drivers rear wheel nearly fell off. Driver of the first truck that came (needed a flat bed but they sent a tow) looked underneath the car and saw the control arm had snapped and broken off due to rust.

Sure enough in the shop, my mechanic found that BOTH SIDES had completely rusted and both had to be replaced to safely drive the car. And Nissan continues to claim there is no problem and that this issue is entirely caused by road salt in snowy areas - this is complete BS. This problem is 100% due to a faulty design of the control arm that allows water to pool on top and not drain - the water sits on the control arm in a divet and the metal rusts away, unnoticed unless you know to look for completely rusted garbage parts on a 6 year old car.

Fortunately, my mechanic cleverly fixed the problem on the replacement control arms by welding a plate on top to prevent water collection and future rust. Nissan is complete garbage and is unethical and dishonest with its customers. I was a loyal customer but NEVER AGAIN!

- Elizabeth D., Cleveland, OH, US

problem #14

May 172019

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving home on interstate 81 in moderate traffic going 72 mph when all of a sudden my car is swerving all over the road; I thought another car had hit me. Got it under control and off the side of the road; didn't see anything out of order, so thought I'd limp it home. Nope. As soon as I pulled off the shoulder, the car yanked me back on the side of the road and almost hit the guard rail. Called for a tow. Pretty obvious when he drove onto the roll back that the rear tire and wheel was the problem. Control arm broken. Shop called today and said it was rusted badly and broke. Said he was surprised the car was only 6 years old - usually a problem with older models.

Said the dealer has part in stock because it's a common problem. Recall????????????????????????????

Better have them checked out on your Altima - it's a wild ride when it breaks going 72 mph......

- Lon S., Marathon, NY, US

problem #13

Mar 142019

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 194,000 miles

REAR CONTROL ARM $235.00/each. REMOVE & REPLACE KNUCKLE AXLE CARRIER - BOTH SIDES $230.40/each side

Ended up spending $1100 but this is dangerous. Nissan should do a recall

- Ch R., Tolland, CT, US

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problem #12

Mar 072019

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

MY CONTROL ARM ON THE REAR PASSENGER SIDE BROKE 5 MONTHS AGO. NOW THE SAME THING ON THE DRIVER SIDE REAR. VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION, AS THE WHEEL COULD TOTALLY FALL OFF. THANKFULLY I WAS ABLE TO DRIVE STRAIGHT AND SLOW TO REPAIR. VERY UPSET WITH THIS AND NOW FEELING THAT NISSAN CARS ARE NOT RELIABLE AT ALL.

- Sue S., Syracuse, NY, US

problem #11

Mar 202019

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,188 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Just happened!!! Had no idea. Turn corner, heard clunk. Then wavy, sloppy driving. Pulled over safely. (Thank goodness) and looked at left rear tire. It was all catty-wompass (technical term) Control arm broken. Now waiting for tow. Grrrr! Now what?

- Mark J., Westville, IN, US

problem #10

Jan 162019

Altima SV 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 61,000 miles

Wife came home from work and said that her car was all over the road and hard to control. I took a look at it and found that the left rear lower control arm had broken, letting the wheel move forward and back. Towed to a local garage to inspect since the car has 61000 miles and is just out of warranty. The mechanic put the car up on the rack to inspect and not only was the left side rusted out, but the right side was about the same it just hadn't broke yet. There was an earlier model Altima on the rack next to mine and the rear control arms were made from aluminum not sheet metal. This repair cost 1800 dollars. I have lost what little confidence I had with this brand. You would think for $26K you could get a little more than 60 thousand miles or six years use out of it.

- moplinger, Norton, US

problem #9

Mar 012019

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 129,000 miles

click to see larger images

control arm broke while driving

Terrible car. First I had to replace the transmission. Now the lower control arms broke while driving. Very dangerous!

- Bill C., Delmar, NY, US

problem #8

Mar 082019

Altima 2.5S 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 127,100 miles

click to see larger images

control arm broke while driving control arm broke while driving

Driving about 60mph yesterday when BOTH rear lower control arms snapped. The rear end suddenly kicked out to the driver's side and I thought I was going to roll the car. Somehow managed to straighten it out and get it off to the side of the road. Had it towed to a local shop who said that the breaks in the arms were clean, with good metal in the center, so the parts weren't corroded through. Tech said this was at least the 5th time he'd seen this issue with this model year. Nissan doesn't trust the word of non-Nissan employees so I now have to have it towed to the dealership....which doesn't have service hours on Sunday. Looked up the issue and it's apparently very common, but no recall yet. Thanks, Nissan.

- cusewick, Liverpool, US

problem #7

Feb 152019

Altima V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Was driving on a city street in Milwaukee, WI when without warning, I lost control of the ability to stear the car in a straight line. Thankfully, I was on a city street and able to pull over. I am not sure what would have happened on the expressway at high speed. Left rear tire was cocked at an angle.

- Don W., Delafield, US

problem #6

Mar 022019

(reported on)

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Driving down the road going approximately 45mph my car suddenly drifted to the left hard. I thought I had hit a patch of ice but then noticed that the back of my car kept swaying and my steering wheel was cocked to the right a lot. Also my traction control light was on and not turning off. I knew something was wrong so I pulled over and looked st my car.

The back left side was very low and the left wheel looked like it was coming off as it was positioned in a weird angle. Luckily I was only 15 minutes from home and was able to call a friend of mine who is a Dr Mechanic (my nickname for him because he knows his sh*t) . He took one look and said it’s my control arm and refused to let me drive the car anywhere else.

So my car is now sitting at his house waiting to for the parts to come in and get fixed. This was a very dangerous situation. I’m thankful that I not anyone else was injured when it broke. It could have been very bad as I was on my way to pick up friends in Milwaukee from Racine and I was close to getting on the freeway and heading to Green Bay.

- Sheryl L., Racine, WI, US

problem #5

Dec 062018

Altima L 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 162,562 miles

While my husband was driving at 60 MPH in the left hand land his 2013 Nissan Altima pulled to the right into the other land. Luckily the other vehicle he was passing had just exited the freeway. My husband managed to steer his Altima to the shoulder to see what happened. This is when he saw that the control arm had broke causing his rear passenger tire to turn outwards and up against the rear of the wheel well. There was a vehicle behind him at the time it happened and this driver had stopped behind my husband to share what he had seen. The driver of the other vehicle said the rear passenger tire kicked out from the bottom and bend backwards. The driver of the other vehicle thought my husband was going to flip our car but my husband was able to get control of it. Fortunately there was no snow or icy conditions because if there had been who know what would have happened. This incident occured within the distance of an exit ramp that had a Service Center and they were able to get his car into the bay and on a lift to diagnose the problem. Now we are concerned the the other side will fail and that my 2013 Nissan Altima will have the same issue.

- Ellen S., Iron River, WI, US

problem #4

Oct 252018

Altima S 3.2L

  • CVT transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I had to replace lower control arms which cost me about $1100 and then had to deal with replacing AC compressor another $1200. This car should be recalled.

- Patricia L., West Orange, US

problem #3

Feb 162019

Altima SL 2.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,500 miles

I WAS DRIVING AND THE REAR LOWER CONTROL ARM BROKE. I TOOK IT TO THE DEALERSHIP WHERE I BOUGHT IT, THEY STATED IT BROKE DUE TO RUST AND CORROSION ,SO MY WARRANTY WON'T COVER IT.

- Stephanie F., Pittsburgh, US

problem #2

Dec 182018

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 94,000 miles

click to see larger images

control arm broke while driving

The car is only 5 years old. I would have liked a bit more from the dealership then, "wow, never heard of that before." I am thankful that it happened at 15 miles per hour when I crashed and not 65 MPH on the Highway when the whole wheel would have rocketed into someone.

I hope that someone looks at this deeply, it's scary how rusty these Altimas get.

- Laird S., Essex Junction, VT, US

problem #1

Dec 132018

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Why would a control arm break at 80,000 miles? Why is Nissan selling a car if the control arms are failing on any of their cars? I don't understand how they can put this car on the road. I just feel that this is a big safety issue. What is the recourse for Altima owners? Why would a car with less than 100,000 miles have so many problems with corrosion? I just want to know that my car will be safe.

- cmusella, Shrewsbury, MA, US

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