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2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems: CVT shuttering, vibration, hesitation, running roughly

CVT Shuttering, Vibration, Hesitation, Running Roughly

2013 Nissan Altima (Page 1 of 7)

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.

8.3

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$2,910
Average Mileage:
46,800 miles
Total Complaints:
133 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (42 reports)
  2. not sure (39 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (20 reports)
  4. replace transmission (17 reports)
  5. cvt transmission failed; need replacement (6 reports)
  6. complete cvt replacement (5 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 7)

problem #133

Jun 302018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 76,000 miles

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

So I bought this car because we have to travel a lot to take my son to a doctor for his severe scoliosis. It's supposed to be dependable and a solid car. Well at only 76,000 miles the transmission is going out because of Nissan's horrible design CVT transmission. After doing research most people's transmissions go out around 50-80k miles. Even after they get new ones the new ones fail on them too. You can't get it rebuilt because you can't rebuild a CVT transmission. You can't flush the transmissions yourself, you have to have the dealership do it because you need a key. It is such a crappy design that Nissan needs to fix! I am so disappointed that not even 100k miles I am having to replace my car because I cant afford $4,000 for a new transmission that will most likely go out again.

- Nicole L., Nash, TX, US

problem #132

Aug 012018

Altima ES 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 83,000 miles

My transmission failed at 83k miles. Dealer advised that CVT failed. They want $5600 to replace it. I called Nissan but was told that my car is out of warranty=no help.

- Zach B., Minneapolis, US

problem #131

May 032018

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Transmission stops suddenly in the middle of the road while driving. If you try to start again, the transmission shuts again the moment you put it in Drive. After a while the problem goes away. Service center cannot reproduce the issue. The system does not record any code in spite of an obvious issue. Certified warranty is useless without a code and without them reproducing the issue.

- Yusuf B., Quincy, MA, US

problem #130

May 302018

Altima 2.5SV

  • CVT transmission
  • 54,400 miles

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

Had same issues as listed by others. Driving home one day from work car just stalled..would always start right up but when going into gear kept stalling. No check engine light ever came on, when I took to my service station there were no error codes, they determined was internal issue/defect with CVT transmission.

Car was 2 months past 5 year warranty but only had 54,000 miles. From Connecticut I contacted Bruce Bennett Nissan where I purchased car.. NO RESPONSE...I called Nissan Corp, they said to pursue I had to bring to one of their dealerships... would not take diagnostic results from my service station.

Had car towed to Miller Nissan in Fairfield...incredibly helpful sent all information directly to Nissan Corp so a case file could be opened. At time of this happening, my brother was getting an oil change at George Harte Nissan(West Haven CT) and mentioned my issue and they offered to have me come in to speak with their GM to make the situation right...I only mention to illustrate how poor the customer service is at Bruce Bennett Nissan(Wilton Ct).

Nissan Corp did replace my transmission and waived all costs.

- Pete S., Bridgeport, US

problem #129

Jun 082018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 39,780 miles

Cannot live with this problem any longer and have to take it to the Nissan Dealer this week. Once we know the repair costs, we will have to decide if we are better off selling the car and buying a new NON-NISSAN replacement.

- keo7, Kaneohe, US

problem #128

Mar 012018

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 48,564 miles

CVT was shaking, delayed, and vibrating which led to engine light coming on. Upon taking it to the dealer the valve body and pump were failed and CVT damaged. They only replaced the valve body and pump and refused to replace the transmission. The warranty was only 2 months from expiration and now the warranty is expired. It is still having these issues but not as severely. I feel that it will go soon and they will make me pay for replacement.

- Adam L., Chicago, IL, US

problem #127

May 072018

Altima 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 50,952 miles

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

The car began to shake/shudder when coming to a full stop, engine stalled and I was unable to re-start engine, left me stranded on the road, needed a tow. Nissan dealership (Willowdale Nissan) "diagnosed" the issue and told me "Good news, it's not a transmission problem you just need a new battery". So they charge me $500 for a new battery, cooling system liquids and and an oil change and tell me the car is fine now.

The very next day on my drive home (30km) from work the car shakes and shudders 10 TIMES!! The engine shut off once but fortunately this time I was able to re-start it (thanks to the new battery).

Drove it back again to dealership who tell me it's "as we suspected" a transmission issue after all and they would have to replace it. The Power train warranty expired 7 days ago but they were able to offer me the parts for free and charged me a discounted labor fee of $1,200... would have preferred if they covered the full cost considering warranty just expired 7 days ago but I accepted because it's still cheaper than taking the car elsewhere. Ever heard of a grace period Nissan?

6 days later the new transmission is installed in my car. It's running fine now (83,000 km) but after reading the many reviews on CarCompliants.com I am concerned this problem will come back to haunt me. The Nissan repair warranty of only 1 year or 20,000km is a joke. I asked the Nissan mechanic if the new transmission is the same as the old one and he said he thinks it's an"upgraded" transmission but wasn't able to provide any details.

If I can get another 5 years and 90,000km on this car I will be satisfied. Fingers crossed. If the transmission fails again I will not be happy and will certainly never purchase another Nissan.

- Alexander R., Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #126

May 082018

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Bought a 2013 Nissan Altima about 3 years ago with 20,000 miles on it. Now it has roughly 85,000 miles, have not had any serious problems with the car until recently. The car tends to buck, or jerk frequently... brought my car into a local mechanic and no codes came up, was told everything was fine. The bucking and jerking happened again a few days later, but worse than it ever has! I have been getting nervous to drive my car! The car is almost paid off and do not want to have to pay a large amount to get fixed. I made an appointment with the dealership to see if they can figure out what is going on!!

Update from May 30, 2018: After bringing my car to the dealership, I had a recall done on the CVT which needed to be reprogrammed. Car was acting strange the next day, so I brought the car back to the dealership and they said a new transmission would be needed.. $4,500! I decided to write a letter to Nissan Consumer Affairs and within days I heard back! Nissan is willing to cover a percentage of the costs! Thank you, Nissan Consumer Affairs!

- Gianne L., Waterbury, CT, US

problem #125

Mar 012018

Altima SL

  • CVT transmission
  • 69,000 miles

2013 Nissan Altima CVT has major problems in their CVT. I had CVT replaced around 25k miles, under warranty. This was after the car was completely inoperable and had to be towed. Before that, the dealership just kept on pushing saying will reprogram and similar other diversionary tactics. Now around 69k miles, the problem is resurfacing. The engine revs at low gear, shudders and I need to push the accelerator all the way down to reach 60 mph on some highway slopes. I have a feeling this is going the same way as before. I went to a different dealership now, they say they cannot reproduce the issue, did some cvt reprogram and suggest to replace CVT transmission fluids. This has caused me a lot of headaches, I went with Nissan because it was a supposedly reputable company that makes fun cars to drive. But the Altima is a big failure, they need to pull these cars off the road and compensate owners financially. Not everyone can afford to spend $ 4000 to replace transmission and on top of that still be unsure if it will ever fix the problem. This is a big safety issue.

- Jack K., Houston, US

problem #124

Apr 012017

Altima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Yes, yet another owner of a 2013 with a shuddering transmission. I bought it brand new. I have had 10 Nissan/Datsuns over the years. I bought them all brand new. I usually have three at a time all the same color, Red Braun. I have been a loyal Nissan Customer for years. I think the 2013 Altima problems, and the poor service experience at the dealership have finally converted me. Alas, I believe I have purchased my last Nissan.

Sad to see. I was really impressed with Nissan when started dating a girl who had one. Since then, all the recalls, and horrendous service has made a convert of me. I no longer have the faith. When someone like me leaves the fold, it doesn't speak well of their future.

- John L., San Pedro, US

problem #123

Dec 212017

Altima SV 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 53,000 miles

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

So it felt like my engine wanted to jump out of the car and go for a jog. Lucky for me I took it in 7 days before it was out of warranty. Got a new transmission but now there's another issue and the guy tried to jip me out of pocket until I got my service advisor to put him in his place about my service contract covering it. Be careful with the Service Advisors, always ask the Sales Manager where you bought the car (any dealership: ford, Chrysler, Jeep, whatever) and make sure your warranty covers something before agreeing to having it fixed out of pocket.

- sjayray23, Cornelia, US

problem #122

Dec 052017

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I took it into our Nissan dealer. It was vibrating and stalling. They test drove it and it did that to them too.

However, on the computer system it showed everything okay. So they suggested maybe the gasoline?

They drove it later in the day and it was fine. That was the beginning of December 2017. So we took the car home. December 30th all of a sudden it started again. It is acting just like it did the beginning of the month. Driving you can feel a loping then at the stop sign it feels like it is not getting enough gas. when pressing the gas pedal there is a hesitation. I read here so many others have this problem. We also had a transmission problem when we bought the car from Enterprise. We had to replace the entire gear box. Only had thing the car 6 months (30K) because it wouldnt get out of Park cost I think $400 I did register the complain with nissan because I saw others had the same problem on this fairly new car.

We love the Altima2013 but car complaints shows it is the worse car of the series. Glad Nissan is willing to

extend the warranty on the transmission because it looks like that is the problem.

- qhappy, Covina, US

problem #121

Sep 222017

Altima S 2.7L

  • CVT transmission
  • 90,000 miles

What more can we say. Transmission failure at 90000. Just made last payment. Daughter almost in accident from issue.

- tdouglas, Spring Grove, US

problem #120

Nov 022017

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Purchased this vehicle from a Nissan dealership in Jonesboro, AR in September 2015 with 35K miles. Was happy with my purchase at the time as it had everything I was looking for in a vehicle and expected to drive this for about 10 years as I was under the impression Nissans were reliable. Little did I know.....

Fast forward two years to November 2017. I've had no issues with the car up until this point, have taken on several 4-5 hour trips with no issue. I wake up and head out the door for work. Start the car, it idles fine, put in reverse and suddenly just dies. Both the check engine light comes on and the check battery light start flashing. Try again. Starts fine and then just dies. Finally I give up. My father who is an engineer comes along and messes with and gets it to go. When shifting to reverse he gives it gas at the same time and it stays in reverse and can move. We get to his house and then it dies again in low rpm right as we pull into the drive way. PROBLEMS GALORE. But that isn't the end.

After a few weeks of him tinkering with it, he gets it to drive decently, but now in low rpms it shudders and shakes when accelerating, especially on uphill climbs. He gave it back to me and said to watch it, and what do you know. The very next day it dies on me again. Except this time I wasn't in a driveway. I was in the middle of rush hour traffic at the busies light in the whole city!! Luckily my friend was with me so we pushed it off the road (while trying to not get hit by cars) and got it going again using the trick my dad found and drove it home.

We did some research and thought it was the MAF sensor. We replaced that and it still shuddering and shaking and jerking when accelerating in low RPMs. After talking to some people it looks like this is probably a CVT transmission issue. I'm taking it to a mechanic friend next week to be sure though.

After reading all these complaints about CVTs I can safely say I will never buy another CVT car again, and will definitely never buy a Nissan again. I drove a beat down old camaro that was literally falling apart (leaked oil, coolant, coils kept dying, blinkers didn't work, brights didn't work, etc) for TEN YEARS and that was a more reliable form of transportation than what this piece of crap is.

If my mechanic friend says this in indeed the transmission I will be raising hell at the Nissan dealership and demanding they replace this free of charge. It is ridiculous that this happening to a 4 year old car with less than 75K miles on it.

Absolutely ridiculous and they should recall these transmissions. What a joke of a company Nissan is.

Update from Dec 13, 2017: Took car to mechanic friend and the code came back for Transmission Judder (P17F0), and needs to be replaced. I was down, majorly, especially with it being Christmas in 2 weeks. Transmission replaced after 4 years?

Anyway, LUCKILY, I bought the car certified-preowned. If I had not I don't know what I would have done. I spoke with Nissan and they told me it should fall under the CPO warranty of 100,000 miles or 7 years. They are doing diagnostic now and will let me know if they have the same code as my mechanic friend, or what new codes they get. If it needs to be replaced (likely) it will need a new transmission which SHOULD hopefully be covered under this warranty. I will also look at having an extended warranty as well since I'm almost positive this will happen again within the next 25K miles or later as I can no longer trust this type of transmission. The guy I spoke with at Nissan was very nice thankfully, because a few of their people have been rude in the past.

Update from Dec 14, 2017: The dealership confirmed it was the transmission and needed to be replaced. It was covered under the CPO warranty. The transmission itself has another warranty on it but it will expire before my CPO warranty does making it pretty meaningless. I looked into extended warranties but they wanted me to pay the same price as if I had bought it brand new. The only warranty I could get would be the 120,000 mile which would be about $2000. Not worth it for only 20K more miles in my opinion. oth service mechanics I spoke with were very pleasant and I enjoyed talking with them. One explained that the model of CVT (an Xtronic 1 generation) was what I had and were known for failures. They have replaced it with a 3rd generation Xtronic CVT transmission which apparently is more reliable. I asked about changing the transmission fluid and they recommended every 60K miles. I've heard in the past people say that fluid is good for life of the car, but that is not the case. The car drove home fine, but if there are any issues I will update again

- Chris S., Paragould, US

problem #119

Oct 122015

Altima SV 1.8L

  • CVT transmission
  • 50,000 miles

They reprogrammed the tranny with a software update....it minimized the rattling sounds....but at slow speeds it shudders and jerks ......I bought this vehicle brand new it now has 70000 miles on it and the transmission is starting to pick up the ante on all counts.....shake rattle and roll......I feel Nissan knows the miles are limited in this tranny.....I hope I'm wrong but I feel one of these days that Altima is going to take a dump........this will be definitely my last Nissan purchase......at least do the right thing Nissan and extend the warranty for an inferior transmission.......

- Al G., Leesburg, FL, US

problem #118

May 182017

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 52,000 miles

When I called the dealership and explained what was going on with my 2013 Nissan Altima) they explained it was normal "you get a dip in the RPMs and some roughness. After bringing the car in and putting it on the diagnostic machine a code came up for the transmission issue. Need a new transmission. Car is under the 5 year/60000 powertrain warranty. Dealership gave me a rental. Just a pain and I have no confidence in Nissan products. I will not purchase another Altima.

- Keith D., Schwenksville, PA, US

problem #117

Mar 122017

Altima

  • CVT transmission
  • 72,348 miles

I BROUGHT MY CAR IN 2015 FROM BOBS BUICK, BROUGHT IT IN TO GET SERVICED TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING WAS OK. NOTHING REPORTED BACK. RECENTLY I HEARD A WHINE AND A COUPLE DAYS LATER MY CAR SHUT OFF ON ME. SUPPOSIVELY I AM OVER MY EXTENDED WARRANTY ( WHICH IM FIGHTING BECAUS THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE) ANYWAYS NISSAN AND MY DEALER BOTH ARE FIGHTING TO NOT HAVE O PAY FOR THIS ISSUE. I HAD MY CAR IN 2 YEARS AND MY TRANSMISSION SHOULD NOT BE GONE. I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPEN I DONT KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON.ALL I KNOW IS ONLINE IT TALKS ABOUT THE ISSUE THAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN HAVING WITH THESE CVT TRANSMISSIONS IN NISSANS OF MY YEAR AND MODEL. I SOULD NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THIS NOR SHOULD I BE GOING THROUGH ALL OF THESE HOOPS WHEN THIS IS NISSANS ISSUE THAT THEY DO NOT WANT TO FACE A FACT OF DUE TO MIGHT HAVING TO RECALL THE CAR. IF IT IS IN THE BETS INTREST OF EVERYNE WHO HAS THIS TYPE OF CAR TO GET THIS CHECKED AND OR RECALLED THEN THAT IS WHAT NEED TO BE DONE BECAUSE MY CAR SHUT OFF ON ME GETTIN OFF THE HIGHWAY! I DO NOT APPRECIATE THIS AS THE CONSUMER AND SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A FAN AND SPOKE REALLY HIGHLY OF NISSANS ALL MODELS AND MAKES AND NOW I FEEL LIKE I AM NOT BEING TREATED FAIRLY. THIS SI NOT GOING TO BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG WITH ME, SOMETHING WILL BE DONE. I GET A CAR TO RELY ON IT, THIS ISSUE IS ALL OVER WWW.NISSANPROBLEMS.COM/TRANDS/CVT WHICH MEANS THIS IS A PROBELM BECAUSE OF NISSAN SO NISSAN NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT HIS. THIS ISSUE IS NOT LITTLE AND LIKE I SAID ITS A 2013 I SHOULD NOT BE HAVING THESE PROBLEMS. I WILL TAKE THIS ISSUE WHEREEVER I NEED TO GET THIS FIXED, I WILL NOTIFY WHOEVER I AHVE TO LIKE CAS, DMV OR EVEN NHTSA. I WILL DO WHATEVER I NEED TO DO.

- Tenaya M., New Haven, CT, US

problem #116

Mar 122017

Altima S 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I have taken the car in to get checked out bc the transmission would shutter around 30 mph. They checked it out said they could not feel it. But me and my wife have had it happen to us multiple times. I'm going to be pissed if this leads to a new transmission after the warranty is up in 1000 miles

- Brendan G., Central Islip, NY, US

problem #115

Jan 012017

Altima SL 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 53,000 miles

Purchased a low-mileage/usage 3.5 SL in Dec of 2016. 52k miles. Still under Power-train; out of bumper to bumper warranty. Super excited! Nice car! Started feeling jerking, shuttering in low RPMs. Also, after take-off from stop, with accelerator depressed but not floored the RPMs would suddenly drop, even while still accelerating. Now with 59k miles, I have to use the shift lock button release to shift out of park.

Dealer said the they couldn't reproduce shuttering/jerking movement, but noted that the quick drop in RPMs is normal for the CVT. They stated that the shifter issue is not included in Power train warranty, although it's part of the transmission... I made mention of the previous CVT issues and extended warranty and was given #800.Nissan1 to register a complaint directly prior to the warranty expiration. I will try to update this if I hear anything from them. Anybody else had the Corporate side work with them on this issue for this series of Altimas? Thanks for your time!

- happygolucky, Los Angeles, US

problem #114

Nov 222016

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Disappointed with this Altima. Was driving down the highway when the engine stalled and it wouldn't go in gear. Although disappointed with the car the dealer and Nissan handled it amazingly well. Even tho the car was out of warranty, they covered it for free ...

- nkj, Taylor, US

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