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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 8)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Nissan dealer. Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
49,150 miles
Total Complaints:
146 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (48 reports)
  2. not sure (44 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (20 reports)
  4. replace transmission (17 reports)
  5. cvt transmission failed; need replacement (7 reports)
  6. complete cvt replacement (6 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #146

Aug 062018

Altima SL

  • CVT transmission
  • 84,000 miles


I bought my 2013 Nissan Altima used from Lexus in 2015 with only 32000 miles. The car ran great at first and got great gas mileage compared to the 2001 Altima that I had. Early in 2018 the car started to run a little rough and I immediately thought it was the transmission. I had it checked and was told there was nothing wrong, that I "probably wasn't used to the difference from a regular to a cvt transmission." To be safe I called Nissan to check on my warranty to see what they could do BEFORE it went out. They told me to get a diagnostic.

I called the dealer who told me they couldn't really do a diagnostic on a transmission, that it would have to be taken apart to be checked if I thought something was wrong. Of course this would be out of my own pocket. I was told the car was fine. So I continued driving despite the gut feeling I had.

3 months later sure as hell my transmission went out while I was driving my daughter to school at 630 in the morning. I fought with Nissan consider affairs for over a week to try and get this covered under and extended warranty that apparently was only approved for up to 2012 vehicles. Due to "lack of loyalty" they would not help with any of the cost. They did a full diagnostic and inspection and found NO CONSUMER NEGLECT.

So this was only due to a sh*tty flawed design that I was now fully financially responsible for. After I had the transmission replaced the throttle body went out and they wanted another $1500 for that. Needless to say I traded in the car.

- Paige R., Petaluma, CA, US

problem #145

Oct 312018

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,487 miles

Nissan has always been a trusted name in the automotive industry, but now all my friends and myself regret buying the Altima. As soon as I can, getting something else.

- Paul W. P., Georgetown, TX, US

problem #144

Feb 062018

Altima ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

The car wouldn't accelerate at times like when on an on ramp going onto the highway (very dangerous!) and after stopping at a light. This was intermittent at first so I wasn't sure what the problem was. Mechanics couldn't replicate the problem until October 1, 2018. Of course now I'm at 64,000 miles. I tried to have Nissan help with financial assistance but they wouldn't because it was past the 50000 warranty. I've found so much documentation on the 2013 Altima transmission problem. Nissan should EXTEND THE WARRANTY OR HAVE A RECALL. This is ridiculous that all the people with the same car are having the same problem and Nissan won't acknowledge it.

- Sheila W., Weymouth, US

problem #143

Oct 022018

Altima VS 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 116,000 miles



- lrcraft25, Jonesboro, US

problem #142

Sep 122018

Altima 2.4

  • CVT transmission
  • 82,332 miles

This car is a piece of trash. I seen complaints only after buying it and I been stressed ever since I bought it. It happened to me. The transmission is no good. I bought the car used only 125000 km on it. Now I understand that 12 000 on this sh*t car is like 250000 on a 2006 Honda Accord.

I always found the transmission weird because it is my first cvt. Just recently it started choking at stop lights. I had the mechanic clean a valve and do a relearn on the transmission. 2 weeks later, started having delay to engage in drive of about 3 seconds. It's over. I need a new transmission. It's the worst buy I ever made in my life.

I just talked to a Nissan customer service agent. She listened to me and said I filed your comments I'm sorry you're not under warranty and she kept repeating the same thing.


- Francis R., Montréal, QC, Canada

problem #141

Jul 012018

Altima S 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 91,650 miles

I bought my 2013 Nissan Altima 2 yrs ago. I did all the recalls and services needed but Nissan just bypasses the cvt tranny issues every time I brought them up. They said that's just how these transmission run, and would not fix the problem. I had an extended warranty and when I brought it in on the 3rd time then Nissan decided I needed my tranny replaced but then tells me my warranty is now expired by 1500 miles. And they wanted $3200 for a new tranny. I am making $360 payments a month on a car that I can't drive anymore. I don't have extra money just sitting aside to fix a problem that NISSAN knows is garbage.. they need to issue a recall and make this right for all customers that purchased these vehicles..

- Kristie H., Palm Bay, US

problem #140

Jan 012018

Altima SV 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles



- Lucy Y., Eufaula, US

problem #139

May 012017

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 18,000 miles

Problem started when new in 2013 shuddering & vibrates still continues no repair from Nissan will drive it until it completely breaks down. Terrible transmission.

- John T., Shelton, CT, US

problem #138

Jan 222018

Altima S 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 111,000 miles

My transmission is sluggish, but I keep the CVT fluid changed out every 60k miles. My car is paid for, I am keeping it too. I have 111,000 miles on it with no reason to replace it.

- George W., Spanish Fort, US

problem #137

Sep 222018

Altima SV 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 48,000 miles

click to see larger images

CVT shuttering, vibration, hesitation, running roughly

In 2017 Nissan has me come in for a CVT Transmission upgrade. After the work was done at the Nissan of Cool Springs and I left the dealership I noticed that the car was running rough, shaking, and jolting when I accelerated. I immediately called dealership and asked to have a tech drive the car to explain the problem.

The tech got in, rode off, came back and said it was all running fine. I accepted that and assumed it was only a momentary problem. I got back in my car and it was still doing it. I came back and asked the tech to ride with me. It did it with him in the car and he told me that the car had to "adapt to my driving style."

2018, at 48,000 miles the car started to stall on me when it was idle. It would start right back up, but turn off when I put it back in drive. Took it back to the Nissan of Cool Springs dealership but they did not find any error code and told me everything is working fine and charged me around $160. I also told them this has happened with in the past 2-3 time. But at that time I was not aware of the CVT issues. Recently it happened when I stopped for refueling my car. I was fortunate enough that it did not happen on the Highways.

- Sagar J., Nashville, TN, US

problem #136

Aug 042018

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 90,000 miles


2013 Nissan Altima SV 2.5. with 90,000 miles primary car in my household. I worked remotely primarily during the majority term of the ownership. so the majority of miles are highway for personal use as I live in a remote part of Texas.

The car was a joyful experience until last Saturday(08/04/18) when car suddenly started to shudder and then when i stopped on traffic light, it stopped when I tried moving. thought maybe bad gas or some sensor. Happened twice before i can get home. I went to the dealership first thing come Monday and shared the concern they ran some test and said you have a bad transmission. Replacement cost $3900. Checked around and figured out you cannot replace parts on these transmissions. the whole thing is pre-packaged "time-bomb" in your car waiting to go off. I am angry, disappointed.

I searched internet and boy I was shocked. Till now I use to think Nissan are reliable. Wrong! Given the average life expectancy of car on US road is 8 years or 150K miles. I am caught holding short end of stick. Dang!!! Now I am working with Nissan's regional consumer affair and they are a bunch of incompetent folks. still waiting to hear from them. I am not going to let this go easy. Raised a complaint

Folks who run into this issue, please refer to following to educate your self along with this thread which found very useful and now contributing to it:

I will continue to update the thread as I have an update. Ping me if I can be of any assistance. Fellow Owning Sh*tty Nissan CVT.

- Gaurav G., Houston, tx, USA

problem #135

Aug 122018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 48,000 miles

In 2015 Nissan has me come in for a CVT Transmission upgrade. After the work was done at the Reed Nissan and I left the dealership I noticed that the car was running rough, shaking, and jolting when I accelerated. I immediately returned to the dealership and asked to have a tech drive the car to explain the problem.

The tech got in, rode off, came back and said it was all running fine. I accepted that and assumed it was only a momentary problem. I got back in my car and it was still doing it. I came back and asked the tech to ride with me. It did it with him in the car and he told me that the car had to "adapt to my driving style." I told him that was absolutely unacceptable. After complaining to the management, I was asked to leave because this is how the car operates now.

2018, at 48,000 miles the car started to stall on me when it was idle. It would start right back up, but turn off when I put it back in drive. Took it back to the Reed Nissan dealership after I had a different mechanic check it and provide me with a transmission code, in case the dealership gave me the run around. In the end they replaced the transmission, but only gave me a one year warranty for a new transmission that has already proven not to last.

- Luis R., Orlando, FL, US

problem #134

Aug 132018


  • CVT transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Nissan wouldn't cover even though it is a know problem with the CVT. Played a phone tag game for over a week and got nothing for it except high blood pressure and headaches. Nissan wouldn't take responsibility for selling crap cars because they'd be out of business. Had a similar problem with my previous Maxima. Will NEVER buy a Nissan again.

- meg134amt, Newport, US

problem #133

Jun 302018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 76,000 miles

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

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

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 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

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