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:
56,250 miles
Total Complaints:
179 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (59 reports)
  2. not sure (49 reports)
  3. nothing fixed (24 reports)
  4. replace transmission (22 reports)
  5. cvt transmission failed; need replacement (11 reports)
  6. complete cvt replacement (8 reports)
2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 9)

problem #179

Dec 012022

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 200,000 miles


The CVT is randomly shuddering and wouldn't stop doing it at 40 mph. Gets much worse when the engine is cold. But of course when you bring it to the dealer they can't re-create the issue. My husbands 2015 Toyota Camry has 347,000 miles on it, and it still drives like a dream. I've replaced the CVT fluid every 40k miles. Car was purchased with 80k miles on the ODO. Ill never purchase another Nissan ever again, I make that a promise, these cars are meant to be disposable pieces of junk.

- cansas, Kiln, US

problem #178

Apr 172021

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 88,500 miles

The CVT on this vehicle is a known issue. There needs to be a recall and there is none. The car is not able to be driven safely. It will shut down, there is vibration and jerking at low speeds. There is now a burning smell. I am very disappointed in Nissan that there is not a recall. This is my second and my last Nissan.

- Jeffrey K., Severna Park, US

problem #177

Jun 182018

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,669 miles

The vehicle was brought in ~5 times while still under warranty but the issue could not be reproduced to obtain an error code. The ECM was reprogrammed 3 times in an attempt to address the CVT judder and retain the code when or if it failed again; however, each successive failure was not recorded and the ECM was simply reprogrammed again. Nissan Consumer Affairs offered 90/10 goodwill on a ~$4700 repair but this is far less generous than what Nissan offered the 2010-2012 owners when they extended the warranty to 120,000 miles or 10 years. If NHTSA actually issues a recall to replace, then it can be reviewed again.

- Paul T., Katy, US

problem #176

Nov 222019


  • CVT transmission
  • 75,000 miles


My mechanic has quoted me $3700 for a new transmission. I just paid my car off last year. He said I should trade it in, he wouldn't even recommend replacing it as he said it's a terrible engine all together. At 75k miles I am so angry that I have to shell out almost 4K or go back to having a payment again. To read that Nissan used to offer a 10 year warranty for this and that they discontinued this in 2010 is infuriating. Clearly there is a pattern here. For this I will not ever buy a Nissan again.

- Kelley B., Smithfield, US

problem #175

Oct 042019

Altima 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My 2013 Nissan Altima transmission went out on me two weeks ago. Upon taking it to the Nissan Dealership, I was then quoted a repair cost of approximately $4,000 - only to find out after further research Nissan has known for YEARS about their BS transmissions. So I decided to contact Nissan DIRECTLY about their "service campaign" for the CVT transmission that has been effective since 12/2016 and figure out why I was never notified of ANY issues prior to my warranty expiring within the past few months. I was only given the response that because I did not purchase my vehicle "brand new" I was never listed as an owner... understandable... and then I stated that I could provide proof that I have been then sole owner of my vehicle for the past 4 years, purchasing the vehicle w/ only approximately 11,000 miles and was pretty much told too late, too bad.

This has been my first time purchasing a Nissan and MY LAST FOREVERRRR for the simple fact that they are aware that the transmissions in 2013 Altima's are s*y and ridiculously expensive and still will not take full... not even PARTIAL responsibility for it's efficiency is DISGRACEFUL!!! My advise to all is DO NOT PURCHASE ANY NISSAN VEHICLE WITH A CVT TRANSMISSION!!! IT IS NOT WORTH IT AND YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!! Oh, and I was also told that they do have another "service campaign" out, OCS pertaining to the airbags, they would replace that though free of charge... but not the "service campaign" for the CVT transmission... BS!!!

- tgerald, Elgin, US

problem #174

Oct 222019

Altima SL 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 94,000 miles


Should have listened to Scotty...

- Joshua L., Springdale, AR, US

problem #173

Aug 152018

Altima ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


This is THE worst trans I have ever owned!!!I will NEVER buy a Nissan again, !PERIOD. U should consisder another mfg.

- James H., Tucson, US

problem #172

Aug 302019

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 76,000 miles

I called Nissan consumer affairs, and after paying $160 for a dealership service evaluation, they have agreed to cover 80% of the costs which I was grateful for and for them to admit to the issue and offer assistance. The dealership quoted the repair to cost $4,100 for a CVT replacement.

- hockey-mike, Franklin, US

problem #171

Jun 212017

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I was on a family vacation and at 45k my cvt transmission failed. I was in another state and called Nissan consumer affairs to get some assistance. They were rude and kept telling me wrong information on what I needed to do. Finally I had to call AAA and get the vehicle towed as it was making this horrible grinding sound. Took it to a dealership and the service advisor told me that these vehicles are flawed and he keeps seeing this same issue.

I got a rental and finally got it back after 2 weeks. 6 months later I was driving to work and all of a sudden I lose power while trying to accelerate at a traffic signal. Took to my dealership and they said it was the transmission and it needed to be replaced. Worst car I’ve ever owned!! After fixing it the for second time I traded it in and purchased a Honda Accord.

- Daniel Anthony P., glendora, CA, US

problem #170

Feb 212020


  • CVT transmission
  • 106,000 miles

I’ve been taking the car in since I got it in 2014 because of weird noises on acceleration. Every time they have told me it’s normal. Then the car started stalling on acceleration and now it needs a whole new transmission. I see lots of complaints about the transmission failing in these cars. Nissan really needs to step up. The transmission should not be failing at 100,000 miles!

- Wendy P., Napa, US

problem #169

Jan 112020

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 69,900 miles


2013 Altima Sedan. At traffic light, engine shakes, chokes up and stalls. After 4 or 5 restarts and having to switch it into Drive from Neutral, it drives again but with some more choking.

I connected an ODBII to it and it read a code of "P0112" for MAF sensor error. I replaced the MAF sensor, and it drove fine for a week or 2 but with the same hesitation. I searched online an in Youtube and took the recommended action of cleaning the Intake manifold. I had to remove all the parts down to the manifold itself past the MAF sensor and cleaned both sides of the Intake manifold with Intake manifold cleaner. It drives better after that, smoother and quieter idle speed. I thought I had fixed the problem.

But now 2 months later the same problem resurface. The engine stalls at the traffic light after shaking, choking and making some clunky noise. The problem also occurs while driving, where I can feel the transmission disengaging and re-engaging and choking.

The Final Verdict, the rough idle speed problem I had with the "P0112" error code was separate from the engine choking and stalling which is related to and caused by the CVT issue. Now I have to take it to Nissan service shop, schedule appointment, have it towed there and all that. I've been told by folks online it will cost $3k, which I will hopefully get reimbursed for by Nissan once the Class Action lawsuit is finalized.

- toddwynn, San Jose, US

problem #168

Jun 152020

Altima S 2.5

  • CVT transmission
  • 74,434 miles

Adding another CVT gripe to the long list already on this site. Our 2013 Altima has been in for multiple software updates to help with the surging and overall terrible CVT experience with these vehicles. Not a single software update has made the issues any better, believe the most recent was actually a step back. Not sure what Nissans end game is here, attract young families with a POS Sedan, give them no support and hope they will stay with the brand... yeah, that should work :-|

Summary of main 2013 Nissan Altima issues we've experienced and added to this site... - No support from Nissan is our number one issue, never had vehicle issues like this before with so many problems. It can happen, have a dud/lemon, but to not get any support from dealers or corporate to help with a single issues time and time again after multiple confirmed visits with the same issues is terrible. - CVT surging easily the number one mechanical problem - Interior door handles our number one interior quality problem, 3 of the 4 replaced within 50k miles. - Exterior front bumper cover popping off left and right sides by wheel our number one exterior quality problem. - Rear end suspension rattles (this was recently recalled - finally) - Headlights terrible. - Never seen a thinner steel used for body panels, garbage - Keyless system frequent issues (must touch key to button, hit or miss,,, yes batteries changed many times).

- sigitysym, Export, PA, US

problem #167

Apr 032021

Altima 2.5 SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Car was adult driven and maintained regularly at Nissan dealership. Transmission was serviced at 67k by Nissan. Without warning, the transmission started to slip, and code P17F0 was found stored in the computer. The TSB related to CVT issues has a ridiculous flowchart that only flows from finding this code straight to "replace CVT"!

I'm very disappointed in Nissan, and after owning three of them, this will be my last. I plan to go with another company with better reliability and a desire to stand behind their product.

- Paul L., Belchertown, US

problem #166

Jan 012019

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Car stalls when pulling out in traffic. Never know when it is going to happen. Transmission gets stuck in 1st gear and have to pull over and restart car. Very dangerous if there is no where to pull over. Won’t drive my car with kids in it because it is not safe.

- Melanie D., Bullhead City, AZ, US

problem #165

Jul 262018

Altima S 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 90,831 miles

I had been in several incidents of getting caught in traffic in a intersection, due the CVT stalling out and not shifting properly, being parked and then also just shifting into drive to take off and could not go! I took it to a local Nissan dealer shift and had to get my car repair, but I must say that I did get well welcome experience, for my service on my car, with also a rental.

- Miguelblack79 7., Racine, WI, US

problem #164

Apr 112018

Altima SL 2.5L V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Transmission shudders between 1000 and 2000 rpm. Most frequently at 1500rpm. The shudder can get excessive, particularly in warm weather, to the point that it feels like the car is going to fall apart. I have to accelerate quickly to avoid or escape from the shudder or completely let off the gas.

Update from Mar 9, 2020: At 147000 miles, my complaint is not like others. My transmission is still working even if it shudders in warm weather. The shuddering is limited and can be avoided by accelerating or letting off the gas.

- chlarge0612, Arnaudville, US

problem #163

Feb 062020

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 33,000 miles

Our Nissan started running rough and between 1500-2000 rpm the car will vibrate, and run rough, my car only has 32,997 miles on it, truly sad that Nissan wont back their workmanship and their cars. I own 2 nissian cars the other is a 2015, was going to my our daughter one but since nissan will not back their cars we will buy from some other company,

- ghssmithbs, Harrisburg, US

problem #162

Sep 132018

Altima SL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My 2013 Altima rides like a dream over 40 mph! Don't drive local , as coming up on 40mph the car shakes and shutters. Esp if turning! Passengers have asked me WTF is wrong with my car! It have a CVT, and I understand there are a lot of complaints about this issue. Should I take it to Nissan and have them see if it is the CVT issue??? I received a card with info about Nissan extending the warranty to people with this issue because of a class action lawsuit. Not sure how or what to do, I cannot afford a new trans or even fixing a problem like this!!!

- Lenore V., Cherry Hill, NJ, US

problem #161

Sep 152016

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

My first advice is simple.

Don't buy Nissan Altima. They will tell you that they have fixed the problem with the transmission after 2016. That is a pure lie. It will be a nightmare to a single person or family both financially and timewise. I owned 2 Nissan Altimas, one 2006 and 2013. Both failed their transmission before reaching 100,000. I donated one to Cars4kids and the 2013, I changed the transmission at 140,000 mi. for $3,000 out of my pocket and the symptoms appeared again after 30,000 miles. The worst car ever made as I have driven and owned different cars in the past 40 years.


- Tesfai A., Oakland, CA, US

problem #160

Mar 252019

Altima SL 3.5L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I have a 2013 Nissan Altima 3.5L V6 with a CVT transmission. I have taken it to the dealership several times for the shuttering at low speeds (usually right around 20mph). Last year, I opened a case with Nissan to be told that there are no recalls other than reprogramming a module for my transmission and my passenger airbag intermittently not activating (which they did and didn't help either issue). Earlier this year, (March 2019) took to the dealership with the same transmission problem. They did a transmission flush and told me my problem should be better the more that I drive the car.

Today, (10/16/19) 20mph through a school zone and my car started jerking hard! I thought my car was going to stop in the middle of the road. I have an appointment with Nissan again tomorrow morning to have them look at my transmission. I am now at 119k miles since they seem to be buying time until my transmission is out completely.

If they don't make it right this time, I will never buy another Nissan again and will warn everyone I know about their CVT transmissions.

- Julie P., West Chester, US

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