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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
78,150 miles
Total Complaints:
63 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (39 reports)
  2. not sure (23 reports)
  3. new transmission (1 reports)
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2013 Nissan Altima transmission problems

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #63

Apr 202019

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 37,447 miles


I bought the used Altima 2013 in 2016. I drove it weekly and maintained it regularly. The mileage is under 38k but the CVT died on Easter Saturday 2019 and didn't resurrect.

The CVT died 200 miles from my city and so I had to leave it at local Nissan dealership and took a bus home. The Nissan dealership charged me about $5k to replace the CVT.

It is a crime. I will file a lawsuit against Nissan. Maybe we should do it together.

- Chenchao Z., Elmhurst, NY, US

problem #62

Mar 012019

Altima SV 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 72,500 miles

I recently experienced a transmission failure on my 2013 Altima with a little less than 72,500 miles. I had it towed to a Nissan dealer for repairs because I felt this was my best option for correct repairs. The CVT transmission was replaced at a cost of $3779.02. I am the second owner of this car that had 32,000 miles when I purchased it and thought I was upgrading from a Toyota Corolla. The Corolla though smaller had over 175,000 miles and I would still be driving it had I not hit a deer and totaled it.

I thought a transmission should last in excess of 100,000 miles. After making many inquiries I found out from the experience of many other Altima owners this is not the case. This is not acceptable but Nissan has refused any assistance in this repair cost. No explanation why. I am a retired and disabled Vietnam veteran on a fixed income and this is a major setback for me because I cannot replace this car and have to live with a less than reliable car for the foreseeable future.

- Jim E., Spirit Lake, US

problem #61

Feb 062019


  • CVT transmission
  • 115,623 miles

Apparently problems with this year model have been reported years ago before I purchased my vehicle last year. I only had it a year and the transmission goes out. Dealership is refusing to fix/solve the problem even after I'm sure they knew it was a problem before they sold it to me. It wasn't a little car dealership, it was a major business dealership, so yeah they knew. and now they're try to leave me stuck with a vehicle that they knew was crap... ugh...

- Jessica A., Sherwood, US

problem #60

Jul 132016

Altima S 3.2L

  • CVT transmission
  • 25,000 miles


Nissan 2013 S model is definitely not worth the money. The car just doesn't run well. The engine is very loud, transmission is slow to respond.

- Patricia L., West Orange, US

problem #59

Feb 172019

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Bought the 2013 Altima brand new, always have taken it to the dealer for servicing faithfully. The Altima got excellent gas mileage and my wife really liked the car very much until she went to back out of a parking space and it would shutter then engine would die. Had it towed to dealer, dealer called yesterday said it was the transmission and that it had to be replaced for $3800. I was SHOCKED, car only has 74,000 miles on it. Never had a vehicle in 50 yrs that the transmission would fail under 150,000 miles.

So I called the Nissan complaint department they told me they would look into this and call me today and let me know what resolution they've reach. After searching the internet I cant believe there are soooooo many complaints about the exact same thing with this year of Altima. Nissan needs to make this right, obviously there should've been a recall on this exact problem.

This is the first Nissan we've ever owned, depending on the out come it will determine if it's our last. Fingers crossed.

Update from Mar 14, 2019: UPDATE: Nissan customer care was 5 stars. They agreed to pay 70% of the total. Car is fixed and running great. I got to tell you ever since we bought this Altima it has performed better than expected. We took it on a 2300 mile road trip last year and spent only about $175 on gas. Plus it was so comfortable. Thank you NCC

- Tim S., Oakdale, CA, US

problem #58

May 052017

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 62,000 miles

The transmission stopped working at a dangerous place during a long weekend. Was covered by extended warranty but I don't have any warranty left, and I need Nissan to extend the original warranty.

- Homayoon H., Mishawaka, US

problem #57

Nov 172018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 80,814 miles


It all started on 09/28/2016. The car would stall out when put into drive or reverse mileage 47778. Brought to dealer, $120 diagnostic fee no codes, don't know what it is. I told dealer I was sure it was transmission, they said no. Barely got out of dealer lot stalling. They cleaned the MAF. No fix. On and off for 2 years stalled and shut off while driving. Brought it to several other mechanics no fix.

Finally on 11/17/2018, 80814 miles it died and wouldn't start or move. Had been fighting it for 2 years stalling at very inconvenient and dangerous times.You're not gonna believe this, but the transmission was bad. Something I told them 2 years ago. Cost me 4 grand and Nissan was very quick to offer me nothing.

They are a real bad company who preys on lower class who bought their affordable car that was supposedly very reliable. Shame on them, they know this is a recall problem and will not address it. Several class action suits pending, I am in the process of filing complaints with the Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau.

- Timothy L., Andover, US

problem #56

Oct 302018

Altima SV 3.2L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 144,000 miles

I purchased this car in summer of 2015 and it's fall 2018 and the transmission went completely out. The car is at the dealer and I am fussing with Nissan to stand by it product. Never ever was it disclosed that a recall was on the car and it could be a potential problem for me.

My wife was driving home and the transmission completely failed on the freeway, just stopped working. I am a loyal fan of Nissan and purchased several cars and trucks from this mfg. They do not step up and fix this, I am out for good.

- BOX IT P., North Hills, CA, US

problem #55

Aug 152016

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 79,000 miles

My Altima’s transmission went off totally when the car was only 3 years old. I almost got hit by a semi truck as the car totally stopped on the highway. It was a miracle that I was not killed. We took the car to Nissan and they wanted $4,800.00 to fix it with no warranty that it was not going to happen again. Nissan knows of the issue . We contacted Nissan and made a complaint and they denied any type of assistance even when it's known that those transmissions have problems. We ended up having to buy another car and took a big loss with it. After the scare that I had, I didn't want to drive that car again. I would never in my life buy another Nissan and advise everybody not to buy them either. . Terrible experience. Never again.

- Lou C., Kissimmee, FL, US

problem #54

Jun 012016


  • CVT transmission
  • 38,000 miles

I put my faith in Nissan. If I had not had another car I would have lost my job because they refused to help me out at all. They would not even sell me another transmission. I found another transmission had a replace and it started messing up again. I got rid of the piece of crap. Nissan sucks

- Vicki C., Rockford, IL, US

problem #53

Mar 032018

Altima 4DR SDN SV V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 90,000 miles


Soon after I leased my 2013 Altima SDN SV on May 24, 2013, I complained to the service repair mechanic that the transmission was slipping when my vehicle moved from speeds near 50 MPH to 60 MPH, that that the vehicle would glide forward after turning off the engine and placing it in park and at times there was a slight delay in the transmission when I placed the car in reverse.

The mechanic took it for a ride and then reported that the transmission was fine. The John Sisson Motors, Inc salesman assured me that slight shift of the vehicle when in park or in reverse was customary and that it was not a problem.

The transmission quit working when I place it in reverse in Feb 2018. I paid to have it towed to Cochran Nissan on Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh where it was in repair for about three weeks. My total costs were about $4000 for replacing the transmission and other needs related to not having a vehicle.

- John S., Pittsburgh, PA, US

problem #52

Aug 262018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I've taken my car for TWO transmission issues (recalls) at the Nissan dealer. Not ONCE did they make mention of the numerous issues with their CVT transmissions. My car started to hesitate and then cut off on me. I took it to a local shop who couldn't find any diagnostic readings that indicated anything was wrong. They did an oil change and I filled the tank. THREE days later my car started hesitating to shift into gear. I knew IMMEDIATELY it was the transmission. I called to schedule an appointment and was told it was OUT OF WARRANTY and I would need to pay out of pocket! For a 5 YEAR OLD VEHICLE?!! NEEDLESS to say I am looking to purchase a new vehicle that is NOT A NISSAN.

- Keisha M., Laurel, MD, US

problem #51

Jul 302018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

From the start, this car has been an issue. I bought it initially because I'd had an Xterra for 8 years and never had an issue but wanted a smaller car. I buy a brand new Altima. A month after I buy it, it needs a new alternator. A month later, a new battery. A month after that, the entire electrical panel goes. For years, it's been jerking and the gear shifting has been an issue. I've brought it into several dealers (the one where I bought it has since closed) and they've made miscellaneous repairs thinking those were the issues. Finally, a few weeks ago, it starts shaking to the point where you can barely drive it. We do some research and find it has a CVT recall. We bring it in. They fix it. A few days later, shaking begins again. We bring it back and FINALLY they tell us the entire transmission is bad. IT HAS 45,000 MILES. That is absurd. We're fixing the transmission and selling it asap. Biggest piece of junk I've ever purchased.

- Stephanie P., Trumbull, CT, US

problem #50

Jul 112018

Altima SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5SL. My transmission went out at 98,000 miles. I kept up all of my maintenance the car required since I had to travel back and forth. I had purchase a 2007 Nissan Altima and never had any issues with it so there for I purchased another Altima. This car is garbage. MY transmission is out and Nissan USA has refused to assist in paying for the transmission even thought there is a recall on it. Now they are making me pay for the transmission. Since Nissan is knowingly sell these Altimas in sub-par conditions I want join the lawsuit against Nissan.


- Eulena H., Missouri City, TX, US

problem #49

Jun 302018

Altima S

  • CVT transmission
  • 84,000 miles

My Nissan Altima 2013 is having severe CVT transmission problems after only 83,987 miles. We brought the car used at 76,430 (+/-10) miles, and are currently having to deal with taking the car back to the dealership right after we apparently had it repaired.

Ever since February, after we took it in and the service center installed a new CVT software update PC4900 we have been noticing more and more rough stops when breaking or delay and/or stutters when trying to accelerate from a full stop. It gets so bad now that the check engine light, battery light, and break light come on after the car shutters while breaking. Even restarting the engine doesn't fix it, the lights just come back after shifting into drive and trying to accelerate with the car remaining unresponsive.

We had it brought to the dealership and got a goodwill deal for the effort, but they only replace the control valve assembly. Now we find the lights are back after only driving 4 (YES 4) miles to our parking lot, making their repair ineffective. We will be taking it back to get this problem address, but below I have something to share beyond my experience.

There is a petition for this vehicle model, because Nissan has addressed the issue regarding the CVT transmission with older models (before 2010) for the same issue. This is a URL to sign the petition.

I also found a website mentioning this issue. URL is

I hope this helps anyone else on this site to either take action or take heed when looking into Nissan for a new or used car!

- myaltimaispain, Schaumburg, US

problem #48

Jun 132018

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Nissan says torque converter is bad, needs new transmission. Estimated cost is $4200.00. In September my car started stalling out, jumping and sputtering. We took it to Nissan dealership, my car has only ever been serviced at Nissan dealership I purchased it from, they told me it was a "valve" and I paid 200$ to have it fixed , now this. It stalled out on my husband as he was on his way to the dealership to have the oil changed. We had it towed to dealership, 20 mins later... Needs new transmission! No recall on my year model.

Update from Jul 2, 2018: Nissan Corporate consumer affairs agreed to pay 70% of cost to "rebuild" my transmission, which leaves me with $683 out of my pocket. Nissan dealership recommended a new transmission but corporate says if it's on their dime it will only be rebuilt. 12 mo, 12k mi warranty. I'm still not confident that Nissan can fix it. I'm looking to sell it and buy something else.

- Kristy E., Gaylesville, US

problem #47

Apr 062018

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,479 miles

It is ridiculous how Nissan states to take care of their customers!!! I have had my vehicle only for 1 1/2 yrs and the transmission goes out!! Very frustrating that they cannot give assistance to repair their so called reputable name.

I had a Honda from college for 12 years with no problems!! If I would have known this, I would have never gotten into this mess!! Nissan has been very unprofessional!

PLEASE THINK TWICE ON BUYING NISSAN!! I know the Roadside Operator said she almost did, but thanks to my story, she wouldn't.

- Melissa A., Houston, TX, US

problem #46

Mar 192018

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I purchased this car less than a year ago. The car started stalling out while at stop lights. I took it into the dealership and the service managers never mentioned it could be a transmission problem. They did $500 worth of unnecessary work on the car. It started doing the same thing 5 weeks later and the transmission totally failed.

I had it towed back to the same dealership and was told it would cost $3800 to replace the transmission. I contacted Nissan consumer affairs. I waited for over 3 weeks for an answer and then was denied any extended warranty. Now I have a $500 rental car bill along with the repair bill that they will not help with. I was denied due to mileage and loyalty.

I guess my loyalty of owning only Nissan's since 1986 is not good enough. There seems to be thousands of complaints about the transmission failing early in this model. It is a shame that Nissan will not make things right for me.

- Brett R., Pensacola, US

problem #45

Mar 182018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 92,000 miles

click to see larger images

transmission stopped working transmission stopped working

2013 Altima 2.5 S experienced CVT failure at 92,000 miles in March 2018. A year earlier, in March 2017, I received a letter (see attachment) from Nissan urging me to have the TCM reprogrammed at the dealer as soon as possible. "Failure to have the reprogramming performed in a timely manner could result in damage to the transmission." I had the recall performed within 2 weeks of receiving the letter. Over the months after the TCM reprogram, I started to notice more jerkiness and shuddering than I had before.

Fast forward to March 2018, and the CVT failed in ugly fashion, as seen in the video. I was already aware of the widespread CVT problem reports, so I made sure to film the breakdown. Despite the video, the recall letter (which essentially admits Nissan knows there's a fault with the TCM that could've damaged the transmission for years before the recall), and the fact that Nissan extended the CVT warranty on 2007-2010 Altimas to 120,000 miles due to high failure rates, Nissan Consumer Affairs has repeatedly brushed off my requests for assistance. Not even a courtesy $500 or $1000 toward the $3840 quote.

IMPORTANT FOR OTHER 2013-2014 ALTIMA OWNERS: one of the Regional Specialists at Nissan I spoke with on the phone explicitly stated that the 120k-mile CVT warranty extension on older Altimas was done because of their high failure rates (I recorded the conversation). If the failure rates on the 2013 Altima aren't staggeringly high (see this site and NHTSA database), I don't know what is.

As you can see in the NHTSA powertrain complaint rate comparison I attached for 2013 midsize sedans, the Altima CVT issue is historically bad -- probably the worst single problem on any popular vehicle of the 2010s, from what I can tell online. I've noticed the rate of complaints has only accelerated over the past year or so as the 2013s get closer to 100k miles (on average), so who knows how bad it really is. There are enough reports on the 2014-2015 Altimas that I'd absolutely avoid those like the plague, too. The only question is whether the latest Altimas have done anything to mitigate the problem. Judging by Nissan's steadfast refusal to admit there's even a problem with the 2013 CVT, we have know way of knowing that until a few more years pass.

- nissancvtfail, Oklahoma City, US

problem #44

Feb 282018

Altima SV 2.4L I4

  • CVT transmission
  • 94,500 miles

Good thing I had my 100,000 miles extended warranty, bought from Nissan Dealership at 12k miles 1 year old. 4 years later I can't believe this happened. The day before the tranny went I got my transmission fluid changed. First time doing so at 94k. Everything seemed fine, then the next day on my commute home the engine would surge forward a little after giving it a little throttle, then the power would slightly cut out. Got worse and worse as I went, eventually got to my exit and the power completely cut out when I went to go at the light, no power, I would floor it and change gears, put it in overdrive, nothing... until about 30 seconds later, it finally got full power, giving out and kicking back in... everyone honking at me and yelling out their windows(I did put my hazards on).

I managed to barely get into my spot at home and it was not drivable after that, got it towed to the dealership. The tech's said the transmission flush was not the cause, it was just bad timing, so I didn't get the flush refunded, I paid a $50 deductible, they rebuilt the tranny.

Feels perfect now, however the shifter doesn't lock into Drive, it's like floating in between Drive and Neutral. I want to bring it back to Nissan, but they said it's probably not because of the tranny work they did on it... yeah... didn't do that before. I don't want to pay for this to be fixed, because they did poor job rebuilding it. Have 1 year/12k warranty on the work. Hopefully something will happen again, so they can fully replace the tranny.

- Justin M., Middleboro, MA, US

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