Sedans & Coupes

Avoid the 2013 Nissan Altima for Its Really Expensive Problems

It’s not uncommon for a vehicle to have one year that just wasn’t up to par. In fact, most of the time, some of the most consistent and problematic features don’t surface until several years into ownership. For the Nissan Altima, almost every year is a solid year.

Of course, there are isolated incidents with vehicle owners having troubles, but for the most part, people love their Altima sedans because they’re dependable cars. But, for the 2013 models, there is one problem that seems to show up for more and more owners. And it’s a really expensive problem to have.

Why 2013 is proving to be a problem year for the Nissan Altima

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You’ll be hard-pressed to find any model year of a vehicle without a few reports of mechanical difficulty. For the Nissan Altima, 2013 is proving to be a rough year. Over the last seven years, people have reported a host of problems on CarComplaints.com.

This model year is hailed the worst for the popular commuter car primarily for reports of three most common deficiencies. For many owners, the air conditioner failed prematurely or began only blowing hot air.

For many other Altima owners, the door handles, and latches started breaking without undue stress. But the big one, affecting 273 Nissan Altima owners, according to CarComplaints.com, is the worst and most expensive issue for 2013.

The most significant of the three

When you hear that a car has multiple complaints regarding the transmission, you should take notice. When it comes to the 2013 Nissan Altima, it actually earned the “avoid like the plague” badge of dishonor.

Owners complain about heavy vibrations right before the transmission fails altogether. The problem is CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) related and starts as a persistent whining sound. It also presents early on in ownership, and similar issues are being reported for the 2014 and 2015 model years as well.

Why it’s worth avoiding a 2013 Nissan Altima altogether

With the prevalence of problems for the 2013 Nissan Altima, you might already be prepared to steer clear. But here are a few other potentially costly reasons to avoid this car.

The average mileage at which the transmission issues occur is just over 53,100 miles. The most commonly reported fixes for these problematic CVTs is an entire replacement of the transmission altogether, costing around $3,100. Other owners had parts replaced and still no real resolution.

Nissan Altima owners share their sentiments

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Before you decide to forgo a look at the 2013 Altima, scroll through some of the actual car owners’ sentiments and experiences. One Altima owner shared her car started vibrating with only 32,000 miles on it.

Her local Nissan dealer wasn’t able to help her. Another owner shared his transmission went out entirely. Unable to afford the replacement, he was stuck with an Altima that wouldn’t run.

On a Nissan Club thread, one poor individual had purchased a new-to-her, 2013 Altima, and asked if anyone knew of problems about shuttering a 2,000 RPMs. Now, in 2020, she wasn’t able to find a fix for the problem. One commenter replied to her with, “my permanent fix was never to buy a Nissan CVT.”

Don’t discount the Nissan Altima altogether. After all, it is one of the most popular midsize sedans on the market. Most Altima owners stand by their reliable cars. But as with any vehicle, there are a few model years that make sense to avoid.

The year for the Nissan Altima is 2013, and no one should pursue buying this car without doing homework first. Follow up regarding any repairs or replacements of the CVT components before pulling the trigger. Or, it may just be worth avoiding this model year, “like the plague” and altogether.