Nissan Altima Transmission Problems & Overview

Launched for the 1993 model year, the Nissan Altima was a sporty compact that was more inline with an Acura Integra, than the more basic Civic or Corolla. The athletic styling was matched with a grippy suspension, eager engine, and loads of available features. People loved Nissan’s sporty little sedan, and made it one of the brand’s best selling models.

By the third generation, Altima had grown into a midsize car, and became a popular alternative to Camry and Accord. Today, the Altima is the fifth best selling car in the United States, coming in just behind the larger and more expensive Honda Accord.

Does something seem wrong with your Altima? Let’s look at some of the most common Nissan Altima transmission problems, and see what you can do to get your car back on the road.

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2005-2006 Problems

In 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Nissan, alleging that the company knowingly sold cars with defective transmissions. Among the models was the 2005-2006 Nissan Altima V6, which said to experience “…transmission slippage, premature clutch wear, overheating, and other problems that ultimately result in serious and expensive damage to the vehicles’ transmission.” The lawsuit was dismissed in 2012 due to the lack of specific mechanical faults by the plaintiffs.

Nissan Altima Recalls

No transmission-related recalls.

Nissan Altima Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

2007-2011 Altima Coupe/Sedan – TSB NTB10-121

Problem:

On cars equipped with the CVT transmission, a slight vehicle hesitation and/or a surge type feel may be felt under light acceleration at speeds between 10 and 45 mph, when the engine RPMs are between 1200 and 2000. Nissan says that under these conditions, a very slight hesitation is a normal operating characteristic of this vehicle and is within design specifications for the vehicle. The transmission behavior can be modified, however doing so may result in a loss of 1 mpg.

Solution:

Reprogram the TCM and install a Torque Rod Service Kit (part # 11250-ZX60A)

2007-2008 Altima – TSB NTB09-148A

Problem:

Cars equipped with the CVT transmission may have the following trouble codes stored in the TCM: P0840. P0845, P0744, P1777

Solution:

The Control Valve Assembly will have to be replaced.

2005 Altima – TSB NTB04-098

Problem:

The transmission shifter will not move out of the Park position with the ignition ON and the brake pedal depressed. NOTE: This incident, if it occurs, may be intermittent.

Solution:

Replace the Shift Lock Control Unit with part # 28540-ZB000

2013 Altima V6 – TSB NTB13-064a

Problem:

Some 2013 Altima V6 models may experience a shudder (multiple bumps) from the torque converter lock-up clutch engagement. This will be accompanied by all of the following: Vehicle speed is between 18 and 35 mph – Throttle position is about 10% open – When issue occurs, if more throttle is applied the shudder stops – No DTCs are stored. NOTE: If the shudder occurs at speeds below 18 mph or above 35 mph this does not apply.

Solution:

Replace the torque converter with part # 31100–3WX0D

How to Diagnose & Fix

  1. Check the OBD Codes
  2. Check the fluid level
  3. Test transmission pressure
  4. Drop the transmission pan
  5. Repair, replace or rebuild

What to Read Next

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3 thoughts on “Nissan Altima Transmission Problems & Overview

  1. I have a 2005 Nissan Altima. When driving it makes a humming noise and only gets up to 40mph then at times it drives fine. However, lately its been stalling more and the car acts like it is losing power. Yesterday I cranked it up and it will not go in reverse. I stuck my leg out and pushed it a little and it eventually backed up. I’m not sure if it is a transmission issue or something else. Any suggestions

  2. I have 2009 nissan altima 2.5 when i drive for more than 20 to 30 mins non stop, the transmission seems to lose power i press on the gas and it goes slow and it doesnt want to pass 30 mph. I could be on the hwy doing 80 and when i press to go faster it sounds like a airplane engine and doesnt speed up, I think it could be the torque converter from what i googled. If anybody has any advise or suggestions its gladly appreciated.

  3. I have a 2001 Nissan altima (1 owner) with about 263k miles that hesitates to move when shifting from P (park) to D (drive). I had the transmission flushed (even though it was not recommended with that amount of miles) and the problem was resolved. A year later, the problem has returned. I also need to replace the timing chain tensioner (which I’m told you have to drop the engine to do). The car looks and drives well. Do I replace, rebuild the transmission (and engine) or should I purchase a new vehicle now ? (hate to get a car note)

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