9.5

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$560
Average Mileage:
68,550 miles
Total Complaints:
22 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. replace headlight assembly (8 reports)
  3. reemplazae bombillas por hid (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Nissan dealer.

problem #22

Apr 062017

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 69,986 miles

2013 Nissan Altima, purchased brand new, low beams were gradually dimming throughout the life of the vehicle until finally, 4 years after purchase of vehicle, I replaced both bulbs when the passenger low beam bulb went out. I replaced them with the Sylvania Xtra-vision bulbs. It seemed strange at the time that the brightness of the low beam seemed to be diminishing and thought using an improved version would make them brighter. Still didn't seem to help. I adjusted the beams to raise them slightly thinking they were aimed too low. Still no improvement. Then, I went for a ride with a friend in his Chevy Malibu and was like, wow, this is how low beam lights are supposed to shine bright. Did some internet searches for complaints about Altima low beam brightness issues and voila!, here I am. So, no Recall from Nissan. Not surprised. Thanks, Nissan, love you too. Purchased some aftermarket headlight assemblies on one of the more popular internet sales websites, (can you guess which one, bet you can).

Anyway, that's my sad story, $168.00 dollars but fortunately free shipping. Purchase reviews were somewhat positive. I figured that after Nissan made me by a remanufactured CVT, remove and replace, transmission for $3,500.00 I'm on my own for everything else on my Altima that fails due to no fault of mine. Off to U-tube to learn how to change headlight assemblies, do love the age of computers..TTFN,

- DayInTheLife ., North Adams, MA, US

problem #21

Dec 292018

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,600 miles

My low beam headlights are very dim. The reflector bowl deteriorates and won't reflect the light as designed. From what I've read this is a common problem for 5th generation Nissan Altimas. This is a very dangerous problem (a SAFETY ISSUE) you can not see the road. Nissan has not issued a recall which is a disgrace! VERY DISAPPOINTED. I thought Nissan had a good reputation.

- Ed R., Fort Lauderdale, US

problem #20

Nov 052018

Altima SL 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,722 miles

I purchased my 2013 Nissan Altima SL used on 05/28/15 with 32,000 miles. I maintained the vehicles and performed necessary maintenance when required. I drive the car with headlights always on as I believe it makes it easier for other drivers to see you.

About six months ago I began to have a hard time seeing things at night while driving the car. I first thought it was my eyes or the windshield was dirty and causing too much glare. I had my eyes checked and used professional cleaner on the inside and out of the windshield with no improvement. Shortly after my wife was driving my car and states “are the headlights even on, they’re barely throwing light down the road they’re so dim.” I then drove her car shortly after which is 2017 Honda CR-V and noticed a major difference. I had gotten so used to driving with these dim lights I didn’t know what real headlights were like.

I needed to get this fixed because it was unsafe, the lights weren’t extending to the sides and down the road far enough and with all of the deer in the area it was certainly a safety issue. I talked to my dealership and they said we would have to run a diagnostics test which would cost around $100. I decided to wait and do some internet research. This seemed to be a common problem with this year of the Altima and I had found in blogs quite a few others with the same complaint and that simply replacing the headlight bulb didn’t improve the situation and that the entire headlight assembly needed to be replaced costing close to $1,000 for both lights.

I figured I’d call Nissan USA and see if they could help and they basically stated we would need to see the diagnostics report first from your dealership. I explained the situation to my dealership and they ran the diagnostics on 11/5/18 at the time my vehicle had 72,722 miles and confirmed that replacing the bulbs didn’t improve the situation and the whole assembly would need to be replaced costing around $900. Graciously they didn’t charge me for the diagnostic and I took my car back and called Nissan USA before proceeding with the repair.

To my understanding the HID headlight bulb either heats up too much inside the headlight and either burns the back of the projector lens that controls the light out of the assembly. So, if you replaced the headlight bulbs without replacing the whole headlight all the light would still be trapped because it couldn’t get thru the “burned” projector lens.” After explaining the situation to Nissan USA and sending them the diagnostic report they offered to be 70% of the cost and that I would be responsible for 30% of the cost which came out to be $260 which I had completed on 11/15/18. I argued with them quite a bit about it that I shouldn’t be responsible for any of it but in the end took their offer because I wanted to be able to see down the road and they could’ve offered me nothing.

After having the bulbs and light assemblies replaced it is an enormous difference the headlights thrown light down the road to the sides much better. I can tell my lights are on as they are hitting the asphalt in front of me and on the bumper of a car in front of me when stopped at a light. With all of this I believe Nissan should issue a recall for their headlight assemblies and that owners shouldn’t be responsible for any cost associated to this defect. Having to replace a headlight bulb is understandable it is a wear and tear item and bulbs burn out it is unreasonable to ask an owner to spend nearly $1,000 every 5 years to replace entire headlight assemblies because the projection lens melts.

This is a safety issue as well and many owners probably don’t know they have an issue because the light slowly fades over time opposed to instantly and many owners probably don’t drive with their headlights on so the projection lens isn’t exposed to as much heat as drivers that drive with them on all the time. I’ve owned a handful of car in my lifetime and replaced light bulbs with no problem I’ve never seen/heard of anything so ridiculous in my life in regards to headlights and I firmly believe Nissan should be held accountable.

- Joseph B., Blue Bell, US

problem #19

Dec 012019

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

My 2013 Nissan Altima has low beam lights that are dangerous and a pain in the ass to drive at night. I was told the only way to fix them was to replace at a cost of approx. $1000.00. HELP!!!!

- James W., clay, US

problem #18

Oct 202018

Altima SV 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 94,600 miles

I cleaned the headlight covers thinking that the problem would get better which it did for maybe 2 weeks. Over the next 2 weeks the problem continued. I can barely see 10ft in front of me when driving at night and if it's raining OH MY GOODNESS IT IS horrendous and nerve racking. The issue alone is extremely unsafe. This issue needs to be fixed by Nissan. I have a friend who also owns a 2013 Nissan Altima with the same issue. I don't want to have to pay my money for an issue that needs to be taken care of by Nissan. This issue is dangerous for every person who owns a Nissan and who are having this problem.

- Takeka K., Hueytown, AL, US

problem #17

Dec 082018

Altima SV 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Same issue with headlights last night low beams too dim. And add rain and wind to this issue low beam headlights being too dim . I could barely see 10 feet in front of me. It was almost as if my headlights were not on. Very dangerous situation.

- Takeka K., Hueytown, AL, US

problem #16

Oct 012018

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I purchased my 2013 Altima 2.5 SV used with 36,000 miles on it in May 2014. I had no issues w the vehicle at all until 2017. My car began cutting out / stalling out while it would downshift. Fast forward, even though my car was out of warranty (at 4+ yrs old), my Nissan dealership agreed to replace the transmission free of cost. There was an issue with CVT & had a recall of some sort. Once the recall was fixed, that's when the transmission starting failing so they covered.

Anyways, here we are a year later and I just began to notice that I can barely see at night. The lights appear to be on from the outside, but I can't even see but maybe a couple feet in front of me while I'm driving. To be honest, at first I thought maybe I just needed new headlights and I was going to be cheap and just say screw it and use my high beams (I don't drive much at night anyway and if I do, I don't go far). So, I've been doing that a couple months now and nobody even flashes me which leads me to believe that my high beams probably suck too.

Nonetheless, last night, I needed to go somewhere and it was pretty dark & misting out. I legit couldn't see anything at all with my low beams. Nothing. Turned them off and there was no difference. So, I thought to myself, there is no way I need new headlights. I'd assume they'd just burn out instead of dim out. Now I'm researching the interwebs and finding all types of complaints on this vehicle so now I'm concerned and kind of angry too. A little unsure WHY this has not been recalled.

- Stephanie D., Salisbury, MD, US

problem #15

May 012016

Altima SV 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 48,500 miles

I've owned two 2013 Nissan Altima sedans and both have terrible headlights. I can't see anything at night even after replacing bulbs on two occasions. I have to use the high beam to drive at night. Is anything being done. This is very dangerous

I bought the vehicle in 2015 with 48,500 miles and it now sits on 100k and the lights seem to have gotten a lot worse. It doesn't even look like the headlights are on at nights even in places with no light posts. I have to continually turn my high beams in order to see. This is extremely dangerous and frustrating that nothing is being done to remedy this. I talked to my dealership and was advised that the headlights are only covered during the first 36K miles.

I seriously hope that Nissan losses a lot of business even with the newly 2019 model. Their vehicles are awful.

- jagger, Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #14

Sep 182013

Altima SV

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

I have a 2013 Nissan Altima which is my second one since I liked my first one so much. This one is awful! The fuel economy terrible and the low beams are horrible. The low beams are so dim and they continue to get worse and worse. The dealership says they have heard this complaint but there is nothing they can do about it. This is definitely a safety concern. It is almost impossible to drive the car at night because the lights are so dim. I have tried all the high end expensive headlamp bulbs. The high beams are great with the same bulb as low beams so it has to be the projection lens which is consistent with all the blogs and stuff I read about them. I have also tried LED and it did not fix the problem. I don't want to buy a aftermarket headlamp because all the ones I see all have the projection lens in them. I don know why Nissan cannot come up with a fix!

- twroy, Stuart, US

problem #13

May 142017

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I own a 2013 automatic Nissan Altima. About 1.5 years ago, I noticed that the drivers side headlight seemed to have gone oddly dim in front of my eyes but, just thought that I was imagining things and ignored it, despite having a difficult time driving at night. A few weeks later, same thing with the pax side and now it was obvious that there was a problem but, i assumed that it was bulb related. I went to go for an Inspection Sticker and was declined due to the lights. I replaced the bulbs at the dealer and was told problem all fixed, still not really able to see. I had a second mechanic look at it, replace the bulbs, same problem seeing. When I went to back to get my inspection sticker, I was declined again for the same issue.

On my final attempt to have the dealer, Commonwealth Nissan in Lawrence MA, they were RUDE and literally told me,"Well I don't know what I can do for you. I can't help you." and they let me drive out without a solution and rejected sticker on my vehicle. I've been driving around with a rejected sticker utilizing high beams for night driving for more than 1 year....this is very frustrating and not to mention, dangerous and illegal. I was finally quoted by the dealer and a mechanic friend of mine the cost to replace both of the headlamp assembly units would be between $850-1000 to fix. Financially, that's not an option for me.

Upon doing my own research, I've found multiple websites with comments from other consumers with the exact same problem so, I conclude that this is a manufacturers defect with the lighting...at least there's a reason for the problem. I contacted Nissan directly today to ask about this, there's no recall so, I asked to be compensated for the repair so that I #1) Can see while driving #2) Can get the mandatory inspection sticker required to drive my car in my state.

Result is pending.

- boslsha01, Andover, US

problem #12

Oct 012018

Altima SRS 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

This is the second Nissan Altima I have owned. My first one the transmission went out and couldn't even back it out of my garage but it was under warranty still (had 24,000 miles). I gave them another change because I do like the car itself and the gas mileage. It is unsafe to drive my Nissan after dark because you can't even see the headlights on when the lights are on dim. I can only drive it with my brights on. If I continue to drive it at dark somebody is going to get hurt very badly. I WILL NEVER buy another NISSAN IN THIS LIFE.

- Jane L., Zachary, US

problem #11

Aug 032018

Altima SV 2.5L 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,200 miles

click to see larger images

dim low beams dim low beams

The low beam headlights on my 2013 Nissan Altima SV are dangerously dim. Difficult and dangerous to drive at night. Need to use high beams to properly see the road. This is an extreme safety risk for myself and other cars on the road. I've read online that it is not a bulb replacement issue - but a light projector issue with the design of the headlights. A safety concern that Nissan should be recalling to replace the defective headlights

Update from Nov 12, 2018: I had the lights repaired because I could no longer drive at night, the repair was done on 10/17/2018 at a cost of $674.88 parts and labor

- Steve D., Philadelphia, US

problem #10

Jan 302016

Altima SV 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 100,000 miles

SINCE 2016 MY LOW BEAMS HAVE GOTTEN DIMMER AND DIMMER. THEY ARE SO DIM NOW I CAN BARELY SEE THE ROAD AT NIGHT AND DRIVE WITH HIGH BEAMS ON AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I COMMUTE 100 MILES A DAY TO AND FROM WORK. IT'S DARK WHEN I LEAVE IN THE MORNING AND DARK WHEN I GO HOME AT NIGHT.

I PAID A NISSAN DEALERSHIP $200.00 FOR LABOR LOOKING FOR FAULTY WIRING AND THEY SAID THEY COULD NOT FIND ANYTHING AND I WOULD HAVE TO BRING IT BACK AND LEAVE IT LONGER FOR THEM TO LOOK FOR THE PROBLEM. TOOK IT TO A SECOND MECHANIC WHO IN FACT ADVISED ME MY HEADLIGHT REFLECTORS WERE DEFECTIVE AND THE ONLY FIX WAS TO REPLACE THE ENTIRE ASSY.

I DO NOT HAVE THAT KIND OF MONEY ESPECIALLY AFTER BEING RAKED OVER THE COALS BY NISSAN WHEN I BOUGHT THE CAR BACK IN 2013 BRAND NEW. REPLACING THE BULB IS A WASTE OF MONEY SINCE THE REFLECTORS ARE DEFECTIVE.

BASED ON ALL THE COMPLAINTS NISSAN IS NOT ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DEFECT. I EVEN FOUND WHERE A CLASS ACTION SUIT HAD BEEN STARTED BUT APPARENTLY IT'S STILL IN THE BEGINNING STAGES AND ALL THEY WANTED ME TO DO WAS PROVIDE THEM WITH THE DEFECTIVE PARTS ONCE I HAD THEM REPLACED.

I HAVE YET TO SEE ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN ABLE TO AFFORD TO REPLACE THEIR HEADLIGHT ASSY GIVEN THE COST OF EACH LIGHT. I AM TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW THIS IS ANY LESS IMPORTANT THAN AIR BAG ISSUES OR HOOD LATCH DEFECTS. I GUESS ITS GOING TO TAKE SOMEONE SUING NISSAN TO GET THEIR ATTENTION

- Bonnie P., Sebastian, FL, US

problem #9

May 012018

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My 2013 Nissan Altima headlights are very dim and I have to drive with brights on just to see at night. This is a real safety concern. I have replaced the bulbs twice with LED and HID and they have not fixed the problem. I have had it to the mechanic and Nissan dealership and they offer no solution to the problem. I see that through internet research that this is a problem with others. Nissan should request a recall to fix this problem before someone is hurt!

- Tanya T., Hot Springs National Park, AR, US

problem #8

Oct 042018

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

I drive 100 miles each day/night. I have been noticing that the headlights seem dim. My wife has been complaining for months about it. Last night I could not see anything in front of me and drove with my high beams. I brought the car to the dealer thinking the bulbs needed to be replaced. These are my originals. The dealer inspected and said it is not the bulb but the lens. My lens are cloudy and they seem to be burned or damaged. This is the same for both lights. I asked if this was normal and they said NO. I asked the cost to fix it and they laugh knowing it would be expensive. They looked up the parts and gave me a discount at $1,100. They said the only fix is to replace the entire assembly. I freaked out. Who expects to buy a car and when its time to change the bulb to actually change the entire assembly!!

I called Consumer Affairs at Nissan, received a case number, and was told someone will call you. I received the call with a pleasant response, "we have reviewed your case and we are sorry to inform you that this is no longer covered under your warranty". I explained this is a manufacture defect and not a warranty issue. Who expects to replace the assembly before the bulbs go out!! This is such BS and a large corporation like Nissan doesn't care because we don't do anything about it. Protest these jerks and it seem many of us have the same issue so it is a problem. How do we get this fixed? I don't mind making repairs but this is absurd!

- Albert F., Hopewell Junction, NY, US

problem #7

Jan 012018

Altima CV 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I have always been proud to be a Nissan Altima owner! People have always complimented my car! I have been Extremely frustrated this year! My low beam headlights are Extremely dim, like my lights are not even on! I have taken it to several places, that said it might be electrical. So I decided to take it to my dealership, Daytona Auto Mall Nissan of Daytona. I was told they would have to take off the front bumber to install a whole new light system and bulbs ( even though it is Not the bulbs! ). I asked what causes this, Don said.. time.., I said this car is only 6 years old, I have never had a problem with any of my cars like this. He also told me they would keep the price low, so it is more of a money issue then what the Real problem is! t just does Not make any sense, when the High Beams work fine! They DO need to do a Recall, and take care of their customers!!

Update from Oct 6, 2018: Nissan consumer affairs agreed with my dealership to pay 70% of my headlamp system replacement, therefore they agree there is a problem, Therefore I believe this should be a RECALL, How do I go about getting this as a recall, and have them totally replace the headlamp system??? It is a hazard to drive at night , my car is a 2013, this should not be happening !

- Linda K., Ormond Beach, US

problem #6

Aug 012017

Altima S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles

It's very hard to see at night, unless I have my high beams on. I have cars flashing me to turn my lights on, when they are already on. On or about 8/26/2018 a person at the stop sign facing me slowly and passed by to tell me to turn my lights on. I want this to be a recall because this is due to no fault of mine. Based on the number of complaints, this matter should be resolved by the automaker before I get a ticket.

I went to the dealer to ask about the problem and they said I have to get diagnostic test because it's an electrical problem and they need to know exactly where the problem is at, but I don't have $400 plus dollars to get the test done. So now I turn my high beams on in order see where I'm going at night. 50% of time I'm on the road at night. This isn't good.

If anyone has the same issue, please share what you have done to correct the issue if anything.

- Terrell B., Miami, US

problem #5

Jul 012018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 154,000 miles

I have had issues with the headlights on this vehicle since new. The first 3 years of owning it was bearable but it had gradually gotten worse. When it was new I noticed when you started the car and put it and gear and proceeded to drive the headlights would get very bright but only for a few seconds then they would go back to normal. The bright flash that lasted only a few seconds was how bright you would expect your low beams to be at night. For the last last year now they have gotten worse. They are extremely dim to the point where I avoid driving at night unless the high beams are on. This is very dangerous I have almost got in accidents several times driving at night due to the impaired visibility. I am thinking it’s an electrical issue. New bulbs or headlights didn’t fix it so what else could it be?

- natbugzmom, coden, AL, USA

problem #4

Jan 312014

Altima SL 3.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 62 miles

I am adding my voice to the countless other 2013 Nissan Altima Owners regarding Dim low beam headlights. We noticed soon after we bought the car. We don't drive too often at night and almost always in the city where street lighting and lower speeds makes the problem less critical... but I truly would be nervous driving at night on the highway with this problem. The only workaround solution until a repair of this defect is to drive with your high beams on which is not a great solution as it blinds oncoming drivers.

It is very clear from the countless reports from all the car complaints websites about this exact same issue that this is not an isolated incident. What is really scary is that this is TRULY A ROAD SAFETY HAZARD and yet Government agencies have not investigated and forced Nissan to fix the problem as a mandatory recall.

I could buy after-market headlight enclosure bodies with working projectors but this would likely be a $700-$1000 repair for something that should be Nissan's problem to address. I could also buy new extremely bright LED bulbs that increase the lumens from the stock 1500 to over 6000 but from what I have read, others have been doing this and because of the default of the projector lens/housing the increased bright lights do not seeming to be solving the problem.

- Perry F., Winnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #3

Dec 012014

Altima LS

  • CVT transmission
  • 24,000 miles

Worst headlights-ever! You can see maybe 3 feet in front of you when driving at night. I don't understand how this design was ever approved. Definitely a safety issue- I do not feel safe driving at night unless the brights are on. Just very disappointed, and not sure how to remedy.

- Donna R., Cookeville, TN, USA

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