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2016 Nissan Altima Transmission Problems – Watch Out For Delayed Shifting! 

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The Nissan Altima has unfortunately been plagued by numerous transmission problems throughout the years. This statement rings especially true for one of the more modern models, with the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems causing high repair and replacement prices for car owners. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


If you are considering buying a Nissan Altima, there are many things you should be aware of before pulling the trigger. You should schedule an inspection before purchasing with a trusted mechanic to ensure that the vehicle is in good condition before buying.


A transmission mechanic will be able to identify the problems using diagnostic tools, test the car parts and system to ensure they’re working properly, perform basic care, repair and replace necessary parts, and perform quality repairs. 


The most common Altima transmission issues cost around $3,300 to fix, and typically occur at 53,000 miles. One of the worst model years of Nissan Altima is the 2016 model, with severe 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems regarding the longevity, reliability, and performance. 

Transmission Function

The transmission is an important part of your car that ensures the right amount of power is given to your wheels, in order to drive at a specific speed.  If you hear strange noises coming from the inner workings of your vehicle, your transmission is damaged. 


It is very important to understand that the transmission system is crucial for the proper running and functioning of your vehicle. Without the transmission running correctly, the vehicle will not be able to work safely or smoothly and you will experience the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems. 

Twelve 2016 Nissan Altima Transmission Problems

Slipping While Driving 

The Nissan Altima transmission problems involve the transmission jerking, failing, shifting roughly, and slipping while using. There are certain signs to tell if your transmission is slipping while driving. 

  • One or more of the following things may be happening in your Nissan Altima – your check engine light is on, RPM is greater than 3,500, acceleration is delayed, burning smells, inability to reverse, issues with shifting gears, strange noises when shifting, and the reverse is not engaging. 
  • Fix: Replace Your Fluid – Some of the causes of this transmission issue is due to leaking transmission fluid, low fluid, the shifter, internal transmission issues like the brakes dragging, or low transmission fluid. Any of these problems can cause the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems.  
    • Replacing your fluid at a dealer, service center, or nearby mechanic/garage will typically range from $80 to $250 to remedy the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems. The average cost is around $100 for both automatic and manual transmissions, while you can save between $10 and $60 doing this procedure yourself. 

Low Fluid

If you notice that one of the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems is slipping while driving, the most common cause of this issue is low transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is necessary to lubricate the parts and keep your car running correctly. If your transmission slips, this means that the car engine revs, but no power is transferred to the wheels to move the car. If the sleeping is caused by low transmission fluid, it will only get worse as the transmission overheats and friction builds during use.

  • Fix: Transmission Fluid Change
    • The average price of a fluid change will cost around $100, with the cost of a dealer costing upwards of $250 and an independent mechanic going as low as $80. The procedure’s average cost is $100 when dealing with the most common automatic transmission problems and solutions.

Burnt Fluid 

One of the other most common automatic transmission problems and solutions is burning fluid due to low fluid levels. Sometimes the transmission slipping can be due to the transmission fluid burning instead of just being at a low level in your car. If the fluid is not the right color, like black instead of red, or you notice a burning smell, this is likely the culprit. 

  • Fix: Fluid Flush
    • The average cost of a transmission fluid flush will typically cost around $150, with transmission flushes on smaller cars going as low as $100 and bigger trucks costing around $200. If you are unsure about how much your specific car will cost, you can expect the flush to cost about double as much as a fluid change. 

Transmission Won’t Stay in Gear

One symptom of a bad transmission is that your transmission might not be able to stay in gear. If you try to put your car into a specific gear and it doesn’t work, this could be a clear sign that there could be a low transmission fluid amount. 

  • Fix: Replace Gear Shifter Cable – This low transmission fluid could be due to a leak, the gear shifter, the gear shifter cable, or the problem with the automatic transmission system’s valve body in your car. 
    • Replacing the gear shifter cable costs between $255 and $292 for your Altima, with the labor costs between $140 and $176 and the cost of the parts around $116. 
    • If this does not fix the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems, you might have to replace the valve body in the transmission. The average cost of replacing the transmission valve body is between $320 and $400.

Clutch Problems

Both automatic and manual transmission use clutches. Although the clutch issue is more common in manual cars, automatic cars can still succumb to these automatic transmission problems and solutions. These clutch issues can cause automatic transmission slipping when accelerating. 


In an automatic car, the transmission and the torque converter have clutch plates that can become worn out and damaged due to insufficient transmission fluid. 

  • Fix: Replace the Clutch
    • The cost to repair or replace a clutch depends on the damage and severity of the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems, with prices ranging from as little as $500 to as much as $2,500. The overall price depends on the type of car you drive, with luxury and sports cars costing around $2,500, and used cars that are middle-of-the-road costing between $500 and $1,000. 

Dealyed Shifting 

If your transmission takes a while to go into the proper gear, this could be a sign of a transmission fluid that is too low. Low levels could be due to a transmission fluid leak, fluid contamination, or water intrusion during certain road conditions. Make sure you stay up to date with your transmission fluid level’s routine maintenance to prevent the 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems.

  • Fix: Transmission Fluid Flush – The delayed shifting is due to low fluid or incorrect fluid used in your car. In this case, you may need to do a fluid flush to keep your car working correctly.
    • A typical transmission fluid flush costs around $150. A transmission flush on a smaller car can go as low as $100, while it can cost upwards of $200 performing the flush on larger SUVs and trucks. 

Burning Smell

If you notice a burning smell, this is a clear sign that you have one of the more severe 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems. A burning smell is usually caused by a fluid leak in the transmission or a burning clutch. If you can catch the fluid leak quickly, then you might be able to save the transmission from any further damage.

  • Fix: Replace the Valve Seal – In addition, a buzzing sound can also be an indicator of a bad internal sealing surface, a bad valve seal, or low transmission fluid. 
    • Replacing the valve seal or piston rings in your Altima costs between $900 and $1,800 depending on the severity of the other 2016 Nissan Altima transmissions problems. The process of replacing the seals involves taking part of the entire engine so you can access the valve spring. 

CVT Failure

The 2016 Nissan Altima has a defective trend of CVT transmission failure, commonly appearing at around the 100,000-mile point. 

  • Fix: Replace CVT Transmission
  • The price to repair the CVT transmission is quite costly, with an average of $4,000. 

Shuddering While Accelerating

Other 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems include a shuddering feeling while accelerating, a whining noise with increased speed, transmission failure, and the shifting hesitating while driving – which is a sign that you might have a transmission fluid leak. 

  • These problems generally happen at around 80,000 miles and cost $2,500 to repair. 
  • Fix: Replace Transmission– Numerous users have reported that going over or under a certain speed causes the car to shake. The most common solution for this model is to get a new transmission, replace the transmission, or perform a complete CVT replacement. 
    • The typical repair cost for the transmission problems is $3,100. In general, a new transmission cost will run between $1,000-$6,000. The problem generally occurs at an average of 53,000 miles and has a severity rating of 8.3 when compared to the other 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems. 

Trouble Staying in Gear

A common sign of a failing transmission is that you are having trouble putting your car in gear. Your transmission could be leaking, which could cause your entire transmission system to overheat. The most common solution for this would be to press the emergency release button or to replace the shifter assembly. 

Transmission Jerking

Owners stated that the transmission jerks during use, the transmission prematurely failed, the car shifts roughly, the car jerks and cuts off while stopped, the transmission mounts break, and the transmission leaks and slips.

  • Fix: Replace Transmission Control Module
    • For owners to fix the jerking and the 2016 Nissan Altima problems, the typical repair cost comes to nearly $2,500 – an extremely high Nissan transmission repair cost when compared to other easy fixes. The most common solution is to replace the transmission control module at around 120,000 miles. 

Whining Noises While Driving

Some of the most severe 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems include premature failure, whining noises while driving, shuddering and vibrating at low speeds, and the engine starting but the car not moving. 

  • Fix: Replace Entire Transmission 
    • Paying to repair the transmission failure is a very high Nissan transmission repair cost – owners will have to fork over nearly $4,000 to replace the entire transmission at around 130,000 miles.

2016 Nissan Altima CVT Transmission Recall

Regarding the numerous cars with a high repair cost and 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems, some of these vehicles were also the subject of a recall to help drivers and car owners’ safety. Nissan CVT issues are very common among all Nissan vehicles.


  • The CVT transmission was first used to create smoother gear shifts and a higher engine performance capability but backfired to an unreliable and unsafe mechanism that Nissan should never have used in their Altima cars. 
  • From 2012-2018, various Nissan vehicles were fitted with the CVT transmission, such as the Sentra, Versa, Altima, and Rogue.


In these affected vehicles, owners report a loss of power, jerking transmission, transmission slipping, CVT coolant hoses leaking, and a dashboard error message while driving. These problems caused safety concerns for the owner and caused a very high Nissan transmission repair cost that a mechanic or local auto body shop had to take care of quickly. 


The solution for Nissan Altima owners came when Nissan extended the warranty on some of these cars to 10 years/120,000 miles. The extension of the warranty covered the CVT transmission issues, helping to alleviate some of the most common 2016 Nissan Altima transmission problems. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, purchasing the 2016 Altima might not be the smartest choice based on the lack of reliability ,recalls, and the prevalent 2016 Nissan Altima transmissions problems that plague this model year! 


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