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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2004-2006 Nissan Maxima has widespread transmission problems. It starts with the vehicle jerking when shifting, & progresses to full-blown transmission failure.

Maxima owners report spending $3,000 to replace the transmission, typically around when the odometer hits 100,000 miles.

There's a class action lawsuit filed in late 2011, & it is still in the "discovery" stage. Apparently, these things take time ... far too much time.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
90,810 miles
Total Complaints:
67 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. recall the transmissions for ongoing problems, jerking (35 reports)
  2. replace transmission (15 reports)
  3. not sure (12 reports)
  4. replace valve body (5 reports)
2005 Nissan Maxima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #67

Aug 302013

Maxima SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,330 miles


I have owned 2 Maximas prior to this purchase & loved them both. I still own & drive the 1999 Maxima & have had very few problems with it. It runs better than the 2005 Maxima. I thought I was getting a great deal when I bought the 2005 for $8500.00 on 8/30/13 with 98,330 miles showing. Immediately after purchase, I noted transmission problems, shifting down while going uphill, hard shifting, clunking noises when shifting, hard shifting when de-accelerating downhill, not going into gear when shifting from reverse into drive, causing me to roll backwards on a hill. These problems continued & worsened until I took it to a Nissan repair shop one month later & they replaced the transmission( twice because the first one that was shipped did not shift smoothly into 2nd gear) & also replaced the solenoid & the throttle body. Since then, I have had other frequent repairs of this car, less expensive, but very annoying, and would not buy another one again, because the quality has so drastically declined. Even the inside trim pulls right off on the door threshold & is plastic instead of metal. So sad that Nissan has really let their quality decline so much since they shifted their production to Smyrna. The car that came from Japan has really given me far fewer problems & no transmission issues, with now 180,000 miles on it. I hate that I will next be looking @ other companies to find the quality I once loved with Nissan.

- , Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #66

Aug 272014

Maxima SL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

i had this car from 2005 aug as first owner. first time i had this problem in 2011 april and dealer didnt take any action only said this car have no warranty left so i rebuilt the transmission from berkeley transmission shop ans spent 4400 dollars. now last month i had engine service soon light came and i go to machnic he said bad transmission. if a expensive car like this have no reliabality then whay people have to buy this peace of sh*t i want to aware people not to buy at least any maxima so that company will look into thre problem and fix it thanks

- , sanramon, ca, USA

problem #65

Apr 302013

Maxima LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

It was very disheartening purchasing a used car with unimaginable transmission problems. The problems ranging from skippering, slippage, dragging, jumping from gear 2 to gear 3 and failure to down shift. This causing the engine to stall. Spending so much money to buy a used car and to spend another $2500 for transmission replacement is too much to stomach. It is time for Nissan to take responsibility and recall all these vehicles with defected transmissions. I never had any issue with my Toyota sienna. Please, do the right thing.

- , Jamaca, Queens, New York, USA

problem #64

Jan 122009

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,660 miles


I traded in a perfectly good running 2000 Maxima for this piece of sh*t 2005 3.5 SE, don't get me wrong, it runs perfect, engine wise, well other than the tensioner rattling like hell (that's another story). I should have done my home work on this year car but I have owned two other Maximas and didn't have any problems. I have replaced the camshaft position sensor once and it did get the car to go back into 1st gear again. but it still jerks like hell when it gets warmed up. Nissan needs to own up to this problem no questions about it! I guess when they get a fatal accident from someone trying to cross a busy highway and the tranny want go then they might actually listen. I've heard from a friend of mine that if you do get the tranny fixed that you need to change the fluid every 5k miles so the Solenoids want get metal shavings in them. This is just BULLSHIT! that a company like Nissan just turns the other cheek on a lot of loyal customers. I guess when everyone gets together and stops buying from them and make them go bankrupt then they might start listening. I don't think there is a 100% fix for this problem and they know it. There are so many complaints on this problem and it seems to start around the same mileage, so if that doesn't say something I don't think it ever will. I love my car that's why I haven't burnt it to the ground yet, hoping maybe something will get through to someone that gives a SH*T! I can say that from this I will never buy another Nissan and I have spread the word to everyone and there cousins about it too! THANKS FOR TRYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Coker, AL, USA

problem #63

Jul 112012

Maxima ES 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My car has 120,000 miles. The transmission jerks usually around 20 mph between gear 2 and 3.

I will never buy a Nissan again.

- , Shoreline, WA, USA

problem #62

Aug 092012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My wife bought this car before I married her. I would have advised her not to buy this car in the first place. A car should never have a trans problem when it only has about 50,000 miles on it. We did not fix it yet. We need to fix it very soon before it ceases to work altogether. It is a lot of money to fix it. Nissan should have had a recall on this car for trans and or the valve body. There is a class action law suit about it already. I will never buy a Nissan ever again. I have heard of other Nissan models having problems with the transmissions too.

- , Miami, FL, USA

problem #61

Feb 152012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


The Transmission slips in and out of gear once the car is warmed up. Really wish Nissan would acknowledge this issue.

- , Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #60

Dec 022012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

2005 Maxima with 119000 miles should not have such awful transmission problems. It kicked so hard once that it bruised my fist that I had resting on my thigh. Nissan should recall or at least agree to fix these transmission problems with the 2004 & the 2005 Maxima.

- , Leeds, AL, USA

problem #59

Nov 292012

Maxima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

My wife wanted a nissan maxima because of the nice look, but after one month the transmission starting letting go. It slips from 2 to 3 gear after warming up. It was fine while test driving it. She goes short distances to work so we never noticed it before. We went for a ride to see family members and low and behold there it starts acting up. We had a 2000 VW jetta that was an absolute lemon, so we sold it and thought we would try a nissan; MISTAKE again. We have always had chrysler products with minimal problems, but we liked the look of foreign cars. This nissan maxima (2005) is the last foreign car we will buy. We talk about supporting other countries, but we continue to support them. I am trying to dump this foreign lemon ang go back to my roots. (north american) products. Why do we support Nissan when we know they will not stand behind their mistakes. What a crime.

- , Dresden, Ontario, Canada

problem #58

Aug 152011

Maxima SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

At approximately 109k, my transmission started to "slip". It gradually got worse, until just the other day when I barely got home. It would over heat, and once it sat for a minute or two it would go into gear. The main problem was between 2nd and 3rd gear. Then there were times when it wouldn't down shift into 1st, or shift into reverse. I eventually learned how to baby it while it was trying to shift. There were several occasions when the rpm's revved up, it would kick into gear, and then lunge almost uncontrollably. This was my families main means of transportation. Today I cannot rely on it. So the fourth Nissan I purchased, and spent the most money on, sits in the driveway.

At first I thought I had just got a bad transmission, the warranty is out, it's my responsibility I'll have to bite the bullet, and fix it some how. Then I discovered all the other complaints across the web with the same exact problem. This is an unjust move on the part of Nissan to not own up to their mistake.

I tried going to the local dealership and they gave me the run around.

The name of the dealership is ORR Nissan. I'll have no business with them again. I'm unemployed, went to them for help with this, and was treated like poo. Thank you for your uplifting support in a time of desperate need, Mrs. Tammie LeBleu.

Again this is my fourth Nissan, and I have never had a problem out of the transmission. This is will probably be my finally Nissan. Hello Honda or Toyota.

- , Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #57

Oct 202011

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


Never ever buy ANY KIND OF NISSAN. I had so many problems with Nissan toke it to the dealer all they did was just charged me for not even fixing the problem. The Transmission sucks, ABS system/sensors not working,rusting all over,holes under the car.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #56

Jun 042012

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

I bought my 2005 Nissan Maxima in May of 2012 with 90,000 miles on it, I loved it. It drove great, gets decent mpg with good performance. By june it started jerking, mostly when I would reduce speed it would downshift. Also when increasing speed from about 20mph it doesn't want to go & finally it will jerk really hard & shift. Next week I will be taking it to a local nissan dealer to see what can be done...if it is a major repair which is the case more than likely I will be trading it off. This time I wont be getting a Nissan.

- , Lexington, KY, USA

problem #55

Jun 012012

Maxima ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

It's sad that Nissan Corp, knows about this problem. Even the National Highway Transportation Dept., knows about this issue. So if you have a 2003 - 2006 Nissan Maxima or Altima please go get your transmission checked out.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #54

Jun 062012

Maxima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

my 2005 maxima starting jerking when going from reverse to drive. Then started to have problems when braking with the transmission downshift. Then it would dangerously lunge at intersections. Transmission shop says its the valve body and $2000 to fix. Nissan is well aware of this problem but is not recalling the problem or standing behind their product. This problem is dangerous and someone is gonna get killed. DON'T BUY NISSAN. thousands of people have the exact same problem. Its my first and last Nissan. Phone # for attorney filing a class action suit (610) 645-4712 Please call and try to make Nissan man up.

- , Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #53

Dec 212011

Maxima SL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,173 miles

This car we had bought in November, and a couple of weeks or so after, the engine started slipping when breaking or accelerating. However, when I took it to an independent mechanic, he did not find any problems. The problem was, the transmission only showed signs of acting up after about 15 to 20 minutes of driving, and then the problem occurred. The sad thing is this was such a great car, except for the transmission. When we got estimates, it would have cost around $3000 to fix. We ended up trading in the car because of this great expense, and this happened soon after we had bought it (without a warranty).

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #52

Jul 112011

Maxima SL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

Same as everyone else, I paid 2800.00 in Oct 2011 to repair the transmission, today the problem started again, engin light came on, shift light and TCS off light, I have a 1 year warranty so I'll be at the transmission shop first thing Monday morning.

- , Monroe, LA, USA

problem #51

Oct 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I've only had this car for about two years, I have about 11,000 more to pay off on it. The dealership claims no responsibility to repair it. They said your extended warranty ran out. Im soo ticked off. I hope Nissan and the dealership go down on this.

- , Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #50

Aug 042011

Maxima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I bought the car in Feb of this yr, fell in love with the car the first time I saw it and decided I had to have it. Initially the car was great, drove great, had great pick up, no problems with the transmission at all. By August it started the jerking, only sometimes, not a continuous thing, then with in a couple of weeks it gradually got worse. From park to drive or reverse to drive it hesitated and then would jerk to the point of whiplash. Now it does it while driving, if I let off the gas and then hit the gas again, it will downshift while driving, and then sometimes not move at all. If there are so many problems with this yr Maxima why is nothing being done?

This is not an inexpensive car to purchase, nor is it an inexpensive car to repair. This issue should be a recall and the owners should not be responsible for a manufacturer problem. Does Nissan not realize they will lose potential long term customers by refusing to fix a problem that is clearly a manufacturing error.

- , Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #49

Dec 012005

Maxima V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles

1 month after purchase, he car started hard jerk from 1 to 2nd, and back to 1st. Brought back to dealer several times and they said the tranny and computer and a bunch of crack!!!!

Car fixed with a replaced Valve Body, and no more shift shock @ $1700. Dealer wanted to replace tranny @ $4500.00

Am furious!!!!

- , Clinton, MD, USA

problem #48

Oct 112011

Maxima SL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,402 miles

A family friend has a bronze Nissan Maxima exactly the same as mine. He had to make repairs to his Maxima $3000.00 worth.The car jerks during acceleration and hesitates to change. The car is fine whenever your driving straight but short stops are very awful sometimes. I prayed that I wouldn't have this same problem. Guess what I do. He advised me that all 05 Nissan Maximas are doing the same thing. I am going to get it repaired but not by Nissan of course the car is out of warranty by now.This should definitely be considered a recall with everyone having the same exact problems.Please keep me posted once something prosperous is done about this injustice. Thanks!

Update from Feb 22, 2012: Well needless to say I had to replace my transmission and my car now runs great. I did not go to the Nissan dealership. A class mate has his own shop. He use to work for Nissan and does repairs on them perfectly well. Will Nissan ever pay us back for this? They suck so bad!

- , Walterboro, SC, USA

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