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
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,567 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Nissan Maxima drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 10 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #272

Mar 082013


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the transmission slipped. The vehicle was taken to a transmission shop for inspection where they stated that the solenoids in the valve body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Livingstion, NJ, USA

problem #271

Feb 252013


  • 165,000 miles
Driving on a busy highway downhill going about 25 miles an hour, car hard shifted abruptly causing the car to decelerate very fast. Car hit me from behind. At the slow speed it scratched the bumper of the car and caused my neck to whip. Transmission design failure.

- La, CA, USA

problem #270

Oct 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while accelerating from a stop sign, the vehicle shifted erratically. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted. The failure mileage was 60,000. Updated 06/18/13 the consumer stated the Nissan service rep advised that the vehicle does not shift because it has a cvt transmission. When the vehicle would lunge foward a loud thud could be heard. The consumer stated after some researching the failure was found to be in the shift solenoid. The vehicles goes into limp mode. Updated 06/24/2013

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #269

Feb 212013


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle would jerk abnormally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #268

Jan 042013


  • 109,108 miles
I bought my car brand new via special order in 2005. The car cost me $33K and another almost $5K for an extended warranty for up to 7 years and up to 100K miles. Needless to say the seven years was up in July of 2012. The car has almost 110K miles on it currently. For the past few months I have been experiencing severe jerking when up shifting and downshifting. My mechanic notified me that it is my transmission, the price of the fix is between $3800-4500. This car has never been beat up and is in immaculate condition. It has always been housed in a garage since I bought it. After doing a significant amount of research I found that technically this really should be a recall due to the amount of people effected by the same problem with the 2004-2006 Nissan Maxima. The jerking has recently began to get alot bad that my husband hit his head on the windshield and thought we were rear ended. I also have discovered that there is a class action lawsuit regarding the problem and I will be contacting them too.

- Swansea, MA, USA

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problem #267

Mar 112010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I purchased my 2005 Nissan Maxima brand new in April of 2005. I paid cold hard earned cash ($35,000) for this car. We refinanced our home too buy an reliable, sturdy, dependable, stylish, road car (instead we got a lemon). I have had many issues with the car. The headliner constantly falling down over my head while driving with the sunroof open, the sunroof not opening and closing properly, the O2 sensors going out constantly, , the brackets being replaced, the leather seats look as if I have razor blades attached to my bottom side, and the transmission is awful!!! at 65,000 miles it started going out. The local dealer replaced the tranny without admitting any fault on Nissan behalf. At the time we did not know about the troubling problems with the 2004-2005 transmissions. They only charged us for the labor cost. We actually thought "wow, they are cool"!! here we are at 157,000 miles (about 70,000 later and the tranny is:jerking extremely hard ( it feels like I am being rammed from the rear by a 18 ton semi-trailer) between going into 1st and second gear and again back in reverse from 2nd into 1st gear. The problem has gotten so bad that is now hesitating in shifting and I have had enough!! I have done my research, and this is an epidemic. Nissan has too step up and fix this problem. This country has hit a recession. Us hardworking americans deserve better than this. Please help us consumers. Thank [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #266

Feb 212013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles


I purchased my vehicle on February 2 2012 at 86,000 miles car was fine. A year later I had to get it inspected the mechanic told me I had to replace my front motor and this was probably the reason for the jerking I had my motor mount replaced. And guess what still jerking. This problem needs a recall. I have spoken to different people with the same vehicle year make and model and they have the same problem. Not every knows to come to make a complaint. Nissan should voluntarily recall this make and model to make the repairs. This can also be a safety hazard to any non experience driver.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #265

Mar 162013


  • 59,000 miles
When in low gears 1-2, 2-3 gears jerks. High rev then strong jerk. Felt like gears slipped. Car then became sluggish and would not power of 5mph. Check engine light came on. Had car checked code P0780 showed. Shift malfunction. This seems to be on going with Maxima 04-06. Recall must be called!!!!

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #264

Jul 022012


  • 121,000 miles
Transmission started to shift rough, slip and make the engine rev high between shifts, this is known problem with this type of auto, mainly involving the transmission valve body and solenoids.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #263

Mar 122013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 69,750 miles
While accelerating from a stoplight to approximately 45mph on northwest expressway in Oklahoma city, the automatic transmission began shifting hard instead of the normal smooth shifting. It seemed as though it stuck momentarily or was even shifting down instead of up to the next gear. When I got on a residential street going at a slower speed, the transmission again shifted hard. The strange shifting happened again 2 days later while driving at a slow rate of speed. My husband looked at the transmission fluid on 3/12/13 and thought it appeared to be burnt looking. I took my car to fenton Nissan West in Oklahoma city on Friday, March 15, 2012 and explained the problem I was having. After keeping the car most of the day, we were informed they did not find anything wrong, but the transmission fluid is burnt, but did not change it as this could cause transmission problems. We were not charged anything & were told to wait on doing anything else as there may be recalls. This seemed strange since they originally told us they had not heard from other customers about the transmission problems I had described.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #262

Feb 052013


  • 85,000 miles


Transmission is bucking and jerking between gears. Car "slip" between gears while driving and causes the car to rev in neutral while driving and then suddenly "jump" into gear which causes the car to lunge forward suddenly.

- Oakland, NJ, USA

problem #261

Aug 012012


  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while traveling 40 mph, the vehicle downshifted independently. The contact also stated that the vehicle upshifted intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 121,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #260

Sep 152012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle began to jerk and lunge abnormally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that he needed to change the engine oil. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. On subsequent visits to the dealer, the contact was provided several different diagnostic results, including changing the oil for a second time and to change the motor mounts. The vehicle was taken to a different dealer, who informed the contact that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage was 63,000...updated 06/24/13

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #259

Mar 072013


  • 82,000 miles
Vehicle when shifting to 2nd 3rd gear jerks like a mule kick, and occasionally over revs ( gear slip) resulting in sudden loss of acceleration.

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #258

Jul 092012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle shifted abnormally hard and the vehicle would jerk when shifting between third and fourth gears. The vehicle would also shift abnormally hard when down shifting. The in addition, the vehicle would jump into second gear independently, causing the vehicle to suddenly accelerate. The vehicle sporadically halted to a stop without warning. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 94,000.

- Islip Terrace, NY, USA

problem #257

Jul 102010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 142,864 miles
It all started on our way to the supermarket. We warm up the car in the morning when we were ready to leave and put in reverse it took a few seconds to go into gear but when it did the car shifted really hard. When we put it into drive it did the same thing. On our way to the store the car took a few seconds to shift into every gear and would shift really hard when it did so. From that point we took the car for its check up with the mechanic were he did an oil change, tune up and service the transmission upon telling him what the transmission was doing he said that the transmission was messing up and that Nissan had a bad reputation with transmissions going bad prematurely and that he had repaired many Nissan of the same year if not newer because of transmission problems. He advise us that after servicing the transmission the problem may or may not go away (our transmission was serviced every 15,000-20,000 prior to problem). We continued to drive the car the transmission finally gave out at 142,864 miles. The transmission was rebuilt by a reputable shop on 7/09/2010 using Nissan factory parts was given a warranty of one year. Everything worked fine until Dec. 24, 2012 when we went to pick up my brother from the airport and the same thing started to happen as we stated above. We continued to drive the car but very minimal and not very far or not at all until February 19, 2013 at 219,862 miles and 76,998 miles later the transmission went out again for the second time and since we only have one car we were forced to get a loan and repair it again. And $6000 later we are scared for a third incident. I hope this matter gets resolved and Nissan agrees to compensate the cost.

- Hesperia , CA, USA

problem #256

Sep 132012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Transmission shifts hard into gears after to taking a wile to start. When shifting to drive the cars shows it is in 5th gear and after researching found thousands of others experiencing the same problems. Looking for recalls after so many people or experiencing the same problems. I see that there is a service bulletin but with so many many problems still no recall.

- Moss Point, MS, USA

problem #255

May 072012


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the transmission slammed into second and third gear once it was warm. The contact also stated that the transmission would not downshift from third gear and the vehicle had to be turned off and restarted for it to function properly. The contact had taken the vehicle to the dealer and was told the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 91,500.

- Blairsville, PA, USA

problem #254

Feb 222013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I am experiencing transmission problems in my 2005 Maxima. The vehicle has only 84000 miles to date and is starting to slip gears in between 1-2 and 2-3 while driving at a slow speed; this also occurs when switching in reverse. This problem needs to be fixed since it can be detrimental to fellow drivers on the road while driving due to the fact of the transmission causing the car to lunge forward when in the act of switching gears. This issue seems to be well documented at this point to Nissan corporate as well as the NHTSA database and should be taken seriously. I believe a recall at this point should be in order due to the mass documented complaints of this specific issue.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #253

Jan 012013


  • 100,000 miles
Experiencing severe transmission problems. The car has a 5 second or more delay in shifting into drive and once it does shift there is a violent jerk and clunking noise. When driving the RPM gauge goes up and down randomly. Gears slip from 1st to 2nd at any given moment. I know my car has 100K miles but it has been superbly kept since manufactured so this is baffling to me. I have spent hundreds of dollars on transmission flushes and tune ups hoping to alleviate the problem to no avail. I don't see myself spending thousands of dollars to replace a transmission that obviously was predestined for failure! I love foreign cars Nissan especially this is my second but at this point I am seriously considering Toyota and never buying or recommending a Nissan ever again!

- Pleasant Grove, AL, USA

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