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 12 of 23)

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problem #232

Jan 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles


My 2005 Nissan Maxima transmission has been slipping since 75,000 miles. I have been doing alot of research and alot of other individuals with 04 and 05 Maximas are experiencing the same issues. Nissan Maxima put defected transmissions in their 04 and 05 models. I contacted Nissan usa however the refused to fix my car.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #231

Jan 182013


  • 62,000 miles
2005 Nissan Maxima. Car has 62,000 miles. Driving home at night, at approx 35 mph, engine starts accelerating while car begins to slow. Stuck in 5th gear, but car slows to a stop and will not re-start. Busy highway. Undetermined transmission failure. Car required tow to repair shop.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #230

Jun 072012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
First thing I want to list is the transmission problem. After driving for ten minutes the vehicle jerks like a had a manual transmission(which I don't) in the wrong gear. When the vehicle gets into a gear it slams forward like I was rear-ended by someone. This is a safety hazard in stop and go traffic. Then one day I made a turn at an intersection and the vehicle decided it had enough and stopped on me. Got it towed to the dealer and they told me the cost of a new or rebuilt trans would be $4000-4500.

- South Holland, IL, USA

problem #229

Nov 012012


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated while driving approximately 15 to 20 mph he noticed the gears would slip between first and second which also included a harsh jerking motion. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who advised him that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 114,000. The current mileage was approximately 118,500.

- Manvel, TX, USA

problem #228

Jan 102013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
When shifting from park to reverse or drive; or drive to reverse, the vehicle jerks and jumps before being able to advance. Gear changing is very "rough". traveling at speeds of 30-35 mph feel the transmission slipping.

- Asheville, NC, USA

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problem #227

Aug 202011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Aug 2011 began experiencing slipping in reverse to drive and stop to start positions. Also when turning corners and when maintaining a highway speed to sudden braking and then picking up speed I would experience jerking. This only seem to happen in warm weather. It progressively got worse by Oct 2011.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #226

Jan 082013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


I have a 2005 Maxima and I am having very bad transmission issues. When I take off it jerks real bad between 1st and 2nd gear and then when I am slowing down about to come to a stop it also kicks and jerks real bad when it gears down to 1st and 2nd. And sometimes it just wont go at all..and then when I sit there a min and put my car from park to drive it hesitates for atleast 7 to 10 secs. And then jumps real bad and then goes into drive. It usually does all this when the car is hot.

- Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #225

Dec 052012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 57,079 miles
Transmission would delay engagement shifting from park to drive for 5 seconds then bang into gear. It would also violently slip and jerk when shifting from 2-3 and rough downshifting from 3-2 and 2-1. when coasting around 20-25mph then stepping on gas pedal the rpms would rev high then the car would lurch forward from second to third gear. Overall the transmission was shot at only 57K miles and I'm on a second transmission which is already exhibiting signs of premature failure at 60K miles. There is a huge defect with this car and after researching, I'm not the only one with this issue.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #224

Jul 062012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I pulled out at a busy intersection and my Nissan Maxima stalled out, it seemed like it would not go into first gear, even though I was pressing the gas pedal to accelerate, the car just wouldn't go into gear! it caused other cars to have to slam on brakes and drive on the shoulder to avoid hitting me and each other! my car finally "jerked" violently into gear. I took it to the Nissan dealership and they said this was a known defect in the transmission, 4,000 to fix!! mind you they will replace it with a new defective transmission that there it no guarantee it will last more than 1 year! not a safe car to drive in metropolitan areas!

- Rolesville, NC, USA

problem #223

Dec 282011


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the vehicle began to jerk, lunge and slammed into gear. The failure recurred numerous times, typically in the lower gears. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic at least five times but the cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 88,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #222

Jun 012012


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds there was a violent jerk when shifting from first to second gears, and also when shifting from second and third gears. The vehicle was not taken to an independent mechanic or a dealer. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 105,000.

- Collinsville, OK, USA

problem #221

Nov 122012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
While driving, shifting from 1st to 2nd and back from 2nd to 1st gear the transmission shifted very hard, then after a while, the transmission started to slip between gear changes and now the transmission seems to be locked in 3rd gear and will not shift and revs very high and seems to slip at times. When the transmission would slip at speeds and rev high, the transmission would catch again and jerk the car sideways as if changing lanes. Very dangerous while driving on any road with cars around.

- Satsuma, AL, USA

problem #220

Dec 192011


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated the transmission failed and would not engage in gear. The contact stated whenever he put the vehicle in gear it would jerk and exhibit a clunking noise. In addition, it would take a while to go into gear. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #219

May 012010


  • 132,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Maxima that I bought in 2010 with 87,000 miles, I had the car for 5-6 months when the transmission when out was told this was due to a faulty value body on this model. I called Nissan corporate and there was nothing they would do. I then spent $3,000 dollars out of my pocket to have the transmission rebuilt and that helped for a year and half. When the Maxima hit approx 130,000 miles the hard shifting, hanging in gear, popping of the transmission returned. This car is not under warranty and will cost a lot to have the transmission replaced. I feel this is defective parts put to use by Nissan and they should be responsible for the repairs.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #218

Dec 042012


  • 79,182 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that when driving at low speeds and maneuvering from first to second gear, the transmission would slip without warning. In addition, the contact stated that after shifting to reverse, there was a six second delay before the vehicle would respond. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where they advised him that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and stated that they were unaware of the failure. The failure and current mileages were approximately 79,182.

- Lowton, OK, USA

problem #217

Dec 042012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 75,899 miles
I just took delivery of a used 2005 Nissan Maxima with a 5spd auto transmission. I noticed a few times while driving today that the transmission takes some time between gear changes and at times can jerk pretty hard as it changes gears particularly between 1-2-3. it appears to be the early signs of a failing transmission as the shifting can be very rough. I now feel that perhaps Nissan was not the right decision, and this will most definitely deter me from buying a new Nissan in the future.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #216

Jan 122012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I bought a 2005 Nissan Maxima new in July of 2005-early 2012 I start having problems with the car. It would stall, hesitate and pull forward whe I drive. When I reverse and put it in drive it would not move for a few seconds then jump forward. Its scary at times when I drive. I took it to repair shop and was told it was the engine mount-I had to pay over $800 to get it fixed. After it was fixed, I still have the problems. My niece was having problems also with her Altima and went online and found similiar complaints. She drove my car on 11/29/12 and I told her to be careful, and to be aware of the issues with the car-she had her 3 week old baby with her, so I wanted to make sure if anything was going on she could let me know. She called later on and said the car she had before was doing the same thing and it turned out it need a new transmission. She googled my car and found 705 complaints about the same thing I was going thru-I was amazed of all the complaints, and nothing seem to be done about it. I called Nissan consumers affairs and they want me to take the car to Nissan to have them diagnose it, which would cost me $99 of whic I dont have right now. I took my niece to get her car on Saturday 12/1 and a few of the salesmen there said yeah they know of the transmission problem and its going to cost me to fix. I would like someone from NHTSA to review all these complaints and have Nissan acknowledge whats going on with their vehicles before we have a fatal accident.

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #215

Nov 012012


  • 68,000 miles
Vehicle started showing signs of transmission trouble with less than 68,000 miles driven. Initially, random revving/lagging was less noticeable and jerking was minimal. The problem progressively got more frequent and shifting became harsher and jerking would result in a hard clunking noise. Vehicle was brought to dealership service department for a diagnosis. Recommendation was for replacement of the transmission, motor mounts and timing chain service to remedy a whining noise from the engine. Extended warranty coverage was for 6years/75,000 miles so time constraint had expired although mileage was well under. Thus, dealer would not cover under warranty so I contacted Nissan corporate for assistance. They were also unwilling to cover replacement of transmission even with this being such a widespread issue with this particular vehicle/model year 04-06.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #214

Oct 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
When putting the car from park to drive or the other way around my Nissan would jerk hard and when I speed up to around 35 mph the would jerk hard and the RPM would speed up and my car speed would go down.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #213

Jan 172012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the transmission slipped and the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 100,000. The VIN was not available.

- Denham Sprngs , LA, USA

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