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 16 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #152

May 152012


  • miles


I bought a 2005 Nissan Maxima about a year ago and the past couple of months (just right over 100K miles), I have noticed major jerking and pulling while driving or shifting gears. It is an automatic, but when I start to go, it takes it a few seconds to get in gear and jerks. I have heard many others have the same issue with 2004-2005 models. Are there any recalls as of yet? I have always heard great things about Maximas and do not want to have to replace my transmission, especially this early on! please help! thank you!

- Kingston, TN, USA

problem #151

May 212012


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the shifter gear would not shift out of neutral. The contact had to shut the engine off for a moment to be able to shift the gear selector into drive. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but a diagnostic was not performed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and suggesting they buy the vehicle back. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 113,000.

- Montgomery , AL, USA

problem #150

Apr 162012


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle would jerk when the gear shift was moved. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing and the technician stated the valve cover body had to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure continued. There were no further repairs performed. The approximate failure mileage was 87,000.

- Loris, SC, USA

problem #149

Jan 012009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


My car has a shifting problem. It shifts very hard between 1 and 2 gear. It will also rev to high RPM when going down hills. This has been going on for years. Last year I took it to a Nissan mechanic and had the motor mounts replaced and that helped some, but the car still shifts very hard and bucks like a Bronco. I only have 123000 miles on it and it should not be acting like this. I've read many complaints on this year model and all the issues people are having with their transmissions. I thought maybe I just got a lemon, but it seems there was a lot of lemons in this model and year car.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #148

Apr 292011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
1. takes about 5 seconds to click into gear after the shift lever is put in "D" 2. very hard jerky shifts between 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 1st and accompanied by loud clunking noise. 3. transmission slips out of gear during regular driving allowing the engine to rev freely then jerking back into gear with a loud clunk. The is followed by a burnt oil / electrical type smell that gets inside the car and evident outside after stopping.

- Westbury, NY, USA

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problem #147

Feb 022009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
I have had my 2005 Nissan Maxima for almost 3 years. Purchased it from used car dealership. The first year I had it, I had to get a transmission. I purchased a transmission for about 3000, and still having the same problem as before. The car is really nice except for the transmission. I found out I am not the only one complaining. I had taken it to several transmission places for them to look at it, but they all say these cars have that problem, and they think it should be a recall on these vehicle for that reason. Please help. I do not want to purchase another car, but I have to have transportation.

- Quincy, FL, USA

problem #146

May 142012


  • miles


Transmission problems started around 98K. I have been told by a transmission shop that it needs to be replaced or rebuilt.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #145

Oct 012011


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle began to jerk when shifting gears. The failure occurred while driving at various speeds. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 71,000.

- Hillburn, NY, USA

problem #144

Mar 092012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 144,258 miles
When accelerating the car jerks/shifts very hard and when slowing down the shifting is very harsh to the point that it will shut off in the middle of traffic. The transmission specialist says that we need a new transmission, however, there seems to be a manufacturer defect. Any transmission that comes from the Nissan dealership will eventually result in the same safety hazard. When I researched the problem, there are numerous complaints filed with the Nissan corporation, yet they refuse to recall or take responsibility for this problem that can lead to serious injury/accident or even death.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #143

Apr 142010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Transmission started to fell slipping at 60,000 miles. Slipping and shifting hard progressing from bad to worse until the transmission stop completely. I called Nissan they said there were no recalls on this issue. Even though there are hundreds if not thousands of complaints of peoples who are having very similar issues with this year and model car. This has been a nightmare for me ( a person on disability) I need help!

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #142

Apr 092012


  • 49,290 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving under 40 mph when the vehicle failed to shift gears properly. The check engine warning light illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 49,290 and the current mileage was 49,340.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #141

May 012012


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the check engine and slip lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle proceeded to stall. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and noticed that it jerked while shifting into first gear. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, where they stated that the transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 103,000.

- Bellwood, IL, USA

problem #140

Feb 152012


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the transmission failed and would cause the vehicle to jerk violently. The failure was so severe that when shifting gears, the contact believed that the vehicle was crashed into from the rear. The contact took the vehicle to a mechanic and was advised that the transmission gears were destroyed. The failure mileage was 94,000 and the current mileage was 96,000.

- Bolling Green , KY, USA

problem #139

Apr 102012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Car clunks going into reverse at times and slips gears often.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #138

Apr 082012


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle violently jerked when shifting gears and when decelerating. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The contact also stated that the transmission was previously replaced once under warranty. The failure mileage was 78,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #137

Apr 282012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
Time: 1630 hrs; place: Arlington, tx; temp: 90 degrees; traffic stop and go for an hour on highway 121. After continuous depression of the clutch to drive vehicle in traffic at less than 5 mph the clutch resistance fell to nothing and the clutch pedal stayed to the floor. I was able to make my way out of the congested traffic using 5th and 6th gear while trying to avoid all stops. I was able to make it to a convenience store and after 30 minutes there was barely enough clutch pressure to put my vehicle in gear to get back on the highway to drive home. At my exit again I had no clutch pressure and had to pull into another convenience store. I called for a tow truck and after waiting for 20 minutes the was clutch pressure to drive home, only 1 mile away. I cancelled the tow. This morning I now have full pressure and the vehicle drives like normal. I have researched the internet and found other Nissan Maxima's and Altima's with the same exact problem. This is not a one vehicle incident!!! there is definitely something wrong with the clutch system in hot weather, stop and go traffic. This situation needs to be looked at.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #136

Nov 122011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
When my Nissan shifts from first to second the engine races and no increase in speed. When it shifts from third to fourth gear there is a hard shift and jerking. When you come to a complete stop the car will not shift and the engine just races.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #135

Apr 192012


  • 64,000 miles
With only 64,000 miles on a 2005 Maxima the transmission started to shift hard from 1st to 2nd. The transmission would slip while shifting into subsequent gears causing the engine to race +/- 2000rpm until fully engaged. The car was driven directly to the dealer a distance of approx 6 miles. The service department stated that the transmission needed to be replaced with a cost estimate of $4500. It appears that there have been numerous complaints about this transmission. The owner contacted Nissan customer support is waiting for a return call.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #134

Apr 192011


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima SE. The contact stated the transmission jerked and popped while driving 35 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who stated that they could not duplicate the failure. They were unable to diagnose a failure, but the motor mounts were replaced. The failure continued. The vehicle was not taken back to the dealer, but the contact planned on taking it to an independent transmission shop for further examination. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 95,000 and the current mileage was 116,800.

- Mt. Juliet, TN, USA

problem #133

Oct 112011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving 25 mph, the contact noticed that the vehicle would jerk forward and if driven over 25 mph the vehicle would not shift into the next gear. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic, where the contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. No repairs had been performed on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 55,000 and the current mileage was 75,000.

- Festus, MO, USA

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