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 3 of 23)

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problem #412

Oct 222015


  • 81,000 miles


Got the car a year ago from carmax. Had the car for less than 30 days before the transmission gave out. The mileage was right around 52,000 miles. They took it back, fixed it and it was fine. Now here I am again less than a year later I'm having the same exact issue. Jerking really hard in between gears, RPM would red line before it would finally switch gears. Now this time the transmission completely gave out on me in the middle of a busy intersection! when I stepped on the gas, the car made a noise as if the power was failing, and sure enough it did. The car cut off on me. Contacted carmax again to see if I had an extended warranty. But this will be the second time I've got the car fixed for the same issue. Now I have around 80,000 miles on this car.

- Carson, CA, USA

problem #411

May 052015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Transmission failure, check engine light comes on, car jerks into gears, RPM's accelerate when driving in first gears. Per Nissan dealer they said it needed new mounts and a new transmission, I should trade it in they said :[ I have maintained all oil changes and have kept up my service. They are not accepting any responsibility. Need help please, I can not afford a new transmission, I can not afford 5 years of car payments as well. Thank you, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #410

Jul 142014


  • 71,000 miles
I recently bought a 2005 Nissan Maxima from carmax it was about a month after I bought the car the transmission started to slip and change gears really rough. The transmission hesitates when changing gears either at idle or while driving the transmission does it the most between first and second and second to third and when downshifting in those same gears. My main concern is my family in this vehicle or any other families in the same vehicle when we are driving in the vehice our heads and necks get whipped back and forth very roughly. It is a safety hazard due to the transmission changing gears on its own while im driving the car. I only ask for you to please look into this and make it a recall. Nissan did not want to help me out or anyone else. I have seen numerous complaints and heard numerous stories about this problem. It needs to be resolved. Nissan put out a poor product and wont fix it. They need to own up to their mistake, before someone gets injured or dies. I ask of you please look into this. Not only for my safety or my infant's safety but for anyone who owns this vehicle. Ps. if I would have known about this issue before I bought the car I would have never gotten it. Pps. The test drive and the 1st month were fine until normal driving conditions occurred. Please help, please help! get this recall active! thanks, frank

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #409

Jun 042015


  • 60,000 miles


Valve body had to be replaced in transmission

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #408

Jan 062015


  • 109,000 miles
Transmission slippage in the lowest gears. When the car warms up after a 10 mile drive it starts slipping. When I try to stop at a traffic light or when I try to accelerate from a complete stop the car jerks off in the lower gears. I came to know online that this is a common issue across Nissan. I would appreciate any helpful steps in fixing the issue. My current value is around $5000 I hate to spend nearly $3500 for a new transmission on the vehicle. I'm sure my car will run for another 30 - 40,000 miles if this is fixed.

- Levittown, PA, USA

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problem #407

Apr 022015


  • miles
I recently have been driving this 2005 Nissan Maxima for a couple of months. It has close to 90K miles on it and the transmission is hard to shift and not being cooperative on most days. This seems to be more than a fluid problem and due to recent research I may need a new transmission for $3,000 and I don't have that type of money. I see that this is a common problem with this specific car and feel a recall should be issued on the 04-06 models of this automobile!! other than that the car runs great.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #406

Apr 232015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 97,938 miles


Transmission quit working, was stopped at a burger king and when I tried to drive off the car would not move, had it towed and shop says the transmission is bad, the shop did homework and found out that the transmission was replaced a little more then a year ago by North point Nissan in North little rock, they say there was only a year warranty on it and time is already up so there is nothing they can do. Nissan is aware of this problem and the Nissan tech said get ready to save up for another one because they can replace it and a year later it will go out again. They say the transmissions are crap!

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #405

Apr 152015


  • 154,179 miles
Was at a stop light then when I proceeded to go my cat jerked really hard going in to the next gear at about 20mph. When I went to slow down, the car jerked down going into the lower gear at around 20 mph. Then I noticed ever since when I put my cat in gear from park it jerks really hard.

- Alliance, OH, USA

problem #404

Apr 212015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Ongoing issue with 5 sp automatic transmission: Started, intermittently around 2 years back @86K, and has increased to the point of not pulling into D or R without jumping or surging into gear, often nightmarish in tight quarters/parking, etc. Becoming dangerous as slipping at higher rps has become more prevalent of late, especially lower speed, light incline and increasing speeds. There are tsb's on this vehicle and have a case open with nissanamerica, as of today's date 4/21/2015. Dealer has, at this point seems purposely?, misdiagnosing and non-acknowledgement of existing and known issues with the AW5550/51sn automatic transmission slippage and jumping/surging. It is a known issue with solenoids; do your research, there is plenty online in regards to this issue. The representative I spoke with today at Nissan will listen, but is advised to not answer questions in regards to this issue, and with good reason..I know it is an older car, but is in great shape (bought used), there is a known defect, a known fix from the actual technical service bulletin:: 2004 - 2006 Maxima; 5-speed A/T shift issues technical service bulletin reference number(s): Ntb11-035, date of issue: April 7, 2011 Nissan: 2004 - 2006 Maxima classification: AT11-003 applied vehicles: 2004 - 2006 Maxima (A34) applied transmission: Re5F22A 5-speed A/T if you confirm note: Harsh 1-2 and/or 3-4 upshifts during moderate acceleration from a stop and/or harsh 4-3 and/or 2-1 downshifts when slowing to a stop. Action go to the repair flow chart for repair procedure. Refer to page 4 and 5 for location of A/T assembly serial number and valve body connector locations.

- Merrimack , NH, USA

problem #403

Jan 012015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Car jerks/jolts/slams into drive or reverse, when driving around 25 mph & take my foot of the accelerator the car starts to jerk, when I start to speed up after slowing down the RPM's go crazy high & the motor feels like it's being forced to speed up but it won't & after a few seconds it will slam into gear & begin to speed up which is pretty scary.

- Kingston , NY, USA

problem #402

Feb 122014


  • 80,000 miles


After warming up (most of the time), when you stop & start to go it's like it stalls will also shift hard. Rim gage will go up to 5 then after you get it to finally go thru the changing gears it runs fine. Mostly starting & stopping.

- Nettleton, MS, USA

problem #401

Mar 262015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Today is March 26, 2015 and for the past week; my car has been stalling when I am shifting gears. Today I was in a not safe situation at a red light. When I shifted the gears to my car to begin driving, the car stalled on me allowing me to only drive around 5-10 mph down the street. I had to hurry up and pull over because I had cars behind me.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #400

Mar 252015


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the automatic transmission switched gears caused the vehicle to stall. In addition, the vehicle would accelerate and decelerate independently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Whitewater, WI, USA

problem #399

Feb 272015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Having trouble/delayed shifting. It went away for a week but it came back again. When I'm pressing on the gas it sounds like it's revving the engine but the car is not moving as it should.

- Rancho Cordova, CA, USA

problem #398

Feb 022015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Transmission takes about 1-2 seconds to move and then jerks forward. This usually happens when warmed up. Sometimes when car is moving it jerks while shifting gears.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #397

Mar 172015


  • 119,000 miles
The car jerks when transmission is switched to reverse, and takes a good 3 seconds to actually switch to reverse. This seems to be an extremely common problem to these cars, and it is definitely a dangerous one.

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #396

Feb 072015


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle started to jerk and then stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and it was determined that the motor mounts, crank position sensor, and the timing chain needed to be replaced. The dealer stated that the vehicle may still need a new transmission, but these repairs should be done first. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Gretna, LA, USA

problem #395

Jun 142012


  • 130,000 miles
My 2005 Maxima transmission is jerking when switching gears and also slippage. At first I thought it was the mounts because one was bad but after replacing them the problem still was still there. Later I found out it was just the transmission. I looked online and found a number of people was having the same problem and there still have not been a recall. This will be my last Nissan.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #394

Nov 062014


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 20 mph, the transmission would make an abnormal noise when shifting into gear. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 97,000.

- San Antonio , TX, USA

problem #393

Mar 132012


  • 93,000 miles
We purchased our 2005 Maxima used with approximately 93000 miles on it, at first seemed like a great car. The car started shifting very hard into and out of gears, some shifts would be so hard the car would lurch forward. I was actually driving the car when the transmission actually broke, making the car very hard to steer, fortunately I was able to get to a local garage. We paid over 3000 to have the transmission replaced, since I purchased the transmission from advance auto, the Nissan dealership said that would not offer any type of warranty even on their labor. I had a 12 month warranty on the transmission and at about 13 months the transmission broke again, with less than 1,000 miles put on the "used" transmission. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and was pretty much told that it was my problem. So I now have a useless car that I am still paying on, and I am not willing to pay another 3000 to fix Nissan's problem.

- Wytheville, VA, USA

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