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 4 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #392

Apr 162014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


I purchased my 05 Maxima in April of 2014 and immediately after driving it home a hard shift into 3rd and into 4th happened. I put the car in park, my mechanic friend was with me he had me put the care in drive and it slammed into gear. I contacted a mechanic that worked on transmission and found out it was the valve body defect that was never recalled and a major problem in that model. I purchased a used/new valve body from a transmission shop, it lasted a few months went bad as in jumping out of gear, staying stuck in 5th or 3rd, putting it in park and trying to shift to drive and it not going into gear. I returned the part got another used valve body and it only lasted a few weeks. Now I am having to purchase a new valve body from Nissan hoping this will fix it. After reading many forums of the same issue, no longer able to bypass the issue and wishing Nissan would acknowledge the problem I am stuck with being almost 2000 out of pocket on what seemed to be a good deal.

- Indian Trail, NC, USA

problem #391

Aug 032014


  • 130,000 miles
I have had my 2005 Nissan Maxima for about 5 months now. For the past three months it's has been extremely hazardous. It turns off while I'm driving it and I lose all power power steering, brakes, etc. I almost drove into the river yesterday because it shut off going around a turn and I was almost rear ended. My car starts acting up after it warms up about 5 minutes after start. It will shift very hard and is fine once it is past 3rd gear but it takes a while to get to third when it starts to mess up the rpms will go up to 4 and 5 through 1st and 2nd gear. When you're going downhill it will downshift like you slammed on the brakes. Also if you switch over to manual it will say you're in 5th gear and really you're in 1st. The service engine diagnosis reads a code for the cam shaft sensors. I have changed both of them bank 1 and bank 2 and it did not fix anything. Nissan has failed to do anything and it's happening to a ton of cars. If I'm on the highway and my car shuts off, it not going to be a good situation. If you take it to Nissan they try to get you to buy a new transmission. I have a two year old and the jerking of the car or anything for that matter is not safe for her or anyone else on the road. Thank you for taking your time to review this, I appreciate it.

- New Philadelphia, OH, USA

problem #390

Jan 162015


  • 97,000 miles
Transmission hard shifting and slipping.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #389

Dec 312014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 107,300 miles


Bought car used from Nissan dealer. Good service records with regular on time transmission services. Day after I drive it off the lot it starts violently jerking into gear and in the middle of gear. Randomly drops in and out of gear, jerks out of nowhere. Has jerked so hard my neck and upper body were somewhat sore the next morning. Dangerous to drive in close traffic as it could easily jerk violently enough to make me jerk the wheel, accidentally slide foot down onto the gas or brake, etc. This transmission and car was well cared for all of its 107K miles and I have solid repair history paperwork to prove it. This is a dangerous, potentially deadly transmission in these cars. I have a quote for a $3500 quote to have it repaired by a shop. This less than two weeks of owning the car. I am completely disgusted.

- Bigfork, MT, USA

problem #388

Jun 102014


  • miles
When I brought my car after 2-3 months I had transmission problems, I took it to the Nissan dealership to get it fix. After, a couple of weeks I still was having problems with the car, I took it back they said, it wasn't nothing wrong with it. Then my air condition went out, it was my air compressor took it in to the Nissan dealership to get it fix, after, a week or two it went out again took it back to the dealership to get it looked at I was told it needed a part ( some type of clip ). June 10, 2014 my car was on fire in my garage while I was sleeping. When I woke up that morning my headlights were flashing off and on. When I open the door my window was full of sut and my windshield was cracked. When I open the car door on the driver side the dash board and under the dashboard was melted, the odometer and the fuse box (everything on the driver side was melted ).you can smelled the smoke, that it was on fire. The fire department was called out just in case it sparked back up. Under the hood was not damage. I have pictures of damages. They had to push the car out of the garage it wouldn't go into gear. The results was it started from the fuse box. My car was totaled out by my insurance adjuster. I feel this matter need to be looked into and something need to be done about this situation. This is a serious situation that need to be looked into before it happen to someone else.

- Apopka, FL, USA

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problem #387

Dec 152014


  • 200,000 miles
Bought the car used in 2013 with 120,000 miles on it. The car has overheated several times since we bought it, but we were able to control it and keep it from causing any issues. Suddenly, when I was shifting from park to reverse the car jerked extremely hard, while driving the car hesitates to accelerate, and has a high RPM reading when shifting gears. After researching this issue, I have come across no fewer than 30 complaints of the same problems with this make/model/year.

- Whitmire, SC, USA

problem #386

Nov 112014


  • 89,000 miles


I bought the car in June 2014 and it was fine for the first few days. All of the sudden it would jerk when shifting into drive and while shifting from 1st to 2nd. I tried to get the dealership to help and they wouldn't do anything because I couldn't get a hold of them until 30 days after I bought it. One day I was with my mother and we were driving. It the middle of driving, the car jerked and skidded. We almost lost control of the car. I have a family and I couldn't bare it if anything happened to them. This is a huge safety issue and it really needs to be investigated. The car has already done it dangerously another time since then. Nissan needs to take responsibility and not put the lives of people in danger.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #385

Dec 172012


  • miles
Heavy shifting, not shifting on point, slipping transmission, bang when shifting or downshifting.

- Fitzpatrick, AL, USA

problem #384

Dec 012013


  • 100,000 miles
Heavy shifting, not shifting on point, slipping transmission, bang when shifting or downshifting.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #383

Nov 182014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 218,422 miles
Transmission keeps slamming hard into gear.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #382

Nov 012013


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate from a stop. The vehicle also jerked and shook violently. In addition, the service engine soon warning light illuminated continuously. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #381

Apr 022014


  • 100,000 miles
Around 100,000 miles my 2005 Nissan Maxima SE started having minor issues with the transmission. It started slamming into gear in between shifts and when shifting from park to drive or reverse. It didn't do it all the time so I didn't think much of it, but as time went on it started getting worse and it would happen more frequently. Now it has about 106000 miles on it and it is getting much worse. The other day it got stuck in 5th gear while I was driving it and even with the car in park it would still read 5th gear on the dash. I ended up resetting the battery and it cleared the issue long enough for me to get it home. The car is still having the same issues more and more each day and I really don't know how much longer it will last. I really like the car but I read on many forums that 100's of people are having the same issues and I was really hoping to be considered for a recall. I would hate to put another transmission in it because I don't want to have the same issues again. Thank you for your time and consideration.

- Cherry Tree, PA, USA

problem #380

Nov 022014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
Transmission slips, jerks has issue after issue.. also having catalyst issues (exhaust, heat shield etc).

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #379

Oct 202014


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle shifted gears roughly. The contact also stated that the vehicle jerked or shook when shifting between second and third gears. The failure occurred on multiple occasions. 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 90,000.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #378

Jun 062014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Car has 66,000 miles on it. And transmission is slipping car jerks when pulling off and after turning corners. Didn't think anything of it until a mechanic told me that the 2004 2005 models have transmission problems. Now I'm looking on recall website and I see hundreds of people's complaints. I purchased this car with 3,200 miles on it I guess the 1st owner got wind of problem and immediately got rid of it if I knew then what I know now. I also have a 1997 Nissan Sentra no problems with this car they Nissan is putting our lives in jeopardy. We keep putting money out to fix this car when they should be fixing it for free when does it stop who do we need to contact all these complaints and nothing is being done please help.

- Pennsauken, NJ, USA

problem #377

Jan 202012


  • 89,000 miles
It was a warm January day and on the way to lunch the transmission started slipping in the middle of an intersection and would not engage. The intersection was 2 mile drive from my house. Luckily everyone was paying attention that day or my family could have been hurt. We pulled the car home. We don't drive it because im not taking the risk of it happening again in a different situation. Nissan needs to fix this problem.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #376

Aug 282013


  • 65,000 miles
I bought my 2005 Nissan Maxima in August 8, 2013 used with approx. 63K miles with no warranty. About 3 weeks after I bought the car I was driving in traffic in 90 degree weather, I noticed my clutch pedal would get stuck to the floor. During this time I was unable to change gears at all, I had to pull over & sit for about 20 minutes to get the car moving again. I took it back to the dealer & they "bled the line". they said the fluid in the clutch would get hot & turn into "vapor" which would cause the clutch pedal to get stuck & advised I use dot4 fluid in the future. 5 months later (in the winter) the clutch pedal again started getting stuck to the floor, I was able to "pop" it back with my foot for a short period of time until I got to my destination. I took it to the Nissan dealer, paid $150 to "diagnose" only for someone to tell me they could not replicate the problem & they would have to take apart my transmission (another $650) to look into the problem further. Needless to say, I went somewhere else. I had a mechanic friend look at it who told me to replace the clutch master & slave cylinder, therefore, I did. Solved the issue, until now (5 months later). My clutch has been getting stuck to the floor & loosing pressure occasionally the past month, finally yesterday, it has become un-drivable. I cannot pull it back up enough to shift it into gear. I was told my a mechanic to replace the master cylinder again & hopefully that should solve the problem. I drive everyday in this car with my two small children & have had near misses at times because I cannot get the car into gear. I read online forums regarding the Nissan Altima's with the same issue. I am sure after I replace the master cylinder again I will have this issue within months. I have three more years of paying on this piece of junk until I can get rid of it! I need a reliable car, Nissan needs to fix it!

- New Britain , CT, USA

problem #375

Sep 152014


  • 104,455 miles
Car jerks when acceleration and deceleration reaches appx 20 mph.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #374

Sep 182013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
The valve body or valve assembly on the transmission is failing causing hard shift and high revs while shifting. Which is very hard and could cause the transmission to fail. It is well known by Nissan and they are no help at fixing this problem. New valve body is around $1100 without labor. If waited to long to replace, new transmission could cost $3400.

- Abbeville, LA, USA

problem #373

Aug 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
My car has been jerking when going into second and third gears, engine revs while driving then jerks again and makes a loud noise. I am scared to be close to another car because I don't know what it's going to do next. It only has 83,000 miles on it and has been kept up for services and no real problems until now. I would like for this to be investigated to the fullest. I bought this car brand new and one of the reason I bought it was for its safety record, which I am not feeling very safe in it now. I should not be having these problems with the mileage I have on it!

- Buena Park, CA, USA

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