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 6 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #352

Oct 012013


  • 100,000 miles


The transmission jerks really badly when the car shifts from second to third gear. Happens spontaneously, typically around 35-45 mph. When I took it into the repair shop, they said they could not replicate the problem, so I just have to deal with it for now. Seems to occur more frequently when the car is close to needing an oil change. I noticed a ton of other complaints about the exact same thing, and think it is obscene that a recall has not been issued or an investigation conducted at the minimum.

- O Fallon, MO, USA

problem #351

Jan 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I had the transmission flushed/serviced at a local Nissan dealership. The transmission started slipping and jerking between speeds of 20 to 30 mph. Sometime it also slips and jerks when I engage the reverse gear. I also started smelling a faint burning smell since then. At a 130000 I had the transmission fluid drained and filled again as the color of the fluid had changed to dark red. I had hoped that the slipping and jerking would go away, but that has not happened. In fact it has grown worse. I have gone online and have found out that mine is not an isolated problem. There are thousands of complaints from 2004-06 Maxima owners who are having similar problems with their transmissions. I think it is about time that Nissan owns up to this transmission problem with these 2004-06 Maximas and issues a recall, replacement and a fix of these defective transmissions. There are posts on numerous Nissan forums about owners who have figured out that all these problems are solenoid and valve related, within the bad transmissions. I did approach a Nissan dealership, explained this problem in detail, but got nowhere with them. They refuse to acknowledge that such a problem exists. I however got estimate of $4500 from one dealership for replacing the transmission in my car. I also understand there has been a class action lawsuit by some Nissan Maxima owners since 2011. I am currently researching joining them in this lawsuit. I am on my third Maxima since 1999. If Nissan does not come through with a recall/replacement/fix of this problem, this is surely my last one.

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #350

Feb 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The problem began with hard shifts between 2nd and 3rd gear. I took the vehicle to the dealership which I purchased it from but they could not replicate the problem and said there was no problem. After that incident, the problem continued to happen sporadically and when the vehicle reached 102K miles the transmission began going into safe mode after the vehicle was driven more that 10 to 12 miles.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #349

Nov 132013


  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle began to jerk and lunge independently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis where the contact was informed that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The failure and current mileage was 75,000.

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #348

Jan 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Noticed that transmission was not engaging between first and second gear. When it did engage there was a very strong forward surge. This became very serious when stopped at busy intersection and would proceed to cross intersection the car would surge forward. When driving on freeway and attempting to pass slower cars the same strong forward surge would occur. I returned the car to our local Nissan dealer and was told that the motor mounts needed to be replaced at a cost of $800. They felt that would cure the problem. It did not! I signed on to the internet and discovered countless of the other 2005 Nissan Maxima owners with the very same complaint. I contacted Nissan North America about the surge and they were not interested. My wife drives the Maxima most of the time and is afraid that will cause a serious or fatal accident. No one has been injured or killed as far as I know. Not yet!! I strongly believe that NHTSA should be concerned and have this car recalled for repairs. Thank you for your prompt attention and concern.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

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problem #347

Jan 012014


  • 125,000 miles
2005 Nissan Maxima transmission is failing prematurely. Thousands of other complaints similar to mine online. Hard knock when shifting from 1st to 2nd, then delay in transmission "catching" 4th gear (loss of power). If acceleration is needed at that point to avoid an accident, it would not be available. Also, immediate loss of transmission is a safety concern in all cases. According to online reports, these are not isolated incidents and there should be an immediate recall to replace the transmissions in these vehicles.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #346

Mar 052014


  • 170,000 miles


Trans slipping and jerking in to gear.

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #345

Mar 282014


  • 109,000 miles
I am having a transmission issue that cant seem to be figured out. I am experiencing a hard jerk when I shift gears from 1st-2nd gear. It wont happen for days but all of a sudden it will comeback. For some reason no one can tell me what's wrong but there seems to be lots of reports and complaints about the problem on 2004-early 2005 model Nissan Maximas. I love the car but Nissan needs to be made aware of this issue.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #344

Mar 212014


  • 89,000 miles
I purchased my 2005 Nissan Maxima in December 2012 - and drove it smoothly and peacefully for about 6 months. Once the mileage hit about 89,000 miles the transmission began slipping and within a few days the violently hard shifting began, stalling between park and reverse and reverse into drive. One time it shifted so hard, the check engine light came on and it seemed as though I had no first gear. I wanted this particular car so bad - and am now so disappointed in Nissan -a company and car that at one time I valued so much. What a let down. I am afraid to drive my car that I still owe 10K on - wow.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #343

Oct 072013


  • 88,000 miles
The car jerks into gear when accelerating from a light. After accelerating from a stop at 3000 RPM, the car bucks and jerks into gear. The engine revs before the transmission catches gears. When the engine is warm, after about 30 minutes, when changing from drive to reverse or park, the transmission hesitates and jerks very hard into gear.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #342

Aug 052013


  • 99,500 miles


I have had my 2005 Nissan Maxima for 7 months and since I have purchased this car I have noticed jerking. When I put the car in drive it hesitates for 3-5 seconds then it jerks. When it shifts from 1st to 2nd gear it jerks. When it down shifts from 2nd to 1st it jerks. When driving in stop and go traffic sometimes it doesn't respond when pressing the gas pedal, it hesitates for about 3 seconds and then jerks really hard then takes off. Please do something about this issue. I have taken the car to different shops to get it worked on but when they tell me it will cost $3000 for a transmission repair I have gone back to pick up my car because I can't afford the prices.

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #341

Feb 282014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Transmission problems. The car has a hard jerk when putting into gear. Sometimes while driving there is a delay in the shift change causing the vehicle to idle hard.

- Halifax, VA, USA

problem #340

Feb 262014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Severe transmission problems! 1. when slowing down around a turn, upon accelerating, there was a hard knock. Almost felt as if I had gotten rear ended. 2. when slowing down to a stop, shifting from 3 to 2 was also very hard 3. sometime when slowing down, I would put the transmission in neutral to avoid #2 above. When I would put transmission back into drive, the car would shift hard from first to second and then to third. 4. when coasting downhill, it would intermittently feel as if I was applying the brakes.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #339

Oct 202012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
Transmission failure. Was replaced at my expense for $3000 dollars and now March 9, 2014 it has failed again. I suspect a factory defect. I am told that this is a common issue and recurs often with this model. Dealership or Nissan must replace at their own expense. Internet is full of personal testimony by thousands for the same problem. Nissan must accept responsibility and issue a recall.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #338

May 262011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My car began jerking violently when shifting into 1st and 2nd, just as bad or worse when downshifting it would literally jump around in traffic. I had to drive it this way until it broke completely or I saved the 2000 to repair the valve body. Luckily I came up with this money before I was stranded. It was very nerve racking every time I drove because it would jerk and jump making me think I was going to hit someone or at times it felt like I'd been hit from behind when it slammed it 1st on downshifting. I was told by my dealer to trade it in, it was an issue with all these model cars. Also every transmission shop in my town that I contacted knew exactly the problem because they had seen it so many times and had a fleet of them already at their shop to repair. Then was told by Nissan corporate that it was not a safety issue, so no recall. So this has cost so many people their time and money only to generate more profit for Nissan. These bad valve bodies that they knowingly put in these models which are expensive and dangerous had to be purchased from Nissan!!! this is so wrong on so many levels. I love my car otherwise but it infuriates me that Nissan will not own up to what they did wrong!!! and are making more money off the people who trusted them and their products.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #337

Sep 102013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Not long ago my Nissan has started to have shifting issues, when I put the car into drive or reverse it take a few seconds then it jerks into gear which is wearing out the motor mounts. I have tried changing camshaft sensors which has helped some other people but didn't not fix my problem. Now the car takes off while im driving ! when accelerating from a light the rpms will jump to 6K and the car will grab a gear and take off which has been vary uncomfortable to drive lately be cause I am afraid it will Ram me into a car infront of me. I really like my car inside and out but this shifting problem is killing me and I don't have $4K to have a new transmission installed, I have no other cars so I have no other choice but to drive it to where I need to go. I haven't even had the car for more than a few months so I am trapped making payments on it even if I cant drive it.I have read on many different forums about people having the same problems and haven't found a way to fix it, with as many reviews of people having problems with their Maxima the transmission should be recalled and replaced free of charge.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #336

Feb 152012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima has severe transmission problems. The gears jerk very hard and slips. I've had the transmission fluid changed, nothing has helped.

- Chickasaw, AL, USA

problem #335

Dec 022008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 98,465 miles
I live in Washington state. I bought my 2005 Maxima SE in Feb 24 2007 with 48,000 miles on it. When it reach 98,000 miles (mostly highway miles), my automatic transmission began displaying shifting problems. 1.from park and/or reverse to drive it had a 5 second delay to shift into gear, and when it did it shifted hard. 2.transmission slipped out of gear during slow and go driving causing the engine to rev at high RPM"S and then slamming into gear. 3.very hard shifts between 1st and 2nd gear when shifting up and down at speeds of 15 to 25 mph. 4.once it slipped out of gear, and shut my engine down. During slow and go driving I could feel the transmission begin to shift AT15 mph, and get a hard shift at about 20 and 25 mph. It shifted hard back and forth between high and low gears. I also, experienced lag time, and high RPM"S before it slammed into gears when shifting. Every transmission place I went to wanted $3500 to $4000 to replace it. As an alternative, I bought a used automatic transmission with 62,000 miles in Dec 15 2008, and had it installed for $2000. After 150,000 miles (mostly highway miles) on the replacement transmission I began to experience identical problems as described above. I?ve had the cam sensors, solenoids, and fluids replaced and it still response the same way. I find it odd of 2 different transmissions that acting the same way. Also, ever since I got this car I have to replace the headlights ever year. Not good for a car that cost $40,000 new from a company that used to have a good reputation.

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #334

Jan 012014


  • miles
When turning in burger king drive thru turning the vehicle the drive shaft something in it broke and the wheels wouldn't turn. We would turn the steering wheel snd it wou ld just sound like popping sound. If I would have been driving down the highway it could have killed me.

- Darien , GA, USA

problem #333

Jul 242013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 115 miles
My car started jerking all of a sudden. I, took it to transmission shop and was told that it was my transmission going bad. I was told that it will cost me $3,000 or more to repair. I had only had the car for a year. I didn't realize this is an going issue until I started researching further into the history for the male and model of this car. Nissan needs to step up and own up to their defective cars.

- Jackson, MS, USA

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