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 7 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #332

Dec 192013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles


2005 Nissan Maxima SE, transmission problems. Sometimes shifts violently, when in reverse & jumps from 2 to 3 gear, almost like being rear ended, also revs up to 5 or 6 RPM on the tact without foot on pedal, and looses power. I took it to a Nissan dealer who told me I needed a new transmission for $4000 and because of the shifting the motor mounts also need replaced. One time the car will drive fine then the next all the problems are back. I have looked on several Nissan web sites for complaints on this car, there are hundreds of people with the exact 2005 Nissan Maxima SE transmission problem, why Nissan does not look into a recall on this car is unbelievable. There is no way several hundreds of people can be having the very same problem and it not being because of the car. This defect in this car is extremely dangerous. Please look into this before someone gets seriously hurt or killed. Look for yourself and see how many people are demanding Nissan recall the 2005 Nissan Maxima SE.

- Nevada, MO, USA

problem #331

Dec 022013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
-accelerating car jerks bad between 1st & 2nd gear. -slowing down, car kicks & jerks when down shifting -putting the car from park to drive it hesitates a few seconds -transmission slips out of gear causing the RPM to jump up to 3-5K seems to be a widespread issue with this model Nissan Maxima. I visit to the dealer resulted in being told that I need a new transmission.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #330

Oct 202008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima started showing signs of what may be serious transmission problems, mainly after vehicle is warmed up transmission has a harsh shift, and hard jerking that would start in 1st gear going into 2nd gear, this happened around 80,000 miles.I took it to the dealership but for whatever reason they couldn't find anything wrong with the car, at currently 148,000 miles car still has exact the same does runs great on highway only.I've seen I am not the only one having this type of issue Maxima is a nice car but having to deal with transmission problems not so..specially since it cost from 3,000 to 4,000 brand new hopefully there's some type of recall so they can helps us out here and get the problem solved.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #329

Sep 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


The transmission slips and jerks the car when up and downshifting between first and second gear. The car has had strong jerks when going from park or reverse to drive as well. This is a major safety concern and should be a recall with the number of complaints over the same issue.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #328

Dec 122012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle hard shifted from first to second gear without warning. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Freehold Township, NJ, USA

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problem #327

Nov 012013


  • miles
2005 Nissan Maxima. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle transmission defects. The consumer stated several months ago, he felt some minor jerking when shifting gears. Recently, the jerking became stronger and more frequent, even happening when the vehicle was in motion. Upon having the vehicle inspected, the consumer was informed the transmission needed to be replaced. The consumer was informed to take the vehicle to a Nissan dealer, where the same problem was diagnosed, along with some other issues that were probably related to the transmission defect such as a timing problem.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #326

Oct 242012


  • 110,000 miles


Car began jerking and skipping. Lost all control and car completely stalled out in the middle of 5 lane traffic. Repairs were made and car has begun jerking again.

- Aberdeen, MS, USA

problem #325

Oct 012009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle began to hard very hard shifts between 1st and 2nd gear during acceleration and deceleration. Recently the car has been shutting off on the road when I drive, there is a hard bang every time I put the car in reverse and drive. I am a survivor of 6 separate cancers, and fear driving this car to and from my check ups and chemo appointments at the hospital. My car shut off on the highway on the way to chemo, and I should not have to fear for my life because of Nissan poor manufacturing. I am on disability and do not have the $4,000 Nissan told me it would cost to repair the car. This is a common problem that almost every 2004-2006 Nissan Maxima owner has, but Nissan refuses to acknowledge the problem and issue a recall. A quick google search will yield thousands of complaints about the same issue, and Nissan refusing to help. This is why in 2007 Nissan went to a cvt transmission and warrantied it up to 10years/120K miles (because they knew of the 04-06 failures even though they are not helping those people out). I called Nissan Consumer Affairs and they refused any assistance in helping me fix the problem. I now have to pay $3,450 for a repair due to an issue with Nissan worksmanship.

- Monroe, NJ, USA

problem #324

Aug 152012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My car jerks really hard. Coming in and out of 1st and 2nd gear. Will jump after being put into drive. Takes a while to catch drive from park. Gears slip while driving down road and engine just begins to rev by itself. I see tons of the same complaints online. How do we get this obvious recurrent issue resolved without spending thousands"!"!

- Ellaville, GA, USA

problem #323

Jun 062012


  • 118,000 miles
I bought a used Nissan Maxima for 8,000 since the day I bought it, the car has a hard time shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear and so on it makes a loud clunk noise and is staring to damage the mounts. I have read similar complaints to mine online and need to learn how to get it recalled or fixed.

- Salem , UT, USA

problem #322

Apr 242013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


Nissan transmission failure - class action suit filed with attorneys for this case: [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #321

Mar 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
This vehicle has a problem with the way the transmission was built. My transmission is slipping gears "while driving" I can be on the highway doing 60mph and all of a sudden the gears will change and immediately "lock up" or the car automatically go to a lower speed. I have put in complaints with the maker, they are saying no recall as of yet, only the ones listed on this site for seat belts and the lower lubar switch. I took the car to several dealers and they are all saying the same thing and that is this vehicle falls under the list of poorly built transmissions. I bought the car used with 50,000 miles and is now facing a $6000 repair job"?" really. I feel it is unfair a company can put out a bad seed and have no repercussions until an unfortunate event happens.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #320

Feb 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
Driving 20-25 mph the transmission slips out of gear, took it to dealer and was told the motor mount was bad. Had motor mount replace but the same thing happen over and over, took it back to dealer now he tells me that I need a new transmission, I researched and found that is a common problem with this model. This should be look into.

- Roosevelt, NY, USA

problem #319

Oct 042010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
The tranny is shifting wrong in 1st and 2nd gear.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #318

Dec 152011


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds and attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would jerk forward. The failure recurred intermittently. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000.

- Jacksonville, AR, USA

problem #317

Aug 272013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 66,692 miles
After purchasing car from dealer with 66300 miles I drove it for roughly a week when I started to notice the transmission slipping and jerking while going from gear to gear. The car started to drive like a manual even though it was automatic. Then shifting to drive from reverse the car would kick and jerk very badly and a very heavy jerk while driving on the freeway when it goes into a different gear. I took it to a local Nissan dealer after less than 1000 miles driven after being purchased and it was determined that the transmission was broken and 2 of the engine mounts were also broken which was determined to be a result from the bad transmission. The transmission was replaced along with the 2 engine mounts. At 66K miles the transmission on the car should not give out and after reading on various sites this seems to be a common problem with this vehicle. This car is not safe and Nissan should take responsibility for putting out a unsafe vehicle that contains a bad transmission.

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #316

Jun 122013


  • 100,000 miles
Transmission slips and jerks.

- Jennings, MO, USA

problem #315

Aug 052013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle hard shifted from first to second gear. The vehicle would also hard shift between reverse and drive. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The dealer flushed the transmission but that did not remedy the hard shift. The dealer did not require the contact to replace the transmission. The failure mileage was 128,000. Updated 9/17/13 the consumer stated the transmission failed to engage. Updated 10/22/13

- Cleveland, GA, USA

problem #314

Jul 262013


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated while driving in reverse the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle, however would decelerate and slip out of gear while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The technician stated the transmission had to be rebuilt and the computer also had to be replaced. After the vehicle was repaired the failure continued to occur. The recent vehicle failure was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 82,000.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #313

May 012011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima has been having a transmission problem since it reached about 69,000 miles. Right now the main problem it does, is that in drive it jerks between 1st and 2nd shift. It also jerks pretty hard when downshifting from 2nd to 1st. When the problem was starting to begin, it only affected from shifting from reverse to drive, but has moved to the crazy jerking it does now. At about 71,000 miles I had the car taken to a dealership and they couldn't find anything from using a code reader, but from just some simple shifting out of gears (park to drive, park to rev) they recommended a trans oil change (about $250) which I denied, because I looked a the oil myself and it was still cherry red, so that was too much to spend to just "to see if that fixes the problem". so at about 79,000 miles when the hard jerking started getting bad, I took the car to a different dealership, which then they did recognize the problem, and told me it would be about $4000 to replace the transmission, which stunned me, especially cause I had just finished paying off the car and the warranty had ended. So I obviously I denied such a costly repair, but in talking to the mechanic at the dealership, I told him that the jerking problem isn't so bad at all when I use the manual gearshifts and I asked him why. Well he told me that problem could also be in the valve body which could be a cheaper fix, but they replace whole transmission units not parts, because of warranty purposes, but that he's seen quite a few similar problems with other vehicles. Since I told him it was too much for me to spend he recommended a trans repair center. So when I took it there, they confirmed that just changing out the valve body would be a "bandaid fix" and that a full replacement would be needed (about $3500 from them). Now in reading other stories from people with the same problem as mine.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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