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 8 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #312

Aug 132010


  • 54,000 miles


The transmission start shifting funny 2 years ago. In between 15-20 miles (1 gear) there was a delay and a click during shifting. At that time I had a warranty on my car, but the dealership's mechanics didn't identify a problem, right now it become more visible and the other dealer found the transmission replacement needed but the cat is out of warranty and replacement will be more than $ 4,000. I asked Nissan Corp. To cover this replacement as a goodwill repair, but was denied due to out warranty status (which makes no sense to me, as if I wouldn't be out of warranty why should I request repair from Nissan Corp. As I would be able to do it in any dealership). Plus I have ABS unit to be replace, but the problem is only in the solenoid not in unit, but the dealers do not replace the solenoid but need to replace the unit for $1,900.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #311

Jun 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Harsh upshifts or downshifts during moderate acceleration or when slowing.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #310

Aug 082013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 81,843 miles
Automatic transmission shifting issues. Got the car and the gear shifting 2-3 was jerky. Dealership said it was normal as a lie. Upon driving 30-40 mins, the shifting from D to R and R to D has a delay and big bang/thump on the vehicle, again the dealer says that this is normal. Downshifting from 3-2, the RPM revs up and the car shifts with a delay and slipping.

- Cranberry Twp, PA, USA

problem #309

Aug 062013


  • 178,000 miles


My 2005 Nissan Maxima doesn't want to shift. It will rev the engine and shoot the RPM up to 4. I then have to let off the gas in hopes that it will shift. Then today as I was driving it of course did this again but then I stopped in a turning lane to turn and when I went to start turning my cat would not go, revving the engine once more, I was almost hit. It finally decided to go. I have read reviews and seems that this is a problem with most Nissan Maxima's. I think they need to check into a recall.

- Estill Springs, TN, USA

problem #308

Jul 112013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
I was pulling out of taco bell drive thru when my car just jerked so hard causing me to whip lash. I almost got rear ended once I was on main road because my car was super slow to accelerate when this jerk happened. Thankfully the car was able to merge onto other open lane. I have researched looking to see how I can fix it and all I see is 04 and 05 Nissan Maxima complaints of all same symptoms. Then found out Nissan knowingly put a transmission that they knew would fail in time but said nothing when they started making profits from transmission rebuilt and parts. They are putting my kids and I in danger. Its going to take a death for someone to act on this.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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problem #307

Oct 232012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
Transmission slipping, jerking and needs to be replaced. I am filing a complaint to document this early transmission failure, hoping for Nissan to issue a recall or assist with the repair.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #306

Jul 132013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 131,300 miles


I bought this car used July 2013 test drove fine but it was a short drive after an hour of driving the car's transmission hit very hard in reverse and going from 1st to 2nd took the car back to dealership and was told I needed a new transmission they replaced it w a used one which scares me but they did fix it no charge it is a beautiful car and I hope it works out I owned a 2001 I30 infiniti and it was a great Nissan please do a recall Nissan too many expensive fixes for folks who love your cars.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #305

Jul 262013


  • 76,000 miles
My car transmission is slipping when trying to accelerate and shifts hard when its does in 1 and 2nd gear and sometimes stall the car and wont move only rev for about 5 secs then jerk hard enough to make it feel like I got hit by another car.

- Charleton, SC, USA

problem #304

Jul 012013


  • 75,000 miles
Automatic transmission violently shifts into gear from 1st to 2nd. Also violent shifting when slowing down.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #303

Apr 082013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
While driving the car in town the car started jerking erratically, launching forward, hard jerks, car shaking like crazy, smell burning smell in the car, I almost hit other cars due to my car jerking forward. I was frightened... the car is very unsafe to drive to say the very least. It doesn't matter what speed you are driving, it jerks and launches forward at will. My children could have got seriously hurt riding in this car. I paid close to $800 toget this car fixed in may of 2013, only to have it all happen all over again as the Nissan corporation knew of defective transmissions in the Nissan maxiamas. Yet, they continue to sell these "death traps", to citizens.. this is an atrocity, what the Nissan corporation has to done it's consumers.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #302

Jan 072013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


Traveling at 30 mph, vehicle began to upshift. Also, made clunking noise when shifting to reverse, then to drive.

- Atco, NJ, USA

problem #301

Jul 162013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle would no longer accelerate forward. The engine continued to operate but the vehicle would not respond to acceleration attempts. The contact had the vehicle towed to a dealer where it was determined that the transmission needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was current mileages were 100,000.

- Shelby, MS, USA

problem #300

Jul 012013


  • 104,000 miles
2005 Nissan Maxima began shifting heavy, especially when down shifting, heavy jerks at times, and delay or jump when put into drive. Took to transmission place to check on issue once I said what kind of car I had he said let me guess 2005. They said they have seen several with issues some as early as 50,000 miles. I currently have 104,000 was informed that it was the transmission and also because of the jerking and engine mount was also needed.

- Canton , GA, USA

problem #299

Nov 212012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The transmission failed. It started jerking and shifting hard. I had transmission oil changed and flushed at a local Nissan but it only worked temporarily. I have to replace the transmission at a cost of $3500-$5000.

- Dickinson, TX, USA

problem #298

Jun 252013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
I have been driving my 2005 Nissan Maxima for awhile, but lately the transmission has been acting up. The Maxima shifts gears very hard and causes a very dangerous thrusting motion. Also, whenever the Maxima is switched from reverse to drive it kicks forward very hard and loud. This has almost caused numerous accidents and Nissan needs to handle this situation appropriately. I took the Maxima into a local transmission shop and they informed me that the transmission Nissan has put in this cars model is terrible and needs to be recalled. They informed me that my only option is to have the valve body rebuilt. This problem is extremely dangerous and causing damage to my surrounding parts of the vehicle. Again, the transmission on the 2005 Maxima needs to be recalled.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #297

Jul 012013


  • 83,000 miles
Whenever my 2005 Nissan Maxima is placed from reverse to drive, it hesitates and then jerks into drive. It is almost like a kicking motion. This is a very powerful motion that has agitated other parts of the car, resulting in loose hoses and clips. It appears that other owners of the same vehicle are having similar problems. I expect more from Nissan as there should be a recall performed for the transmission. I am and individual who follows the owner manual maintenance schedule perfectly. This should not be happening this early on. This is a very serious issue and it is causing expensive damages to my Maxima. Fix it!

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #296

Jan 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
For about the last 5-6 months I have been noticing a new problem with my vehicle. When shifting from R to D with my automatic transmission, the car will hesitate and then jerk into drive. Sometimes the jerk is very hard and loud, and sometimes not so much. It does not always happen, but at least 1 time a day or if I am driving more, then perhaps up to 5-10 times a day. I have also noticed it when driving at certain speeds. Sometimes around 25-30 mph, the car will slow down, then jerk back into the correct speed/gear. I had some work done probably late last year which was $800+ and other times before that as well which were quite pricey. As of yesterday, now my ac will not turn off, it is stuck on full blast. Have also had problems with the doors not locking/unlocking with the remote which has been repaired. Now I notice the driver side door at times does not lock with the remote. I am mostly concerned with the shifting problem from R to D as that seems like the most costly repair that will need to be done and have noticed that there are many complaints online about other owners with the same problem. I am hoping to have this paid for by Nissan as I would not be able to afford this after the other repairs that have had to be done with the car and this seems to be faulty with the car in general.

- Castroville, TX, USA

problem #295

Mar 112013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the transmission failed began to slip in every gear, but more in first and second gear with a big bang after every attempt to shift gears was made. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and it was determined that the transmission needed to be replaced. The dealer did not give specifics on what caused the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 132,000.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #294

Mar 132013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
I bought my 2005 Nissan Maxima sl from a used car dealership. It had some vibrating and shaking in the steering wheel and they gave me a temporary fix in order to send me on my way. Two days after having the car it started shifting really hard from 1st to 2nd and then when downshifting. It has shifted so hard that a couple of times it has jerked me forward in my seat. At highway speeds sometimes it will just shift down for no reason. If I tap on the break it will shift when its not supposed to. When I put the shifter from reverse to drive it will feel like the engine is going to drop out of the bottom. This clearly needs to be fixed. I had a transmission flush and that didn't fix the problem. I have only had the car 3 months and im scared im going to get stranded somewhere.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #293

Dec 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
I bought my car used and I love it but after a month it started shifting hard and it doesn't want to shift from 2rd to 3rd. I have done everything I can to fix the problem and now they said transmission has to be replaced. I googled my car and now seen that I'm not the only one that is having the same problem!! this is a Nissan manufacturing problem and with all the same complaints. I expect to have the car fixed, knowing that it isn't just me. Please review my complaint along with everybody else that owns the Nissan Maxima' S. we all need for Nissan to stop ignoring the problem and recall these models. Thanks.

- Winchester, KY, USA

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