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 9 of 23)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #292

May 042010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Automatic transmission hard shift between 1st and 2nd. Delayed engagement from 2nd to 3rd the will drop a gear almost come to a stop with high RPM. Hard shifts are violent and start after about 10 minutes of driving. Have been making due with manual shift but now is not engaging in overdrive. Car will drop out of overdrive not allowing highway speed. Vehicle will stay in 5th gear even coming to a complete stop and then moving again. Will not drop down a gear. Have to pull over to set the car in park and restart the car to get it out of 5th gear. Car has actually stalled slowing to a stop light or traffic. Check engine light has come on and will not pass inspection in Texas because code says transmission issue and to pass I must now spend $2500 for rebuilt or $4500+ for new. This is a total mechanical error which Nissan is not accepting responsibility and is an actual safety hazard when the car dies at speed and downshift can be so violent that you drop 10 mph immediately and causes steering issues to control the jolt.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #291

May 122010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
I have a 2005 Maxima and I am having very bad transmission issues. When I take off it jerks real bad between 1st and 2nd gear and then when I am slowing down about to come to a stop it also kicks and jerks real bad when it gears down to 1st and 2nd. And sometimes it just wont go at all..and then when I sit there a min and put my car from park to drive it hesitates for at least 7 to 10 secs. And then jumps real bad and then goes into usually does all this when the car is hot.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #290

Apr 022013


  • 89,000 miles
The car shifts and changes gear extremely hard !!. the force with which the transmission changes gears causes the vehicle to lunge forward unexpectedly on acceleration, while going uphill, downhill and slowing down. I've had several close calls because of this and on the day in question, the turnpike was bumper to bumper so it was more stop and go than normal. I had to take the shoulder to avoid rear ending the car in front of me because I was inching along in traffic and on one occasion when the traffic moved the car bucked and lunged forward. I've had to replace my broken engine mounts because of the constant bucking and rocking. Now I have to replace the transmission all together. There are tons of complaints regarding the same exact problems with this same make and model. This is a trend, it's dangerous and I believe is definitely a big safety issue. Nissan Corp has to be made aware of this.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #289

Jun 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


Transmission jerks into gear and shifts like it could blow up or destruct at any moment while driving!

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #288

Jun 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima V6 3.5L A5 speed has some very serious problems with the transmission, when driving it after a while, the transmission jerks or kicks when placed in reverse or drive and the rpms rises suddenly or drops when driving it at a normal speed. The catalyst converter obd light also keeps coming on. We have seen countless of similar concerns posted on social networks and online websites regarding all 2005 Nissan Maximas having the same issues. This is not an isolated issue as we now know. We as consumers believe that the transmission design has a major flaw and that Nissan usa has been knowingly selling cars with such flaws. We need to have a government mandate to do a nationwide recall on this transmissions. Thanks

- Modesto, CA, USA

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problem #287

Feb 042013


  • 100,000 miles
My father has a 2005 Nissan Maxima SE equipped with an automatic transmission. For the past few months the transmission has been acting up. When we pull out of our driveway and shift into "D" the transmission takes a few seconds (about 5 or so) to actually shift gears into drive, and when it does it has a very rough jerk. We took the vehicle to our local Nissan dealership where we left it 24 hours for a diagnostic but apparently the transmission was not showing the symptoms we described, and I believe them because it doesn't always do it. They did however tell me that it needed new timing chain guides which would run me about $1200 dollars with the installation, and they also said our transmission fluid was bad so recommended a transmission fluid flush (which we did for about $200). We were told to come back if the problem persisted. The issue was not resolved, and the car continues to jerk. The Nissan dealership told us they had never heard of such an issue so instead of going back I decided to do my own research. I took 2.5 years of auto tech but I am no mechanic and in less than 20 minutes I found countless complaints about transmissions in 2004-2006 Maximas (other Nissan as well). Many people state that "stealerships" will recommend a tranny fluid flush, next time you come back they say it's your motor mounts, next time you will need sensors, and finally (by this point people are extremely upset) they tell you the transmission is bad and needs replacement with quotes ranging from $3,000-$4,600. I am going back to the dealership in the next week and if I see the same trends other people have experienced I will have a nice chat with the manager, hopefully defame them in front of potential customers, and ultimately lose my lifetime value of a customer. If Nissan doesn't fix this issue they will lose customers, profits and their reputation.

- Troutdale, OR, USA

problem #286

May 222013


  • 160,000 miles


My 2005 Nissan Maxima started shifting very hard to 2nd and 3rd gear down shifting very hard after getting warm up jerking hard when put in gear and stalling when taking off.. had sensor replaced in transmission to start with now after 6 months the whole transmission completely stopped.

- Scottsville, KY, USA

problem #285

Mar 212013


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle decelerated and jerked independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 105,000.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #284

May 012013


  • miles
2005 Nissan Maxima. Consumer writes in regards to transmission problems. The consumer stated the tranmission down shifted hard.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #283

Jul 122012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle would stall between shifting gears. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer, who advised that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact did not have the transmission replaced. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #282

Nov 092012


  • 74,000 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 and 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 74,000.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #281

May 012013


  • 96,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima has 96000 miles and does this jerk shift between 20-30 mph. It started a about a year ago and every time I take in to service they tell me nothing is wrong. I just took it again for transmission check and they told me that everything is okay. I welcome any feedback as to the best course of action to correct these intermittent and random symptoms that include: 1. takes about 5 seconds to click into gear after the shift lever is put in "D" 2. very hard jerky shifts between 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 1st and accompanied by loud clunking noise. 3. transmission slips out of gear during regular driving allowing the engine to rev freely then jerking back into gear with a loud clunk. The is followed by a burnt oil / electrical type smell that gets inside the car and evident outside after stopping. Sometimes I go for days with no symptoms at all and other times it may happen a dozen times in a day. I drive mainly on the freeways in southern California and have maintained and babied this car since it was new. This is my first Nissan and I have loved this card until these symptoms.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #280

May 012012


  • 68,000 miles
Bought our Nissan Maxima new of the dealership lot in June 2005. I have had minor issues with this car. But started having major issues around $68,00 miles. Transmission would feel like it would slip out then engine revs up and jerks forward. Would happen every once in awhile. Now it is happening more. Now it lunges forward when I am stopping gears are responding. I have two young kids. I don't want them or anybody else getting injured over this. Nissan needs to recall. These cars cost so much these days they need to last a lot longer then $70,00 miles. I have a Toyota 95 that has never had any issues and is still going strong. Step it up Nissan and take care of these issue. There are complaints everywhere on the 2004- and 2005 models. I will never own another Nissan again. Please recall...there is a lot of us out there these days trying to make a living and spend so so much on these vehicles and Nissan is doing nothing about. Shame on you Nissan for not caring..

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #279

Apr 012013


  • 150,000 miles
I, too, have had a problem with the transmission of this vehicle. The car would jerk when shifting everytime I would drive it. I took it to have it looked at and they said they saw no problems. I continued to drive with the jerking until finally, the car stopped shifting gears all together. I took it to the dealership where I bought it and had to get the transmission completely replaced. After easing other complaints, it looks like this is an issue with almost every 2005 Nissan Maxima. Time for a recall yet Nissan!?!

- Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #278

Nov 082011


  • 64,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Maxima which has transmission problems. About 2 years ago I began experiencing jerking. I took car the dealer no codes came up at time and when they drove it at that time it drove fine. Continue to have issues and went back now to find out I need a new valve body. Unfortunately the valve body has cause extensive damage to the transmission so I now need to have transmission replaced. Per parts specialist and service advisor at Nissan they are aware of the issue with the valve body with the 2005 Nissan Maxima however Nissan corporate has not yet recalled it yet. Shame on you Nissan 3,800 to replace the transmission, I don't think so. No more Nissan for me. Nissan really need to own up to this issue. Its all over the internet. Please recall issue. Signed dissatisfied Nissan owner

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #277

Apr 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
While decelerating car under 20miles, the car will jerk when gas pedal is pressed for acceleration(I.e.,slowing down for red light or changes in traffic speed.

- Mount Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #276

May 302012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
We bought a 2005 Maxima in June 2008 with approximately 30K[+/-] miles. On or about spring 2012 the transmission began to have shifting problems[65K miles], with hard & jerking shifts when traveling at 25mph and then sudden high rev's with sudden down shifts when slowing down. Have gone on line to see if there has been a recall and found hundreds of like complaints for 2005 Maxima transmission problems exactly like ours. Had the transmission fluid changed at a Nissan dealer, yet the "check engine" light did not go out. After driving a few miles light went out. However, the shifting problems returned after further driving a few months later.. had the code state "shift malfunction". as there are others, hundreds of other Maxima owners experiencing the same problem, it is time for a major recall on the 2004 -2006 Maxima for defective transmissions: "transmission problems" continued and we can not drive the car for more than a few miles locally and once it is warmed up the transmission begins to shift rough & hard, jerky in to and out of gears. If driven more than 15 minutes will freeze in 5th gear. This is a major safety issue and may cause serious harm to others while on the roads of America.

- Plainfield, NJ, USA

problem #275

Mar 152013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 97,980 miles
When I put car in reverse from park.. it took about 3-5 seconds to catch and go. Then when I put it drive it did the same. It will do this some days and not do it some days. Major flaw in 05 maxims transmissions from all the complaints I've read. Need to recall and fix this ongoing problem. This is my 3rd Nissan maximaand my first one with these problems. Big dissapointment Nissan. Recall 05 maxims and fixtransmission.

- Prince George, VA, USA

problem #274

Apr 162013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 89,379 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the transmission was flushed by a dealer and then the transmission slipped. The vehicle was returned to the dealer who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 89,379.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #273

Mar 052013


  • 116,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle shifted erratically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the valve body had failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 116,000. The VIN was not available.

- Bowden, GA, USA

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