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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,294 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

May 082014


  • 90,000 miles


I took my car to Nissan to have my car totally checked over. The ABS light came on and I had sharp jerks from the transmission and hesitation around 40 mph. The timing chain also had a rattle when the car was started. My ABS system had failed due to water shorting out the ABS sensor which destroyed the ABS control module repair cost $1200. When I told the service advisor my ABS light was on, he had a service bulletin at his station with exactly what he thought was wrong with my car and he told me it was a common issue with my car. The transmission needs a valve body due to premature wear cost $3500 to rebuild and install new valve body design. The timing chain has guides that wear and chain rubs against plastic then down to metal repair cost $1500. Nissan needs to fix all of these defective cars and pay the people who have made these costly repairs.

- Somerville , TN, USA

problem #32

Apr 302013


  • 100,000 miles
* year, make, model: 2005 Nissan Maxima SE * problem summary:: knocking or rattling noise from engine. Issue is directly related with consumer safety and product quality standards. * car purchase history: Single owner & brand new car purchased from Nissan car dealer (I.e. we purchased car from Nissan dealer); all maintenance is properly performed. In March 2012, we took car to Nissan dealer. Per dealer, engine chain is hitting and causing knocking or rattling noise in engine. If you google for this issue, there are so many issues (exactly similar issue - 2005 Nissan Maxima - engine knocking or rattling issue) overall feedback from Nissan dealer: We / customer is responsible for the issue. Nissan did not covered it. We paid @ $1700 cash (March 27, 2013) to fix that issue. Now at this time, (I.e. June 28, 2014) - this similar noise is appearing again. Customer request: I am an engineer; when it comes to safety & quality, I know what I am talking about. Anyone can file a lawsuit ? just to be ready for time and money (I wish for that open check book). My request is: Are there any regulation that can regulate safety & quality of the car; or manufacturer to be accountable for such issue and ethically fix this for customer? we (customer) paid approx. $36000 for such car quality? wow..... I have all the evidence of engine fix maid with Nissan mcgrath - elgin, il dealer... all evidence are there... when I say evidence, it is legal evidence. I mean this. No talk...all official evidence. Let me see what national car safety - dot can do.....hope for the best.

- Streamwood, IL, USA

problem #31

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

problem #30

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 #29

Nov 212013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 73,740 miles
My car starting jerking between 2nd and 3rd gears. I made an appt with my local Nissan dealer for a few days later and within those few days it progressed to severe bucking between gears and I no longer felt it was safe to drive, luckily the dealer isn't far from my house. I was told my transmission needed to be replaced and 3 engine mounts were cracked. Total cost $5200. I wasn't able to come up with that much money so they fixed the engine mounts and flushed and filled the transmission fluid to give me a little more time. It still jerks between 2nd and 3rd and will need to be replaced very soon, but this is a very expensive repair, $4,000!! it is also a known problem that Nissan should be paying for!! the forums are full of people having the same issue and there is a class action law suit!! the technician at my local dealer even made a comment that this is a "known problem". it's time to make Nissan pay for the faulty transmissions that are causing unsafe cars to be on the road. I'm still worried someone is going to re-end me because I have to start off so slow to reduce the jerking between gears.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #28

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 #27

Jul 092013


  • 127,339 miles


I was preparing to exit out of a parking lot when suddenly my car jolted backward and hit the front bumper of the car behind me through no fault of my own. This car jerks and jolts unpredictably.

- Salisbury, MD, USA

problem #26

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 #25

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

problem #24

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 #23

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 #22

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 #21

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

problem #20

Nov 012012


  • 74,000 miles
I have had problems with this car since I purchased it. I bought the car as a used car with about 72,000 miles on it when I bought. About a month after the car started to drive differently. I noticed that the car would start to jerk when accelerating. The car jerks really bad when the RPM goes between the number 2 & 3. there are times where I can be pushing all the way down on my gas pedal and the car takes forever to accelerate. After purchasing the car I read reviews online that show a lot of people have these issues. I took my car to two different transmission shops that specialize in transmission and they refused to even work on the transmission because there are so many problems they can't guarantee there work. I feel that this is a major safety issue because if anyone was to pull out and the car won't accelerate or you pull out to oncoming traffic and your car starts to go then stops and jerks before shifting into gear can cause a serious accident. I hear about recalls for all kinds of other problems so I don't understand how Nissan hasn't gotten in trouble for making these horrible cars.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #19

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 #18

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 #17

Sep 132012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Transmission shifts hard into gears after to taking a wile to start. When shifting to drive the cars shows it is in 5th gear and after researching found thousands of others experiencing the same problems. Looking for recalls after so many people or experiencing the same problems. I see that there is a service bulletin but with so many many problems still no recall.

- Moss Point, MS, USA

problem #16

Feb 022013


  • 65,000 miles
The engine jumps into gear with a hard kick!!

- Cambria Heights, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 302012


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while stopped with the brake pedal depressed, the contact shifted from drive to park and noticed a loud bang and the vehicle erroneously lunged forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the valve body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 83,000.

- Mamaroneck, NY, USA

problem #14

Jan 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima transmission has been slipping since 75,000 miles. I have been doing alot of research and alot of other individuals with 04 and 05 Maximas are experiencing the same issues. Nissan Maxima put defected transmissions in their 04 and 05 models. I contacted Nissan usa however the refused to fix my car.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

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