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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,392 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 15 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Oct 012009


  • 37,000 miles


My Nissan Maxima '05 has about 37000 miles. Recently, the transmission has gone bad. The car does not shift rapidly enough when I accelerate. Also, it has sometimes slipped out of gear at low speeds, causing it to lurch forward in bumper-to-bumper traffic! this is a major safety hazard.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #25

Sep 022008


  • 78,000 miles
I first purchased my 2005 Nissan Maxima last year and it had 70,000+ miles, it was used, after the first week I ended up taking it back to the dealer because it was jerking and switching. They informed me it was the motor mounts so they replaced then. When I got the car back the same problem was happening, so at my next oil change I informed them of the problem again, they said nothing was wrong, so I let it go. Just recently the car has been jerking once I try to accelerate. The worst part is that I found an actual site with 30+ other 2005 Maxima owners with the same problem who were given the same response. If that many cars are defective shouldn't the manufacturer fix the problem or submit a recall.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #24

Aug 152009


  • miles
The transmission on this car does not want to go into gear between 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. Then if it does it jerks really hard and sounds like its going to fall out. Then there's times it slips. When you put the car into reverse you have to hold your foot on the brake really hard or the car will jump backwards. As soon as the car warms up it does this. I'm afraid to drive the car out of town in fear the transmission will completely stop. There are plenty of websites with people complaints of the same issue. Its not an isolated thing. I have not been able to fix the problem because of financial reasons. The car is only four years old. I bought it used and haven't even had it a year yet. I called Nissan and they said there was no known issue of this problem. I read that other people were told the same thing when they called. There's no way a transmission should have problems after only four years.

- Redlands, CA, USA

problem #23

Sep 152009


  • 79,000 miles


2005 Nissan Maxima.

- Joppa, MD, USA

problem #22

Mar 122009


  • 95,000 miles
For the past several months, I have been experiencing the same transmission problems that just about every other 2004-2005 Nissan Maxima owner has experienced. Mine is a Maxima SE with 5 speed auto (with manual shift mode). Once the car warms up, the transmission shifts very hard and rough from 1st to 2nd gear. It also downshifts hard from 3rd to 2nd gear. At this point, if I put the car in park or reverse, and then back into drive, there's about a 3-5 second delay, then it makes a banging noise as it kicks into gear. The transmission problems get worse: When shifting from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd gears it slips into neutral (causing RPM's to freely shoot up nearly to the redline) and then jerks and slams back into gear very rough & hard. This really affects the cars performance. The transmission problems go from worse to more worse: Eventually somewhere between 3rd and 4th gear, I'll hear and feel the transmission make a banging sound and lock up or down shifting. This causes the "service engine soon" light to light up. At this point, the car accelerates very slowly from a stop since it's locked in gear and at highway speeds, the RPM's are very high. When switching the transmission to manual mode, the gear indicator always stays at "5". I have to turn the car off for a few seconds and re-start the car to get the transmission to shift again, but unless it's had several hours to cool off, the same problems start again immediately in sequence. This is obviously a manufacturer's defect and how Nissan is not being held responsible for this blows my mind and is completely unacceptable for a $30,000+ car that's under 5 years old!!!

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #21

Sep 062009


  • 80,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima currently has 84,000 miles (and is out of warranty). I purchased it in 2006 with 24,000 mi. It began bucking or jerking very hard when changing gears (while driving and when putting into drive) over 3 months ago. This problem occurs everyday I drive the vehicle, sometimes more that others. It would buck and jerk so hard that I did not feel like I was in control of the vehicle. Recently the service engine light came on so I took it to be looked at. After replacing the front motor mount ($700) and driving it off the lot, 20 minutes later the service engine light came back on and the car was still bucking and jerking. I brought it to the dealer only for them to tell me 2 motor mounts need to be replaced as does the transmission for a total of almost $5,000. No work has been done on the car because I've reported this to the corporate offices of Nissan and they have begun an investigation. There have been no crashes or injuries due to this problem...yet. However, the car is not safe to drive. After researching this problem online it has come to my attention that numerous 2004-2005 Nissan Maxima owners are all having the same exact issues with their vehicles. This is a defect in the vehicle and after reading how many others have the same issue I do not believe I or anyone else should be held responsible for paying for this repair/replacement of parts. I believe it needs to be recalled.

- Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #20

Aug 012009


  • miles


TL. contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. Current mileage was 65,000 and failure mileage was unknown. Contact stated while driving at 40mph the vehicle will slow down with braking and becomes very stiff. Then the vehicle will accelerate without warning. The dealer stated the vehicle needs a new transmission. Contact feels this is a safety issue because as the vehicle slows down another vehicle can crash into the back of the vehicle or the contacts vehicle can crash into the back of another vehicle because it accelerates without warning.

- Yonker, NY, USA

problem #19

Aug 012009


  • 61,000 miles
This a complaint about the transmission of the 2005 Nissan Maxima. My Maxima only has 60,000 miles on it, however it has began to jerk while changing gears, and to slip out of gear while it is on the road. This is very dangerous, particularly the slipping out of gear. I have not yet gotten into an accident or had my car stop on the road. However, I feel that it is only a matter of time. Apparently this is a very widespread problem with the with the 2004 and 2005 Nissan Maximas. The problem first began to happen about every 3 days, but now it happens about every other day. Especially when the car is going from 2nd to 3rd gear. I have had the transmission fluid checked, and was told that my fluid level was perfectly fine. The shop recommended that I take my car to a transmission specialist, which I have not yet done. They also mentioned to me that the transmissions on the 2004 and 2005 Maximas are known to be defective, and usually go bad at about 60,000 or 70,000 miles. I believe that the transmissions on the 2004 and 2005 Nissan Maximas are defective and need to be recalled.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 102008


  • 72,000 miles
2005 Nissan Maxima shifting problem from 2nd gear to 3rd and 3rd to 2nd gear, jerking effect, also after warm up, going from reverse to drive there is a bang... automatic.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #17

Sep 232008


  • 69,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima purchased in 2005 currently with 70K miles on it. I am having problems with my automatic transmission shifting. From 1st to 2nd and from R to D it slams.

- Rowland Heights, CA, USA

problem #16

May 102009


  • 115,000 miles


I purchased a 2005 Maxima which I love. Recently it is having transmission problems. It starts to skip and jerk in 1st and 2nd gear. I was told transmission would cost 4000 to 6000 dollars which I cant afford. I have researched this problem and found I am not the only one with this problem there are thousands more. Just type in and google transmission problems in a 2005 Maxima and read all the complaints. Obviously Nissan needs to step up and correct this problem. Some people can hardly pay there bills must less come up with the money to pay for a transmission problem that obviously is Nissan fault. Thanks.

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #15

Mar 012009


  • 85,000 miles
I currently own a 2005 Nissan Maxima sl automatic transmission I bought it used at about 80,000km and its now at 103,000km. Since I bought it I have been more then disappointed and now furious with Nissan. From purchase date which was August 2008 until now April 2009 I have been experiencing the car jerking from gear 1 to 2 and 2 down to 1. it went from a slight jerk and slip of the gears to a jerk so hard that it broke the engine mounts. I brought it in and got the engine mounts fixed and also had them do a diagnostics. I went to 4 different dealerships and 2 mechanics and no one knew what was wrong. Nissan kept telling me to get a transmission flush which I did twice and still did not solve the problem. I also got the timing belt replaced as well as got the vehicle checked out by a Nissan transmission specialist. Not to mention every diagnostic test is $100. This car is not safe for me and my family. The intense jerking during acceleration and breaking is not only unsafe for us, but for others on the road. The most recent incident happened coming off the highway late one night when I was slowing down on the off ramp and the jerk was so severe that it had given myself and my passenger whip lash and caused us to spin out. After all the maintenance, parts replaced and I"M still experiencing the same problem means that Nissan is not doing their job to get this rectified. It?S costing me too much time and money. I have to take time off work every time to get these things done and the same problems are recurring and now I don?T know what else to do. I recently read some reviews and I noticed that this is a popular problem within 2004-2005 Nissan Maxima"S but yet there has been no recalls and nothing has been done to compensate the consumer. I need something done asap because as of right now I have no other choice but to drive this faulty vehicle, unsure if I will make it to work or home at night.

- Toronto, 00, USA

problem #14

Jan 032009


  • 89,000 miles
I bought my Nissan Maxima at 58,000 miles from the Nissan dealership at gwinnett place Nissan, duluth, ga. At about 89,000 miles my transmission started jerking when switching from gears 1,2, and 3. even when increasing speed or downshifting. I took it to gwinnett place Nissan and they claimed it was an engine mount problem. I specified that it could be the transmission but they said it was definitely the engine mounts, so I got them replaced for $1500, after the fix I still feel jerking and now its getting worse.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #13

Jan 052009


  • 63,000 miles
Transmission failure with 2005 Nissan Maxima. At about 60,000 miles I noticed my transmission slipping from 1st and 2nd gears. Then it got progressively worse and started jerking when coming to a stop. I took it to Nissan dealer and they said that I needed a new transmission and that it would cost about $4000. After replacing the transmission the problem is gone and car is back to normal. I did research on the internet and found hundreds of cases with the exact same problem. How can I get my complaint heard and reconciled because this is truly a Nissan defect and not just ordinary wear and tear on the car. I thought initially I just had bad luck. This was not the case.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 102009


  • 77,000 miles
2005 Maxima had less than 77,000 miles on it and the transmission needed to be replaced. It is not covered under warranty which is only 60,000 miles. Nissan is well aware of the problem with the 05 Maxima but has refused to issue a recall.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #11

Nov 012008


  • 72,000 miles
No events leading up to the failure. One day (72K miles) the transmission just started jerking horribly between first and second gear during acceleration and deceleration. The transmission fluid was changed as advised but did not fix the problem. Now I am being told by local shops and dealers that I will have to replace the transmission with costs up to $4000!!!

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #10

Dec 012007


  • 58,000 miles
December 2007 - took car into Nissan dealer because transmission was hesitating and slamming hard into the "drive" gear. Dealer discovered transmission needed to be replaced. January 2008, I received my car back with a reman transmission from Nissan. February through May 2008 - took car into dealer a few more times due to issue with transmission again. October 2008 - returned car again to Nissan because issue with transmission was occurring more frequently. Told me it was due to (2) torn engine mounts. I replaced them by my own local mechanic. A few days after they were replaced, the transmission was acting up again. Took car back to my mechanic and he said the (2) rear engine mounts were cracked/torn. I ended up replacing those as well. One week later, the issue came back. October-November 2008 - took car back to the same Nissan dealer 3 more times and even after showing the service manager and the head technician the problem they told me that it was "normal" and there was nothing wrong with the transmission. The problem with the transmission is still an issue and was never resolved.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 022008


  • 70,000 miles
Transmission problem w/ 2005 Nissan Maxima. Have done all recommended service and been to several repair shops who can not find a problem. The transmission jerks into 2nd and 3rd gear when accelerating and stopping in such a manner that shakes all passengers. I have found that many owners are experiencing the same problem w/ no answers from the manufacturer.

- North Providence, RI, USA

problem #8

Sep 232008


  • 125,000 miles
Problems with the transmission. Has been advise that transmission needs to be replaced.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #7

Sep 012008


  • 75,000 miles
2004 & 2005 Nissan Maxima transmission problems. I own a '05 Nissan Maxima SE and am experiencing the same problem as hundreds (thousands?) of other owners are. The car has trouble shifting from 1-2 and 2-3 and jerks forward like you are being hit from behind. There are times that you worry that you can even make it home safely! when you take it into the dealer they let you know that you need a whole new transmission at about $4,000. This is clearly a wide spread problem and needs to be recalled by Nissan immediately! if I was the only one having the problem I would understand but please check out this website for more descriptions!

- Grapevine, TX, USA

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