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 2 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #286

Aug 242011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


2005 Nissan Maxima like thousands of others has been shifting violently between gears causing dangerous driving conditions. Sometimes the car rpms will jump to 7500 before catching the gear and jerk to the car almost out of control. This needs to be fixed. It's ridiculous that almost all 2004-2008 Maximas have this problem and Nissan has corrected it but instead charge 3500+ for a new transmission. I'm so done with Nissan. This will be the last one I purchase!

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #285

Aug 182011


  • 122,770 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that after shifting gears, the vehicle would jerk violently and suddenly accelerate. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance and referred her to a local dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 122,770.

- Amarillo , TX, USA

problem #284

Aug 222011


  • 85,000 miles
2005 Nissan Maxima transmission problem - my car began making a very loud knocking sound when I would shift from park to drive or reverse. It doesn't do it all the time, but it is doing it more frequently now. In addition my transmission has begun to slip while driving. I googled 2005 Nissan Maxima issues and to my surprise there are countless complaints about transmission issues with the Nissan Maxima. I am scheduled to bring my car to a mechanic tomorrow morning, but I feel like I know what the problem is after reading all the complaints. It appears I will need a new transmission. My car has under 100K miles and is taken care of very well. I purchased the car new in December of 2004.

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #283

May 162011


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle began to jerk while shifting and the transmission would slip. Also, there was an increase in engine rpms. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technicians stated there was a failure with the valve body. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #282

Jul 092011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I am the original owner of a 2005 Maxima with 65,146 miles and I have been experiencing a very hard knock and pull when the vehicle shifts gears. I have researched the problem online and found about 100 complaints with the same symptoms. I believe their is definitely a manufactures problem with the transmission.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #281

Aug 012010


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated the vehicle would violently jerk and would be difficult to shift when shifting between gears. The dealer advised the contact that she would need to replace the transmission and the warranty would not cover the charges. The manufacturer had not been notified. No repairs were performed. The current mileage was 99,000. The approximate failure mileage was 81,000.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #280

Mar 012011


  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while attempting to pull off, the vehicle started to surge. The transmission shifted very hard as a result of the vehicle jerking so violently. The vehicle was taken to a local shop who diagnosed that the valve body within the transmission was defective and the transmission needed to be rebuild. The dealer was contacted who stated that unless the check engine light was illuminated they could not provide a diagnosis. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offered any assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 77,900.

- Prairieville, LA, USA

problem #279

Aug 162010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact heard a banging noise coming from the transmission. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostics, where the mechanic replaced the transmission motor mount. The failure continued after the repair was performed. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #278

May 012011


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the transmission started to shift gears unexpectedly. The vehicle also began to jerk violently and hesitate. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop, who diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 93,000.

- Pasadena , CA, USA

problem #277

Dec 102008


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 20 mph the rpms increased excessively and the vehicle began to decelerate. Once the vehicle responded and accelerated it lunged forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer three times for diagnostic testing. The technicians were unable to diagnose the failure and suggested the contact have the transmission flushed. The transmission was flushed but the failure continued. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #276

Jun 172011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


My 2005 Maxima 3.5 sl is experiencing problems with the transmission. When I shift from "park" to drive (forward or reverse) there is a noticeable lag before the gears catch. On an incline it is very noticeable. While driving there is a whine and a drag feeling as if the engine is straining because it is in the wrong gear. There are times when the transmission is running through its gears that it appears it either misses a meshing or it is just spinning freely and when it kicks in there is a jerk between 1st and 2nd gear and then when I am slowing down. There is a jerk and thunk sound. Some times while stopped and sitting at a traffic light the vehicle will have a noticeable lurch forward. I know that the transmission/gear meshing is off because my gas mileage is off.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #275

Aug 112011


  • 86,000 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Maxima. I am extremely disappointed with this vehicle. The car makes jerking movements occasionally when shifting from park to reverse or drive. You never know when it may happen and it feels as though you are hitting something. Today all the lights came, I could not accelerate and the mechanic is saying that it may be my transmission...86,000 miles!! I cannot believe that I am replacing a transmission in a Nissan with 86,000 miles. I will never buy another Nissan and would not recommend. I have read multiple complaints and am so discouraged. This car is not safe with random jerking motions that Nissan cannot diagnose. This car needs to be recalled for its transmission. Nissan does not stand by its cars or service.

- Lynnfield, MA, USA

problem #274

Jun 092011


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, a loud thumping noise was heard while the vehicle changed gears. The vehicle also began to jerk excessively and would not shift completely into gear. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times, but they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage was 72,000.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #273

Sep 172009


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the transmission would shift hard when shifting from first to second gear. In addition, when shifting into any gear other than first or second, the vehicle would decelerate and hesitate before engaging. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was advised to have a transmission fluid flush performed. The dealer also advised that the transmission could possible need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 53,000 and the current mileage 100,000.

- Milwalkee, WI, USA

problem #272

Aug 042011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Nissan Maxima purchased new in 2004. The car keeps making sudden violent jerking movements while driving creating a potential hazard for a car accident. When this happens I have to pull over and restart the car. I can not drive the car on major highways and can not go more that 35mph. The car feels like it is slipping when attempting to drive after being at a stop. There is a long hesitation before the car begins to drive after being put in gear to drive. It also jerks forward suddenly when it does decide to move. Sometimes the car won't move when attempting to accelerate. At stop lights I have to shift gears at times to get it to move. Another incident included the car not stopping. I had to move it into first gear to get it to stop. The car jerks backwards when reversing. When these problems started the car was taken to Nissan because we suspected a transmission problem. They told us it was not the transmission but instead motor mounts, rods, and bolts. I spent almost $3,000 to repair it and the problem still continued. Now, I am being told that it is the transmission and given an estimate of $3100. Nissan has diagnosed this problem. We discovered that there are thousands of other consumers with the same complaint for the 2004-2005 Maxima. This indicates that this is a common problem that Nissan is actually aware of. The battery has also had to be replaced 3times. The power doors no longer work neither does the sun roof. I have to drive to get to work and to get the kids to school. I do not like to drive with my kids in the car for fear that the car will not stop again or that there will be a collision because of the jerky movements and the cars hesitation. Nissan has been contacted. No resolution has been offered at this time. Car is still at the dealership.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #271

May 252011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 88,500 miles
2005 Nissan Maxima hard shifting from 1st to 2nd gear and also when car is stoped and put in park and then back to drive it takes about 7 seconds for the transmission to go into gear and it jerks real bad.and it also wont go into gearat like 25-35 miles.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #270

Apr 062011


  • miles
My 05 Nissan Maxima transmission has been messing up and so have many others. When the car gets hot it shifts hard between 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 1st. Also, when its hot, and you stop to put it from drive to reverse you have to wait several seconds for it to kick into gear. I have only had my car for 6 months and it only has 88,500 miles on it. There is no reason why a car with such low miles and not many years old should have such problems. I have had a car with 300,000 miles on it and never had any problems!!! these cars need a recall, I have heard and saw too many people with the same problems and its ridiculous!!!

- Goodlettsville, TN, USA

problem #269

Jun 102011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Having trouble with my transmission I have a 2005 Maxima auto. The transmission jerks when shifting from park to drive and reverse to drive. And also when im driving about 30 to 40 mph it will rev a little bit then catch the gear really hard jerking.

- Martindale, TX, USA

problem #268

Jul 012010


  • 82,500 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Maxima with under 90,000 miles. I am experiencing transmission problems. The car jerks when I slow down and does the same thing going from 1st to 2nd gear. I started having this problem about a year ago and I took the car to a transmission shop which I was told it needed a transmission/engine mounts which were replaced, after a week the problem continued. I thought it was just me, but I read there are a lot of people having the same problem and Nissan is not doing anything about it. There has to be a defect in the transmission, which should be a recall. Is there anything you can suggest can do please help. My warranty is over and I know it's going to be very expensive to repair. I purchased the car because of the style and Nissan reputation for having reliable cars. Their reputation is taking a hit because of the fact they are not showing any concerns about problem why why why why is nothing being done!!!!!!!!!!

- Plaquemine, LA, USA

problem #267

Oct 152010


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 20 mph and down shifting the vehicle would jerk forward. The check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technicians stated the transmission and motor mount needed to be replaced and that the motor was cracked. The failure would occur intermittently and over time became progressively worse. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 87,000.

- Forest City, AR, USA

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