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 1 of 16)

problem #306

Aug 222013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


I have an 2005 Maxima 3.5L sl. It has been jerking going into second gear when accelerating and also during deceleration. Only when I slow down under 20mph, then press the gas @ about 17mph appx. Then it shifts hard. The transmissions is not wanting to go into 2nd and 3rd gear. Then when it does it jerks really hard which is now messing up the motor mounts.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #305

Aug 052013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Having transmission issues shifting into and out of first gear. Hesitation and "clunking feeling". car has always had slight hesitation shifting into/out of first since purchased new, but is much worse at higher mileage. Dealer recommended transmission flush, has not solved problem. I have seen many online complaints with same problem, and same flushing recommendation that does not fix problem. I believe there needs to be a recall on this issue. Waiting for repair estimates, but seeing anything from $3000-5000. I think there has been a defect since beginning with this transmission on the 2005 Maxima, but has now become too noticeable to ignore.

- London, KY, USA

problem #304

Aug 052013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the vehicle hard shifted from first to second gear. The vehicle would also hard shift between reverse and drive. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The dealer flushed the transmission but that did not remedy the hard shift. The dealer did not require the contact to replace the transmission. The failure mileage was 128,000. Updated 9/17/13 the consumer stated the transmission failed to engage. Updated 10/22/13

- Cleveland, GA, USA

problem #303

Aug 152012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the transmission failed. The contact stated that the vehicle was accelerating and shifting gears independently. The vehicle was taken to a transmission specialist where they advised that the valve body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified and stated that there were no recalls for the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000. Updated 10/03/12

- Havertown, PA, USA

problem #302

Apr 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
My automatic transmission is slipping both in lower gears and at times, at acceleration. Additionally, I put the car in reverse to back out of my driveway. When I put the car in drive, it takes a couple of seconds to go into drive, but then jumps hard into gear. So hard like I've been hit. Luckily I don't live on a busy street. This is dangerous and from my research many 2005 Nissan Maxima owners are having the same problems. I just started research after learning that a friend of my daughter's whose parent owns a 2005 Maxima is having the same problems. This should be a recall.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #301

Nov 192011


  • miles
I drive a 2005 nissian Maxima and about 5 months ago my car started jerking and hard shifts and then not shifting at all. I have only had this car for about 4 years and when I purchased it I was under the impression it was a good car. I have treat this car like a baby. Now I have it in the shop and I'm look at a $3,000 dollar bill to have my car repaired. I'm making a car payment on something I can't even drive. Spoke with the dealership and nissian and they say it's nothing they can do. It no longer under warranty. So I'm stuck. I have seen were nissian has had a lot of problems with the 04-05 transmissions and has done nothing about it.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #300

Mar 012012


  • 107,000 miles


Transmission started slipping, took in for diagnostic was told need new transmission and catalytic converter. Read up on the issues and this has been a reported problem for 1000's of Maximas. After some research, discovered a class action lawsuit has been filed for same problem as well.

- Avondale, , AZ, USA

problem #299

Feb 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
The transmission is slipping, kicking, jerking, and hardshifting from gear to gear. Additionally, the transmission hesitates and then jumps into gear.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #298

Oct 052011


  • 98,700 miles
I am currently the original owner of a 2005 Nissan Maxima. Much to my total shock and dismay, I recently had to replace the automatic transmission at only 98,700 miles. Several weeks ago, the vehicle began to sporadically jerk harshly when advancing to first gear between 20-25 mph. This started to happen more and more frequently and at times the vehicle would hesitate right before jerking into first gear and then quickly thrust forward with revved up rpms. Needless to say, I felt extremely unsafe driving the vehicle. I took my car to the service department of the Nissan dealership where I purchased the vehicle. The service manager informed me that this was an increasingly common problem with 2004 & 2005 model year Maximas. He said that the only remedy was to replace the transmission at a cost of approximately $4,000! I took my car to a transmission repair shop for a second opinion and was told the same thing. The mechanic confirmed that this is a major issue with Maximas manufactured in those model years. I ended up taking my car back to the dealership and had them replace the transmission. I have researched this issue and have found that there are numerous complaints on various internet sites by owners of 2004 & 2005 Maximas who have experienced the exact same problem with their transmission. It's clearly apparent that there is a major defect with the transmissions that were installed in 2004 & 2005 Maximas. I have taken very good care of my vehicle and have kept up with regular scheduled maintenance intervals. There is no way that I should have had to replace the transmission at that mileage if it was not defective. I beseech you to recall all 2004 & 2005 Maximas and fix this dangerous problem before it causes severe accidents if there have not already been.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #297

Oct 022011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving approximately 25 mph when there was an abnormal increase in engine rpms and the vehicle began to decelerate and accelerate independently. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostics but was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 88,000. Updated 12/12/11 updated 12/13/11

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #296

Oct 102011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that after shifting gears while driving 25 mph, the vehicle would jerk violently and suddenly accelerated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 102,000.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #295

Aug 182011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 120,515 miles
While driving in first gear on light throttle, the transmission shifted from 1st gear into 2nd gear violently. Nearly every time under light throttle (under normal engine operating temperature) since the first occurrence, the transmission either upshifts (1st to 2nd gear) or downshifts (3rd to 2nd gear) violently.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #294

Oct 042011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My transmission is badly jerking and scared to drive. Gear shiftting is not properly operating.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #293

Sep 262011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,150 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima XL. The contact was driving 35 mph when the vehicle stalled. The contact mentioned prior to the failure that the vehicle began to shift forcefully while accelerating in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current miles were 99,150. Updated 11/01/11 updated 02/06/12

- Roanoke Rapids, NC, USA

problem #292

Aug 252011


  • 65,000 miles
Purchased a 2005 Nissan Maxima used with around 46K miles on it. I have loved the car up until it recently hit 65K miles and has started jerking while shifting, also putting into drive or reverse from park will be delayed. It jerked so hard the other day that it caused the check engine soon light to come on. Took to a local mechanic that has been doing oil changes, A/C repair, minor maintenance...they said that my transmission was shot, I needed 3 engine new engine mounts from the jerking, and engine sensor needed to be replaced. They suggested I take to the Nissan dealer. I took in and they called me the next day and said they could not duplicate any issues with the vehicle, and that the check engine light was not on. They are sweeping this well known transmission problem under the rug, but something needs to be done here, and a recall should be a must with over 300 plus complaints just here alone documented for this same issue on the same make and model!!! Nissan needs to step up before someone gets injured.

- Tx, TX, USA

problem #291

Jan 132011


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle would stall. The contact also stated that the vehicle would stalls between shifting and while in reverse. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, but the mechanic was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The contact also expressed concern after seeing numerous complaints about the same failure on the internet. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Maitland, FL, USA

problem #290

Aug 232010


  • miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima transmission is always jerking and on blogs and other Nissan webblogs their are thousands of complaints and all we want is for them to fix the problem and I have file a complaint with the BBB and Nissan needs to take action for their mess up.

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #289

Aug 192011


  • 64,760 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving 25 mph when the vehicle shifted from drive to neutral independently. The failure was resolved after restarting the ignition. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnostic which indicated that the transmission would need replacing. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure however, the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 64,760 and the current mileage was 65,200.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #288

Jun 292011


  • 123,050 miles
The contact owns 2005 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated as she started her vehicle there was a jerking motion and it would not shift into gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who previously stated they had to order parts due to a back log. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 123,050.

- Selma, NC, USA

problem #287

Apr 202009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 25 mph and decelerating, the transmission began to jerk violently from third to second gear. The failure occurred intermittently and became progressively worse. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they were unable to duplicate the problem and advised the transmission operated normally. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 12/19/11

- Lake Mary , FL, USA

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