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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,161 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.

2006 Nissan Maxima engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Apr 012016

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles


Timing chain kit slipping/ loud noises. Causing damage to my engine I am scared it will fail on me while driving. Really expensive to fix and the car has always been maintained very well. It should not have this problem at 115000 miles.

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #38

Sep 022016


  • 124,000 miles
The 2006 Nissan Maxima has a major issue of violently jerking after 100K miles, I have seen reports that it does this even before it reaches such mileage. I have a 2006 Nissan Maxima worst car I have ever bought I will never ever buy another Nissan product. The car violently jerks into gear when coming to a stop or driving off, this problem has been identified by many owners and Nissan has done nothing. I have spent 1800 hundred dollars replacing the engine mounts and the car still jerks. The car is paid for and I will not spend anymore replacing the transmission because that would cost more than what the car is worth.

- Va Beach, VA, USA

problem #37

Nov 252008


  • 35,000 miles
Exhaust/emission - catalytic converter failed and makes terrible noise - not fixed yet. Dealer says, car will work without any problems at 103,000 miles (8th year) body frame - under carriage on driver side rusted, with a bulge. Dealer said, rusting it not enough, you should be able to put the screw driver or finger through the rusted portion. 35000 miles ( after 5years and 2 days) transmission - it jerks and is very dangerous on the road. Repair estimation is around $3500 from the dealer. When the car comes to a stop in the traffic light, then sometimes, it does not move. After accelerating a bit, it just jumps. It is very very hard to go in a stop and go traffic. So I maintain a certain distance keeping this in mind. Nissan motor corporation does not care for any of the issues. Dealer comes up with one or the other reason. Until now they have never worked conducively with the customers. 103,000 (9th year.) engine - the timing chain failed, engine was making the sound of a railroad. Costed a lot to get it fixed, and after that, sound is not completely gone. After multiple compliants, they are not bothered. They say, use only 93 octance. 103,000(9th year)

- Randolph, NJ, USA

problem #36

Mar 012009


  • miles


At 12,500 miles I was driving and it was like someone put it in neutral. Towed the car to the dealer and they changed the transmission. At 34,000 miles, it started knocking and smoking when you first start it. Brought to dealer and the gas was mixing with the oil. My claim was denied so I had to replace the engine. Now at 110,000 miles the car won't shift out of first gear. I'm a single mother and do not have any more money to sink into this lemon.

- Opelousas, LA, USA

problem #35

Mar 252016


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Maxima. While attempting to start the vehicle, it failed to start. The contact stated that the vehicle would eventually start after several attempts. The contact stated that the vehicle would also jolt forward when switching gears and stall. The tcs engine slip indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Eustis, FL, USA

problem #34

Feb 112016


  • 124 miles
I own a 2006 Nissan Maxima worst car I ever owned and will never again buy another Nissan product. I think Nissan knows about the issue of the car jerking and suddenly revs for no apparent reason after about 90K or so miles the car is fairly useless I can't even drive mines anymore until I shell out 4K to get it fixed. Whenever I put it in drive it just jerks real hard to the point where I feel afraid to drive it. My wife actually got into an accident because just suddenly revs forward. I don't know why it does this but all owners that I have spoken to said the same thing.

- Va Beach, VA, USA

problem #33

Nov 152015


  • 223,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph, the vehicle started to violently jerk and the engine stalled as the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle did not restart. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 223,000.

- Plant City, FL, USA

problem #32

Jun 022015


  • 117,000 miles
When going to accelerate or change gears (park to reverse) the car jerks. When driving in city and I break then take off, the car engine rev's like the gear has slipped..

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #31

May 012015


  • 126,000 miles
Although the car looks beautiful, it's quickly becoming one of my least favorite vehicles I've owned. When I start going forward, I have to wait and be very patient on the gas pedal to make sure it shifts properly or it will jerk myself and small children in the back forward. I park in a ramp at work and on more than one occassion the car was downshifting as I turned a corner going up the ramp and I was slowing for a pedestrian and the car jerked forward and the pedestrian jumped and gave me a scared look. Not only is that entirely embarassing as an executive but it is a huge safety hazard on multiple levels. The car seems to jerk the most from 1-2 and 2-3 and visa versa. I noted electrical as an affected part because no matter how many times I set the mirror and seats, every time I use reverse, the mirrors move and click until I adjust them to where I need them.

- Norwalk, IA, USA

problem #30

Sep 042014


  • 78,000 miles
Pulling away from a stoplight, the transmission jerked violently from 1st to 2nd gear of the automatic transmission. The vehicle went into "limp mode" only going to 20 miles per hour on a very busy street with no turn off. Car was towed, and new transmission needed. Nissan will not take responsibility for the repair.

- Troutville, VA, USA

problem #29

Apr 172015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 91,545 miles


My Maxima has been jerking and hesitating at low speeds. It is only when the car has been running for a bit and is warmed up. A few times it has slammed into gear so hard I thought I had been rear ended. It is so bad that I have to drive with my hazard light on. I'm afraid for my life and other drivers on the road. This problem shouldn't be taken lightly and I believe Nissan should be held accountable.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #28

Apr 182015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
My car stalls and shuts off unexpected when at a stop, it also will not accelerate over 40 mph in traffic. I took it to a local auto store to test the (service engine soon) light, comes back with codes relating to the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors.

- Ripley, TN, USA

problem #27

Mar 142015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
I have a 2006 Nissan Maxima. I was going 30 mph, I hit a truck that was stopped at a red light. My airbags did not deploy. $4870 in damage but my insurance company said there was not enough damage to be considered a total loss ($170 away from being considered a total loss).

- Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #26

Aug 272014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
I took my vehicle in for some service and was told my timing chain needed to be replaced. It is going to cost over $2000 for the work. I have investigated this and found numerous other complaints about this. Nissan has issued as technical service bulletin on this problem. It appears a plastic part was used on the timing chain and it wears prematurely. I spoke to an independent mechanic and learned the timing chain should be good for at least 100000 miles. I was told by Nissan that if the problem was not corrected, it could result in major damage to the vehicle. In addition, if the timing chain fails, the vehicle could be rear-ended since the failure makes the vehicle inoperable.

- Moncks Corner, SC, USA

problem #25

Aug 262014


  • 76,027 miles
In neighbor driving 30, car jumps and motor idles. Has jumped into reverse when trying to shift to drive. While putting the car in reverse trying park, the car jumps instead of driving. While at a stop light while accelerating, car jumps three times before taking off to actually drive. Car refused to go into reverse to back out of a parking space.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #24

Nov 242014


  • 132,491 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Maxima. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 132,491. The VIN was not available.

- Cheltenham, PA, USA

problem #23

Aug 142014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 84,848 miles
My car will start off riding great but then the jerking starts and the acceleration stalls. I am so afraid that I may get in an accident as a result of the constant jerking. Sometimes my engine revs up and my car jerks as if the whole car will just fall apart. I pray everytime I get behind the wheel. I don't have $3,000 to get it repaired and I should not have to pay for it when there is a class action suit against Nissan for this issue. I am hoping that a recall is done so that I won't have to pay. I believe its a major safety issue because I can get in an accident or injure someone. It pisses me off that Nissan won't take responsibility.

- Windsor Mill, MD, USA

problem #22

Jan 072014


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 30 mph, the transmission began to jerk violently and the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The contact also heard a constant rattling noise coming from the timing chain while driving various speeds. An independent mechanic recommended that the faulty timing chain be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #21

Aug 032014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 195,800 miles
While driving on the interstate, I had cruise control set at 80mph. There was a stalling/jerking motion that took place. After looking over the instrument panel. I notice it was still on cruise control but the mph had dropped a few miles. Once cruise control was disengaged, I noticed the difference in acceleration. It felt like my car was stuck in third or forth gear. I had to hold pedal to the floor and wait as it picked up speed.

- Atmore, AL, USA

problem #20

Feb 052014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,800 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph and approaching a stop, transmission shifted hard. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the timing belt and the tensioner needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,800.

- Fontana, CA, USA

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