Notes: The 2011 Nissan Maxima is a very good reliable vehicle. Beware of Maximas from 2009, and 2004-2006 though.

The 2009 Maxima has an expensive problem where the steering lock prevents the car from starting, & costs upwards of $1,000 to fix.

Nissan Maximas from 2004-2006 have a widespread transmission defect, but judging from our complaint data, Nissan fixed the transmission problem starting with the 2007 model.

For the 2011 Maxima, so far so good!


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,131 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.

2011 Nissan Maxima drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 302016


  • 67,000 miles


Check engine indicator light has come on intermittently 3 times in the past two months. Upon getting a diagnostic test at a Nissan dealership, the second time the light came on, I was told they needed the car another day, for a longer time to further investigate the two codes that came up during the test. The check engine light went back out a few days later. Now two months later the light is on again and this time as I was leaving a shopping center parking lot, turning onto a main road the car made a jerking/surge-stop motion as if it did not want to accelerate. It continued to do this same motion any time I slowed down or stopped at a light or slowed down to make a turn during my 2.5-3.0 mile trip to my house. I did not drive the car for the next 24-28 hours. Upon driving the car to the dealership to drop off for service I did not experience the jerking/surge-stop motion. After assessing the vehicle today I was informed that the rear timing chain cover has deteriorated causing problems with oil pressure to the engine, code P0011. There were also two other codes for heating system P1217 and transmission fluid pressure P0868. Total cost of repairs $2984. My car is 5 years old, approximately 67,000 miles on it so it is outside of the warranty. After reading others similar complaints about transmission issues just outside of the warranty period, knowing that previous model years had problems that ended up extended warranty it is very disturbing and disappointing to know that Nissan is not further investigating these issues further. Also, other issues I have had tire pressure indicator light coming on intermittently and car not starting but all dash lights staying on had technical bulletins. The latter should be a quick resolve yet I was charged almost $400 for something not mentioned in the related bulletin. Nissan lacks responsible customer service!!!

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #4

Sep 212015


  • 107,400 miles
Car hesitates shifting from 1st to 2nd. At times, there is a loud "clunking" sound when the gas is pressed hard. Then even when the gas is pressed all the way down, car would slowly shift. It takes about 10 to 20 seconds before it would shift normally. This gets worse when driving for about 10 minutes. Error code it returns include P1778 and P0746. Separate issue: The driver seat rocks back and forth when accelerating and stopping.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #3

Jan 312015


  • 62,053 miles
Intermittent high RPM's with no control of speed. Would happen then not happen for days. Would not go at stop signs/stop lights then surge forward when the transmission (we later learned) finally engaged. On a day it wasn't acting up we took it to where we bought it (dealership) and they immediately notified us that we needed a brand new transmission $5,500. 2,053 miles outside of warranty. We could not believe that when they contacted corporate no consideration for our long-term relationship.never in a million years did we think it was something so serious as a complete transmission failure. This transmission is supposedly the second (improved) transmission type that Nissan has put in the Maxima with the prior generation of transmissions being given a warranty of up to 10 years or 100,000 miles due to all the prior problems that were supposed to have been fixed with this second generation. Now, they won't even honor the transmission issue with a 62,053 mileage. The transmissions aren't fixed! we have 2 small grandchildren we pick up every other week and regularly use the car to pick them up. How scary to have realized we could have been in an accident with the kids in the car because we had no idea that the transmission on a car with only 62,053 miles would be completely shot. Someone please at your organization look into this.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 232014


  • 41,000 miles
Tsb ntb12-071- factory bearing problems 2009 " 2012 Maxima; engine knock from #1 main bearing 2009 " 2012 Maxima (A35) no.1 main bearing knock noise confirmation use the following criteria and symptoms to confirm the knock noise is coming from the no. 1 crankshaft main bearing. Knock noise from no.1 main bearing is confirmed if all of the following symptoms exist: " not heard at cold start. " can be heard at warm idle (not a cold start condition). " heard best from under the engine with the vehicle lifted. " using stethoscope, the knock can be isolated to the lower front of the engine (near the # 1 or # 2 main bearing). " cannot be heard driving at highway speeds. " cannot be heard sitting in the vehicle with the radio on. Planet Nissan -5850 centennial center blcd- las vegas nv 89149- refused to resolved or fix this problems [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Las Vegass, NV, USA

problem #1

Apr 252014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 98,200 miles
Transmission: The service engine soon indicator was on so I took my car in for service. When I received the diagnosis I was told that my transmission needs to be replaced. My car is just 3yrs old and has 98K miles. I was informed that this is not covered under warranty as the extended warranty expired at 75K miles. The total cost of the re-manufactured 3.5 transmission would be $3589. 2003-2010 models have an extended warranty on the 3.0 transmission because of the same issue. The 2011 and newer models aren't covered citing that it's not the same transmission (3.0 vs 3.5) though the issue with the cvt transmission is the same. Following are the diagnosis codes I received: P0744, P0868 and B2190. Recommend cvt assembly.

- Willingboro, NJ, USA

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