2010 Nissan Maxima CVT Issue (?)

dragongunnerdragongunner Member Posts: 3
edited January 2014 in Nissan
Hi all. This is my first post and I hope that I am doing it correctly. I just wanted to share with you my experience that I am now going through. 1 month ago I bought a 2010 Nissan Maxima SV. A few days ago (mileage approximately 950 miles, thats right less than 1k) at a toll plaza I noticed that my maxima was lagging. Sort of like when you put a manual transmission into 4th gear and try to drive from a stand still. Shortly later the service engine soon light came on.

The following day I took it to Courtesy Nissan (Tampa, Fl) and told them of the problem. After several hours they said that diagnostics did not find any problem, but when the tech took the vehicle for a test drive the vehicle was in fact lagging as I had reported. The tech contacted Nissan engineering because they had not heard of this problem(s) on a 2010 model. Nissan advised that there was something wrong in the transmission (I assume the CVT, but am unsure at this time) that made the vehicle it think that when starting from a stand still that it was in 3rd or 4th gear. Nissan is now sending some new part for the transmission. Now I am just waiting for Courtesy Nissan Tampa to call me that my maxima has been fixed.

I will keep you all posted as to the outcome and will use more technical terms as soon as I get the final report.

I am a first time Maxima owner and bought the Maxima because I have always heard that they are great vehicles and retain resale value more so than many other vehicles. I sure hope that this does not completely ruin my Maxima experience. Apart from this problem I have been absolutely loving the Maxima.


  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    I have a 2010 SV as well, but with about 7500 miles on it right now and have heard or felt none of this! Might be something specifically wrong with your vehicles. Please keep us aprise of what Nissan says and does. At the very least, let us know what they find so that any of us other 2010 owners who might experience something similar now or down the road will have your post to possibly fall back on!!

    Best of Luck getting your problem resolved!!
  • boatnboatn Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2010 SV and have experienced the same lag, first noticed at about 1200 miles. It now has 8500 miles and has been in the shop for several days. Same story to start with that they had no codes and possibly I was just not used to the CVT. I finally got the tech to ride with me and would not except that this was normal. They called Nissan and after a couple days of testing/monitoring they have ordered some valve body for it a week or so ago. The only issue is starting out from a stop about 50% of the time. It seems to be in about a 4th range, and can't get out of its own way, I have leaned not to pull out in front of on coming traffic as that is when it seems to want to do it. I also absolutely love the vehicle and performance except for this one issue. Hopefully they will get it resolved soon.
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    I'm glad you made enough stink that you got a tech to go out and drive with you. I've run into similar trouble with two separate Nissan dealership where all they want to freakin do is hook the thing up to the computer and if no codes come up, then they come back and shrug their shoulders and say they can't find anything wrong. You basically have to beg and demand for them to go out with a tech or force them to bring the car in, put it up on a lift, and demand they physically inspect the area your having trouble with!
  • dragongunnerdragongunner Member Posts: 3
    Hi. I waited to re-post because I wanted to see if the problem was fixed. The dealership had my vehicle for about 5 days when they called me and said that the problem had been fixed. Apparently there was some malfunctioning valve in the transmission.

    What ever the problem was it is now fixed. I have put about 600 miles on the vehicle since and have had no re-occurring problems (crosses fingers).

    I dont have the dealership work order and parts paperwork on me at the moment when I get it I will try to look up the issue and post exactly what part was malfunctioning.

    My experience with the dealership was actually very good. I am quite surprised as I have had awful experiences with new vehicles in the past. Good luck to you all and I will get that info out to you soon.
  • hondafan12hondafan12 Member Posts: 5
    Same here, first post. I have a 2010 Maxima Premium Package. At around 7000 miles I started noticing the same with with the engine, it was lagging when I took my foot off the gas. Noticed it the most when I was coming off a freeway exit. Also noticing a lot of knocking coming from the engine. I took it to the dealership last Saturday and they said it was probably a wheel bearing that needs to be replaced. I'm taking it to the dealership today after work to drop it off. I have had a lot of issues with this car ever since I leased it back in December. Also have had a lot of issues with the service dept. at the dealership I bought it at. I'm probably going to write a letter to Nissan explaining my dissatisfaction in both the car and dealership. I leased an FX35 in the past and loved it. Not so sure about my Nissan.
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    Know exactly what your talking about. Had a FX35 before this Maxima which had practically the same identical VQ engine with just a different displacement, etc. I had absolutely no knocking/pinging/clinging from the heat shield/exhaust system yet my 2010 Maxima is down right terrible/intense with knocking/pinging/clinging when the engine is both on/idling/running and when cooling off in the garage or driveway. I never have had a car make these noises, yet everyone tells me they are normal but I think its all a bunch of BS. I've heard a couple of other cars when I've been out make some of these noises but nothing to the extent this Maxima makes and it gets loud/constant enough I've been embarassed and had people comment if something was wrong with the car!

    I use top tier Shell Premium gas and have had the noises with both the Nissan Dino Oil the first 7500 miles and now a full synthetic since and the noise just don't seem to get better.



    How embarrassing for a 38k dollar automobile to be making these kinds of unrefined noises! I definitely think its heat shield related since its metallic sounding in nature.
  • dragongunnerdragongunner Member Posts: 3
    Hi again and sorry for the delay. I am going to basically give you all that was reported and work performed according to Nissan.

    Reported: Says engine light was on over the weekend. Acceleration from a stop was very poor until 45 mph then it seems ok (engine light code P1778 stored).

    Work Performed:
    -installed: valve assy
    -installed: washer-thrust
    -installed: seal-O ring
    -installed: bolt
    -installed transmission fluid
    installed: washer thrust
    -performed diagnosis for code P1778 and replaced Valve Body assy per hotline.

    Like my previous post this seems to have corrected the issue and after 600 miles put on the vehicle I have not noticed any further problems.

    I hope this may help anyone else out there who has experienced or is experiencing the same problem.
  • mmeadowsmmeadows Member Posts: 1
    Yes, I had a very similar problem with my 2010 Maxima, but it had 980 miles on it. At one point the transmission didn't even work. My dealer had to get a part from Nissan and it was a major computer part. It works wonderfully now. This is my third Maxima, but I must admit this one had a lot of small cosmetics wrong with it. I do love it. You can e mail me directly at [email protected] to discuss further.
  • buddybowbuddybow Member Posts: 3
    I am having the same problem with my 2010 Maxima SV with 4000 miles. Today was the worst, and started researching the internet. The car starts as if it is in 3rd or 4th gear, and I am affraid to pull in front of on coming traffic too. I am going to the Nissan dealer with all of your feed backs as soon as I finish this email, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts.
  • dromgardromgar Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I bought a 2010 Maxima in April and have put 3000 miles on it so far. We drove it from New Jersey to Florida this weekend and were dismayed to find that about half the time we'd pull off the highway the car would have no power at all when trying to accelerate from a stop sign or red light. Glad to know we're not the only ones having this problem. I did note that in the manual under the CVT section it states that when the CVT fluid is at a high temperature the car will shift into a higher gear automatically. If that's true then I feel the line should be recalled as the behavior of the car is DANGEROUS. Before we became adjusted to the problem we tried pulling across a two lane highway and nearly caused an accident when the car wouldn't make it past 15- 20 mph! Now we wait until there's no oncomingvehicles from either direction...
    I'm planning on finding a dealership tomorrow but my fear is they won't find a problem or be able to replicate the issue. Wish me luck.
  • buddybowbuddybow Member Posts: 3

    That is exactly what happened to me. I took the car to Royal Palm Nissan in West Palm Beach. A technician drove the car and was not able to duplicate the problem. They claim that no one had reported such issue. If you are in the West Palm Beach area, you may want to take it to the same dealership(the name of the service advisor is Frank) and than we may both have an answer to this problem. I received a Customer Satisfaction survey from Nissan and I intend to mention all these instances and ask them to look into it. It is a major safety concern and something needs to be done about it.
  • crazyrikicrazyriki Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info! I had this happen on Friday and my husband couldn't get it to duplicate all weekend and didn't know what to tell the service people so he just didn't bother taking it in. I will have to print this off and let them see it. At least it's proof that it's not me and the car has less than 4000 miles on it. I hope this fixes it!
  • crazyrikicrazyriki Member Posts: 4
    edited July 2010
    Well, it's happened again while I was driving out of town on a busy road, stopped at a red light, then had to floor it to get to about 25 or 30 then it kicked back into gear.
    Took it to Nissan, "Can't replicate the problem, perhaps you're just not familiar with the CVT - want to test drive another and we can show you that it's common"
    Um, NO! It's not common - I test drove this one before I bought it and it didn't do it. Heck, if it had I would have had nothing to do with this. I'm seriously already at the point of thinking about selling it. I have 2 small children and I do have to go past a pretty scary intersection 4 times a day. I'm really mad about this and Nissan doesn't admit there's an issue. I showed them the printouts from this forum and they didn't seem to be bothered in the least.
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    edited July 2010
    At this point, its a major safety issue and something is definitely wrong. It time to get Nissan Consumer Affairs involved and report the issue to them and how serious it is. See what Nissan says to you and tell them what your crappy local Nissan stealership said to you. Make sure you report the name of the stealership, location, and service people who treated you crappy so its on record. They'll probably tell you to take it to another Nissan stealership. I would do that but if possible, try to take it to one that has the national Nissan sales and service award. Your chances are better of getting good customer service from a stealership with that award and help! You can find out if any of your local stealers have it by going to the nissanusa website and putting in your zipcode in the stealer search and when the listings come up for the stealers, ones with the award will have a little logo next to their name on the right hand side.

    If Nissan Consumer Affairs dismisses your problems, I've found in the past that threatening legal action sometimes gets them to take you more seriously.

    Definitely should not be happening and I've had a 2010 Max for just about a year now and its never done anything like what your describing so its definitely not normal!

    Best of Luck to You!!!
  • morenaangiefmorenaangief Member Posts: 1
    It sounds like you are having the same problems with your 2010 year Nissan
    Max as 1000's of other Max owners are having with their 2004-2007
    models. I have a 2005 Nissan Max and have been researching online for about a month now and think that a moderately price fix has been found. Try checking out these two website on transmission issue and not only will you see tons of postings regarding the same complaints, but you may find some valuable information as well.
    I hope everything works out for you.

    link title

    link title
  • crazyrikicrazyriki Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply, I didn't think to come back until now.
    After the last time I posted we wrote to the customer service folks and have a lady who is working with us now. We left it at the dealership for a few days and they reprogrammed something and said that they've had others report similar issues lately and this seems to fix it. They also were going to fix a squeaky steering wheel. They told us to pick it up and the day my husband picked it up I got a call saying the part was in?? What? I am pretty sure that we're picking it up today. Come to find out that they never fixed the steering wheel, they just ordered the part. If I hadn't have told the hubby about the weird call he wouldn't have known that it wasn't fixed. So he's been driving it for 2 days and said he would take it by there to get the steering wheel part fixed.
    I'm very lucky that he's been driving it because today HE got to experience the stalling thing. He was telling me of the RPMs and what else was happening, but I'm glad that he can explain it now. I'm mad that a brand new car is having these issues. I'm fed up. Carmax will give us $27K for it. I'm not sure how much longer I want it to just be sitting in the shop. What is the lemon law? :lemon:
    Oh I'm so mad! If this is happening to others, please let me know!

    I will look at those sites the last person sent. I will pass that on I mean, I'm sure I am not able to fix it, it's still under warrenty. Will keep you updated!
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    I'm surprised you've never heard of lemon law. Each state has their own lemon law, but they typically differ in policies, requirements, etc from state to state.

    Here in NJ where I live, if you have a car that is either under 2 yrs old or 18k miles, and have had a problem with your new car that has been fixed on 3 separate occasions, WITHOUT a fix from your stealership, you can file for a lemon law claim on your new car. Typically, when you inform your state and automaker your filing you have to have detailed paperwork, 3 separate (failed) repair attempts by your stealer.

    It doesn't sound like you've had 3 separate failed repair attempts yet so I don't think you would qualify for lemon law at this point. To be honest, a squeaky steering wheel is not that big a deal and typically can be fixed easily. I've had a few technical issues like that fixed on my Max already but many cars have TSBs and repairs like that, not just Nissan.

    Now the transmission problem is more unacceptable in my opinion. Hopefully that fix will solve your issues and that would be considered repair attempt number 1 for that issue.
  • gjg1234gjg1234 Member Posts: 2

    I just bought a new 2010 Maxima. It's only got about 1,000 miles on it and occasionaly I experience the same problem. Did you ever get a fix?
  • alan_salan_s Member Posts: 362
    There is a TSB available that addresses the low-speed vibrations but it also tremendously improves the response of the transmission at all engine speeds. The difference is so huge that it feels like a completely different powertrain.

    The revised CVT programming manages the powertrain so much better, the whole car feels a lot more powerful and connected. In fact, it no longer feels like a CVT but a very well behaved and very responsive automatic.

    I had the TSB applied about a month ago and am obviously extremely pleased with the result. This is how the CVT should have been programmed from the factory.
    I finally feels 290hp, and there has been no change in fuel consumption.

    TSB Details:
    AT09-014 NTB09-138 December 18, 2009
    APPLIED VEHICLE:2009 - 2010 Maxima (A35)
    There is a booming noise and/or vibration when all of the following conditions are present:
    • Speed between 20 and 45 mph
    • Transmission is in “lock-up”
    • Engine RPM between 1200 and 1500
    • Light acceleration

    Customer Information
    1. Slight noise and/or vibration under the conditions described above are a normal operating characteristic of this vehicle and are within design specifications for the vehicle.
    2. For those customers who are particularly sensitive to this characteristic of their vehicles, the transmission control module reprogramming procedure described in this bulletin may be performed. However, the customer should be advised that this is a specification change and differs from the original specification that exists on their vehicle.
    3. If a customer voluntarily chooses to have this specification change made to their vehicle, they should be advised that their actual MPG may (or may not) slightly decrease (up to 1 mpg) as a result, depending on their driving habits and other conditions.
  • buddybowbuddybow Member Posts: 3

    The issue has been fixed. After involving NissanUSA customer service and several trips to the dealership, the Nissan Engineers in Tenessee recommended a valve assembly replacement. It took about a week to get the parts and few hours to replace. I have driven the car for about 2000 miles since, and it is a complete different acceleration and performance. Now I can consistently feel the 290 horse power engine.

    Good luck!
  • gjg1234gjg1234 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response. I also had the CVT valve body assembly replaced and everything seems OK now. When I initially took the car in I printed your response and it seemed to move things along better. The dealership claimed they haven't heard of this before.
  • gs42gs42 Member Posts: 54
    I second everything you have said. Mine was done this week and was the FIRST one done by a pretty high volume dealer. Yes, everyone who can get it done should do it.

    Responsiveness is now better than good and a car that was a lot of fun to drive is now so good it is hard to not make excuses to get in it and go. The car always had an animal inside but the gate had to be unlocked and the door opened..now there is no gate, no door, it just goes. Down shifting is smooth and very quick..no hesitation. I would not trade this CVT for any 6-7 speed automatic. With the TSB flashed, it is superior to any I have driven.
  • crazyrikicrazyriki Member Posts: 4
    Well, after months of anger and it being in the shop - they took this thread that I had printed and applied the first fix recommended...I can't believe it took them so long as I took this in the first time I complained and I know they replaced all kinds of stuff before deciding to do what was mentioned.
    Sorry it took so long to come back on here, but glad the ordeal is done!
  • smithjr77smithjr77 Member Posts: 4
    First of all, I am glad that others are having the SAME issue as me... and ticked off that a $35k vehicle should NOT be having these issues. I've printed off this thread to present to the dealership. I'm thinking this is going to have to be taken to the manufacturer... maybe even a lawyer for the Lemon Law.

    I'm a car junkie... buy & sell cars of different makes & models every 1-3 years (until I met my wife) and never have had serious problems like this before. Yes, I'd drive the heck out of them.

    We bought our first Nissan in May 2010, after hearing how "awesome" Maxima's were. Plus the body design & size along with the raw 290 HP attracted us.

    1) Immediately I noticed it was difficult to back-up the car into the garage. It was like the 1/2 inch concrete lip was a pure challenge for the car. So, we now park it forward.

    2) At less than 1k miles we noticed the car was lagging anytime we backed the car out of the garage. Completely stopped. Put in drive and pressed the gas. It took a good 20+ seconds to get any "power" to really move forward. It now has 11k miles and the issues persist.

    3) We took it on a vacation and after we got off the highway, we had to wait to cross a divided highway. I darted across the first two lanes into the "suicide lane" and paused. We almost got a good taste of that suicide! I saw an opening and gunned the car and... nothing. WHAT?! Let off the gas, gunned again.. nothing. Flipped to Sport mode... nothing!! I heard the engine revving, but it was as though the engine & tranny were no longer connected. We were slowly moving forward. After almost getting creamed, the car started to pick up and go. I think we both just about peed our pants.

    4) Stop & Go city traffic... lack of power again.

    They kept the car a few days and thankfully experienced the same issues.
    "Fix": Reset the transmission's computer.

    Reaction: Wow, it was like the 290 horses woke up! It was awesome... Even the RPM's were higher, which was fine. I found it odd, personally, that they were so low in the first place.

    Problem: A few days later... the issues returned.. # 2, 3 and 4 listed above. We never tried backing it into the garage.

    They again experienced the same issues.
    "Fix": The transmission from the factory came with too much fluid... only a thimble size. They drained some of the fluid back to what it should have been from the factory. Supposedly that additional fluid was messing up the parameters the computer was setting. They said the transmission was going into a "fail-safe" mode to prevent itself from damage & therefore there was lack of power. They also reset the transmission's computer back to factory settings.

    Reaction: Wow... it's working again. The car is alive!

    Problem: A few days later... "You've gotta be kidding me..." .. The issues #2, 3, & 4 have returned!!

    Okay, this doesn't make sense. We fix it. It leaves working. A few days later it falls flat on its face, again.

    What's next? A new computer? A new transmission? What's after that??

    * Does that ' Valve Assembly Replacement ' seem to work for folks?? * Maybe there's a leak. :sick:
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    Just an FYI, after the 3 fix, if that doesn't work like the previous ones, you'll qualify for lemon law in your state. Most states have it that the dealership has to try 3 times to repair an issue and if they don't then you'll qualify for lemon law. Just make sure you have everything documented and you bring the service receipts for every time you took it in. I was also find out the full name and position of the people who told you they experience the same problem when they had it at the dealership!
  • smithjr77smithjr77 Member Posts: 4
    During the 3rd visit to the dealership for the same issues, they decided it would be more cost effective and better to keep their customers happy and safe by putting a new transmission in the car (than going through the Lemon Law). The repair notes state they found debris inside the old transmission! We've only had it back a few days, so we'll have to see if this one falls flat on its face, too. It's usually after a week. We're hoping that's not the case!
  • navajochiefnavajochief Member Posts: 2
    I've been reading this thread and am in the process of possibly buying a 2011 Maxima myself. On your last post you signed off informing us you were receiving a new transmission. So did this fix your issue? Is your tranny still acting out or did you end up 'lemoning" the car?

    Thank you.
  • smithjr77smithjr77 Member Posts: 4
    Since the new transmission was installed all 100% of the issues disappeared! It's been absolutely perfect. I think Nissan is aware that they have bad batches of transmissions and tell the dealerships to go through all the hoops before reaching the "Lemon Law" phase, which is a royal pain the *ss. It really messes with the trust of your purchase. Maybe they figure the little "fixes" will resolve the issue. The car hasn't had any of the issues we had since the new transmission was put in.

    My Dad went forth and just traded in his 2007 350Z (bummer!!! That was such an awesome vehicle to drive!) and bought the same 2011 Nissan Maxima SV but got his with the Sport and Technology Packages. He hasn't had any issues with is CVT transmission. The paddle shifters over-ride the whole system so you can use them whether in normal or "sport" mode.

    Overall, I really like the Maxima. I can see us keeping it for many years!
  • navajochiefnavajochief Member Posts: 2
    I thank you for your quick response as we are in the midst of awaiting our 2011 Maxima to arrive. I currently own a 1997 Maxima I bought new and it still drives like a dream. I'm glad your Maxima is trouble free. After I read your blogs this morning I immediately called the Nissan dealer I was planning on buying from and asked about the CVT issues. He told me they were resolved and that Nissan is confident in the issue. However, the 2011 Maximas are not covered under the new extended CVT warranty such as the '03's and 10's are. The 2011 will remain with the standard 5 years/60k. I hope it really is fixed. Believe me, if not, I'll make sure to post. Thank you again.
  • jglockjglock Member Posts: 1
    thank god im not alone, i reported this last june after a trip from chicago to florida. and then again on my way back. went to my dealer, brought the car in and they where unable to find the issue or find any codes. almost 1 year later i take another semi long trip and it just happened again after a 140 mile trip. i brought the car to the dealer tonight hoping while still hot it would happen for them. car sat for about 15 minutes and would not re create the lag issue. now i have proof to them it exists.

    Thank you!!
  • omie_toromie_tor Member Posts: 2
    Hi Everyone,

    I recently purchased the 11 Maxima in Canada and now facing the same vibration issue at low RPM when driving. The problem goes away after it passes 2000RPM.

    Took it to the dealership this morning and they said it is normal for the transmission. I showed them the NTB and said it applies to only U.S. Models, and no Canadian NTB exists.

    My question is has anyone in Canada experienced this problem and tried to resolve it?
    Also why would this problem be only limited to U.S. models? Its the same transmission, am i missing something?

    Thanks in advance,
  • maximaspiritmaximaspirit Member Posts: 2
    I have 33000 miles on my Maxima and was told yesterday that my transmission needs to be replaced. I noticed a whiney sound as the car increased speed. Very noticable in the 30 to 40 MPH range. I also had both wheel bearings replaced in the last month. I love the car but I hope I'm not in for a lot of problems. Anyone else have these problems? BTW the dealer has been excellent at helping me. :(
  • arodinarodin Member Posts: 1

    My maxima 2010 purchased in february 2010 made 47k miles last week and the cvt died completely.... All it could produce was noise .... It happened on a highway at around 80 mph with lots of vehicles left right and center... Was lucky enough to get to the roadside without bothering anyone... Was towed to the service center in a short while... the dealer warranty of 36 months or 100 000 km - whichever comes first - already expired in february, but on nissan assist site I came accross the info about extended cvt warranty, something like 5 years and 60k miles, which is still a long way to go for me.... The question is - if this extended cvt warranty still working ?

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