**2017 Nissan Maxima CVT Problems: Signs to Watch For and How to Avoid Them**

by parker
YouTube video

Are you a proud owner of a 2017 Nissan Maxima? If so, it’s important to stay informed about potential problems that may arise with your vehicle, particularly in regards to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). In this article, we will discuss the signs of CVT failure to watch out for, share tips on how to avoid these issues, and provide a personal experience of a 2017 Nissan Maxima owner who encountered transmission problems.

Common Signs of CVT Failure

If you notice any of the following signs while driving your 2017 Nissan Maxima, it could indicate a possible CVT failure:

  1. Increased RPMs: One of the most common signs of CVT problems is an increase in RPMs (Revolutions per Minute) for no apparent reason. For example, you may observe abnormally high RPMs when driving short distances or waiting at a traffic light.
  2. Unusual Shifts: Another sign to look out for is if the shifts feel inconsistent or not smooth. This can manifest as a delay when switching from drive to reverse or vice versa.
  3. Loss of Power: If you experience high RPMs but do not feel the accompanying power, it could be indicative of a CVT issue. This lack of power can become more noticeable as the mileage on your vehicle increases.
  4. Vibration: Some drivers report feeling a shaky or vibrating sensation while driving, particularly during stop-and-go traffic.

These signs should not be ignored, as they can worsen over time and potentially lead to complete transmission failure. If you observe any of these symptoms, it is essential to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic.

Personal Experience with CVT Failure

One 2017 Nissan Maxima owner shared their personal experience with CVT failure. After purchasing a pre-owned Maxima with approximately 5,900 miles on it, everything seemed fine until around 123,000 miles. The owner began experiencing increased RPMs, inconsistent shifts, and a noticeable loss of power. These issues were especially prominent during cold mornings.

To understand the severity of the problem, the owner took two video clips showcasing the high RPMs during a stop at a traffic light and while attempting to pass on the expressway. They brought these videos to their dealership for diagnosis. The dealership detected a judder code, indicating a problem with the CVT.

Upon consultation with the dealership, it was discovered that CVT transmissions cannot be repaired, only replaced. The owner made the decision to replace the transmission rather than purchase another used car, considering the potential for overpricing and depreciation. The transmission replacement cost around $5,000, with $2,400 for the remanufactured transmission itself and $2,200 for the labor.

Tips to Avoid CVT Problems

While CVT failures can be concerning, there are steps you can take to potentially avoid these issues altogether:

  1. Avoid Engine Braking: It is recommended to refrain from engaging in engine braking, especially with a CVT. Engine braking puts unnecessary strain on the transmission system, potentially contributing to premature failure.
  2. Limit Use of Manual Shift Mode: Although it may be tempting to utilize the manual shift mode, it is advisable to avoid excessive use. Stick to driving the car normally and only engage manual mode when necessary.
  3. Follow Maintenance Schedule: Strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, including regular transmission fluid changes. Staying up-to-date with maintenance can help prevent or identify problems before they worsen.

Potential Legal Action and Warranty Considerations

Given the prevalence of CVT failures in certain Nissan models, including class-action lawsuits against the automaker, there may be a possibility of recouping some of the repair costs in the future. The 2017 Nissan Maxima owner mentioned the potential for a class-action lawsuit and keeping all related paperwork as a precautionary measure.

If you own a 2017 Nissan Maxima, it is wise to consider extended warranty options to protect yourself from potential transmission issues. While the cost of a new transmission can be significant, having warranty coverage can alleviate financial burdens.


In conclusion, being aware of the signs of CVT failure in your 2017 Nissan Maxima can save you from further problems down the road. Keep an eye out for increased RPMs, unusual shifts, a loss of power, and vibrations while driving. Avoid engine braking, limit the use of manual shift mode, and adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. If you experience any issues, it is crucial to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic. And finally, consider extended warranty options to protect yourself against potential transmission problems. Stay informed, stay proactive, and enjoy the ride in your 2017 Nissan Maxima!

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