2017 Nissan Maxima CVT Transmission Problems: Signs to Watch For and Things to Avoid

by parker
YouTube video

The 2017 Nissan Maxima is a popular car choice for many drivers. However, there have been several reports of transmission problems with the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) in these vehicles. In this article, we will discuss the signs to watch for and things to avoid when it comes to the CVT transmission in the 2017 Nissan Maxima.


The 2017 Nissan Maxima has been the subject of discussion among car enthusiasts due to reported transmission issues. In this article, we will dive deep into the problem, its signs, and steps to avoid worsening the situation. By understanding the warning signs and taking preventative measures, you can ensure the longevity and reliability of your Nissan Maxima.

Background and Ownership

The author of the article purchased a pre-owned 2017 Nissan Maxima, which was a demo vehicle with 5,900 miles on it. From the beginning, everything seemed to be going well with the car until around 123,000 miles when the first signs of transmission trouble started to appear. The author noticed increased RPMs during short distances and improper shifting, which led to further investigation.

Signs of Transmission Problems

  1. Increased RPMs: One of the earliest signs of transmission trouble with the 2017 Nissan Maxima is the sudden increase in RPMs even during short distances. This indicates that the transmission is not working properly and may need further inspection.
  2. Improper Shifting: If you notice that the shifts in your Nissan Maxima do not feel right or are not smooth as they should be, it could be a sign of transmission issues. Pay close attention to any jerking or hesitation when shifting gears.

Diagnostic and Repair Process

The author took the car to a dealer and showed them video clips of the transmission problems. The dealer plugged in the car and found a judder code, indicating an issue with the transmission. Unfortunately, the CVT transmission cannot be repaired and must be replaced entirely. The author made the decision to replace the transmission to avoid the hassle of buying a new car and potentially dealing with future transmission problems.

Cost of Transmission Replacement

Replacing the CVT transmission in the 2017 Nissan Maxima can be quite expensive. The author shared the cost breakdown, which included a remanufactured transmission for $2,400 and labor costs amounting to $2,200. In total, the transmission replacement cost came out to be around $5,000. It is important to note that this cost will vary based on various factors such as location and labor rates.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

To avoid CVT transmission problems in the 2017 Nissan Maxima, it is essential to follow some preventive measures and maintenance tips. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Avoid Engine Braking: Engine braking, which involves shifting to a lower gear to slow down the vehicle, can put unnecessary stress on the CVT transmission. It is best to avoid this practice to prevent potential damage.
  2. Stay Away from Manual Shift Gate: While the option to manually shift gears may seem appealing, it is advisable to avoid using the manual shift gate frequently. The CVT transmission is designed to work optimally in automatic mode.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your 2017 Nissan Maxima. This includes changing the transmission fluid at the specified intervals, usually every 60,000 miles or as per the maintenance schedule.

Class Action Lawsuits and Warranty

The author believes that there may be a class action lawsuit against Nissan due to the reported transmission issues. In the past, Nissan has faced class action lawsuits related to their Pathfinder, Rogue, and other models. It is important to keep all the paperwork related to the transmission replacement as evidence, in case such legal actions arise.

If your 2017 Nissan Maxima is still under warranty, it is advisable to bring it to an authorized dealer for repair and replacement. However, if the vehicle is out of warranty, having an extended warranty or purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle with warranty coverage can provide additional peace of mind.


Despite the reported transmission problems in the 2017 Nissan Maxima, it is still considered a good car overall. By keeping up with regular maintenance, avoiding engine braking and excessive use of the manual shift gate, you can prolong the life of your CVT transmission. However, if you experience any signs of transmission trouble, it is crucial to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage. Take note of the author’s experience and the steps taken to resolve the transmission problem, as it may be helpful in navigating similar issues with your own vehicle.

If you are considering purchasing a used 2017 Nissan Maxima or already own one, it is recommended to get an extended warranty to cover potential transmission issues. By taking the necessary precautions and staying informed, you can ensure a smooth and reliable driving experience with your 2017 Nissan Maxima.

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