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  #1  
Old 10-22-2009, 06:10 AM
jaydaniels jaydaniels is offline
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2004 Maxima
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Unhappy 2004 Maxima RPM Drop During Downshifting

I just purchased my 2004 Nissan Maxima and have 68K miles. I am having a problem where the RPM gauge drops down to idle speed (i.e. 750rpm) and then returns back to a "normal" RPM speed when the transmission is performing its downshift from 5th to 4th gear. (i.e. It appears that the engine loses speed and then jumps back up). The problem does not happen all of the time and only happens during the 5th to 4th transition. Ultimately, when I let my foot off of the accelerator (i.e car has shifted up into 5th gear) and coast, the engine RPM's drop momentarily during the gear change.

I can tell when the strange downshifting will occur by observing the RPM speed when I let off of the accelerator ( in order to coast down through gears 4,3,2,1). Here are the two scenarios: Sometimes when I let off of the accelerator, the tachometer reads 2000 RPM then the engine slows down to idle speed. And sometimes when I let off of the accelerator the RPM immediately reads 1000RPM and slows to down to idle speed. I have learned that the drop in RPM ONLY occurs when the engine starts out at 2000RPM when I off of the accelerator. During this (2000RPM) scenario, the engine is typically at about 1500rpm at the shift point, and here is where the momentary drop from 1500rpm to 750rpm and back up to 1500rpm is seen.


The strange thing is that I am able to override this condition that I am able to foresee. Here is how I override it so it does not occur (and downshift normally): When I let off of gas in 5th gear and see that the engine is at 2000RPM, I can tap on the gas pedal to rev the engine slightly (and jerk my car a little). When I rev the engine slightly, the engine speed reduces down to the 1000rpm point and the strange downshift doesn't happen.

Since I am able to override it, I am not sure if I have a transmisstion problem, a damaged hose, or a faulty sensor of some sort. I took it to autozone to have my codes read (the connector under the steering column) and nothing came back. I had the transmission fluid flushed because of this problem but the problem still exists. Not sure if the dealer would be able to diagnose this one but that is my next step since I have yet to find a mechanic that can solve this one. STRANGE ISN'T IT!! ..

Last edited by jaydaniels; 11-05-2009 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Clarified the scenario so it is understandable and readable
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2009, 07:50 PM
jaydaniels jaydaniels is offline
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I have clarified this posting. So if you have read this once before, please take time to read it once again. Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2010, 10:47 AM
nickb300z
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydaniels View Post
I just purchased my 2004 Nissan Maxima and have 68K miles. I am having a problem where the RPM gauge drops down to idle speed (i.e. 750rpm) and then returns back to a "normal" RPM speed when the transmission is performing its downshift from 5th to 4th gear. (i.e. It appears that the engine loses speed and then jumps back up). The problem does not happen all of the time and only happens during the 5th to 4th transition. Ultimately, when I let my foot off of the accelerator (i.e car has shifted up into 5th gear) and coast, the engine RPM's drop momentarily during the gear change.

I can tell when the strange downshifting will occur by observing the RPM speed when I let off of the accelerator ( in order to coast down through gears 4,3,2,1). Here are the two scenarios: Sometimes when I let off of the accelerator, the tachometer reads 2000 RPM then the engine slows down to idle speed. And sometimes when I let off of the accelerator the RPM immediately reads 1000RPM and slows to down to idle speed. I have learned that the drop in RPM ONLY occurs when the engine starts out at 2000RPM when I off of the accelerator. During this (2000RPM) scenario, the engine is typically at about 1500rpm at the shift point, and here is where the momentary drop from 1500rpm to 750rpm and back up to 1500rpm is seen.


The strange thing is that I am able to override this condition that I am able to foresee. Here is how I override it so it does not occur (and downshift normally): When I let off of gas in 5th gear and see that the engine is at 2000RPM, I can tap on the gas pedal to rev the engine slightly (and jerk my car a little). When I rev the engine slightly, the engine speed reduces down to the 1000rpm point and the strange downshift doesn't happen.

Since I am able to override it, I am not sure if I have a transmisstion problem, a damaged hose, or a faulty sensor of some sort. I took it to autozone to have my codes read (the connector under the steering column) and nothing came back. I had the transmission fluid flushed because of this problem but the problem still exists. Not sure if the dealer would be able to diagnose this one but that is my next step since I have yet to find a mechanic that can solve this one. STRANGE ISN'T IT!! ..
I am also having a similar problem with my 2004 SE with 80,000 miles. The car drives perfectly smooth but the tach is very jumpy and when you accelerate hard it seems to skip its way up rather than move smoothly. It also does the thing where the rpm's dip low when it is downshifting. I was just seeing if you ever got yours resolved or if someone else knows what is causing this issue. My mom's 04 SE does not have these symptoms but the two engines accelerate the same and are both smooth. Thanks
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2010, 08:05 PM
aphonsa
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i also have the same problem. My camshaft sensor went out a couple of months ago and it leaves you in 5th gear, i tried a manual(tiptronic) downshift heard some grinding and have had this downshift problem since.... did you have a similar issue?
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2010, 02:36 PM
wau wau is offline
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2000 Maxima
 
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There are three sensors(or systems) are involve to gear change and RPM at the change;1)out put speed sensor(AT),it sent out a signal to TCM to control the gear change.2)cam shaft position sensor.3)cran position sensor all those sent information to ECM to pick the right situation for gear change.RPM change during gear change is normal but if the change is big and notes the performment change then need to be aware.Any trouble engine light on? or code detect?If no just wait.If yes then follow the code to correct it.

Last edited by wau; 09-13-2010 at 06:52 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2010, 01:45 PM
jaydaniels jaydaniels is offline
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2004 Maxima
 
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Wau (enthusiast)-

There isn't any engine codes or lights on. The strange thing is that I can override the issue when I see it by hitting the gas. I was debating just to start changing the sensors you mentioned sensors although there are no fault codes but I was trying to avoid this since it can get "pricey".

Aphonsa-

What did changing the camshaft sensor do for you? Did it fix the downshifting problem? or did it fix it from staying in 5th gear and grinding?
No, I do not have any gearing issues in terms of staying in any particular gear.

Nickb300z-
Do you feel the car "take off" when the strange downshift occurs? To me, it feels like it is in neutral momentarily.
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2010, 03:58 PM
wau wau is offline
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As long as no code came out and normal performance I will not play too much attention to the RPM,because the RPM during the shiffing are base on many input from different sensors which including those sensors has been mention to ECM and compute to out to be RPM.and hardly the same.But if RPM drop too big that could due to big change of the load possible due to high resistance from one gear to other could be mechanical problem.Do you check the AT fluid level?Why try change the AT fluid?

Last edited by wau; 10-03-2010 at 05:32 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2010, 01:31 PM
jaydaniels jaydaniels is offline
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Yes, I performed the transmission flush at 65Kmiles as recommended.
The purpose of tapping on the gas is just to rev the engine slightly. This "override" makes the RPM gauge sit at 1000rpm instead of "slowing down" as the vehicle slows down. When I see that the tachometer doesn't drop to ~1000rpm when I let off of the gas, this is how I know the large sag will occur at the 5th to 4th gear downshift. The predictability and the ability to override makes me reluctant to believe it's an actual transmission issue.

Looks like I will have to go to a transmission specialist...grrr!
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2011, 06:02 PM
jaydaniels jaydaniels is offline
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2004 Maxima
 
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I have read on fixya.com, when searching transmission shift issues, that a clogged MAF (mass air flow) sensor and/or a clogged fuel filter can cause strange shifting that can be interpreted as a transmission problem. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience to share about this?
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2017, 06:22 AM
Kfalali Kfalali is offline
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2009 Maxima
 
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Hi i am having exact same issue in my car.. did u get to know the problem by any chance.. please update
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:16 AM
jaydaniels jaydaniels is offline
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Hi,

I never found out what the problem was. Traded it in. I did not try changing the sensors that was recommended earlier in the thread. But I would start there. I know I will never buy Nissan again after all the issues I had with my 2004 maxima. Between the numerous/random ignition coil failures, the timing chain service bulletin with the terrible grinding chain noise, and the unresolved "transmission" issue (where the granny feels like it slips into neutral momentarily during downshift), the car was in the shop more than I drove it LITERALLY!

Funny story is the dealer was completely upset with me because the timing chain noise was quiet when I first came to buy a new car although he was initially skeptical due to the known issues with these Maximas. He said he had to buy the car back at a loss from the auction place he sold it to because the timing chain noise only shows when car hasn't been running/ cold engine.


Good luck finding the source of your intermittent shifting issue.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2017, 01:00 PM
Kfalali Kfalali is offline
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2009 Maxima
 
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Posts: 2
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Thanks for the fast reply, its funny because my car is audi a6 and i have the exact same issue u had in ur maxima.

I searched online and someone who has ford mustang has the exact same issue, no solution also!.

Interesting!

The dealer could not find the problem, my car stayed for a week there. They were focused on transmission checking but now i think its more of throttle problem.
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