How to Use a Maxima Manual Shift


The newer models of Nissan Maxima use a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to start and operate the vehicle. The CVT is an electronically controlled transmission system, designed to provide drivers' with maximum power and smooth operation on the highway. Drivers may operate the transmission in either automatic mode or manual mode. The manual mode will provide you with more control over the shifting performance of the vehicle.

  • Move the stick shift down to drive and over to the left to "DS" mode. You may now enter into "Manual Mode."

  • Use the "+" or "-" selector located on the shift level to move between gears. If equipped, you may also use the shift paddles on your steering wheel, using the left paddle for up and the right paddle for down. The manual shift has six gears.

  • Shift to "M6" when you are driving on a normal highway that is flat or barely sloped. Shift to "M5" when driving up or down a long slope.

  • Use "M4-M2" when driving up a steep hill or braking down a steep hill. The larger the hill, the lower the gear you will need to use.

  • Shift to "M1" when you encounter a hill steep enough that your car drives rather slowly to make it up or for maximum engine braking when driving down a steep slope. You may also use this setting when driving through deep snow, sand, or mud.

  • Slide your shift lever back over the right into the "Drive" position to exit manual shift.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although you are in the manual shift mode, the CVT may automatically shift to a higher or lower setting than you select to improve transmission performance. It may also refuse to shift into a selected gear if the vehicle is not moving at the right speed to be in that gear. This is to help prevent damage to or loss of control of the vehicle
  • Refrain from driving at high speeds for an extended length of time in "M6," as this will reduce your Maxima's fuel economy.

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