Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2004-2006 Nissan Maxima has widespread transmission problems. It starts with the vehicle jerking when shifting, & progresses to full-blown transmission failure.

Maxima owners report spending $3,000 to replace the transmission, typically around when the odometer hits 100,000 miles.

There's a class action lawsuit filed in late 2011, & it is still in the "discovery" stage. Apparently, these things take time ... far too much time.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
89,325 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Nissan Maxima drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 10 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #118

May 012011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles


Transmission hangs inbetween park reverse neutral and drive. Jerks when shifting between 1st and 2nd.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #117

Mar 232012


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle suddenly lost power while traveling at 45mph. Transmission acting very strangely now.

- Dover, FL, USA

problem #116

Sep 292010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Very hard shifting from 1st to 2nd and 3rd back to 2nd. I talk to dealership service manager about the problem and he told me that all 04 Maxima and some of the 05 Maxima had bad transmission and Nissan corporation needs to recall them.

- Greenwood, SC, USA

problem #115

Feb 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


Transmission kicks between 1st and 3rd shifts.

- Branford, CT, USA

problem #114

Feb 182009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,487 miles
Vehicle started to slam into gears and hesitate to move. Gear shifter moves freely through all the gears no problem. However, on my way into work one day the transmission made a loud thud and would not move any longer. Dealership stated that they could fix it for $4,000. The vehicle was just about a year outside of its warranty. You can place the car into gear and the RPM's will drop like it should, however, when you press on the accelerator the car does not move. The car has been parked since then. I have read hundreds of reports from other Nissan Maxima owners that have had the same or similar issues.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

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problem #113

Aug 162010


  • miles
I purchased my 2004 Maxima 18 months ago. From the time I drove it off the lot it started shaking. I took it back to the dealer a total of 4 times each time they told me it was something different, from the rotors to a weight falling off the wheel(which they say I lost).I was driving on a interstate highway and the vehicle started shaking and pulling so bad I almost had an accident.when I took it back for the fifth time I was told I had to pay to have the vehicle fixed(I had not owned it but 2 months). Finally I took it to another dealer (same affiliate) who fixed it so the shaking was not as bad (after 3 visits). I have taken the vehicle back on several occasions since then, and now when the jerking has gotten worse, sometimes jerks so hard it hurts my neck. The gears jerk when changing. I thought I just had to deal with the fact that I brought a lemon, but after reading all these complaints (which are either the same or similar) I know Nissan needs to correct these issues before someone is seriously hurt or loose there lives(as well as others).and I do plan to continue emailing sending letters, and calling until someone I don't feel alone in this issue just pissed off. That Nissan has allowed this to go on so long without addressing the safety issue of this vehicle.

- Fairmont, NC, USA

problem #112

Jan 012008


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated the transmission gear shift failed to shift in reverse or drive. The transmission was replaced at 68,000 miles, but the failure was not corrected. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing; however, they were unable to locate a failure code. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 68,000 and the current mileage was 180,000.

- Sanford , FL, USA

problem #111

Dec 012011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Transmission jerk.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #110

Feb 082012


  • 78,000 miles
On Feb 8, 2012, as I was accelerating to get on the highway, my car started jerking as though it was not getting gas, then it stalled out on me. I restarted the car with no trouble, started to push on the gas pedal, my car started jerking and stalled out again. Very scary, thank goodness, I was just entering the highway and able to get to side of road. My husband used plug-in reader to determine what was wrong with engine, it reads bank one-crankshaft sensor. We had just replaced this sensor in Dec 2011, my car was acting up, but not stalling out on me. So now we know we have an issue with this sensor working properly. Looked up on the internet and found out that indeed there is a recall for this sensor on 2003 Maximas for doing the exact same thing, jerking and stalling out. I called a Nissan service dealer and was told that my VIN was not covered under that recall. I am now driving my husbands truck instead of my car because I am terrified of this sensor going out again while I am going 65 mph and it stalling out on me.

- Schertz, TX, USA

problem #109

Aug 102011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
The transmission experiences a "hard jerk" when slowing down. Also kicks to shift in gear when beginning to accelerate. I see there are thousands of occurrences online by other drivers with the same problems.

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #108

Jan 042012


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked while driving approximately 20 mph. The contact stated that the failure occurred while shifting gears and the failure recurred whenever the vehicle shifted from first into second gear. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #107

Dec 022011


  • 123,000 miles
While driving my wifes 2004 Maxima the transmission started slipping in between 2 and 3 gear.

- Belmont, MS, USA

problem #106

Aug 112011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 113,685 miles
When the car is driven on the highway for 30 minutes or longer this happens. After slowing down or coming to a stop, when starting up the transmission seems to miss when shifting from 2nd to 3rd. The engine rives up like the transmission is in neutral or park. After slowing the engine down and starting up again it works correctly.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #105

Jul 012011


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While at a traffic light the vehicle would not accelerate and the RPM readings began to fluctuate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated the engine mounts were fractured and had to be replaced. The failure continued to occur after the vehicle was repaired. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where the technician stated the transmission had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #104

Feb 032011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I bought a used 2004 Nissan Maxima SE and I'm having problems the jerking, thrusting forward and the bad down shifting. I took the car to the Nissan dealership act like they never heard of a problem before and they said the transmission needed a flush ($200), so I did, it continued kicking. I took it back to Nissan they drove it and told me it need motor mounts ($2,000), I got the motor mounts replaced at local auto shop. They have no problem wanting me to spending money on diagnosis the problem, when they know what the problem is. The transmission is a recall issue they don't want to make public. I'm very disappointed in Nissan. I've had 2 Altima, I have a 1997 max and never had major issues (I drive that more than the new car) and I have a 2004 armada, I would not recommend them to anyone any more. They pride themselves in not selling lemons...well I got one! I don't understand how I can have 1997 max and not have transmission problems and new model car 2004 and having all these issues. I cannot afford a $3,800 transmission and a new set of $500 motor mounts.....another problem I've had with this car is the A/C keeps going out...there is no leaks in the lines but there is something wrong with the A/C pump so I was told by a local repair shop.

- St Ptersburg, FL, USA

problem #103

Dec 042008


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I read so many complaint about this vehicle especially the transmission I am having and there hasn't been a recall I have had problem with this vehicle such as axle radiator navigation don't work went out electrical problems car is pulling because of transmission.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #102

Jul 042011


  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle would violently jerk into gear when shifting from reverse to drive. The dealer was notified and stated that they would replace the entire transmission at the owner's expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 180,000.

- Pace, FL, USA

problem #101

Feb 262010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I am a Nissan Maxima lover!! I have had a 95 max, a 00 max, and now a 04 max. I had no major problems what so ever with my Maximas except for this 04. This car is literally driving me crazy! first the car started jerking. Then my windows started sticking my driver and passenger window will go down then sometimes not come back up.then later it started making this embarrassing rattling noise. Everytime I got an oil change it would stop for a while. I needed a dependable car which is why I got another Nissan but about two weeks ago I was grocery shopping with my kids and as I turned on the highway headed home the whole car shut down in the middle of traffic. How dangerous is that. I managed to coast to a gas station and had to call aaa to tow it home now I am stuck with a car that I cannot drive and have to continue to make car payments on. Ive been told it was a mixture of my transmission and timing chain.there have been several reports on this site with transmission and timing chain problems. Unless Nissan does something about this my next car will be a Ford Fusion! love my Maxima but cannot endanger my kids with an undependable vehicle. With all that business Nissan gets what harm will it cause for you to help your customers fix cars that you caused the problem to with this faulty engine and transmission problems. It would keep customers like me coming back to Nissan. I do like the new models but I dont want to go through this problem with a newer car. Nissan what are you going to do"???"

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #100

Nov 152011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I took possession of this vehicle around the 14th of November and this vehicle has been returned back to the dealership 6 times within a two week period. I think this could possible be a flood car there is a smell of mildew and the visor are water damaged. To this day the vehicle has not been fixed and it is the 26th day of December 2011. The transmission seems to be slipping and I am afraid to enter traffic as the car stalls and then sticks upon accelerating. The check engine light as well as the brake and ABS lights are constantly on when the dealership stated that they had turned them off. I can smell fumes upon starting and driving this car. I am parent and I don't like to give my child or any other person a ride because of the smells. The tires were bald on the car and twice when it rained I almost has 2 major collisions when the vehicle veered into the other lane driving 45 in a 65 mph zone. I am filing a complaint because I don't think this car is a good car. I have contacted the finance company and they are stating this is out of there hands. I have taken pictures of the different item that seems to be water damaged. I also will be filing a complaint with the consumer law group regarding this matter.

- Manchester, CT, USA

problem #99

Dec 082009


  • 89,000 miles
At approximately 89000 miles the transmission started shifting hard from 1st to 2nd gear. Nissan dealers told us that there was nothing wrong with the transmission. As time went on it continued to do the same thing. Just recently we noticed that the transmission was doing the same thing but got worse and would slip and bang into gear at take off. This has been dangerous because when you step on the gas it hesitates for a few seconds before it takes off making it dangerous in traffic. We notified the Nissan dealers again and they told us that they never heard of any problems with this transmission. We have been lied to many times by the service centers of the dealer. We currently bought a new 2010 Maxima and things seem to be ok. I really wish that Nissan would own up to the premature failure of this transmission. I recently brought the car to an independent transmission shop and was quoted a $3600 replacement cost. I believe this is unfair and that before someone gets hurt or killed they should replace this faulty part at no cost and regardless of mileage.

- Taunton, MA, USA

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