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 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #98

Jun 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


When the problem initially started you could hear a very loud rattling noise. Nissan certified dealer could not figure out the problem. Last month they gave me a list which was half printed and half written meaning that the most costly, expensive, and important item were not put in their database system. The certified mechanic basically told me to get rid of the car ( car needs a new transmission due to broken tensioner, main chain). In order for them just to confirm that-that's the problem, it would apps. Take 8 labor hours to take the motor apart. The car feels like it is literally going to fall apart.

- Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #97

Jun 302011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 5 mph in reverse, the contact shifted into drive and the vehicle began to jerk violently. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The contact planned to take the vehicle to an auto transmission shop for diagnosis. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The failure mileage and the VIN were unavailable.

- Teaneck, NJ, USA

problem #96

Nov 152011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 74,600 miles
The transmission shifts out of gear and pops back in at will, I've had it looked at by a mechanic who sees no physical signs of undue wear. He cleaned filter and put in Nissan transmission fluid to no avail. I fear this defect will happen at an inopportune time and get me or my family injured or worse. Hundreds of similar complaints exist about this car model and years 2004-2006. The transmission also shifts very roughly in lower gears, even when I expect a bad shift I can't tell when it will happen.this occurs during speeds of 0 to 60. I've read numerous reports of multiple transmission failures after Nissan replaced the original. This is a faulty piece of manufacturing. Nissan needs to replace this transmission with a different type or re-engineer the existing one.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #95

Dec 142011


  • 100,000 miles


I purchased this vehicle in 2009 with 99,000 miles on it. It ran excellent. At the first of this year, 2011 it started hesitating when going from reverse to 1st. The problem then progressed into when letting my foot off the gas and reapplying it going to 4 RPM then slamming into gear. The main problem would be when going below 40 miles an hour. Today, Dec 2011, it slipped and slammed into gear, the check engine light came on and the car would barely go. Nissan says I have to replace the transmission at $4500. I have read so many forums and complaints about 2004 Maximas with the same problem. 600 plus... with the exact same problems. How long before Nissan honors their customers and does some type of recall on this situation.

- Center, TX, USA

problem #94

May 012011


  • miles
The contact owns a owns a 2002 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle would jerk while driving at all speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that a valve body near the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Astoria, NY, USA

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problem #93

Dec 062011


  • 75,000 miles
Transmission jerks from 1st to 2nd gear. Wont shift into 3rd. Makes a very hard jerk while shifting gears and won't go to 2nd sometimes.

- Carmichael, CA, USA

problem #92

Nov 302011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


When shifting from drive to reverse the hard hesitated and shifted hard making a loud noise. It then did not go into drive properly either. It has also started to shift hard between 1st and 2nd gears.

- Midland, TX, USA

problem #91

Jun 152011


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact placed the gear into drive from reverse and noticed the vehicle began to hesitate and jerk before it shifted into drive. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing and was advised that the transmission had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 105,000.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #90

Nov 012011


  • 160,000 miles
Told by a trans. Shop I need a new valve body & or a new transmission for my 2004 Maxima. Was told by the shop that this is a huge problem with Nissan Maximas. Owner said I was the third Maxima @ his shop with the same problem this month!

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #89

Apr 102011


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving 35 mph when the transmission caused the vehicle to jerk abnormally before shifting into gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #88

Oct 262011


  • 11,600 miles


Faulty transmission, needs to be replaced, Nissan should have recalled these models and taken care of the issues.

- Lebanon, KY, USA

problem #87

Mar 012011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Based on what I have read online, this is the same transmission issue that thousands of other 6th generation Nissan Maxima owners are experiencing. My 2004 Nissan Maxima's automatic transmission shifts violently during a change from 1st to 2nd gear, 2nd to 1st and drive to reverse. During this time, the car is unable to accelerate for about 2 seconds and when it does it jerks it so hard it feels like I was rear-ended. This happens on about 20 to 30% of the shifts from 1st to 2nd gear and a little less often in the other two situations. I has nearly caused me to get into 2 accidents over the past 6 months when the car would not accelerate when coming off the shoulder and onto the freeway. This transmission issue is very hazardous and needs to be recalled by Nissan.

- Derwood, MD, USA

problem #86

Oct 232011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle began to shake vigorously and the contact heard a rattling sound. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing and the vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #85

Oct 032011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima has been a perfect car, needing only routine maintenance until recently. I'm at 130,000 miles and over the last few hundred miles the car has been jerking and slamming into gear when I go from park to reverse, drive to brake/stop to reverse, and driving at a slow speed (ie: Taking a corner) and then accelerating. I took the car into my mechanic, and he told me the tranny is on the way out. I've been keeping tabs on the forums and have found that this is becoming a very serious issue. I hope Nissan steps up and fixes these issues, because I'm ready to sell my car, and I don't really want to have to do that.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #84

May 052009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with very bad transmission issues...slipping-jerking-jumping-kicking between 1-2nd gear. It is very embarassing to ride anyone in it and the dealership want over 4 thousand to fix help. Is there a recall on these transmissions anyone know.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #83

Jul 152011


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked violently when shifting gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed a diagnostic that located the failure at the transmission and recommended having the transmission replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 82,000.

- Allentown , PA, USA

problem #82

Sep 282011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle began to jerk significantly with hesitation. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The contact planned to notify the manufacturer regarding the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #81

Aug 012011


  • 86,000 miles
I bought my 2004 Nissan Maxima sl 3.5 in January 2011 with 80,000 miles. This is by far the nicest car I've owned and I was excited about the low miles, I thought it would be a great car and have very little issues. In August 2011 at about 86,000 miles it started jerking really bad when I switch in and out of park, drive & reverse. It also stalls and jerks while I'm driving. I notice it a lot when I'm stopped at a light and then start to go, or when slowing down, or when it's automatically switching gears, pretty much all of the time. It's very scary and irritating, I feel like the car could die at any moment, while I'm switching into drive or even while I'm driving. Mechanics recommended a transmission flush, but aren't sure how to do it on the Nissan because it doesn't have certain hoses that their machine hooks up to. I've done research on the internet and found hundreds of complaints of this problem and nobody has had good results. Nissan should either recall this, or figure out how to fix it & pay for it. I just need to know how to fix it, I don't like feeling like I'm just out of luck and have to live with it, and I don't want to spend thousands of dollars. This was already a large amount of money and I can't afford to pay to try everything, and I don't want to keep driving while it does this, I feel it will only get worse.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #80

Mar 072007

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 59,156 miles
Prior to my Maxima's transmission getting stuck in 5th gear, the car has had rough transmission shifting from 1st to 2nd gear while accelerating and 2nd to 1st decelerating. But this usually occurred only after the car has been driven around for about 7-10 minutes or the car being warmed up already. There were no error codes or check engine or transmission light, until the car was stuck in 5th gear. When the car was stuck in 5th gear, I was accelerating from a stop light and almost got into an accident. The car behind me almost struck me from behind when my car lurched forward from 1st gear to 5th gear. The car could not gain speed fast enough coming from the stop light and the car behind did not expect my car to almost stop abruptly as it shifted from 1st to 5th gear on it's own. Since the car was still covered under warranty for just under 1000 more miles, I took the car to the dealership to have it repaired. They only replaced the cam sensor circuit. The car did shift thru all it's gears for about 3 months. Then started having the same problem of rough shifting from 1st to 2nd and 2nd back to 1st. By then the car already went past the warranty mileage limit to have Nissan cover the repair. I took the car to the dealership again but since there was no error codes and they did not let the car warm up to reproduce the rough shifting, they said they couldn't do anything. Eventually, 2yrs after the dealership changed the cam sensor circuit and got the car moving but still had the rough shifting, I had saved enough money to have the transmission looked at again. This time I took it to a garage that specialized in Nissan. Again, since there were no error codes, they just replaced the motor mounts, change transmission fluid and radiator mounts. It's been about 2yrs and not the transmission is getting worse on the rough shifting....still no error codes.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #79

Sep 262011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 84,500 miles
Vehicle transmission would not operate properly and would continually slip into 5th gear.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

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