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:
89,642 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 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #122

Nov 072011


  • 82,000 miles


I have my transmission jerking turns out I need a valve body just like so many other Maxima owners this should be a recall.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #121

Jun 252011


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle began to jerk when changing gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing and the technician stated the transmission would had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #120

Apr 182012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
My transmission in my car keeps getting stuck in 5th. It is an automatic with a slap stick, I have tried to manually gear it down and it will jerk and make a loud noise and will not come out of 5th. I have to turn the car off and wait about 10-15 minutes and crank it to see if it is back in 1st 9 times out of 10 it is still in 5th so I have to keep turning off the car and re crank it and it acts like it doesn't want to start!

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #119

Apr 182012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 158,000 miles


Turned into hard shift then uptick of 500 rpms between 2nd and... 2004 Nissan Maxima shimmy in steering, transmission jerk. 2004 Nissan Maxima.

- Florence, SC, USA

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

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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

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

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