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 14 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Mar 132011


  • 84,170 miles


I purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima in August 2006, and it all seemed fine for a bit but once I reached about 84K miles, the transmission started having problems. First, when I shift from park to any other gear. It seems to either hesitate to shift into gear and once it does it shifts in a horrible knock! it continues to do the same problem as well as slip gears while in motion. It usually slips from 1st to 2nd, or 2nd to 3rd. It causes the car to rev and shifts when it wants. That makes it snap even harder. I took the car to a local transmission shop which placed it on the computer. The error was a faulty camshaft position sensor (bank 1). Cost was $181.52. I'm still having the jerking with second gear but only when I slow down easily. The car shifts now, but the jerking continues. The local transmission shop said that I would have to replace the transmission for around $3,500 in order to alleviate the jerking and transmission slip issue. I bought a Nissan because they are supposed to be dependable long lasting cars. I would hope that it would last over at least 100,000 miles before any sort of problems would even occur.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #41

Feb 132011


  • 77,087 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving 25-30 mph, the contact noticed that the gear shifted hard several times as if someone was hitting the vehicle from the rear. The vehicle was taken to a local transmission ship where the contact was informed that the transmission valve body was defective. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 77,087 and the current mileage was 77,809.

- West Deptford , NJ, USA

problem #40

Dec 292010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 47,471 miles
I previously reported my 2004 Nissan Maxima SE as having power train transmission problems. I took my vehicle to bp Nissan and they did a diagnostics on the transmission and determined that a new transmission was needed. Nissan to call me back today, we'll see. After the dealer did the diagnostics, I was driving home and what a coincidence, the "check engine light" came on. It seems that every time I have my car to the dealer for one thing, shortly after lights start coming on. I guess they don't reset or something as they should.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #39

Dec 232010


  • 115,000 miles


Transmission slams/bangs from 2nd to low gears at approx 20 mph during down shift. Also has hesitation/pause causing a huge jerk/push when changing shifting from 1st to 2nd gear at aprroximately 20 mph. Seems to occur after car has warmed or heated up after about 10 - 20 minutes of driving. Both incidents has extremely high potential of causing a major accident which could possibly cause major injury or even loss of life. Cannot understand why Nissan has not voluntarily initiated a recall for this major/serious defect in their product.

- York, PA, USA

problem #38

Sep 012006


  • 42,000 miles
Warning signs started with a hard shift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd at 45K miles. Done regular transmission maintenance but problem remains the same. Later it started hard bang or jerk when shifting from drive to reverse or reverse to drive. At 112K miles it got worse and then knew reading online about faulty valve body problem in many 2004-2006 Maximas transmission. Repair cost is too high to even mention. Second problem is timing chain plastic tentioners. A what" yes plastic timing chain tentioners inside engine compartment. Problem started at 50K and continued as of today. Complained to dealer when car was under warranty and deler said my car is running awesome. Nissan later changed the design of plastic timing chain tentioner. But what about those who has faulty designed timing chain tentioners? responsible parties knows about these isses but refuses to acknowledge. Why there is no recall yet"

- Nashua, NH, USA

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problem #37

Jul 102010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 73,400 miles
2004 + Nissan Maxima's are having timing chain issues which starts to occur after 50K as per the thousand of forum members across different forum. I am a victim too. Its a known defect in Maxima's and there has been no recalls to fix this. This timing chain issue fix cost appx $1600 and difficult for us to pay such an amount which has been declared by Nissan as a maintenance free item. This timing chain would gradually lead to all sort of problems leading to complete failure if not taken care of. We as a customer pledge NHTSA to take appropriate action. Already contacted local dealer and Nissan usa without any results.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 052010


  • miles


I purchased a used 2004 Nissan Maxima from this dealership. This is my third Maxima that I have owned. I recently started having issues with my car. It starting having trouble shifting into gear. I took this to this dealership and of course they claimed they had never heard of this issue before. They came back and showed me this bottle filled with fluid and claimed that this black oil was the fluid they took from the transmission. They inspected the car and told me they would send it to the Nissan corporate office to see if they would consider a goodwill assistance. Immediately upon leaving I took my car to a transmission company and they checked the oil and told me there was no way that oil came out of my car. I was also told that this is one of the oldest tricks in the book and that this is probably the same container used on all customers that come in and complain. I just spoke with deland Nissan to see if they were going to pay for this considering how many people are having this same issue and they stated no. I will never purchase another Nissan ever and will be looking to see if there is anything else that can be done against this company.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #35

Aug 132010


  • 120,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima jerks/bangs when changing low gears. It makes my entire car bang loudly and jerk forward causing me to jerk forward as well. I have banged myself on the steering wheel numerous times. I read online thousands of complaints of this same issue. The dealerships try to tell me all these different things need to be fixed, but I know from all the other complaints its a faulty transmission in these cars and it needs to be recalled!!!

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #34

Jan 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I have had my 2004 Nissan Maxima for six years. I have had this car since it was brand new. The car slams into gear and jerks into first gear when starting to drive. It bangs and throws me forward when downshifting from 2nd to 1st gear. It also throws me into gear when going from 2nd to 3rd gear. It has about 76,197 miles. At 70,000 miles the struts had to be replaced I reported the transmission problem to Nissan North America, by filing a formal complaint. They advised me to take the car to a Nissan dealership for diagnostic testing. The Nissan dealership told me that the transmission needed to be replaced. When I told Nissan North America what the dealership told me, they informed me that there was nothing they could do about the transmission problem, because the car is out of warranty. With all of the complaints about the 2004 Nissan Maxima, it will cost me a total of $3553.13 to have this problem repaired. With so many complaints about the transmission on the 2004 Nissan Maxima, I don't understand why there hasn't been a recall!

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #33

May 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission problems, 3000 over my warranty. Nissan needs to won up to these tranny problems in these $30,000 vehicles. I am not the only one having this problem. Please see

- Pomona , CA, USA

problem #32

May 262010


  • 65,245 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE. The contact merged into traffic at 60 mph and there was a strong pull from the rear of the vehicle. On a separate occasion, the vehicle stalled twice while in heavy traffic and would not accelerate. The contact was able to drive the vehicle to his residence, but it would not restart once parked. The manufacturer advised there were no recalls and to have the vehicle diagnosed by the dealer. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where he was awaiting a diagnosis of the failure. The failure mileage was 65,245 and the current mileage was 67,398.

- Concord , CA, USA

problem #31

Feb 102008


  • 85,000 miles
I have been experiencing transmission problems about 80,000 with 04 Nissan Maxima. The gears slips for 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 1st and jerks when if finally shifts. The car halts when going for R to D and giving a hard jerk when in gear. This is unsafe when backing out into traffic.

- White Plains, VA, USA

problem #30

May 182010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 111,520 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated the vehicle would not shift from park to drive. In addition, when driving at speeds of at least 50 mph, the vehicle would suddenly decrease in speed without warrant. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who added transmission fluid to the vehicle but to no avail. The failure persisted. The failure mileage was 111,520 and the current mileage was 111,929. Updated 06/0611 the consumer stated H/she spent $ 1,900 to correct the transmission problem. Updated 06/10/11

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #29

Feb 162010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
In October of 2008 the car started jerking really hard when shifting between 1 and 2nd gears. Mainly when I was slowing down to take a turn or when approaching a light and then tried to accelerate. Dealer said that I needed to replace transmission or have it rebuilt. I had the transmission rebuilt in January 2009 problem was gone for a little while and then began again about once a week. With time the problem the shifting kept getting harder and harder. February 2010 the check engine light came on. Now the car will sometimes jerk really hard and make a really loud clanking noise when shifting. When it does this the car acts like it does not want to accelerate. When car is driven for a few minutes, then turned off and then turned on again then the noise is gone and car accelerates just fine. Problem occurs about every other day. When taken to the dealer they said it was the shift solenoid that's related to the transmission.

- Pooler, GA, USA

problem #28

Jun 012009


  • miles
Transmission always slips had it remanufactured 2700 dollars later same problem. This leads up to and causes other problems especially since transmission needs to be worked on every 3 months hands are always taking out putting back together not to good for the car this prob jus doesn't go away. Sensors went bad now timing chain. Problem after problem but to me and mechanics I have talked to all leads back to the defective transmissions these 04 Maximas have.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #27

Apr 302010


  • 90,500 miles
Transmission has a delay in shifting gears. It jolts/kicks really hard and the car slows down as if it's going to stop. I can't really drive beyond 30mph w/O having an issue. It started doing it once a day and the dealer said they "fixed" the problem. Now, the car does it a lot more and the jolts/kicks are much worse then before.

- Fairview , NJ, USA

problem #26

Apr 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Transmission problems- '04 Maxima SE V6 automatic transmission 53,000 miles. Experience sudden and severe jerks when shifting from 1st - 2nd, 2nd - 3rd and back down. No injuries occurred, however high potential for a front to back end collision.

- Mililani, HI, USA

problem #25

Jun 062008


  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima for almost three years now. I bought the car with 70,000 mi. And in very good shape at the time. Three months went by and I started noticing my transmission slipping and shifting very hard. I took it to the local Nissan dealership for them to check my transmission and told me they did not see anything wrong with it but suggested a transmission flush. Because of their high price for a transmission flush I took it to jiffy lube. The vehicle shifted smoothly for about 30 min. Into the drive then the slipping and hard shifts continued. I went online to research this problem and found out that I was not the only person with this exact problem. I found this website ( and came across thousands of Nissan owners with the exact transmission problems. After learning this I was convinced that it was a defect and Nissan needs to recall the transmission. I am never going to buy a Nissan car ever again! I have this expensive car note for the next four years and the transmission was defected ever since it was put in the car! my warranty was expired before this started happening. This should be looked into and an investigation needs to start. It is so unfair to me and the other people who are going through this. Please help!

- Burlington, MA, USA

problem #24

Mar 122007


  • 49,001 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan maximum and the transmission is slipping and the car is making a noise after being replaced and Nissan has done nothing to rectify the issue because the warranty is up.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 012009


  • 62,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima violent jerking from 2nd to 3rd. Also, from reverse to drive. During city driving engine will rev up to 3,000 rpms before going into gear.

- Rutledge, TN, USA

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