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 2 of 16)

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problem #282

Aug 242014


  • 99,000 miles


My Nissan Maxima jerks from 1st to 2nd gear. Its uncontrolable and extremely dangerous. It isalso delayed when switching from drive to reverse. I could live with repairing these issues if they werent common but the amount of people that ive read about with the same issues shows me that its nothing I did. Its clearly a manufacturing issue and its a shame that Nissan doesnt stand by their products

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #281

Aug 052015


  • 79,000 miles
Car lurches forward when coming out of turns, seems like it is getting caught downshifting from what must be 3rd gear down to second..when it catches, the car takes off and accelerates forward quickly. Bought the car without a warranty at 79,000 and am shocked this hasn't been made into a recall yet for the extremely dangerous nature of the problem.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #280

Oct 012013


  • 114,000 miles
Transmission shift erratically! slips, clunks, slams into or out of gear! there are times it is so bad the car is unsafe to operate on public roads or highways. Since I've experienced this problem I have read many other of the complaints whom describe the same problems. Nissan needs to recall this car/transmission. The know it is a deadly problem. If there have been "unexplained" injury or deadly accidents involving the Nissan Maxima the nhtsb may want to look into the transmission failing and causing the deadly accident.

- Fremont, OH, USA

problem #279

Jun 042014


  • 130,000 miles


Transmission jerks really hard when driving and going into gear. Also while driving it doesnt want to shift at times.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #278

Jun 222015


  • 139,000 miles
Transmission failed at 76,000 miles. Nissan would not help in repairs. Failed again @ 139,000 miles. Safety issue would be when car stops completely and your car could get rear ended and/or when it just all of the sudden slows even when accelerating. All this with little ones in the car!

- Mokena, IL, USA

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problem #277

Feb 172015


  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While at a stop light, the vehicle jerked forward without warning. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked when attempting to accelerate or decelerate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 146,000.

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #276

Dec 042014


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving at any speed, the vehicle jerked forward without warning. The vehicle jerked when attempting to accelerate or decrease in speed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 105,000.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #275

Jun 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
Shifting from reverse to drive, 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd - engine revs, transmission jerks after short delay. When going on downhill bends this means that the car wants to jerk off the road, somewhat. Apparently due to improper cooling on the transmission fluid, it gets gummy, and then the solenoids clog up and get stuck. There is also a lot of wear on the gears. For the first repair, a flush and replacing the solenoids will usually give another 20K miles, but the problem doesn't get fixed unless a custom cooling system is put on the transmission lines. It's a crappy design. Instead of running the cooling lines to the engine and putting a thermostat on a switch, there should be a dedicated cooler on the transmission. Also, it's ridiculously hard to get to the transmission fluid filter, which is inside the transmission case. How hard would it have been to put an external filter down in the pan?

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #274

Dec 082014


  • 95,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan jerks at shifting speed of 15-23 mile per hr.

- Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #273

Apr 042015


  • 187,616 miles
Transmission failure - I was driving my vehicle on the highway with my 1 year old child when all of a sudden the transmission slipped and failed. I went from doing 50 to 5 on the highway in front of an 18 wheeler. Luckily I am a good driver and used my senses to pull over as quickly and safely as possible.

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #272

Jul 122014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


Transmission slips then bangs hard into gear. Also transmission get stuck in high gear. Just prior to the car getting stuck in high gear, the car stalls no matter what speed your going. When you restart the car, you are stuck in high gear. No other gears work.

- Kings Park, NY, USA

problem #271

Jul 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
About 2 years ago while driving the transmission would down shift to second or first gear, which would rev out the motor. Sometimes it would jerk harshly back into gear. I replaced a sensor on the transmission and somewhat solved the problem. Now its worst than it was before, I basically drove 10 minutes at 20 mph on first gear. I hope it can be fixed this time.

- Pemberton, NJ, USA

problem #270

Sep 112014


  • 185,000 miles
Car have a hard jerk when shifting. Also when slowing down and trying to accelerate my car jerk real hard like someone kicked me from behind.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #269

Sep 152014


  • 115,000 miles
The 2004 Nissan Maxima suffers from a common issue within the transmission. The valve body causes premature transmission failure within these cars. This results in sudden hard jerking / delayed shifting when changing gears in their automatic transmission. This means loss of control occurs when the transmission finally catches itself since the car will continue to rev higher than normal. Overtime the car will experience slow acceleration, due to the car being thrown into a safety mode unexpectedly which keeps the car in a "5th" gear state. Also, because of the codes this faulty part will throw, a vehicle with this transmission will not pass certain state emissions. Repairs are upwards to thousands of dollars, and unfortunately replacing it with the same part will only be a temporary fix. This is a major safety concern because it dramatically reduces the response time, and puts the driver at serious risk.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #268

Mar 022015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 161,000 miles
Transmission problems causes car to jerk very badly, acts as tho it does not want to go. Pulling off you will have to make sure no cars are coming at all because if you just go, you're likely to be hit.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #267

Mar 022015


  • 243,000 miles
Transmission slipping almost ran into another car. This is a major problem I see after doing online research.

- London, OH, USA

problem #266

Feb 012015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2004 Nissan Maxima w/124,000 miles. I have been experiencing transmission problems since around 115,000 mile. It seems liken there has been a plethora of the same complaints with these transmissions. Can someone please explain to me why there has not been a recall on the vehicles?

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #265

Jan 222015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
The car is jerking is while driving. It is also revving while driving.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #264

Oct 162013


  • 102,000 miles
Car jerks when going from first to second gear. Sometimes it won't go at all. Accident waiting to happen.

- Cumberland , MD, USA

problem #263

Jun 032013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
As I was driving my 2004 Nissan Maxima the car started to jerk. I would be driving and when I come to a stop and start again the car would jerk really hard. I have taken the car for repair and I was told that it is a problem with the transmission. This jerking is very scary and it's not getting better just worst and now I'm thinking it's time to find a new car. The body of the car and everything is fine but just jerking that I get when I drive the car is really concerning.

- Richmond, VA, USA

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