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 3 of 16)

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problem #262

Jul 012013


  • 63,000 miles


The automatic transmission began to slip at about 63,000 miles. It continues to get worse and occasionally delays in engaging in drive especially after shifting out of reverse. From what I have read this is a common problem that Nissan refuses to address and may result in transmission failure.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #261

Oct 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 109,567 miles
When driving the car, it slams into 2nd gear and/or hesitates shifting into it. When idle and shifting from reverse to drive or from drive to reverse, there is a 2-3 delay and the car jerks and slams into that gear. The jerk is aggressive and can cause in injury. The car does not shift smoothly and constantly jerks and slams into gear. After having the vehicle diagnosed, they mechanics say it will either need a new valve body or new transmission on a car with 112K miles on it. This is a common issue for 2004-2006 Nissan Maxima owners and is very dangerous and expensive.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #260

Feb 062013


  • 100,000 miles
Went to stop at a stop sign car started to pound when I went to leave the stop sign car moved but very hard. The transmission has problems the started out of the blue no warning its even stalled my car and left me stranded. There has been tons of complaints about this. When I called the Nissan company they said take to a Nissan dealer to look at it and let them know. You have to pay for diagnostics then they tell you sorry they cant help this should be a recall because there are so many complaints and its a horrible expense a used rebuilt is 3000 dollars it horrible. So I have this car in beautiful shape that just sits cause I cant pay to fix it.

- Geneva, NY, USA

problem #259

Oct 012014


  • 88,000 miles


Whenever I shift to reverse the car pauses and then jerks, same jerk behavior happens whenever I shift from reverse to drive. Sometimes when I am driving I can feel the car hesitating when switching gears. I have been told the transmission is going bad.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #258

Oct 142014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 126,600 miles
Taking off from intersection car shifts erratically. Sometime it will slip in intersections and cause safety issues. Slips, shifts erratically on highway as well.

- Fredonia, KS, USA

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problem #257

Aug 012012


  • miles
In 2012 my 2004 Nissan Maxima would not change gears properly. It would jerk, idle up, and take a while to change gears. The transmission was replaced by a Nissan dealership in 2012 for $3,725.64. Since having my transmission replaced, I spoke to about 5 owners of a 2004 Nissan Maxima that I met at the gas station or grocery store parking lot who told me they had the same issue and had the transmission replaced. There are tons of complaints on line. Apparently, there is an issue with the Nissan transmission but Nissan is not taking responsibility. Please help us in this effort to investigate and receive reimbursement for the transmission problems. Thank you very much

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #256

Oct 082014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles


My 2004 Maxima is hesitating to shift an im disable living on 700 dollars a month. My daughter is in college driving this car in traffic an im afraid she is going to get hurt making left turns in this car. There have been close calls with me driving it, but I live in South ga. Where people are more sensible toward others. This is a serious problem an someone is going to get killed from these faulty transmission. I have to get a used transmission under 1500 dollars that I had to borrow to keep my child safe. Nissan should be held countable for this. I paid 19000 dollars for this car and your screw up is costing me to put a 2002-2003 transmission in my car. The transmission shops in albany ga. Are thanking Nissan for their 2500-3000 contributions that the 2004-2005 Maxima owners are spending with them and my transmission owner made this statement to me. Aatco transmission of albany who states he has redone so many valve bodies on these cars. I guess some actions will be taken when people that does not has the fundings to fix this problem themselves. I had to drive my car like this until I found the money an it broke all my motor mounts from the jerking and hard shifting.

- Newton, GA, USA

problem #255

Sep 142014


  • 56,078 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated while driving approximately 10 mph, the transmission began to jerk violently. The contact mentioned that the failure would occur when down shifting and coming to a complete stop. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 56,078.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #254

Oct 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
While pulling out into a enter section of a main road in morning traffic my transmission went out causing me to almost be T-boned. This needs to be looked into before someone gets hurt or worst.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #253

Sep 172014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,038 miles
[xxx] starting it up takes 2-3X with putting the gas pedal all the way to the floor, then it jerks into gear. While driving it just stalls out which is very scary & dangerous and it goes from drive to 5th gear no 1-4, and it hesitates & when driving up to a red light for example, then it starts to conk out. Also no pick up from an idle position, I just bought it 9/17/14 and called dealer and he told him it wont pass inspection "check engine light on" constant. It feels like transmission isn't in proper gear (5th) just stalls while driving. Everyone behind me leans on the horn and yells at me when it stalls out in drive. Im afraid to drive it. The dealer (North shore auto mall, lynn MA 01905, mgr name [xxx], real jerk !!) said they did a 21 point inspection, but that's bs, they would have caught that seeing that they are in the business and knew they sold me a car w/bad transmission/alternator. Now they don't want to know me. Please give me some resources that you know of to remedy the problem. I could go on & on about the treatment I had to endure but that wont help hopefully you can regards [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #252

Jul 172014


  • 100,702 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated intermittently when the gears were changed. The vehicle also jerked violently while downshifting. The dealer replaced the transmission. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,702.

- Cambridge, MD, USA

problem #251

Aug 282014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 113,400 miles
Purchased this car approx 4 weeks ago. On drive home from dealership, transmission got worse and worse. Transmission had to be replaced - total overhaul. Also passenger floorboard is almost rusted through. Similar complaints found online consumer reviews. Recurring problem with this model and year.

- Harrison, OH, USA

problem #250

Aug 312014


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving at an unknown speed, the gears shifted without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Bountiful, UT, USA

problem #249

Aug 012014


  • 98,000 miles
At about 98000 miles I notice that shifting from reverse to drive I was getting a pause for about 8 second then the transmission would jerk and give a clang sound.I went to my local Nissan dealer to see if there was a recall or had Nissan had this problem.I was told to change fluid because I was so close to 100,000mile maintenance, did so and at about 110000 problem came back now even worse. I carried the car to a transmission shop and was told that it would have to be rebuilt.$3000.

- Danville, VA, USA

problem #248

Feb 012014


  • 121,646 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the transmission failed and had to be shifted into a lower gear in order for the vehicle to operate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 121,646.

- Cambridge, MD, USA

problem #247

Feb 122014


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the vehicle switched gears independently and the floor board was rusted. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Clevland , OH, USA

problem #246

Aug 142012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Car will not shift right-- dealership can't repair the problem and they do work on car and it doesn't fix the problem. We are out repair bills and the car is not fixed by no means.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #245

Jan 022012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Transmission extremely hard shifts when up shifting and downshifting. Downshifting is much worse than up shifting but both are extreme. When this occurs the car experiences a hard jolt.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #244

Dec 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
When shifting from park-reverse or reverse-drive, the transmission has a short delay before "jumping" into gear. This problem was intermittent and seemed to only occur during extremely cold temperatures. I had a transmission flush performed ($65) that seemed to remedy the problem but it returned within 5K miles. Several months later, the transmission randomly became unresponsive at speeds of 20-30mph at which time the rpms would increase rapidly with loss of acceleration. Another transmission flush was performed and the problem seemed worse. Finally while driving on the interstate at 70mph the vehicles transmission suddenly "slammed" then the service engine light was activated with a noticeable power loss. Upon slowing down to exit the highway the vehicle stalled and died. It restarted but the throttle was restricted. The vehicles gear was changed to manual mode and it was discovered that the transmission was stuck in 5th gear. At that point the vehicle got stuck in 5th gear after 15-20 min of driving and the low speed power loss became almost constant. The vehicle was no longer driven until it was put on diagnostics by a transmission specialist ($60) and the code indicated the failure of 3 sensors: Cam position sensor, electronic acceleration position sensor and transmission speed sensor. The Nissan dealership was contacted to inquire about the issue and the error codes and they acknowledged this as a common problem with no suggestions other than replacing the sensors. The electronic acceleration position sensor required a new throttle body which was then replaced ($115). The 2 cam sensors ($120) and transmission speed sensor, aka transmission revolution output sensor, were then purchased ($125). I had to take the car to a Nissan dealer and pay another $365 to get the new sensors flashed. The problem still remains. I'm now looking at getting the tranny replaced.

- Shelbyville, IN, USA

problem #243

Mar 272014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima, a 5-speed automatic, jerks violently when shifting from drive to reverse and reverse to drive. The problem keeps getting progressively worse. It first started in March 2104 and now in June 2014 I have a huge problem. From doing some research I see that other Nissan Maxima owners are having the same problem. This has to be a manufacturer defect and Nissan should own up to this.

- Mount Vernon, NY, USA

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