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 5 of 16)

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problem #222

Jun 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


Transmission shifts when it wants to. 5 second delay going into gear from park to drive after transmission heats up. Slips into to 2nd and 3rd with a high rev. After slowing, slips into neutral then bangs into gear. After a stop it slips very hard between two gears. Often smell burned oil or fluid inside cabin.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #221

Jul 252013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle jerked and lunged abnormally. The vehicle was not taken for diagnosis or repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 137,000....updated 09-26-13

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #220

Jul 222010


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the transmission slipped. The contact stated that he had to restart the vehicle in order to get the vehicle to function properly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for inspection and they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Martin, TN, USA

problem #219

Nov 012012


  • 87,000 miles


Car began experiencing hard shifting from D to R or R to D. hard shifting then began to occur during 1st to 2nd gear and 2nd to 1st gear. Shifts are hard and feel as if the car has been hit by another car. If you do not anticipate the hard shift the car could jump forward into another vehicle. Owner looking into replacing the valve body as this appears to be the main (costly) fix for this issue.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #218

Jun 252013


  • 154,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The brakes were applied and the contact attempted to shift into reverse but the vehicle would not respond. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 154,000.

- Gretna, LA, USA

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problem #217

Apr 292012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the transmission exhibited hard shifting with a loud clanking noise. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and advised the contact that the vehicle be diagnosed by an authorized dealer. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Centereach, NY, USA

problem #216

Apr 252013


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated while driving 40 mph the vehicle began to shift into gear excessively and it also caused the vehicle to lunge forward with force. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 120,000.

- Centereach, NY, USA

problem #215

Jul 292012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 115,577 miles
Whenever I first crank my 2004 Nissan Maxima SE up and shift the gearshift from park to reverse there would be a really hard kick and then when I shift it from reverse to drive it would kick really hard again. And then when I start moving forward it would be slow by picking up speed because it would be stuck in 5th gear instead of being in 1st gear like it suppose to be in. So other words it would take the Maxima 45 seconds to a minute to get to 55 to 60 mph. And I already have taken it to the Nissan dealership where I brought it from a total of three times before they finally told me its the transmission and that could cost me anywhere from $3500 up to $4000 just to get it rebuild. And I definitely don't have that kind of money to be spending on getting the transmission rebuilt. I have had this Maxima every since March 12, 2008 and its been good to me until this happen. So please could you help me? it would be much appreciated thanks.

- Newton, AL, USA

problem #214

May 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
At 66,000 miles (approximately) the car would not shift into gear when warm, . (warm defined as driven in excess of 30-45 minutes). At that point the car would not shift into gear immediately. Then car would suddenly slam into gear, causing the car to lunge unexpectedly we took the car off the road and delivered to Nissan dealer. At first the Nissan dealer was unable to diagnose. Eventually, they diagnosed a bad transmission. To get a second opinion we brought the car to a transmission specialist who indicated the problem was the valve throttle (a part of the transmission). His experiences were that this was a fault he had seen on other Nissan transmission sets (valve body) in that era cost of part with labor $1,895 - not covered by warranty Nissan has no recall or technical service bulletin available on this issue aside from cost, car slamming into gear, lunging is not safe.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #213

Dec 102012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Delayed engagement between gears. The automatic transmission slips and the RPM's increase while vehicle is attempting to transition between 1-2, 2-3 & 3-4 gears. The vehicle will jerk and make a loud noise once engaged into a new gear.

- Clayton , CA, USA

problem #212

Apr 032013


  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the transmission jerked into gear very abruptly. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the transmission valve body would need to replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 72,000.

- Rocky Hill, CT, USA

problem #211

May 302013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
My 18 year old son could not get the vehicle to engage in reverse. In an effort to drive the vehicle to the mechanic the transmission failed while driving and luckily I was able to coast to the side of the road narrowly escaping a traffic accident. I had recently passed this vehicle down to my son and I shudder to think what would have happened to him if he had been behind the wheel considering he is a less experienced driver. I have been informed that there are numerous incidents involving Nissan vehicle transmissions.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #210

Apr 022013


  • 101,000 miles
2004 Maxima with a check engine light. Looks like it needs a transmission valve body replacement. The code is P0745. Looks like lot of customers are having the same issue. Is Nissan going to recall this?

- Montrose, CA, USA

problem #209

Jan 012011


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while the vehicle turned at unknown speeds, the transmission slipped and made a noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who stated that the transmission failed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 92,000. The current mileage was 95,492.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #208

Feb 082011


  • miles
Purchased the 04 Maxima SE used in 2010, after nearly one year, while driving down the interstate the car jerked severely and began to slow down. Got off the interstate and noticed a burning smell and the transmission locked in 5th gear, notified the dealer and they had the trans repaired. Beginning of this year (2013) same issues, starts revved high, jerks into gear, no power @ take off or no movement at all and a burning smell from under the hood. Still making payments so went back to the dealer and found out then the repair that was completed 2 years earlier was the second repair done to the transmission. The warranty that came with the repair had expired and now I am left with a vehicle I am still making payments on, can't drive and now have to come up with a way to pay $2500-$3000 for a new transmission. I love my car and would like to continue to enjoy it for at least a few more years but this is ridiculous to know there are this many complaints concerning one vehicle and the manufacturer not seem to care enough to correct the obvious issues.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #207

Dec 302011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Was heading off a ramp onto the expressway when I felt a slight jerk from the transmission, probably going at (40-45mph). Then 2 minutes after all power was lost in the transmission, had to pull aside with the engine still idling. Tried various times to get it to move and it couldn't. went to the dealer the next day and replacement had be to issued for transmission, small bits of metal were found in the fluid which had not been burned out or low by the way. This was the second time the transmission had to be changed in under 70000 miles, thankfully I had an extended warranty on the car. It was previously changed by Nissan approx 18months prior.

- Cambria Heights, NY, USA

problem #206

Apr 192013


  • 75,000 miles
While I was driving onto a highway off of a ramp I went to accelerate to merge into traffic while doing so my car did not move and the engine rpms redlined after about 3 seconds my car jerked into gear and felt as if someone had rear-ended me however I noticed it was my car not being able to get into gear. Once it got into gear the car peeled out uncontrollably and I almost ran my car off the road. The vehicle is a very well maintained vehicle and only has 75,000 miles on it.

- Monmouth Junction, NJ, USA

problem #205

Feb 202013


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle began to shake abnormally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and they advised that the transmission and motor mounts needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 100,000 the VIN was unavailable.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #204

Oct 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 84,250 miles
Transmission experiences extremely harsh shifting between 1st and 2nd gear.seems to be worse when vehicle is warmed up. Occurrence is intermittent. Vehicle will slip completely out of gear when turning a corner under braking, then slam back into gear as gas is applied exiting the turn. Vehicle also will hesitate when shifting from reverse to drive for 10 seconds, then slam into drive. Vehicle slipping out of gear and then slamming into gear could lead to possible rear collision. Also feels like it could not go back into gear when driving on a hill. With the number of blog posts regarding this issue it is obviously not isolated. I have been informed that the only 'fix' is to replace the transmission at my expense to the tune of $3000-$4000. Neighbor traded in her.05 Maxima for a Toyota because dealer told her she had to pay $4000 for a new tranny for the maximum. As it is apparent that Nissan will not voluntarily own up to what it obviously a manufacturing or design defect, I hope they will soon be forced into issuing a recall and fixing this issue.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #203

Sep 122012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 112,485 miles
The transmission shifts hard from 2nd to 3rd after driving about 20 minutes. Then it shifts hard up and down. When going from park or reverse into drive it will not engage gear and then slams into gear. While driving at freeway speeds it will slip gears. It also slips gears after pulling out at a stop sign. A diagnostic check revealed that it has a pressure control solenoid C stuck on.I have found many many online posts on forums about the same exact problem at about the same mileage on many 2004 Maximas. I am concerned that I can not drive it safely and Nissan knows about this failure in the car and choose to do nothing.

- Visalia, CA, USA

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