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 1 of 16)

problem #302

Sep 142016


  • 71,000 miles


Down shifting in lower gear or upshifting from lower to higher gear loud bang in transmssion

- East Rockaway, NY, USA

problem #301

Nov 102016


  • 100,120 miles
Transmission failure at 100K miles

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #300

Oct 032016


  • 192,000 miles
I was pulling out at a stop sign for a left turn when all a sudden the car jerked and I heard a loud bang. This was my transmission letting go. I was stuck in the middle of the road. Luckily someone stopped and helped me push the car to the side of the road.

- Seekonk, MA, USA

problem #299

Oct 172016

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Transmission shift poorly, high rev inbetween shifts, hard down shifts and extremely hard up shifts. Very dangerous to drive during icy conditions due to the high rev and hard down shifts that cause uncontrollable loss of driving.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #298

Oct 012015


  • 150,000 miles
Transmission jerks when downshifting on highway and roads, this is a very hard jerk that is very hazardous. I have done research online and there are hundreds of other people having the exact same problems with the same vehicle.

- Oneida, TN, USA

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problem #297

Jul 012016


  • 130,000 miles
Very hard shifting and delay from park to drive, hard shift from park to revers

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #296

Aug 052016


  • 136,000 miles


Transmission failing for second time. Transmission was rebuilt/overhauled in March of 2014. Mileage at time of rebuild was 111,090 miles. The total cost of said repair was $2,996. As of today August 19, 2016 the said mentioned transmission is failing for the second time. The current mileage is approximately 136, xxx miles. The current symptoms while car is in motion are, extremely hard shifts and slipping into upper gears.

- Manville, NJ, USA

problem #295

May 012016


  • 170,000 miles
Suddenly after putting my car in drive from reverse after being parked in a parking lot my car jerked so bad I thought my neck was broke. It has continued. I live on a budget and am disabled so I don't have the money to replace or make repairs on my transmission.

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #294

Mar 172015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While accelerating from a complete stop, the transmission exhibited a delayed response without warning. Additionally, the transmission jerked violently whenever the gear lever was shifted from the park position into drive. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission sensor failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Mount Berry, GA, USA

problem #293

Jan 152016


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving various speeds, the vehicle shook violently when downshifting and would sometimes stall without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #292

Jan 102015


  • miles


The car started bucking when is downshift into a lower gear and it jerks and it's slips. I have a hundred 100 thousand miles on the speedometer.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #291

May 242016


  • 152,030 miles
When auto is in motion when the transmission shifts from low to higher gear engine revs to exceedingly high RPM's as if in nuetral. When letting off the accelerator after slowing the transmission reengages with a violent jerk, very dangerous at interstate speeds

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #290

Apr 192016


  • miles
What is wrong with Nissan" why is there not a recall on the Maxima transmissions" something needs to be done about ! not everyone has the money to throw away on a problem that the manufacturer caused. Someone should really help solve this issue. Cannot drive the car because the transmission is shot. So much for a reliable car for my son to get back and forth to college with. My husband has served this country for close to 25 years and is shocked that Nissan is not being made to be accountable for their mistakes.

- Norristown, PA, USA

problem #289

Mar 152016


  • 150,000 miles
Transmission gave out on the highway, almost crashed into another vehicle, had to pull off the side of the highway, was written up at work for being late. I had bought the car less than 6 months ago. Nissan looked at it said it was fine. 150,000 miles

- Elon, NC, USA

problem #288

Dec 012015


  • 60,000 miles
Same problem as many others with this horrible transmission. At low throttle, major jolt when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Just about rips the engine off it's mounts.

- Kailua, HI, USA

problem #287

Dec 122015


  • 188,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and the gear shift failed. The check engine warning indicator illuminated continuously. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the solenoid needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 188,000.

- Narberthta, PA, USA

problem #286

Jan 312015


  • miles
I took my car in for an inspection, found out that the floor on the passenger side had rusted from the inside out and there was a good size hole. It cost me a couple hundred to fix because it wouldn't pass the inspection. The next thing was the slack timing chain, the car sounds like a truck. I've been told it would cost up to $3000 to fix. Then the biggest safety issue is the transmission, this one is really concerning. The jerking, bucking, kicking, clanging, the seconds of hesitation between drive and reverse and then suddenly it engages and the kick could give you whiplash. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a rodeo. When the car sits for awhile (overnight) there is no issue with the initial start but once it warms up that's it. You can't accelerate properly once the car slows down, or is making a turn, going around a bend or comes to a stop because it drops out of gear, then there is the hesitation and at that point it just revs, this happens 2 or 3 times before it engages again then there is a massive bang and the car lunges forward, by then the traffic is right under your rear bumper. After this happens a few times there is no more acceleration, the pedal has to be pushed to the floor for the car to move. The engine light came on a month or two ago and hasn't gone off. This is a real dangerous, safety issue. A few days ago another issue appeared, I cannot open the driver side door with the remote door opener or the electronic door opener on the inside of the door. At this point I've read many complaints about these issues, they are all manufacture problems but the timing chain and transmission is the biggest when it comes to safety because you do not know when the car will stop. Why hasn't Nissan done a recall"???" there are enough complaints.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #285

Dec 022015


  • 180,000 miles
This is the 4th time the transmission has gone out on this vehicle, and this time it happened on the street. I feel I was very fortunate to not get struck by another vehicle as I got the vehicle home. I purchased the vehicle in 2006, there has to be an issue with the transmission in these vehicles.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #284

Sep 122015


  • miles
Transmission keeps jerking and stalling out keeps on sliping during shifts

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #283

Mar 032015


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While reversing the vehicle, the gear jerked, vibrated, and hesitated to shift into drive. The failure occurred on numerous occasions prior to receiving a manufacturer's recall related to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who indicated that the transmission fluid needed to be replaced. The dealer replaced the transmission fluid and serviced the transmission. The contact stated that the dealer's remedy did not prevent the failure. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was to be diagnosed and repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000.

- Patillion, NE, USA

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