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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,251 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Oct 052016


  • miles


On October 5, 2016 my husband came home from pt and parked the car under our carport. When he got out of the car there was not signs of smoke or any warning lights on in the car. He came in the house and started to get dressed and about 10 minutes later our neighbor was knocking on the door" screaming your car is on fire". the fire department was called out to put out the fire and after it was out they found that the fire started in the engine and ruled it an electrical fire. I called nna and explained what happened, sent photos, the police report, and fire report and they stated that it would take 6 weeks for them to even decide if they would investigate and that they would not help with any fees to have the car preserved. We live on a military base so we had to have the car towed away so that military housing could assess the damage that was done to the carport and we can not afford to pay daily for having the car sit at a tow yard while Nissan decides if the will even investigate the cause of the fire. I really feel like there should be a class action against Nissan because with all these complaints this can't just be isolated incidents.

- Fort Hood, TX, USA

problem #40

Sep 222015


  • 146,089 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 65 mph, the horn failed to sound when engaged. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the horn assembly and horn switch were both replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 146,089.

- Wathena, KS, USA

problem #39

Jul 152015


  • 156,587 miles
Me radio and gps and air and hit is the problem 1 day work others day

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #38

Jan 082015


  • 119,000 miles


I bought a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE a year and two months ago. It had 91,000 miles on it. The transmission started slamming gears a few months ago right around 100K miles. I had it looked at and no problem could be found. But then on 1/8/15 the transmission got stuck in 5th gear. It would go into park and reverse fine but in drive it went straight into 5th. I was able to get it to slowly drive to a friends house where I parked and left it over night and borrowed a vehicle from them. The next morning I came back cranked it and it was fine. So I drove it towards the repair shop. It dies as I pull in. They run a diagnostic and they say the cam sensor is bad. The really expensive warranty that supposedly covers my car from bumper to bumper is claiming that this part is not covered in my bumper to bumper warranty so now I'm suck with a really expensive repair bill if I want to drive my car again. The thing is I get on line and see that there are thousands and thousands of people who have had the same problems I'm having and Nissan is aware of the defect in the year model of car and are doing nothing to fix it and no ones warranties are covering the repairs. I'm a single mother and I make very little money so I don't have the extra income to fix this problem that clearly should be a recall in the first place. I hope that you will make Nissan accountable one day for their blatant screwing of their customers.

- Helena, AL, USA

problem #37

Sep 182014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,030 miles
I bought used 2004 Nissan Maxima car at North shore auto mall on 9/18/14, the service tech. Drove car up to front of dealership w/car still running he test drove car w/me( didn't think anything about it at the time) I got in and we went for a test drive, car was great. Got back to dealer, gave the balance. Once I left dealer, while driving on highway the car started to skip & felt like it was going to stall, I pulled over to right lane, put hazards on w/traffic behind me, the car stalled, I almost caused a collision, cars were beeping, swerving out of the way, I couldn't get any acceleration with it in drive, so I put it in neutral & after 3 tries it started up w/much hesitation. I was scared for my life & others on the road, I took side streets to make it home & when I stopped at stop sign it stalled again, I repeated the same steps as above w/hazards on the whole ride I know why the service tech. Took test ride w/me. I had a friend with me as my witness.this car wont pass inspection, the check engine light will not turn off, I called dealer he said make an appt, I said I only have 7 days for inspection sticker, he said, he has nothing to do with service and to call them. I called on Monday the 22nd &1st, available appt.wasn't til 9/25/14, my 7 days were up on that Thursday. He said he'll call me around noon, I waited til Friday 5pm, he nor anyone in serv. Called to update me & let me know car will be there over the weekend. What do I do & what's the time limit on fixing my car w/O any communication to me. Im sooooo upset at the lack of professionalism and ethics, im afraid if I say something derogatory, they will sabotage my car. Please help me..!!!!

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #36

Feb 012013


  • 115,000 miles
When ever I shift to reverse the car pauses and then jerks. I took it to the shop and had new motor mount put in to solve the problem. For a few days you could barely feel the jerking when switching to reverse. Literally by the next week it was bad all over again and the jerking returned. Also, sometimes when I am driving I can feel the car, to my knowledge, switching gears. For example, this morning I was driving to work and going only around 25mph and as I started to accelerate the car jerked and slowed down for about 5 seconds before it returned to my normal speed. Thirdly, the power locks are not consistent. When I lock my doors with the automatic lock on the keys or even by pressing the power locks on the door handle it will only lock the front right passenger and the back left passenger door. This can be very frustrating as I have left my car doors unlocked unknowingly.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #35

Sep 092013


  • miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. When I was driving, the steering locked up and there was no way to steer. I don"T know how I did it, being petite and not so strong, but I managed to make the car move to the side, then it turned off automatically. I tried to turn on the car and it didn't start. I had to wait a few minutes and turn the key for a few seconds until the engine restarted. It becomes extremely difficult to pull over to the side, and I was saved the 5-7 times this happened to me. Luck was on my side! I didn't drive my car on the freeway, because I was terrified my car would stall and my son and I would die in a terrible car accident. I finally had to go to my shop and replace the two camshaft sensors with the following codes P3040 and P0345. With some searching, I found out that I?M not the only one with this issue. I stand by the former complaint: ?I found out that Nissan has a recall on Altima?S with this same issue, but will not cover and recall my vehicle. This is very dangerous and I do not understand why they would only recall certain makes when it is the same exact error code on both vehicles. It is a P3040 and P0345 cam sensor/cam shaft recall through Nissan. However, they say my make and model does not fall under this recall. Shouldn't they recall all vehicles with this same problem?" thank you for your help in this safety issue.

- Beverly Hills, CA, USA

problem #34

May 062014


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated while driving approximate 40 mph, the interior lights, power windows, and power seats failed to operate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who informed the contact that the body control module would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. There was a recall related to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number 05V512000 (seats). The manufacturer was notified and they informed the contact that the VIN was not included in the recall. The approximate failure mileage was 135,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Paris, TN, USA

problem #33

Jan 102014


  • miles
Woke up to a horn steadily beeping, went to my window to see what was going on and I see flames shooting about 15 ft high and knew my neighbor's car was on fire, after the fire the owner told me he had not driven the car that day, and that it melted the dashboard and quickly destroyed interior and engine compartment of the car, there could have been fatalities or injuries as the car had a full gas tank, and luckily did not reach gas tank, but if it had there would have been major property damage to several homes, and many lives put at risk.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #32

Jul 032013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 172,000 miles
I was driving to work July 3rd, 2013 around 7:00am. I smelled smoke in my car so I pulled over, opened my hood and I didn't see anything. I got back in my car and continued to drive to work. I smelled smoke again, only this time to realize that my bottom was getting hot. I looked down to the right to see if my seat warmer was on and it wasn't. then my seat began to move forward & backward by itself about 3 times. I turned back around to the front and there was a cloud of smoke in my face & flames at my feet. I quickly grabbed my phone and my ipad, released my seat belt, pulled up my emergency brake, opened the door and jumped out of my car falling onto the ground, jump up, and called 911. While waiting on the fire department & the police I stood there crying hysterically, terrified and watched my car go up in flames.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #31

May 222013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


Fire in drivers side dashboard...updated 07-05-13

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #30

Mar 152013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
Cd player does not connect to speakers. Sound muffled.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #29

Apr 142013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 167,300 miles
Anti-lock brakes engage almost every time brake is applied. Tsb says rust has to be cleaned out of the right rear wheel hub and a drain hole has to be added, right rear ABS($250 +) sensor has to be replaced, with possible replacement of ABS actuator($1000 +) required.

- Woodland, ME, USA

problem #28

Feb 012013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. Check engine light came on and within a few days problem began. When driving down an incline and turning one way or the other the car will die, steering will lock up and there is no way to steer. Unable to restart engine until you come to a complete stop, put in park then it takes multiple attempts to restart. You also cannot even steer over to the side of the road to get out of traffic. This almost caused me to have an accident on two different occasions. I found out that Nissan has a recall on Altima with this same issue, but will not cover and recall my vehicle. This is very dangerous and I do not understand why they would only recall certain makes when it is the same exact error code on both vehicles. It is a P3040 cam sensor/cam shaft recall through Nissan. However, they say my make and model does not fall under this recall. Shouldn't they recall all vehicles with this same problem? thank you for your help in this safety issue.

- Roseville, OH, USA

problem #27

Jul 102009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
We have been having problems with our transmission for a few months now, we took it to the dealership (cerritos Nissan) and they say the problem is that we need a new transmission. This will be our third tranny and the car only has 120,000+ miles on it. Our first transmission lasted 5yrs. Before having to be replaced and now this one has lasted 3yrs. The transmission now is stuck in 5th gear when you switch to the tip tronic setting to see the gearing and this is the reason there is no power during acceleration. We also need motor mounts now because of the violent jerking that the tranny does when put into gear. And the dealership also said we needed a timing chain replacement because it was bad as well, total repair cost $6700+. I've recently taken my car to another mechanic and he said the timing chain was perfectly fine. Our driver side window switches do not work again, that was replaced 1yr ago. And we are now on our third set of front struts.

- Santa Fe Springs, CA, USA

problem #26

Sep 152012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The car started shaking and would not accelerate, the service engine soon light was now displayed. Need to get off the road and have it towed. The ground wire was broken off the transmission and caused the computer to short out as well as all of the six ignition coils as too much voltage was sent to the coils. Nissan knows about the problem but did not issue any recall. This can also cause a fire in the car if the wires heat up and catch the evap system; therefore I would recommend issuing a recall of this problem.

- Johnston, RI, USA

problem #25

Dec 042008


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I read so many complaint about this vehicle especially the transmission I am having and there hasn't been a recall I have had problem with this vehicle such as axle radiator navigation don't work went out electrical problems car is pulling because of transmission.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #24

Feb 262010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I am a Nissan Maxima lover!! I have had a 95 max, a 00 max, and now a 04 max. I had no major problems what so ever with my Maximas except for this 04. This car is literally driving me crazy! first the car started jerking. Then my windows started sticking my driver and passenger window will go down then sometimes not come back up.then later it started making this embarrassing rattling noise. Everytime I got an oil change it would stop for a while. I needed a dependable car which is why I got another Nissan but about two weeks ago I was grocery shopping with my kids and as I turned on the highway headed home the whole car shut down in the middle of traffic. How dangerous is that. I managed to coast to a gas station and had to call aaa to tow it home now I am stuck with a car that I cannot drive and have to continue to make car payments on. Ive been told it was a mixture of my transmission and timing chain.there have been several reports on this site with transmission and timing chain problems. Unless Nissan does something about this my next car will be a Ford Fusion! love my Maxima but cannot endanger my kids with an undependable vehicle. With all that business Nissan gets what harm will it cause for you to help your customers fix cars that you caused the problem to with this faulty engine and transmission problems. It would keep customers like me coming back to Nissan. I do like the new models but I dont want to go through this problem with a newer car. Nissan what are you going to do"???"

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #23

Jun 082011


  • 60,000 miles
For the 4th time in 35,000 miles the car began to misfire, run rough and lose power. Since we have experienced this before we quickly pulled over and had it towed to a mechanic. The mechanic told us that the same parts failed that failed the last three times. These consist of ignition coils (plural). Changing these fixed the problem for 5 weeks where the problem happened again although more catastrophic. Grounding cables ($2250, six coils ($1,100), and then whatever else (ECM is expected and maybe cylinder sensors). Doing internet research has resulted that this is a known problem for the 2004 line that Nissan has refused to compensate owners for.

- Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #22

Jul 032010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
2004 Maxima automatic transmission - bought new; continually jerks when switching between gears with less than 100,000 miles; now the park lamps continually go out on the vehicle.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

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