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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,875 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Jul 152016


  • 150,000 miles


The timing chain tensioner that is made from plastic came apart and has caused my cars engine to fail.this is clearly a defective designed part. It will cost around $2000 parts and labor for the repair from the Nissan dealership.Nissan should step up and correct this design flaw for me and many others with this same problem.

- St. James, MO, USA

problem #40

Jun 202016


  • 115,000 miles
My timing chain primary guide has broke ! this is a defective design assembly part! it's made of plastic and the plastic breaks and the chain looses tension! it cost 2000$ to repair. I'm driving the car. I can't go on the highway because if the chain fails the car will just stop!'dangerous Nissan has known of the defective part ! they notified all dealerships in 2004 tsb. Buyers avoid Nissan maxi as 04-08 models.

- Pompano Bch, FL, USA

problem #39

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 #38

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 #37

Jan 102015


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving about 20 mph, the vehicle shut off and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle restarted. However, the failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or an independent mechanic. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #36

Jun 202015


  • 102,000 miles
1 cove court

- Glenwood, NJ, USA

problem #35

Mar 042015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. After restarting, there was a slight reduction in the engine power. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the cam shaft sensor would need to be replaced. The manufacturer issued a voluntary recall under reference number: R2022 (cam shaft) however, the VIN was not included. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #34

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 #33

Dec 102014

Maxima 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
I was inspecting under the hood and the radiator split at the top, spraying coolant everywhere. The cap was functioning. No injury but very dangerous. The radiator looks like it is made of some type of plastic. I have a photograph of the radiator. I contacted Nissan and they told me to take it to a dealer. I didn't ask for compensation. I asked that the Nissan engineering dept review the defect for safety reasons and received no reply. I replaced the radiator myself. This is a safety issue. I have the radiator in my garage. Thanks [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Newcastle, OK, USA

problem #32

Sep 252014


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 74,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Ward, AR, USA

problem #31

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 #30

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 #29

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 #28

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 #27

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 #26

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 #25

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 #24

Sep 182014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,030 miles
While picking my new, used Maxima 2004 from dealer, pulling out of the lot and waiting for clearance to get on highway, I proceeded to turn onto hw & it stalled & alternator light came on & "check engine" it hasn't shut off yet, I felt like I was in a horrible nightmare.. I thought I was going to get hit because cars were coming, I quickly put hazards on, and put it in neutral and tried to start it, it was trying to turn over as I was pumping the gas pedal like a jack hammer, I finally floored it & it started not without whiplash to my neck, my chest hit the steering wheel because it jerked sooooo hard into gear !!!. I put it in drive and was so nervous because cars were honking & swearing at me...I was totally shocked and greatly disappointed that I almost caused multiple car collision. I called mgr at dealership when I got home & he said " just call service and make an appt. I said I just left your lot w/new plates and told him what had just happened, he said " I have nothing to do w/service, so call them in the a.M. & make an appt." Didn't even apologize. I got anxiety because I'm 47 yrs old and had quite a few cars and I know when a car jerks, goes from drive to 5th gear with powerful jerking motion all the time, skipping & stalling while in drive, most likely a bad transmission, its obviously not safe to drive, I just bought it 9/18/14 & I cant drive it, it won't pass inspection in 7 days. Check engine light still on, looks like 7 days is not happening my appt is 9/25/14 supposed to be under warranty. Instead of being excited about car I'm so angry & I feel like once they had my money, they could care less about me or my family or drivers on road. Thankfully no-one got hurt, its been parked since 9/21/14, they said they did 21 pt insp, yaa right !! sure they did, how can they knowingly let me drive off lot..with no regard for public safety. Is this legal ??

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #23

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 #22

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

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