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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,119 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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Jul 012007


  • miles


My timing chain started making noise at approximately 65,000 miles. When idling, I can hear the links in the engine. According to Nissan, it will cost me approximately $3,000 to $4,000 in labor alone to correct the problem.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 012008


  • 75,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE. Front right ticking sound. Dealer evaluated the car and said it was a primary and secondary timing chain problem. Said I needed a replacement. I'm told by another non-Nissan dealer that this is so common it should be listed as a recall.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 232008


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving 30 mph uphill, the vehicle suddenly failed to shift into gear. The RPM's increased into the red zone on the instrument panel gauge. The gear final changed and the vehicle began to jerk badly. The vehicle eventually settled back into gear and proceeded up the hill. The failure was intermittent. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the motor mounts were the cause of the failure. The dealer replaced the motor mounts. Currently, the transmission is causing the same failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 252007

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


Nissan transmission and timing chain issues. Please see attached comments which demonstrate extent of problem. Nissan and their dealership should assume responsibility for this obvious defect.

- St. Charles, IL, USA

problem #4

Nov 012007

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle shut off and the steering locked without warning. The dealer stated that the cam and crank sensors caused the failure. As of December 18, 2007, the dealer had not repaired the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 80,000. Updated 01/17/08. Updated

- Compton, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 152005

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
I have had numerous ignition coils replaced over the course of the last 16 months. Several times incurring weeks without the vehicle. There have been several electrical problems resulting in part replacement and the engine catching on fire. Nissan corporate sent technicians to research the issue and had to replace the engine as a result of the fire, saying fortunately I stopped the vehicle before the fire got out of control. Under the hood was charred and melted plastic and oil. Since having the engine replaced, I have gone 9 months and have the same problems with coil failures and replacement. I am perusing lemon law action at this time but need to see what else can be done. I am at the point where I have no confidence in the vehicle and everytime I smell something out of the ordinary, I fear that I will see more smoke and another fire. The technician said the ground wire from the battery was shorting out against the body of the engine and transmission. The wire that was replace 9 months ago was replaced again two weeks ago for corroding completely through and making contact with the engine again.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #2

Dec 142004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,522 miles
10,522K miles, - I broke down due to failure of alternator and battery. Dealership replaced both. 15,358K miles, - I complained about a loud rattling noise, like a flat tire rattling grinding noise and car feeling shaky.= dealership found no problem. Continuing driving my car thinking everything is ok. I bought it brand new so I shouldn't really worry. I was wrong for thinking that. 27,500 mi. -I broke down again got towed to the dealership, where they replaced another alternator. 27,732-I brought it back to dealership, because I just thought the noise my car still made didn't seem right.= dealership resecured heatshield 3. 26'099 mi.-R/F headlight bulb burnt out. Dealer fixed that one. 28'071 mi.-left side front headlight burnt out. Dealer replaced. 29,276 mi.- I paid $300 for my major service that was due for my car, also thinking maybe my car wouldn't be as noisy as it is. Maybe the dealership might find the problem. 31'431 mi.- I still hear the grinding noise, the cover under engine was loose, my air conditioner was not cold enough, and the center console was loose.=this time the dealership said it was the heat shield for the grinding noise, they fixed the loose cover under engine, fixed center console, and replaced low pressure hose in the A/C. 31'813 mi.- car still making the grinding noise, I hear knocking noises from the back of the car when I reverse, and the A/T light stays on longer than normal, then turnes off.= dealer replaced front exaust pipe, said the knocking noise I hear in the back of the car, is from the aftermarket air cleaner.(that is in the front of car).when I picked up my car from the dealership, I felt like this time my car was going to be fixed.I got in my headed for home.I heard the same noise I have been complaining about since 15,358 mi.I turned around brought right back in to service.=they replaced the rear manifold and cat converter.I picked up my car but I still hear the noise my car makes and it is louder when turning.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 012005

Maxima 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
While the car shuts down/loses power. Consumer is getting ready to make a turn, and during the turn, car loses power.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

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