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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,500 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

problem #16

Jan 202010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While attempting to accelerate from a stop, the contact noticed that the vehicle jerked forward and vibrated. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where the contact was informed that the control solenoid and valve body needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 17,000 and the current mileage is approximately 82,000. Updated 1/19/2010 updated 01/27/11

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #15

Sep 012009


  • 63,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima with 64000 miles, has started shifting hard in 1st, and 2nd gears, with these transmissions your not suppose to feel the gears changing at all. Also there is a ticking coming from the timing belt which I am told is normal....doesn't sound normal to me!

- Myrtle Beach , SC, USA

problem #14

Oct 272007


  • 48,701 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. When he started the vehicle there was a loud noise in the engine for approximately 3 minutes. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and remained there overnight so that the dealer could duplicate the failure; however, they stated that they couldn't duplicate the noise. The failure has occurred since the vehicle was purchased on 10/27/07. The mileage at the time the vehicle was purchased was 48,701 and he is the second owner. The manufacturer stated that a representative would call him regarding the failure. The current mileage was 4,000.

- Hollis, NJ, USA

problem #13

Oct 072009


  • 132,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima: October 7, 2009 the check engine light came on, several miles later as we entered our drive way the car started to shut down. I notice some jerking and metal rattling noise as I slow down. After stopping the car would not go forward. At this time the car would only go in reverse, but once I turn the engine off I could not start the car again. The dealership were I purchase the car has done all the services, and yes they did flush the transmission. Type of transmission fluid is not know.

- Villa Rica, GA, USA

problem #12

Apr 012005


  • miles
2004 Maxima has had timing chain noise for years has been blowing oil for 2 years now transmission is banging and shifting very hard losing power etc. For 3 months now had trans flushed did not help at all tires were defective in the first year A/C has not worked for 2 years this car is very much a lemon.

- Baldwin, MD, USA

problem #11

Jul 122009


  • 55,000 miles
I recently brought a user Maxima 2004 SE 3 weeks back. When I first drove it with 55,500miles on it. It is having this problem from day one but I did not observer clearly but these days I can feel the jerking affect. When I start driving the car it jerks from 1st to 2nd and sometime into 3rd. While accelerating from stop the RPM shows a high value (3K) but the car wont move accordingly. All of a sudden it picks and shifts two 2nd gear and start moving. This happens all the time when I accelerate from 0mph. I have not yet replaced due to the fact that almost all the 04 Maxima's are having this issue. Hope someday Nissan will recall these faulty transmission systems.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #10

Oct 102008


  • 80,000 miles


I purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima in 2006.the first year my tires were on recall.that same year my car had a rattling noise when you start the car. One day driving on the city street with my kids the car completely shut down. The engine light was on. A few months later the car was not driving past 20 mph. I had the car towed to the dealer who said it was a cam crank sensor. That cost me $441.46 cents. The car was now driving on 4th and 5th gear.that was on 10/10/O8.this past year on 1/22/09 the dealer called me to say that Nissan recalled the rear suspension membrane. I towed the vehicle to get fixed I was then told my transmission was gone. Nissan did not want to pay for this bill. I paid 3,000 to replace the trasmission. My car is still rattling.

- New Britain , CT, USA

problem #9

Nov 012008


  • 90,000 miles
Terrible transmission issues with my 2004 Nissan Maxima.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #8

Dec 202008


  • 103,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE with 103,000 miles. I am having transmission problems and after reading several forums on the internet, it seems as though I am not the only one with this problem. Nissan is not willing to rectify the situation - I can not afford to buy a new transmission, the car is still practically new! this is something that Nissan needs to do and issue a recall on all 2004 Nissan Maxima's - with the way the economy is going right now, this is an additional expense.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #7

Aug 192008


  • 63,500 miles
My car was having shifting issues with the transmission. The car shut off while I was driving and when I restarted it, it stayed in 5th gear. I took the car to the local dealership where they did something and resolved the problem but didn't inform me what it was. I then had the same issue about 3 months later I took the car to the same dealership they said they test drove my car but the mileage was only 1 mile different from when I dropped it off. So I know that was a lie. I was told they were unable to duplicate the problem. My vehicle was under warranty. I pleaded with the service manager telling him that I drive the car everyday and I have the problems all the time. He game me a smart ass answer like " when it does it again stop by and pick me up and show me what it is doing". now 4 months later my warranty is over and my transmission is shot. They are now saying they are going to do nothing to help me out with this issue. I have to pay $3600 to fix the problem.

- Drexel Hill, PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 162006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving the contact heard a buzzing sound which alerted him that the motor mounts were failing. The dealer stated that the engine motor mounts were torn, and the front and rear mounts on the cross member were replaced. Approximately one month later the contact heard the buzzing sound and felt the engine shifted. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. Approximately three months later the vehicle was taken to the dealer again. The dealer replaced the front and rear motor mounts. The contact continued to hear the buzzing sound. The dealer advised the contact to replace the transmission fluid, and the right front strut. However, the repair did not solve the failure. The dealer informed the contact that the ECM computer should be replaced. The buzzing sound continued and the manufacturer stated that they would have their technician inspect the vehicle. Presently, the technician has not inspected the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 33,000. Update 5/3/07

- Glendale, NY, USA

problem #5

Jul 122004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,992 miles
Problem 1 of 5: purchased 2004 Maxima brand new on 4/12/04. End of June, 2004, noticed temperature gauge pinned at hot. Also, sometimes when I reverse, my trunk pops open. Called Nissan to bring car in. Was not given appointment until 7/12/04. Of course, the wonderful mechanics at Nissan huntington could not experience the same problem and said my car was operating property at that time. Gave me my car back and was told the next time my car is pinned at hot, bring it right in. Then, a few weeks later, the thermostat was pinned at hot again. When I called Nissan the woman who answers the phone for service would not let me bring my car in despite what the mechanic told me a few weeks back. She would not give me an appointment until the following week. I told her that this could be a major engine problem and what if my car engine fails. She did not care. So I drove the car in anyway, and had to cut the line at the service dept and grab a mechanic so they can see for themselves that the thermostat was indeed pinned at hot and I am not crazy. This was on 8/11/04, my car is just about 4 months old now. The dealership finally determined faulty temperature gauge and placed gauge. I only had 3,992 miles on this car. The dealership did give me a rent a car because I made a big stink about my car being broken and I would be out of a car for 4 days.

- Nesconset, NY, USA

problem #4

May 152006


  • miles
This is problem #1: (I had so far 4/5 major problems) purchased 2004 Nissan Maxima brand new. Within 2 months of driving this car, the thermostat kept registering at H, pinned at H. when I took it to the dealership in huntington, NY, they could not find the problem. Was told, when it pinns at hot again, bring the car in. Well, when I driving to work and the thermostat was pinned at hot again, I called the dealership to tell them and the receptionist said I could not bring my car in, it was not an emergency. I informed her that I don't know what type of problem this can be and what if my engine ceases" she said there was nothing I can do, and I can come in next week. I drove there anyway, and had to grab a mechanic to see that my car thermostat was indeed pinned at hot. It turned out to be a "electrical" problem and they had to replace the entire thermostat, and dash board. Also, while all my problems were going on, my trunk pops open when I reverse every now and then. Of course, the wonderful mechanics at the service dept in huntington could not duplicate the problem.. what a surprise?"

- Nesconset, NY, USA

problem #3

Jun 252006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 109,000 miles
: the contact stated that while driving 72 mph, a piston in the engine fractured causing oil to leak out of the vehicle. The instrument panel failed to provide a warning that the oil was low, and that the vehicle was overheating. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer, where the dealer was unable to repair the problem.

- Placentia, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 222005

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When accelerating, there's a rattling sound/noise coming from around the engine area.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 302004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,800 miles
The car started up and was running fine. My wife went back into the house to get our daughter and found the car had stalled. The car has not started since. I am concerned about this situation, because of the fact that the car justed stalled for no apparent reason. I hate to think what could have happened if my wife was driving the car. In addition, according to several post on this is happening to other consumers. I have had other problems with this car since I purchased it 3-12-03. It has been back to the dealership several times for the following reasons: Service engine lights coming on, leaking sunroof, cd not working, a fog/condensation behind center console screen, and interior molding coming loose. I have called Nissan usa and spoke to matt at 310-771-8454 ext 8454. If you can help with this please contact me at 410-239-0119. Thank you for your time and efforts.

- Hampstead, MD, USA

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