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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,386 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Jan 102010


  • miles


2004 Nissan Maxima that sways while driving straight and shifts hard or skips out of gear between 2nd and 3rd gear. Only have 59,500 miles on car and front struts sway bar sub frame bushings need to be replaced along with struts and transmission.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #21

Jun 202010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE. While driving on the highway and slowed due to traffic, vehicle lurched forward with a loud bang. Occurred while transmission downshifted from 2nd gear to 1st. Occurs when shifting from 2nd gear into 3rd and when parked and trying to shift from reverse into drive. Two mechanics have suggested transmission replacement and appointment made for such. Vehicle also has a horrible steering wheel shudder/shaking that gets worse the faster you go (highway speeds) told it was struts, so they were replaced, numerous wheel alignments and balancings to correct, with no satisfaction.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #20

Nov 052010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima shimmy in steering, transmission jerk.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #19

Jun 092006


  • 40,000 miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. It has 97.000 miles on it and the transmission has been giving me problems since I bought it. It won't go into drive from park without a 3-5 second delay, it dosen't down shift properly when coming to a stop. It's to the point now that when I come to a stop it down shifts so erraticly that the tires chirp. I looked online and there are over 150,000 people with the same complaint. I took it to the dealer and they said they can't duplicate it, which I think is a falsehood. The bottom line is that there clearly is a defect with these transmissions and Nissan needs to recall them. The fog lights short out and burn out after limited use. I have spend hundreds of dollars on fog lights, now I just gave up and leave them burned out. The front struts were defective and had to be replaced.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #18

Dec 012009


  • 1,600 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima that I bought new in 2003 in California. Within months to the first year, I have had continuous problems with the front end. I've had my wheels aligned, tires balance numerous times and checked due to a shimmy in the steering wheel, tires wearing unevenly and a clanking or thumping noise in the front right when going over a bump. These problems I have had for years and complained continuously. Had the car in the shop many times for these problems, but to no avail. Nissan fixed noise after 5 times in the shop in 2004 and 2005. Now over the years the noise has come back, but the shimmy was always a problem. I just learned to ignore it until now. I'm reading now online of other Maxima owners having the same problem. I'm planning on approaching my Nissan dealer here in Florida about the shimmy, abnormal tire ware and clankiing noise as well. Can you help me?

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

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problem #17

Apr 172008


  • 40,000 miles
2004 Maxima sl - clunking noise on the front from both sides, the car is over 36,000 so I have not taken it to the dealer since it will not be covered under warranty. I think the noise started when the car was around 40,000 miles. I took it to Goodyear, they replaced the struts but the noise never went away. You can hear it the most when going over brick roads and humps. I am afraid to drive the car because I feel like it will fall apart.

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #16

Jan 172009


  • 65,000 miles


I have a 2004 Maxima with 65,000 miles and already having trouble with transmission.

- Talladega, AL, USA

problem #15

Jul 032006


  • miles
Transmission problems jerks all the time from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 1st very hard and the struts sound horribly. They both have been changed the trans. And the struts and they are doing the same thing again.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #14

Dec 192008


  • 5,000 miles
04 Nissan Maxima purchased in Aug 03 with a loud knocking noise in the front passenger side. First visit to the dealer was in March 04 -- replaced front strut. Lasted about 1 week before the noise was back. Since then has had at least 6-8 struts replaced. Last repair was last Friday -- went 10 miles before the noise was back. The longest a strut has lasted was 6 months. I have been dealing with for four years. Will Nissan acknowledge this as a problem and ever fix it?

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #13

Oct 282008


  • 34,650 miles
My 2004 Maxima has had a front end noise on a wide variety of road surfaces. My local mechanic, whom I have been doing business with for over 20 years says the front struts are shot and need replacement. The car has 34,650 gentle miles on it!

- Pearl River, NY, USA

problem #12

Jan 182008


  • 96,000 miles


Constant motor mounts replaced, constant struts replaced. Constant transmission slipping between 1 and 2nd gears.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #11

May 012008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
With only 30,000 miles on my Maxima I have had to replace 1)motor mount 2)front strut 3)rotors (need to be replaced again) and still the wheel shakes even at low speeds.

- Spanish Fork, UT, USA

problem #10

May 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,476 miles
I bought this car on April 2004. On June 2004 it began to have problems with shock absorbers or struts. This happens 2 or 3 times a year and every time the dealer changes them for new ones they break again. They changed them last time on January 4, 2007 and the banging noise is starting again which is the sign that they will break soon. After the warranty expires this will become a burden.

- Mayaguez, PR, USA

problem #9

Oct 052006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima. Car develops a dangerous vibration between 50 and 60 mph. Also has a loud knock coming from under the car. Took it back to the dealer twice. This first time they replaced the right front strut saying that it had broken. They said the vibration was coming from cupped tires caused by the broken strut. The loud knock was less but still apparent. Took back to dealer who then tightened the "tie rod which was loose. No mention of cupped tires was made. Knock is still present and also the vibration is also still a big problem. The car has the 18" wheels.

- Fuquay-Varina, NC, USA

problem #8

Apr 052006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
Front brakes pulsate violently when braking. Front end shimmies constantly. Original front tires wore out within 10,000 miles. Nissan continues to ignore the design flaws and component failures (rotor failure) in this 2004 Maxima. Owners are getting nothing but the runaround when vehicle safety is a huge issue.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #7

Apr 032006


  • miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima has been experiencing loud rattling noise when driving and severe shaking of the steering when applying the brakes. In April 2006 I took the car to the dealership. They stated the struts and suspension needed to be placed and insisted I pay for it. The struts had been replaced in the car previously in April of 2005 along with defective rotors. They also suggested the belts be replaced because they were cracking. I have not had the car two years yet, but parts on this vehicle continue to malfunction exhibiting all signs of defective manufacturing. Additionally I replaced two of the originally tires (Goodyear rsa 18") at 12K and 20K miles for tears in the sidewalls. I have reviewed the other complaints on file for this vehicle from other owners and unfortunately I share the same problems with my Maxima.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #6

Feb 232006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
: the contact stated during sudden acceleration the vehicle veers to the left or right. The problem usually occurs while driving 40 to 50mph. Previously, the dealership replaced the strut due to a knocking sound coming from the front suspension. The veering problem did not occur until the strut was replaced. When the vehicle was returned to the dealer, it was determined the vehicle is designed to veer during sudden acceleration.

- Walker, LA, USA

problem #5

Jul 232003

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
I think you need to look into the issue of shimmy or vibration in the Maxima's 2004-2005-2006. My car has the shimmy and I and the dealer have done just about everything Nissan says to do to resolve the issue. I even bought new tires another brand and it is still there. $$$ what is happening is that there is a constant shimmy in the steering wheel. The shimmy is mostly very light except for certain speeds the you can see it in the wheel. It is not the tires.. it may be the wheels or the steering components. If you or Nissan would poll all of the owners of the Maximas you will find that this issue is the norm and not exception. Go out onto the web to and under 6th gen look at the complaints under shimmy. I don't know of anyone who has a Maxima that doesn't have the shimmy and I am sure there are many who just live with it. This issue will keep me from buying another Maxima. This could be a safety issue at higher speeds as that is when the shimmy really shows up. Please take a closer look at this.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 082004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 62,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima has had 3 sets of front struts replaced starting at 8K miles from new...the dealer has diagnosed the need for a forth set of front struts at 62K miles.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #3

Dec 312003

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,060 miles
1) manufacturer defect in the suspension (2004 Nissan Maxima SE) 2) caused car to make a sudden reflex to the right twice on the highway 3) dealer ( Nissan of el monte ) has replace struts and other suspension parts more than 4 times after 10 dealer inspections.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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