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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,252 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 3)

problem #45

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 #44

Oct 022013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 144,100 miles
While vehicle in for routine service, the technician pointed out significant rot to front passenger floor board on the undercarriage of the vehicle. I see from the listed complaints that this seems to be a systemic problem for this particular vehicle and model year.

- Lebanon, NJ, USA

problem #43

Oct 112011


  • 98,104 miles
Transmission slips and hesitates as you place in gear. Once you place it in gear from drive to park to reverse it jerks very hard which places pressure on the motor mounts causing them to have problems. All of the Nissan Maxima's have a serious manufactured flaw with there transmission. This is a serious flaw and should have been recalled by Nissan, all of the complaints made are all stating the same thing. This is clearly a manufacture defect. This defect occurs even if you are sitting still with your feet on the brakes and attempt to shift from park to drive to reverse the vehicle jerks so hard it moves the vehicle even though your feet is on the brakes. This is a serious issue. Once the engine warms up the transmission begins to slip even as the vehicle approach a stop light or stop sign the car down shifts itself and jerk as it shifts.

- Punta Gorda , FL, USA

problem #42

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 #41

Aug 162010


  • miles
I purchased my 2004 Maxima 18 months ago. From the time I drove it off the lot it started shaking. I took it back to the dealer a total of 4 times each time they told me it was something different, from the rotors to a weight falling off the wheel(which they say I lost).I was driving on a interstate highway and the vehicle started shaking and pulling so bad I almost had an accident.when I took it back for the fifth time I was told I had to pay to have the vehicle fixed(I had not owned it but 2 months). Finally I took it to another dealer (same affiliate) who fixed it so the shaking was not as bad (after 3 visits). I have taken the vehicle back on several occasions since then, and now when the jerking has gotten worse, sometimes jerks so hard it hurts my neck. The gears jerk when changing. I thought I just had to deal with the fact that I brought a lemon, but after reading all these complaints (which are either the same or similar) I know Nissan needs to correct these issues before someone is seriously hurt or loose there lives(as well as others).and I do plan to continue emailing sending letters, and calling until someone I don't feel alone in this issue just pissed off. That Nissan has allowed this to go on so long without addressing the safety issue of this vehicle.

- Fairmont, NC, USA

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problem #40

Feb 032011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I bought a used 2004 Nissan Maxima SE and I'm having problems the jerking, thrusting forward and the bad down shifting. I took the car to the Nissan dealership act like they never heard of a problem before and they said the transmission needed a flush ($200), so I did, it continued kicking. I took it back to Nissan they drove it and told me it need motor mounts ($2,000), I got the motor mounts replaced at local auto shop. They have no problem wanting me to spending money on diagnosis the problem, when they know what the problem is. The transmission is a recall issue they don't want to make public. I'm very disappointed in Nissan. I've had 2 Altima, I have a 1997 max and never had major issues (I drive that more than the new car) and I have a 2004 armada, I would not recommend them to anyone any more. They pride themselves in not selling lemons...well I got one! I don't understand how I can have 1997 max and not have transmission problems and new model car 2004 and having all these issues. I cannot afford a $3,800 transmission and a new set of $500 motor mounts.....another problem I've had with this car is the A/C keeps going out...there is no leaks in the lines but there is something wrong with the A/C pump so I was told by a local repair shop.

- St Ptersburg, FL, USA

problem #39

Jul 032009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 81,032 miles


The transmission in my car is slipping. When I am trying to take off many times the acceleration is decreased dramatically and puts my family in danger of having a terrible accident. The gears are hard to switch and it makes a loud noise when this happens. Sometimes while driving it starts jerking as if it will cut off. The dealer claims to not have many issues with this problem but my online research shows me that the transmission is the source of most of the problems on this make and model car.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #38

Jan 012011


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle would jerk while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the struts and transmission mounts were defective. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was repaired by her local mechanic. The failure mileage was 118,000 and the current mileage was 120,000.

- Covington, GA, USA

problem #37

Apr 162008


  • miles
Front and rear suspension, steering, brakes, body work, drivers door. Had issues right after wife bought the car she went without me but upon looking at car after she came home with it did the car fax on it on thing were some electrical checks that's it no accidents. Steering tight when I drove it and noticed noise from suspension when going over railroad tracks and driver door sagging. Brought to dealer next day and the said a bar was rubbing on another they fix they said nothing wrong with suspension in hearing things is there exact words and replaced the door hinges which are purple and the car is red door sagging again but I was involved in accident end of 2008 got sideswiped by 2500 Dodge Ram truck at 45 mph on driverside having problems with that because body shop on repair damage not replaced I brought my car to another body shop because of issues im having and they said work was done incorrectly. And transmission has always when I drive more than 20 miles continuously when I come to stop and start again the tranny always slips bad between 2nd and 3rd gear and into 4th sometimes.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #36

Sep 012006


  • 42,000 miles
Warning signs started with a hard shift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd at 45K miles. Done regular transmission maintenance but problem remains the same. Later it started hard bang or jerk when shifting from drive to reverse or reverse to drive. At 112K miles it got worse and then knew reading online about faulty valve body problem in many 2004-2006 Maximas transmission. Repair cost is too high to even mention. Second problem is timing chain plastic tentioners. A what" yes plastic timing chain tentioners inside engine compartment. Problem started at 50K and continued as of today. Complained to dealer when car was under warranty and deler said my car is running awesome. Nissan later changed the design of plastic timing chain tentioner. But what about those who has faulty designed timing chain tentioners? responsible parties knows about these isses but refuses to acknowledge. Why there is no recall yet"

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #35

Jan 012005


  • 100 miles


2004 and newer Nissan Maximas has a serious steering wheel vibration after 40mph. Nissan dealership says they are no complaints, but the internet if full of customers having this same problem. My car is 6years old but only has 34,000 miles. New tires, brakes, rotors, alignment multiply tire balances has not fixed this problem. On the internet customer have replaced struts, bearing, cv axles and problem still exist. This seems like a problem needs to be addressed.

- Cedartown, GA, USA

problem #34

Apr 132007


  • 60,000 miles
I have an 04 Nissan Maxima. I purchased this car in 04. I had to replace the transmission at 60000 after complaining about the way the transmission shifts, numerous trips to the dealership, a 200 dollar transmission flush, and the replacement of a transmission mount, they finally replaced my transmission under warranty. Since then I have had to replace my front struts 3 times, my timing chain $3500, and now I need another transmission at 126,000 miles. I have been on numerous blog sites with people who shared similar stories.

- Edgewood, MD, USA

problem #33

Nov 202009


  • 125,000 miles
I almost got involve into an accident. I just bought a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE (automatic) and its giving me transmission problems. The transmission slips (when the car is hot) between second and third gear, sometimes from first to second. I just wanted to buy a reliable car because we were going to have a baby. She was in the car when the accident was about to happen. My wife, my 4 months old baby and I where going to see my family and needed to take the highway. I needed to make a stop before entering the highway (to enter to the right lane). Since my car jerks when it shifts from first to second gear and from second to third gear, a tractortrailer almost hit me when I entered the highway. Because the transmission in my car is not reliable. It might get me into an accident because of the design flaw from the Nissan corporation. I am not the only person complaining about the transmission on 2004 Nissan Maxima models. Give me a call or send me an email if you have any questions. Lou valdo

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #32

Jun 302008


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with 61,038 miles on it. As I am driving, my car will jump sometimes lightly & at other times very hard. If I put the car in reverse and then put the gear back into drive, I will have to wait for the car to jump into gear. When I brake, the car will jump before stopping. It feels like the engine is slipping. At times, the car jumps so hard that I see other people look my way. This can happen at any time, day or night, hot or cold... the car would have been driven for hrs., so yes it is warmed up. In June of 2008, I took the car to a transmission shop & I was told I needed 2 transmission mounts and a transmission flush which would cost over $900. I took it to my mechanic and I had it done for a little over $600. A few days later I had the same problem. I took the car back to my mechanic 3 more times & they could not find anything wrong. In September of 2008, I took the car to a Nissan dealer & it passed all of the diagnostic tests. I was very disappointed. On 2/6/2009, I took the car to a Nissan dealer & I was told that I needed a transmission which will cost me $4507, I need a right engine mount which will cost $361, both front struts are making a chucking noise...$832, lower control arm bushings are broken...$809. All of these repairs because of the car's jerking. The mechanic told me that if I get this done, the car should last about 6 to 7 more yrs. I had to pay $98 for the dealership to trouble shoot, when the amount is usually $65 for inspection at other places. I cannot afford to buy a new transmission, I would be better off trying to by something else (no Nissan) to drive. I still have payments on this car, so that is not even being realistic. I am fed up with this car & there is nothing that I can do about it. I only drive the car to work & places that I must go to, because I am scared to rely on it. I can't enjoy my weekends anymore because I have to depend on this car. Please help.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #31

Dec 182008


  • 50,400 miles
My 04 Maxima currently has just over 50,000 miles on it. I have noticed some hard shifts over the past few months, but they had been very intermittent. The other day however I noticed the service engine soon light was on and when accelerating from a stop I realized that I barely had any power! after engine shut off the acceleration was back to normal. The service engine soon light remained on. The code was pulled and reset. P 0797 pressure control solenoid, stuck on. Repair cost approximately 4000 dollars. Problem outstanding. The struts have also gone bad. Problem outstanding. I have also had to replace the battery. The front right rotor is warped and causes steering wheel shim when downhill braking. Problem outstanding. My car had begun to idle very low twice and actually died once. Problem outstanding. A weld on the heat shield of the catalytic converter has come loose and causes a noticeable vibration when accelerating when cold. This subsides once it's heated up probably due to metal expansion. Problem outstanding. I have also replaced the tires due too bad alignment camber on some and also castor I believe it was wearing the tires unevenly.

- Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #30

Jul 172007


  • 70,000 miles
I replaced transmission twice. My car a 2004 Nissan Maxima shifts gears, loses power, doesn't run. Then it makes clicking noise. All mounts have been repaired numerous times. I have no money and the car iis back in the shop to repair the transmission.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #29

Jan 012008


  • 80,000 miles
My car jerks when it changes gears. It has 87000 miles on it. I checked online to get a idea of what it can be and saw that many other people are experiencing the exact same thing. It seems a recall is in order. Also I noticed that the car shakes and this has happened around 40000 miles. Also people had similar postings. There seems to be no real solution that will fix the car longer than one month. Please investigate.

- Imperial Beach , CA, USA

problem #28

Oct 162008


  • miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima which was purchased March 2006. Have replaced the struts and later found them to have some sort of defect. The radio/cd player went out about 6 months after the purchase of the vehicle. The horn went out, fog lights had a short, had numerous brake problems. A/C had to be re-charged 1 year after purchase..this list goes on. October 16, 2008, I had my vehicle towed due both transmission cooler linesbursing on the fwy. The shop repaired both lines totaling $428.54. Today is November 24, 2008 and my vehicle needs to go back to the shop due to the transmission slipping and jerking into gear. I have gone on line and read all the complaints for the 2004 Nissan Maxima's and the transmission problems. I am having the same issue the other owners have. Something needs to be done! there is evidence that Nissan North America has not put these Maxima's together in a correct manner. These are beautiful cars but are always breaking down. Please help!

- Lemon Grove , CA, USA

problem #27

Aug 152008


  • 60,000 miles
Vehicle front end shakes at 40-70 mph.

- Mt Vernon, MO, USA

problem #26

Aug 152006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima exp transmission problems @ 65K replaced out of warranty since then the car has had (4) front motor mounts (1) transmission mount.(1)rack and pinion replaced, (1) right front axle replaced. Struts are now bad! wheel bearings replaced, oil seals replaced and the front end makes noise like something big is loose. Over $12,000 dollars into vehicle last year alone" when the car came back with the new trans it still was not right ? I notified the dealer and they said they could not find anything? I chose not to pay @ last minute to bring to there attention and I was sent to collections? I am still paying the $3,997 plus $1,500 fine for isf the vehicle is on its 2nd transmission and its gone bad now as well" Nissan did replace the right axle @no/charge that was all.

- La Quinta , CA, USA

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