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Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,050 miles
Total Complaints:
169 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (70 reports)
  2. not sure (63 reports)
  3. replace valve body (21 reports)
  4. replace broken motor mounts (6 reports)
  5. replace about 3/4 of your transmission fluid - NOT FILTER (3 reports)
  6. replace crankshaft position sensor (3 reports)
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #149

Mar 012014

Maxima 3.5 SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


Car shifts perfectly except when first cranking and shifting from reverse to drive. It delays shifting sometimes up to 2 minutes, having to reeve up engine to get it to shift into drive. Jerk is so hard I am beginning to be afraid I am going to have whiplash or the the transmission is going to fall out of the car! After driving for awhile, it will shift smoothly into drive after parking....until it sits for a couple of hours and the the delay in shifting and hard jerk begins again. Bought car brand new and has been garage kept. Any help is appreciated. I cannot afford to buy another car.

- maryanns, Panama City Beach, FL, US

problem #148

Jan 052010

Maxima SL 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


- Aziz T., Pomfret, CT, USA

problem #147

Aug 242016

Maxima SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My transmission has started acting funny, I have not taken it to mechanic's yet, I just researched and found out its another common issue in these vehicles.This is really unfair NISSAN, 130,000 miles the transmission should be prefect!! So am i screwed and gotta pay out of pocket or do i have other options for this?

- Danijel P., Arlington, TX, USA

problem #146

Jul 282016

Maxima 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


I am not happy with this problem. I always loved Nissan products but this will be my LAST CAR. Nissan knows that Maxima have a very bad transmission problem and they should fix the problem.

- ngstl216, Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #145

Apr 272016

Maxima SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I've had the hard jerking clunking transmission problem for quite a while. It would mainly occur when downshift from 2 to 1, and sometimes on upshift. Usually under hard acceleration. I found that it was likely the solenoids, got quote of $900. Under advice of another honest mechanic, put 6 oz of Zmax micro lubricant. Shifts very smoothly now and only get a minor clunk if hard accelerating when engine /trans is cold. Apparently deposits build up on the solenoids causing them to stick, and the Zmax removed those deposits. I added an additional 4 ounces after a month just for insurance. Good luck and I hope this solution helps many of you. Final note, make sure you have clean, clear pink transmission fluid first. If not, have it flushed and refilled first.

- Douglas S., Tampa, FL, USA

problem #144

Apr 092013

Maxima ES 3.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Needed a new transmission after dealer had done some body work. And said if I had had oil changes with them perhaps it would have been covered. Took it to another shop to install another transmission. They said it was a common problem with Maximas.

- Will S., Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #143

Jun 012013

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


This is just a shame that a large car company like Nissan will not acknowledge the issue and issue a recall. I will never buy another Nissan for as long as I live and I have made sure to tell friends and family about my issue. Shame on you Nissan.

- Michael S., Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #142

Nov 192015

Maxima SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

The problem was fixed and I paid $1,300.00 to get it fixed. This should have never happen to my car because it only had 135000 miles on it. I have owned three Nissan cars in the past and I will never purchase one again.

- pcooper27, Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #141

Dec 172015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles


-, Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #140

Mar 172014

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Purchased the vehicle new in 2004. Had all maintenance and other repairs done at the dealer where it was purchased. The transmission began to have shifting issues around 120,000 miles. This car was in perfect condition, and was always very well maintained. it was taken to the dealer for diagnosis and was informed the transmission needed to be replaced. The repair was quoted at $3500.00. The car was then taken to a Independent repair facility where a NEW NISSAN trans was installed. Now only 20,000 miles later the vehicle is having the same problem again. These transmission are obviously faulty. A class action lawsuit needs to be pursued.

- Caleb A., Lincoln, DE, USA

problem #139

Oct 012014

Maxima LS 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


I just purchased this vehicle knowing that it had a transmission issue, I couldn't turn down the price, but it is quite infuriating to fund out that Nissan also knows that this model has transmission problems. Rough shifting, a horrible jerk that make you feel like you were hit from behind by a 757, and I dare not turn in front of someone because the car make not take off immediately.

I found service records from the two previous owners, I am owner number three, and the last owner had paperwork from our local Nissan dealer informing them that they needed a new transmission. They did not suggest rebuilding it or repairing a few parts. They said the car needed a new transmission. I wasn't very angry until I started researching transmissions and found all of the complaints on the internet about this year Maxima.

I previously stated that I found the service records form the past two owners, I mean everything from the first oil change at 7250 miles. This car is set for service at 7250. I cannot believe that a company as huge as Nissan would be acting as if this issue is not a manufacturers defect. There is no way that thousands of people are having the same issues with the same year and model car. I even found the original owners manual that gives new owners instructions on how to break the car in after purchase. I purchased this vehicle for the purposes of saving gas, my primary vehicle is a Chevy Suburban, which I found out that GM has been ignoring a major issue with that model.

I have to have the Maxima repaired regardless, but it is very discomforting to know that another major auto maker is failing to step up and admit that their vehicle has a problem, especially the way the price of Maxima's has risen in the last few years. I guess there is no such thing a quality and honesty in the auto industry anymore.

- LaTasha W., Chickasaw, AL, USA

problem #138

Dec 012015

Maxima LE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Same problem as many others, with this piece of crap transmission. Under light throttle, major jolt from transmission when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. Just about rips the motor off it's mounts. Only 60K miles on this.

Unfortunately, looks like Nissan does not take any responsibility for this, so I have to pay myself. If anyone knows of any way I can get Nissan to pay for at least some of this, please let me know. Mark

- Mark G., Kailua, HI, USA

problem #137

Aug 242014

Maxima SL 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

My 2004 Nissan Maxima has been jerking a lot mainly between 1st and 2nd gears it is uncontrollable and extremely dangerous. Its a shame that Nissan doesn't recall these vehicles since it is clearly a manufacturing issue. I will never purchase another Nissan and will tell everyone I know that Nissan does not stand by their product.

- jgrier1988, Meriden, CT, USA

problem #136

Dec 012015

Maxima LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,500 miles

Same problem as everybody in here, this is a mechanic problem that has nothing to do with us. Nissan need to step up and fix this problem, their problem. We need to get together in this.

- Simon A., Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #135

Dec 092015

Maxima SL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,400 miles

Seem to be having the same issue as many other 04 Maxima owners. Jerks pretty bad when shifting gears. We were about to purchase a new Maxima but will put that purchase on hold. Nissan needs to do a recall from what I am hearing about this problem.

- Sherman J., Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #134

Jun 032013

Maxima SL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

This car has had shifting problems for a while. We don't drive it much and sometimes it seems fine. I'm looking at trading it in and see that this is a common problem.

- brandonjtexas, Beeville, TX, USA

problem #133

Dec 012015

Maxima SL 06

  • Automatic transmission
  • 230,000 miles

Well I buy the car cause I have a sick child, but about 2 months of have the car the transmission start to jerk bad. so took to the shop the man told me that I need a transmission. I just had bought the car so I don't have no money for that and for a new one will cost u 3200 and I'm a single mom and we need it. that car bad now we have to depend on someone to take my child to the that he have to see then the doctor office is out of town and it just being so hard on my and my child

- Jackie I., Louisville, MS, USA

problem #132

Oct 102015

Maxima SE 3.2L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 181,000 miles

My 2004 Nissan Maxima has hard jerks really bad hurting your back and all. I'm a single mom, don't have money to put in this car for a new transmission for this problem. Nissan needs to fix It. Nissan, this is bullshit, hard working people out here trying to support of family and the Nissan people don't wanna do anything about fixing a problem that's their problem is bullshit. So get on the ball Nissan and fix all your faults and help us people that can't afford to have it fixed.

- April C., Maynardville, TN, USA

problem #131

Feb 022015

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I bought a 2004 Nissan Maxima from a private owner it was her son's car but he passed away and she didn't want nothing to do with the car. The car seemed ok we test drove it but when I put the car in gear it jumped really hard. (My dad thought I made it do that). But as time went on its gotten WORSE !!!. I really think Nissan should be responsible for the cost to get this problem fixed.

- Ebeny K., Albany, NY, USA

problem #130

Oct 172013

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

I bought this car on 2013 because I heard was a really good brand and I love the style, but is so many issues since I got it. Transmission, sensors, problems with the abs modem, the speed sensor broke, lower mounts, and so much more. I have 2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5 v6

- stumpf, columbia heights, MN, USA

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