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:
107,922 miles
Total Complaints:
164 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (68 reports)
  2. not sure (61 reports)
  3. the transmission valve body needs replacing (18 reports)
  4. replace broken motor mounts (6 reports)
  5. replace about 3/4 of your transmission fluid - NOT FILTER (3 reports)
  6. the errors were- 1.) faulty crankshaft position sensor, 2.) (3 reports)
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Dec 152010

Maxima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,250 miles


This is very hard to deal with. Can't drive the car very far without this starting to happen. I haven't replaced this part yet, but plan to do. If anyone have tired to replace the valve body would like to know if it worked.

- , Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #23

Feb 202011

Maxima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Dropped off my Nissan Maxima on 4/8/11 to get a diagnostic, charge $110.00. put it in reverse and back into drive, vehicle jerked really hard. Has anybody found a good fix to this problem? We need to get this vehicle recalled, there are tons of complaints about the transmission going out.

Update from Mar 9, 2011: Well the update is not good. Diagnostic results- need a new transmisson. Parts $3545.83, Labor $1320.00 for a total of $4865.83. This for Transmisson and 3 mounts. Does anyone know where I could get the job done for less and pay less for total parts.

- , Adelanto, CA, USA

problem #22

Sep 022009

Maxima SL 3,5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Car jerks when shifting....comes and goes.... This is my second Nissan Maxima but will definitely be my last since Nissan doesn't stand by its product like it once did.

- , Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #21

Dec 012010

Maxima SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


If anyone has had this problem, and it seems like a very common problem with this year

Maxima, they should call the NHTSA and file a complaint. 1-888-327-4236. Nissan has not

issued a voluntary recall and they may have been aware the transmission was defective.

- , Hialeah, FL, US

problem #20

Jul 152009

Maxima LX 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Premature failure of transmission with normal driving habits. High number of internet complaints with the same symptoms indicate a factory defect.

- , Alameda, CA, USA

problem #19

Nov 222010

Maxima SE 3.5SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I would be retiring and purchased this vehicle as my last new car purchase to last. I was laid off in October and need my vehicle to look and go out on interviews. Had Nissan in the 80's and no problems.

I have had two of four of the motor mounts replaced as they were broken (was told Nissans are notorious for broken motor mounts.) The last motor mount was replaced just last month.

I noticed that the jerking became worse and the constant gear changing while driving or accelerating, 2-3 gear, 3-2-1 gear. I was on the freeway and it jerked into third gear and jerked my head so hard it was sore for days. Got a diagnostics last week which Nissan Consumer Affairs paid for. Buena Park concluded in their report that my vehicle needs a complete new transmission. The report is being handled by Nissan Consumer Affairs and they called me back today with a decision as to whether they will give me a new transmission or not, but, I missed the call. The lady stated she would call me back next Wednesday, 1/12/2011, why so long a wait is beyond me. I called back and spoke with a person in Canada and he stated he would get in touch with her and try to have her call be back tomorrow, 1/6/2011. I feel unsafe in my car so it just will sit in my driveway till I get their decision.

- , Whittier, CA, USA

problem #18

Mar 292007

Maxima SL 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


my Maxima would jolt when slowing down to 20mi per hr I thought someone had rear nded me I took it to the transmission shop as I had nothing but horrible experiences with the Nissan automotive and I could not trust them the transmission shop had 22 yrs experience well he had my car for a month rebuilt the transmission 3 times even had a Nissan mechanic check out the car they could not fix the problem even after having the crankshaft position sensors replaced he did not charge me full price for the transmission job because the problem still persisted and to this day it still jerks when you slow down to 20 miles per hr. but only after the car warms up. I have to put the car in Neutral when I come to a stop and only a complete stop, or it will jolt very hard. there needs to be a recall on this as so many other consumers are having the same problem. I have called the corporate office and no one returns my calls. Lynda hengstebeck tehachapi CA

- , Tehachapi, CA, US

problem #17

Oct 012010

Maxima 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,310 miles

All you have to do is replace about 3/4 of your transmission fluid, but do not change the filter. I had a certified Nissan Mechanic to tell me that off the record and it worked. The dealer will not do it they will tell you that it is something else so you can spend more money. I had my Transmission Fluid changed and the problem has stopped. The mechanic recommended that I change it every 30k miles. I have two friends with the same car and they went and had the same thing done and now their cars run fine. If you want to ask me any questions you can call me at 256-797-2760 if no answer leave a message and I will call you back.

- , Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #16

Jun 162010

Maxima SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,675 miles

I THOUGHT I HAD A GOOD DEAL. my car has spent more times in the shop then it has on the road for the past for months. when i bought my used nissan maxima 2004 2.5se fully loaded i didnt get half way home before i had to turn around to get it fixed. ford said there was nothing wrong with the transmission after keeping it for three days and that the computer need to adjust to the way i drive and to drive it for awhile. It seemed ok until it got hot. My car started jerking like it had bad gas in it. to me they just reset the computer. Trust me im not done

- , Columbia, MD, USA

problem #15

Mar 172009

Maxima ES 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

many people in puerto rico having problems with the transmission of the maxima.we need a recall to fix these problem.

- , Guayanilla, PR, Puerto Rico

problem #14

Aug 222009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


About a year ago we started having problems with the jerking when shifting between 1st and 2nd gear. Brought it to the dealer, spent $3,000 on what they said was a problem with the engine and that this fix would take care of the jerking. We took the car home and after a couple of weeks the jerking started again. Once again we contact the Nissan dealership and brought the car back in. Well, guess what? Its the transmission, we need a new one. Can't get a rebuilt and they wanted another $3,000 to fix it. If I had known about that I needed a new transmission before we had the engine work done I would have traded the car in. Its now 6 years old and isn't worth putting another $3,000 into it. Well, I've been driving it the way it is for the past year. I've noticed that its getting worse and worse and eventually I'll crack and spend the money to have it fixed.

Since then, I've been searching online and noticed that there are tons of people that have been having problems with the transmission jerking on the Nissan Maxima. Why hasn't Nissan done a recall?????

- , Saugus, MA, USA

problem #13

Sep 032010

Maxima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

This such crap! Bought the car from a ONE OWNER, had it serviced at 98k with new transmission fluid change then at 100k noticed the jerking, decided that maybe my throttle response was a little faster than the sedan's capablity to preform, so I just watched the RPM's. Now as of Friday 9/3/2010- it left my entire family at a gas station because it's stuck in 5th gear and will not come out even if I try to use the manual shifting option. I haven't had any troubles really up until now. No slipping, knocking or other known issues of transmission trouble. Call the transmission shop which told me to call the dealer (which is worthless other than to tell me he could replace it for $3,800! And that Nissan has had problems with this transmission but hasn't recalled them.) I bought the Nissan as an investment and this is my second Maxima ('92 GXE). I believe the valve is stuck with the gear engaged. Normally on an American made vehicle- the part is $45-$100 and can be replaced without pulling the entire transmission, in this case The transmission will have to be pulled for either a replacement transmission or internal parts replacement. Not happy with this at all!

Update from Oct 20, 2010: I took the car to a local transmission shop which placed it on the computer. The errors were- 1.) faulty crankshaft position sensor, 2.) faulty camshaft position sensor. Looked the items up online and they cost in the range of $45-175. These are plug in sensors therefore the transmission doesn't need to be pulled. One is on the 1 bank and the other on 2 bank. One 10mm bolt needs to be taken out of a cover that is above one of the sensors. All in all it cost me $ 540 in repairs since I didn't have time to do it myself. I'm still having the jerking with second gear but only when i slow down easily. The car shifts now.

- , Columbia, SC, USA

problem #12

Jul 132010

Maxima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I've had this car for a year and a half and it is causing me problems after problems. The transmission jerks when shifting. I wouldn't recommend the year,make and model car to anybody

- , Nashville, TN, US

problem #11

Aug 022010

Maxima ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I am very upset. I am a single mother with 4 and can't afford to do the repairs. I don't have any money for this. This is the only transportation I have for me and my kids. Please can someone help me. I work 42 miles from where I live. I can't lose my job. I don't have any family. My brother just passed away on 8/20 and my father has stage 4 lung cancer, and my father lives in Baton Rouge, LA. I am not sure on how my kids and I are going to get back to GA. I have to return back to work on 8/30. I truly need some help with this matter. I can be reached at 706.570.9389 or 318.801.7055

- , Hamilton, GA, USA

problem #10

Feb 012010

Maxima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

With all the complaints about the transmission why is there not a recall on these vehiclses to fix the problem? I was told it would cost me $4000 to have a new one put in on a car that I have had only 6 months at the time of dealer inspection of problem. How do you get Nissan to pay attention and replace/repair this transmission problem. Too many people are complaining about the same thing! So it can not be us, so it must be them!


problem #9

Feb 202010

Maxima SE 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

About 74,000 miles started shifting hard from reverse gear to drive. I had a bad motor mount replaced and seemed to help. Came out of drive way yesterday and when I shifted to drive gear from reverse their was a few seconds delay then transmission shifted extremeley hard. Not to happy about this. Hope someone can do something to help us all.

- , Hacienda Heights, CA, US

problem #8

Jul 062009

Maxima 3.2 SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I'll skip the frustration, anger, and bashing of Nissan but the details will say it all: At about 73,000 miles our 2004 Maxima 3.5 SE was jerking as it automatically shifted from gear to gear. The REVERSE gear shift was the most intense. The POWER Nissan dealer said we were past our warranty by over10K miles but would give us a great deal of a new transmission and timing belt for $7,000.00. We contacted Nissan's Customer Service Dept and were denied any further help. I wrote a letter to Nissan's President, Carlos Ghosn, and received no response. We swore off Nissan for further purchases or service. We took the car into a reputable local mechanic and asked him to service the transmission without major repairs. We just wanted to run it as long as possible and trade it in. He changed the transmission fluid and it helped. The car now is at 89K miles and the jerking and high RPM's are getting more frequent and intense. We took it to the same mechanic and he said it might be time to trade it in. We then took it to a transmission shop and this is what we were told. The 2004 Nissan Maxima's have a manufacture problem with the VALVE BODY that Nissan has not acknowledged. In lay terms here is the problem: This part of the transmission is suppose to handle the opening and closing of a gear before it goes into the next gear in split second timing. The faulty valve body does not close the gear it's in before opening the next gear. The jerk is because the transmission is essentially having to go back and close the previous gear after it's already moved onto the next one. This is all very hard on the entire transmission. Our option: A new Valve Body and 2 year warranty plus 3 transmission services for $3641. Our decision: We are trading it in and buying a new HONDA Accord. Looks like a good class action suit.

Update from Jul 2, 2010: There is one correction to my initial complaint and one update. The Correction: The Nissan dealer that was listed as Power Nissan was not where we received the $7,000.00 quote for repairs. It was at our city's local Nissan Service Department. The Update: The transmission shop has "sweetened the pot" and will rebuild our transmission and give us a 3 year 50K mile nationwide warranty plus 3 transmission services in the next 3 years for a grand total of $3683.00.

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 012009

Maxima 3.5 SL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

My car vibrates really bad when I get up to 55 mph and when I mash my brakes.I have put new tires on my car and they are wore out after 6 months.

- , Gadsden, AL, USA

problem #6

Jan 012009

Maxima SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Like many others my 2004 NISSAN MAXIMA JERKS WHEN I PUT IT IN DRIVE OR REVERSE!!! There is a 3 second delay then it jerks. It happens when I am sitting at a light or have my car running then I put the car in drive or reverse the jerks stars. Even when i am driving it's starting to jerk a little. If anyone has a solution please let me know what can be done to correct this problem before this car ends up hurting somebody because Nissan refuse to recall this issue and fix the problem. Maybe the government needs to step in and help resolve this problem. We don't want another Toyota issue on our hands.

- , Monroe, NC, USA

problem #5

Feb 182010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Kara of Pomona , CA February 24, 2010

I purchased my 2004 Nissan new, after 74,000 miles, a little over 4000 miles on the extended warranty, I also had jerking and a delay in changing gears. I was told this can be normal for this year and make, the problem got worse; I took the car in this past Friday Feb 19th and was told my transmission is fried along with two motor mounts. I am so mad right now, I just paid the car off and now it would cost me 5100 to fix. This car would end up costing me almost 50,000.

I bought a Nissan because they are supposed to be dependable long lasting cars. I would hope that it would last over a 100,000 miles before all the problems started. I filed a claim through Nissan to see if they would honor these problems. I just spoke with a rep and he said my claim was denied, of course the person who was taken care of the claim did not call me herself with this news.

This is a manufacture default! Nissan needs to own up to this problem! they acted like no one else is complaining, ya right. I will be contacting the local news stations as well. Please jump on board with this so we can get the word out. These cars cost a lot of money and I, as a consumer, expect more.

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- , Pomona, CA, USA

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