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:
11 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,963 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 11 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #400

Apr 212010


  • 96,000 miles


Shift solenoid is giving me problems at 90,000 miles. The car jerks sometimes when taking off or at certain speeds the engine may rev high then jerk. A mechanic has explained that this is common on the 2004 Maxima's.

- Stone Mountain , GA, USA

problem #399

Dec 282009


  • 70,000 miles
When going up hill, the transmission slips gears and causes the vehicle to stop momentarily. It happens occasionally, more frequent now than 5 years ago when I first notified Nissan of the problem. I had taken it in the past to 3 different Nissan dealers, I got 3 different diagnosis. Made most of the repairs but the transmission replacement. I was finally told by woodland hills California Nissan that it was the computer link to the transmission not receiving proper signals.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #398

Apr 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Transmission problems- '04 Maxima SE V6 automatic transmission 53,000 miles. Experience sudden and severe jerks when shifting from 1st - 2nd, 2nd - 3rd and back down. No injuries occurred, however high potential for a front to back end collision.

- Mililani, HI, USA

problem #397

Sep 182009


  • 9,500 miles


2004 Maxima transmission automatic with / manual problem and possible link to a sensor? transmission jerks when shifting from 1st to 2nd with high RPM's with a delay then slamming into gear. Dangerous when happening in traffic, car does not shift fast enough to get the proper speed to move out of the way of traffic coming from behind. Also noticing that when braking from a high speed going down hills it seems to bring on the problem too. Have been to repair shops, again no one knows what it can be with out spending a zillion dollars on all that they think it could be. Waiting for a other transmission which I feel that it is a waste because if they can't find out what this problem is on this transmission then it is only going to happen again on the next.we have had this problem for a while now, but because of the cost of another transmission and the cost of labor we have been using the car as carefully as we can. After reading of all the complaints on the internet hopefully something will be done. We are past the warranty like everyone else that has filed a complaint. This should have been taken care of from Nissan a long time ago.

- Willington, CT, USA

problem #396

Apr 062010


  • 62,330 miles
At 50,000 miles auto presented problems with transmission. Jerking as if someone hit me on the rear bumper. Car slows down on stop lights and highways. Took it to Nissan dealer shop since brand new and always told them about jerky movements. When auto was 5 years transmission began having serious problems. Took it to Nissan dealer and they did transmission flush. They did not want to do a scan on the electronic transmission. Dismissed as not necessary (Sept 2009). They acknowledged faulty transmissions in these cars and suggested a new transmission. Afterwards the car has gone bad. I called Nissan reps at Nissan North America and was referred to local office. Finally I took it to a local transmission repair shop where it is sitting right now because I fear for my life while driving. Not able to change lanes or accelerate in case of an emergency.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #395

Apr 152010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Have a 2004 Nissan Maxima that is having transmission problems. It doesn't properly engage when upshifting, usually allowing the RPM's to rev up and then slams into gear jerking the car forward. I don't know of any events that have contributed to this failure. This occurs every time the car is warmed up.

- Stoney Creek - Canada, 00, USA

problem #394

Apr 092010


  • 84,000 miles


Transmission began slipping and immediately stalled vehicle at an intersection narrowly avoiding a head O collision. Notified manufacturer about safety problem and was told there was no recall on file.

- Shepherdsville, KY, USA

problem #393

Apr 022010


  • 91,386 miles
While traveling to Florida from North Carolina, I hit a traffic jam. Upon the start and go, my transmission gave me a whiplash type of effect. The transmission is having issues.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #392

Mar 282010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
My transmission on my 2004 Nissan Maxima slips from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd I had it flushed and still am experiencing the same problem. This happens every time I drive the car.

- Milford, CT, USA

problem #391

Dec 172009


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving at approximately 45 mph, the contact noticed a difficulty when shifting gears. The rpms increased and the engine revved but the vehicle would not shift gears. When the vehicle finally did shift into gear, it would jump from second gear to fifth gear. The failure occurred intermittently.the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership but the dealer could not find the cause for failure. The contact took the vehicle to a local repair shop where the transmission was replaced. The problem continued and the vehicle was being serviced for the body valve at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000. The current mileage was approximately 82,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Bartow, FL, USA

problem #390

Mar 232010


  • miles


2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE. Transmission shifting hard from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to third. Also hesitating and delayed shifting

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #389

Mar 302010


  • 120,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima sl with an automatic transmission - I am running into a transmission problem which is jerking between switching gears from 1st to 2nd.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #388

Mar 282010


  • 107,000 miles
Engine / transmission seems to be slipping. The car jerks and RPM's seem to jump around the 3 gear. Car seems to be loosing power and works harder to reach higher speeds. 1st gear is ok, after that the second third and fourht gears all kick in within 5mph of each other. I am in fourth gear by the time I reach 25 mph. Transmission seems to be going out. Nissan dealer states that they found no problems since no codes came up. I will have a local mechanic inspect it since I trust that they will most likely find that it is transmission failure, not some electronic code. There should be a recall for all these vehicles and Nissan should own up just as Toyota has with their acceleration problems.

- Lakemoor, IL, USA

problem #387

Mar 272010


  • 96,000 miles
I have a 04 Nissan Maxima that jerks when coming out of a coast especially when coming off of the expressway. This is not the first time this has happend. There have been 2 previous occassions that this has happend and nearly caused serious accidents. I have called Nissan and they play dumb as if they are not aware of the issue, when there are tons of complaints all over the internet. What it going to take to get someone to hold Nissan accountable for this faulty transmission design" someone getting killed" I pray not.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #386

Apr 022007


  • 50,000 miles
This is is regards to the Nissan Maxima 2004 and 2005 models. There is a problem with the transmission in these models. The car will stall at red lights or when tryinging to merge with traffic on expressways, inter state highways or similar roadways. Nissan refuses to acknowledge this problem or correct it. We were unaware whenl we initially began to have problems with our vehicle. Since we purchased our vehicle, we have returned to the dealer three times. The first two times we were told there was nothing wrong with our car. The first time we took it in was about three days after purchase. The second time was about 3-4 months after purchase. The promblem has become severe, and now they say it is too long. If you search the internet -- we did looking for help, you will find lots of chatter (complaints) about the transmission in these models. We have a 2004 Maxima. Nissan shoulkd recall these vehicle and correct the problem. Instead, they continue to sale the unsafe vehicles.

- Yazoo City, MS, USA

problem #385

Mar 192010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 68,250 miles
After seeing many other people with the same problem I felt I had to contact someone, ,,I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima, SE that shifts into gear very hard from 1st to 2nd on take off and reverse when slowing down, ,a transmission company told me that a lot of the SE models have the same problems, safe us hard working people in bad times from these big car company getting over with these things and not having to fix there problem that we get, ,,,,this should be recalled, ,,,,read the problems from others!!!!!!!!

- Hammonton, NJ, USA

problem #384

Jan 132010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Please note that I have done some research on line and discovered that many people are going through exactly what I am going through. This has been very frustrating for me and my husband because we have had Nissan all of our lives and have never had problems such as these. I purchased my 2004 Nissan Maxima used in 2006 with a little over 50,000 miles on it. After it reached around 90,000 miles, I started feeling the jerking just like to the others, my transmission is slipping. This is my third time I have taken it to the dealership and they cannot seem to properly diagnose the problem. I was told I needed a new motor mount, which I replaced on February 19, 2010 for $484. After driving it home, still experienced the same problem. So we took it back to further diagnose the problem, were told the sensor needed to be replaced and that should fix the problem. Finally, we were told by the service manager that we needed a transmission. My transmission continues to bang when downshifting from 2nd to 1st gear. It also surges when accelerating after slowing down and hesitates at least a 10 seconds before engaging into gear. When in park or neutral, the transmission bangs when driving off from 1st to 2nd.. I am told by the dealership that I am going to new to purchase a new transmission in order to fix the problem. I am so afraid the drive the car because it slips and hesitates. This is scary, especially on the highway. I hope that it will not take a fatality for Nissan to face up to their problems. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Our names are [xxx]. we can be reached at [xxx]. thanks for your guidance. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #383

Jan 292007


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The transmission was previously replaced. Recently, the vehicle had been exhibiting transmission failures again. He was concerned with the small time frame in which the vehicle needed a second transmission. He was concerned the transmission may have been defective and believed it should fall under recall. The contact would not operate the vehicle as frequently as needed due to the failure. The failure mileage was 55,000 and the current was 140,000. Updated 07/22/10.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #382

Mar 112010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 94,500 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. I started having problems with my car jerking esp. Going from 1st to 2nd gear and downshifting back from 2nd to 1st. It was random at first but has progressed over the pass 3 months. Now, it occurs frequently throughout the day. Over the last few weeks, my RPM goes really high before it changes into gear. Today my "check engine soon" light came on and stayed.

- Humble , TX, USA

problem #381

Mar 012010


  • 67,500 miles
My transmission began to slip, slowly, and within 1K miles I needed a new transmission in my 04 Nissan Maxima. The warranty had just expired leaving me to pay for the entire thing, 3,450 dollar out of pocket. I've done some research and this seems to be a common issues among this vehicle. I do not feel comfortable driving in my car, even though the transmission has been replaced, but since I just spend over 3K to fix my car, I have no money to purchase a new one. Again, my car is still not completely fixed and I don't feel comfortable driving in this vehicle and also I have little to no confidence that Nissan really cares that myself and thousands others are having the same concerns.

- Norristown, PA, USA

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