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 12 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #380

Mar 062010


  • 97,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima has 97,000 miles and transmission gets stuck in fifth gear. This is very dangerous because you have no exceleration. Dealer suggested changing fluid but I know this won't solve problem. These transmissions should last longer.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #379

Jan 222010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Loud clunk and jerk from the transmission during upshift and downshift. It is needless to say that sudden transmission failure on a moving car can be extremely dangerous. It is a 2004 Nissan Maxima and has 67K miles. There are atleast hundreds of vehicle owners complaining about the same issue, which clearly seems to be a defect in manufacturing.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #378

May 112009


  • 139,000 miles
I recently purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima. I love the car, besides the fact I have had more problems with it in the last few months. This is extremely frustrating. I have always assumed Nissan's were dependable cars. I know I purchased it used, but the problems I am having should not be occurring at 90,000 miles. Really disappointing. Transmission was slipping so I took it to Nissan dealer paid for a flush 200 dollars picked it up next day and transmission went out. Now I have to pay for whole cost of transmission plus other reprogramming computer modules and cam sensors. This is not the first Maxima and something needs to be done to Nissan because they know this is a big problem with alot of 2004 Maximas.

- Rockford, AL, USA

problem #377

Mar 032010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 152,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima transmission problems, when you take off it shifts nicely, but when in highway speeds it looses gears, which is very dangerous, someone might crash into me, since the vehicle looses speed. This problem occurs all the time the vehicle is driven. To fix the problem I would need a new transmission they dealer (Nissan) said which would cost me around $3500 or $4000 dollar which is ridiculous for a vehicle that has flaws in the powertrain system.

- Corona, NY, USA

problem #376

Dec 202009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
04 Nissan Maxima started slipping in 3rd gear and from rev. To drive around 63,000 miles. The transmission and valve bodies need to be rebuilt or replaced along with the solenoids. Not to mention a broken axle when trying to cross traffic. In light of the Toyota debacle, when will you make Nissan "do the right thing?"

- Rutledge, TN, USA

problem #375

Dec 032009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with hard shifting between 1 and 2. I took it to a tranny place and they plugged in and got any electronic code. The tranny code for my Maxima was a 726 which deals with the engine speed sensor. The tranny tech found an article in "transmission digest" that dealt with a bad vehicle speed sensor causing hard shifting but the article was concerning code 720. The tech assured me that he had read about this problem and the engines speed sensor was probably the problem. I do not want to rebuild or replace this tranny and it appears that thousands of people over the web are experiencing this issue. There are thousands of people replacing parts, flushing their transmission, etc but no one seems to have an answer for the hard shifting between 1st and 2nd. Thanks for any help.

- Fuquay-Varina, NC, USA

problem #374

Feb 192010


  • 80,250 miles


On 02/19/10 while driving my 2004 Maxima at approximately 65 mph on a open flat highway, it suddenly downed shifted to approximately 2nd gear. Now it will only do 40 mph. I have since discovered that their are several of 2004 Maxima owners with the same problem. I have been advise by my mechanic that it will cost approximately $3000 dollars to replace the transmission. My vehicle is now parked and not drive able. I need help !

- Tulare, CA, USA

problem #373

Sep 172008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
We have a 2004 Nissan Maxima (automatic) ever since we bought it I've always noticed a slight jerk when I accelerate but never thought twice. Now that same problem has gotten worse where the jerk is more noticeable. I've gotten a transmission flush and changed out my engine and radiator mounts and still the same problem seems to occur. So I googled the problem and came across 339 complaints on this website alone. It seems to be a recurring issue where the auto mechanic tells the consumer they need their transmission replaced. I have 3 little kids and don't want anything to happen to them. Please help.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #372

Feb 202010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima has serious transmission problems only has 57000 miles. The consumer stated the transmission would jump out of gear. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealership and was told the transmission needed to be replaced. Updated 03/29/10.

- Temple Hills, MD, USA

problem #371

Feb 182010


  • 71,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima at slower speeds seems like the transmission seems to lock up momentarily scary almost stopping this has happened on and off for a year now.

- Honokaa , HI, USA

problem #370

Aug 202008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


Transmission problems with 2004 Nissan Maxima. The problem began with jerky while driving. Sometimes the jerking was so severe the car would not accelerate at all. This resulted in a transmission that the mechanic says is nothing but scrap metal. The car will no longer move in drive.

- Blytheville, AR, USA

problem #369

Jan 022010


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle vibrated whenever he shifted from first to second gear and then second to third gear. The failure occurred while driving various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they replaced the engine mounts; yet, the failure continued to occur. The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer twice to no avail. The Nissan manufacturer was not notified. Normal routine maintenance was performed on the vehicle prior to the failure. The failure mileage was 93,000.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #368

Aug 102009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving approximately between 50 and 60 mph on normal road conditions when the transmission caused the vehicle to jerk violently during the shifting of gears. The driver pulled over to the side of the road, inspected the vehicle and was able to resume operation. The failure occurred intermittently and has become progressively worse over time. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing which identified the failure as the transmission valve body. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 60,000. *updated 3/12/2010 updated 05/13/10

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #367

Dec 092008


  • 125,600 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima has a safety issue. The car's transmission slips and gives a sever bucking or jerking when shifting gears. This usually happens when slowing to go around corners or in stop and go traffic. I am the 2nd owner. The first owner maintained his vehicle at sutherland Nissan where he purchased the car new. The dealer, who sold me the car too, initially said the car is in excellent shape and they checked it out stating it only needed an oil change -which I did. Two months later, after telling the dealership that my transmission is jerking and bucking, they said I needed to change the transmission fluid and replace the motor mounts -which I did. They said it would fix the jerking problem but it didn't. now they state that I need a new transmission. I am afraid that someone is going to slam into me from the back because after the car jerks it is impossible to pick speed back up. Please consider a recall on this transmission. I have read hundreds of complaints with this same transmission problem and Nissan will not help nor admit that there is a design flaw with the 2004 Nissan Maxima transmission. Thanks so much!

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #366

Jan 052010


  • 850,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima and it has some transmission problem. It shifts abruptly/abnormally from low gear. After researching myself, I found it is very common for this kind of vehicle and many others suffer as well (see link below). I am wondering if your organization can help to bring this to Nissan's attention and ask them to fix it since it looks like a problem from the manufacturer.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #365

Jun 052009


  • miles
Defaultive transmission in the 2004 nisssn Maximas my car has been too many Nissan dealerships and transmission shops. My car is always jerking and slipping into different gears one person tells me it needs this I am reading several compliants about the same problem with others

- Minden, LA, USA

problem #364

Nov 012009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Problem is with transmission slipping and car lunges go uphill or after shifting from reverse and back into drive. After initial purchase of the car I complained that the transmission did not feel correct and car lunged and slipped but I was told by the dealership that they could not duplicate the incident. I have been told by a mechanic that the transmission needs replacement. The car has 99,000 miles and is now out of warranty. This defect should not be the responsibility of the consumer as Nissan must have been aware of these issues from all the similar complaints I have read about online. This is a failure in the system of the car which I attempted to rectify while the car was under warranty. Nissan should be pressured to recall the transmissions for this model car as it is patently defective in its design and I feel they are well aware of the issue. Driving with a transmission that can fail at any minute is not something I look forward to. I understand from the internet that similar claims have been reported to your office by Maxima owners but I could not find in the data basis. Although this issue is not life threatening as the Toyota incidents this is still another story that a defect has probably been keep quiet in hopes that the injured consumer will just pay for the repairs and go away. Thank you for your consideration.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #363

Nov 182009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,555 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima 5-speed automatic. At 48,000 miles the car decided that it didn't need it's first four gears & locked into 5th. It doesn't shift out of it making acceleration a clear problem. I have to avoid hilly areas & parking structures with large grades because the car will not negotiate it well & start rolling backwards. I've had to stop & call aaa to have them come out to tow me to the top of a hill just to have them drop the car there so that I can continue my drive home. The vehicle will also "bang" into reverse so violently at times that even with the brake depressed it will lunge backwards. On one occasion my car struck another vehicle while I was simply trying to back up into a parking space. Upon taking the car to my mechanic, who just happens to be my brother in law, he told me that it's clearly the transmission. Ironically, his wife drives the same car as me but has an '05. While driving her car will "bang" into second gear. Occasionally shifting will be so hard that it pulls her car into another lane. On christmas eve '09, she was driving to her parents house in a light rain & the hard shift pulled her into oncoming traffic. Luckily the other drivers were able to avoid her. She had her 2 year old daughter in the backseat. She no longer drives the car but like me, they have payments left on it & cannot afford to purchase a new one. Estimated cost of a new transmission ranges from $3000 - $4500. Mechanics locally here know about the issue & a number of them advise against fixing the transmissions as it's been known to happen again with new transmissions. I've been told that it's a design flaw within the vehicle but not necessarily within the transmission itself, which is why some people have the problem reoccur even after a new transmission is installed. Currently I have no choice but to drive my car, I have to work. With what's going on with Toyota now I doubt Nissan wants the same negative spotlight. I'm done with Nissan.

- Mililani, HI, USA

problem #362

Feb 032010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 68,300 miles
The 2004 Nissan Maxima has a serious and life threatening transmission defect. The vehicle is unable to accelerate around 30mph as the tachometer races over 2000 RPM and the car also has a violent jerking motion when going into reverse.

- W. Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #361

Mar 112009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima- I purchased it used in 2007. It has 90K miles on it, I love the car but for the past year my transmission has been slipping. The car jerks heavily when I switch from reverse to drive, when I slow down to make a turn, when I accelerate. Some days you won't feel it then other days you get whiplash because it happens the whole car ride. I have had my mechanic flush my transmission fluid, brought it to Nissan dealers they told me it was my motor mount, and of course when they test drive my car, they don't feel it. One dealer told me I need a new transmission that costs $4000, I can't afford that!!!! I have researched online about this issue and every site I come to has a plethora of complaints with us all having a 2004 Maxima with the same issue!!!! this cannot be a coincidence, there is an issue with this and Nissan needs to take responsibility. I bought this car for 17K in 2007 and its worth nothing at this point because of this jerking issue.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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