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 13 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #360

Jan 282010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima - 110,000 miles, 5 speed automatic transmission - slipping from 2nd to 3rd gear causing the car to jerk violently when it re-engages. The internet consumer forums/boards are flooded with people experiencing the same problem on the 2004/2005 Maxima's. this is a known defect that Nissan is not willing to address and is charging consumers an average of $4000 to repair.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #359

Jan 252010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
The car is an automatic and gets stuck in 5th gear. This happens at start-up, or while driving. When the vehicle slips into 5th on the open road, it is obviously sluggish and much slower than the flow of traffic, making an accident likely.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #358

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 #357

May 152008


  • miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and the transmission jerks violently between 1st and 2nd gear. I have read hundreds or complaints from people experiencing the same thing. There really needs to be a recall and I'm confused as to why this hasn't occured already. I bought a Nissan because I believed in the product. I believed in the honesty and integrity of Nissan as a brand and have always raved about the great cars and trucks they create. Sadly this issue leads me to believe I was wrong.

- Clarkston, GA, USA

problem #356

Dec 282009


  • 77,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima, my wife car driven only to and from work (77,000 miles) has been nothing but trouble, motor mounts, engine replacement, dealership service lies to perform work and charge for problems they know couldn't be corrected, transmission slippage is the latest and codes which nobody can seem to describe, if the dealership can't fix it who can!!! the latest problem is the transmission, after reading all the comments from Nissan customers, I do not have the money or time to invest in a never ending problem so all I will do is add a transmission additive to try to reduce this problem. Something has to be done immediately, Nissan has to be held accountable immediately and the Nissan dealership should be accountable for performing services that know will not cure the issues at hand. This is a disgrace and people should not have to be ripped off to benefit a large corporation like Nissan. Thank you for taking the time to hear my voice.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #355

Nov 012009


  • 145,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima, transmission slippage.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #354

Dec 232009


  • miles


I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE. It has started to jerk and lunge when going from 1st to 2nd gear or when going from reverse to 1st gear. Maintenance has been upkept it has just started now that I'm at 69,000miles.

- Coca, FL, USA

problem #353

Jan 122010


  • 66,000 miles
I drive a 2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5se, it currently has about 115000 miles on it, I bought it with about 62,000, and since about a month after buying it I have had problems with the transmission shifting. It shifts very hard randomly, and slips constantly, both occurring just about everytime I drive the car. After researching online on all of the Nissan and Maxima forums, just about every person driving an 2004 has the same issues, but Nissan is yet to release a recall on the problem, even though it can be very dangerous on the highway or in heavy traffic situations.

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #352

Jan 082010


  • 68,000 miles
The transmission on the 2004 Nissan Maxima is defective and causes a driving hazard as power is lost upon acceleration. Hundreds of customers are having the same problem but Nissan refuses to issue a recall. They were aware of this problem back on March 10, 2004 when they issued a "technical service bulletin, # ntb04-035" describing the problem. Numerous internet sites show the hundreds of customers complaining of this dangerous condition.

- Plainview, NY, USA

problem #351

Jan 062010


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact was driving approximately 20 mph on wet road conditions. The transmission exhibited a violent pulling motion and suddenly, the vehicle skidded across the roadway. The driver was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 130,000.

- Richmond , KY, USA

problem #350

Dec 202009


  • 70,000 miles


Consistent transmission slip on 2004 Nissan Maxima. Transmission slips when shifting between 2nd and 3rd gear when warmed up. When shifting the engine will rev like it is in neutral and then the transmission will violently slam into gear.

- Vadnais Heights, MN, USA

problem #349

Jan 052010


  • 52,000 miles
Maxima 2004 transmission failure.

- La Palma, CA, USA

problem #348

Dec 152009


  • 76,000 miles
Hello my name is kevin sparks, I'm 25 and work as a professional chef. I purchased a Nissan 2004 Maxima SE with 31,500 miles about 3 years ago, I have 79,000 miles now which I'm still paying $550 per month. Now I'm not complaining about my payments its just an example of what I thought I was getting in a Maxima. They are supposed to be reliable vehicles, known for being great cars. Here is my problem, the transmission is shot. Not because I mistreat the car its the new tranny systems that were implemented in 2004. The transmission has a violent shifting problem, it jerks into 3rd gear while I was driving jerking me into the windshield, I hit my head while driving 35 mph. If this is not an unsafe problem what is" do your wheels have to fall off" or can Nissan own up to this safety issue I personally know two other Nissan Maxima owner 2005's with the same issue. Then after some research over the internet I've found that many Nissan customers are having the same problem. They didn't get injured but also feel unsafe while driving. This is an issue that needs to be resolved, there shouldn't be a problem like this for safety reasons. There is too many people with the same problem, hopefully Nissan can finally own up to their big mistake. I look to further per-sue this issue.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #347

Dec 242009


  • 91,500 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE. At approximately 80,000 miles, the car began to jerk when upshifting and downshifting from the 1, 2, and 3 gears. Between 80,000 miles and 90,000 miles, the jerking worsened and became hard jerks. The problem was particularly noticeable in traffic, when going under 35 mph or at freeway off ramps (when I decelerate from freeway speed and then accelerate into a turn). At 91,000 miles, I took the car to the dealer for a 90,000 mile maintenance. Dealer claimed no problems. I did a partial transmission flush per dealer suggestion. 2 weeks later, the car jerked very hard during a slow left turn. The "check engine" light turned on. At the next intersection, the car was between 2,000-3,000 RPM at a stop. Then, when the light turned green, the car would not move when I applied gas. I revved the car to nearly 4,000 RPM and the car moved very slowly. It took a very long time to get to traffic speed. I drove directly to the dealership, and was told my transmission was dead. They suggested I get a new transmission for over $4,000. I have read many, many websites with hundreds of complaints from owners of the 2004 model year Nissan Maxima. I will not pay for this known issue. I want Nissan to fix this known issue! this is a safety issue, as I was almost hit multiple times when the car would not respond in traffic!!

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #346

May 052009


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. When shifting gears the vehicle will hesitate and then down-shift. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The technician stated that the transmission needed to be replaced at an expense of $4,000. The current and failure mileages were 140,000. She contacted the manufacturer, and was advised that she could have the fuel system flushed. She will trade the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 140,000. The VIN was not available.

- Vardaman, MS, USA

problem #345

Sep 242008


  • 60,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission failure. This is a known problem my Nissan and they fail to address the problem. It shifts very hard from 1-2 gear, even known for breaking the motor mounts. Failure began at 60,000 miles, but has gotten worse over time. This issue could lead to a major accident or even death of driver or passengers.

- Napavine, WA, USA

problem #344

Jun 272009


  • 100,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima that has been experiencing transmission problems since I hit around the 100K mark. The problem in detail is a hard jerking/kick when I go in and out of 1st gear. It only seems to do it once the car is fully warmed up and/or when I have been driving for about 45 mins. It is also more noticeable while in traffic or on roads with many lights---of course... I did my research and alot of 2004-5 Nissan Maxima owners are experiencing that same problem and Nissan will not recall the transmission, so I am willing to go through the correct procedure to see if this will help us get our problems fixed or reimbursed for getting the trans fixed on our own. I am scheduled to get this fixed the week of December 28th.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #343

Jan 042008


  • 75,000 miles
My 2004 Maxima does the hard shifting from 1st to 2nd and hesitates to go into gear. It also shifts hard when having to slow down and then re-accelerate. It does the hard shifting from 1st to 2nd and hesitates to go into gear. It also shifts hard when having to slow down and then re-accelerate. I did a transmission fluid change on it, however still no difference. Called Nissan and they said to do a transmission flush and fill, and it should stop, took it in for a service and no difference, just out 200+. they said it would need a new transmission if that didn't work, and after reading all about all the problems everyone else is having, I seriously doubt I'm going to invest anymore time or money into this car.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #342

Dec 032009


  • 86,000 miles
The transmission would bang from 1st to 2nd gear and from 2nd to 1st. Ultimately, it locked itself in 5th gear when I pulled out in a busy intersection. This is a known defect and Nissan should be held responsible.

- Blacklick, OH, USA

problem #341

Sep 302009


  • 78,000 miles
I bought a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I have been having transmission problems ever since I bought it. The car jerk vigorously out of gears and I am afraid that one day, I may get in an accident due to this defect. I am one of many suffering from the same transmission problem! something has to be done. When I called Nissan, they do not want anything to do with me.

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

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