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 14 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #340

Sep 092009


  • 120,000 miles


2004 Nissan max constantly slips when trying to accelerate and sometimes when backing up. Usually occurs after the vehicle has been on the road for about 40 minutes. Had transmission fluid cleaned twice, been on the machine twice, and reading others complaints for the ones that have replaced the transmission the problem is still occurring.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #339

Aug 202009


  • miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission failure at low mileage even if they are being taken care of they still go bad...there are thousands of people who put out there hard money for these expensive cars and they are cheaply built...had the same experience with my 02 Acura TL and Honda extended the warranty because they know it was their fault and I will never drive another Nissan even though I currently own a 04 Q45 also.

- Raleigh , NC, USA

problem #338

Jun 052009


  • 112,000 miles
The transmission is shifting erratically.

- Springdale, AR, USA

problem #337

Nov 192009


  • 80,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima with severe jerking 1st-2ng gear, rvm revving high, not going into gearfor about a month or so. Symptoms started at about 80,000 miles. Took to Nissan dealer...said nothing wrong with transmission. 2 weeks later, car almost failed while I was attempting to go up a hill. On that day, I was pushing on gas, rvm revving high, but car not picking up speed, car started to jerk, and almost had accident. Very dangerous and scary. Looked it up on internet that night, and found multiple complaints about the same thing.I took car to aamco since dealer said nothing wrong. Aamco and they told me about Nissan having technical service bulletin saying solenoid control assembly is problem. But now, transmission has failed and cost is $3500. Aamco wants to put in "updated solenoid" that was re-engineered after people started having these problems and replaced the parts contaminated with the debris (basically overhaul the tranny) apparently, the solenoid material breaks off and goes throughout the transmission causing debris build up and eventual transmission failure. Placing new transmission doesn't help because it is an engineering flaw with the solenoid. The fix is to put in the re-engineered updated solenoid so doesn't break apart and cause debris throughout transmission like the one original solenoid assembly placed in car. Why didn't Nissan tell me that" they just said "nothing is wrong with your transmission". are they waiting for a mortality to occur? is that how they want to treat their consumers" I have been talking to Nissan Corp for 2 weeks now. They don't even want to acknowledge their is a problem even though it is on their own technical service bulletin!

- Glenn Dale, MD, USA

problem #336

Oct 152008


  • 90,000 miles
Owner of a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE experiencing severe jerking when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #335

Dec 042007


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE 45,000 roughly that was purchased used in 2007. Several months later after driving the car the transmission would jerk as if someone hit me from behind. The force was so unbearable that it was if someone hit me and I felt like I had whiplash. I had the transmission fluid replace but the problem only got worst. Then Jan 2008 Nissan agreed to.

- Carthage , NY, USA

problem #334

Aug 022009


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that since August 2009, it became difficult to shift from first to second gear. The automatic transmission was stuck in 5th gear when the complaint was filed. The failure occurred intermittently. A local mechanic replaced the transmission fluid which remedied the shifting difficulties for approximately one week. The manufacturer and dealer have not been notified. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current mileage was 106,660 and the failure mileage was approximately 80,000.

- Saint Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #333

Dec 022009


  • 90,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and it is showing signs of transmission problems. There is hard shifting from 1st and 2nd gear. The problem is intermittent but is very noticeable when it occurs.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #332

Sep 012009


  • 63,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima with 64000 miles, has started shifting hard in 1st, and 2nd gears, with these transmissions your not suppose to feel the gears changing at all. Also there is a ticking coming from the timing belt which I am told is normal....doesn't sound normal to me!

- Myrtle Beach , SC, USA

problem #331

Nov 202009


  • 125,000 miles
I almost got involve into an accident. I just bought a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE (automatic) and its giving me transmission problems. The transmission slips (when the car is hot) between second and third gear, sometimes from first to second. I just wanted to buy a reliable car because we were going to have a baby. She was in the car when the accident was about to happen. My wife, my 4 months old baby and I where going to see my family and needed to take the highway. I needed to make a stop before entering the highway (to enter to the right lane). Since my car jerks when it shifts from first to second gear and from second to third gear, a tractortrailer almost hit me when I entered the highway. Because the transmission in my car is not reliable. It might get me into an accident because of the design flaw from the Nissan corporation. I am not the only person complaining about the transmission on 2004 Nissan Maxima models. Give me a call or send me an email if you have any questions. Lou valdo

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #330

Sep 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


Just came back from the Nissan dealership and they have diagnosed the shifting problem to be automatic transmission related and need to replace it. I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with 73K miles and don't believe something of this nature should be happening at this point. My internet search has now uncovered that many other people with my year/make/model are having similar issues. I think Nissan needs to address these multiple occurrences. Thank you

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #329

Nov 252009


  • 83,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima - transmission issue on cars with over 80,000 miles. Transmission would slip gears and "kick" between gearshifts. During downshifts, car stalls between gear shifts. During upshifts, car either slips gears with engine revving or "kicks" really hard into the next gear. Happens when car is warmed up. The kick feels like I am being rear ended.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #328

Nov 242009


  • miles
I have had my 2004 Nissan Maxima for almost 2 years now. For over one year I have been having problems with my transmission jerking and kicking when going from 1st to 2nd gear and from 2nd to 1st gear. I took the car to a Nissan dealership approximately 6 months ago and they could not find anything wrong with the transmission so they suggested that the transmission be flushed and the fluid be replaced. After this was done the car rode fine for about 2 days and returned to its normal thrashing and jerking. Knocking so hard at times that it causes me to have headaches and my head to hit the head rest. Ironically the transmission only does this only when the car has warmed up. I have scheduled an appointment with the same Nissan dealer I went to previously which is scheduled for this Friday regarding this same issue. The number of people who own this make and model who share the same issues is astronomical and it would be absolutely impossible for Nissan and their mechanics to not be aware of it. It seems as though there is no one admitting there is an issue with these transmissions or accepting responsibility for this issue. To say the least, driving this car is scary and unsafe. Driving in stop and go traffic could be disastrous with a car in this condition along with slowing down to turn a corner or any situation when you may need to accelerate or stop quickly. Someone please address this issue and hold Nissan responsible. This is a huge ethical issue that raises many safety concerns and has been brushed under the rug for years!

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #327

Jul 012009


  • 64,000 miles
I bought a 2004 Nissan Maxima sl in 2007, with 41750 miles on it from Nissan dealership in okc, Oklahoma. In July 2009 the transmission started slipping when shifting from first to second gear at approx. 20-25mph. The car is an automatic with a V-6 engine. When this started the car had appox. 64K miles on it. I took the car to a local Nissan dealership in July 2009 and they told me a drain and fill of the transmission fluid was needed. Within 3 weeks after performing the drain/fill the same shifting issue resulting. When braking or accelerating the transmission does not shift resulting in a severe jerking of the car. The jerking can be O harsh that my head will hit the head rest behind me when the transmission finally will shift. Current, my Nissan Maxima is once again back at the dealership and they are telling me that I need to replace the transmission. Once again my car only ha 64K miles and I've only owned it for 2 years the transmission issues must be own by Nissan however they will not assist with answers or a recall. This might explain the extremely large difference in the retail price of the car the trade-in price of an 2004 Maxima, it's close to a $10K difference. I bought my car for $20K+ and currently trade in is only $8-10K. Nissan needs to be held responsible to recalling these transmissions and replacing them with a new correct make.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #326

Aug 052009


  • 141,000 miles
Im writing you today to informed you that my 2004 Nissan Maxima ls is having major transmission problems. I bought the car new in 2004. This lead me to go online and inquire further about this problem, looks like a lot of folks are having the same problem. I have filed a formal complaint with Nissan. Very concerned because of number of complaints. This is very dangerous.

- Maryville, TN, USA

problem #325

Nov 122009


  • 92,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima with less than 100,000 miles. The transmission jerks constantly between 1st and 2nd gear. We took it to the dealers and were told that we would have to buy a new transmission. Thousands of Nissan owners are reporting this same problem. Something is defective with the transmission and according to the many complaints, it is definitely a Nissan problem. There appease to be an undocumented flaw with this transmission and it showed up in the late 04 and early 05 build cars.

- College Park, MD, USA

problem #324

Nov 122009


  • 65,000 miles
I bought a used 2004 Nissan Maxima SE and around 65K the car's transmission started slipping and jerking when going from second to third gear. I was almost in an accident when making a turn, the car lost acceleration, jerked, made a bang, and shot forward causing me to momentarily lose control of the car. I was told by two different mechanics that I have a transmission problem and these model cars are notorious for that. Is this true?

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #323

Nov 132009


  • 97,500 miles
I'm writing you today to informed you that my 2004 Nissan Maxima ES with 97,000 on it is having major transmission problems. I bought the car new in '04. It been a good car until now. From park position the transmission floats and is delayed about 5 seconds before engaging into drive. The transmission bumps when slowing down from 2nd to 1st gear. The transmission floats out of gear while cruising into neutral, the rpms revs high, than it slips back into gear. All this happens once the car is warmed up. I took the car to a reputable transmission repair shop they flushed and filled the transmission fluid, but the problem still exist and has gotten a lot worse. The transmission repair shop did not see anything wrong with the transmission. This lead me to go online and inquire further about this problem, looks like a lot of folks are having the same problem. I have not filed a formal complaint with Nissan, or with the state of New York about the vehicle. Is there a class action suit? please include me I have all the necessary documentation. Please contact me to inform me what should be my next logical step. I just realized the problem with these transmissions today. It is only a matter of time before someone is fatally injured from this defect. Nissan North America should be held accountable. Most of these vehicles still have sizable car loans that have not been paid off due this only being a five year old vehicle.

- Camillus, NY, USA

problem #322

Mar 282008


  • 100,000 miles
Transmission constantly jerks when shifting between gears.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #321

Oct 302009


  • 92,000 miles
Nissan Maxima 2004, jerks into gear when car stopped. Caused accident when car jerked into car ahead of me. Very concerned because of number of complaints. This is very dangerous. I was very lucky. Others may not be this lucky.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

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