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 15 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #320

Sep 172009


  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While proceeding to a complete stop from 30 mph, the transmission hesitated then down-shifted into first gear. The driver was able to continue operation. He also noticed that the transmission exhibited hesitation when shifting from "reverse" into the "drive" gear. The failures occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The failure was contributed to defective pressure points within the transmission. The technician recommended replacement of the transmission. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure and current mileages were 94,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailable.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #319

Oct 282009


  • 84,500 miles
Transmission failure, the car is in the repair shop waiting for the repairing needed, and when you make a google search about this model/year, there are so many complaints about the same defect and no good responses from the manufacturer, so people is spending lot of money to repair this car.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #318

Jun 092009


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. Whenever the transmission shifts from 1st to 2nd gear, or from reverse to drive the vehicle will lurch forward. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 106000.

- Union City, GA, USA

problem #317

Oct 012009


  • 95,000 miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. It jerks real hard when I put it in drive and it stays in high gear when I drive. Sometimes when im driving down the road, it just dies and I loose my power steering and brakes. I see a lot of complaints with the same car and the same problems. My car is not that old and the Nissan dealership says I need a new transmission that will cost 4,000 dollars. This is not an isolated event and I feel it needs to be investigated.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #316

Oct 172009


  • 113,559 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima which has started having transmission problems. It started out revving really high when the car would try to shift into higher gears. It now has began jerking violently when it shifts gears. I have read many many complaints from other Maxima owners of the same year with this very same problem. If it were only a handful but it appears that when these vehicles get close to or above 100K miles the problems begin, hence the influx of complaints within the last 6 months. The problem started out once in a while, now it's everytime we drive it hot or cold. I took it to Nissan and they just told me in a very rude manner to replace the transmission. The problem is so common that when I told the technician I was having problems with my Maxima's transmission, he said "what year and how many miles"? after I told him a 2004 and approximately 113K miles. He said, "replace the transmission".

- Wendell, NC, USA

problem #315

Oct 202009


  • 123,000 miles
Transmission problems resulting in stalled vehicle while driving and does not shift gears properly which has resulted in vehicle delays while trying to cross lanes of traffic.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #314

May 012009


  • 85,000 miles


Car is slipping in and out of gear. Hesitates from reverse into drive and then it slips and bangs from 1st to 2nd and into 3rd. This past Saturday the car actually died on me and now it's stuck in 5th gear and non drivable which is unacceptable. Was told it would be around 4000 to rebuild which is money I don't have and I took car of this car. Transmissions should not fail with only 93,000 miles on it. There are thousands of complaints about this particular make and model year of the Maxima. Nissan needs to investigate and recall these cars because at this point it's a problem that needs to be handled now. I hope it doesn't take someone getting in a really bad accident because of this problem.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #313

Jun 152009


  • miles
2004 Nissan Maxima 120000 miles. It seems to be having problems shifting into 1st to 3rd gear. First, when I shift from park to any other gear. It seems to either hesitate to shift into gear and once it does it shifts in a horrible knock! it usually slips from 1st to 2nd, or 2nd to 3rd. It causes the car to rev and shifts when it wants. That makes it snap even harder. This to me seems very dangerous. Come to find out that there are hundreds maybe thousands of Nissan owners with the same issue. Why isn't Nissan repairing this apparent manufacturer defect.

- Manchester, CT, USA

problem #312

Jan 012008


  • 65,000 miles
Car's transmission jerks violently, and unpredictably, when it shifts between 1st & 2nd gears.

- Lafayette, GA, USA

problem #311

Oct 072009


  • 132,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima: October 7, 2009 the check engine light came on, several miles later as we entered our drive way the car started to shut down. I notice some jerking and metal rattling noise as I slow down. After stopping the car would not go forward. At this time the car would only go in reverse, but once I turn the engine off I could not start the car again. The dealership were I purchase the car has done all the services, and yes they did flush the transmission. Type of transmission fluid is not know.

- Villa Rica, GA, USA

problem #310

Feb 222009


  • 62,000 miles


Transmission slips then jerks really hard when going into 1st and 2nd gear and going from drive to reverse making it impossible to accelerate to get out of harm's way. The bad transmission causes wear on motor mounts therefore creating another horrible situation. I am among so many that have had issues with this make/model car.... somebody do something!

- Hawthorne, CA, USA

problem #309

Jun 012009


  • 65,000 miles
My Nissan Maxima transmission jerks very hard while switching gears. There's also major slipping between some gears and the vehicle is becoming very unsafe to drive. The only suggested solution is to replace the transmission which Nissan should pay for because of their defective work. I have paid too much money for the car only to be forced to pay for a new transmission when I didn't destroy the one I have. Please help!

- Aiken, SC, USA

problem #308

Jun 092007


  • miles
Nissan Maxima 2004 has a hard jerk and the motor rev up high when I drive this is not safe to drive please do something about it thank you.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #307

Apr 152009


  • 90,000 miles
I 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. I have had the transmission looked at by a Nissan dealer and a private transmission company. Both say it needs to be replaced. The private dealer attributes the problem to a lack of cooling lines going into the transmission and believed this would be a common problem. After looking online, it is obvious that I am not a unique case. People across the country are complaining about the same issue. I'm concerned that the transmission malfunction will lead to an accident, but cannot afford to replace the car or the transmission. According to several websites, replacing the transmission is only a temporary fix, as this problem seems to be a design flaw, so any replacement will be susceptible to the same failure.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #306

Jul 082007


  • 113,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmissions are defective!!!!!!!!!!!

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #305

Oct 012009


  • 100,000 miles
The jerking and slipping of the 2004 Nissan Maxima's transmission is dangerous! it nearly throws my 8 year old daughter into the back of my driver's seat everytime it switches gears!!!! when I put it into drive, it jerks nearly a foot up which caused me to rear end my mother's van that was parked in front of my car!!!! people are going to get hurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Fort Smith, AR, USA

problem #304

Jul 282009


  • 72,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I am having problems with the shifting in and out of gear. When I start the car it stalls and I have to restart and give it gas. It also just stopped on me one day on the interstate. I have read several complaints on with the same exact problem and Nissan doesn't seem to be helping anyone. With as many complaints that I have read you would think there would be a recall on the transmission. I hope someone could look into this because this seems to be quite a problem in 2004 Nissan Maximas.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #303

Jul 192006


  • miles
2004 Nissan Maxima the transmission in my car is slipping it's shifting hard between 2 & 3 gear and this started after 60,000 the interior is falling down from the top of the ceiling. The doors up front don't unlock with the key fob. The interior light broke off. This is the worse car I have ever owned...

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #302

Sep 282009


  • 25,000 miles
'04 Maxima, maintained regularly, original owner, purchased in summer of '03(first batch of assy. Line); transmission slips from 2nd to 3rd gear. This has been a problem since the first 25K miles on the car. I got the trans fluid flushed and was fine but then it happened again at 50K miles. I asked the local repair shops and the dealership why this keeps re-occurring and they both said that "that's just the way that car is." Like clock work it happens every 25K miles. I continue to get the trans fluid flushed/changed every 25K, car is now at 115K miles, just had it done at 100K and problem is starting again already. I'm fearing one day soon the transmission is just going to go all together and I will be looking at probably $4K - $6K for repair. I love my Maxima and bought it for the sole purpose that they have a reputation for long lasting cars, but it seems there were some flaws when they introduced this new body style year (not sure how different the engines or transmissions are in comparison to the previous models) and these types of issues are not making me want to purchase another one in the future. The service advisor at my local dealership states his mother owns an '06 Maxima (same trans) and just had to replace the transmission due to the same issue. He told me, "it's coming. It's if it's when". this issue is posted all over this site and many others. Why isn't Nissan stepping up to do something about this?

- Leonardtown, MD, USA

problem #301

Feb 012009


  • 74,500 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima stalled out on me while I was on the freeway and caused an accident while I wasn't able to merge to the right due to heavy traffic. I had to stop on the left side next to the divider. 2 car collision behind me because of this. Do something please.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

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