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 16 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #300

Sep 232009


  • 69,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima transmission slipped and caused me to slam into wall. Airbags didn't deploy, had my children in backseat with seatbelts on. This car is dangerous. I can't believe the NHTSA isn't forcing a recall on all transmissions. I looked it up and thousands have the same problem. I'm definitely going to look into a suit against Nissan and as well as the NHTSA if nothing is done. That's a guarantee and I'm sure I have many supporters.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #299

Sep 102009


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that intermittently the transmission began to shift from first to second gear without any prior warnings. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the cause of the failure. No repairs have been made. The failure mileage was 84,000 and the current mileage was 85,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #298

Aug 012009


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 35 to 40 mph on normal road conditions; the transmission slipped out of gear in an extreme forward motion. When pressure was applied to the brake pedal the front end on the vehicle began shaking excessively. The contact drove onto the emergency lane and after a few minutes he was able to continue driving; however, the failure continued to occur. An authorized dealer stated that the failure was caused by the front motor mount and that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact had concerns of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 94,000 and the current mileage was 96,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #297

Sep 182009


  • 87,000 miles


I am the owner of a 2004 Nissan Maxima. It has currently a little over 93K on the odometer. Like hundreds, if not thousands of people I have encountered via internet searches and blogs, have the same transmission problems with my vehicle. The vehicle shifts hard and jerks when coming to a stopped and hesitates to proceed when put into drive (up to 5 seconds). I was advised eventually the transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced. I am interested in being part of any class action movement to force Nissan to acknowledge the defect and make good by repairing the cars affected at no cost to the consumer or reimbursing those who independently resolve the issue. An unexpected auto repair over $3000 due to manufacturer defect would be devastating to a single father on limited budget. Someone please help the consumer.

- Atco, NJ, USA

problem #296

Jul 192009


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. When I am traveling on highway, then have to slow down or make a complete stop, when accelerating after slowing down or stopping the car jerks really hard. Also when putting the car in drive it jerks. I decided to google the problem with my car and I run across a website with complaints about the 2004 Maxima. It is a shame that soo many people are having the same problem with their 2004 Maxima. And the Nissan Corp is not calling nationwide recall. And by the way, I also I got my transmission system flush...and it does not help. Nissan recall the Goodyear Eagle tires, why want they recall the transmission. Please help the 2004 Nissan Maxima owner with transmission problem.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #295

Aug 012009


  • 86,000 miles
I have an 2004 Nissan Maxima. At first it started to jerk occasionally. Now its jerks and shifts hard all the time from 1st-2nd and 2nd-3rd gear. This is when I am accelerating and when I am slowing down. This jerking throws the whole car. Check engine light comes on and gives a code for shift malfunction which proves to be no specific part fix. Recommendations are to replace the whole transmission and then the problem just occurs again.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #294

Sep 152009


  • miles


I bought my Nissan Maxima 04 almost a month ago. I spent all of my money that I saved up to purchase this car (I am a college student--I have no money). I am now experiencing a jerking motion when car shifts from 1st to 2nd gear. I went online to see if I am the only one experiencing this problem and I am not. I am afraid that this problem will get worse and I will be stuck with a piece of crap that does not get me anywhere. I am highly disappointed and scared because from the blog that I just read I am not the only one experiencing this problem. Another problem I am experiencing is a jerking when I pull the car into drive. I only have 99,000 miles on the car. This needs to be fixed by Nissan because I am sure they are aware of this defect in this car.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #293

Jun 112009


  • 105,000 miles
Car hesitates to go into drive from park or reverse and then jerks real hard. Shifts hard from 1st to 2nd gear and when U slow down and have to accelerate after slowing down.

- Hazel Green, AL, USA

problem #292

Sep 082009


  • 71,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE. 71K miles on car. The transmission is not shifting. The car is stuck in 5th gear and you can't even manually shift it out of 5th. There had been some jerking when the car was shifting from 1st to 2nd gear for a while before this happened.

- Westbury, NY, USA

problem #291

Sep 062009


  • 95,450 miles
The transmission fails to provide sufficient acceleration to allow one to get out of harm's way or to safely maneuver in traffic. Also, the transmission fails to downshift to assist in the deceleration of the vehicle.

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #290

Nov 082008


  • 90,000 miles


I got a 2004 Nissan Maxima last year with about 80,000 miles on it, when the car reached about 90,000 the transmission started jerking when changing gears. The car would not go over 20mph. This is a huge safety hazard. This faulty transmission could harm myself or other drivers on the roads. This happens every time the car is driven. I've taken the car to several different repair shops, including Nissan. They all cannot diagnose the problem, but recommended the power flush, which I did. The power flush did nothing for my car. The only it did was set me back $250. There are many Nissan owners with the same problem. We are very dissatisfied and want something to be done about this.

- Buffalo, KY, USA

problem #289

Aug 222009


  • 101,779 miles
I purchased car on 8/22/09 and wanted to return it by 8/23/09 after mechanic says take it back the dealer refused to give me my money back and wanted to do a patch job of investment spent on this car is $2,680 ($2,500 for down payment to people choice auto sales, spent $32 on oil change, $55 on a full tank of gas, and $93 for brakes) and I feel every dollar is due back to me. If they want to charge me for the days I had the car, for the 4 days I should be able to charge them for the 3 days they had the car and was supposedly fixing it! I work hard for my money and need it back.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #288

Aug 012009


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE. She replaced the struts, axles and motor mounts on the vehicle. The mechanic stated that she should also have the transmission checked. The vehicle was taken to a different mechanic where a flush was performed. Afterward, the vehicle would shake and it would not accelerate normally. The manufacturer was notified; however, they stated that they would not be liable for the repairs. No repairs have been performed to correct the failure. The current and failure mileages were under 48,000.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #287

Aug 272009


  • 120,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with 124K miles that has transmission problems. Specifically, the transmission slips between 1st and 2nd gear and between 3rd and 4th gear. I have been researching this matter and found countless owners of Nissan Maximas who are dealing with the same problem. One owner has replaced the transmission in a 2004 Maxima three times. Given the vast number of complaints re: This same issue, is there anything being done to hold the manufacturer accountable? they sell these cars for high dollars with the knowledge that this defect exists. For that reason, they should correct the problem. If you google "2004 Nissan Maxima transmission problems", you will be inundated with owners of these and other Maxima's citing transmission problems. I had my transmission flushed today. I was also told that I need a new transmission! I cannot afford another transmission and I believe Nissan should recall these vehicles and pay for the necessary transmission repair. Today while driving, the vehicle hesitated before lurching forward into gear. I was almost rear ended by another vehicle. This problem is a huge safety concern and needs to be addressed. I would hate for a member of your family or mine to be involved in an accident with one of these unsafe vehicles. Please initiate a recall. It will save lives and indemnify the Maxima owners who have spent hard earned money to buy these beautiful lemons.

- Marlin, TX, USA

problem #286

Apr 012008


  • 77,000 miles
Maxima 2004 SE with less than 77,000 miles is experiencing transmission problems. From what I see online there seem to be a trend of this. Shift slipping between 1st and 2nd gear. The dealership won't recall it until enough people complain about this issue.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #285

Aug 252009


  • 104 miles
On my way to work, my 04 Nissan Maxima SE suddenly jerked and stalled in the middle of the highway. I narrowly escaped any injury due to not only my quick actions but the alertness and quick response of the driver behind me. My search to find out if any one had experience similar problems, resulted in a plethora of similar cases. This of course made me furious to know that Nissan have a history of failed transmissions in this model vehicle and nothing is being done about it. I am steadfast when it comes to regular maintenance of my vehicle and dear not place the blame on the dealership or the mechanics. My situation could have easily resulted in personal injury or death. I hope something is done about this because it can indeed save a life or lives.

- Neptune, NJ, USA

problem #284

Jul 192009


  • 886,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima with transmission failures. I think this is neglect for the Nissan consumer dept not recalling there transmissions, failing before 100,000 mil with the many complaints they are receiving. Someone needs to step in and help us. Have not heard of any one getting hurt/injured this far. I was told that there was nothing else to do but replace the trans and this is not fair for all the 2004 Nissan owners.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #283

Mar 182009


  • 82,000 miles
Nissan Maxima transmission jerks between 1st and 2nd gears. Everytime the car is placed on drive or reverse or neutral you can feel the jerk and loud clunk noise from the transmission. Being reading all the reviews on this problems and it seems that the transmission needs to be replaced.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #282

Mar 012009


  • 60,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima car is banging changing gears and also getting suck in 5th gear and wont come out till I turn the engine off. Replace transmission fluid no change, cannot afford new transmission the car has 67,000 miles.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #281

Feb 012007


  • 66,524 miles
1. my problems occur with my 2004 Nissan Maxima when I started to notice that from a take off after a toll that the car would jerk into second gear. It has since progressed into a jerking and slamming into 2nd and 3rd gear on acceleration and 3rd to 2nd and 2nd to 1st in deceleration. It happens every day that I use my car. I have had my transmission fluid flushed and several engine sensors replaced by a Nissan dealership. The problem has never gone away and just gets worse with time. I had been told to replace my transmission. I do not feel that this will actually fix my issue.

- Hackensack, NJ, USA

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