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 17 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #280

Aug 012005


  • 34,000 miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima at 66,000 miles. At 34,000 miles, I had a transmission problem with a mild slipping and hard shift and when I took it in, the dealership said that there was nothing wrong. Thinking this had something to do with their "new advertised" shift 2.0 feature, I continued to use it. As time we on, this problem became worse and worse and now when I take it into Nissan, they say now it is a problem with an "internal failure" and too bad, pay them $3,800. When I challenged this issue and provided proof that I have serviced my entire car including the transmission properly, Nissan rep told me that "Nissan would consider my issue if I was a more loyal customer to them and had my service done with them". I couldn't believe my ears. If I didn't pay triple the charge amounts for the same service through them, they would consider my "internal failure" in my transmission as a problem of theirs. I couldn't and still can't believe this was said to me. Their are a quite a few noted failures of this transmission listed on a web-site on the internet. These can be very dangerous if you are driving and your car want shift gears while your crossing into an intersection. You need to assist in this issue.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #279

Jun 012009


  • 86,365 miles
I have 2004 Nissan Maxima. I am experiencing shifting problems. It seems to slip out of gear on 3rd. Or experience extreme hesitation when going to 3rd. Seems not to securely sit in gear. Then intermittently, when reversing. Car hesitates 3-5 sec to shift into drive. Then once it does. It drops very hard into gear.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #278

Apr 012005


  • miles
2004 Maxima has had timing chain noise for years has been blowing oil for 2 years now transmission is banging and shifting very hard losing power etc. For 3 months now had trans flushed did not help at all tires were defective in the first year A/C has not worked for 2 years this car is very much a lemon.

- Baldwin, MD, USA

problem #277

Mar 012009


  • 91,000 miles


I purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima and it all seemed fine for a bit but once I hit around 90K miles, the transmission started having problems. 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! I took it in for service and they replaced motor mounts. I suggested it may be the transmission, the dealership ignored that. Now, it continues to do the same problem as well as slip gears while in motion. 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 and I don't know what to do because my car just ran out of it's extended warranty. I don't have the money for a transmission repair. Also, there has not been a fire, property damage, or crash that I know of. However, this is an extreme safety hazard on the road.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #276

Sep 012008


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving between 20-35 mph, the vehicle slips and stalls in and out of gear. The failure also occurs between first and second gears. Occasionally, the transmission kicks into gear, but it is so severe that the vehicle finally accelerates to a very high speed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that new engine mounts were needed. He did not believe that new engine mounts would correct the failure. The contact took the vehicle to a repair shop and was informed that the transmission failed. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 60,000 and current mileage was 70,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #275

May 062008


  • 62,000 miles
Transmission on my 2004 Nissan Maxima slips between 1st and second gear.

- Stillwater, NJ, USA

problem #274

Jun 132006


  • 60,000 miles


Good morning, I currently own 2004 Maxima & have been experiencing major problems with this car for about 2-3 years. My major problem at first was my transmission. Apparently the dealership states I will need a new transmission which is absurd since the car is not even 10 yrs old. I knew there was a problem when the car started jerking on its own. At times it jerks real hard when shifting from 1st to 2nd and it is quite scary & embarrassing. When the problem started, I have two friends who were owners of a Nissan Maxima as well and they were experiencing the same jerking transmission problems. They eventually traded their cars but I not wanted to go through the whole process of financing a car, I figured I'll fix the problem. The transmission is one problem but why every couple of months there is other problems as well. For example I last year I had to change my catalytic converter, my mounts, and my routers. Now what has made me at my ends with this car is what happened last month (June 2009). While driving, there was a loud sound, I opened the hood of the car and right buy the engine, and there were flames. The fire dept was called along with the police. As I submit my complaint now my car is still at the shop. This has become a frustrated and very expensive issue that I have been facing. Honestly I have spent about 5K's or more on this car, not considering that I'm still financing as well. How is it that, I have done my research and there are many others out there who have the same issue. Nissan needs to take full responsibility and it is not a coincidence also. I have documents and emails from others who are also experiencing the same issue (over 300 complaints since 2006). Pls if anything, there needs to be an investigation, many ppl are suffering and losing $ as well.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #273

Jul 012009


  • 40,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE has been maintained by Nissan dealership. That said, the transmission worked smoothly until recently. When shifting from 1st to 2nd gear and 4th to 5th, or when it decelerates, car jerks violently making extremely difficult to maintain control of vehicle. Feels as if car was hit by behind. Driver and passengers are jerked around violently mimicking whiplash. Took the car to Nissan dealer and they did a transmission flush. The transmission flush did not work because the car continues to display the same symptoms described above. This is an ongoing problem with the car. It happens everyday whether the most routine trip to the local supermarket or while driving on the freeway. It is especially noticeable when climbing hills or descending and getting off of freeways. Again, this car with the above mentioned transmission problems is at severely high risk of getting into or causing an accident for when it shifts it creates moments of not being able to control the car. I have searched around the internet and it appears, according to 2004 Nissan Maxima SE owners, that this specific model year has a major defect with the transmission that may potentially cause a fatal incident.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #272

Apr 152009


  • 75,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima's transmission jerks when shifting into drive and when downshifting from 2nd to 1st gear.

- Pell City, AL, USA

problem #271

Jul 032009


  • 95,000 miles
While under warranty, my 2004 Nissan Maxima had it's engine replaced, only two years after it was built. Now, at 95,000, this vehicle is suffering from transmission problems. It fails to automatically shift into proper gear when it has to go beyond 2nd. The solution, turn the car off...let it rest for 30 minutes and it's fine for maybe an hour. Then the problem recurs. This first happened to me on the highway in Washington DC in fast moving traffic. My car would not move beyond 20 mph while other vehicles were traveling at 60-70 mph. Considering that this happened while operating the vehicle, this transmission failure could easily lead to a vehicle accident. Apparently, many owners of this year Maxima have experienced the same issue around this mileage..Nissan merely gives a cavalier recommendation of replacing the transmission for thousands of dollars. They have no shame or concern of the fact that this vehicle cannot make it only 5 years later without major transmission work. Standing behind their product obviously is not of importance. They certainly need to be held accountable for turning away from customers who have obviously been duped by a faulty product presented in an attractive wrapping. At this point I'm almost too afraid to drive the vehicle for more than 30 minutes.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #270

May 032009


  • 139,000 miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and just like everyone else my transmission went out after paying the Nissan dealer to run diagnostic and flush the system. After just 2 hours from picking it up it completely went out. Nissan will not even offer to fix the transmission or provide atleast half of their cost since it is their crappy product that is going bad on everyone's 04 cars. My car started with the jerking into gear and getting worse when it heats up. I wish someone would have the guts to make Nissan pay every Maxima car owner time, frustration, towing, repair, and a new transmission. What we deserve!!!!

- Rockford, AL, USA

problem #269

Mar 102009


  • 135,000 miles
5 speed automatic transmission malfunction. 3 to 5 second delay prior to engaging in drive and reverse. Slips when shifting between gears 1-2-3. sometimes the transmission sticks in 5th gear even when vehicle comes to a complete stop.

- Petal, MS, USA

problem #268

May 122009


  • 84,800 miles
I recently bought a used Maxima 2004 when I first drove it with 84000 miles on it. It was fine but not but a few days later it started to jerk from 1st to 2nd and sometime into 3rd. I happensabout 50% of the time in just one day! I has not yet been replaced due to the fact that I have read so many other problems with the same make and model.

- Dunwoody, GA, USA

problem #267

Jul 062009


  • 123,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima keeps jerking and my transmission keeps slipping in and out of gear. I've only had this car for less than 3 years with only approximately 123K.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #266

Jul 042009


  • 60,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE transmission slipping. Happens between 1st and 2nd gear. Started @ 60K. Transmission serviced through dealership.

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #265

Mar 032009


  • 80,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5se auto. Transmission jerks from reverse to drive and slips from 1st to 2nd.

- Victoria, 00, USA

problem #264

Feb 012009


  • 100,500 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima with approx 102K miles on it and the automatic transmission has been slipping from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd gear quite regularly. It also shifts very rough from 1st to 2nd and back down from 2nd to 1st. After reading several blogs online this seems to be a very common problem with the 2004 Maxima but for some reason there has been no recall. I feel as though Nissan should definitely be held liable for this problem considering how common a problem it is.

- Eatontown, NJ, USA

problem #263

Jun 292009


  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima. I have owned 4 in my life time. This model has been by the worst! I've owned the 86, 92, 00, 04. I purchased the 04 model with 28K miles on it. I had to take it back several times due to water being trapped inside the ac unit. I may have taken it back to the dealership 6 or 7 times. Most recently it has been the transmission. It started around 80K (right after the warranty expired) it jerks extremely hard when accelerating, and it jerks about the same when I slow down. I thought this had been repaired. I spent $1661 at with another mechanic for fear of being over charged by the dealership. I have saw several complaints about this issue. Nissan knows about this problem but refuses to do a recall due to the amount of transmissions they would have to replace. Reading from another persons post, I realized that this problem is not unique to me and that the problem is a design defect in the transmission from the manufacturer. Nissan should be made to pay for all damages, no matter what it costs! it is not fair to make the consumer pay for repairs because Nissan decided to cut a few corners. I also think that Nissan should have to re-imburse people who have spent their money on having the transmissions repaired.

- Calera, AL, USA

problem #262

Jun 092007


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that his vehicle jerked violently when shifting from first into second gears. The jerking also occurred during acceleration. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the 60,000 mile warranty was expired and he would have to have the transmission replaced due to a design flaw. The vehicle was purchased with 45,000 miles from the dealer. The failure mileage was 60,000 and current mileage was 67,000.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #261

Jan 012009


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I am experiencing transmission problems, when I shift to drive and let off the brake, it jerks hard, this seems to happen changing from 1st and 2nd gear, this action is starting to happen often.

- Gray, LA, USA

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