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 18 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #260

Jun 152009


  • 104,000 miles


2004 Maxima transmission slipping, seems to be a common problem on the 2004 model, yet no recall from Nissan.

- Lumberton, NJ, USA

problem #259

Jan 012008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving at any speed, the gear seems as if it is too high and causes the vehicle to jerk. The failure also occurs during downshifting. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they flushed the transmission, but this did not correct the issue. Through research, the contact found numerous complaints on this same failure and he believes a recall should be issued. The failure mileage was 80,000 and current mileage was 149,000. Updated 7/1/09 the consumer stated at times while stopped at a light, the gear would read 5th gear on the dash. The transmission was not shifting properly. Updated 07/07/09.

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #258

Jun 102008


  • 46,000 miles
The transsmission has had a constant jerk between 1st 2nd and 3rd gear. Always at low speeds. I have had the trans cooler seals replaced 3 times then the cooler its self. Still acts up.

- Wharton, NJ, USA

problem #257

Jan 022008


  • miles


Nissan Maxima 2004 3.5 SE. The transmission jerks extremely badly at 20 mph.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #256

Oct 152008


  • 86,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima with under 90,000 miles on it. The transmission on this model started slipping. There is a severe jerk in the tranny when the gears are shifting from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 1st. My car has even completely stalled. Not to mention the many times I have been going uphill and even pedal to the floor the car isn't moving. I have researched the issue on the internet and have noticed that there are hundreds of people experiencing the same issue. I was told by a dealer that the transmission would have to be replaced resulting in a bill over $3K. This is ridiculous when there is enough evidence that there should be a recall on this part. How many people have to complain about the situation. I've researched the many complaints submitted to this particular site and there are hundreds. Does someone have to die first before Nissan takes action. This is a safety issue that needs to be taken seriously and addressed.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #255

Apr 012006


  • 124,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE and for the past 4 years I have had nothing but problems. First the ac vent inside of the car broke going inward. Then the ac sensory went out while I was driving on a busy street and almost was hit from behind. Then the transmission started slipping. When I tried to accelerate it would jerk and know it is having a problem down shifting. This is the worst car ever.

- Bessemer, AL, USA

problem #254

May 282009


  • miles


I have 04 Nissan Maxima and it have only 47078 miles on it. The car is having transmission problem from 1 to 2 gear is hard shift. I have seen many people who have same kind of problem with transmission. There is no incident crash with this car. They change the filer and other stuff they also change the fluid.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #253

Jan 082009


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving between 35-45 mph on normal road conditions, the transmission slipped without warning. In addition, there was erratic shifting between gears. When the gear shifter was moved from drive into reverse, an excessive jerking motion occurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection and it was discovered that the cv axle differential failed. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 95,000 and current mileage was 106,000.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #252

Jun 012009


  • 90,000 miles
Starting almost a year ago, around 90,000 miles, my 2004 Nissan Maxima began jerking very hard when going from 1st to 2nd gear and even more when going from reverse to drive. It happens every now and then, mostly when the car is warmed up. Feels like I've been hit from the back by a train! the brakes also do a weird jerk when slowing down now. And when I release the gas pedal to turn a corner, etc...then press the gas again, it jerks a lot then too. I never know when it's going to happen, but it's more often now and I just wonder when I'll be left on the road stranded.

- Ft. Smith, AR, USA

problem #251

Dec 012008


  • 78,080 miles
Noticed car jerked when shifting down from 2nd to 1st. Thought I'd better take car in to have looked at and just a few minutes afterwards, my car stopped completely. Luckily I was off the freeway and was able to get to the side of the road safely. Was told my Nissan there was no known issue but the dealer told me otherwise but said I'd still have to replace my transmission. I did that in December 08 and paid $3600 for a rebuilt tran which now has only 5000 miles on it and the "symptoms" of my old one have returned, this time also jerking when accelerating from 1-2. the other day when stopping it jerked so hard I though I had been read ended. If I have to pay another $3,600 for another transmission that's just ludicrous! why cant Nissan acknowledge this problem? I cant afford a new car and can't afford paying for new transmissions either. I just want to feel safe and have a smooth ride.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #250

Jan 022008


  • 90,000 miles


Me and my wife own a 2004 Nissan Maxima, last year it has started having tranny problems. When you accelerate it jerks very hard as it shifts and when put in drive it slams the car very hard. This has occurred with many other owners in exact same detail. I researched the problem online and many people are suffering from this event. The Maxima is suppose to be high quality and very reliable when Nissan is selling the car, but not after its sold and in your name. Please investigate, this should be a recall.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #249

May 172009


  • 89 miles
I have Nissan Maxima 2004 that has a series of problems since I bought 2 years ago from Nissan dealer. The most important is recent transmission problem that left me sitting in traffic. Transmission in my car is not able to reach 2nd gear! this vehicle has been in Nissan shop twice and they are not able to fix the problem ! the transmission problem is a safety issue if it fails to provide sufficient acceleration that will allow you to get out of harm's way or to safely maneuver in traffic !!! I just realized that many 2004 Maxima owners have exactly same transmission problems. Something must be done! thank you

- St. Catharines Ontario Canada, 00, USA

problem #248

Apr 052009


  • 92,500 miles
Transmission (automatic) problem: Car slams into gear when changing from 'park' into 'drive'. also there's a delay when going from 2nd to 3rd gear in which engine revs up but no gear change.

- Green Cove Spgs, FL, USA

problem #247

May 012009


  • 65,000 miles
The car started jerking when shifting gears. It stalls out as you accelerate from 20 to 30 miles per hour. This is dangerous. After researching, similar models and year of my car are all complaining of the same problem. This is not just wear and tear. This model car needs to be recalled before any injuries are reported. The failure began to be noticed after the car warms up. It started occurring numerous times and then started slipping as it shifts gears. Took it to shop to see what could be done to fix this failure. Nissan needs to fix this issue. Every car in this year and model is having this problem, but no one is acknowledging the issue.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #246

Nov 182008


  • 95,000 miles
I purchased my 2004 Nissan Maxima two years ago and with about $75,000 miles on the car. I started experiencing the same problem around 95,000 miles with the hard shift between first and second gears. I also had a very hard shift between reverse and first. I took it into the dealership regarding this and had the transmission fluid change (transmission flush) and even changed the grade of oil but do not have any change in the hard shift between gears. Finally, I took it into another dealership to have the wheels aligned and the dealership noticed that the wheel bearing, cv joint and tie rod end were worn. I had them replaced around 105,000 miles and have not had any problems since with the hard shifts between any gear. I hope this help other Nissan Maxima owners. These are great cars (this is our third one).

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #245

Apr 012009


  • 50,000 miles
Problem with the transmission.

- Ponce, PR, USA

problem #244

Apr 052009


  • 80,000 miles
This is a very big problem with 2004 Nissan Maxima SE automatic trans. There are complaints all over the internet regarding transmission jerking and slipping on these particular cars. Nissan will not do anything to correct this problem. My Maxima jerks really hard while transitioning from reverse to first while backing out. Also jerks suddenly while down shifting on freeway or streets from 4 to 3 rd gear. I am really nervous driving this car it jerks often and to replace the transmission will cost about $4000. This car is 5 yrs old. Please advise.

- Ontario, CA, USA

problem #243

Mar 232009


  • 73,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE has a bad transmission that puts the car into gear after 2 seconds of the engine racing. It pops into gear by itself after 2 seconds with a bang. The transmission jerks around 1st and 2nd gear while accelerating/decelerating. It does this when heated up and for cars around 75,000 miles. This can cause major life threatning accidents and deaths. This is not the only car with the problem. There are 200 more cars on with the same exact issues. I called in 1-800-Nissan-1 but they refuse to address the problem and reimburse my money. I want my money back. It cost me $2300 and it is still not fixed yet. Please call in and file a law suite for not recalling the car.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #242

Oct 272008


  • 80,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima. Jerks bad from 1st to 2nd gear, and downshifting from 2nd to 1st. Getting worst as I drive. Transmission was flushed, but did not help. I see alot of complaints about this. Why haven't there been a recall?

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #241

Nov 192008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My car is jerking and bucking bad. There are thousands of people out there with the same problem and Nissan is not doing anything about this. I have had my transmission fluid flushed and it has not helped. Others have had valve body work done and even replaced the transmission. The cars are still doing the same. The transmissions had to have been poorly built. Something needs to be done. I am still paying on the car and having major car issues. Nissan needs to be responsible. The consumer was also informed the vehicle needed a new engine. The cd player had to repaired and the air conditioner failed. Updated 01/21/10.

- Culpeper, VA, USA

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