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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Nissan Maxima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 19 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #240

Nov 302008


  • 105,000 miles


My car jerks violently when driving at slow speeds. When I am driving at speeds less than 20 mph it worsens. If I am in traffic and stop and go again the jerks become more powerful. The gears shift and then gets stuck.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #239

Mar 152009


  • 86,000 miles
My transmission on my Nissan 2004 Maxima went. I will not change gears. For a car that is 5 years old this should not happen. I had cars that are older and that don't fail like this one does.

- Kearny, NJ, USA

problem #238

Apr 292009


  • 35,000 miles
At about 35000 miles I noticed my vehicle jerking (initially it was mild, lately it has been violent jerks) when shifting gears. I was told by Nissan service tech's that I needed my trans. Fluid drained and filled at approx. 45K miles even though I had just had it done at 38K ( unbeknownst to them) after both fluid changes, the problem just worsened. Last Tuesday, my vehicle appeared to get stuck in 2nd gear while decelerating/ accelerating on the freeway. I nearly ran off of the road. I took my car in to the dealer today and they are now saying I need new motor mounts. I have read hundreds of complaints about the exact same problem in the exact same car. Nissan needs to acknowledge that the transmissions used in the 2004 Maximas are bad and recall/replace them before someone dies.

- Carson, CA, USA

problem #237

Apr 172009


  • miles


1)transmission jerking/slipping 2) occurs everytime I drive. My wife is now afraid to drive car 3) Nissan will not fix. I informed them the issue began intermittently before warranty was up. Issue has now gotten worse. Please look at all the similar complaints on the following website.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #236

Jan 012009


  • 85,000 miles
I drive a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE. The problem is the transmission. It shifts very hard from gears 1-3 upshifting and downshifting. I just purchased the car in August and now the dealership tells me I need a new tranny which I cannot afford right now. It is an extreme safety hazard on the road and when I talked to Nissan they said there is nothing they can do about it. This obvious defect needs to be recognized by Nissan and replaced and fixed at their expense.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #235

Apr 252009


  • 123,146 miles
I too have a 2004 Maxima. I maintain the car at the dealer, . while driving, the gears will slips out and at times sticks at the 5th gear the only way it comes out of the 5th gear is by turning off the car, sit for several minutes while the engine cools and starting again. I was told the problem with the gear shifting is I need to change the valve assembly. It was changed and 2day later the same problem existed. I took it back and I am told I need to change the at solenoid assembly and or replace the transmission. This is apparently a know problem with the 04 Maximas and something needs to be done about it!!

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #234

May 252008


  • miles


1. around 80,000 miles I noticed hard jerking/stopping when the car shifted from first to second gear and second to first. I took it to my mechanic and he suggested a transmission flush. Unfortunately the problem still persists. 2. the problem occurs quite often. Everyday and every time I stop or slow the vehicle down I can feel the jerking motion. The problem becomes worse in hot weather or when the engine is warm. 3. I have brought it to my mechanic and he suggested a transmission flush, which was done at the Nissan dealership. The problem still persists.

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #233

Aug 012008


  • 115,000 miles
In July/August 2008, I would get a jerking motion when the car shifted from 1st to 2nd or if I go from drive to reverse (vice versa). My car also wouldn't accelerate and the engine light was on. The car would jerk especially hard when making a turn and the car slows down and picks up speed again. I took my car to Nissan in bayridge/brooklyn, NY and was told that I needed cam sensors, a tune up and a list of other things. All together, I paid $2000+ to repair my car. Now my car is having the very same issues. I was told by Nissan to replace my engine mounts ($500+). I've done that and my car is still jerking, it won┐T accelerate and the engine light is on. Now they are telling me I need a new transmission.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #232

Apr 162009


  • miles
I having major transmission jerking from my 2004 Nissan Maxima. The jerking appears to happen when the car get hot.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #231

Apr 092009


  • 129,363 miles
My problem seems to be the same one that thousands of people are having. I am a used car dealer and have bought (3) 2004 Nissan Maximas sl. Every one of them has had the same problem. I know any sensible person reading this complaint would simply say "idiot, stop buying Nissan!!! but I was trying to give our auto industry the benefit of the doubt that since so many people had the exact same problem that they would at least realize and admit that, maybe its not the world that has the problem. It's the 2004 Maxima transmissions. When the car gets warm, the transmission slips in between 20 and 30 mph. It also jerks and delays (once it gets hot) when going into gear. Several credible transmission repair shops (I.e. Mr. Transmission), have traced it back the same thing. The faulty valve body in the transmission. Now as a voice of the people and after reading complaint after complaint after complaint ; surely there has to be some non-biased Agency, watch dog, or authority that is not going to let these car-making bullies rip all of these people off especially when they have been made aware of this design flaw. We understand that they have a business to run and that they can't just stay in business fixing every single complaint that arouses but this is not a quick fix for the consumers and it is costing hard working consumers millions of dollars in repairs. Please somebody help the working class.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #230

Feb 152009


  • 81,252 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima SE, transmission does not engage properly, constant knock between 2nd and 3rd gear, also gets stuck on 5th gear.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #229

Oct 052008


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission on my 2004 Nissan Maxima is slipping. It will not always go into 1st or 2nd gear.

- Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA

problem #228

Apr 122006


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission on 2004 Nissan Maxima SE jerks violently when shifting from 1st gear to 2nd gear, and from 1st gear to 2nd gear. It also shifts very violently, sporadically, when shifting from park to drive. I have taken the car to the dealership and they informed me that a transmission flush was needed. However, after performing the flush, the problem still persists. After returning for another diagnostic test on the car, the dealership informed me that I would need a new, rebuilt transmission. This is very frustrating because Nissan have always been known for quality and never needed the amount of major repair services that I've began to experience with relatively low mileage, 110K.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #227

Apr 112009


  • 99,300 miles
The transmission on my 04 Nissan Maxima is bad. It keeps slipping when shifting from gear 3 to 2 or 2 to 3. it jerks very heavily and is not good.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #226

Apr 092009


  • 132,489 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima has become a safety hazard in that it jerks violently while shifting gears and losses power during acceleration. I was on the highway and was very close to being involved in a serious accident with a semi when my car suddenly slowed and when I applied pressure on the pedal it jerk violently like someone had rear-ended me. There was a semi right behind me approaching at a rapid speed. Because I hadn't applied my brakes he didn't realize my car would suddenly slow down in front of him. I was terrified to say the least. I made calls to Nissan but they could care less and will assume no responsibility for their faulty equipment. After doing significant research in assessing the issue and trying to find a solution I found that many other people who own this particular model have the same problem. I was also told that mechanics have done many things like new or rebuilt transmissions, engine mounts replaced, fuel filter replacements, etc. None of which have solved the problem.

- Flossmoor, IL, USA

problem #225

Apr 072009


  • 74,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima was jerking when going from 1st gear to 2nd gear and when I would slow down. I took it to the dealer where they said it was my motor mounts. I spent $500 replacing them and it still did it. When I took back to the dealer they said it was my transmission. Now I just forked out $4000 for a new transmission. I went and online and saw over 1,000 complaints for the same make and model saying that their cars were doing the same thing. I think there should be a recall on transmissions on my year, make, and model.

- Mullica Hill, NJ, USA

problem #224

Apr 062009


  • miles
Transmission jerking motion when shifting from 1st to 2nd on acceleration and jerking motion when shifting from 2nd to 1st gear when braking.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #223

Mar 192009


  • 50,359 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE with 51039 miles and recently I noticed that the car jerking changing gears so I took it to the dealership to have it looked at and they advice me that I needed to have the motor mount replace, ac line is leaking need replacement and transmission flushed. I did all that and the problem still happens so I took it back to the dealership and this time they advice me that the transmission will need to be replace. They gave me a estimate of 4500 for the repair. After researching on this issue to see if the transmission replacement will fix the problem and I am a little worry that it might not. Because I got the transmission replaced from the dealership and I drove it for no more then 3 miles and the problem came back. I took it back to the dealership to have to have it look at again. I think that if Nissan does not look into this it will cause a major accident if the transmission fails or that sudden jerk will cause panic is the driver and cause the driven to step on the gas and hit someone in front of them. Please please advice Nissan for recall.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #222

Apr 032009


  • 77,000 miles
I have a 2004 Maxima SE that has had a series of problems since I bought it brand new in 2003. I am very concerned about the transmission problem that almost left my husband sitting in rush hour traffic yesterday. This vehicle has been in the shop too many times to count. I recently saw a blog which indicated that this is a problem for thousands of 2004 Nissan Maxima owners. Nissan has done nothing to compensate owners of this car when a recall is clearly indicated. I bought a Nissan hoping to own it for several years and knowing that Nissan has a good reputation. I worry about the safety of my family traveling in this vehicle and feel that Nissan should take responsibility for doing a recall on this vehicle. Please help owners like me who have invested a lot of time, money, and tears with this issue.

- Smyrna, DE, USA

problem #221

Mar 262008


  • 55,000 miles
At about 53,000 miles my 2004 Nissan Maxima staring jerking and shifting roughly. I was told my car needed motor mounts and the transmission replaced. I had this taken care of at the Nissan dealership. It's been almost a year since my car transmission was replaced and now it's starting to jerk and shift rough again. I have investigated the problems that the 2004 Nissan Maximas have with the transmission having to be replaced at around 55,000 to 65,000 miles. Nissan made a poorly made 2004 Maxima. This should be investigated.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?