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 21 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #200

Feb 012009


  • 92,000 miles


1. begin experiencing transmission slippage around 65K miles. Had the transmission services. The problem subsided for a short period. Had the transmission serviced again for the same problem at 80K miles. At 90K the conditioned worsened; the car jerked when slowing and going from reverse to drive - Nissan could not pinpoint the problem. Took it back to Nissan and they recommended a new transmission - cost 4K. 2. the failure has worsened. It happens every day - some days the car slams into drive or when slowing down - the intensity is changes day to day. The failure has caused someone to run into the back of my vehicle. 3. nothing has been done to correct the failure. Transmission services has been done to improve the failure and from what I have read a new transmission does not necessarily correct the failure - some owners experience the same symptoms with the new transmission after X number of miles.

- Beltsville, MD, USA

problem #199

Jan 012008


  • 15,335 miles
Transmission shifting funny when in 1st and 2nd gear slipping and jerking.

- West End, NC, USA

problem #198

Mar 182008


  • 90,000 miles
2004 Maxima transmission jerking and slipping gears. Was told to replace transmission vale assembly body and or transmission. I surveyed this complaints and found that there are several with same issue. This should be a recalled item and most important. This is a safety issue. The federal gov.'t must act now before someone is killed.

- Jamaica Estates , NY, USA

problem #197

Mar 042009


  • 122,580 miles


I just purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I am experiencing problems with the transmission. When up or down shifting from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd the car jerks periodically. While leaving a red light the car revved up from 1st to 2nd gear and when the car finally engaged I nearly hit the car in front of me. On another occasion while leaving a red light I almost got rearended because my car started to move and then the transmission slipped and then jerked into gear. I went on line to see if there was a fix for the problem without taking it to the shop and that's when I seen some Nissan Maxima forums and discovered that there hundreds of 04 Maxima owners that are experiencing the same transmission problems. Most people say that they have had to replace their transmission at an average cost of $3500 dollars. I am a hard working american and I will be paying on this car for the next 4 years and now I am worried I will have to spend $3500 that I don't have on a transmission that appears to be a defective part from Nissan. I expect more out of a 5 year old car.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #196

Dec 122008


  • 77,325 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE, transmission problem with jerking and slipping at the 2nd and 3rd gear shifting. I tried to have the problem at a transmission shop twice spend more than $2,000. I found out that transmission problem with 2004 Maxima was well known among the mechanics. One time the car briefly stopped on a freeway in a heavy traffic with repeated stop-and-go situation. At that time, I was riding with my son. He was shocked at the car died down on a freeway. I happened to have it started again. However, I do not want to drive the car anymore, because I am afraid of such incident happening again. I do not understand the transmission is not being recalled, even thought the problem is well-known among the part shops and the mechanics. Sometimes, the engine revvs up without being engaged and sometimes the card moves very slowly with dead poor. I contacted my mechanics and discussed about the situation. He told me that since the problem is well known and 2004 Maxima transmission was only of that year model and Nissan changed the transmission model to different one in 2005. Nissan knew this problem. I believe that was the reason they are using different transmission model.

- Sun Valley, CA, USA

problem #195

Mar 052009


  • 98,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission slips occasionally. Trouble shifting from 1 to 2 gear. Sometimes when I start the car it barely moves until it catches up to the 2nd gear. It's winding out and grinding. Then other days it's fine as if it never had a problem. The car has also shut off on me for no reason.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #194

Mar 012009


  • 57,000 miles


1. I just bought my 2004 Nissan Maxima with 56000 miles on it about 2 weeks ago. 2. I started to notice the a buckling and delay with the transmission between 1st and 2nd gears on an automatic. It occurs quiet often. The car does not move when I give it gas, so I give it more gas and then it jumps into gear and speeds up rapidly, causing to drive hazardously. 3. the car was just purchased and all the check ups were done on the car.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #193

May 202006


  • 65,000 miles
Transmission for 2004 Nissan Maxima is slipping and not operating correctly.

- Floral Park, NY, USA

problem #192

Feb 242009


  • 51,000 miles
I have a 2004 Maxima that I purchased in 2/08 with only 30,000 miles at the time of purchase. Starting in may of 2008 I took the car in for a jerking sensation that I never felt before, the dealer said that it was a motor mount problem which was fixed. And just a month later I took the car back for the same problem and they told me that they had to flush the transmission, didn't work. In 9/08 they supposedly rebuilt my transmission but what do you know that today I had to take my car back to the dealer for the 7th time. They have my car now, I took it to them complaining of the same hard down shift jerking I feel when I downshift or turn corner, even as I almost come to a stop but continue to accelerate, the car shifts very hard, like a whiplashing feeling. I don't feel safe in the car anymore, I have to work and go to school and need reliable means of transportation for me and my children. I took it to Nissan today and they told me that it was definitely a transmission problem and the only way to fix this problem would be to get a whole new transmission that I cannot afford and even the extended warranty that I purchased when I bought the vehicle doesn't cover a brand new transmission only a rebuilt one, and the rebuilt one is what is making my car worse. Nissan needs to take care of their customers and provide a recall for this problem, they are really loosing customers this way because right now I would not recommend a Nissan to anyone, if they took better care of there guest and fixed all the transmission problems and they do know that there is a problem then maybe they would get better feedback from us paying consumers and we would recommend them to family and friends, and we would know Nissan for taking good care of there guests. Please help everyone solve this matter before its to late.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #191

Aug 082008


  • 65,000 miles
I purchased my 2004 Nissan Maxima SE in December 2006. August 2008 I began experiencing a jerking of my vehicle around 65K miles. 4 mechanics were unable to diagnose it. Took it to Nissan they said it was my ECU I paid $1389.50 to replace it. Less than 15 minutes after pulling off the lot. The next day I took it back and was told that it was my transmission and it needs to be replaced for $3600. It occurs everytime I drive after 10 minutes of warming up, daily.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #190

Apr 012008


  • 53,000 miles


I have a Nissan Maxima 04 that I started having transmission problems last year. When I travel down hill it slams into gear when it down shifts. I also noticed that when I shift from reverse to drive it pauses than shifts hard and loud into drive. In April of 08 I took it in to the dealer to have it checked (59000 miles) while still under warranty. They found no problem and returned it to me. On the invoice they have 47,000 miles at the time of inspection. I also have a invoice for 07 that shows mileage at 47,000. Obviously, some one noted the wrong mileage. In talking to the dealer they are estimating new transmission between $3500-$4000 dollars. I am astonished that Nissan would put out a product that they know is faulty. What can we do to resolve this? thank you,

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #189

Feb 032009


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE model.. car only has 98K miles and has a transmission problem..slipping of gears.. I looked online many other people have the same problems.. I just bought it four months ago but only had one month warranty..I was dumb... now I need to change my transmission...costing 4K just for that.... Nissan would fix this problem..many others have it.. please do something about this.

- Lake Elsinore, CA, USA

problem #188

Feb 112009


  • 101,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima with 101K miles. I am noticing a severe jerking motion when braking or while trying to accelerate. The jerk makes you think that someone has hit you from the back. And most recently when starting my car I noticed that when shifting to drive that it slips. I press on the gas, flooring the pedal, and then I "creep" to 10 mph and so on. It takes almost 20 seconds to get up to a cruising speed. This is very dangerous. I nearly caused an accident after stopping at a red light and then trying to accelerate after the light turned green.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #187

Jan 012009


  • 75,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission problems. Down shifts hard from 2 to 1. only 75,000 miles. Mechanic saying I need a new transmission.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #186

Feb 032009


  • 57,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE has 58,000. Transmissions jerks, car falls out of gear while driving. I took it to the dealer 2 months ago, they said transmission fluid and flush cost $400 it didn't fix the problem, I took it in again 2 days ago. They said $4800 for a new transmission!! note: I have an extended warranty so the $4800 is covered but I am out $400 for the flush plus $50 deductible. Additionally, I have done web searches on this car and problem. This problem is happening to a lot of people. Please not that my car slipped out of gear on the expressway so this is a very dangerous problem!!

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #185

Dec 162008


  • miles
Transmission sticks from park to reverse and vice-A-versa.

- Hawthorne, CA, USA

problem #184

Jun 302008


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with 61,038 miles on it. As I am driving, my car will jump sometimes lightly & at other times very hard. If I put the car in reverse and then put the gear back into drive, I will have to wait for the car to jump into gear. When I brake, the car will jump before stopping. It feels like the engine is slipping. At times, the car jumps so hard that I see other people look my way. This can happen at any time, day or night, hot or cold... the car would have been driven for hrs., so yes it is warmed up. In June of 2008, I took the car to a transmission shop & I was told I needed 2 transmission mounts and a transmission flush which would cost over $900. I took it to my mechanic and I had it done for a little over $600. A few days later I had the same problem. I took the car back to my mechanic 3 more times & they could not find anything wrong. In September of 2008, I took the car to a Nissan dealer & it passed all of the diagnostic tests. I was very disappointed. On 2/6/2009, I took the car to a Nissan dealer & I was told that I needed a transmission which will cost me $4507, I need a right engine mount which will cost $361, both front struts are making a chucking noise...$832, lower control arm bushings are broken...$809. All of these repairs because of the car's jerking. The mechanic told me that if I get this done, the car should last about 6 to 7 more yrs. I had to pay $98 for the dealership to trouble shoot, when the amount is usually $65 for inspection at other places. I cannot afford to buy a new transmission, I would be better off trying to by something else (no Nissan) to drive. I still have payments on this car, so that is not even being realistic. I am fed up with this car & there is nothing that I can do about it. I only drive the car to work & places that I must go to, because I am scared to rely on it. I can't enjoy my weekends anymore because I have to depend on this car. Please help.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #183

Jan 012009


  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima, the transmission shifts hard between 1st and 2nd gear. Seems to be worse when the car is warmed up.

- Raymore, MO, USA

problem #182

Apr 092008


  • 90,000 miles
Car is jerking when brakes are fully applied. Almost bad enough to get whiplash. Car was purchased Sept. 2006 with 64,000 miles. Car ran good for about 1 year. After owning the car for about 18 months, the jerking started. I took the car to the Nissan dealer in my area. They told me I needed to flush the transmission. I had that done. The very next day the car started jerking again. As mentioned in another complaint, jerking starts once fluids are warm. I took the car back, they look at it and told me they couldn't duplicate the problem therefore, they couldn't tell me what was wrong. I asked them if it could be the transmission. Service manager told me that it wasn't the transmission. I took the car home. I was a little frustrated by now. One month later, I took the car back in. I had the service writer ride out with me. He felt the jerking. I asked him if it could be a broken mount. He wrote broken mount down on his notepad. I left the car with Nissan. Nissan's service writer called me back the next day and wouldn't you know it, he said it was a broken mount. I told them to go ahead and fix it. They did. I paid and took the car home. Guess what? car started jerking again. I contacted Nissan and they basically told me they couldn't do anything. 6 months later, the car is still jerking away. I took the car back to Nissan. I told service manager about the jerking. He came out for a test drive and told me that is was the transmission. Said that he had seen a lot of 2004 Maximas coming back during the last of 2008 with the same complaint. He told me to clean it up and sell it to carmaxx before it gave all the way out. He said that carmaxx wouldn't know the transmission was having problems he told me they didn't check transmission before. He said it cost $250 to drop pan to check tranny. Please people, lets flood Nissan usa with your complaints. They will have to respond if we all complain. Don't let them get away with this.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #181

Nov 152008


  • miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima has 86,000 miles never wreckedor anything well maintained and just 5 years old the transmission had started jerking and slipping really bad. It does it worse when the fluids are starting to get warm than it does when its cold. Mechanics told me best bet is to change it out for a new that just serving it with it slipping that bad would be a waste of money. The transmission has been great until recently I am still paying for this car and still have a few more years left on it and I thought when I bought it since it was put out by Nissan that it would be a great vehicle, well it is starting to let me down, I a newborn baby and a wife going to college and here I have to worry if she will get to school or home without breaking down. These transmissions are very expensive to just go out and replace. I am the only one working full time right now and it would be hard to swing around a rough estimate of transmission and labor of about $4500. I have researched the internet and found that there are alot of people with these models complaining about the transmission, so if you could please help us and make Nissan recall these transmissions before they hurt of kill someone or there family I would personally appreciate it. Thanks

- Nicholls, GA, USA

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