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 22 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #180

Dec 202008


  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 35-40 mph on normal road conditions, the contact applied pressure to the accelerator pedal and the vehicle hesitated. The transmission began to slip intermittently. In addition, whenever the brake pedal was depressed, the engine would rev excessively high and fail to change gears. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing, but the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle has not been repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 72,000 and current mileage was 72,500.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #179

Jan 012008


  • miles
I have a Nissan Maxima SE with 88,0000 miles that has started jerking heavily and slipping between first and second, took it to Nissan dealer explained situation and asked if it could be tranny told I had 4 motor mounts that needed replacing, replaced two and still same problem, took car to a mechanic and told that it is the transmission.

- Commack, NY, USA

problem #178

Feb 012009


  • 88,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The problem is the automated transmission. The transmission slips so hard that it makes the car jerk forward. Even one passenger thought I hit something in the street. Had the transmission fluid replaced, but the problem continues.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #177

Oct 092008


  • 93,000 miles


The 2004 Maxima transmission is shifting very hard. And the problem seems to not be able to be fixed.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #176

Dec 182008


  • 60,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission problems only 60000 miles and it slips and jerks, I've talked to many other owners with the same problem. I think it should be recalled and taken care of thanks.

- Providenc, UT, USA

problem #175

Dec 132008


  • 123,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Maxima March of 2007, and now as of recently my car is suffering from transmission problems. I checked other websites to see if other vehicle owners of Maximas were having this same problem and I have read so many reviews on the transmission on this car failing. I never would of bought this car if I would of known that the transmission would fail so easily. Im very upset and disappointed because to get this transmission rebuilt and put back into my car would cost 2300 dollars. As of right now my car stalls out everyday and sticks in 5th gear until it cools down, but it is constantly slipping when it doesn't go into this protect mode. I really think Nissan should be held accountable for this because everyone is having problems with this faulty transmission.

- Ft. Washington, MD, USA

problem #174

May 182008


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. When the contact placed the vehicle into drive, it began to jerk. There were no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the transmission needed to be flushed. The vehicle was repaired at the cost of $300. After two months, the vehicle began to jerk again when it was placed into drive. The dealer stated that the transmission failed again and needed to be replaced. No repairs were made. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop and the transmission was rebuilt at the cost of $3,500. The manufacturer stated that no compensation would be made because the vehicle exceeded the mileage. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Van Nuys , CA, USA

problem #173

Oct 122008


  • 70,000 miles
I started having problems with the transmission on my 2004 Nissan Maxima. Since I was out of warranty I took it to a local trans mission shop. At the time I had about 70K miles on this vehicle. I was told there was a problem with the reverse and third gears, and I needed a rebuild. After $2000 and several trips to the transmission shop I, M still having the same issues. After reading customer complaints of others with this model vehicle I decided to submit a complaint of my own.

- Baytown, TX, USA

problem #172

Dec 152008


  • 60,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima SE transmission jerks. It differs from gear to gear and day to day. Changed the transmission fluid. However the same problem is still present.

- Camp Pendleton, CA, USA

problem #171

Jun 272008


  • 79,000 miles
Car was hesitating. When stepping on gas car wouldn't go past 40mph sensors needed to be replaced check engine light was on. Sensors were replaced but then car started jerking when in park shifting to drive or vice versa.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #170

Jan 212009


  • 83,000 miles


Nissan Maxima 2004 transmission is only stuck on fifth gear and will not function right after taking it to the dealership to get it fixed.

- Huntington Park, CA, USA

problem #169

Nov 202008


  • miles
Transmission is shifting hard.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #168

Dec 202008


  • 74,000 miles
I bought a 2004 Nissan Maxima about 6 months ago and the car has some defects that Nissan should be held responsible for. About a month after I bought the car I noticed a shaking in the steering when I stepped on the brakes or when I drive faster than 50mph. I took it into the dealership where I bought it from and they diagnosed that the rotors were slightly warped but that this wasn't necessarily a safety issue. Recently at 74,000 miles the cars transmission began to fail, slipping from first to second gear and from second to first gear. It jerks aggressively when it shifts and smells like burned rubber. I took it to be serviced for this and found that the transmission fluid was heavily contaminated and there was metallic residue in the transmission pan. The auto specialist determined that the inside of the transmission was burned and that eventually the car will stop working unless I get a new transmission installed. The dealership where I bought the car said that there isn't anything they can do for me and that it isn't there problem that the car I bought from them six months ago doesn't work. It is unfair that I am paying twice the amount of money of the car's worth. The retail value of the vehicle is $10,000 in good condition.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #167

Jan 172009


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2004 Maxima with 65,000 miles and already having trouble with transmission.

- Talladega, AL, USA

problem #166

Dec 152008


  • 80,000 miles
I also seem to be having transmission problems with my 2004 Nissan Maxima. The car has 62,000 miles on and the problem is just starting to surface. I get a jerking motion when the car shifts from 1st to 2nd or it downshifts from 2nd to 1st. It jerks especially hard when making a turn and the car slows down and picks up speed again. The thing I hate the most is he problem is temperamental. It'll be fine one day and the next it jerks around like crazy. I tried contacting Nissan about the problem, but can't get through to anybody who actually might give a hoot. Is there anybody who might know where I can directly report this problem and see if something can be done.

- Mont Belvieu, TX, USA

problem #165

Aug 012007


  • 57,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE will jerk and accelerate between first, second, third and fourth gear. At times vehicle will stall in traffic.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #164

Jul 032006


  • miles
Transmission problems jerks all the time from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 1st very hard and the struts sound horribly. They both have been changed the trans. And the struts and they are doing the same thing again.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #163

Jan 132006


  • 52,000 miles
Transmission failure. I have had this car since 2004 bought it with 10000 miles on it used from a dealer. Since then I have had to replace my transmission at 52000 miles and have had the car in many shops including Nissan for the past two years trying to figure out what is wrong with this transmission. I am one of many owners who have this issue. The transmission shifts late from 2nd to 3rd and early from 3rd to 4th causing a large jolt in the car on the freeway and in the city. Causing a whiplash to me and my wife and kids. This is unacceptable in my eyes and a drain on my wallet to find this ghost problem. Nissan knows there is a problem and have offered to pay 15% of my cost of repairs to whatever is wrong. They know there is a defect but can not fix it due to not knowing the exact cause. They have told me this multiple times. They will not buy back my car due to mileage and whatnot. I have had this current transmission valvebody overhauled and the electronics diagnosed and everything possible done. I have put nearly 1500 dollars in diagnostic and "this might fix it" repairs. This transmission is the 5speed automatic only offered from 2004-2007. They switched to the cvt transmissions because of this. I am writing you in concern for my families safety, and everyone around me driving. The first transmission shifted the same way before it failed on me. Luckily I was driving 20mph when it slammed into 5th gear and I was alone. It felt like I hit a brick wall and then started costing. Please help me and everyone resolve this matter by opening a defect investigation. I am a member of an online forum called here is a link to one of many pages talking about the failures. Thank you for listening will be tracking the progress on this. think if everyone who owned this car could get online and vote.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #162

Jun 012008


  • 60,000 miles
Started noticing at 60K miles - the engine revs and the transmission jerks between 1st and 2nd gear. Especially noticeable after exiting a freeway and slowing down almost to a stop, then accelerating again. Happens more when the car is warmed up or has been running at higher speeds. I have not had it looked at yet, but see enough postings about this problem that I'd like to wait until Nissan makes some effort to do something. If it gets bad enough I will have to take it in and hope my extended wty. Covers the work - and that what is done actually fixes it. From what I have read, the chances of the latter are slim, and nothing short of a new transmission is likely to fix it.

- Hartland, WI, USA

problem #161

Nov 012008


  • 98,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5se shifts from 1st to 2nd gear very hard, also from reverse to drive when I back up. This has been happening for a month or so and now my mechanic is saying that I need a new transmission. After some internet research, I see that this problem is happening everywhere with the 2004 Maxima. This car has not been in an accident and it now has 100,600 miles. I have just had the rack & pinion replaced last week as well as that was bad ($1100).

- Shorewood, IL, USA

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