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 24 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #140

Oct 072008


  • 75,000 miles


Nissan Maxima SE 2004 I purchased the above veh and it worked fine until recently I strong noticing that the veh jerks whenever I try to accelerate from 1st to 2nd gear. It also do the same while I reserve. I have complained to Nissan on many occasion and the current dealers and nothing where done. I have also been able to establish that many Nissan owners for the above veh have had the same particular problem. Without a boudt Nissan is very aware of this defect with its transmission but the are not recalling this product to be fixed.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #139

Sep 242008


  • 90,000 miles
Having problems with the transmission as many others had... knowing the brand of the vehicle its impossible to believe that such problems occur..

- Central Islip, NY, USA

problem #138

Jul 102008


  • 99,000 miles
Transmission bangs when downshifting from 2nd to 1st gear. Transmission surges when accelerating after slowing down. Transmission hesitates at least 15 seconds before engaging into gear when in park or neutral. Problem occurs regularly when car is warmed up. Took to Nissan dealer. They said they could find nothing wrong with transmission. Took it back again today - no word yet.

- Tabernacle, NJ, USA

problem #137

Sep 172008


  • miles


Transmission jerks while driving. Bought car with only 20K miles and it has been very well maintained.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #136

Jan 012008


  • 80,000 miles
My car jerks when it changes gears. It has 87000 miles on it. I checked online to get a idea of what it can be and saw that many other people are experiencing the exact same thing. It seems a recall is in order. Also I noticed that the car shakes and this has happened around 40000 miles. Also people had similar postings. There seems to be no real solution that will fix the car longer than one month. Please investigate.

- Imperial Beach , CA, USA

problem #135

Oct 152008


  • 65,000 miles
No event leading to failure. 1. transmission jerking into 1st gear when starting to drive. Happens 70% of time, especially when going from reverse to first. No repair has been made at this time. 2. right front side shaking and rattling, need new struts at 60,000 miles. Repair taking place next week. 3. continual excessive tire wear, 60K tires get 30-35K miles. Car will not stay in alignment. 4. huge bang from back of car then smoke coming out of the radio - bose radio and amp system is blown. Digital radio system appears to turn on but no sound. Not repaired yet, Nissan dealer says I'd need to pay for replacement and diagnostics. 5. replaced half axles and U-joint at 58K miles.

- Loveland, CO, USA

problem #134

Sep 272008


  • 75,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima SE - we've been advised by a Nissan dealership that we need a new transmission for $4000 after we took it in for shifting slow between park and drive and drive and 1st and trembling while in idle & some slipping. Also, we were charged $145 for Nissan to check the fluid and they told us that there was burning. I called Nissan Consumer Affairs and filed a formal complaint. We were told that this is a common issue w/04 Maxima owners because of a "design flaw" in the tranny. This is a shame because I have been a loyal Maxima driver since I was 16. Nissan needs to admit they have an issue with these transmission and a recall needs to be done.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #133

Oct 162008


  • miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima which was purchased March 2006. Have replaced the struts and later found them to have some sort of defect. The radio/cd player went out about 6 months after the purchase of the vehicle. The horn went out, fog lights had a short, had numerous brake problems. A/C had to be re-charged 1 year after purchase..this list goes on. October 16, 2008, I had my vehicle towed due both transmission cooler linesbursing on the fwy. The shop repaired both lines totaling $428.54. Today is November 24, 2008 and my vehicle needs to go back to the shop due to the transmission slipping and jerking into gear. I have gone on line and read all the complaints for the 2004 Nissan Maxima's and the transmission problems. I am having the same issue the other owners have. Something needs to be done! there is evidence that Nissan North America has not put these Maxima's together in a correct manner. These are beautiful cars but are always breaking down. Please help!

- Lemon Grove , CA, USA

problem #132

May 162008


  • 80,000 miles
Purchased car in March 2008 transmission jerks on acceleration from 1st to 2nd gear and deceleration from 2nd to 1st. Took car to Nissan dealer said to replace transmission. Car only has 80000 miles on it.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #131

Nov 192008


  • 128,000 miles
As of November 19, 2008 my transmission on my 2004 Nissan Maxima sl is just about finished. I can no longer go any faster than 20 mph (1st gear automatic) when my car is in drive gear. The only way I can move is to put it into 2nd gear and I can only go as fast as 35 mph. This is an absolute atrocity, and Nissan should be held responsible for this major defect. Without a working transmission, I cannot get to work nor take my child to daycare. Nissan changed the transmission fluid for a pricey $200, but that has done nothing to fix the problem. I am still left with a car that can't go no faster than 20 mph.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #130

Aug 012008


  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving 35 mph, the transmission slipped and caused the vehicle to jerk when shifting from first to second gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. A transmission flush was performed, but the failure persisted. Through online research, the contact discovered numerous complaints for the same failure. He believes that a recall should be issued. The failure mileage was 76,000 and current mileage was 83,000.

- Pottestown, PA, USA

problem #129

Aug 182008


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While waiting to park the vehicle, the contact shifted into park. When he shifted into drive, the vehicle jerked violently. The vehicle was driven to the dealer and they performed a diagnostic, but found no defects. The vehicle was also driven to a local repair shop and the mechanic stated that the transmission was defective. The manufacturer stated that they were not liable for the repairs. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current mileage was 67,000 and failure mileage was 61,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #128

Mar 302008


  • miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima with 90,000 miles has transmission problems. The problem happens every time it shifts from 2nd to 3rd and down shifts from 2nd to 1st.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #127

Oct 092008


  • 60,000 miles
Bad transmission.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #126

May 102004


  • 65,000 miles
Ok now this is ridiculous. I am in ga and I to own a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I'm having transmission slipping issues. Mainly from 2nd to 3rd but sometimes from 1st to 2nd as well as some jerking problems.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #125

Oct 022008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. On approximately six occasions, the engine revved while approaching a stop. The brake was being depressed at the time of the failures. The ABS actuator had to be replaced at 62,000 miles. Two of the Goodyear tires cracked and had to be replaced. The current mileage was 63,000 and failure mileage was 62,000. Updated 12/1/08 the consumer also stated there was a problem with the transmission. Updated 12/05/08.

- Irvington, NJ, USA

problem #124

Mar 012008


  • 98,000 miles
I have a 04 Nissan Maxima, that has been giving me some transmission problems. I was told I needed new motor mounts. Paid for the front. But after searching many 04 Maximas are having these same transmission problems.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #123

Apr 242008


  • miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima is now over 70,000 miles and there is a problem with the transmission slipping coming out of 1st 2nd and 3rd gear. I researched this problem and found that there are numerous owners complaining of this problem.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #122

Oct 202008


  • 81,000 miles
I am also an owner of a 2004 Nissan Maxima. I have recently passed the 80K mile mark and suddenly began having problems with my transmission shifting hard, just like so many others 04 Maxima owners. I've found that there are many other 2004 Maxima owners having the same issue. Is there anything that can be done about this?

- Richton Park, IL, USA

problem #121

Jul 012008


  • 50,000 miles
The transmission on 2004 Nissan Maxima completely starts to break down only after 50,000 or so miles near the end of the manufactures warranties. I have heard several similar stories and I am sure that this problem affects thousands of Nissan customers.

- Arlington, TX, USA

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