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 25 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #120

Oct 202008


  • 102,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima SE - bought car in July 2003 brand new. Car now has 102000 miles and the transmission is stuck in 5th gear. Car slams into all gears prior to 5th. Dealership performed the $600+ maintenance service call, including transmission flush. Car operated correctly for one day. Returned car to and dealership who could not diagnose the problem and now wants $4000+ for a new transmission. Dealership even contacted manufacturer to try and find a resolution. We are only given the option of replacing the transmission. Infuriating to see that this is obviously a manufacturing problem and yet consumers are being forced to pay for their shoddy work. Unacceptable as far as I am concerned. This transmission needs to be recalled asap. This is not coincidence with this model, it's a manufacturing flaw that needs to be addressed. Vehicles are too expensive to have to replace transmissions for $4000 at 102000 miles. Please address this fleecing or Maxima owners. Obviously based on prior complaints there will be more owners in the future with similar problems.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #119

Aug 012008


  • 76,000 miles
Transmission issue. Car has really bad jerking motion up shifting and down shifting between 1st and 2nd gears. Nissan suggestion is to flush transmission and change motor mounts which seem to be a waste and not address the specific problem especially since their is a tsb on how to fix it.

- Windsor Mill, MD, USA

problem #118

Oct 052008


  • 115,000 miles
I have Nissan Maxima SE 2004 which started to jerk when I reach 40mph speed and when gears are shifted. I researched and found that many other people are having same problem with this model. There seems to be no help available for this problem and car is just getting worse by the day. Please do something about it.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #117

Oct 072008


  • 56,000 miles


My 2004 Nissan Maxima transmission is slipping this will be he third time I have taken it to the dealership.... if so many people have this same problem why haven't there been an recall or investigation.

- Gadsden, AL, USA

problem #116

Aug 112008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE with 5-speed automatic transmission. 48,000 miles. Normal driving/commute car. Small amount of miles/short commute. Initial observation of problem was slipping of the transmission and finally complete failure. Transmission engages into gears (reverse and drive) with a violent jolt, equivalent to a minor collision. Transmission doesn't shift gears while attempting to drive, only stays in what seems to be second or third gear. Doesn't shift in auto or manual shift modes. There is often a distinct whining sound coming from the transmission as well. Vehicle is no longer drivable. Nothing has been done to transmission as the problem occurred immediately once the vehicle came out of warranty.

- Wyoming, MN, USA

problem #115

Sep 222008


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2004 Maxima, automatic. When the transmission change to 2nd gear and to 3rd it slip. I hear that is a problem of the 2004 Maxima.

- Lajas, PR, USA

problem #114

Sep 022008


  • 95,000 miles


My 2005 Nissan Maxima just started shifting hard between 1st and second. I have 97,000 miles on it, but I see that others are having the exact same issue I am. If this car was shipped with a defect that seems to occur for most right after the warranty has expired, then Nissan should recall these cars and fix them. I have always taken great care of this car and do not drive it recklessly. There is no reason the transmission should have problems.

- Olmsted Falls, OH, USA

problem #113

Oct 142008


  • 13,400 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact is experiencing difficulty with the transmission. The vehicle is currently in the repair shop. Through online research, the contact discovered identical failures. One website advises viewers to call NHTSA to file a compliant so that a recall will be issued. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 13,400.

- Burminghan, AL, USA

problem #112

Oct 162004


  • 102,000 miles
I've been having problems with my 04 Nissan Maxima...from door locking system to now transmission jerking and skipping. I just bought this car in Feb 08 and I cant believe how many complaints on the transmission problems. Please take a look at the complaints because their should be a recall for this.

- Arleta, CA, USA

problem #111

Oct 012008


  • miles
I have a 2004 Maxima (92, 000 miles) with transmission jerking problems. Locking, had transmission flush, sam E issue.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #110

Jun 102008


  • 90,000 miles


I purchased a used 2004 Nissan Maxima. A couple of weeks after driving the vehicle I noticed that it shifted extremely hard between first and second as well as from reverse to drive. After researching this make of vehicle I have found several other owners having the same problem. I have had the dealer look at the problem and he determined my transmission is going out. It will need a new one...approximately $3,000. On top of this..the engine has developed a tick. The car only has about 90,000 miles on it. A Nissan transmission should last much longer. Come to find out...despite the other owners complaints...nothing has been done to address this recurring problem.

- Philpot, KY, USA

problem #109

Sep 162008


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The vehicle shifts into second and third gear and then shuts down without warning. The dealer diagnosed the vehicle and stated that the transmission failed. They further stated that it could not be repaired and a new one was needed at the cost of $4,000. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 95,000.

- Greenwood , SC, USA

problem #108

Sep 082007


  • 87,000 miles
5 spd auto transmission shifting very harshly from 2nd to 3rd, and from 3rd to 2nd gear.

- Stafford Township, NJ, USA

problem #107

Aug 012008


  • 72,000 miles
74,000 miles on my 2004 Nissan Maxima, and the transmission has failed and needs to be replaced. It bucks when changing gears, and makes a rattling noise as if something is hanging off the bottom of the car.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #106

Sep 302008


  • 97,100 miles
I purchased my 2004 Nissan Maxima in the summer of June 2007. The car was used, but in excellent condition. Recently I noticed my car began jerking between 1st and 2nd gear on my automatic transmission and the problem began getting worse. I took my car to the Nissan dealership to see what was wrong with it yesterday. They told me my front engine mounts were broken and that my warranty did not cover the parts, and that it would be around $740 to get it fixed plus the $116 diagnostics fee. I began reading online about this problem with other Maxima owner's and it seems my problem is very common. If this is something that occurs so often on the 2004 Maxima why doesn't Nissan recall all of the Nissan Maximas and get the problem fixed. I understand they will lose money, but isn't the Maxima supposed to be their top of the line sports sedan. I guess something really bad has to happen to someone before they will consider fixing the problem. I will never buy another Nissan if this is the quality of cars they are building.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #105

Sep 152008


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle would hesitate and make noise. The vehicle was driven to the dealer and they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The VIN was unknown. The current mileage was 85,000 and failure mileage was 80,000.

- Clinton , MD, USA

problem #104

Sep 202008


  • 69,000 miles
Transmission knocks and downshifts hard from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 2nd. Also, the when going up hills, transmission sometimes acts like if it is in neutral and then it catches again with a big jerk and hard knock in the transmission. I also notice that when I place the shifter lever in "D", it takes about 5 seconds for it to actually kick into drive mode. It is a safety hazard as an accident could easily occur. Also, I noticed that this only happens after the car is been running for a while. Acts ok when engine/transmission cold. This car only has 69000 miles. Looked around and found many similar transmission issues with this vehicle.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #103

Mar 252008


  • 65,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima's have a problem with their transmission. It slips when going from 1st to 2nd gear. This is a known problem but yet Nissan refuses to do anything about it. You can find complaint after complaint of the same problem on the web. Help!

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #102

Mar 152008


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. Whenever the vehicle switches from first to second gear, the transmission begins to knock and jerk. The failure also occurs during downshifting. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. Prior to the failure, the contact noticed that the vehicle would jerk occasionally. The current mileage was 105,000 and failure mileage was 92,000.

- Zachary, LA, USA

problem #101

Jan 182008


  • 96,000 miles
Constant motor mounts replaced, constant struts replaced. Constant transmission slipping between 1 and 2nd gears.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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