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 26 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #100

Jul 202008


  • 98,000 miles


My ca R began slipping and jerking every now and then. After it got worse, I took it to dobbs Nissan. They said I needed a tune up and a transmission flush. I paid $500 but it did not fix the problem. Now it's worse than ever. It jerks anytime going from 2 to 3rd gear and sometimes gets stuck in 5th gear. After looking for similar problems and solutions on the internet, I saw that many people owning a 2004 Nissan Maxima are having the same problem. See comments below: 14th Dec 2005, 18:15 I have a 2004 Maxima SE automatic with 59,000 miles. For about 5 months the car bangs and jerks when accelerating and decelerating. The problem has been getting worse as time goes on. This happens before the car shifts into 2nd gear or as it shifts into 2nd. My mechanic told me it was a motor mount problem and it will cost approximately $800 to fix. I am not very happy about this. Has anyone had a similar problem with their Maxima? fix the spelling and grammar delete this comment vote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 31st Dec 2005, 12:37 I have the same issue. The car jerks when it switches from 1st to 2nd gear. It's a 2004 Maxima sl. I complained about it. After a few weeks, they spoke with some technicians and they said there's a piece that needs to be changed in the transmission - turbine sensor. After the fix, the car got better for a couple of months or so, but now I have the same issue again. I'm still researching it, I just don't want to give it to Nissan technicians and they perform the guess-work again.. fix the spelling and grammar delete this comment vote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1st Apr 2006, 21:17 there is much to love about my 04 Maxima SE, but there are some annoying problems too. The big one is the fact that the transmission slips quite often, especially between 1st and 2nd gear. The motor revs probably 1000 RPM or so bef.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #99

Feb 072008


  • 135,000 miles
Transmission jerks in 1st to 2nd gear and from 3rd back to 2nd when car warms up.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #98

Sep 212008


  • 108,035 miles
When driving, the vehicle will shift into 5th gear by itself and stay locked in that gear. When this initially occurs the engine will stall, making it very difficult to steer due to loss of power steering. After restarting the vehicle, transmission remains in 5th gear making it hazardous to drive in any conditions.

- Newton Falls, OH, USA

problem #97

Sep 182008


  • 38,000 miles


My 2004 Nissan Maxima (38,500 miles) bucks when moving from a stopped position. It feels as if the transmission and engine are moving forward in a jerking motion. There is also a noticeable whine coming from the engine.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #96

Mar 152008


  • 85,000 miles
Transmission skips after driving approximately 15 miles. When putting in gear it jerks and when stopping it also jerks. Called Nissan consumer and they gave me the run around about sending someone to check it. Recently found on numerous complaints from customers with the same problem that I am having with my 2004 Nissan Maxima. Car currently has 91,000 miles and it has been having this problem since around the 85,000 mark and I have not received proper assistance from the Nissan consumers.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #95

Sep 192008


  • 60,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima that has starting jerking when shifting or braking. I googled this and come to find out there are 100's of complaints regarding the exact same thing! basically we are being to told we must get a new transmission which is about 3300.00! my car only has 80,000 miles on it and it started this at around 60,000 but has progressively gotten worse.

- Flint, TX, USA

problem #94

Sep 082008


  • 80,000 miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and the having major problems with the transmission, been to several Nissan sites and seems to be a major problem with the 2004 Nissan Maxima's and you should have 100 of complaints on file. This problem is a manufacturers problem and should be on the national recall list, this is major safety hazard, it the when driving it shifts into gear from 1st to 2nd very hard and if your foot is not on the brake you the car can get away from you. Please contact me for further details. Nissan is trying to pass this buck to the consumer and that is not fear, they new they had a bad transmission in this model but failed to warn the consumer. And on Sept 8 2008, the car got away from me and I all most crashed luckily I put my foot on the brake and stop the car from jerking.

- Asbury Park, NJ, USA

problem #93

Sep 152004


  • 120,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE with a bucking slipping transmission problem. I have read 100's of complaints about the same issue with the same make/model/yr as my car. I also called Nissan and they basically told me to take a hike.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #92

Mar 222008


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving various speeds, the vehicle makes idling noises. When the vehicle is placed into drive or reverse, it jerks hard. When the vehicle approaches a stop or yields, it feels as if it is slipping. The contact stated that it feels as if the vehicle will stall while driving at any speed. The vehicle has been taken to a mechanic approximately 15 separate times regarding this issue, but the failure still persists. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #91

May 142006


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving at various speeds, the transmission slips and jerks the vehicle forward. The vehicle has been taken to a dealer and they changed the transmission fluid; however, the failure still persists. The current mileage was 97,261 and approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #90

Jul 012008


  • 90,000 miles


My Nissan Maxima has been experiencing a shifting jerk especially when shifting down into second gear. The Nissan dealership said I needed a transmission flush even though I had just had one two weeks prior. It did not help. No one can seem to find anything wrong. The car only has 95K miles on it and should not be having these problems. I have read hundreds of similar complaints about the 04 Maxima and decided to officially file a complaint.

- Milford, IN, USA

problem #89

Jun 202008


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle jerks when the vehicle is shifted from first to second gear. The failure occurs everyday. The vehicle jerks extremely bad when approaching a stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they could not determine the cause of the failure. They performed a transmission flush at the contact's expense. The current mileage was over 80,000.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #88

Sep 012008


  • 62,000 miles
When I accelerate or slow down the jerks. I have been to the dealership a few time they could not find a problem. Yesterday my car would not move, now the dealer is saying that the transmission needs to be replaced.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #87

Mar 012008


  • 84,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima. I faithful kept up with the maintenance schedule on the vehicle, since purchasing the vehicle in 2003 ( I have receipts). I took the car to the miller Nissan in van nuys for maintenance. I informed them several times prior to my transmission going out that my car was not running appropriately. They would tell me that it was okay and would give me a transmission flush. Finally the transmission went out and they wanted $5000 or more to repair it. They misdiagnosed the problem and would not take any responsibility for their actions. I have talked to other owners of 2004 Maxima's and they have had similar transmission problems. Eventually I had to take the vehicle to a aaa approved auto shop to get it repaired because I could not afford $5000 from the dealership and they refused to pay for the repair. I have owned a Chevy cavalier that have 184,000 (1997) never had a transmission or engine problem to this date. I wasted all of my money keeping the transmission maintained by following the schedule and it still went out. I was taken advantage of.

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #86

Nov 152007


  • 75,000 miles
Around 70K miles, my 2004 Nissan Maxima SE began "jerking" whenever I would accelerate - which occurred after deccelerating - somewhere between 1st and 2nd gear. I bought the car new in 2005 and have had the car in to replace the heat shield and entire catalytic converter, had the right from wheel bearings replaced, and have been told by several mechanics (aamco, Goodyear gemini, and other national care service centers) that while a transmission flush may solve the problem, they noted that this has been a problem for many of their customers and suggested that only replacing the transmission would solve the problem. While the Nissan dealership took the same stance, they did not comment on this being a reoccurring problem - which I would not expect they would admit such a wide spread problem. With reading many internet blogs and having more than 5 reputable service centers tell me that this is a reoccurring problem with the Nissan Maxima's transmission, I would think that something can be done to correct the problem - and it should not be that every 2004 Nissan Maxima owner pay $4-6K to replace the transmission - not to mention the loss of time trying to track this issue down. I respectfully request this issue be addressed and would hope that action, other than legal, can be taken on behalf of Nissan to correct this problem.

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #85

Sep 222006


  • 39,999 miles
Replaced transmission twice at 40,000 miles, vehicle shifted hard from 1 to 2nd. I have 60,000 miles now and wonder how long this transmission in going to last.

- Mt Vernon, MO, USA

problem #84

Aug 172008


  • 75,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE and it is having transmission shifting problems. From what I have read on different website discussion boards is that this problem is very common. It is apparent that there is a defect and there should be a recall from Nissan to help fix this problem. I hope someone takes notice and helps the consumers fix this problem.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #83

Aug 292008


  • miles
2004 Nissan Maxima car is jerking when changing gears and taking off during driving and shifting. Car also sticks between gears does allow you to switch from D to P without constant maneuvering which takes about 15 minutes. This has been going on for several weeks Nissan states a fluid change will correct the problem it does not need a completely new transmission.

- Forest Park, IL, USA

problem #82

Mar 012008


  • 70,000 miles
The transmission of my 2004 Nissan Maxima SE appears to have the very same symptoms of failure that I am reading on line (car, edmunds, etc). The transmission performs roughly and erratically on a consistent basis, and began when car had only 70-75,000 miles on it. I purchased this vehicle new in san diego. I have just spoken to my transmission specialist/mechanic who tells me that they would try to fix problem from a code that came up on their diagnostic device, however I am not certain this will fully solve problem. I have never owned a vehicle in my 35 years of driving that has had this type of severe mechanical performance issue in transmission.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #81

Jun 012008


  • 58,000 miles
When accelerating, my 2004 Nissan Maxima SE's transmission 'bucks' when shifting between gears. This behavior occurs randomly (I.e., not all the time) and has occurred when decelerating also. There are numerous online posts about this exact behavior with owner's spending a lot of money for repairs/diagnostics that do not resolve this issue. Nissan is aware of the issue because some of these repairs have taken place at Nissan service centers, and Nissan Consumer Affairs has been contacted about this issue. Obviously, owners are looking for a recall by Nissan at this point that will 100% resolve the issue.

- Watertown, MA, USA

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