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 27 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #80

Jul 012007


  • miles


My timing chain started making noise at approximately 65,000 miles. When idling, I can hear the links in the engine. According to Nissan, it will cost me approximately $3,000 to $4,000 in labor alone to correct the problem.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #79

Jun 152008


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. Whenever the contact switches the gear shifter from reverse to drive, the vehicle hesitates before changing into the correct gear. Also, whenever the contact accelerates from first to second gear, the vehicle begins to stall. During deceleration, the brake pedal loses pressure. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current mileage was 99,000 and failure mileage was 80,000.

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #78

Aug 192008


  • 63,500 miles
My car was having shifting issues with the transmission. The car shut off while I was driving and when I restarted it, it stayed in 5th gear. I took the car to the local dealership where they did something and resolved the problem but didn't inform me what it was. I then had the same issue about 3 months later I took the car to the same dealership they said they test drove my car but the mileage was only 1 mile different from when I dropped it off. So I know that was a lie. I was told they were unable to duplicate the problem. My vehicle was under warranty. I pleaded with the service manager telling him that I drive the car everyday and I have the problems all the time. He game me a smart ass answer like " when it does it again stop by and pick me up and show me what it is doing". now 4 months later my warranty is over and my transmission is shot. They are now saying they are going to do nothing to help me out with this issue. I have to pay $3600 to fix the problem.

- Drexel Hill, PA, USA

problem #77

Nov 052007


  • 92,360 miles


Transmission jerking constantly on my Nissan Maxima. The car was brought in July 2007.

- Irvington, NJ, USA

problem #76

Jul 312008


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. Whenever the contact is decelerating from 20 mph, the transmission causes the vehicle to jerk forward. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. There were no warnings prior to the failure. The current and failure mileages were 118,000.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #75

Aug 092008


  • 100,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima is having a severe jerking and slipping issue that prevents me from driving my care and has caused me to get my transmission rebuilt. I have gone to quite a few websites for Maximas and have noticed countless issues with Nissan Maximas and the severe jerking and transmission problems that have occured regardless of mileage or age of the car. This sounds like a major issue with Nissan that should be looked into. Many people believe that this is just wear and tear but it seems very likely that it is a Nissan issue that they refuse to deal with and refer the tremendous cost on their customers. Thank you.

- Jefferson, LA, USA

problem #74

May 212007


  • 30,000 miles


Couple years ago car started to make some grinding noise from engine room. Took it to dealer to check and they told me that some bracket was broken and they replaced it. Couple days later, same noise came out from the engine room. It sounds everyday since then and getting louder. I took everywhere (dealer, local body shop, etc), but everyone told me there were no problem. I searched online regarding this problem, there were a lot of people having same problem as me. They were all saying it was transmission problem.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #73

Aug 082008


  • 65,000 miles
Transmission slipping on a 2004 Nissan Maxima. This seems to be a common problem when car is shifting between 1st and nd and also when accelerating out of a turn. This occurs quite often. Nissan says that this isn't a recall item even though it happens often on the 2004 model.

- Lumberton, NJ, USA

problem #72

Aug 112008


  • 52,650 miles
I, like many I have found continue to have issues with my 2004 Nissan Maxima's transmission. While this issue has not caused an accident yet, on several occasions the transmission has stopped working (slipped) while in the middle of an intersection. This could obviously lead to a more significant event. Nissan needs to acknowledge that this model and year has a design issue and recall the vehicle and rectify it.

- Columbus, NE, USA

problem #71

Aug 062008


  • 86,400 miles
Transmission problems- hard shifting from 1st to 2nd gear and from reverse back to drive.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #70

Aug 052008


  • 720,000 miles


I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE and am experiencing transmission issues. The problem is identical to dozens I've read from others online where there is harsh shifting from 2nd to 1st. I also have a hard shift when moving from reverse into drive. The car has 72K on it. The problem seems very common from all the similar complaints. Why hasn't Nissan been forced to issue a recall? they obviously know about the problem.

- Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #69

Jul 252008


  • 40,000 miles
I have on 3 occasions had my car shut off on me either while driving or while parked. I have had many parts replaced on my car. Just recently, my car slipped gears and would not go above 25 mph. I figured it was the transmission and I was right. Nissan replaced my transmission ( a few days before my extended warranty expired). Then I noticed my alarm system did not work after I got the car back. Less than a week later, my gears slipped, the car started to shake and it shut off on me in the middle of the road and it could not be restarted. Luckily, nobody got hurt. This problem needs to be looked at and a recall should be issued.

- Ontario, CA, USA

problem #68

Aug 012008


  • 110,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The vehicle jerks when going into 1st gear from 2nd and vice-versa. I have noticed that this issue is actually pretty common based on what I've read in automotive forums on the internet. I don't believe Nissan has addressed or fessed up to this as being a recall issue. I'm still not sure what the problem is but a mechanic told me it was the motor mounts. If not then it must be a transmission issue. Any help in getting this pushed as a recall would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #67

Jul 082008


  • 104,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I must say this is the worst car I have ever purchased. My transmission just started jerking and shifting hard between 1st and 2nd gear all of a sudden. The shifting became so hard at times I felt like we would be thrown into the car ahead of us. Not only has the transmission gone bad but there is some type of metallic scraping sound coming from the front passenger side of the engine. As I was driving to work the check engine light came on and the transmission slammed into 3rd gear and then the car lost all power while I was on the expressway (can you say near death experience). Needless to say the car is being towed to a repair shop to have the transmission replaced (thanks Nissan another bill). Nissan should want to stand behind their product and do something about this problem before they kill someone. It's obvious that there is something major wrong with the 2004 Maxima transmissions considering the amount of complaints I have found on the internet with everyone having the same identical problem. Perhaps maybe some of the top executives for Nissan should check out some of these sites and they can clearly see that there is a problem. Due to Nissan's faulty transmission I am highly inconvenienced with having to hitch a ride or borrow a car to get back and forth to work and my daily activities. Nissan should really be ashamed of the product they produced, the so called 2004 Nissan Maxima.

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

problem #66

Jul 042008


  • 64,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with transmission problems. 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 asked a friend who also has a 2004 Nissan Maxima and his does the same thing. Called the Nissan dealership and they seem to have no solution. Is there a coincidence that all of these Maximas are experiencing the same exact transmission problem. There should be a recall.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #65

Jul 232008


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission in 2004 Nissan Maxima went out.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #64

Jul 182008


  • 61,000 miles
Transmission shifts hard from 1st to 2nd into third.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #63

Feb 162008


  • 61,000 miles
Vehicle began slipping gears and loosing power when shifting 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 1st. Dealer states needed a trans flush. This was performed and improvement was noted for approx 300 miles. Vehicle began have trouble at 61,000 miles. Just out of warranty. I am told that the only solution is a new transmission. I am not the only Maxima owner with this same problem.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #62

Jul 102008


  • 71,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima. Once the car reached over 70,000 miles the transmission started to jerk violently when switching gears from 1st to 2nd and vice versa. This is ridiculous and the Nissan dealerships can't even diagnose the problem accurately so it can be fixed. I know for a fact that I am not the only consumer with this problem, and it angers me that Nissan will not admit that there is one. There should be either a recall of 2004 Nissan Maxima transmissions or a boycott of Nissan products period. I should not have to spend over 25,000 for a car and have to replace major parts on the car, especially when this is a mass problem. Nissan needs to take responsibility for their jacked up parts. I will never recommend that anyone I know ever purchase any form of Nissan vehicles ever.

- Porsmouth, VA, USA

problem #61

Jun 152008


  • 68,000 miles
Transmission simply died at 3.5 years and 68K miles. Nissan would not cover via warranty. And, they only respond to customer inquiries ever 48 hours. You may not contact Nissan. Victory Nissan in chantilly, va does not know how to program codes for transmission.

- Chantilly, VA, USA

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