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 6 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #500

Jan 282011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


I bought a used 2004 Nissan Maxima in 2007 - worked well for about a year. At the end of 2008 my car began to slowly jerk when decelerating and pulling off an exit or making a right hand turn. I took the car to my local mechanic (not Nissan) and was told my transmission is slipping. I tried to contact Nissan but I need to bring it to their dealer and pay $200 just for them to look at it and tell me what I already know, or be ignorant and say they can't find anything like they did to other Maxima owners. For over a year all I would use this car for was to and from work, if I had to run errands or go out, I walked or rode with a friend. For the amount of money I pay each month, that is unacceptable. As of July 2010 my car cannot drive more than 15 miles at a time without having to take off the battery and reset the car so it can go another 15 miles. I still owe money on this vehicle and yet I had to go buy another car just so I can get to work. I have been researching this problem for the last 3 years and there are hundreds of the same complaints!! when is Nissan going to own up to their responsibility and do what is right. Unfortunately, it seems that someone will have to get severely hurt or lose their life in order for Nissan to recognize. I have several friends with the same vehicle and have the same issue, and have spent $1,000+ at Nissan for them to fix everything but the transmission. We have done motor mount replacements & transmission flushes and still have problems. When is someone going to stand up for the consumers and do something about this? I am paying a car note and insurance to see my car sit in my parking lot everyday. The car jerks violently, and gets worse over time. 500 complaints have been filed on here, and still nothing has been done. There are thousands of blogs and websites of people complaining about the same thing. I contacted my attorney general's office and received basically no help. I will never buy another Nissan!

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #499

Jan 252011


  • 142,000 miles
Transmission keeps jerking off. Gears get stuck.

- Bakersfield , CA, USA

problem #498

Jun 162010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission failing after only 60000 miles. Have had hard shifting since new and Nissan knows this tranny is defective. VIN number [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #497

Jan 042011


  • 93,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact was decelerating from approximately 20 mph when the vehicle jerked violently while shifting from second to first gear. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle downshifted from second to first gear. The failure was more prevalent when the engine was warm. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the contact was told that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 93,000.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #496

Sep 072010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph the vehicle began to vibrate and stall. The contact stated that the failure could potentially cause a crash while driving. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle should not need a new transmission because the vehicle was only six years old. The contact had not taken the vehicle to a dealer. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Cliffside Park, NJ, USA

problem #495

Nov 202010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that all of the motor mounts were fractured and were replaced. After the repair, the transmission began knocking and shifting abnormally hard when going from second to third gears and also when shifting into reverse. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was advised that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 47,000 and the current mileage was 48,000. Updated 2/28/11 updated 03/07/11

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #494

Dec 152010


  • 80,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima transmission failure.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #493

Jun 202010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima SE. While driving on the highway and slowed due to traffic, vehicle lurched forward with a loud bang. Occurred while transmission downshifted from 2nd gear to 1st. Occurs when shifting from 2nd gear into 3rd and when parked and trying to shift from reverse into drive. Two mechanics have suggested transmission replacement and appointment made for such. Vehicle also has a horrible steering wheel shudder/shaking that gets worse the faster you go (highway speeds) told it was struts, so they were replaced, numerous wheel alignments and balancings to correct, with no satisfaction.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #492

Nov 282010


  • 105,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE that has 105K miles and needs a new transmission. The transmission started to slip and now the vehicle barely moves in first gear. After doing some researching online, this appears to be a recurring problem with the 2004-2005 Maximas. The transmission design is faulty but Nissan will not issue a recall. There is no reason why a 6 year old vehicle should need a new transmission.

- Woolwich, NJ, USA

problem #491

Dec 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles
I have an 04 Nissan Maxima with a 5 speed auto transmission, it is shifting hard from 1st to 2nd gear, then bogs and suddenly slows down between 2nd and 3rd gears before shifting hard again. I have been placed in very dangerous situations while driving in traffic and suddenly having to compensate for this transmission reaction. Not very safe with kids in the car, by the way. Looking for information on a recall for this year and model car. Thanks.

- Anycity, AZ, USA

problem #490

Nov 132009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 66,732 miles


We started having trouble with our 2004 Nissan Maxima the spring of 2009. After taking off several days of work to take it to the dealership for them to say nothing was wrong we finally took it to a dealership in des moines, Iowa and they said we needed a new transmission. We had previously done a transmission flush, etc and it didn't fix the problem. Well it's been a little over a year and the transmission problem is back. I went to start the car today and it did not want to start (safety feature) my husband came down to look at it and the transmission is stuck in 5th gear. It shifts very rough. After reading message boards on all the transmission problems the Maxima has I thought I needed to post ours too in hopes that Nissan will have a recall and get this taken care of. We have spent a lot of time and money on this car and are highly disappointed. We will never buy another Nissan vehicle.

- Mercer, MO, USA

problem #489

Apr 162008


  • miles
Front and rear suspension, steering, brakes, body work, drivers door. Had issues right after wife bought the car she went without me but upon looking at car after she came home with it did the car fax on it on thing were some electrical checks that's it no accidents. Steering tight when I drove it and noticed noise from suspension when going over railroad tracks and driver door sagging. Brought to dealer next day and the said a bar was rubbing on another they fix they said nothing wrong with suspension in hearing things is there exact words and replaced the door hinges which are purple and the car is red door sagging again but I was involved in accident end of 2008 got sideswiped by 2500 Dodge Ram truck at 45 mph on driverside having problems with that because body shop on repair damage not replaced I brought my car to another body shop because of issues im having and they said work was done incorrectly. And transmission has always when I drive more than 20 miles continuously when I come to stop and start again the tranny always slips bad between 2nd and 3rd gear and into 4th sometimes.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #488

Nov 232010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima was serviced every year by Nissan for hundreds of dollars every year and on November 24, 2010 the transmission failed with only 103,000 miles. I am the original owner. Constant jerking during shift change prior, but was constantly told no problem could be found. Car jerks forward into gear just as brakes are applied causing car to lunge forward.

- Cambria Heights, NY, USA

problem #487

Nov 242010


  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and the transmission seems to be slipping when I down shift. After looking this problem up it seems to be a extremely common problem with this car. I have viewed countless board's that have expressed this problem. I have even talked to many dealerships that also that have said that this is a common problem with this car. I am wondering why there is not a recall on these cars and why Nissan is permitted to make and sell this car with a know problem with out a recall of some sort.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #486

Feb 032009


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2004 Nissan Maxima 107,000 miles, .automatic transmissions - slipping from 1st to 3rd gear causing the car to jerk violently when it reengage. The internet consumer forms/boards are flooded with people experiencing the same problem on the 2004/2005 Maxima. This is a known defect that Nissan is not willing to address and us charging consumers an average of $4000 to repair.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #485

Oct 302010


  • 80,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima had it's transmission replaced under warranty 2 years ago for slipping, jerking and life endangering behavior during driving. Recently it developed the same issues and they are getting worse. This is an highly recurrent problem spread across most of 2004/2005 Maximas.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #484

May 112009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima in mid 2006 as a pre-owned vehicle. The problem began nearly a year ago when while driving on the freeway, it would automatically get stuck on 5th gear. I tried downshifting manually and the gear would be stuck on 5th gear. In order to temporarily fix the problem I would have to pull over, shut the engine off and put the gear in neutral in order to restart the car. At times it would be stuck on 5th gear, other times the transmission would be back to normal. When driving on city streets, the vehicle would jerk between gears. Took the car back to the dealership and they suggested that I replace a sensor in the transmission. I had the sensor replaced, now the vehicle jerks when changing gears. My neighbor across the street had the same car and also had the same problem and they had a choice to replace that transmission for a new transmission at a cost of $5000. My neighbor instead replaced the Maxima for a different car.

- Cudahy, CA, USA

problem #483

Feb 042009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I bought my 2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5 sl used from a dealership that I worked at. I bought it with 68,798 miles on it on October 31st, 2008. Within 2 weeks of owning the car, I noticed transmission issues. The transmission would slip going into second gear and when it would finally shift it would be very harsh, harsh enough to chirp the tires. After a couple months of this, the transmission really started acting up. The day I took it in to have the transmission replaced, it started slipping going into third gear as well. On the freeway home from work, it would not go into overdrive. I turned around and went back to the dealership to drop it off. In February of 2009, I had the dealership I worked for replace the transmission under the aftermarket warranty that I purchased with the vehicle. Not only did the warranty company order the wrong transmission 2 times, but I was without my car for 37 days. Luckily the warranty company paid for a rental car! less than one year later, I had the same problems occurring. Luckily I knew the symptoms and had the transmission replaced again under the 12 month 12,000 warranty that came with the Nissan remanufactured transmission. This was just about 1 year after the first replacement and about 8,000 miles. So, long story short, first transmission replacement was done in February 2009, second transmission was replaced in February 2010. The dealership I work for now happens to be where the car was always serviced, so I know it's history. It was very well maintained. By the way, my Maxima has the 4-speed automatic.

- Greenfield, WI, USA

problem #482

Oct 032010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima in March of 2009 the transmission began to slip between park and drive and drive and reverse. I went to amoco and had the transmission rebuilt recently in October the car turned off while exiting the highway when I turned the car back on the transmission went right into 5th gear and manually down shifting using the shiftronic feature on the car caused the car to jerk toward very heard but keeper the car reading that the transmission was still in 5th gear the transmission will now have to be replaced

- Bronx , NY, USA

problem #481

Nov 132010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 28,958 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission failure not going forward while in drive the car only has 28,958 miles and this shouldn't happen. I purchased this vehicle brand new.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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