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 7 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #480

Aug 012010


  • 76,000 miles


2004 Nissan Maxima 78,000 miles purchased from abc Nissan on Nov 17, 2009. Transmission jerks when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. I've had two engine mounts replaced, three tires and pressure hose. I am now told I will need to purchase a new transmission and I haven't even owned the car for a year.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #479

Nov 092010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Warning signs started with a hard shift from 1st to 2nd at 100K. Turned into hard shift then uptick of 500 rpms between 2nd and 3rd. Performed transmission flush. Same stuff until a week later even smaller 250 RPM uptick between 3rd and 4th, but no hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Tolerable. Driving along highway (4th?) gives out at 3500 RPM's and keeps revving almost redline, car coasts at 62. I try slowing to 3rd, then back up to 4th, nothing. I try upticking myself to get to 5th and it works. After the highway, sounds like its stayed in 3rd, slow off the line and everything's gone, you can feel it.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #478

Nov 052010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima shimmy in steering, transmission jerk.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #477

Nov 022010


  • 130,000 miles


My Nissan Maxima transmission jerks while driving feels like U were hit from the back or if U hit something. Also while driving on freeway it will go out of gear making the car suddenly slow down!

- Bloomington , CA, USA

problem #476

May 232010


  • miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5sl 5-speed. A couple months ago the transmission started jerking bad everytime it switched gears. I have looked into this and there are more people with this problem. I would think they would have done a recall as this is a serious problem. It jerks really bad sometimes that it has almost caused me to get in a couple of car accidents because it takes long to shift and when it shifts it is really bad. If I need to pull out of somewhere quickly I can't because all the engine does is rev at a high rate until the tranny goes into gear. It gets really frustrating because when the car warms up it acts up really bad and the driving experience is not good at all. I don't really like to drive the car a lot but this is my only means of transportation so I don't really have a choice. I been looking for a solution for this problem but so far no success. Is there anyone that can help me resolve this problem because I want to get it fixed before it causes me to get into a car accident. Thank you

- Panorama City, CA, USA

problem #475

Jul 162010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
Transmission slipping and hard shifting from 1st to 2nd. My next car will be american if this problem don't get corrected.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #474

Oct 052010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


Original owner of Nissan Maxima SE. The car drove like a truck within 10K miles, wheel torqued at acceleration, clunk on well-maintained roads from front passenger wheel well. Front tires wore out 30K and clunking noise in front wheel well, car still under warranty, dealer says sports tires so less life and more road feel/noise comes through, put in new tires in back. Rotated original rear tires to front, they wore out recently (~49K). Clunking sound never stopped. Now car out of warranty. Dealer says your struts are gone and your motor mount is blown so there is a clunk from wheel well and your tires wore out. Oh yeah" so why does the transmission shift with a thunk from reverse to drive and vice versa" oh, you must first fix motor mount and strut before we can look at transmission. Paid to dealer to replace motor mount, replaced struts myself. The engine still thunks (transmission pauses before catching with a jerk from reverse to drive, or drive to reverse. The jerk is occasionally violent, less pronounced when engine cold.) had the transmission flushed by dealer. No difference. A car driven 50K by a 70-year old experiences a broken motor mount, bum strut and broken transmission before 50K miles. I paid almost 30K for this white elephant. Have always owned Japanese cars, first Nissan. Oh, did I mention the oil leak from engine oil seal (48K) and trunk lid slamming (40K) because the two piston arms to hold the lid can't hold the lid up (since it seems days after the warranty expired). Dealer seems to think I need a new transmission. The service specialist mentioned that this model has an issue will "rubber parts." I guess the oil seal, the strut seal, the motor mount and the two trunk pistons all have rubber parts that leaked and/or disintegrated. He may have it about right. Am not sure what rubber part might be the cause of the most costly problem - the transmission, broken at 49K miles. Wonder why there isn't a recall.

- La Mirada, CA, USA

problem #473

Oct 272010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and I have spoken with several owner of the same vehicle as well as read several comments online that all have the same problem. The transmission in the vehicle does shift properly. When you put the car in reverse and then move it back in drive it does a hard jerk, before it will move. While driving down the road the transmission will not shift causing the car to slow down then jerk really hard when it finally does shift. It also does this when stopped at a light; the car will take awhile before moving, but will do a hard jerk again. I feel it is extremely dangerous for myself and my 4 month old trying to merge onto the interstate and the transmission doesn't shift causing the car to slow do and then when it finally does shift, jerks extremely hard. I have been having the problem for over a month now, but the recent incident occurring while in heavy traffic was scary for me. Several Nissan dealerships admit that they have been having trouble with the transmission in this vehicle. The Nissan dealership as well as transmission shops recommend transmission to be replaced costing between $3,800 and $4,000 or you can get your transmission flushed to see if that would help. The vehicle is 4 years old and should not have issues like this. I as well as many others cannot afford to pay $4,000 to replace a transmission on a vehicle that we are still making payments on.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #472

Aug 162010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Have a 5 speed automatic 2004 Nissan Maxima. At approximately 70K the transmission began to violently kick between 2-3 gears. After a couple months of this condition the transmission kicked so bad that it became a safety issue as the car would pull right and at times out of my lane while driving in city traffic. As a result I replaced my transmission and now shortly thereafter the exact same issue reappeared. (~6months/ 5K miles) not only does my vehicle kick between 2nd-3rd gear, it is now getting stuck in 3rd gear and therefore can not be safely driven. I have been told by several Maxima sources that this is a known issue with the 2004 5 speed automatic (re5F22A) (aw 55-50sn) transmission. Research on internet has confirmed many instances that duplicate this issue.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #471

Oct 222010


  • 114,000 miles
Nissan Maxima 2004 SE jerk when shift from park to reverse and from reverse to drive happen every day after parking for so many hours. Cam sensory have been replace, transmission's fluid have been flush, and the timing belt have been change but the jerkiness still occur.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #470

Oct 152010


  • 140,000 miles


My car has not cranked on several occasions leaving me stranded. Also rattling sound for a long time when starting the car. This morning when I cranked my car it sounded like something broke loose, unable to drive will have to get it checked out also rust spots are forming on my hood, front bumper and both sides of my windshield.

- Bladenboro, NC, USA

problem #469

Mar 032010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
(1) 2004 Nissan Maxima, with no warning, the engine reves up intermittently, cars doesn't accelerate then it starts jerking and bucking, you are stuck in the middle of traffic, until it decides to work again.... (2) it occurs intermittently, no consistent time frame, the engine reves up intermittently, cars doesn't accelerate then it starts jerking and bucking.......consequences: Someone is going to get killed because of this failure to operate correctly.....I have read the same problem all over the internet about this vehicle.....there should be a recall done before someone get killed!!!!!!!!my 20 year daughter drives this car and I am concerned for her safety. (3)I have brought it into Nissan 5 or more times, but the could not reproduce the same finally did it again a came up with a code....they now recommend a complete transmission replacement at $4,600...they do not rebuild these, only replace them because it id too complicated to rebuild.. ********please investigate this problem further and make them recall these vehicles before someone get hurt or killed!!!!! thanks for the opportunity to vent my frustrations!

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #468

Oct 012010


  • 110,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima and reading on the forum got me to this complaint site. I think Nissan should do a recall on all 6th gen Maxima owners because im not the only one with this problem. It's the transmission. Whenever the engine is cold it shifts so smoothly like there's nothing wrong. But this good feeling doesn't last more than 7 min.engine starts heating up and jerking problems begins. P to R is ok. But P to D and shifting up N down on a take off or slowing down(1st to 2nd N 3rd and 3rd to 2nd N 1st)its just so annoying and makes the car uncomfortable and unsafe to drive. And this will lead to ultimate tranny distruction. So I have to pay at East $700 to get this fixed"why doesn't Nissan do a recall on this" I know there's at least 200 Maxima owners there(from all the forums I've read)that have this problem. They love getting money selling their cars, and then whey make a mistake on building it they don't wanna take the blame. I love my Maxima and don't wanna get rid of absolutely in love with it.and if there wouldn't be a recall on this, I guess I will pay from my pocket, but never buy a Nissan again.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #467

May 122009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission issues 1st N 2nd shift hard, 2nd N 3rd slipping shimmy in the steering while driving.

- Arlington, TN, USA

problem #466

Jan 212010


  • miles
Transmission in my 2004 Nissan Maxima is slipping. It bucks when I go from reverse to first. I have about 118,000 miles and I am the original owner. The slippage started around 100K miles.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #465

Sep 012009


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. When the gears shifted from second to third, the transmission lost power, shook, and accelerated rapidly. In 2009 the vehicle was taken to the dealer for the failure. The dealer replaced the transmission fluid, the cam-shaft sensor, but the failure wasn't corrected. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who advised that the transmission had to be replaced. The vehicle wasn't repaired. The manufacturer will be contacted. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 102,000.

- Burbank , IL, USA

problem #464

Jan 032010


  • 140,000 miles
I have an 04 Maxima SE with 149,000 miles. I have been having trouble with my transmission shifting really hard and sometimes when I pull out of the drive or slow down and make a turn, when I start to accelerate it will not go. I have had it looked at and Nissan is telling me that the control valve needs to be replaced, which the part alone is $1100. I have found online that this is an issue from thousands of owners and Nissan will not do anything to help. I would say it does it 30% of the time. Also I have read that other owners are finding eventually the entire transmission has to be replaced, so what do we do in the meantime replace this part then the next and eventually the entire transmission. I do not have the money to keep throwing into this car, I think it is time for Nissan to step up and fix the issue!

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #463

Sep 132010


  • 123,000 miles
I recently purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima with just over 120K miles and the problem with the tranny jerking is no joke today my car shifted so hard that it literally jumped over the parking block at my home as soon as I felt the car move I hit the brakes but the shift was so fast it still hopped over the block I have two kids and I can¿T drive my only car because every mechanic has different answers and I spoke to a Nissan tech and he said mine was an isolated issue but I've been browsing web and there are thousands of the same issue where is the recall if you have the same problem please keep complaining call your local news channel we have rights as consumers and are being held by puppet strings I mean the car revs itself, different rpms you literally have no control on it shifting please help!

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #462

Sep 102010


  • 85,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima transmission jerking, slipping. Flaring. Only occurs when car is warm. Will cause violent jerking when shifting into drive or reverse which may cause loss of traction and control of car. I just replaced valve body and problem still there!! help!

- Berlin, CT, USA

problem #461

Sep 082010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My transmission jerks my car out of control during 1st and 2nd gears.

- Hampton, VA, USA

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