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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Nissan Maxima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 9 of 30)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #440

Mar 062010


  • 57,218 miles


The contact owns 2004 Nissan Maxima. The automatic transmission failed and would not shift into gear while driving approximately 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the transmission need to be replaced at the contacts expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer stated that the warranty was expired. The failure and current mileages were 57,218.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #439

Jun 302010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 51,789 miles
Hi my name is [xxx] I have a problem with my Maxima 2004 because is jerking, I just took the car to the dealer and they told me is the transmission and my car have 51,000 miles wow I can't believe the transmission is bad they charging me 3,400 to fix. And I still paying my car and I have a family and bills to pay. I can't believe this.. I need help to fix my car... information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #438

Jun 292010


  • 134,000 miles
Transmission problems on my car, stranded in the middle of nowhere. Let car rest for 10 minutes, then finally restarted only to find my car stuck in 5th gear with slow acceleration and high RPM if not careful. Car stopped in the middle of traffic in a very busy intersection. I do not know extent of damages (financial burden) as car is left in mechanic shop, but already depending on friends for a ride to work.

- Crest Hill, IL, USA

problem #437

Dec 272004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated when driving from 20-30 mph, the transmission would slip and cause the vehicle to jerk excessively. The vehicle would independently shift into the next gear, disengage and then re-engage. The contact stated the failure would occur every time the vehicle was operated. The failure would occur mostly when accelerating from a stop. The dealer performed a diagnostic test which determined that the central computer would need to be readjusted. The failure persisted and progressively became worse. There were no further repairs made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 30,000 and the current mileage is 125,745. Updated 10/29/10

- Petal, MS, USA

problem #436

Jan 012006


  • 75,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima has a transmission problem. It slips, jerk, and stalls sometimes.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #435

Jun 132008


  • 100,000 miles
Been having numerous transmissions issues with the car over the past 2 to 3 years. Already to had to replace the transmission once, now starting to have the same issues again. Lots of jerking from gear to gear, lots of difficulty getting the car to up shift or down shift; car locking in 4th or 5th gear and will not shift out of that gear. Can not believe there has not been a recall based on the number of internet complaints on this issue.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #434

May 152010


  • 86,000 miles


Approximately three months ago I noticed that my automatic transmission began slipping when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. It would also slip when down-shifting from 2nd to 1st gear. I took it to the dealership to have the transmission fluid changed and have them check out the problem. They stated that they couldn't replicate the problem but as soon as I left the dealership the transmission began slipping again. As I was driving home I was making a left-hand turn and while I was accelerating my vehicle was stuck in first gear until the tachometer reached the red-line and then the transmission slammed the car into second gear launching my car into the adjacent turn lane and causing me to nearly miss an SUV. The problem has gotten progressively worse and after researching the topic, it appears as though the problem is caused by a Nissan engineering defect that causes the clutch to burn-up and debris to build-up in the transmission case. Nissan hasn't recalled any parts associated with the transmission and the dealership has stated that I will be responsible for the transmission rebuild or replacement. I'm worried that Nissan's poor-engineering will result in unpredictable acceleration, potential loss of handling, and down-shifting difficulties.

- Lillington, NC, USA

problem #433

Jun 252004


  • 64,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima and the transmission seem to have always been an issue. Now the transmission is completely dead. I have it serviced at a Nissan dealer often (most recent 3 months back) and everything seem to be good. I had complained about the issue to the dealership and they couldn't pin point the issue.

- Plainsboro, NJ, USA

problem #432

Jun 232010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Last night while pulling out into a busy street, unknown to me my car was stuck in 5th gear. My vehicle has an automatic transmission. As a result, I could have been severely injured if not killed by the fast approaching traffic. No matter what I did I could not get the car out of 5th gear nor get my vehicle to accelerate. I had to travel very slowly and cautiously to get home. While home, I decided to research my problem with my car on the internet. To my surprise, there are tens of thousands of the same complaint with the exact same make of car listed on numerous web sites. The vehicle in question is a 2004 Nissan Maxima. From everything I have researched, Nissan North America will not do anything nor acknowledge this problem even exists. From a safety point of view, this problem is just as bad as a stuck accelerator. I wonder how many deaths have occurred because of this defect as many of those who may have been killed were not able to report what had occurred. With the number of 2004 Nissan Maxima's on the road and the number of incidents reported, the NHTSA and Nissan na should take immediate action to prevent further possible injury and death. My car is now stuck in 5th gear and I am afraid to drive it any longer as this defect can cause many dangerous situations to occur. I will be copying this complaint to the office of the Connecticut state attorney general, richard blumenthal.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #431

May 172010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 83,500 miles
Own 2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5se and having transmission problems. Particularly between 1st and 2nd gear and vice versa. When accelerating and breaking at around 20 mph feels like it loses power. It also bucks when braking at about 20 mph. Occurs on a daily basis since around 83500 miles. Brought it to my mechanic who states the codes reveal that there is a communication error between transmission and computer. I checked online forums and have zero faith in bringing the car to a Nissan dealership and not getting ripped off. Sounds like there are several options but at a significant cost which I believe Nissan should cover. I have had many vehicles in my lifetime and never once had a transmission problem with any of them. My wife does not feel safe in driving our kids in the car for fear of not being able to control the car and crashing it.

- Baiting Hollow, NY, USA

problem #430

Jun 102010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While attempting to accelerate from a traffic stop, the vehicle did not properly engage gears. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage is 110,250. Updated 10/27/10. 11/9/10 updated 11/16/10

- Bell Bell, PA, USA

problem #429

Jun 212010


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. She stated that while driving at speeds of 30 mph, the vehicle abnormally lunged forward, causing the vehicle to lose power for approximately 3 seconds, before regaining normal operation. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where it was diagnosed that the transmission was defective and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer had been contacted. The failure and current mileages were 87,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #428

Apr 142010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated the vehicle was taken to the dealer where he was told that the transmission was slipping and would need to be replaced. The mechanic replaced the transmission. Immediately following repairs, while attempting to drive to her residence, the vehicle would not accelerate past 5 mph. The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer where she was advised that an unknown part had slipped off the transmission. The failure did not persist. The next occasion of operating the vehicle it stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the contact was awaiting further inspection of the failure. The failure mileage was 74,000 and the current mileage is 75,000. Updated 11/03/10 updated 11/04/10

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #427

Jun 112010


  • 61,000 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima with auto 5-speed. Car suddenly locked up in 5th gear as I was preparing to enter the highway from a standing start, on an on-ramp; had no power and my wife and I almost got rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. It was a terrifying experience. As I continued to drive to the next exit, the car still had just one gear available (5th), and would not downshift. Only after I exited the highway and let the car cool down for a few minutes did the other gears "return." But then the same thing happened when I drove the car home.

- Macungie, PA, USA

problem #426

Feb 042010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
My 2004 Nissan Maxima only at 80,000 miles jerks when I put it in drive or reverse!!! there is a 3 second delay then it jerks. It happens when I am sitting at a light or have my car running then I put the car in drive or reverse the jerks starts. Even when I am driving it's starting to jerk a little. I bought a Nissan because they are supposed to be dependable long lasting cars. I would hope that it would last over a 100,000 miles before all the problems started.Nissan really needs to correct this problem before this car ends up hurting somebody because Nissan refuse to recall this issue and fix the problem. This is a manufacture default! Nissan needs to own up to this problem! they acted like no one else is complaining. So please help resolve this manufacture defect because Nissan seems not to care about this serious problem.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #425

Aug 282009


  • 69,000 miles
Transmission is hard shifting from 1-2 2-3 small vibration that cannot be identified by dealer or tire shop.

- Mendota Heights, MN, USA

problem #424

Jul 152008


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. She stated while driving at speeds of 30 mph, the vehicle shifted gears without driver intent. The dealer performed a diagnostic test but was unable to duplicate the failure. The dealer did advise replacing the transmission because the transmission fluid was unusually dark in color. There were no recalls for the failure and the manufacturer was contacted, who would not provide any assistance. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 123,000.

- White Plains, VA, USA

problem #423

Nov 212009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with a jerking problem from 1st into 2nd..then the car shut off turn it back on car was stuck in high gear. I have been told it is a transmission and it would need to be rebuilt. Below is a website that I found after researching this issue with a lot of complaints of other honest people just wanting to keep the car however, Nissan is aware of the problem. Please make them recall this transmission for we can only do so much... thank you website:

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #422

Jul 212009


  • 90,121 miles
Transmission problems.

- Standish, ME, USA

problem #421

Dec 012009

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I have a Nissan Maxima 2004 and I don't know why, the transmission started to give me problem. I have heard and read many persons have the same problems. Please investigate. Thanks

- Merceditas, PR, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?