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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,849 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

problem #17

May 152011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 24,500 miles


With my 2004 Nissan Maxima, when the clutch has heavy usage, for example in stop and go traffic, the clutch pedal goes down to the floor and stays there - I have no pressure and I cannot get the clutch in. After I pull to the side of the road, the clutch operation returns to normal after 10-15 minutes. This has occurred 6-7 times (my car has 24,000+ miles on it) and from an internet search is being experienced by many frustrated Nissan drivers. Though it occurs intermittently it is often enough to have created several frightening situations for me in traffic, particularly on the highway and late at night. The dealer stated they are aware of the problem but aren't sure of the cause while the most reasonable explanations online point to engine heat affecting the master cylinder when the car is moving slowly. Nissan Consumer Affairs has been of limited help in helping us resolve this issue.

- Mableton, GA, USA

problem #16

May 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I own a 2004 Nissan Maxima and loved it until a year ago. At around 100,000 miles the transmission started stalling and jumping. It has progressively gotten worse. Now it is slipping so badly that I am afraid to drive my car. The car is not within the warranty and now Nissan says that there is nothing that they can do about it.

- Trussville, AL, USA

problem #15

Sep 182009


  • 9,500 miles
2004 Maxima transmission automatic with / manual problem and possible link to a sensor? transmission jerks when shifting from 1st to 2nd with high RPM's with a delay then slamming into gear. Dangerous when happening in traffic, car does not shift fast enough to get the proper speed to move out of the way of traffic coming from behind. Also noticing that when braking from a high speed going down hills it seems to bring on the problem too. Have been to repair shops, again no one knows what it can be with out spending a zillion dollars on all that they think it could be. Waiting for a other transmission which I feel that it is a waste because if they can't find out what this problem is on this transmission then it is only going to happen again on the next.we have had this problem for a while now, but because of the cost of another transmission and the cost of labor we have been using the car as carefully as we can. After reading of all the complaints on the internet hopefully something will be done. We are past the warranty like everyone else that has filed a complaint. This should have been taken care of from Nissan a long time ago.

- Willington, CT, USA

problem #14

Aug 012008


  • miles


My husband and I purchased our car in 2006. It car starting making a "jerking" motion two years later and has since gotten progressively worse. Upon taking the car to a Nissan dealership, we were told that the problem was not the transmission; they did some minor repairs (about $600 worth) and said the problem would "go-away". a little over a year has passed and because the problem is still very much present we haven't driven it in quiet some time. We took it to another mechanic and we're now being told that it is the transmission. We can"T afford to pay for a new transmission because we"re still making payments on the car. I see there are approx. 356 complaints filed here, but not one single investigation came from those 356 complaints. It seems as though some one has to die or come near death for something to be done about this obvious problem.

- Oakley, CA, USA

problem #13

Jan 012008


  • 30,000 miles
My Nissan Maxima 2004 violently jerks when shifting gears up and down. This problem happens usually after the car warmed up and been driven for a hour or so but can happen anytime. It doesn't happen all the time about 50% of the time. Told the dealer and they said they cant feel it and I must just continue you to drive the vehicle. This is dangerous when on the highway cause when changing lanes and the car shifts down it jerks bad and can cause me to crash if im not careful.I am very disappointed and am requesting something to be done. Thank you

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #12

Jun 092008


  • 85,000 miles
I have a 2004 Nissan Maxima with a little over 90,000 miles. It is come to my attention that my vehicle is not the only 2004 Nissan Maxima with this problem. It slips out of gear and makes the vehicle jump as if someone rear ended me. It shifts really hard from !St to 2nd even 3rd when I drive throughout the city. It does it only when the car warms up and it does it consistently. I've done a transmission flush which was required by the dealership and it stopped doing it for about 5 miles into the ride, then it began doing it. I went online and found thousands and thousands of people with the same vehicle and with the same problem. They all have done all the transmission repairs possible and the problem still maintains. I refuse to spend $4,000 on a new transmission because I do not have that money. These transmissions need to be recalled.

- Woburn, MA, USA

problem #11

May 202009


  • 80,496 miles


A few months ago my transmission started to slip in 1st an 2nd gear.when I would run errands for more than hour it would really start to act up. Now I can not drive for 30 minutes without it seriously slipping gears hard. I can only drive the car a few miles because of this. I took the car to a shop an was told that the valve body needs to be replaced with a rebuilt transmission mechanic also stated that the valve body should not be a wearable component and should have been a recall on it. Now the car sits most of the time because I can not afford to fix it. Please help me.

- Zachary, LA, USA

problem #10

Oct 082008


  • 70,000 miles
1. my problems occur with my 2004 Nissan Maxima when I started to notice that from a take off after a toll that the car would jerk into second gear. It has since progressed into a jerking and slamming into 2nd and 3rd gear on acceleration and 3rd to 2nd and 2nd to 1st in deceleration. It happens every day that I use my car. I have had my transmission fluid flushed and several engine sensors replaced by a Nissan dealership. The problem has never gone away and just gets worse with time.

- Midfield, AL, USA

problem #9

Sep 152007


  • 63,421 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 20 mph, the transmission lurched forward and made a loud clunking noise when shifting from second into first gear. There were no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, but they could not duplicate the failure. The vehicle was taken back to the authorized dealer on three separate occasions for identical failures, but there were no resolutions. A transmission diagnostic test was performed at an independent mechanic and the computer sensor was replaced. The technician also recommended that the transmission be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 63,421 and current mileage was 79,319.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #8

Mar 252009


  • 65,000 miles
6 speed manual transmission: Pushing in clutch became rough, thought it needed a clutch. Not so, found out that there is a transmission industry-wide known design flaw in the Nissan six speed manual transmission; three little brass rings between gears #3 & #4. the demand for the repair kit from Japan is so great, it takes 2 weeks to get. 5,000 miles out of warranty, Nissan would not discuss.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #7

Mar 062009


  • 125,000 miles


I purchased a 2004 Nissan Maxima in 2004. I recently begin to experience jerks in my transmission when down shifting and when taking off from 1st to 2nd. This is so disappointing since Nissan was suppose to be one of the more reliable vehicles. I took my car to dealership;however, they laugh when I told them what year and the problem I was having. They stated we can put a new one in for you at $3500. This was disappointing of Nissan, since they offered no assistance with replacement. I have read several articles on line in regards to Nissan and the issue with the transmission and to this day Nissan has done nothing to recall this defect part.

- Cedar Hill, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 232008


  • 55,000 miles
The engine started to whine during normal routine driving with only 55K miles. This repair will cost thousands of dollars and based on the frequency of this repair with the transmission and timing chain in 2004 Maximas, the logical recourse from a manufacturer's point of view should be a product recall.

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #5

Oct 112006


  • 18,114 miles
Aug 7th, 2006 at 15,033 miles I originally reported clutch problem Aug 21st, 2006 at 15,621 miles Nissan in quincy repaired the clutch pressure plate and throw out bearing. This was covered under warranty at the time and the parts were replaced as a result of my visit on August 7th. After the clutch pressure plate and throw out bearing was replaced, I returned to Nissan claiming the clutch "was not right?. at that time they told me that since I just had parts replaced it may take a while for them to ?wear in?. "October 11, 2006 at 18,114 miles they replaced my clutch master and slave cylinder because I was driving to work on the highway (going about 50). I went to shift and my clutch stuck to the ground and would not come back up. I was not able to shift and was basically driving in neutral on the highway. This was extremely scary and I was very lucky that I did not get into an serious accident that day! I slowly got off the next exit (actually rolled off). I tried to pump the clutch and force it into gear. It eventually popped back up and I was able to get it into gear. I drove it straight to Nissan (in the right lane with my hazard lights on). I explained to quirk Nissan what had just happened on the highway. I was very upset " and that"S when they replaced the clutch master and slave cylinder. At 41,000 miles I had to have my clutch and flywheel replaced. I have talked to a few mechanics and they feel something is not right and that Nissan should be held responsible. I wrote a letter to corporate Nissan and they are denying that there is any liability on their part and I had to pay almost $2000 out of pocket for a clutch and flywheel (not covered under warranty).

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #4

Jul 152008


  • miles
I've had a problem with my 04 Maxima almost from the beginning. Basic symptom has been if the car sits idling in traffic jam, or after a 3-4 stop and go local trips, I develop a lot of play in the clutch pedal. Normally, when I apply light pressure to the clutch pedal, I feel resistance immediately. When its acting up, I feel significantly less resistance in the pedal from the top, sometime almost half way through the pedal travel. If I continue driving it usually clears up on its own or if I park and leave it for 30+ minutes. Definitely seems heat related and does not appear in the winter. Despite the "slop" in the pedal, the clutch appears to be shifting ok and engages about mid pedal travel. Last month new symptom appeared. Twice, once after it was sitting at work all day and another time after returning from a 3 hour concert, the clutch pedal was all the way to the floor. I literally had to stand on it to get car into gear. Once, moving, it returned to normal operation after a couple of miles of driving. Originally took it to the Nissan dealer, but they could never reproduce the symptoms. At 30K, Nissan mechanic said it needed a new clutch without even looking at it. When to local shop. They replaced the master and slave cylinder and equalization valve without any improvement. They have never been able to reproduce the symptoms either. Two weeks ago, at 60K, I had them replace the clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing and flywheel assembly. The pedal to the floor symptom has not returned (yet) but the clutch pedal problem is still there. Now I have a new problem which only started after they did this latest work. The stick is now popping out of gear which driving. Twice in 6th, but predominately in 5th. I left the car with the mechanic for a day and they could not get it to happen. They checked the linkage and bushings and they say everything looks ok. I went for a drive with them and of course it did not do it, until tonight.

- Clark, NJ, USA

problem #3

Feb 282008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 73,400 miles
2004 Nissan Maxima, 6 speed manual transmission 4-door sedan. At 73,000 miles, a grinding noise began when shifting into second gear. Also, shortly thereafter, the transmission began to 'seize' where you could not shift at all; this all culminated while on a trip to the bicycle shop with my 3 kids, getting stranded (luckily made it to a parking lot) where the transmission would not even come out of gear. Took the car to a local dealership, and after $1300 in repairs (new clutch) the 'seizing' problem is back 2 months later, and the grinding was never fixed; they told me that would be an extra $1300... looks like many Sentra are having similar synchronizer issues as my Maxima - as well as other Maximas. Why can't we hold Nissan accountable for their product deficiencies? please help - thanks!!

- Ooltewah, TN, USA

problem #2

Mar 012007

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. When the vehicle was started, the clutch would not shift into any of the gears. The dealer repaired the master cylinder and the clutch system twice, yet, the failure continued. Another dealer stated that the transmission was failing. The vehicle has not been repaired and is currently parked. The failure mileage was 29,000 and current mileage was 83,000. Updated 06/17/08. The consumer stated the fule pump and map sensor was replaced. Updated

- Edgewood, MD, USA

problem #1

Jun 012004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
I have had problems with my 2004 Nissan Maxima since purchasing it brand new. Within 60 days of purchasing the car, I had to take it back to the dealership due to a malfunction with the brakes. I have spent over $1,500 since keeping the brakes and rotors repaired. I am on my fourth set of tires and have had three alignments and my front end inspected. I have had to replace an engine mount. In 2006 my air conditioner went out and I spent over $500 having that repaired. Now I am in need of a new transmission because there is internal damage due to the clutch slipping even though it is an automatic car. I have two friends with the same model/year car and they have experienced similar or the same problems. Once of my friends just replaced his transmission in his 2004 Maxima. This car has cost me at least $5,000 in repairs since I have purchased it and I have never ever received a recall notice on anything. I know that Nissan is well aware of the defects in the 2004 Maxima, but are not owning up to their responsibility in taking care of all of the problems that I have read about and talked about with different 2004 Maxima owners. I have also had the battery replaced twice. The body style of the car is beautiful, but the car itself is a piece of crap due to poor mechanics.

- Laporte, TX, USA

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