2004 Nissan Maxima


The car is good, except for the transmission problem, because Nissan fixed the tire problem


I purchased my Nissan Maxima brand new in 2004 with 87 miles, and had no problems until the factory warranty was about to go on the car.

When it had about 67,000 miles on it, I had a serious jerking problem with the transmission, and so I was talking to a service guy at the Nissan dealership where I had my car serviced, and he told me not to tell the manager, but he had the 05 Nissan, and once he found out about the transmission problems, he turned his back in, and recommended that I do the same thing.

Since I'd had the car for 4 years, and only had 2 years remaining to pay for the car, I thought that if he could change the fluids, that it would get better. So I spent $1000.00, and nothing changed, and he said that they had changed out several, and that the fluids sets up and gets like syrup, and he said that myself and others should file a class action lawsuit.

Bad bad Nissan, and to think all I wanted was a Nissan, because in the past they were so dependable, but never again Nissan, you have lost a valued customer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st October, 2010

2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5


I love the design and handling of the car


My front tires wore badly at 22,000 miles.

My transmission started slipping at 50,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car handles good and gets good gas mileage.

The headlight dimmer switch will shut off the lights when depressing the turn signal at night.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th October, 2010

2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5 V6


Not bad, but look for an 07+ with CVT


1. Driver's seat was slightly cracked when purchased. I chalk it up to the previous owner.

2. Kick plate came off, reinstalled by dealer. Paid $17.00 for replacement clips.

3. CD player is going out. It only plays music on the right side. It comes and goes whenever I hit a bump in the road or come to a stop. Very annoying, I plan on just buying an aftermarket unit. Common issue.

4. Driver and front passenger doors will sometimes not open, although they appear to be unlocked. For instance, I got out of my car to check the mail, left the car running and closed the door. Had to call pop-lock ($40.00) to let me back in, even though the lock was in-between the 'lock' and 'unlock' position. My only guess is the force from closing the door caused this.

5. A.C. belt squeals horribly anytime it rains or water splashes under the car. I usually just ride in heat when it rains to avoid embarrassment.

6. My car makes the infamous 'chainsaw' noise at startup, especially when the car is cold. I've done some research on these issues, and I've been told it's the timing chain. Very pricey to remedy this.

7. Hear a knock and ping in the engine, although I only use premium gas and have had all oil changes performed at Nissan since purchase. I assume it's because of the larger displacement of the engine; I've heard other Maximas that sound similar.

8. My biggest concern is the transmission. Last winter I began to notice hard shifting between 1-2 and 2-3. Took it to Nissan and was informed that my tranny fluid was black and needed to be flushed and refilled, $140.00. This helped, but it's still there, mostly noticeable when the car is cold. A close friend of mine just experienced tranny failure in his 05, but I can't vouch for his treatment of his car.

General Comments:

After my Mustang was T-boned and totaled, I decided that I wanted my next vehicle to be a larger more sophisticated sedan. Something practical but with a sporty flair (TL, G35, CTS, etc.) It came down to my 04 Maxima and an 03 G35. I went with the Maxima because it was newer and had fewer miles. Sometimes I wished I had reconsidered.

Don't get me wrong, the Max hasn't left me stranded or let me down, but it definitely does not have the quality or sporty characteristics that I expected. Yes, I know it is an SL and not an SE, but sometimes I feel like I'm driving my mom's Avalon. You will be reminded of how large the car really is if you try to push it. Furthermore, the back does sag, especially when loaded with passengers so BE CAREFUL. I think I'm going to have some spring lifters installed. Under closer look, a lot of the interior plastics are sub-par to its competitors. Didn't really notice at first, but keep in mind I was used to my 2000 Mustang.

Overall, I am satisfied with my purchase, but after reading consumer reviews and the 'small' problems and abnormalities I'm noticing, I can't help but think that trouble is right around the corner. Reliability and dependability were issues I thought I would avoid in buying Nissan. I had previously owned a 90 Stanza and 96 Altima with no major issues. And was somewhat biased I guess.

I joined a Nissan forum just so I can keep in touch with other owners and share experiences, issues, pros, and cons. I've been eyeing an 07 G35, and I plan on trading as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Until then I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2010

14th Nov 2010, 14:04

I have had exactly the same problem, as the tranny kicks when shifts from 1-2 and 2-3 when cold. After the fluid heats up it's fine. I guess replacing the solenoid pack may solve the problem, but my transmission died before I could do it. Make sure you fix it.