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Redesigned for 2004, this version of the Maxima was signifcantly improved over the previous model. We like its quick, refined powertrain and roomy interior. However, a stiff ride and a wide turning circle detract from the overall package.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2004 Nissan Maxima has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
00*
01
02
03
04*
05
06
07
08
09*
10
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12
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16*
17
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Nissan Maxima owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“The chrome coating on the roof trim is peeling off”

Anonymous, KY (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“The clear coat is peeling off. The amount of clear coat applied must have been applied with a mister”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Hood and roof faded badly, had to have repainted”

Dennis M., KY (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“chrome trim peeled within first 5 years of ownership; trim around moonroof rusted”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“oxidation on roof”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“In three areas of the roof, dessert plate size, the paint has disappeared. It looks like bare metal but has not rusted”

David K., NJ (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Rust

“Subframe rusted and needed replacement”

Paul H., ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Passenger Floor panel completely rusted out”

Phillip M., NH (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Both driver and passanger floor rusted through so that the metal was gone and carpeting was the only thing between the persons feet and the ground. This happened in 2013. This year, significant rust was found in the passenger side sub-frame which w”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“Under body rust at the front passenger-side floor board is becoming problematic”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“Passenger side underbody was completely rusted through (probably due to salt)”

Matt M., MA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Rust under vehicle, could not get a safety, had to have body work done even though I had rust check every year and they did not tell me, had brakes, tires changed, no one told me how bad the rust was underneath, body shop told me this was common for”

Sylvia B., ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“Overhead roof lining separating from the body and hanging down, obscuring view through rear window. Rear deck plastic speaker grilles have been broken down by sunlight. This significantly affects the sound system and looks poor”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Front driver's side suspension failed. Also had significant hole in subframe due to rust. Decided to replace car as repairs greater than value of car”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“power steering pump hose leaking”

John B., AZ (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Had to replace my struts several times over the past 10 years”

Anonymous, NE (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“We have had 3 consecutive hard winters resulting in serious pot hole conditions. This has caused the shocks and suspension to deteriorate”

Patricia S., CT (2004 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“Noise from front suspension every bump or uneven surface. Took it to the dealer, who said the RF strut had failed and needed to be replaced/”

Michael L., PA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Annual state inspection failed due to leaking strut. Nissan recommends replacing in pairs, so quite an expensive repair”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“The car keeps having issues with regards to suspension. Engine always sounds great but every year i seem to be replacing struts or control arms, etc etc”

Matt M., MA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“banging GOING OVER BUMPS”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

“Have had to replace all tires several times; wheels do not stay in alignment”

Anonymous, MO (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Took car to mechanic. He indicated I needed to replace tires. Tires have only 25000km. Went to tire dealer. Yes, need replacement under warranty. Shoulders prematurely worn. Bad tires or unusual wear caused by car? Do not know”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“Left rear wheel bearing failed. Nissan could not replace the bearing, but had to replace the entire hub, so quite an expensive repair”

Anonymous, NC (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“Sensor for ABS not working. Replaced twice to no effect”

Hazem A., VA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“ABS control module needed to be replaced because the ABS system was kicking in during normal braking in normal weather. I had this same problem 3-4 years ago - annoying because it is a fairly expensive repair ($1,000 +)”

Anonymous, PA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“The ABS system kicks in at slow speeds and causes a grinding noise. The dealer is still trying to diagnose the problem”

Anonymous, KY (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“ABS anti-lock brakes were deploying during normal breaking. The fix is to replace the ABS pump which is estimated greater than $1500 to repair”

Anonymous, ND (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“ABS comes on while I'm driving. Sensors replaced and a few hubs and can't get rid of problem. Think the whole unit blown at this point. Also think the constant activation is draining my battery!”

Richard B., NY (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Parking brake

“Same sensor for ABS affects the hand brake”

Hazem A., VA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“Caliper spring break caused indue, premature rotor wear”

Anonymous, IL (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“Dealer recommends brake pad wear change when brakes only has approx. 30,000 miles”

Ivan P., AR (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“rapid and frequent brake wear especially given low annual mileage”

Bruce M., ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

“drivers lock frequently fails to respond to remote lock”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“Drivers window would not work, part very expensive, ended up getting it from a wholesaler, very frustrating when you can't open your window!”

Sylvia B., ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Doors or sliding doors

“The door would lock itself. Got locked out with keys inside on several occasions”

Brian C., BC (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)
Seat controls - movement

“one of the motors that controls the forward/backward motion of the drivers seat failed - it no longer operated. The seat was stuck in a specific location. The local dealer said that the entire seat assembly would need to be replaced - cost $2000+. S”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)
Sunroof

“Sunroof leaks when it rains or when I wash my car”

Anonymous, CA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“I call this a MOON-ROOF because it does not open. It has developed several areas of rust / paint bubbles around the left, rear and right sides of the trim that holds the glass in place. Has not caused leaks as yet but I will get the rusted areas repa”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“My car came with the Mohawk sunroof option. It developed rust and soon after Nissan recalled it. When I got it back and after a year it began to rust even worse than before. I had the roof replaced along with new winshield and then painted. My Cos”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“Driver side power window malfunctioned and finally failed. Replaced motor and automated function”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder)

“Sometimes the clutch pedal goes all the way down to the floor”

Anonymous, CO (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“I think the first problem is due to the second. Either a leak in the system, or a hydraulics problem, but the dealer seems incapable of finding the cause and fixing the problem”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“On turns, the transmission would hunt for the right gear then jerk hard when it found it due to very excellerated engine speed in the time it searched”

Paul H., ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Clunks in lower gears - problem experienced by other owners. Class action suit in discovery on 2004-2006 Nissan MAxima”

Jayme G., CA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“clutch did not always fully depress which made for difficult shifting”

Bruce M., ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

“Rough shifting eventually led to stall, vehicle would restart in safe mode (4th gear) unless left off overnight. Diagnosis was a bad transmission sensor, once replaces problem was solved. Rough shifting sometimes still happens, usually subsides with regular transmission fluid change”

Anonymous, BC (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“One senor went out and the mechanic suggested that they replace a 2nd sensor which I agreed to have them do. Thus, they replaced two sensors. Total cost was just under $500.00”

S M., OH (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“slipped and bucked recently. Changed fluid without improvement. Top off fluid with much improvement”

Thomas H., WV (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

“belts cracked”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Have to change belts every 30,000 miles. In my old 2002 Chevrolet Pick up only change every 100,000 miles”

Ivan P., AR (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Engine computer

“Computer Control Module destroyed when other problem being fixed. I haven't been able to find a replacement computer control module (car hasn't run since last October). I was told the part is no longer available; I have also been told that legally Nissan is to have parts for 15 years”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Constant oil leaks”

Joseph J., NC (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Around 60K miles, an oil leak developed. 4 visits to the mechanic later, and two different shops, the issue was finally resolved. Now the leak is back, or a new one has developed”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“The leak occurred near the right wheel, it took two attempts to correct the problem, I use a very reliable independent shop”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“Head lights blink on an o(life at night”

Lawrence M., AL (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“Headlight burned out - it was replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“Headlights were very dim - had to replace them”

Anonymous, AR (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
Body control module

“door lock buttons, trunk opener button”

Anonymous, WA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“daytime driving light”

Regina H., ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“Squeaks & rattles when crossing road irregularities”

Anonymous, NY (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“My muffler came off and AAA fixed it, but not entirely. 2 motor mounts were loose, so those were fixed, but I still need to get the middle of the muffler reattached”

Elaine W., NC (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Recently I am hearing squeaks coming from under the car, I have booked an appointment to check out the issue”

Anonymous, ON (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“The wind noise in this car at freeway speeds is very annoying”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

“Clutch loses all pressure and goes to floor; at that point unable to put into gear. Had clutch replaced ($2,700) after about 5-6 times at the dealer. Having same problem now”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“gas milage average went to 20-22mpg. Transmission slipping to point when putting in drive had to wait about 20 seconds or more before engaging”

Charles C., GA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“When the weather is cold on the initial start up after backing up and shifting into drive, there can be a pause before moving forward of 2 seconds to 15 seconds”

Anonymous, MI (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“Dealership charges 2X more than the transmission shop the dealership takes theirs to. Replaced with remanufactured trans from Nissan”

Thomas G., PA (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Installing the third NEW compressor in it this week. Part is under Warranty but labor is about $400 per install with freon”

Anonymous, GA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)
Condenser

“Replaced one time. Working OK”

Anonymous, GA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

“leak in tubing”

G W., NY (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

“CD player stopped working a few years ago. Steering wheel radio controls no longer work”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“Factory/Built in Bose 6-disc CD-Changer failed. Its sounded like gears were grinding. The CD changer unit had to be removed and rebuilt to fix it”

Anonymous, ND (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“The CD player skips when playing CDs. I googled it and it seems to be a common problem with this make and model”

Anonymous, ND (2004 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

“The fuel injector was clogged and had to be repaired”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)
Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“REPLACED”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“See other comments - Computer control module out so nothing works”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)
CV joint

“passenger side inner cv joint boot tore apart , as car drives grease sprays suspension and engine”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“loss of power, loud exaust”

Anonymous, CT (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

“was clogged so replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2004 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“Batteries NEVER last more than 18 months to two years. They ALWAYS fail with no warning and leave me having to call for assistance”

Anonymous, FL (2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

“Started making noise, decided to replace before it broke”

Anonymous, IA (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

“Heat does not work due to leak in coolant system. Radiator works fine but the heat exchange for cabin is leaking”

Anonymous, TX (2004 Nissan Maxima SL 3.5-L V6)

Compare 2004 Models

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Mercury Sable
Nissan Maxima
Toyota Avalon
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
SEATS:FRONT ASSEMBLY:POWER ADJUST
Nov 07 2005
A PINCHED HARNESS, IN COMBINATION WITH DRIVING VIBRATION, MAY RESULT IN A SHORT CIRCUIT IN THE HARNESS THAT COULD LEAD TO A FIRE IN THE SEAT.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH THE DRIVER PREFERRED PACKAGE, THE WIRE HARNESS FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT POWER LUMBAR SUPPORT SWITCH MAY BE ROUTED INCORRECTLY AND COULD BE PINCHED UNDER THE DRIVER SEAT.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE WIRE HARNESS AND ROUTE IT CORRECTLY. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JANUARY 16, 2006. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.
For more information:
NISSAN RECALL NO. PB011.CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V512000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 102551
VISIBILITY:SUN ROOF ASSEMBLY
Jul 07 2004
THIS COULD CREATE EXCESSIVE INTERNAL STRESS IN THE GLASS AND EVENTUALLY CAUSE THE GLASS TO SHATTER, CREATING A RISK OF INJURY.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH SKYVIEW ROOFS, THE GLASS FOR THE ROOF MAY NOT HAVE BEEN QUENCHED PROPERLY AFTER THE FORMING PROCESS, RESULTING IN TEMPER IMBALANCE.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND REPLACE THE GLASS IN THE SKYVIEW ROOF. THE RECALL BEGAN ON SEPTEMBER 7, 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.
For more information:
NISSAN RECALL NO. PU401. CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 04V326000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 32100
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