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Nissan Maxima

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  • Thanks for your input about'95-99 Maxima. I will look into it. My friend at work has a '96 Maxima with 225,000 miles and still going strong
  • Thanks for your input about'95-99 Maxima. I will look into it. My friend at work has a '96 Maxima with 225,000 miles and still going strong
  • jg28--I agree with you that the trip computer is very inaccurate. I never get gas mileage anywhere near what the computer say I am getting. I drive my Max mainly to work which consists of about 18 miles of open highway, 12 miles of moderate stop and go, and 10 miles of the type of traffic Chicago is known for...stop and go. With this type of mix I am consistantly getting between 23-24. Just last night it took 12.67 gal for 304 miles of driving equating to 23.99 mpg. I have got as much as 27 mpg on the highway. Since I am cheap I have calculated how much money in gas I would save if I traded the Max in for a hybrid and it is only about $700/year. It would take a much bigger savings than that to give up my Max.
  • Thanks all for your input on the Pilot Sports A/S tires. I will probably go for those. Re the noise - I usualy have the stereo up pretty loud so that should not be much of a factor. Re the ride - Well, the car is stiff now and ride may become more "harsh" with the Pilots but I suppose that is a sacrifice that I'll have to make if I want the wet / dry / snow performance that I have read is the best I'm going to get in that size, (225 50 17). Re the price - if you want the best performer, ya gotta pay. Any tire that size is going to be expensive. I have read that the tire wear is rated higher than the RE92s and I'll get 30,000 out of those,I'm at 28,400 now.
    Drive safe.
  • I changed to the Pilots at 38K on my 00 Max (have about 42K now). Definitely better wet traction, although I don't drive the car much now - it's my wife's. They are a bit louder than the Potenzas.
  • This board has had numerous posters discussing their satisfaction with the '95-'99 max. While I accept the comments on the superiority of the 4th gen max, I've been very pleased with my 2000 with 68,000 miles. Are their any owners of 2000+ maximas with high mileage (over 100,000) that can relate how their 5th gen max is doing?
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I have 2000 SE 55K miles with no probs other than an O2 sensor a couple weeks ago. Cost = $330 at dealer in MN. Replaced Toyos with Dunlop SPA2 at 40K. The tranny seems confused a lot when driving really aggressive, besides that car is still solid. I plan on going 100K+ before selling.
  • Had my new '04 Max for two months. It's a Black SE w/Frost leather, Driver Preferred Pkg. and Moonroof. Here's my gripe...Nissan cheaped out on the driving lights; they are not Xenon like the headlights (cheezy move to save a few bucks if you ask me). Anyway, is there a way to replace the standard bulbs with the Xenon?? I believe Nissan/Infinity uses the same size Xenons (driving) in other car models. Thanks.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    xenon lamps can be put in if you can find them...and its not a matter of a few bucks...its a matter of about $700-$1000 for a pair. also, VERY FEW cars with xenon lamps have xenon fog lamps as well...actually, i cant think of any...can you?
  • I've got a loaded Silver Mist SE automatic that has 135,xxx miles on it. It has had no significant (other than normal maintenance)issues with the exception of the ignition coils were replaced at 120,000 miles at dealer expense.

    I had taken the car in for it's 120k service (it was running perfectly) when I dropped it off. I picked it up the next day, and drove away, about 3 miles later, all the warning lights came on and it went into "limp home" mode.

    Took it back to the dealer and he the ignition coils were bad and had to be replaced at a cost of ~$700.

    I had them replace them and then asked what could have caused them to go bad all of a sudden when the car was running perfectly when I dropped it off.

    His admitted that the coils become somewhat fragile after a long life a lot of miles and the technician probably damaged them when they removed them to replace the spark plugs.

    They agreed to cover the repair and I bought a new Murano from the same dealer about a year earlier.

    There are some good Nissan dealers out there!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The fact that they told you that the coil replacement was $ 700 proves to me that this is a not an honest dealer. The retail cost of these coils is about $ 75 times six which is $ 450. Their cost is about $ 40 a piece, so $ 240 total. Are you telling me that charging somebody $ 460 for half an hour worth of work is OK and sign of an honest dealership?

    They replaced them free of charge because you bought a vehicle from them recently and your repeat business is worth $ 240 to them. They may even have a way of claiming these under warranty for all we know.
  • Man, your really down on Nissan dealers aren't you?

    My typing mistake on the timing of the events.

    The Murano was bought a year later July 26, 2003.

    The coil repair was in July 2002. The two events are not linked, except that I went back to the dealer and bought another vehicle from them

    FYI, Most dealers actually charge the retail price to their customers, not their cost price.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    i went to our service dept. to check on your #s...each coil retail cost is $89.95. times 6=$539.70 plus tax (usually 6%)=$572.08. each coil carries a quarter hour of labor at $90. thats $22.50 for each coil times 6=135. add that to the parts cost and you have $707.08. dealer cost doesnt matter, since they quoted a retail repair. for one, they WERE honest, and for 2, even if they used your numbers, it doesnt make 1/2 hour labor $460...it would make it $260. use a calculator next time, and have some faith that some of us in the car business enjoy an honest living.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    According to my local Nissan dealer parts department the retail price for one ignition coil for a 2000 model Maxima is $ 69.46. I asked the service department for a quote for replacing the spark plugs for the same car. The answer was $ 84, or one hour labor. This is interesting, and puts a big dent into the above honesty claim. To replace the spark plugs, you must first remove the coils! They said that replacing the plugs takes about an hour - a half hour to remove and reinstall the coils, and roughly the same amount of time to remove and reinstall the spark plugs.

    So according to the other dealer's quote, it takes 1.5 hours just to remove and replace the coils. This means that replacing the spark plugs should be twice that - or 3 hours. At $ 90 an hour, this is $ 270 labor to replace 6 spark plugs. The retail cost of platimum OEM spark plugs for my 98 SE is $ 13.20, or $ 79.20 for a set of six. Assuming the cost of the plugs for the 2000 model is the same, the total cost of replacing six spark plugs is $ 359.20, plus applicable county sales tax.

    I do not know about you, but I bet that most people who read this forum would consider $ 360 charge to replace 6 spark plugs in a Maxima unreasonable. If so, why is it reasonable to expect 1.5 hours of labor charge to replace six coils? In my original post I was trying to illustrate the dealer profit for what I believe is at most 1/2 hour of work. Keep in mind that the 15 minute estimate for each coil replacement most likely includes the time required to get the car into the service bay, getting the right tools, disconnecting the battery, removing coil cover, etc. This is done just once, not all over again for each coil. So I would say that our local Nissan dealer is more honest.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    sorry...i had 1 mistake. the 1.5 hour labor was for coils AND plugs...1 hour for coils and 0.5 for plugs. i just didnt add the plugs cost.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I replaced the plugs on my 98 SE this morning. This was the first time I did this on a Maxima. Took me exactly one hour at a comfortable pace. I disconnected the negative battery terminal before starting the work, used compressed air to blow out the dirt from each plug well after removing each coil. I stand behind my former claim: 1/2 hour to replace the coils and 1/2 hour to replace the plugs, for a total of one hour should be a conservative estimate for a Nissan dealership.

    Some advice when replacing the spark plugs:

    Remove one coil and plug at a time. This way you do not have to label the coils for correct reinstallation. When removing the coil electrical connectors, fully press in the locking tab to avoid breaking the connector. Each coil is held in place with two machine screws with an 8 mm hex head. I used an 8 mm nutdriver to loosen the screws, then used a magnetic Phillips screwdriver to remove them. Using a magnetic screwdriver is especially important for the rear coil screws because you can drop a screw and it may be difficult to retrieve it.
    Take care when removing coils after removing the mounting screws. The coils have a long plug boot and must be lifted gently to avoid damaging them. Rear coils were easier to remove for some reason.

    You need a 5/8 inch(or 16 mm) spark plug socket with a good rubber boot, a 12 inch extension, and a ratchet to remove and install the plugs. To avoid crossthreading, I always screw in new plugs by turning the extension by hand until the new plug seats. Only then I will tighten it with a ratchet. To get a specfiied torque, you need a small 3/8 drive torque wrench. The specified tightening torque is 14-22 ft-lbs. Make sure your plug socket rubber boot is strong enough to hold the plug in place vertically because the plug wells are very deep.

    For the rear coils, you need to loosen and move out of the way several small engine components to have enough clearance to remove the coils and plugs.

    I hope this helps. I used the OEM replacement spark plugs. They are not cheap and even sparkplugs.com wants almost $ 11 a piece for them (plus postage). Nissan dealer retail price is about $ 13 a piece. After 68k miles, there was visible wear on the center electrodes of the plugs.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    It is good to learn that someone (like p100)on this Board is mechanically adapt in fixing cars, particularly the Max, such that we can obtain advice about various problems and the reasonable costs for fixing the problems. I know little about cars even though I have been driving for the past 20 years.

    P100, I thought the OEM plugs (platinum?) for the Max are good for 100k miles. Why did you change yours at 68k miles? Do you know if there is a TSB for the coils for the 95-99 and/or later model Maximas?

    I have a 97 and 03 Max, and several years ago I received a notice from Nissan (I think it was from the dealer rather than the manufacturer) indicating that the "check engine light" in the 97 Max needed to be replaced (probably something about the oxygen sensor). Since I never had trouble with the light, I ignored the notice. My philosophy is to keep up maintenance according to recommended schedules and not to fix something which isn't broken. So far I have been lucky ;-) Knock on wood.
  • I had to replace my ignition coils at 39000 miles. Nissan America picked up the labor costs of replacing the coil and paid about 40% of the cost of parts. After that the car has been driving VERY smoothly. I have about 48000 miles on it.

    How is the 2003 Maxima? Any known major problems?
    I see 2003 GXE Automatic cars advertised for about $17k with about 13k miles on them. If I can get the price lowered to $16.4K will that be a good deal?
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Both my Max are loaded GLEs and I don't really know the price of GXEs, but I suppose they may be $3k cheaper. Right now, I don't think you can get a new 03 anymore.

    As to my 2003, which I have owned for 11 months and now has 5k miles, the car has been trouble free. The only "complaint" I have is that it hesitates for a split-second when you accelerate hard from a full stop. Since I am not an aggressive driver, this doesn't really bother me. The one place where I think the 03 is inferior is the "premium" Bose system. The 97 has amplified Bose speakers, but I don't think the 03 has them, though it comes with a bass heavy subwoofer. The 03 has very user friendly steering wheel mounted buttons which control all audio functions, including changing CD discs on the dash-mounted changer.

    My main concern about the 03 is the super bright HIDs, which are magnets for thieves (depending on where you live). I was told that they can be stolen in less than 5 minutes and it costs over $3k to replace them and the damage to the hood.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    the 105k mile interval is on 2002 and newer, and back to 2000 on the SE models.
  • Sorry for repeating my question. Does $16.2 K sound reasonable for a clean car ( 2003 GXE Auto ) with about 13k+mile on it?

    This is an out-of-town dealer and I need to make up my mind on this real soon.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions / advice. I intend to do a CARFAX report before going there.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    According to the owners manual the replacement interval is 60K miles. I personally think that 100K miles is way too long for any spark plug. As the center electrodes wear down, the gap increases and the energy required to produce a spark goes up. This icreases the load on the coils.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'd like to share and get comments on the following:

    My 1995 Maxima SE 5-speed (placed into service September 1994) now has 143,500 miles. Overall, I have been very pleased with it's performance and how it's held up. However, the past 12-18 months have required several expensive repairs, suggesting it may be prudent to consider a replacement:

    Miles 0 - 50,0000 (3yrs,7months): Total routine service = $928.96 Repairs = $0
    Miles 50,000 - 100,000 (2yrs,8mo.): routine maintenance = $1,750.16. Repairs = $0.
    Miles 100,000 - 143,500 (2yrs,7months): routine maintenance = $2,095.61. Repairs = $2,173.91

    The repairs consist of: engine temp coolant gage ($190), water pump ($600), starter ($440), front axle boots ($600) and miscellaneous other items. All of these repairs have occurred in the last 20,000 miles (123,500+). Note - the above figures do not include self performaed oil changes at every 4,000 +/- miles. I also put tires and brakes into "routine".

    What do you think? Time for the bone yard? I still like the car, but I'm wondering what the nest 20,000 miles have in store.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    aristotle - there is a topic called "Real-World Trade In Values" under the "Smart Shopper" section of this board. There's a guy there called rroyce10 and he will be able to answer your quesion.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,676
    By my criteria, time for the new car. Not just from a strcitly dollars and cents POV, but reliability and convenience. Since you put a lot of miles on it (what, 18K/year?), who knows if the next failure leaves you stranded at rush hour on the beltway. Plus the hassle of taking it in for continual visits to the shop.

    Besides, any $ you put into it at this point won't come back out. If it is a 2K car, another 1.5K in repairs and it is still a 2K car.

    Move it on to a new owner, and get the 5 series you really want (good deals now on left over '03s!).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I agree with stickguy. Looks like it is about time to part with your old faithful, trade it in or sell it to a third party, and get a new car.

    I know you love the BMW 530i, which you may still be able to get great deals on (I heard $3k below invoice). Had BMW offered this kind of discount when I was shopping last year, I would have bought one myself. My concern is that BMWs tend to be less reliable than the Max, and the repair cost can be quite expensive.

    The G35 is also a good choice, but it is rear wheel drive, and you have to pay close to MSRP. Since the G35 shares Max's engine, one should expect great performance and reliability. If you want a Max clone, get the I35, although we don't know if Infiniti is going to keep that car, and if so, for how long.

    The TL-S may also be a good candidate, but I am leery about the transmission problem that some TL owners have been complaining about. The 04 TL looks good, is more powerful and luxurious, but you may have to deal with fresh design bugs and pay MSRP (at least for the first 6 months).
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    allthose choices, and you didnt mention the most obvious replacement...an '04 maxima.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I did not mention the 04 Max because I think Habitat would not consider that car as one of his choices. I do not and cannot speak on behalf of Habitat, but I believe he is not too keen about buying U.S. made Japanese cars, particularly those first generation U.S. made cars, such as the 04 Max, unless it is offered at a price that is highly attractive (and definitely not MSRP). I sort of share Habitat's belief and that was why I bought the 03 Max. Until the 04 Max proves that it is as reliable as its predecessors, I will not want to be treated as a "guinea pig" :-)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Thanks for your comments & suggestions.

    Part of me has wanted to keep the Maxima as long as possible, just to see how high I can get the odometer up to. Fortunately, the car still looks good, so it's not as though I'm embarassing myself driving to a business meeting in an old Crown Victoria. However, another part of me recalls that when my old Acura Integra started to go, it went downhill very fast and took me for $5,000 in repairs in it's last year and a half. And, as stickguy points out, when I finally handed the keys to charity, my deductable donation wasn't any greater than it would have been before dishing out that $5,000.

    Although $2,000+ in repairs in the last 12-18 months isn't cheap, that's still about half of the depreciation that would occur driving a new 530i off the showroom floor. And, in fairness, that needs to be balanced out with $0 in repairs for the first 7+ years and 120k miles. I suspect some of these items might have gone earlier, if I did more stop and go city driving. We had to replace the starter in our Trooper at 5 years and 50k miles.

    As far as possible replacements go, the former 530i would have been at the top of my wish list, had I been able to get one equiped the way I want at $2-3k under invoice. What's left here are non-sport automatics. The G35 sedan looks still rub me the wrong way. I should probably drive one with a 6-speed before ruling it out. Forget the I35. I would never have paid for an overpriced, undersuspensioned Maxima in 1995 and I sure wouldn't now. The Acura TL also doesn't do it for me, although I should probably withhold final judgement until seeing and driving the 2004 6 speed in person. I just don't see much of a "premium" in a gussied up FWD Accord made in Ohio. The other option might be a 330i 6-speed with the upgarded sport "performance package". I need to determine whether the smaller size will work, given that I prefer having a car alternative to the Trooper for shorter family trips.

    Oddly, 3 months ago I would have said no way to the 2004 Maxima. I've now seen 4-5 on the road (mostly black SE's) and they look pretty good. If I were going FWD for practicality and still looking for good performance, the Maxima might still be at the top of my list, especially at a price closer to invoice than MSRP.

    My current plan is to hang on to the Maxima through the remainder of the year and consider replacing it in 4-6 months after I better evaluate some of the newer options, including the new 5-series. That will also allow for evaluation of the new Maxima relative to whether or not it has first year bugs. I could change my mind quickly if I get stranded on the Beltway. Or I might go back to my original plan of 200k or bust if I don't!

    Thanks again for your input.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    habitat...is kenny right about your aversion to US built cars?

    kenny...FYI...the G35 and TL are both built here...your point doesnt make sense in nixing the max.
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