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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • gtgray - trust me, getting the extended warranty won't help - I know from experience. I own a 2001 SE. I purchased the extended 100k mile warranty while the car was new. While owning my Max has been an overall positive experience, trying to make a warranty claim was a dismal experience - the extended warranty will not cover most of the parts that will break (I'll mention why in a second), and the dealership and Nissan will try to squirm out of any claims that could be honored otherwise. Total cost of repairs for my Maxima - $1500. Total covered by warranty - $0. Brake rotors (a common problem for my model), air control valve, ECU reprogram (a problem from the factory), wind noise, front axle nuts were lose (from the factory),...the list goes on.

    Nissan will not offer an all-inclusive or bumper to bumper extended warranty. Instead, they'll present an impressive looking list of components they will cover. Don't be fooled - most of the items are repeated 2 or 3 times on the list. Keep in mind that Nissan retains a database from each dealer on what models have what problems. They use that information in many ways, one of which is to statistically predict which components may fail in the next 100,000 miles. Also keep in mind, they wouldn't offer to sell the extended warranty if they didn't think they could make money on it. Another trick - the extended warranty will also only cover labor if a part is replaced (which is why they wouldn't pay for the ECU reflash or axle nuts). The dealership made a couple of extra bucks off of me from that one!


    If you're seriously concerned about the quality of your vehicle, you might want to trade it in for another vehicle. I love my Nissan, but I won't buy another due to the lack of customer service.
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    I've got a 2k Max. with 73,000 mi. on it. At 35,000 I had the front rotors turned because they were warped. I now need to replace the front pads. I will also probably replace the rotors.

    Do you know what the minimum rotor thickness is ?

    How much material is normally removed to true up a rotor ( .020 in., .030 in.) ?? I know it will vary but approx. how much material will be removed if the rotor is warped ? I know, it depends on how bad the rotor is but, just give me a ballpark number if you can. Thanks in advance !!
  • gtgraygtgray Posts: 22
    Zoner1 - Thanks for your input - food for thought. The truth is...I love this car - except for the few annoyances and the crappy turning radius (I still can't park it straight!)


    I was looking to get extended warranty because I'm either keeping it for the long haul...or handing it over to my mother (1996 Maxima GLE w/ cold start problem) and checking out a TL. Maybe Honda's quality is still up to snuff. Boy....I'll miss my heated steering wheel, though. ;)
  • lyyylyyy Posts: 2
    Shortly after we purchased our 1st Nissan Maxima in July 2001, there was strong odor inside the car. As we were in Las Vegas at that time and have dirty laundry in the trunk, we attributed those smelly odor to the hot temperature plus our dirty laundry. This bad smell went away as soon as we returned to LA. Soon, this incident was totally forgotten.


    Late last October, just 2 months after the manufacturer warranty expires, we paid nearly $800 to replace 2 rear oxygen sensors. Now, Jan 31, 05 one of the front sensors needs to be replaced.


    We followed all the scheduled maintenance at a Nissan Dealer and it only has 33K miles--so much expensive repair so soon. So, we contacted the Nissan HQ's Consumer Affair department for assistance.


    However, we have been passed around like a ball between dealer's maintenance personnel and Nissan's Consumer Affair Staff.


    Wonder if we have any recourse in this case. We appreciate advise from anyone.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Tell these hypocrites that quite a few US states in the midwest have a speed limit of 75 MPH on their interstate highways. Last time I checked, you do not need to apply for a passport to drive in one of these states.


    I am becoming more and more convinced that this company is going down the toilet very fast. I do not think they will be getting my business any time soon.


    They took a great car like Maxima and turned it into a POS, because of neverending greed and using ever cheaper and lower quality parts in this car. Cheap parts + shoddy workmanship = junk


    The formula above works equally well in any country, on any product.
  • Do you hear the rarrling when sound system is on or all the time. I had the same issue when I bought my Maxima 2005 SL. I had to tak eit back to the dealership couple of times.


    Even now I hear that rattling some times butwhen i opena dn close the trunk a couple of times it goes away. I normally hear the sound when I am playing a song which has more bass.


    Anyways, what they did was that they replaced the insulation in the area where speakers are installed. I guess this is a problem with more than one cars.

    Maybe you want to take it back to the dealership and have them check the insulation in the rear speakers and break light area.


    Good Luck.
  • The braking system on the 2001 Maxima SE is woefully underdesigned. The TSB has been out for some time indicating that the answer to warped rotors every 10K miles is to cut them down. I replaced the OEM parts with PowerSlot rotors, Hawk brake pads & Motul 5.1 brake fluid. The difference is truly amazing, my max now stops on a dime. Other than the brakes, this car has been a dream for 30K miles (manual transmission).
  • I bought this brand new nissan maxima about 4 months ago of power nissan at elmonte. After driving 4000 miles, I just noticed that the hood and the trunk lid were out of alignment. The hood looked pretty bad if you are a detailed person. I took the car for a fix to the dealer service center, and one of their specialist told me that the car MIGHT have had an accident before. I was very angry because there was no way the car had an accident. Anyway they told me that they would have nissan to inspect the car if it has been in an accident. After 4 days they did not contact me at all. When I asked them, they told me to speak to a person who I have already contacted but never return my call. I went to 3 bodyshop to confirm this. 3 of them all aggreed that the back bumper had been repainted, but whoever did it, they did not do a good job. 2 of bodyshop also suspected that front bumper might also repainted or replaced. Please if anybody has been situation like this, what should I do ? What is my right ? Is it possible for me to pursue a lawsuit?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    According to several dealers I talked to, when you buy a new vehicle, the dealer must reveal at the time of delivery if the vehicle has been in an accident, in a flood, hailstorm, stolen and recovered, etc. This is required by law.


    I would contact an attorney and go from there. It is possible that your vehicle was damaged in transit, e.g. they partially dropped it off the truck when unloading, or it was not properly secured on the truck so the bumper got damaged. All such damage and subsequent repairs should have been disclosed at the time of delivery. typically, dalers will offer additional incentives to get rid of new vehicles that have been repaired. (e.g. car damaged by hail). they had tons of these for sale following intense hailstroms in Tennessee.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    It is required by law now that any repair facility that turns the rotors or brake drums, must measure the thickness of the rotors or drums to make sure that they meet the minimum thickness requirement. Only then they are allowed to turn the rotors or drums.


    Typically, only few thousands of an inch of metal thickness are removed from a rotor in a single pass. Rotors that are deeply grooved should not be turned because many passes will be required to machine out the grooves and they would reduce the rotor thickness beyond the minimum allowable thickness. On most modern cars nowadays, there is not a lot of extra "meat" so that some rotors can only be turned once. Some manufacturers, such as VW or Mercedes do not turn rotors at all, but replace them at every brake pad change.


    So if you are having your rotors turned, they will have to measure the rotor thickness and tell you if they can be turned. There are specs available for each rotor. I am not sure what it is for your Maxima, but your local Auto Zone store can tell you that.


    I would not recommed turning rotors that require more than about 2 millimeter of thickness per total 1 inch (25.4 mm) rotor thickness of metal removed to make them true. What happens is that the rotors become thinner and more prone to warpage.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    If you are cheap and do your own work, you can have them turned, but like p100 says, you get a rotor that doens't work like a new one and costs you money to get it turned, won't last very long, warps. personally, I usually do my own work and "splurge" on parts since my labor is free.


    Good luck


  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Rotor specs

    2000-01 Maxima



    1.024" original thickness

    .945" discard thickness

    .0004" thickness variation

    .0028" lateral runout



    .354" original thickness

    .315" discard thickness

    .0008" thickness variation

    .0028" lateral runout


    Machining usually removes about .010" each side, reducing thickness by .020". Should leave at least .020" above minimum thickness for wear after machining
  • Hello all.

    My front passenger side speakers are intermittent. They will cut out except, the A pillar speaker will stay on, very low. If I adjust fade / balance, system sounds okay but I want it corrected. Again, this is an intermittent problem. Audio shop guy says may be the "coil" in the speaker. Wants $270 to replace all 4 front speakers - says that he has to do the whole set but doesn't seem sure that is the problem. I dont think so.

    Any thoughts to help me out here?

    By the way, this is the standard system, not the Bose.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Found out what made the rattling noise!!! It was in the back window panel which holds the speakers! I had some thick chair batting, you buy at fabric stores to make chair cushions, we cut several small pieces. My husband took out the brake light and stuff it under the panel. It does not make the noise anymore! I hope I explained it so you get the picture? If not, I can email you a photo to show you what I am talking about.
  • dhampdhamp Posts: 8

    The advantage of timing chains in general, is that they don't require repetitive replacement and maintenance like belts do. I have a '96 GLE w/187k miles on it. Never done any timing belt work. I have several acquaintances that drive them as well, and no one has had such a problem.


    That being said, mechanical things are unpredictable, and tensioners such. They're helpful from the technician's view because they take the guess work out of if a chain or belt is too tight or loose. However, it just adds another piece in there that can break. Mechanical things break unexpectedly. Just an ugly fact of life. I wouldn't worry too much about that.


    Now the heads are a whole different issue. Unless you're rebuilding a motor or it's been run hot, you don't machine heads. Not sure, but if the chain was loose, I guess it could have damaged the outside, but not where the seal is, and that's what matters. If they didn't okay it first, I would contest paying for it, and ask for proof that it was even necessary.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    My 98 SE 5 speed has 102K miles now. Service/ problems to date: regular oil changes every 3K miles, manual transmission oil replaced at 70k miles with synthetic Redline MTU 90 gear oil, all four original brake pads replaced at 80K (still had plenty left on them). I only needed to sand the rotors because they were not grooved or warped. OEM spark plugs replaced at 60K miles. Engine coolant changed every 15k miles.


    Had the alternator replaced under Nissan recall (never had any problems with the original one. Replaced the hood gas struts because they wore out with age.


    Warranty issues: zero, not even an adjustment required.


    Tires replaced at 60K miles, right now on the second set of Toyos. Still on the original clutch - no problems. No sensors replaced, no check engine light on ever. No coil problems so far. Not a bad record for a car with over 100k miles. This is the most troublefree car I have ever owned.
  • elyely Posts: 1
    Oxygen 2 sensors, 2001 Maxima GLE, I have the same problem at 26500 miles and out of warranty. Think there is a pattern here with the 2001?
  • Welcome to the wonderful world of Nissan. Their customer service is a complete joke as they rarely ever follow up and treat you like you're an idiot, as if you're expecting too much out of a "new" car. Anyway, I had a similar experience with the hood of my 03 Maxima which I leased "brand new". The paint was lifting after 15,000 miles and was shifting color in this same section. After fighting with the dealership, Nissan did me a "favor" and repainted the hood. This is Nissan's attitude toward issues like this. In addition, the service manager informed me that if a repair costs less than $1,000 they don't have to report it to the consumer. Surprisingly, he also admitted that the hood was repainted somewhere along the line. I hope this info helps.
  • gtgraygtgray Posts: 22
    DO NOT LET THE DEALERSHIP OFF THE HOOK!!! I had an identical experience...and got the matter resolved in MY best interest. (MY best interest = a new car!)I will gladly share with you the process I took to get the dealership to make this right...but would rather do it privately for legal reasons if you're willing to provide email.


    HINT - the pen is truely mightier than the sword...don't show your hand...and write letters....lots of people at Nissan in very high places
  • I really like my maxima except for a few things.


    First, those darn coil packs! Paid $700 for six new ones, mechanic said more than one was bad and that the rest would go as well. Second thing that pissed me off was the tires! The OEM tires sucked, they lost effective tread at 20k. Replaced at 40k with KUMHO ECSTA KH11 225/50WR 17 and i love them, made it feel like a whole different car and they only cost $400 a set, plus balance and mounting. I also have a set of 16" steel wheels w/ firestone winter fire tires, I can drive faster and safer than any SUV can in the snow, haha let it snow. Third, the wimpy brakes, warped rotors at 40k, replaced rotors and pads. I am considering new brake system, any suggestions?

    The windshield wiper system sucks, only one sprayer works and the wipers barely do the job.


    I installed a courtesy Nissan strut tower brace and was really impressed with the improved stiffness from the front end handling. Any suggestions on how to improve the rear end handling from the solid axel? Running premium fuel over regular is about a 20hp difference, I pump the good stuff. I have only used 5W-30 Mobil One since new, why stop a good thing going. Transmission flush at 40k, getting time for another flush soon.


    I will never go to a Nissan dealership after hearing the crap they pull.
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