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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • greanpea68greanpea68 Posts: 1,996
    I have a 2000 Maxima GXE with 72000 miles on it. Over the last couple months it appears to be loosing a charge and stalls out. Replaced the battery. Brought to a nissan dealer and had the alternator checked and everything read fine on the computer. Also when it dies all the check lights come on. Wait a day or two and everything starts back up again. Anyone run into a problem like this before? Or any suggetions? :mad:
  • I dont know if i am luck or unlucky. I bought a 2003 Maxima GLE in july. Immediatley i noticed that the engine was not holding oil. There were no obvious leaks, but after about 1500 miles of each oil change, the engine would be almost bone dry. At first the dealer replaced the Gasket Seal, But this did not fix the problem. After taking it back to the dealer a second time, they ran some tests and took some compression readings and they informed me that there were some internal engine problems and that they would have to replace my entire engine. This isn't a problem for me because the car was certified and under warranty. But needless to say, I thought Nissans were pretty solid. I don't know if it was the dealership, previous owner or what. Has anyone had any similar problems? I guess I am really fortunate though, i am practically getting a new ride for free. I just hope there arent any other prblems lurking beneeth......
  • check out glove box light or other light also make sure you have no ground issues
  • your certified car was possibly a leased one in the past and most likely previous owner simply abused it. Its best to meet previous owner instead of trusting certified pre owned product.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    My '97 GXE 5 speed just turned 200K miles on the odo this week. Still uses NO oil, has no major leaks (needs new valve cover gasket seals, but nothing major) and returns an average of 29 mpg, 80% hwy driving. The VQ series V6's are known for their longevity, but it's possible yours was an abuse victim. I don't exactly baby mine, but I treat it with the respect I would hope for if I were buying from myself :shades: Just be glad you got the warranty and now you are getting a new VQ - what more could anyone ask for ;)
  • Hmmmm, Point well taken. I have wanted a Maxima for a while and I was really starting to worry that I got a dud. I can't wait to get it back!!!
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Enjoy - you'll be hooked. I'm planning to replace mine next year with either a new Maxima, Altima 3.5 SE or G35. I was considering a Camry or Accord until recently...I'm just hooked on the VQ and the Nissan products are a little more exclusive (don't them coming and going like the other two) and I like the handling better. The new Camry SE is a very tempting ride, thanks to Toyota's wonderful new 3.5L, but the styling isn't exactly me. Leaning toward the G35 now. Anyway, it really is a great car, one of the best I've owned (it's my second Maxima)...and as my name suggests I'm somewhat biased toward Toyota's and have owned several of them, so my expecations are high when it comes to durability. My Maxima hasn't disappointed for the most part, just minor stuff. The sheetmetal could be a bit heavier, but then the car would be too ;) so... would I change it? I guess not. I just wish other people were a little more careful with their doors. :)
  • asia2asia2 Posts: 5
    I also have a 2000 Maxima GXE and I described my problems - I think somewhat similar to yours - in my previous posts. After a week of checking different things, my mechanic finally replaced an air flow meter. Car runs like new now and just a couple weeks ago I was thinking of trading it in. Hopefully I will get couple more years now, I just like this car too much...
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Let us know how it is when you do get it back!
  • I will, if i ever get it back. The new engine was supposed to be in monday and it still has not arrived yet.... I getting a little anxious.
  • zhekazheka Posts: 18
    Newer Maximas, as all modern cars, are complex. Your mechanic, since he is working on lots of different cars, probably has a generic ODB II scanner. These scanners, even the pro grade, can only extract a portion of the data (error codes, warnings, e.t.c), stored in the car's memory - that is required by ODB II specification.

    Most manufacturers, however, build their cars to report much more than ODB II requires. This extra data is proprietary (in other words - not easily accessible) and most of the time, can be read by the manufacturer built scanner.

    As such, I would suggest taking your car to a dealer for the diagnostics, explaining in detail what you are experiencing. Do not give them any authorizations to go beyond diagnosing - tell them to tell you exactly what's wrong first. Once they tell you, ask them for a detailed explanation how their discovery relates to your experiences.

    Once you got this explanation, you can usually forward the info to your trusted mechanic, who can perform the repairs for the fraction of the cost.

    I had few electrical (engine, sensors) issues with my Maxima, and my mechanic could not figure out what they were. The dealer, for $70-100, did the diagnostics and gave detailed report of what they thought was wrong. Their estimate was very high though. My mechanic did the repairs for less than half of what the dealer wanted.

    Another tip, search or local mechanics for someone with recent ASE "Master" mechanic certification - this usually means they have brains and experience.

    I found a mechanic in Boston area, who has been certified Master Mechanic by ASE and Nissan, and opened his own shop. He's the best mechanic I've seen, and only charges $70/ hour.

    Hope this helps.
  • zhekazheka Posts: 18
    '97 Maxima SE 5-speed. It's been 18 months since the repairs, and the issue is back. Car is again hard to start. Dealership wants another $700 to lower the transmission and sand it.

    I still do not understand exactly what the problem is, but the dealer insists that the rust in the place, where the engine sits on the transmission, prevents the electrical signal from being read properly by some engine sensors, which results in hard starts and sometimes loud knocks during starts.

    Based on the fact that I had trouble free starting after their last transmission sand-down for at least 9 months(it slowly started getting worse after this - 10 more months and I'm back where I started.), I think they are right about what the issue is - but do not do a good job at fixing it. They said that the problem should not re-appear for 5+ years, so I am disappointed.

    Again, the dealer said that this is common with 95-99 Maximas, and they have seen many similar issues. Does anyone have a similar experience?

    Thank you,
  • rossm1rossm1 Posts: 13
    My Inlaws have 2004 Nisan Maxima with 40K miles on it
    They bought it new
    ABS system just broke (don't know details)
    To fix it dealer ask for 4K
    Is there anything they can do?

  • zhekazheka Posts: 18
    Before agreeing to the dealer's price, take it to few reputable mechanics for a quote. Do not show the mechanics the quote from the dealer, but do describe the problem in detail.

    You'll probably save ~50%

    If you're in the Boston area - I can give you few numbers.

  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Hmmm.... $700 every 18 mos to R&R the transmission without really fixing the problem? I don't know technically what they are doing, but it sounds like they don't know either. They should be able to fix the problem and prevent the return of the problem. If it's a known issue, ask what the correct procedure is as described in the TSB (technical service bulletin) and find out what they did, and if they did follow the procedure, ask them why the problem has returned so quickly. Put it back on them - they obviously didn't correct the problem, and it isn't fair that you should have to keep returning it to them to have the transmission sanded down, whatever the crap that means. :shades:
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Assuming the belt that he used was OEM or equal in quality, my best guess would be a loose tensioner that would need to be replaced. This is not uncommon. I would question any mechanic who "lubricates" belts as lubrication causes slippage something that you don't want. It is a quick fix to get rid of the problemsome customer.
  • zhekazheka Posts: 18
    Based on my experience with my '97 Maxima SE 5 speed, it can be some of the 4 things below::

    1. Ball joints are trashed. This would also make the car twitchy and unstable, and if not repaired on time, they start to rattle and eventually fall off, taking a wheel with them. A mechanic can check this in 5 minutes, once the car is lifted.

    2. Sway bar links are worn out. This will result in a knocking sound on every bump. A mechanic can check this in 5 minutes, once the car is lifted.

    3. Strut/Shock mounts. These, if broken, can allow the top of the shock/strut to have some horizontal movement - making a rattle on bumps. A mechanic can check this in 5 minutes, once the car is lifted by trying to move the top end of the strut, using a pry bar, from below the wheel.

    4. One of the exhaust heat shields has rusted and got partially loose. This can introduce a general rattle while the car is shaking (going over a bump, starting). Again, a mechanic can check this in 5 minutes, once the car is lifted, by starting it and listening to the rattles.

    Take it to a mechanic you trust and ask them to show you what they have found.

    I had to change the ball joints and links a couple of years ago. Since your car is older, you’ll probably need to change some of the above.

    If you end up changing the mounts, it makes sense to change the struts and strut boots at the same time. If it’s the ball joints, you’ll have to go with the aftermarket, as Nissan only sells them as part of the control arm.

    Here are the replacement prices based on $65/hour labor rate.

    Ball joints - front (replace in pairs): $58 part + $90 labor per wheel.
    Sway bar links- front (replace in pairs): $110/wheel for part and labor.
    Strut mount - front (replace in pairs): $35 part + $60 labor per wheel. + need alignment.

    Hope this helps.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    What are the symptoms when a ball joint is wearing out? My 97 GXE 5 speed has 201K on it now (I drive a lot) and the front end shakes on the freeway at speeds above ~ 75 mph. I also notice when I hit a bump at those speeds, there is some reverberation through the driveline for a moment. Accleration also produces vibrations through the steering wheel. I will probably replace it soon, but I'm wondering if my ball joints are worn out? I always said I'd drive it till the wheels fall off, but I really don't want to be in it if that happens :shades:
  • i had an aftermarket audio(JL audio) and alarm installed in my 1999 nissan maxima,my stock alarm is somehow stopping my car from starting, what do i do?
  • windy6windy6 Posts: 57
    My SES light came on yesterday, about 50K miles, gas tank was down to about 1/2 so I doubt if it's a loose fuel cap.

    Still I pulled over and tightened it again. I'm going to drive it a couple of days as the manual says it "may" go off by itself.

    On my Lexus I can turn this light off by holding in the "odometer reset" button and turning the key ON. I didn't see a procedure in the Maxima's manual though.

    I guess my regular mechanic can hook an ODB II analyzer to it, or I can go by the Nissan dealership (50 miles away) next time I'm in the "big city".

    I'm guessing that most things that turn this on are "emissions" related so covered by the 80K miles mandated warranty, correct?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas/hints.

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