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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 97 maxima se 5 speed i battery light has been coming on for like a month now but when you run the rpms above 3000 the light goes off. i hooked a voltmeter up to this to see if the alternator was kicking in but it wasn't. If i hit a back road and give it in 3rd gear get it going like 90 and push the clutch in it would work and finally kick in. Now that its cold out it never turns on there so my car dies. I don't know if i have a bad voltage regulator battery or what but i have tested all the voltages from the alternator to the battery and grounds good and the cables are good. i have also tightened the belt. if it was bad i wouldn't think that it would kick in everyonce in a while. if this keeps up im just going to put a new alternator in it and hope im not wasting money any help on what to do??
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Not sure if this is related or not, but there was a recall issued for Maxima's, including 97's, for the althernator. Seems a diode was installed incorrectly and can short out later in life. I'd look into it if your not certain the recall work has been done yet. Here's the link:

    Good luck.
  • I own an "04" max. that I purchased in March "04" and I only have 35k miles on it.My co-worker also brought one in May "04" and she has 80k miles.Now she has the extended warranty to 100k but I don't.She noticed that the tranny was slipping and she taken it to Nissan dealership in Roswell,Ga. and after charging her $95 they said she needed to get her tranny flushed and she told them that Gwinnett Nissan had did it 3000 miles ago.They told she need to go back to them and did not tell her that she needed a new tranny. Nissan dealership in Duluth,Ga told her that the tranny need to be replaced & it will take about 4 wks for them to get it. Now she was also told she should have had done at 30k but it is suppose to be good for up to 100k.They told her the fluid was dark now because of the parts in her tranny brakering down.
    Heres the kicker ; they told her that NISSAN is aware that the tranny has this problem with MAXIMAS but becasue it is not a safety issue they have not did a recall.Also they said that the mechanic that flushed it before should have done a half flush.The mechanic even said that he had to put a new tranny in his wife's "04"
    max.I'm not sure how many mile she had. My co-worker has taken her care to the dealership for the regular maintenance schdule also.I AM GETTING RID OF MY BETWEEN 40K & 50K and only having half flushes. They also told her that they are told if they notice a small leak of any kind of fluid they are told to not mention it unless the customer specficly ask for it.
    HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS TYPE OF PROBLEMS.I will provide the dealerships names upon request.THIS IS IMPORTANT.
  • there is TSB for leaks in tranny and I do normal flushes every 30K.
  • zhekazheka Posts: 18
    Ball joints are the pivot between the wheels and the suspension. They are rigid and prevent the wheel from folding sidewards.

    To check the condition of a ball joint: Raise the car with the tires pointing straight ahead, grab the top of the tire with one hand and the bottom of the tire with the other. Pull with the top hand and push with the bottom, then reverse. If tire moves at all, ball joint is on it’s way out. Movements of 1/4 inch mean that the ball joint is completely busted. Usually, if the tire has movement, it’ll be accompanied by a noticeable metal squeak.

    There is another, more reliable, way to catch the ball joint failing before it’s completely busted, but for this, you’d have to insert a pry bar between the axle(I think...) and the ball joint, and see if you can get later to move. Do not push against any rubber parts(boots) – you’ll break them.

    Nissan does not sell ball joints for this gen.(95-99) of Maxima's separately, but as a part of the control arm, which is more expensive.($160+ v.s. $60 for aftermarket ball joint) Unfortunately, most aftermarket ball joints have average lifespan of only about two years.
  • zhekazheka Posts: 18
    A month ago I finally changed shocks on my '97 Maxima SE, w/ 5-speed at 106k miles. The old shocks did not fail, but with time got too soft - so the car was leaning too much in corners and was wobbly at speeds of 60+.

    I first looked at the original equipment first, but decided to go with KYB AGX, since they were cheaper and have good reputation. These also have adjustable dumping, meaning you can adjust their firmness to your liking in 2 minutes. I changed the shocks, strut mounts, and boots at all four corners, and left the factory springs.

    Now, 2000 miles after the change, I still find myself looking for excuses to take an extra ride, whenever I have time. I'm enjoying the car as if this was a new toy. I drive at 1/4 firmness setting, switching to 1/2 firmness for fun once in a while. My average gas mileage dropped from 27mpg to 23mpg, as I find myself having fun pushing the car harder.

    I had the KYB front strut mount bearing squeaking at first, but my mechanic injected some lithium grease into it, and it was fine since then.

    At 1/4 max firmness the ride feels like the stock replacement, with better handling, less leaning in corners and less wobbling at highway speeds. I guess the ride is equiv. to KYB GR-2, which are cheaper, but are not adjustable.

    At 1/2 max firmness the ride is harder, but is still OK. I like this setting for drives on highway/back roads, but the road imperfections can get annoyingly noticeable during everyday commute. I have not tried firmer settings, as I feel they'd be way too hard for me.

    Anyway, when the mechanic removed the old shocks, they found that while the fronts were the 10 year old factory installed shocks, the rears were ~3.5 year old Monroe Sensatrack, prev. owner must have changed the rears. As I mentioned before, I felt the both the front and the back gotten too soft - which means that Monroe's got worn in less than 4 years. Will see how KYB does on the reliability.

    $310 KYB AGX shocks set
    $140 Front(w/bearings) and rear KYB strut mounts, 4x boots.
    $450 Labor to replace + 4 wheel alignment.
    $900 Total
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Out of curiosity, do you or anyone reading this know if you can damage the ball joints or anything else in the process of replacing the CV axles? I let mine go instead of replacing the boots when I should have (brilliant, I know) and ended up replacing the axles. Ever since, there has been a slight wobble at certain speeds, which is why I wondered about ball joints. It seems related more to a range of RPM's than vehicle speed. I haven't paid particular attention, but it seems to be worse between about 3000-4000 rpms. I am going to be selling the car soon anyway, so I'm not big on putting a bunch of cash into it now - I've got over 200k on it. Other than this however, it has been a great car and still runs beautifully. Thanks for the advice.
  • zhekazheka Posts: 18
    There is nothing complex about changing the CV axles. You'll get vibration if they are put in incorrectly, but this is rare and is usually discovered during the wheel alignment. Did you do the alignment after the change?

    Could it be that what you feel, is torque steer? Not having the proper alignment could make the torque steer feel worse. If this is tied to the specific speed range - check whether the tires are properly balanced, and whether the wheels are still perfectly round.

    I know I feel torque steer at 3.5-5k rpm, but it's not bad. Was much worse before I got the car aligned :)
  • i have a problem my nissan 1999 SE is staling in the stop light i just did a tune up
    and changed the air filter gas filter and the coil in one it is still stalling alittle the engine light is not on i dont know what to do i am worried please help me
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Have you checked you Idle Air Controller? That sounds like your problem since your stalling while idling.
  • I have a 95 SE 5 spd (purchased May 94). Normally when you jack up the car and grab a tire top and bottom there should be no noticeable play in/out top or bottom.

    Many years ago I had a rt front wheel bearing fail (warranty expired) and after I took it to my dealer 3 times and explaining that there was play in that tire, they wouldn't do anything (thought it was normal, since they also sold Buicks). I finally had an independent garage fix it, and by then the failed bearing had eaten into the axle, requiring a hub assembly.

    At somewhere over 100,000 miles I had struts replaced (stut boots had disintegrated, and strut bearings were clunking when turning wheel at low speed). They also replaced front lower control arms because one of the bushings had migrated. I had them both replaced since I do competition driving (high speed autocross).

    13 years old and still going strong. Never any internal engine, clutch, trans, or A/C problems at all (just injectors and O2 sensors).
  • thankyou i will have it checked do you know how much the cost would be in your point of view
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Replacement IAC would run about $ 150 dealer retail with about another $100 in labor to install and test. If you have a service manual around you could try and clean and reinstall it as sometimes its due to dirt and carbon clogging it up rather than a part failure.
  • My 95 Maxima just started giving me problems in the cold weather. It has a very low idle at cold starting, I have to keep my foot on the accelerator to keep it running! Once warmed up, it's fine. Are we looking at a Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor issue?
  • konelkonel Posts: 3
    I have a 89 maxima and for some reason the heater and defroster stopped blowing hot air.I checked to make sure the valve is opening for the hot water supply to get to the heater core but it still does not get hot.Could it be the thermastat? Any suggestions as to what I should look for.Thanks :confuse:
  • Check your coolant level. If it's very low you won't get heat in the car.
  • I had the same type of issue with my 2000 maxima. I noticed that the car after 3500 rpm was choking. I decided to change the MAF and it resolved the problem.
  • konelkonel Posts: 3
    I checked the coolant level as one of the first things and it was fine.I did notice that the heater hose going into the heater core gets fairly hot but the return line is cold to the touch.Is it possi :confuse: ble the heater core is clogged.I don't really know much about them but I was thinking it is similsr to a radiator or is this wrong?
    Thanks Konel
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Did you check the radiator or the overflow tank? Sometimes one is full while the other isn't.
  • How did you check the heater valve exactly? It's really rare for a heater core to be completely plugged up. It can happen but it's unusual.

    If you have hot water going in but not coming out it's either a massive clog or a bad valve. That's about it.

    You could take compressed air to one of the hoses and blast it through.

    Let's see, what else. You could have a bad water pump but then the car would overheat pretty darn quick.
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