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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 1997 Nissan maxima and the engine turns off today on every light and stop sign. Anybody can tell what is going on? I would appreciate it very much. Thank you.
  • allegoricallegoric Posts: 2
    It's probably the power steering pressure switch on the firewall, passenger side. I replaced my IAC and MAF before discovering it, I only found ROCKAUTO on EBAY selling them for about $60, but I just discoed mine and it idles perfectly.I have a 95, this problem seems to have many people posting without a clue replacing everything but discovering this "switch". Let me know if I am right I have a big ego!
  • Hey all, new to this forum and needing help. This is my first Nissan, a 2000 Max w/ 127k. I've had the car two months, bought it for my wife for a beater around town and back and forth to work. It's had the problem since we bought it, we assumed the dealer could figure it out easily, Boy was I wrong.

    OK enough yapping and down to the problem. Sometimes the car will crank and crank but won't hit. Sometimes it starts on the first crank. We cannot make it repeat and nothing seems to trigger it. The dealer first told me it was the starter and for 538 dollars they would fix it. Well I got the starter and changed it myself, wasn't it. put the old one back and got my money back. It left my wife sitting and I had to leave work, so we took it straight to the dealer when I got it going. this time they told me it was the crank sensor and the flywheel was missing teeth. they wanted $1187 for the repair. not happening. got thecar home changed the rear CPS, no change, front CPS no change. While I was under the car I decided to look at the flywheel myself( by the access panel on the bottom of the tranny they said they used), well it hasn't been off.also cleaned the cam sensor

    Does anyone have any ideas or ran into the same problem? Oh and would the key have any effect on the starting, I know it is chipped, but the one we have is pretty beat up and rattles when shaken, I'm thinking the the chip may be loose and relaying the proper info, just a guess

    sorry for the long post, just trying to give as much info as possible. Thanks RM
  • tinamaritinamari Posts: 2
    Hi All-

    After reading this forum I am seeing a common denominator with all that I have been experiencing with my 2000 Nissan Maxima (140k). I've had problems with the sensors, the weird noises, the "check engine light" coming on and off as well as other malfunctioning issues. And just last week my car turned off after driving in the rain. Currently, the car is in a shop and I am waiting to hear some kind of report, but the one thing that I was told could be the issue, is that I am having electrical issues. I am frustrated and ready to toss this car (although I still have a car note) and I am nervous to find out how much this is going to cost me!

    Anyone have any ideas on how much this may cost or even what could be the problem, seeing as though these cars have a history with sensor and electrical problems?
  • carrmatcarrmat Posts: 1
    Hi Everyone. My car has been making a rattling noise for a couple months and I kept putting it off. My oil change place told me it was the timing chain tensioner. Last weekend I went to get in it and it would start, kept cranking no problem just wouldn't fire. Had it towed to Oil change place, the guy there who is a ASE mechanic said it looked like the timing chain broke and there was potentially some engine damage.

    Had it towed to dealer for further evaluation. They said the timing chain was fine but that it skipped time and the pistons blew into the valves. Long story short, I need a new motor.

    1. Is this possible for the valves to do this?
    2. Why in the sam hell, if this is possible, wouldn't some code be thrown that would tell me this is a potentially serious problem that needs to be checked before the engine completely blows? Or should it have thrown a code?
    3. Any recommendations on getting a used motor?
    4. Is this engine replacement something a good mechanic could handle or should this be done at the outrageously expensive dealer labor fees (ie: special tools, special Nissan training required)?

    Thanks. -Matt
  • I think a good independent shop can handle this job, no problem.

    They probably know of sources for used engines. Here's one:


    Your question about a code for this problem is interesting. Some cars did in fact have warning systems for engine timing disorders (Porsche 928) but with a timing chain, it's a pretty rare occurrence.

    In hindsight, chains do give warnings usually before they break or jump time by making noise.

    I'd take the car to an independent shop and first off, have them verify the huge drop in compression that would indicate bent valves.

    Also, I'd remove the head and inspect the engine internally, if a drop in compression is verified. It may not be necessary to replace the entire engine. A piston can "kiss" a valve and bend it slightly without serious damage to itself sometimes--requiring only a rebuilt cylinder head.

    Visiting Host
  • dribbydribby Posts: 1
  • I have a 2000 GLE Nissan Maxima and in the far left back (passenger side) my car is smoking. I took it to the dealer because my engine light was on and the smoking under the hood and they fixed #6 coil (mis-firing) and tune-up. The burning smell is though my transmission has no fluid in it. I remember this because my step-father was a back yard mechanic and I remember the smell. The dealer has told me to bring it back on Monday, August 24th and a test will be run to see what it could be. Just last week I have paid over $800 for repairs and I am afraid they are just trying to rip me off. I am a female and don't have a clue about this. This is why I take my car to the dealer who is the expert. I need some advice on what to do? My hood is open now in my garage because when I drove it back home today it was smoking really bad. I am so afraid that I may be making matters worse by driving it. Can you provide some guidance?
  • I have a 2000 maxima with 146,000 mile on it. About one month ago, it suddenly got dead when I tried to turn right at low speed (~20mph). It can run ~15 minutes after I restarted it, but then got dead again. Service Engine light is on and the error code is P0171. Tried to fix it in two mechanics, but both of them can not figure out the problem. Do anyone have the same problem? Thanks for any advice/help.
  • Check Engine Light Code P0171

    System Too Lean - Bank 1


    How does a P0171 code trigger the check engine light? This code will trigge=
    r the check engine light as follows:

    The adaptive fuel strategy in the vehicle's computer constantly monitors th=
    e fuel delivery system to make sure the engine is running at an optimum air=
    to fuel ratio, which is 14.7:1. The computer adjusts injector pulse width =
    to regulate the amount of fuel going into the engine. The oxygen sensors re=
    lay information to the Powertrain Control Module (computer), informing it o=
    f the oxygen content in the exhaust. This information is translated by the =
    computer, and used to determine if more or less fuel is needed. The compute=
    r will then adjust fuel flow (and possibly other related engine operating c=
    haracteristics), to keep the correct air fuel mixture. This loop continues =
    as long as the engine is running. Please refer to our article Oxygen Sensor=
    Code Diagnosis for more info on this system. A P0171 check engine light co=
    de is set when the computer has reached a rich calibration limit and can no=
    t add enough fuel to maintain the correct mixture.=20
    Possible Causes:=20
    Refer to our Oxygen Sensor Code Diagnosis article for a list of all possibl=
    e causes. The following is an overview of P0171 check engine light code pos=
    sible causes.

    Fuel System:

    Leaking or faulty fuel pressure regulator
    Plugged or dirty fuel filter or lines
    Fuel pump weak or defective check valve
    Injectors leaking or faulty
    Low fuel pressure or running out of fuel
    Leaking EVAP system components
    Faulty FRP (Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor)

    Air Intake System

    Vacuum leaks
    Contaminated, damaged or faulty Mass Air Flow sensor
    PCV valve leak or stuck open
    Air induction turbulance caused by wrong filter
    Oil dipstick not seated
    Air leaks after the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)
    Oil coated aftermarket air filter

    Exhaust System

    Any exhaust leak before or near the oxygen sensors

    EGR System

    Vacuum line disconnected from EGR System Module (ESM)
    EGR valve, tube or gasket leak
    EGR vacuum regulator valve leaking

    Secondary Air Injection System

    Mechanically stuck secondary air injection valve

    Diagnostic Help:=20

    A very thorough discussion of how to approach and repair a P0171 check engi=
    ne light code can be found here. If you need further assistance let us know=
    . Please be sure to stop back in and visit some of our other very useful si=
    te features to lear more about your car's emissions system!

    Suzanne V. Thompson
  • hello, new to the forum. i have a 95 maxima with 120,000 miles. i was driving to work and all of a suddden my car just jumped to the right and my steering wheel was not straight anymore. it will track down the road straight when letting go of the wheel. turn the wheel left and right and the steering wheel be straight again. drive some more and it will jump to the right again.feels like power steering problem.
  • Hi there
    well - sounds like the crazy problem I have with my 95. Get a load of this. Recent news (been chasing this starting problem for 2 years, I can change the started in 45 minutes - done 3): the problem, according to 2 dealers who knew of it, is a corrosion problem apparently between the transmission and the block. Solution is to take off the transmission, clean the surfaces, apply new dielectric grease, and reinstall. Sounds so crazy that I could not believe it but 2 dealers confirmed. The other 2 I called never heard of it. I have ground strapping in my hand that I will try this weekend, but have low confidence it will work. Recommend you call around and see if anyone can confirm this... Hope this helps. I too replaced crank angle sensor, cam angle sensor, knock sensor... Starters eventually died and replaced too... Good luck and please let me know what happens.
  • Hello out there. Been chasing a starting problem for 2 years on my 95 Maxima with 185k miles and some rust: car cranks OK (not the starter, not the battery, not the teeth on the flywheel), kicks back and then continues to crank. Eventually will start but painful. Killed 3 starters along the way. Check engine light is on. CHanged the knock sensor, the crank angle sensors, the cam angle sensor. Nothing. I went to sell the car and someone told me the solution (which I cannot believe but 2 dealers confirmed - 2 others said never heard of this): problem is corrosion between (!?!?!) the transmission and the block, causing grounding problems and wants to try to make the engine turn backwards during starting. Ground straps apparently do not work (?!?!?!). Solution is $900 to remove the transmission (?!??!), clean, and reinstall. I cannot believe this - can anyone out there confirm or let me know of an easier way to fix this?
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 173
    I have an '03 with 75,000 miles, never any trouble with it. I'm planning on keeping a couple of more years and was wondering about the serpentine belt. My last few "working" cars the belts lasted about 150K miles, or I sold them with the original still in place. But now that I don't work I don't put on the miles so I'm wondering what anyone thinks about replacing it.

    It's difficult to see it but what I can see looks OK, also in my experience these don't just "go" like the older accessory belts. Since I occassionally take 300-400 mile trips I'd hate to have to replace it on the side of the road. Any thoughts on this, or tell me how long yours have lasted.

    Also, when I had my oil changed last week (Wal-Mart, they now do an automatic battery "check") the little paper they handed me said the battery was "low". I put in an Interstate 75 month battery almost 3 years ago because I was going to be spending the rest of the winter in CO and felt it was a good preventive measure.

    Thanks for any input.

  • guuguu Posts: 10
    Isn't the factory recommended interval 50k miles? Did you check the grooved side for cracks and or missing pieces? I Don't mind replacing them on the side of the road unless its the weather is bad.

    Did you check the fluid level of the battery? Do you keep it filled? If the cells get dry the dry part is dead until it get reconditioned.
  • I have a 96 Maxima with about 175,000 miles on it. The problem i have is the will lock up when i brake too quickly. Like a stop light, or trying to avoid transmission an accident. Sometimes at a light it will drop back into gear, but if i'm at a stop sign, or middle of the road i have to give a little gas to engage. And when i say "locks up" my meaning is it acts like it is in neutral when i'm in drive. I have not done anything to it yet. Would like to know where to start looking for the problem.
  • Hi...I was thinking about buying a 2002 Maxima SE with 167,000 miles...Do maximas of this year typically run past the 200,000 mile mark? and are there any known problems to look for with this model year?
  • My car is a 2001 <Maxima and have a similar problem; I have about 97,000 miles on my car. It does it quite randomly - typically only when I've been driving it the highway at sah 70mph or so, and then exit highway and go into far lower speeds.

    I'll keep watching this list but if you find out anything, please do let me know.

    I'd hate to replace the transmission if that's not the problem.
  • 15mike15mike Posts: 3
    This is an automatic. It shifts normally the rest of the gears. Th efaster I accelerate, the harder it shifts. Any Suggestions?
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 173
    Pegausus17 I have an 03 as well and I'm getting a noise that's not struts or anything else steering or suspension. Do you recall what exactly on the brake hardware was causing this? The guys that did the brakes on my wife's car also does steering suspension so I may just go have him put it on the lift.

    Thanks in advance.

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