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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • You know what... I just felt 2002 Acura CL Type S and it vibrates stronger than my Maxima. So I don't think it's a big problem for us, gtspec. I think we are just too anal. My friend has 2001 Lexus is300 so I am gonna feel that soon and tell you how it is.

    Also, can you tell me the mileage limit for warranty? The one that covers bumper to bumper? The one taht I can bring my car to dealer for whatever reason? Is it 1000? Thanks

    P.S.* Where do you reside? I live in SF
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    You need wheel alignment only if the car pulls to one side - vibration, on the other hand is not caused by misalignment. I would check if the wheels are balanced.
  • Issomlai --- I owned a 94 GXE for several years. Regarding the squeaking rear brakes, that's what mine did too. Regarding the security system code (I presume that you're talking about the touch key pad system on the outside doors), you can undo the screws and remove the glove box. The control module for the system is there and has the original reset code labled on it. Using this code,follow the directions in the owner's manual to reset the system to a code of your choosing.
  • I own a 1991 Maxima SE. for which I paid a lot of money for the "Bose Sound" (How stupid of me)

    Well, what I got for my money (about $3,000) because I had to buy all the other options plus the Bose ($980,) was a rear deck that buzzes when the center mounted sub woofer comes into play.

    That is, when a low bass note is heard, the sub woofer comes alive and the whole rear deck buzzes like mad coloring the sound and it makes you hold your breath in anticipation of the buzz.

    I took it to the dealer where I purchased it, in Westchester, NY (GEIS) and all they did was to replace the sub woofer (10 min job) and put some foam under the mounting plate, which made no difference at all and I told them it would not work.

    They then refused to do anything about the rear deck. They even refused to take the cover off in order to look for contact points. Their answer was: "We did all we can do for you."

    Nissan USA was of absolutely no help either.

    I demanded for an appointment with their zone rep (how naive of me) who came in and just listened to the car but did absolutely nothing about it as well. He must have had a bad day of too many complaints, I guess

    He agreed about the buzzing sound but his answer was that is the "characteristic of the car" and is refusing to do anything else for me. Lower your volume alittle, try a different CD!!!

    To me it means that "Characteristic" = "Badly designed sound absorbtion materials around the subwoofer."

    But the mention of a "design defect" is a no-no to Nissan.

    We also tested other models as well on the lot: 2000, 2001 and 2002 and they ALL make the same noises more or less, which proved to me it is a badly designed enclosure all around.

    Interestingly, the redesigned Altima sounds fine with the same cd's.

    I don't know how the hell they tested this when they designed the vehicle. They nust have been playing violins or something similar when they tested it.

    What is mostly irritating is the refusal on Nissan's part to accept responsibility for the problem and that they just drop you like a hot potato.

    I suppose they don't want to have to recall 3 years worth of faulty Maximas.

    They also claim that they "never heard of this problem"

    I am posting this message hoping that others suffer as well. If you do, please start pressuring Nissan to do something about this obvious problem. They will not respond to a few complainers but they will respond to many. The last thing they need is bad publicity about their flagship car

    If the word goes around they will jump to it.

    The repair is real simple. All you need is sound absorbing material under the rear deck. Not a rocket science!

    Stay tuned. We are not done yet. I am willing to pursue this to the bitter end.

    They just don't know it yet. And to think I traded my Camry for this crap because I wanted the BOSE SOUND!!!
  • I've got a 2001 SE, automatic, purchased at the end of August '01. I've got the comfort and Convinience package and the car is gray lustre / charcoal. I paid $24,000 (American) before tax.
    The car is running great, gas mileage has been between 17.5 and 22.5/gal. probably because my driving is stop sign to stop light mostly. I do not like the 1st to second shift as it lags between gears and I believe that that affects accelaration. Accelaration is good however - I would guess around 7.5 seconds zero to 60. I get a minor "thump" under moderate to hard acceleration form a dead stop and from accelerating hard from low speed - feels like motor mounts. Dealer service said "inherent with the car - there was another case and nothing alievieted the thump". This does not seem a big deal at all. I have no vibration whatsoever in the steering wheel at idle. The engine is truly smooth and has a refined sound out the exhaust.
    Accelaration is real good after 3500 RPMs. Passing from anywhere between 50 and 80 MPH is just effortless, (peak torque @ 4000 RPMs). The car stops well from any speed - the pedal feel is good and not spongey. The brakes start to grap with slight application of the pedal. The car handles very well at normal speeds. This car is fun to drive.
    The paint is not good. Many chips in the paint, mostly on the hood. I am concerned about this. This could be a problen when I decide to sell in 5 or 6 years. The paint chips range in size from less than 1/16" to a little less than 1/8". NOT COOL.
    I have no noticable sqeaks or rattles inside the car. The fit and finish are very good, in & out. IMO, the only improvements could have been in lighting the sunroof controls, adding rear A/C vents and moving the side view mirror controls to the driver's door so that you don't have to move forward to adjust. Perhaps also better or adjustable lateral support for the front seats.
    Just my opinion.
  • We own a 2000 Maxima SE w/5sp. Love the car, but there are some annoyances:

    1. The paint (sterling mist) is super soft. It chips really easily. We have tons on dings on the doors and fron bumper. I tried to touch it up with the Nissan touch-up pen, but now it looks even worse, as the paint from the pen doesn't blend in. Hopefully detailing will take care of it, if not, may have to bring the car to a body shop.

    2. The clutch is not user friendly. Especially in 1st gear, the clutch is hard to work, it can make you look like a 5 speed amateur (which I am not). Apparently, the folks at Motortrend experienced the same issue in their one year test. It is great that Nissan caters to the manual tranny crowd with the Maxima and Altima (and soon the Infinity G35), but why can't they put in better clutches and transmissions??? (Apparently the 6 sp. in the Sentra SE-R is a disaster as well)

    3. We had some brakes issues. After driving the car thorugh the desert in 110 degrees for a couple of hours, the front brakes started to make uncomfortable noises. We took it to the dealer rightaway and they replaced the brakes pads under warrenty. Apparently, this is known problem in extreme heat.

    The car is an absolute blast to drive, though. If Nissan just took care of these simple issues....
  • GinBn,

    Thanks for the input in the Maxima sound problems frorum.

    Unfortunately the forum is now Read only.

    I was wondering if you could describe what Dynomat is and where can I get it.

    Not familiar with it.

  • gtspecgtspec Posts: 55
    jaepil - I'm suprise that an 2002 Acura CL's steering wheel will vibration at idling speed, hmm... I guess we are just too anal about out Maximas (afterall it's our own car and not just another car on the dealer lot).

    The Nissan warranty are "Bumper-to-bumper" for 3 years or 36,000 miles, and the "Drivetrain (engine & transmission)" for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

    Let me know after you "feel" the Lexus IS300's steering wheel. By the way, I'm in Queens, NY.
  • ilitilit Posts: 71
    My Infinity I35, which is similar to I30 or Maxima 2000 and later in the design of the rear deck where the bass mounted to, had this problem and was fixed. When I talked with the mechanic I learned that there is a TB against this problem. So don't worry if your rear deck, where the bass mounted, buzzling or rattling; just take it to a dealership, they'll fix it.
  • There used to be a board just for this problem (now read-only); any of you guys still out there? Briefly, the problem and TSB are that the engine computer cuts off fuel below 1800 or 2800 rpm, depending on who you ask, and gives a sudden surge of fuel as you ease on the throttle from idle. Makes it very hard to start off smoothly and causes other problems as well.

    Now for my question: once the reprogramming of the computer is done, is it really permanent? Mine has been reprogrammed twice and each time the car seemed noticeably better. Only for a few weeks, however. I'm wondering if the computer can lose the reprogramming and default to the original. I had a problem with the sunroof programming also, and recently had it reprogrammed for the second time. Mechanic thought the battery had been disconnected (it hadn't), but even if that would cause the sunroof to screw up, I can't believe the main ECM could be that way. Could it? Aside from being a pain in the butt, what happens when I'm out of warranty? I don't mind having to reprogram the radio, but this other stuff is unbelievable! My dealer gives me the classic blowoff on this type of thing.
  • Surprise surprise.

    Even though Nissan claimed there was nothing they could do for me, I notified them that I will be porting my complain in here so they get bad publicity at least.

    Guess what . I received a cal from the deler's Service manager ASKING ME to bring the car in for extensive retrofitting of the rear deck "a 20 page procedure" he said.

    And this is after I asked if they had a TB on this problem because I did not believe I was the only one.

    Do you think that Nissan actually reads these messages? Keep the good work up.

    Now I see that Infinity has the same problem too.

    Thanks to the Infiniti owner who alerted us in here.
  • opimaxopimax Posts: 73
    The tsb is 24 pages and listed in under forums, 5th gen at he top under "stickys" and lists almost all of the TSB so you can see what the techs are supposed to do, it is extensive and I couldn't get my dealer to do it even w/papers in hand. ( no more Nissan for me, maybe an Infiniti, maybe). I was at the start of the fuel cut board. It is suppose to last , it can be checked by the part number of the ECU (when reprogrammed it will reflect a diffent part number) currently on my 2k 2nd version was done after some time on the phone w/1800-nissan1 checking for bad fuel mileage after my coils were replaced. Going to my 3rd dealer (per the 800 number. original dealer just didn't fix anything, 2nd dealer was told by corp to call then and didn't, Corp had to call them while car was there) to check air fuel mixture. The reprogram seems to be better to drive, still have poor mpg 21-22 on the hwy. before i was getting 26 -27 until they replaced the coils. And I think you may have bad coils from the sound of it. Check the org and stickys, coils do not always make the check engine light come on. all this is to the best of my knowledge if anyone has additional knowledge, please feel free to update

  • ilitilit Posts: 71
    20 page procedure! That's BS, and that was what the service writer tried to whining with me about the big job that takes a day or so; but when I talked with the mechanics, he told me it's 2 hrs job. The panel has to be removed so foam can be inserted to isolate the vibration caused by the woofer.
    Any way, the spot where the woofer is mounted is not a good place because the woofer is right at passengers' ears, and it's mounted to a large pannel without rigid support all around. Especially on a model with rear sunshade the panel needs cutout along the edge ajoining the glass, thus lacks of support. That's why foam is inserted for isolation.
    While driving, pay attention to the rear mirror, the vision will be blurred (means the glass vibrating) when bass sounds play. I don't believe passengers on the back can enjoy such great sound from the premium audio system.
  • I just picked up my new 2002 Maxima SE. At highway speeds the steering wheel and seat vibrate. Symptons of wheels out of balance. The dealer claims the problem is related to the low profile Bridgestone P225/VR17 tires and the sport tuned suspension because the GXE and GLE's don't have this problem (they use standard P215/17 tires w/o sport suspension). I also found out that ALL the SE's have this problem. Well, atleast all the ones they tested on their lot. They replaced all the rims, checked the rims for trueness. Found some runout with the tires so they are looking for a new set with no runout. I don't understand how they can claim this is a tire problem when low profiles are common on performance cars like Porches, BMW's, Audi's. Are they giving me a line? Are there any 2002 SE owners out there experiencing/not experiencing this problem? I cannot find any recalls, Nissan Tech Bulletins or even reviews that mention this problem.
  • gtspecgtspec Posts: 55
    bvf10376 - I have a 2002 Maxima SE and I had posted some messages before on my steering wheel vibrations, but these slight vibration occurs when I put the gear into "D" and at stand still, not while driving. I guess the idling RPM is a bit low (just 500 RPM), let me know if you have the same slight steering wheel vibration at idling speed and in "D" gear (TWO other 2002 SE owners from this forum have the same problem).

    When I drive at highway speed I do notice some steering wheel vibration but I'm not sure if there is any defect on those tires or rims, or simply the wheel are out of balance (at just 1,800 miles?). I didn't bother to check if the wheels are out of balance but I guess those sticky wheights might came off the inside of the rims easier than the traditional clamp style weights.
  • ilitilit Posts: 71
    If seats and steering wheel vibrate @ highway speed, most of time the tires are out of balance, with my experience.
    Go to Discount Tires and ask them for a life-time balance and rotation that costs about $40. They'll balance & rotate for you every 5000 mi.
    The suspension on SE model is stiffer than other models; eventhough SE runs a bit rougher than other models, you shouldn't feel vibration at the seats or steering wheel.
    I learned that from my experience with a car dealership and a Discount Tires store. I couldn't believe DC Tires fixed the problems. May be the store I came have newer/ more precised machine?
  • gtspec - I can't recall noticing any steering wheel vibration when in "D" and idling. I'll find out later when i pickup the car. The dealer swapped the Bridgestones with Michelins which to me is a far better tire. 500 RPM does seem rather low. I'd tweak that up some. If you are noticing some vibration at highway speeds you might be experiencing the same problem as I. Have the dealer check the wheels on your car. Check rims for trueness and the tires for runout. Nissan is aware of this problem with the SE. I bet many others have this problem but don't know it's a problem. I think Nissan likes it that way.
  • FYI -

    We have a 2000 se 5sp and had the fuel cut problem. The reprogramming cured the problem except above 1800rpm of course, where it still seems to fuel cut but its much more drivable now. I also had a o2 sensor go out and the ticket said they reprogrammed the ECU but I think it was because they didn't know if it had been done before or not (although it was the same dealer, you'd think they'd see it). Or maybe the program got a new version since the original update. Whatever.

    We have always gotten about 21-22mpg in mixed driving with the climate on - and I don't drive with lots of WOT or even gassing it from stops. I was satisfied with the MPG until we got a used 98 Olds minivan that is fully pimped out and that gets 23-24 mpg commuting in heavy traffic. The max surely could get better mpg, but I don't think the gear ratio of the 5 speed top gear is set low enough numerically - 3,000 rpm at cruise seems a bit high.

  • Thanks, Opimax and Dirkdaddy, for your comments. Our car has had the coils replaced due to the exact symptoms described on this board a little while back: pinging in 2nd gear while accelerating. And yes, even right after the reprogram of the ECU both times when off-idle was better, the car still surged sometimes at steady speed. The weird part is that the surging is not consistent. It ranges from nonexistent (when the service mgr was driving and I was riding) to really annoying. Happens on the level and going downhill, not when going uphill due to the heavier throttle required.
  • My 1999 Maxima has had in the last six months, replacement of one of the three ignition coils, reprogramming of the ignition keys (key would not start car), and a warped rotor. I've been shopping for a new car and found that my Nissan is much quieter then any of the cars I considered in its class. It's pick-up is great! Alot of the newer Toyotas and Saturns are much noisier than my Maxima. My service with our local dealership has been very good. I've decided to hang on to my Maxima for a few more years!
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