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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair

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  • itsgtitsgt Posts: 3
    Since i bought my maxima from the auction about 3.5 weeks ago...it had a "soon service engine"/"service engine soon" sensor light up...Just a couple of days ago it disappeared.

    When i had it checked out by my mechanic after the auction he said nothing was wrong with the engine.....

    was the sensor just incorrectly telling me i had a problem....or did the problem go away?

    thanks.
  • brucer2brucer2 Posts: 157
    Assuming that your plugs, wires, cap and rotor are in good condition, I would first clean the throttle body. The throttle plates and air bypass holes get a coating of deposits over time and will effect the idle. There was also a TSB related to this, that is caused by uneven flow over the MAF sensor. If you open the air filter box and look in the top half there is an air horn, at the back of which is a fine mesh screen. See if there is any debris on the screen. You can also clean any soot on the screen by wetting a rag with injector cleaner and wiping off the screen (don't spray anything directly into the MAF sensor). Also check the air cleaner. If one end is much dirtier than the other this can cause uneven flow.
    With my 90 GXE, I found cleaning the throttle body had the biggest difference on curing the idle dip. A new rotor smoothed the idle even more.
  • The above responce from Brucer is a good one. Have the throttle body cleaned by Nissan. It's acually all part of a complete fuel injection cleaning process that works very well.
    If you have a 95+ Maxima, (I believe you said you have a 97) you have no cap, rotor, or plug wires to worry about. The VQ engine doesn't have any of these components.

    Joe
  • boreoboreo Posts: 2
    I just bought a 95 Maxima (2 months ago) with 67K miles on it and it won't start. Checked the battery out and it's good, just starts to crank then fades out, lights and all stay on but subsequent turns of the key do nothing. Anyone encountered this and if so what is it? Starter?
    And thanks now I know what that funny clicking is when I start the car when very cold!! If I could only start it...
  • Fades out ?..How so ??...Sounds like the battery to me...you can have enough juice to run the lights but..not enough to start the engine. Also, check with your dealer...there was a problem with the 8 tooth starters in the 95's....they were then changed to a 10 tooth.

    Joe
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    i have a 95GXE maxima as well....turning the key won't do anything at all...do the process few times and nothing....and then it starts.

    Nissan insisted its the starter and it got replaced twice but that didn't fix anything (it was covered under warranty at the time). I tried to explain that they already replaced it once but they insited to replace it again.

    now that my warranty is over i haven't really had anyone to look at it. but i have a bunch of resposes from mechanics on other boards that i can share if you would like. if the discription of my problem (read below) is the same as your problem.

    when turning the key (all the way) to start the engine,
    > nothing will happen for about a second or two and
    > the car will start after a couple of tries.
    > Immediatly the rpm falls down from whatever idle
    > its suppose to be at and the engine stalls.
    > happens more often on cold or even cool weather
    > conditions. it happens when the car has been sitting
    > for few hours.
  • I'm a newbie. Please help me~
    I got a 1992 maxima(97Kmiles) a month ago. I've paid $1000 to repair it within a month. I still feel a side to side wobble in the steering wheel at low speed, though it runs pretty good before repair.

    The problem is initiated by CV-boots replacement and left CV-joint rebuilt in a vietnamese workshop. The left lower-ball-joint is found damaged after this service. Then I replaced it in another workshop, and changed inner-tie-rod-ends, all the struts, and front motor mount, but the steering wheel is still loose and sometimes unstable. Should I replace all the steering linkage?

    BTW, a Nissan dealer did the alignment for the car. Instead of showing a computer alignment data report, they noted on the receipt: "Has slight tire pull to left". It seems the more repair, the more problems come up. :-(
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I'm not sure what you mean by the steering wheel is "unstable", but the low speed side to side steering wheel movement is usually either a bent rim or a tire belt shifted. With the front of the car raised rotate the wheels one at a time and look for any runout (side to side wobble). Doesn't take much. Specs are .060" max. If nothing is evident, switch tires front to rear one at a time. When the steering wheel wobble is eliminated you've located the defective one. It's usually the right front. Curbs are on that side.
  • My 95 gle with 32k just came back from oil change/brake check/tire repair, and air bag light began flashing and continues. Suggestions welcome. Thanks
  • If the dealer did the alignment, and noted that on your receipt, that would tell me that everything is in spec, and that it's probably (as alcan said) a bad tire or tires.
    Unless they didn't check the entire front end...which I'd have asked them to do while it was there. If they did find a problem, and you didn't want to pay dealers rates to repair it....at least you'd know what the problem was...and could take it elsewhere to have the work done.

    Joe
  • Thank you all.
    Yes,"unstable" means side to side steering wheel movement, occasionally. And the steering wheel is a little loose.
    Tires are switched front to rear before the replacement of inner tie-rod-ends and struts.
    Anyway, 2 tires are worn and about to be changed.
  • If that's the case...it sounds like a bad rack...but I have to tell you, I've never had to change one yet...in ANY Nissan....at least not because they went bad. I have changed one in a Sentra because of an accident though.

    Joe
  • boreoboreo Posts: 2
    I got starter replaced today, car starts fine. But in reading other entries I probably jinxed myself since, upon starting it up later today, I got the whole "Immediatly the rpm falls down from whatever idle its suppose to be at and the engine stalls.happens more often on cold or even cool weather conditions" qx4. Is this the TPS problem referred to? Plus thanks for the previous input. I asked mechanic if starter was 8 or 10 and he didn't know... but it starts!!
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    to bereo
    sorry to hear that you are experiencing the same problem as i am. to be honest with you i gave up on it. mainly becuase its out of warranty and i don't want to spend money since the car eventually starts after a couple of tries.

    below is a bunch of responses that i got from different sources trying to analyze the problem. never got the chance to print it off and take it to a mechanic.

    see below:

    A hunch: this is a fuel problem rather than an ignition problem. Try this
    experiment. Turn on the ignition, wait for three seconds, and then crank
    to start. This gives the fuel pump some extra time to build normal
    pressure in the fuel rail. If the car starts and runs normally with this
    experiment you ought to have the fuel pressure measured. This is done by
    "T-ing" a pressure gauge into the fuel line downstream of the filter. The
    spec is something like 35 psi. If your pressure is substantially below 35
    or if it fluctuates wildly you have a pump problem. It might be corroded
    electrical connections at the fuel tank end. It might be a pump
    approaching end-of-life. Did your Max ever run out of gas? This is
    harmful to the fuel pump.

    If this experiment does not provide relief from the start-then-stall
    condition, the next things I would check are the Throttle Position Sensor
    and the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor.

    Nissan owner and D-I-Y mechanic

    Ø when turning the key (all the way) to start the engine,
    > nothing will happen for about a second or two and then
    > the car will start after a couple of tries.

    This could be
    - bad starter solenoid
    - bad ignition switch
    - bad inhibitor relay

    The starter has already been replaced, and presumably the replacement
    starter came with a solenoid. Therefore the problem is not the solenoid.
    It is more likely to be the inhibitor relay than the ignition switch.

    > Immediatly the rpm falls down from whatever idle
    > its suppose to be at and the engine stalls.
    > happens more often on cold or even cool weather
    > conditions. it happens when the car has been sitting
    > for few hours.

    This could be
    - bad Idle Air Control Valve - Auxiliary Air Control valve
    - bad Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor
    - sticking Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve
    - sticking Exhaust Gas Recirculation valve
    - a vacuum leak due to a damaged or disconnected vacuum hose

    Nissan owner and D-I-Y mechanic

    I have a 1995 Nissan Maxima. Have had a intermittent problem over the years. It takes a least three tries to get the car started.( seems to only be in cold weather) They have changed the starter, battery, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel resistor and rear computer and I still have the same problem. In one months time frame I had my car for about 3 days!!! Has anyone had the same problem? I posted in the wrong area more details under 1995 Nissan Max hard start problems.
    Thanks

    Has the coolant temperature sensor been checked? The engine controller needs to know the engine temp to provide additional fuel for cold startup

    I appologize for the long message....hope it helps the people who have the same problem.

    if you get yours fixed....i would appreciate if you took the time to send me an e-mail as i don't check this site often.
    NOSPAMabachiy@mcmaster.ca
    remove no spam from the address.
  • OK experts,
    Here is a new one on me. I bought a 93 Maxima almost a year ago. The previous owner had just had the transmission R&R'd at a transmission shop with a 12 month warranty. 8 months later, it started to slip shift and have a loud whine at speed. I took it in and the shop replaced a valve assembly and other parts. This fixed the problem. Now, 2.5 months later, the whine has started again. I took it back and this is what I here....

    "Your car might have an electrical problem. It could be creating a ground through the transmission and is burning out the gears. Vie seen this before in chewy trucks and cars,etc...." He looked me straight in the eye as he is saying this. Has anyone ever experienced this before? Since I have not detected any electrical problem, I find this very hard to believe.

    I'm waiting for the verdict tommorrow.

    Any comments are greatly appreciated.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    It happens. Usually related to a poor engine ground strap. All the current used to power accessories such as headlights, rear defroster, heater, etc, etc, has to find it's way back to the alternator ground or battery negative terminal somehow. Usually through the body sheet metal to the engine via a ground wire, then from the engine block back through the negative battery cable to the battery. If the body/engine ground's loose, corroded, or missing, current will take any path it can find. Such as through the trans shift linkage or cable, through the trans case, engine block, then to the alternator or battery. It's a common cause of shifter cables and clutch cables seizing. The tech looked you straight in the eye because he's probably experienced the same thing numerous times. Also, welding on the car can cause similar problems if a ground's loose.
  • When I let off the gas on my 2001 GLE, rather than a smooth response, it feels abrupt. When I accelerate again, it is a noticeable surge, almost a clunk-like feel. Same when using the cruise control. It surges noticeably back and forth even on level terrain. Dealer says this is normal. I'm not convinced. any similar experiences?
  • Thanks alcan,

    If this were happening, would there be any other indications such as low battery charge, light output, or battery damage? If that much current is flowing through the trans, wouldnt my elec components start to act up?
  • mdamesmdames Posts: 79
    I owned a 1990 Max. SE. It was a real good car except for the fact that the window regulators failed way too often. The part that failed each time made it so the power windows wouldn't go up or down. It cost $200+ to fix each window everytime this occurred. I am now thinking of buying a '94 SE. Does anyone know if this window problem has been fixed? Also, are there any other issues I should be aware of before I purchase? Thanks in advance.
  • brucer2brucer2 Posts: 157
    The window regulators have been redesigned, and I haven't heard of any of the newer style failing. The regulator, itself, sells for $55 - $60.
    Other problems:
    The 92 - 94 SE's have a different engine than the GXE's. They are DOHC with variable valve timing (VTC) The VTC's tend to go bad, and this makes the engine noisy (and loose some low end power). Reparing them costs well over $1000, and it may have to be done again.
    Another common problem is broken exhaust manifold studs. This is another high labor cost repair, but at least the newer studs are stronger.
    BTW, there were TSB's issued for both of these problems.
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