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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Msbehavn -- I am not sure if a transmission flush will solve your problem. What I've heard about engine flush is that it is merely a pricely gimmick and it will not improve your car's performance. They did a piece on Good Morning America (by Diane Sawyer) and even interviewed the guy who invented the gadget used by mechanics in doing the flush. The lesson to be learned is that so long as you follow the manufacturer's oil change intervals, there is absolutely nothing to be gained from engine flushes. In fact, they do more harm than good to your engine.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I think I tend to disagree, on the tranny flush anyway. I'm very non-mechanical, but I believe the diff in doing a tranny "flush" versus just draining the fluid is with the flush they hook up a machine that pumps out the fluid that's way deep in the tranny that normally doesn't come out with just a drain. You can drain and have clean fluid, but if you flush you can see noticeable difference in fluid, sometimes even black versus pink. I recommend draining every 30K miles and flushing every 60K or so. That's just me, there's many on here and Maxima.org that know 10x more than I do. As for the engine flush, I agree on that one, can gum things up.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    My front passenger side window won't go down. I'm bringing it in on Sat. to get that fixed AND I noticed this weekend that there are a bunch of chips on the paint near the bottom of the car behind the splash guards, on that piece under the door. I think I'm going to complain to NISSAN directly about thta (has anyone tried that yet?). I've got the Majestic Blue and the chips are not as noticible because it seems that the car is black under the paint, but its still annoying since I go to great lengths to keep that car in good condition and these chips show up from no where. Well no doubt about it, the paint is terrible...as for the window, I think that should be fairly easy for them to fix.

    Anyone ever had that happen before (the window thing)? Am I in for more electrical problems?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Cannot comment on your window problem, but as for paint, there are numerous complaints about this. Apparently the paint it very thin and Nissan did not use any protective "gravelguard" or "stoneguard" along the lower half of the doors. My 99 Mazda 626 has a layer of vinyl or wax applied below the paint along the lower portions of the doors and I have no chips whatsoever. I also own a 98 Maxima SE and this car does not have any gravelguard, but I have no chips in the paint. Maybe the paint was a little better and more durable on the 98 Maxima cars. I think that if there are enough complaints, Nissan may be forced to take corrective action on the paint.

    It may be worth the expense to take your car to a custom body shop and have the lower portions of the door gravelguarded and repainted. This is easy to do and should not be awfully expensive. This way you will take care of the problem for good.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    If I may propose a couple of more questions to p100 re: paint...

    Do you think its worth getting a better/second clear/protective coat on the entire car (rather than just the bottom)? Is there such a thing?

    Thanks.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The gravelguard is typically applied along the lower portion of the doors. Typically it is a band about 5 or 6 inches wide and then paint is sprayed over it. This band provides very good protection from road debris or gravel, much better than even very thick paint would.

    As far as reclearcoating the whole car, this would basically amount to repainting the car. You can't just shoot clearcoat over factory finish without sanding down the paint, otherwise it would fly right off. To get a good quality paint job, you need several layers of the base coat and clearcoat both - more than Nissan applies to these vehicles at the factory.
  • rcmaxrcmax Posts: 11
    My 97 Maxima has 83K miles on it. Engine spluttered and hesitated when I pressed the gas pedal on the highway and few minutes later the SES light came on. The dealer diagnosed it as a Oygen sensor problem and replaced it, the light away, car ran fine for 2 weeks.

    While returning from a 500 mile trip during the July 4th weekend, the engine spluttered and hesitated again and in a few minutes the SES light came on. Next morning to my surprise the light off on its own and the spluttering/hesitation also went off. However I took it to the dealer and he diagnosed it as a defective ignition coil which is misfiring, the 5th one of the six coils and says it needs to be replaced else it will damage the others too. The dealer is charging $225 for it. Last month itself I spent $1350 fixing the O2 sensor, throttle and injector flushing, brake wires and caliper changes, brake shoes and rotor resurfacing etc.

    Not sure what to do as the SES light is off and the car is running fine. Should I live with this "supposedly bad ignition coil" or will it damage the others too? I feel it is becoming expensive to maintain a maxima.

    Guys your advice and experience will really help.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Refer to post # 1356 in this forum. The retail cost of one ignition coil for the 98 Maxima (97 would be the same) is $86.36. How in the world can they justify charging you $ 225 for one coil? $ 140 for labor to install one coil? Replacement of one coil should be done in no more than 10 minutes, even by the slowest tech they employ.
    I agree with you when you complain that it is getting expensive to maintain the Maxima if you take it to a Nissan dealer for all work. I do all the maintenance on my 98 myself and so far I have done hardly anything to it. I also have a 95 Nissan truck which has been somewhat less reliable than the Maxima. I get Nissan parts at a discount of at least 15% from Nissan dealers that advertise on the web. You do not pay sales tax on the parts if shipped from another state. And some offer free shipping if you buy parts over $ 100.
  • tdyrkacztdyrkacz Posts: 1
    Has anyone ever had this happen to them? When filling up the gas tank it feels like pressure builds in the tank and all of a sudden gas spills out. This is happening to my mothers 99 maxima. She is unable to completely fill the car up. She can only put in a few gallons. I appreciate any help with this. Thanks
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    Happened to me one time only about a week ago. I have a 2000 SE with 51K miles and it's only happened once. I just figured it was the pump. Filled up twice since with no issues. Just figured I'd chime in.
  • sglatorsglator Posts: 20
    I had all ignition coils replaced under extended warranty (see my post earlier).
    I also asked them how much it would cost me if I didn't have warranty. They said - $1K easily.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have a 98 Maxima and because I heard about the coil problems (do not have problems with coils on my car so far) I called the local Nissan dealer and asked about the cost of one coil. It was $ 86.36 a piece. It is possible that they cost more for later models, but the 97 Maxima uses the same coils as 98. I believe that the problem with coils started with the 2000 year model.

    As far as labor for replacing the coils, it should be minimal because you simply disconnect the electrical connector and pull the coil off the spark plug. So unless the price of the ignition coils for 2000 and later models is much higher than for 95-99 models, I do not see how it would cost $ 1000 for a set.
  • ckone0814ckone0814 Posts: 71
    2003 GLE bought new. The car's rear suspension bottoms-out with a loud "clunk" going over modest dips at a reasonable speed. I can recreate the problem over speed bumps easily at a speed much lower than what I can in my 2001 Mazda 626. I took the car to the dealer and they found nothing and told me to go slower. Trust me, I am not flying over these obstacles! The springs just seem way to soft. With the way the car yaws over the road i feel like i'm in a cadillac! Any other similar experiences out there? Thanks.
  • ckone0814ckone0814 Posts: 71
    Ok, I've read a lot about the unusually harsh ride these cars have and I'm trying to accept it. I lowered the tire pressure to 31-32 and it helped but am considering a tire replacement as well. The choices however are limited. Any experience with tires? Thanks.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I would say that unless your car is loaded with 5 people who weigh 300 lbs each, this does not look normal to me.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have had good experience with the following tires:

    Michelin Pilot, Michelin MXV(?), Toyo Proxess.

    Bad experience:

    Firestones, General tire, Bridgestone Potenzas, and the worst ones without any doubt were Continentals CH4s.
  • lorchanianlorchanian Posts: 12
    I have a 2003 Maxima GLE and experienced the same problem. Sounded like the exhaust was hitting the bottom of the car when I went over a dip or large speed bump. But as suddenly as it came it went away. I can't make the car do it any more. Didn't go to the dealer because it stopped. I guess I'll wait to see if it happens again.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    You're sure it's not the spare tire stuff clunking around in the trunk, right??
  • ckone0814ckone0814 Posts: 71
    Yeah. I removed everything from the trunk except the spare tire itself. Also locked down the jack hard. Still happens. The rear suspension just seems SOOO soft. Thanks.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Do you have a trailer hitch? On the early Pathfinders (2001) the exhaust pipe bangs on the hitch on some vehicles.
  • lorchanianlorchanian Posts: 12
    Now that I think of it my trunk was full when I first noticed the clunk. When the trunk was emptied, I had a couple of clunks, then it went away.
  • vijuviju Posts: 2
    i had to jumpstart my 95 maxima a couple odays ago,the airbag light has been flashing since anyone with similar problem help!
  • beanctrbeanctr Posts: 99
    There is a TSB out there for the rear suspension bottoming out. I copied (see below) this from Edmunds "Ownership" page. My 2002 does this as well, with only two average sized people in the back seat and no luggage in the trunk. As soon as I get time, my car is going in to have this fixed . . . and the dealer is going to get an ear full if he tells me its normal!!

    Component Description:
    15. SUSPENSION:SINGLE AXLE:REAR:LEAF SPRING ASSEMBLY NHTSA Number: SB633599
    Bulletin Number: NTB02056
    Bulletin Date: MAY 2002
     
    Vehicle: 2002 Nissan Maxima
    Summary:
    SUBJECT REGARDING REAR SUSPENSION BOTTOMS OUT. *JG SUBJECT REGARDING REAR SUSPENSION BOTTOMS OUT. *JG
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    rear leaf spring assembly? What leaf springs?
  • vanbo57vanbo57 Posts: 46
    HELLO ALL.
    THE BRAKE CALIPERS ON ALL 4 CORNERS OF MY 26,500 MILE SE HAVE SURFACE RUST. I HAVE CHECKED EVERY MAX I SEE INCLUDING DEALER LOTS AND HAVE NOT SEEN ONE WITH RUSTED BRAKE CALIPERS. I WILL TALK TO THE SERVICE MGR. BY PHONE, CHECK TO SEE THAT HE WILL IN FACT, BE THERE WHEN I COME OVER THERE TO SHOW HIM AND SET UP APPOINTMENT FOR REPLACEMENTS. I WILL GET REPLACEMENTS, RIGHT? THE RUST WARRANTY SHOULD APPLY HERE, I WOULD THINK. BY THE WAY, BRAKES ARE FINE BUT THE CALIPERS LOOK LIKE CRAP. DO YOU THINK I'VE GOT A CASE HERE?
    OH AND, I WASN'T YELLING - HAD THE CAPS LOCK ON. SORRY.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Many car manufacturers do not paint the brake calipers. These are metal castings and surface rust does not matter and will not harm the caliper. Other metal cast parts which are normally not painted are brake rotors, drums, and wheel hubs. Take one of your wheels off and see how rusty the wheel hub is.

    Most likely the dealer will tell you that a rusty caliper is normal. I would not worry about it at all because aside from esthetics standpoint, there is no issue. These will not rust through like sheet metal as they are thick cast parts.
  • vanbo57vanbo57 Posts: 46
    Thanks for the feedback P100 but why is my car the only one that I see with this problem? There must be some kind of treatment that is used during or after manufacturing that didn't take on mine. It really looks poor.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    In the days before spoke alloy wheels became popular on cars you could not see the calipers, rotors or brake drums. Almost without exceptions, these were not painted and got rusty really quick. I had quite a few GM and Ford cars and none of them had these parts painted.

    If the rust really bothers you on your calipers, you can paint them yourself. Wire brush as much rust as you can, then paint with a good quality engine enamel which is heat resistant to about 500deg F. Just mask off the areas you do not want to paint. And if you use a power drill with a small wire wheel to remove the surface rust, be careful so you do not damage the rubber parts or the brake line. The total cost of paint will be about $ 5. Pep Boys carries pretty good selection of engine paints.

    Some manufacturers do paint castings. For example, water cooled manifolds and risers for boat engines come painted from the factory. And they are heavy cast iron items that would not be damaged by surface rust.

    Of course, you can still pursue the argument with the dealer. If they give you new painted calipers under warranty, good for you. However, this is not worth loosing your sleep over.
  • vanbo57vanbo57 Posts: 46
    Thanks P - appriciate your input.
  • pghmaxpghmax Posts: 7
    I have a 2001 GLE has anyone had the rear pads wear out before the front?. This happened at 18,000 miles.
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