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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello all. I'm new to the car market and am looking at a 98 Maxima GXE that fits my price range. Does anyone have any advice on what in particular to keep my eye on? I would be buying from another person (not a dealer) and am hesitant. The miles are low, barely 25k, and I just don't want any surprises (if I were to buy.) Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • schnpaurschnpaur Posts: 3
    Buying a new car can have surprises...but at least you have a warranty. I want to find out how reliable the Maxima is because I am about to buy a 2001. I plan to call people selling Maximas in the paper and asking them about their experience (after explaining that I am about to buy a new one).
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    you can buy the nissan extended warranty if you are hesitant about surprises. i have it and it happened to pay for itself.
    its not cheep though. the extended warranty which you are still eligible for (as along as you do it around the time the original warranty expries) will go up to 100k miles and 6 years.

    factor that into the price and see if the car is worth it. it will probably assure you that any problem you would get is not more of a wear and tear thing...brakes, and so on. so pretty much like buying a new car.

    at least from my experience that has been the case, either covered under warranty or expected stuff like tires and brakes. my muffler was rusted and had a hole in it they replaced it under warranty. other than that...the car is really reliable...if i replace mine it would be with another max.

    oh ya...oxygen sensor..many times.. under warranty though..
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    i also have all service and problems
    history in an excel file. i don't mind
    sharing it if you are interested.

    for a 95GXE now has 170,000km
    original owner
  • with a '94 maxi gxe with 119k, what should i watch out for ??was the fuel ijection and exhaust studs not in that year, heard several problems with those particular things and are quite inda scared now people say the auto tranny goes bad in these and the ful and exhaust can cost thousands. please let me know if the 94 gxe is a good car thanks, brett, other than that the car seems to run good...
  • problem in the 94's??thank for any advice u can give me, i would be spending everry last penny own on this car and dont wanna have to do any major work,,thanks peep.
  • brucer2brucer2 Posts: 157
    The transmissions and exhaust studs of the 94's are supposed to be better. If the car was driven hard I would still be concerned about these two items though. In addition to checking the condition of the tranny fluid also check the motor mounts. You can check the motor mounts by bliping the throttle and watching how much the engine moves (a better way is observing the engine when it is put in gear and given some throttle with the brake on). If the engine moves much it means the mounts are worn. They tend to get worn from the engine rocking under hard acceleration. The rocking of the engine also puts a lot of stress on the exhaust mount studs.
    Even if everything looks good enough to buy it I would get the transmission fluid flushed and install a transmission cooler.
    Other items that may need replacement are the struts. The stock GXE struts were rather soft to begin with and the cars handle like a boat well before 100k miles. (I put in KYB GR-2's, and they work very well.) The other thing is the timing belt. This year car had a belt that was good for 100K miles, so you may still have the original belt.
  • i thought the radiator cooled the transmissuion? i will check those things, the owner says nothing besides tires and oil changes, the tranny fliud is kinda brownish red, a friend of mine said there is no acessible filter, u just drain the tranny fluid and refill it?is there anyway to tell if the studs are good or not, i love this ride i just dont wanna have to fix stuff like that, i plan to do some custom work on it!!so thats what i wanna spend it on not repairs,,,,any info would be helpfull thanks guys,,brett
  • brucer2brucer2 Posts: 157
    There is a transmission cooler at the bottom of the radiator, but it's marginal. If you do any engine modifications at all, add another cooler. They are under $40 and you can get them at Pep Boys or Autozone.
    There is a drain plug in the transmission, but only a portion of the fluid will come out, because most of it is in the torque converter. You can change all of it by either taking it to a place that does this, or do it yourself. When a machine is used for doing it the return line (the one close to the drivers side of the car) from the cooler is disconnected from the transmission and hooked to the machine. The transmission pumps the old fluid out into the machine and fresh fluid from the machine flows into the transmission (another hose hose goes from the machine to the return inlet of the transmission.
    You can do this yourself by just disconnecting the return line from the transmission and putting the end of the hose into a container, starting the car and letting the transmission pump the fluid out. You do have to do this a bit at a time (a couple of quarts) so the transmission doesn't go dry. After a couple of quarts come out refill the transmission with new fluid. There is very little mixing of fluid. Keep repeating until the fluid coming out is clean. This would be a good time to put the additional cooler in, since it should go in the return path to the transmission.
    From what I've read, the typical symptom of broken studs is that there is the sound of an exhaust leak, under the hood, for several minutes. In the begining, the noise will go away after the engine and manifold heat up, expand and seal the leak. As more studs fail the noise will no longer go away.
    One note of warning: many people who start modifying these cars to go faster and then run harder start to have maintence problems ( Although they don't look as good, to me, it might be better to start with a '95 or later Maxima, if speed is what you're after.
  • mhammy84mhammy84 Posts: 167
    Was thinking of buying the Extended Warranty for my car (factory one of course). I know the price is very high...was wondering if I can bargain the price on this warranty, or is it a set price (like paying for a service visit...obviously cant bargain that price, unfortunately!). Thanks!
  • polapinkpolapink Posts: 2
    I really liked the car but I have a problem and wonder if anyone else has the same one. I am about 6'3 and while there is enough headroom in the unit, the steering wheel rests on my legs.
    The salesman dropped the seat as low as he could but the wheel still touched the top of my legs. I adjusted the wheel to its highest position but it just doesn't go up enough. I've never run into this before except in a Maxima I rented several years ago. This is the only reason for me not purchasing the car. Anyone else run into this? Otherwise I'm off to Accura land.
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    as far as i know the nissan extended warranty is a set price. but not sure.
  • fpwiiifpwiii Posts: 2
    Have a 1993 Nissan Maxima that is having intermittent stalling problems. Car starts okay in Park or neutral and when you put it into gear, either reverse or drive it stalls. Doesn't always do this and some times will run for days without any problems. Usually happens when the car is cold and has been sitting for a while. Have had to dealer and they can't get it to act up. Has anyone experienced this same problem. Fuel pump seems okay and have put in new fuel filter. Does it sound like an electrical problem as some times car won't start and if you move the transmission gear shift around the car starts okay.
  • mikeg12mikeg12 Posts: 4
    I bought my 2k SE about a year ago and i have noticed that my mileage is decreasing by the tank. I average about 18 miles per gallon. This doesn't seem right. Does anyone else have this problem or know a solution? My dealer does not what it is. Please help.

  • The Power antenna system of my old maxima went wrong a few days ago. It will stop before extending completely and make noise for a while. If it extends out normally, then it will not retract. The mast looks a little bit deformed.
    Is it possible to replace the mast and/or nylon strip without replace the motor? Where can I find those components?
  • brucer2brucer2 Posts: 157
    You can buy just the antenna and nylon strip at a Nissan dealer. The part is called the Antenna Mast.
  • pjbeanpjbean Posts: 1
    I own a 93 maxima and I had the same problems. had it hooked up to a computer by a mechanic and he couldn't find anything. I finally found someone to find the problem. It turned out to be a bad fuel inject or and that made the O2 sensor go bad as well.
  • kean54kean54 Posts: 1
    My neighbor owns a 96 Nissan Maxima that will not start after being left to sit for 24 hours or more. This does not happen every time, but enough that she has bought 4 batteries in the last eight months. The car does not turn over, just like the battery was dead, but I don't think that is the problem. Any suggestions?
  • lucy1213lucy1213 Posts: 18
    Oh boy! I just bought a 2001 GXE Feb. 9 and on
    March 11 I found little bits of rust all over the
    area where the trunk hood fits in and across the
    rear bumper. I tried rubbing them out with a chamois cloth, but some spots were really tough.

    So, I took it to the dealer and the service manager said it was from the metal shards that were left over from where they drilled the holes to install the rear spoiler. He said it was probably a one-time thing and that they could buff out the rust
    and then wax the area.

    A lot of the rust came out, but some of it didn't and I am so bummed out. I bought a new car so I didn't have to deal with rust for a few years. The service manager said I should probably keep this area waxed. This irritates me because I don't really have the time or the energy to keep up with this. It's a new car--I don't want to have to deal with this.

    Has anyone ever experienced such a thing?
    Maybe the rust is really a one-time occurance, but
    it just seems bizarre to me.

    Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  • w988w988 Posts: 6
    I have a 87 SE and a 91 GXE both with automatic transmission. The transmission in both cars refused to shift to overdrive until the car is traveled for 3-4 miles at highway speed during the winter here in MN. Anybody experienced the same problem? This problem does not occur to all the other vehicles that I owned.
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