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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair

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  • I bought my 2001 nissan SE used @ 86,000. It now has 101,000. My check engine soon light keeps coming on and flashes when i accelerate quickly. My car feels like it did when i bought it so i am not too concerned. However, i went away on vacation and did not drive my car for about a week. When i came back and turned on my car my ABS, traction control and slip lights are on. I brought it to a local garage and they said it could be a sensor or something. Does anyone have any clue what this could be. I would rather know what it is before i bring it to the dealership and they take advantage of me. :mad:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,967
    Gee this almost has to be an alternator problem or an alternator belt that is slipping badly when wet. I can't think of any other reason for a new battery to go dead.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Hey shagadelk7 ... I'm having the identical problem with my 2000. It's got 138K and lately the same warning lights have been coming on when I start it up. It doesn't happen ALL the time but the service engine light has been staying on for a few days now. Tonight when I was on my way home from work it was idling a little rough at the stop light (I ALWAYS use premium gas)and the SES, ABS, Traction Control and SLIP lights were ALL on. This is the second time in two weeks that thats happened. Once I got out on the highway, I kicked it down pretty hard and the roughness disappeared. I had to stop at a store on the way home and when I came back out and re started the car, only the SES light came on and stayed on AND the engine idled smooth again. So what's up with that ?? I keep reading horror stories of replacing engine coils ... and CO2 sensors ... and who knows what else. Did you find any sort of solution to your concerns ?? I'm pretty much stuck with an independent garage because there's only one Nissan dealer within 150 km of London, Ontario and he's screwed me once too many times. In fact there's two separate web pages on the internet dedicated exclusively to bashing this particular dealer ... go figure. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Tom
  • mastjmastj Posts: 14
    Yes, my 2005 Max SE does this occasionally, but not constantly. I don't like it when it does it either. I've had the car about a year and I suspect this problem is related to the engine braking. Switching the VDC off doesn't stop it from doing this either. The whole engine braking thing annoys me anyway. Have you ever noticed this when going down a steep hill and let off the gas. It brakes (you feel a pulsation) for a second or two and then releases the engine braking and then reapplies. I don't understand why Nissan feels this is necessary.

    Also, torque steer is a real problem with this car. I come from a 1998 Regal GS (supercharged) that has more torque than the Max and it doesn't have torque steer problems like the Max.

    Overall, the steering feels real "flimsey" and you never quite know what to expect.

    Here I thought I was the only one that noticed the pulling problem.

    Also, I'm getting a set of the SL 17" wheels and tires for winter - we'll see whether this helps the problem.
  • My 2004 has one headlight that is not aimed right, took it to the dealer and their shop and sales people told me that these headlights can not be adjusted.

    The dealership also told me that there has been quite a few owners with this problem.

    Anyone know anything about this? Is there a fix for this problem? Has Nissan addressed this problem?

    Thanks
  • I have a '02 maxima that I purchased used. The service engine light has come on several times and is currently on. The first time it came on took to dealership who supposedly fixed it but after several mths light came back on. Put an stp gas tx in and light went off. We recently took car for inspection sticker and light was on. Failed inspection. Took to local repair shop--he couldn't find anything wrong. reset and light went off. He recommended we get a new gas cap which we did. Drove several weeks and now light is back on--anyone have any ideas. THe car drives fine--no engine roughness etc, we want to sell car but have to get this fixed 1st. Don't want to take by to dealer...HELP!!
  • phopho Posts: 9
    It might be the battery connection not tight enough. My friend had that problem before. After it was fixed the light gone.
  • Hey tmelrankin---My lights are still on.I havent done anything about it. I guess i will find out tomorrow morning if my slip and traction really dont work since its supposed to snow. My car always runs like crap in idle, but is fine when i am driving like 70-80. my check engine light has been on for like 4 months now but my car feels the same. I dont really understand it, but i am not too worried if my car feels the same. In order to get it to pass inspection though i going ot have to have all those lights turned off somehow because they wont pass me. Damn Massachusetts. I will let you know though once i have to get it fixed. I always use premium gas too and it really makes no difference. We'll see what happens.
  • I have to drive my 92 maxima SE w/auto trans. about ten miles before the torque converter will lock up when the temperature is 20 degrees or less. I live about 1/4 mile from expressway so I usually try to drive at a reasonable speed till the lock up occurs. I Don't like to drive high RPM's in a cold engine. Is this normal for this trans. to operate this way?
  • dmaljunkdmaljunk Posts: 160
    I have a 2000 GLE with 75K miles on it and for a while I've had cold start problems. On mornings with temperature outside below 45F or so, the engine will stall or will not idle evenly until it is warm, after keeping the foot on the gas pedal and letting the car warms up, there are no problems. This happens on cold mornings only and the colder it is the worst is the problem. I read many forums and thought it was an air intake or a computer problem and so the following parts were replaced: idle air control valve, mass air flow sensor, engine computer module (ECM), air filter. In addition, car has relatively new plugs, oil changed regularly, pcv valve replaced. The problem still persists and computer has no stored error codes, dealer says that computer doesn't need to be reprogrammed as per an FSB, because I got an upgraded version with all latest programming already done. I am completely lost and now I think it's not sensor related or air related. Dealer has no clue either. Can this be related to oil pressure or oil filter or anything of the sort? Gaskets? Internal oil leaks? If so, what needs to be fixed? Any knowledgeable advise will be greatly appreciated.
  • gurkgurk Posts: 2
    I was having the same problem with my tcs slip and check engine lights and i put in a new mass air flow censor and had my check engine light turned off and my car has been fine ever sence. However, when the problem first started my car was undriveable and most of the time wouldnt even start. Bring it to a garage and have them hook it up to the computer. Only cost like 50 bucks. And the mass air flow censor was only like 130 and can be changed in a matter of minutes with minimal knowledge of engines
  • Our 2001 Maxima did this for awhile. What grade of gas are you using? If using the cheap stuff, try switching to premium.
  • carnut14,

    It could be the O2 sensors. I had the same light come on in the dash; however, the car ran fine. I ended up having to get two of the four O2 sensors replaced
  • dmaljunkdmaljunk Posts: 160
    have been using premium for years now and fuel system cleaning service was done on the car. No, that's not it definitely. Thanks
  • algimalgim Posts: 1
    I cracked a plastic base of the driver's mirror in my Maxima 2004. The mirror operates fine. I would like to buy a base ( door mounting part) itself, then the replacement is relatively easy. This would save me on paint and labor. Does anyone now how this can be done?
  • I have a 2002 Nissan Maxima SE and four months ago when I would start the car it would make a noise like something is wrong with the computer. But it would make that noise whenever I was driving through a drive thrun and had my window open to hear it. So i went to the dealership and they told me that it is perfectly fine and a lot of cars do that because of the pump relay. However, they told me that my engine mount needed to be replaced or it would shut down the computer system. I know that engine mount is a bit weak but I don't think that i needs to be replaced. I'm lost and have no clue of what is wrong with my car or why it makes that noise. any help would be helpful.
  • hi i just bought a 1994 Nissan Maxima from a used car lot and i don't have the number code for the keyless entry pad..i have called a few dealers in Western Mass where i live but everywhere they tell me to look for the numbers i dont have any info ...does anyone know where to find the combination to the keyless entry pad? and how would i reprogram a new set of numbers? thanks Victor
  • I have a 2000 Nissan Max V6, it runs perfect, except for "stalls". Engine will be warm and idle for possibly 1 minute and suddenly it stalls, at stop sign or simply parked for a short period! The engine seems to be laboring as in releasing the clutch and putting car in motion? a slow down of RPM'S is noticed, bingo engine has stalled! It re-starts easily/quickly! Help Please, certainly appreciate any help.
    Dale K.
  • Hi Dbacks,
    Mine is doing the exact same thing. I have an 01' Maxima SE. I first thought my Map light burnt out so I replaced it and it still didin't work. Checked the Fuse (10Amp) burnt out. Replaced it...immediately it burnt out. Although I was a bit concerned, it was cold and I slipped in a 15amp spare fuse for the time being and it worked fine. Until 3 weeks later when after a cold Ontario (Canada) night that morning my car was bone dead. Looked at my battery resevoir and saw there was no Electrolyte (battery Acid) showing at all so I thought my battery was fried due to the fact it was 5 years old and I let the levels drop to far (P.S : Always check your battery acid level every 3 years and fill with Diluted water if low...not to full though...don't want to dilute the acid). Anyway, bought a new battery (fully charged) and installed it myself...worked great except that Parking brake light/ABS light/ Battery Light all stayed on in the dash for a day or so. But the car started great. The next morning my car was dead again. It was at that time that I remembered the fuse issue I had three weeks earlier. I and my friend mechanic (1 hour away from me) via phone deducted that there was enough of a short in the circuit that runs interior/key hole on steering column light, Keyless remoe door locks and whatever else, it had enough of a draw that it drained the battery plus, blew 10 Amp fuses but not 15 amp fuses. Therefore it can't be a dead short between one of the switches, nor can it be a dead short of bare wires anywhere, and it isn't the alternator because the car runs fine after a boost from a previously dead battery. It must be either corrosion or extreme dampness somewhere on that circuit. All interior lights, the switches on each door jam that when the door opens turns the interior lights on , or the Keyless remote system circuit or any of the wiring that join all of these components.
    I still am not knowing as I at this time have pulled the 15amp fuse and will see if my battery still drains dead or not. If the battery holds it charge for a few days, than it is definitely that circuit.
    Can anyone add to this who have actually discovered the culprit?
    P.S: don't get suckered into an AVR test as this will only tell you if the Alternator is doing it's job or not and we already determined it is from above.
  • I have the same problem and I run 93 octane in it. It bothers me that it happens, but it doesn't trip any codes and I can't find any info on the net about it.
  • dmaljunkdmaljunk Posts: 160
    Tell the dealer that they are fool of crap. There is an adjustment screw next to the headlamp under the hood. There are two adjustment screws there, one for headlamp and one for fog light, you need the one located closer to the headlamp.

    Here are the instructions from 2004 Maxima Factory Service Manual:

    1. Turn Low Beam On
    2. Loosen the adjustment screw all the way
    3. Adjust headlamp aim by tighting the adjustment screw.

    A special screen should be used at which the headlamps should be aimed at the time of adjustment. The exact specifications are in the Factory Service Manual with pictures. Give me your email and I will send you the pages you need from the FSM in pdf format.

    You should go back to the dealer and tell them that you will be calling Nissan headquarters for telling you this crap. Tell them to take out their FSM and turn to section K. Electrical and then to section LT. Lighting System and then find a section on "Aiming Adjustment"
  • dmaljunkdmaljunk Posts: 160
    According to the manual the car is designed for 91 octaine so even if you use 87 it should give you pinging or bad performance but not stalling. It's not the gas. I am looking into this problem on my car. I am pretty sure it's sensor related but I havn't figured out which one yet. Latest guess - Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor. Will let you know when I replace it if it helps. It's only a $27 part and takes a little work to do it yourself...
  • dmaljunkdmaljunk Posts: 160
    Sorry, my previous replay with grade of gas was for another post, please disregard.

    If the light is on then there is definitely a code stored in the computer. The light will come on after two occurrences of a specific problem, usually sensor related, don't reset it, take the car to a place with a code reader and have them determine what the code is and then supposedly if it's some sensor then replace it and only then reset the computer. Did the dealer give you an idea what exactly was the engine light indicating. What was the code they got? I have a worse problem with my Maxima where I have the sysmptom(stalling) and no service engine soon light and of course the dealer can not determine the cause of the problem. If you are saying that you have the light on and the dealer still can't fix it then I completely lost my trust in dealers. This industry should be regulated better!!!
  • I have a 2002 nissan maxima SE I have had the battery, alternator and fuel pump changed with in the month. reason being cause it would not start.. Well after all that my car starts one day and the next it will not start i have taken the battery terminal off for 24 hrs and then put it back on it would start and run for a few days i even had the keys and security code reset.. now im back to square one again it has been in the shop all day it would not start for them they went to lunch and came back now it starts they dont have a clue can some one please help me ..
  • dmaljunkdmaljunk Posts: 160
    you have to describe what exactly happens when they try to start it. When you turn the key, is there any noise at all? If so, what kind of noise? If you turn on the head lamps, do they work with engine off? Does the map light work? Did mechanics run a computer diagnostic, what results did they get. If you provide enough info then I am sure someone here may be able to help you.
  • I found a Technical Service Bulletin issued that addresses this issue. I have e-mailed one person that had the fix done, he says the car runs great in cold weather now. He found it after the dealer did a bunch of work on his car trying to fix the problem. He said the real fix is reprogramming one of the computer controllers.

    I don't have access to the full bulletin online but here is the summary. Hope this helps.

    Make: NISSAN
    Model: MAXIMA
    Year: 2000
    Type: ANY
    Service Bulletin Number: NTB00008A
    NHTSA Item Number: 610995
    Summary Description:
    SOME VEHICLE WITH VARIOUS VIN RANGES MAY EXHIBIT LOW / NO IDLE WHEN SHIFTING INTO D OR R RANGE AFTER COLD START. *TT

    I re-read your OP. You said the dealer told you that reprogramming didn't need to be done? I would go back to the dealer and have them do the reprogramming specified for this TSB anyway. If it REALLY doesn't need it then the reprogramming won't hurt. But if they don't know what they're talking about then it just might do the trick.
  • I just got home from the dealership. Trip #3 - and day #3 of not having my car which I is vital for my job. Shimmy starts at about 55. It did it when I bought it with 2500 miles (a demonstrator). Today was the first time I was told that a tech actually experienced my "mysterious" shaking. They said I need to get the tires balanced to fix the problem ($60). I must bring it back for that.

    Last week, in desperation, I took my car to a tire shop. He put it on the rack and said it was obvious I had a bad seal on the passenger side front end (not sure what part or joint). He instructed me to take it directly to a dealer for a warranty repair - which is what I did this morning. The dealer said that the tire guy (who didn't want any money for looking at the car) was pretty much smoking crack about the seal.

    I'm going to write to Nissan - but at this point all I really want is someone to make my new car stop shaking when I'm on the freeway.
  • My 89 Maxima starts fine but when it rains it won't turn over--sounds like I'm out of gas. I was told it's the relay box, but I don't know. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  • 98d98d Posts: 1
    My 1996 Maxima was making some weird noise when the car got warm up, so I had an auto shop checked it. They said the water pump was making the noise, so they replaced it.

    I got the car back today and the car feels very differently. The engine is irresponsive. Even when I floor it, the engine rev just increases gradually from 2000 rpm to 4000 rpm in couple seconds. The car used to rev really rapid from 2000 rpm to 6000rpm in 1 or 2 seconds resulting in a strong force pushing from the seat. Now the car accelerates so slow. I felt like I'm driving a 4 cyclinder car.

    What could be wrong? Would it be that they removed the timing belt tensioner or timing chain during repair and they didn't set the right tension or engine timing correctly? I'm very frustrated now. I felt like I'm driving a different car. Any idea, anyone? Thanks!
  • dmaljunkdmaljunk Posts: 160
    Thanks, I saw this FSB before. I wish it was it but my car stalls even in park while it's warming up. When i had an old computer they reprogrammed it but it didn't help. They say that the new computer already has the update in it and so this is not the cause of the issue. Thanks though, I do agree though that most of the times they have no idea what they are talking about...
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