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Nissan Maxima



  • Glad we are both happy and yes, emotion does play a part in major purchases. The other cars on my short list was a Camry XLE-4 and the 2002 Accord SE. Neither car had much driving excitement and that is why i bought the Maxima. Remember that your 2001 Anniversary edition Maxima is a special edition and that should keep it's value a bit higher than normal. Good luck and congrats...mcc
  • We are looking into purchasing a 98 Maxima that has been labeled as a GLE by the seller (car broker), yet the gages are white, which I thought was a distinctive feature of the SE. This car has every imaginable option, but it does handle a little different than some of the GLE's I've driven. The leather steering wheel even has the sporty leather with holes in it?? Does anyone have any suggestions about how to find out for sure? For example, tire size? We tried looking up the VIN but that was of no help. Thanks!!
  • Very quick way to tell. All SE's have body colored door handles. The GLE and GXE both have chrome door handles. Have since at least the 1995 model year.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Other SE features:

    Standard spoiler (if added on the GXE/GLE there will likely still be a center brake light in the back window (as well as the spoiler).

    Fog lights standard.
  • Hi,

    Sorry for so many posts, just getting excited. I don't pick up the car until Friday, but I'm considering buying some tools and things so I can do the oil changes myself. I've scanned the board, and it looks like quite a few are doing it, but some of them are mechanics/auto experts.

    Two quick questions:

    1. Is the oil filter easy to get to? (2001 model)
    2. The car still has 10K miles under the warranty. In that situation, is there any reason to have the changes done at a shop until the warranty expires?

    Thanks, and sorry for the newbie flood of posts.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I have been changing my own oil for 130k miles on a 1995 Maxima.

    If the 2001 is the same layout, the oil filter can be easily accessed by removing the front passenger side tire. There is a hard plastic/polyurethane cover inside the wheel well that, once removed, allows easy view and access to the filter and drain pan plug. I barely get my knees dirty.

    The tools I use are: jack and wheel lug nut wrench that come with the car, phillips screwdriver and small vice grips for the (3)fasteners that hold the access panel to the wheelwell, socket wrench and attachements for the oil filter and drain plug.

    I have an MBA, not an MS in Mechanical Engineering, so if I can do it, anybody can. Average time start to finish is about 20-25 minutes. Most gas stations accept old oil for recycling. I don't do it to save money, I do it to save time. I can't drive back and forth from the nearest Jiffy Lube in less than an hour. And I have never had a warranty claim, but my Nissan dealer suggested keeping a log of the milage and date of all changes (which I do every 3-4,000 miles)

    I only wish my Honda S2000 was as easy. That's not a do-it-yourself job (at least not for an MBA).
  • Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. This board is great.
  • Would anyone here think that swapping 02 SE wheels for 02 GLE wheels on my 02 SE Maxima would screw up the alignment?

    I swapped them out last December, and they have been fine until late. I had them rotated (not balanced) and since then, it has felt a bit off. Also, I have an appointment Wednesday to get the steering column fixed, cause I think it is loose.

    So, do I have a problem or do you think not balancing the tires when they were rotated screwed it up?

  • I suspect the issue is more related to the balancing (or lack of) than the wheels themselves.

    I have a 95 GLE (15" wheels) and a 00 SE (17" wheels). A couple of years ago I bought some new 16" wheels and tires for the 95 and took the old 15" wheels and put dedicated snow tires on them.

    Been swapping from 17" to 15" as necessary (it snows once ina while in Wisconsin) and have not noticed any problems other than they do need to be rotated and balanced about every 5-7500 miles.

    Where did you pick up the GLE wheels from?
  • I currently have an '00 SE cloth interior & 35k miles. I have been offered a nice price for it, and was not planning on selling it. However, I would love leather, brand new carpet (I have a child that stained my carpet), brand new paint, and a pinch more power. However, I will be paying for it if I decide to sell and purchase an '03 - there is a price for everything. I'm just curious if the '03 GLE is worth trading up my '00 SE. I have loved that car from the moment I knew it left Japan in June of '99. Couldn't wait to get it, but now that it is no longer "perfect" I am considering taking the money and running to my nearest Nissan dealer. Any opinions??
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    You can always have your carpet professionally
    cleaned and your paint touched up at a good paint/
    body shop and save a huge amount of money by holding on to your present car. However, the newer
    models do have pluses which your car does not.
    255 hp engine, high intensity discharge headlamps,
    radio/cd controls on the steering wheel (unlighted
    though they may be) auto-dimming rear view mirror,
    rocker panels and a nicer looking grille, etc.
    My personal opinion is to wait for the 2004's to
    come out in early spring and you will have a choice
    between the '03 and '04 models, the latter of
    which will be restyled sheetmetal and a new interior. How much different the interior will be
    remains to be seen. I also have a '00 SE and have
    decided to wait for the '04's before deciding to
    trade for an '03 or '04. Decisions, decisions!!!

  • It is a hard decision. Although, so far on the '04, I don't like what I see. I've had a professional cleaner for my's hopeless, can't be cleaned out. It was a Big Red (Coke product), we were on a trip, it stayed in the carpet too long & the heat. I have been offered a price that is really hard to refuse. Then again, my car is a wonderful driving experience, however, I just try to avoid looking at the carpet in the back. I have been offered retail price (what a dealer would ask for it) on my '00 SE. Yes, you are right...decisions! decisions!
  • I think you are right about waiting. I guess I'm thinking I will never be offered such a good price for my '00, but you know, our Maxima's are a very desired vehicle, plus good looks, power, etc. and the thought of a brand new "perfect" one is very exciting...for a while anyway. I'm still proud to drive my '00.

    By the way, mine is Sterling Mist, what color is yours?
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193

    There's no need to remove anything from your car if you have a set of ramps.
    The drain plug and the filter are very easily accessible. I would reccommend
    that for an oil filter wrench that you either use a metal strap type or the
    type that looks like a large pair of pliers that have semi-circular faces to
    accomodate the round body of the filter. ( fyi, I use the latter ).


    I have both a '00 GLE and a "02 GLE and IF it were possible to drive these
    cars BLINDFOLDED you would swear that they were completely different
    cars. The BIG difference is the VQ35 engine. Nissan has calibrated the
    transmission to the engine so well plus they have played around with
    the torque curve for added punch. The '02 ( and probably the '03 )
    is awesome. As "Berbel" said , you could wait to drive the '04
    and if you did'nt like it you could get the '03 . Of course it would'nt
    hurt to test drive an '03 now , and you'll see what I'm talking about
  • That's a scarey thing for me to do. I know once I test drive it, I will want it. LOL May go do that today! Thanks!
  • The dealership I bought my 02 SE from swapped them out for me for free. They took them off their demo 02 GLE which had 4,100 miles on it (my SE had 3,900 at the time, so tire wear wasn't a factor IMO).

    It was fine up until I had the tires rotated, but the people who rotated them (my mechanic I have used forever), told me not to worry about doing a balance until around 25,000 miles (19,000 on the car right now).

    I think I am going to have to get an alignment and balance to fix the problem. I wonder how much that is going to set me back?

  • are the 17in GLE tires more a touring tire than the 17SE tires? I'm just wondering how your car handles with the SE susp and the GLE tires. thanks for response
  • I too was very interested in upgrading from my '00 GLE when the 02 maxima's came out but the hit in depreciation would be wayyy too much for me to swallow. As for now, my max has 28k miles and exactly 2 yrs old this past sept and has been near perfect. I will probably wait till the 04's come out and see if I like those.. if not, im sure I could get a great discount on a leftover 03. man, I love those HID's!
  • If I were you and could get dealer retail for the 2000 Max. Then get a great bargin ($4000 or more) off a new 2003-I'm buying the 2003. In other words; if you figure say $4000 off the msrp of a 2003, what is the dollar difference?

    If I could get retail for my almost perfect (18,000 miles) 2001 Infinit I-30, I would be in line for the 2003 Max or Infiniti. Just my opinion!

  • I bought a low-end 2003 SE on 2 Sep (in Ohio) an took advantage of NISSAN's $1000 dealer incentive that ended 3 Sep. My final price was $3500 off sticker (no trade-in) and i think I did very well. If the Altima demand stays high, then $4000 off on the 2003 Maxima may be possible. After driving mine, I am glad that i did not wait. This car is truly a blast to drive - perhaps I've been driving my SUV too long. So far, the car is great and I look forward to my next road trip.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    If you have a bonifide offer at full retail price for your 2000 SE, I suggest taking it. Especially since you indicate that it's in less than perfect shape (i.e. stained carpet and paint).

    I've only considered manual transmission SE models, but, in my opinion, the 2003 is a substantial improvement over the 2000 model. I was encouraged to trade my 1995 SE for a 2000 model when they first came out with the 222 hp engine, and found it not to be as quick or responsive as my 1995 model. The 2002/3 6-speed is definitely a step up, although maybe not as much with an automatic transmission. My next sedan is likely to be a BMW 5-series, but the 1995 SE continues to serve me well in the meantime.

    I do suggest that you drive the SE and GLE back to back. It is my understanding that there is still a noticable difference in the handling, and given that you are coming out of an SE, you may prefer that model over the GLE.

    Good luck.
  • I'm slowly but surely reading through all the posts in this forum, and its been very informative.

    I've also posted this question on

    I'm getting rid of my pos 1995 Neon (its last breakdown was the reason for the purchase). I had a Sony X-Plod CD receiver in it, and 2 rear Sony 6x9 3-way speakers. They were purchased from Best Buy , and I thought their install was OK, but again, that car rattled so much, I'd never know. I bought the plan that will let you take the car back to them, and they will put the factory speakers/stereo back in, and put the Sony's in the new car.

    It doesn't look either will fit in the Maxima without mods. (the Maxima stock head unit being so tall) From what I read, Maximas already seem prone to rattles, and I'm not sure I want to increase the chance of those. That stock head unit looks twice the height (roughly) of the Sony.

    1. Will they use some kind of filler, and will it look bad/increase rattle chances?

    2. What about the 6x9's? Will they put them in the doors somehow?

    3. Will the Steering Wheel stereo controls still work?

    I know its nowhere near the best system, but it does sound better than the stock.

    Any advice is appreciated.
  • Thank you for your advise. I do plan to test drive and SE and GLE. I have had 3 SE's now, so don't know if I can deal with a GLE, but I really need to get a feel of it.

    My current 2000 SE is still a beautiful car, just a few spots of bug funk on the nose, really no big deal, and my carpet mats actually cover most of the red stains on my carpet. I have put a bra or nose cover on it due to the love bugs this time of year in Southern Mississippi, it looks great on. So, I hope I haven't given the wrong impression, it's still a beauty, and I think thats why I'm having a hard decision with this....although LEATHER would be very nice.

    Thanks for your advise.
  • leather in that hot mississippi sun?? i've been to Jackson.... not a pretty sticky situation if you ask me...
  • According to Best Buy, the steering wheel controls would not be functional with their installation.

    That stinks.
  • cds12cds12 Posts: 139
    the stereo that maxima has in it will be better than the crap they sell at best buy.
  • Yes, the hot sun. I know what you mean. Actually me nor my husband had ever had leather until recently, he just bought him a '02 Pathfinder LE with BLACK leather, believe it or not, and it cooled off so much quicker that my cloth interior, and the leather gets cool pretty quick. And it looks sooo nice, and doesn't seem to absorb dirt like my cloth.
  • Well, to be fair, I'm not in the car yet, so I can't absolutely vouch for that, but in my two test drives, the bass was pretty much not there.

    And I'm referring to stock, not bose.

    The sony cd/speakers combo in my neon had much more range and response.

    But again, that's on two test drives where I'm trying to absorb everything about the vehicle.

    Specs I saw said that the stock stereo is 120 Watts, and six speakers. I'll of course check it out much more....
  • Has anyone reviewed whether the the TMV pricing for 03 Maximas that Edmunds has is accurate? I just compared the TMV pricing with what was quoting and the TMV pricing was about $2K more. How can that be? And is a price I can get without any haggling at a dealer.
  • I have not noticed a change in handling from the Potenza's (225/50 VR 17's) to the Turanza's (215/55 HR 17's).

    I was suprised by this myself. I thought I would give up some performance, but haven't noticed any difference at all.

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