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Nissan Maxima



  • Reporter for a major busienss daily seeks Nissan
    Maxima drivers to talk about their experiences with the car and also be mentioned in the column as a driver. Please email me at by November 4 at 5:00 p.m. EST
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Thanks ! Somehow I missed that article....... 6.9 secs. sounds
    good to me . Many years ago I had a 440 cu. in. / 375 hp. Mopar
    that did 0 - 60 in 6.4 . It's amazing how much power and performance
    they're getting out of these hi-tech V-6's !!!!!!! AND it's not turbo-
    charged or supercharged. Even Nissan's 2.5 4 cyl. puts out a
    naturally aspirated 180 hp !!!!!!!!!!
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    Here's a link to that I35 article. Looks like it was published in December 2001.

    I agree, engine tech these days is very impressive, especially considering the emissions reguluations and fuel economy they have to design around. We certainly have come a long way!

  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    I'm surprised that the automotive media has apparently overlooked
    the '02 max. Automatic. I realise that all of the interest is focused
    on the 6-spd. however , 90% of Max. buyers purchase the auto. trans.
    The 3.5 V6 really does transform this car over the 3.0 V6.

    Maybe someone will do a road test on an '03 Auto. but I doubt it. Now,
    all eyes are on the '04.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Recently, Edmunds did a comparo of 5 to 6 near luxury sedans, including Infiniti I35 (which is basically a dressed up fully loaded Max GLE with a $1.5k markup), Lexus ES 300 and VW Passat W-8. In the performance category, the V-6 in I35 took first place, beating out even the V8 in Passat. Pretty amazing!! I35 took second place in the overall rating, edging out ES300 but losing to Passat by a few points. It is interesting that (as I recall)neither the Acura TL-S nor the Volvo S60 were included in the comparo, as these two cars would definitely give the I35 fierce competition.
  • I don't have a service manual for my '98 Maxima SE. Does anyone know the minimum thicknesses of the brake rotors?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I think one of the reasons that you don't see many reviews of automatic Maximas is the performance quality (or lack thereof) of their automatics. I test drove a 2003 SE 6-speed and 2003 Automatic almost back to back a couple of weeks ago when my car was in for service. No comparison. I would have estimated that the SE 6-speed was 1-2 rungs up the ladder from my 1995 SE 5-speed (6.7 0-60), but the automatic seemed at least 1-2-3 rungs down the ladder. Especially from a standing start.

    IMO, Nissan has milked the slow shifting 4-speed automatic in the Maxima/I35 for way too many years. The V6 gem of an engine is rates an "8 or 9" on a scale of 10. The automatic transmission a "4", in comparison to many of the 5-speed and now even 6-speed automatics out there. Fortunately, the 5-speed automatic in the G35 is more like a "7". Even the Honda Accord and Acura TL have better automatic transmissions than the Maxima, IMO.

    As I've previously admitted, I am probably a manual transmission "lifer". So take what I say, with that in mind. There is, however, one automatic that I've driven that I would rate a "9". The AMG C32. Try it, if you ever get the opportunity.
  • bcohenbcohen Posts: 58
    I have a link to owner's manuals for Maximas. I'm not sure if it will have what you're looking for or not, but its probably worth looking.

  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    I think we are really nit-picking here when you say 1-2 rungs ( ie; tenths
    of a second ) up or down .However, there is a big difference between 8.0
    secs. to 60 ( '00 GLE ) and 6.9 secs ( '00 I35) imho.

    I disagree that the media hasn't done a review of an Automatic Maxima
    because it's an automatic. As I said earlier, all of the performance
    emphasis is on the 6-spd. soooo, the media tests the 6-spd. However,
    because the majority ( what 90% ) of people buy the automatic , the
    media should also test what the majority drives. Again, my 2-cents.

    My automatic happens to be very fluid and seamless. It does it's
    thing and is completely un- obtrusive. I do agree with you about the
    number of gears. I was really hoping that the 5th gen. would have had
    a 5-spd. Tiptronic type trans. After all , Hyundai did it . I guess Nissan
    has to save some of the good stuff for " Infiniti ".

    This brings up a question that has always fascinated me. Why do most
    people buy the SE model. It can't be for the "performance" because
    most people pay extra for the automatic rather than driving the 5-spd.
    I'm guessing it's a combination of features vs. price . Would that
    be a correct assumption ?

    Btw, I was a " lifer " also until I " blew-out " my left knee. Thus my
    interest in auto-sticks.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    the media should always test all variations I feel. Those auto journalists can p#ss and moan about it if they want to but I think they should test both the auto and the manual then the issue is moot because both parties are happy then.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sorry about your knee.

    As for the SE, I thought the percentage that are manual transmissions was more like 30%. Given that most GXE's and all GLE's are automatic, that would result in 80-90% for all Maxima's. In any event, your point about testing the automatics is a fair one.

    Even for those who elect an automatic, the firmer SE "sport" suspension may be preferable for some. My architect leased 4 loaded GXE's in 1996 for himself and his partners as company cars. When their leases came up in 1999 3 out of the 4 switched to SE's after feeling the difference in my car around the Washington Beltway.

    Also, when I said 1-2 rungs, I wasn't referring to 10ths of a second in 0-60 times. I was referring to differences that I could easily notice. I won't dispute the 0-60 of 6.9 seconds that was clocked for the I35, but that sure seems a lot faster than the 2003 SE automatic that I test drove 2 weeks ago. Maybe I need to mash my foot harder. My sense was that there was at least a full 1+ second 0-60 difference between the automatic 6-speed. And that sense passes the acid test - that was roughly the difference in the previous 190 horsepower and 222 horsepower versions of the Maxima. Adding another 33 horsepower, but keeping the old 4-speed automatic and pitting it against a close ratio 6-speed seems like it should result in the same 1+ second difference (or even greater). Wouldn't you agree?
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    you're in the ballpark. The I35 0-60 was
    6.9 and the 6-spd. Max. 0-60 was 6.2 ( .7 sec
    difference ) . Thats pretty close to 1 second.

    You know what ? This higher math is giving
    me a headache. I need to lay down and rest.
    Have a great weekend Y'all !!
  • jg28jg28 Posts: 257
    I'm likely to be a new Maxima driver within the next couple weeks (2002 SE) and just wanted to chime in with a few questions and thoughts. I for one would rather have the more supple suspension in the gxe or gle but the gxe interior isn't as nice as the se and the se has foglights and sure corners well, so I'm going with the se (plus the gxe is very hard to find). I know awhile back there was a TSB for the hood that moved during driving. Does anyone know more about that? How about changing the passenger compartment air filter? I looked in the owner's manual and it said to contact the dealer. Surely there's a way to change it yourself? Can anyone recommend good tires? I live in a snowy area during the winter, so traction would be important. The Potenza RE92s have really bad survey ratings on and I noticed they're really loud when I've been testing all these maximas. It looks like there are very few choices in the OEM size. I sure like the GLE wheels. Anyone know where these can be purchased? Lookin forward to becoming a Maxima owner soon. Please chime in.
  • I've got a 2001 Nssn Max. with 16" tires. The original tires are 215 55R 16. I just went to price some new ones and very few are available and they cost an arm and a leg.

    Does anyone have any experience with changing from 55's to say 60's. There is a significant price difference.

  • I have a 91 SE with 58,000 miles in mint condition. Just noticed that the bulb in my glove compartment doesn't work. I have tried to remove and replace it, but it is mounted in a recessed area at the top of the compartment and I can't get my fingers around it to remove. Nothing in the owners manual about this bulb. Anyone out there who can give advice. Thanks.
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Why don't you reconsider a GLE since you like the slightly more supple
    ride and the alloy wheels .I have an '02 Merlot GLE and this car really
    stands out with that color and those wheels !

    The hood vibration is referenced in TSB # 01-042 ( Jan 02 ).This was earlier
    in the year and affected a small percentage of vehicles. If you have a late
    '02 build date ( which I'm sure you will ) this probably won't be a factor.

    The ' in cabin microfilter ' can be changed by the owner , however you will
    need to remove the Glove Box. Most people don't want to fool with this
    so they take it to a dealer. More info. on the TSB and disassembly of
    the glove box can be found over at

    My ' 00 GLE has 215-55/16 Toyo Proxes AO5 's and my ' 02 GLE has
    215-55/17 Bridgestone Turanza EL 42 's. Both are quiet, good riding
    tires but unfortunately are expensive. I do know that people are buying
    Dunlop SP Sport A2 's ( a little loud but reasonably priced ) .Also consider
    Yokahama Avid V4 's. I would recommend that you get ' Traction Control ' and
    try ( 1) winter with the stock tires. I would imagine that if you went with
    something like ' Blizzaks ' that they would be very loud on dry pavement.
    In fact , I'm not even sure you can put ' Blizzaks' on a fwd car.

    I hope you get your Maxima soon so you can start enjoying those 255
    ponies. :-)
  • The hood problem with vibrations at speed was still a problem with the '03 Max as well. My '03 SE was just in the shop to get the hood tightened down. It doesn't vibrate anymore. Good job by Fairview Nissan in Burlington, Ontario. They're in the process now of ordering me a new head unit for my 6-disc Bose CD. We'll see how long it takes and how many more I'll need to put in before the warranty runs out. Otherwise, the car is fabulous.
  • eblumeblum Posts: 52
    If I had to pick one item to improve in my 2000SE, it would be the auto trans. I think that the general consensus for the past several years is that Nissan knows how to build a great engine, but their auto tranny. could use more work. It could be a lot smoother and get more of the hp to the road....IMHO....
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    My ' 00 Max. ( built 4/99 ) could be alot better. My ' 02 is 100% better.
    Seamless , smooth shifts and all at the right time with no hunting. Is
    it the luck of the draw ?? Nissan did make some changes to the auto
    trans in ' 02 to handle the output of the 3.5 V6.

    I haven't owned an automatic in 25 yrs. and now I have two of them. I
    just want them to be trouble free for 175,000 miles. I've got my
    fingers crossed.

    The great thing about a manual trans is that when you replace the
    clutch at some point the trans will then be as good as new. And
    it's relatively inexpensive to replace a clutch. Once you start having trouble
    with an automatic, it will be expensive to repair and may never be right.
    My confidence level is VERY low when it comes to repairing automatics.
    All you can do is periodically flush the trans , replace the filter and say
    a prayer. ;-)
  • eblumeblum Posts: 52
    I need to stop buying the first year of a new model. I think that the several minor issues that I have are gone now...sluggish tranny...knocking engine...its hard to wait a year after a new design is released.

    I do have to say that I have 74,000 miles on my 2000 SE and it is still tighter and smoother than my 98 Grand Prix with only 20,000 miles.

    Does anyone know if the auto trans should only be flushed or should the pan be dropped? I believe the dealer told me that Max does not have a replaceable trans oil filter. Is this correct?
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    Hear, hear, I agree, but my biggest beef is that I didn't get several big upgrades that came with the 02 LIKE THE 3.5 MOTOR, auto-dim mirror, steering wheel stereo controls, 17" wheels, etc!!! My other regret was that I didn't get the manual tranny. I hate my auto tranny and would trade for a stick in a heartbeat if I didn't lose my a$$ on trade-in. My new plan is to hold out until the 04's come out and then maybe try to pick up an 03 6-sp for cheaper since the 04 will be a new design.

    Had to vent.
  • Hi All,

    I just read about the HIDs being stolen off of Maxima--I think someone complained about how easy it was to remove these on a Yahoo auto board. Has anyone heard about this and can shed more light (no pun intended) on it?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    HIDs are a hot market, I would imagine. Aftermarket, they are about $1100 for the lights. I am sure that would mean good profits if they are sold "hot" (no pun intended).
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Apparently , the theft of HID's in the New York City area is very serious.
    There is a link over at where you can buy a set of anti-theft bolts
    to replace the factory fasteners on the HID's.

    At 40,000 miles I had my auto trans flushed . Basically, it's like a trans-fusion
    ( no pun intended ) . New fluid goes in as the old goes out.

    eblum : Excellent question in regards to the trans filter. In my line of business,
    all hydraulic pumps have a filter. The auto trans is a hydraulic device.
    I certainly HOPE there is a filter, although I don't really know at this
    point. Does anyone else know ????????
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Yes, there is a filter. They are usually cleaned with gasoline. I remember awhile back, my mother took her car to get the tranny looked at because it was shifting harshly. The filter was so dirty that when they tried to clean it, it just disintegrated. She bought the car used though, so it wasn't her fault that the maintenance wasn't done. She was always up on that stuff with the car.

    But yes, there is a filter. It's usually cleaned (or replaced) when flushing out the fluid.
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Was your mothers car a 5 th gen. Max. ( 2000- up ) ?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    No, this was a 1986 Pontiac that she bought used in 1987. It was an Avis rental car before she got it, so that explains the abuse.

    She liked bigger cars, so she had Bonnevilles for the last part of her life. She passed in 2001, and had a 1993 Bonneville that I sold privately because I couldn't afford to gas it for my ~100 mile a day roundtrip commute.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    For those interested, the all-new Maxima will be making its worldwide debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in early January.
  • I am about to trade my 93SE for an 03SE/6spd. An option with the 6 speed is a helical limited slip differential. What is it and is it worth the ~$400 price?
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