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Nissan Maxima



  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I need a set of tires for my Nissan SE V6 truck -Michelin LTX M/S tires (size P235-75R15) are almost worn out after 74,000 miles. This is the highest mileage I ever got out of any set of tires on any vehicle.
  • Yeah, the Sept. deadline for the DVD player is also forcing my hand. I have had Pilot sports before, on my 00 GLE, and they were awesome. With that tire change I also lowered the car with eibach spring and tokico struts. Made a huge difference in handling and stability. The pilots that time were the standard ones, not the a/s models. Ended up getting an 02 GLE and have so far run it up to 36K on the Touranzas. I checked the size dif. for the 235/50/17, and it is almost identical to the the oem size of 215/55/17.

    I agree that they are expensive and don't have the typical warranty, but the quality is worth it.

    Take a look at the HUGE difference between the Pilot Sport's A/S and the stock Touranza's.

    You get what you pay for. I agree, V and Z rated tires are useless in this country, but these tires are for exceptional handling in all weather.


    As you can see...the Pilots beat stock across the board. WELL worth the money. Think I'll probably buy them from Tire rack, and get them drop shipped. I checked with the local stores for stock and price, and the lowest price I found was $269 for the Pilots, WITHOUT mounting. Talk about gouging the customer. It's much cheaper to have them drop shipped to a local place.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    There is a lot of price gouging going on with other Michelin tires as well. For example, the price for a P235-75R15 LTX M/S truck tire ranges anywhere from $ 112 to $ 160 or more in Central Florida. Sam's club has decent prices on Michelin tires, as they had the lowest price I could find for the above tires. And they do not rip you off on mounting and balancing, which some tire stores do (they sell you the tires at a reasonable price, but out the door you pay a lot more than you thought was a good deal).

    Even though V and Z rated tires are expensive, they dissipate heat very well and are least likely to fail from excessive heat buildup.
  • habitat1 - you have electricity over there is Rockville?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Since hurricane Andrew caused over $ 20 billion worth of damage in Florida in the early nineties, the home insurance rates have risen sky high in Florida. Premiums have just about quadrupled and the coverages now have 2% to 5% deductible for hurricane damage, instead of standard $ 200 or $ 500 deductible for all perils. I wonder if the rates will go up in the states hit by the latest hurricane. Fortunately, the damage assessment is nowhere near that of what Andrew caused.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    We live in DC - Chevy Chase area - and were fortunate to get power back on Saturday. Two blocks away, they never lost power; two blocks in another direction, they're still in the dark.

    What about you?
  • Seems like a lot of people are getting around 30k on there Maxima tires before having to replace them. I have never yet, had to replace a tire before 40k on any car I have owned. I have the stock Good Year Eagle RSAs on my '02 Max. Have 39k on them and a ton of tread left. Above someone mentioned that they expect to get 30k on their Pilots. For the money you spend on them I would hope to get at least 50k. For $800 I would expect to get 30k if I floored it off the line at every stop sign, slammed on the brakes at every stop sign, and cornered every turn on two wheels!
  • We're across the Potomac in Mitchellville. Lost no power this time although we have several trees down and my back yard is like a swamp. In the storm three weeks ago we lost power for 3 days. I went to Home Depot in Annapolis and got one of the last 4 generators. I didn't need it this time.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Just because a tire is expensive does not mean it will last long. In fact high speed ratings and expected tire tread life are inversely proportional.

    Z rated tires, for example will wear the fastest because the rubber compounds are a lot softer in those tires than in regular S,T, or H rated tires. They are also thinner in cross section to dissipate the heat better. V rated tires are somewhere inbetween.

    It is not unusual to wear out a set of Z rated tires in 18K miles or less. I have talked about this to a foreign car repair shop owner who does a lot of work on very expensive German cars. He has seen these car owners go through expensive tires very frequently. Some of these tires are over $ 300 a piece.

    I have not been impressed with wear on Michelin Pilots. I had these installed on my Mazda 626 V6 and never spun the tires once. They have high tread wear rating but they are essentially worn out after 30K miles. I just talked to somebody who claims to have over 58K miles on a set of Michelin energy MXV tires on their Honda Accord V6. Go figure.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree with p100 on a couple of points:

    First, in general, the higher the performance rating of a tire, the lower the treadlife. Exacerbating that is that in many cases, high performace cars have staggered front and rear wheels that prohibit tire rotation.

    Second, while I appreciate the desire to get the most performance out of a FWD Maxima, the wheels and tires can only do so much. And a good quality "H" rated tire, IMO, is about the most anyone really needs.

    I feel somewhat fortunate in having a 1995 Maxima SE that used "dimunitive" 215 15HR60 tires as the original equipment. In 143k miles, I've replaced the original Eagle RSA's twice and still have 20,000 miles left on the current set (average 55k per set). That's a grand total of about $900 in tires, balancing, etc. over 9 years. I do not rotate any more frequently than the normal 15,000 mile service intervals.

    Over the last 9 years, the Maxima (SE's) has bumped wheel size to 16", 17" and now 18" wheels and higher and higher performance spec tires. I attribute this to 20% performance objectives and 80% to marketing and aesthetic objectives. A FWD Maxima with 20" wheels and tires is not going to handle as good as a RWD BMW 530i non-sport package car, let alone a sport package one. Yet the tire replacement cost over 9 years and 143k miles would be about $4,000-$5,000 instead of my $900. And, although I am sure some would debate this, the 1995 SE riding on 15" wheels does not give up much, if anything to the handling of a 2003/4 riding on 17" or 18" wheels. They are both about 60/40 front end heavy.

    Differences in wet weather traction and other characteristics are indeed important considerations. And I would never advocate going cheap on the connection between a car, the road and your safety. But ultra high performance tires for a FWD sedan is an inherant contradiction, don't you think?
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167

    As a general rule of thumb, I agree with you that
    UHP tires for a car such as the Max are seemingly
    an inherent contradiction. However, these tires do
    "bring to the table" characteristics, by design,
    that enhance a car's "stick" to the road under just
    about all driving conditions. Accordingly, if you
    have the extra $$$ to spend, buying them is, IMHO,
    certainly worth it. Otherwise, it's kinda "overkill"

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree that to the extent that the performance is improved under all driving conditions, money spent on tires is a good investment. It's just a matter of cost / benefit analysis as to what is prudent vs. wasted. I just find the possibility of spending nearly as much on replacement tires for a Maxima as a BMW 3 or 5 series to be a little extreme.

    I bought a Maxima in 1995 because it did indeed have the best performance of any of it's FWD competitors AND had a history of durability and low maintenance costs. At the time I bought, I intended to keep the car at least 7-8 years and 120k miles, both of which have now been exceeded. Would I have bought something else in 1995 if I knew that replacement tires would run me $4,000 for the Maxima instead of $1,000 for an Accord or Camry or Passat or...? Perhaps not, but I'm glad I didn't face that choice.

    For the rest of the gang: I just hope that nobody that's in favor of $800-1,000 per set replacement tires with a 25-30k tread life for the Maxima also thinks it's O.K. to use regular octane rather than the recommended premium gas. Over 120,000 miles of driving, that penny pinching will only save about $750 in gas. Barely enough for one set of tires.

    P.S. I would love to see a slalom test, skidpad test and/or any other handling test between a 1995 Maxima SE with OEM 15" wheels and tires against the 2003 SE (17"?). I would hope the 2004, with independent rear suspension would do better. Dry and wet, it would be interesting to see the results.

    P.P.S. Come to think of it, I did rule out the Volvo 850 Turbo pretty early back in 1995 because of an assessment that a potential $3,000 turbo replacement at 70,000 to 100,000 miles was unacceptable just to match the naturally aspirited performance of the Maxima.
  • gerapaugerapau Posts: 211
    I doubt that the 2004 Max would do much better in a slalom test than the 2003. Most slalom tests make use of roads that are free from any noticable bumps and the such. The old beam suspension was actually much better than many independant suspensions at handling corners until the corners got bumpy. I would expect the independant suspension on the 2004 Max would handle bumpy corners much better than the old beam suspension would though.
  • I wonder if manufacturers keep incresing the rim sizes because they receive incentives to do so from the tire manufacturers.

    Pinging on Acceleration: I have a '02 Max that just had the rear Oxygen Sensor replaced (39k miles). Prior to the replacement I ran regular unleaded and never had any pinging or performance issues. Any ideas why this started after having the O2 sensor replaced? If I run mid grade 89 octane it seems better--only slight pinging every now and then.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The rim size increasing fad does not show any signs of abating. There is a practical limit where one has to look at cost vs benefit gained. A 16 inch diameter rim on a Maxima is IMO the maximum practical size, which is also the opinion of some other people in this forum. You can mount low profile tires like P215-55-HR16 on 16 inch rims and you still have enough tire height to avoid rim damage when you scrub your wheels against a curb or hit a pot hole. The larger the rim , the lower the tire profile and less protection for the rim. It is not unusual to damage an 18 or 19 inch rim when you accidentally rub your tires against a curb because the tire is simply not tall enough and the rim will contact the curb. I read several complaints by BMW owners who bent their fancy large diameter alloy wheels just by running into a shallow pothole, which would be harmless for a regular size tire/wheel. And the cost of one wheel was something like $ 700.

    Large diameter, low profile tires are harder to balance, they come out of balance quicker as they wear (= more frequent rebalancing required), increase the turning radius of the car because clearances between the wheel and the inner fenders decrease with increasing tire size. And the cost of large diameter low profile tires is much higher. So are the choices, because not that many tires are offered in large sizes. Performance gains are insignificant considering all of the negatives. Besides, if one wants to take an 18 inch V or Z rated tires mounted on 7.5 inch wide rims to their true maximum potential, why buy a Maxima? Get a 400 HP sports car. For normal driving and even spirited driving in a Maxima, 18 inch or larger rims are a waste of money.

    As far as engine pinging goes, suggest you use premium fuel in your car as recommended by the manufacturer. Penny pinching on fuel quality will backfire in time. I have been using nothing but brand name premium fuel in my 98 Maxima SE. The car has 69 K miles and absolutely nothing went wrong with it to date. I replaced the original tires at 58K miles and installed new spark plugs at 68k miles. No pinging, no hesitation, and the engine light never came on.

    I know of a case where somebody bought a mint BMW 750iL (12 cylinder flagship) and used the cheapest fuel available even though premium was recommended. They had problems with the car within several months. The penalty was about $ 3000 worth of repairs, including replacing two fuel pumps and several sensors.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    In my post above I forgot to mention that the cost of replacing four Toyo P215-55-HR16 tires with the same size Toyo Proxess tires came to $ 470 including mounting, balancing and all taxes. This is a lot better than paying $ 800. And since I got almost 60K out of the original Toyo tires with no problems I hope this set will last just as long.
  • What it realy boils down to is that if I want to and, am fourtunate enough to be able to afford to spend $800 / $1000 on a set of highly rated, safe tires for a good car and if I am pleased with my purchase from a safety and comfort standpoint, good for me.
    I am pleased with my purchase of Pilot Sport A/S tires and feel a great difference from the previous OEMs, even from when they were new, in dry and especialy wet. Hopefuly, you get what you pay for. Just do your homework and educate yourself on what you intend to buy. I read about 'em, I bought 'em and I am glad I did.
    Drive safe.
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    This is a very timely topic for those of us living in the "snow belt". I bought an 03 back in March, and while I have to take it slow, the stock Potenzas are "ok" assuming the road is plowed. Fortunately my wife has an SUV which handles MUCH better in inclement weather for when we take trips.

    Has anyone messed with snow tires on this car? IT seems like a bit of a waste on a FWD sedan. The Potenzas aren't great tires, but they're not slicks or anything. I only have 6000 miles on the car, but when I replace I plan to use Goodyear RSAs. I had those OEM on my Olds Alero, and they were much better than the Potenzas in snow. I'm sure the Michelins are nice, but I feel they're gonzo overkill for a Maxima.
  • This is a follow-up of my message# 7356,7359.I brought back my car to the dealer The second time.The service manager handled my problem and was very helpfull.He told me that my front Struts has to be replaced. There is a new part number for the struts, and has ordered the new part.It is very upsetting to have this done on a brand new car.
  • I'm with vanbo57.

    You can talk all day long about how you saved $500 or whatever on a set of tires.

    May I remind you that at any speed, the only thing making contact with the ground is that little itty bitty, tiny tire contact patch.

    I hated the Potenza'a on both of my Maxima's (95 & 00) and replaced them when they wore out with much better tires. (The stock Potenza's did go 90,000 miles on each car.)

    Just one "avoided accident" on the road will pay for your $500 in tire savings many, many times.

    Last summer in my 00 Max SE (with the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S), I had a driver pull right out in front of me at a 90 degree angle from my left at 45-50 mph. She simply didn't see me or was drunk or whatever. She was sitting in the median waiting to cross and just went, almost into the drivers's side of my Max.

    I had no time to think at all, I just cranked the wheel literally as hard as I could to the right and immediately back to the left to get back into my lane. Fortunatly, there wasn't anyone next to me on the right.

    Absolutely no drama, no squealing tires, nothing but rock solid performance. IMO, that one single accident avoidance performance is worth the extra $500 per set of tires. (Especially when I have a $1000 deductible.)

    My front seat passenger at the time (when I occasionally see him) still talks about how I (the Maxima) saved our lives that day.

    Could the Potenza's have made the same manuever?

    Who knows................
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Mine did (make the same maneuver).

    Over the past nine years, knock on wood, I've never had an accident with my 95 SE on Eagle RSA's. I have had at least 3-4 occassions in which I have had to pull accident avoidance maneuvers as well.

    I cannot fault anyone for spending more on tires if they believe it will improve safety. Back when I bought my Maxima in 1994, I had a choice beteen an SE 5-speed with no options other than a sunroof ($900) and another with no options other than ABS brakes ($1,000). I went the ABS route, and it has paid dividends at least 3-4 more times.

    I admit that I haven't had the opportunity to drive a Maxima equiped with Michilin Pilots to compare to mine with the Eagle RSA's. Maybe I too would notice a difference and upgrade the next time around, if I still have the car. But I have driven the later Maxima's with OEM 16" and 17" wheels and did not feel any difference in handling due solely to the larger wheels. On the other hand, driving a 2003 BMW330i vs. a 1995 328i with the same 15" to 17" wheel upgrade produced noticible improvements, at least to me.

    I respect you for making the choice you did. I may very well have done the same in your shoes with your experience.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    On the plus side, they are trying to fix your car under warranty. They admit that there is something wrong. Even though they appear to be taking trial-and-error approach, they are still trying. I understand your frustration, but imagine what would you feel like if they told you that there is nothing wrong and became progressively more rude. And some dealers do that to people and deliberately lie so they do not have to deal with problems which may be somewhat difficult to diagnose and repair. They tried to do this to me with my 99 Mazda 626. They even instructed their technicians not to talk to me so my questions went unanswered. Only because of my persistence and arguing, and visiting other dealerships, I got defective axles and hubs replaced under warranty, which cured the vibration problem in the front end. I must admit that I had better luck with Nissan because they fixed a few issues I had with my 95 Nissan pickup under warranty without any arguments. And one repair was over $ 1000. Never had any warranty issues with my 98 Maxima, so no experience on that one.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Just went to the dealer this morning to get inspection on my 03 Max (5k miles). I was surprised it only costs $10 rather than the $35 that is charged by the gas stations.

    When I was there, I asked the parts dept. whether it is ok to put 16" tires on my 03 Max, which comes with 17" Turanza all season tires. The reason I asked (not that I need to change tires now) is that the OEM tires are ok, but not great, and there are few tires from other brands that have the same specs (I checked Tirerack). I was told it is perfectly ok to go with 16" tires. When I asked if the smaller tires may affect the speedometer accuracy, the answer is "NO". Is that right?

    I also asked about putting 01 headlights on so that I may put away my 03 HIDs (for fear of theft), I was told that the 01 headlights fit, but leave a substantial gap. Is that right?
  • any change in tire size will most likely affect the speedometer (and odometer) accuracy. It depends on all three measurements of the tire. A smaller diameter wheel will definitely affect things, but a higher profile tire may offset it.

    This is a great website for determining the differences.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    About seven years ago when I still had my 92 Mazda Protege LX, I was caught in virtually the same situation you described with one important difference: There was a car in the lane to the right of me and right next to me. When I saw the woman in this Ford Mustang blindly heading for my left front door, I slammed on the brake, and immediately swerved hard to the right, just missing the rear bumper of the vehicle that was next to me just a few moments ago. I avoided the collision, but just barely. Guess what were the tires on my car? Bridgestone Potenza RE 92s. This was the second set of the OEM tires on this car, size P184-60HR-14, still made in Japan at that time. They did really good and I never lost control of the car.
    However, I agree that having the best tires money can buy does help in an emergency situation. I just bought a set of Michelin Energy MXVs for my 99 Mazda 626. And they are rather pricey.
  • ramped1ramped1 Posts: 159
    wake this board back up before it slipped too far down the list.

    Just moved into a new neighborhood a couple of months ago, and out of about 35 households, three own 02 or 03 Maxes, and two are white. Shows they have taste, I guess, but it's kind of a bummer since I'm thinking about getting one like that myself. No 04s, but there's a guy down the block who has a vintage '92 SE like mine. Guess he's got high house payments, too! :<(
  • I'll buy your HID's off of you if you don't want to have them on your max... =)
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Cheerioboy, thanks for the very good link. I printed it out for future reference.

    Kyleknicks, don't get me wrong, I love my bright HIDs, but hate losing them to theft. I was told the HIDs alone cost $1,500 a pair, and when you add labor and other costs to fix damages to your car fender and hood due to the theft, you are looking at well over $3k. With HID thefts running rampant in NY and NJ, I thought it might be better to store the HIDs in the garage and use the 01 halogens until the theft wave subsides. What a pity!! Nissan should be shamed of its shoddy theft prone design and must take some responsibility if it wishes for repeat customers.
  • I'm the owner of a 95 Maxima that now has approximately 80k miles. Since day one I've noticed the car had a drift to the left. Original tires wore out to the outside and replaced after 40k miles. Alignments by 2 different Nissan dealerships plus new Dunlop tires have not improved the situation. Dunlops have 40k miles and left tire is wearing unevenly to the outside. Alignment report indicates everything is in spec. Any ideas to resolve this?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Perhaps you need to go on a diet?

    Just kidding, I have a slight but consistent left drift on my 1995 Maxima SE, but it hasn't caused uneven tire wear that I am aware of (rotate every 7,500 miles). I had an alignment at the dealers suggestion a couple of years ago and it didn't change the drift characteristics. I wonder if this is endemic of all FWD Maximas. My S2000 tracks straight as an arrow.

    I assume you've had the tires balanced and rotated regularly? The only other thing I can think of that would result in uneven tire wear might be a suspension problem. My old Acura had worn struts that led to strange tire wear patterns.
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