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Nissan Maxima



  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    If your rotors are not warped or have deep grooves in them, you should not have them turned again. Turning the rotors reduces the thickness and makes rotors more prone to distortion. You obviously must stay within minimum allowable thickness in any case. I do not turn rotors on my cars unless absolutely necessary. I am very careful not to let anybody use pneumatic impact wrench to tighten the lugnuts. Overtightening and uneven tightening of lugnuts with an impact wrench is one of several causes of rotor warpage and distortion.

    German manufacturers, such as Mercedes Benz or BMW do not recommend brake rotor turning on their cars, not even once. They specify replacing rotors along with new pads.

    Note: The torque units you specified as pounds per square inch should be ft-lbs.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    p100 - yes, thank you for the correction. Torque is measured in pound-force foot (i.e. lbf-ft also sometimes abbreviated to ft-lbs). So I meant to say the lug nuts for the Maxima should be torqued to 80 lbf-ft.

    Pounds per square inch (abbr. psi) - what was I thinking - this is a unit of pressure, and has nothing to do with torque.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I've routinely heard that the auto tranny for 02/03 was "beefed up" but I haven't heard exactly what was done. Anybody know? I have an 00 SE auto and the one thing I don't like is the tranny. When it goes, will one of the newer "beefed up" ones bolt into my 3.0 motor???? Or do they only fit the new 3.5 Maxis?
  • monte4monte4 Posts: 101
    Versus my old 00 it shifts crisper, downshifts better to name a few. My old 00 didnt shift as crisp or as smoothly and the thing with the 00/01 they wouldnt redline so you couldnt maximun power out of them unlike the 02/03. My sevice guy/mechanic at Bankston Lewisville said that they did some changes internaly in it so it could withstand the extra torque of the 02, he did say that they had lots of complaints with 00/01's and they had a TSB out on the 00's tranny.
  • speaking of rotors.. i need to get mine turned too at 41k miles.. it's so bad that it shakes the steering wheel pretty bad when i apply the brakes.. i'm going to go to my mechanic and have him do it instead of the dealer.. plus, this time i'll make sure to torque my lugnuts myself... i was thinking if i needed to replace the rotors, i would go for drilled rotors.. who knows
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    kyleknicks - if you got 41K miles out of the original rotors you did well! I had my rotors turned twice and replaced once, and I am about to turn the current ones again. That is FOUR brake jobs in 2.5 years and 49K miles! And I don't drive aggressively - never wore out the pads (even though I changed them when I installed new rotors but I didn't have to) and I got 43K miles on the original Toyo Proxis tires. Basically I put mostly easy highway miles on my car but the front rotors always seem to be problematic.

    By the way, getting the lug nuts torqued to spec didn't help in my case.

    Changing the rotors to a different brand didn't help either (actually I think the OEM rotors are just fine).

    Changing the pads to ceramic ones that are supposed to be very easy on the rotors (as they do not produce much heat) proved to be of no help either.

    I am starting to think that that the problem may be with the calipers. Maybe even a perfectly true rotor is out of round relative to the pad when installed on our wheels.

    I'd like to try resurfacing the rotors with an on-the-car-lathe which is supposed to make the rotor true relative to its axis of rotation when installed (and therefore true relative to the pad), but I can't find anyone who can do this job in my area. I think even a brand new rotor needs to be resurfaced with an on-the-car-lathe in my case, as I believe it will be out of round even right from the start.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    You can get a high perormance rebuilt tranny from an aftermarket shop for a very reasonable amount, compared to what Nissan would charge you for a 02/03 tranny.

    I also have a 00 SE and the weakest point on the car is the tranny.

    Do a google search and you'll find lots.

    You can also check out the other Maxima web sites for more specific information.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    Tranny - I wonder if the 2001 tranny is different from the 2000 ones. I really have no problems with mine (2001 model) and I am pretty happy with it.

    I wish I could test-drive a newer model to appreciate the difference.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Wow, that's a lot of brake/rotor work in 2.5 years and 49k miles. I take it you have a 00/01 model year?

    Did Nissan change their brake / rotor design between between 1995 & 00/01? I have a 95 SE w/ 144k miles and just had the front pads replaced a second time; the rears were replaced once at 110k miles. The rotors have never been turned or replaced and were deemed "fine" as of my most recent regular service. Did Nissan cheapen the brake system or am I just lucky?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Yes, Nissan made their brake systems on Maximas cheaper and less durable beginning in 2000. The rotors in particular are either thinner or made of substandard materials because they warp easily. I have a 98 SE with 71K miles and still have original pads and rotors and rotors have not been turned and there is no indication of warpage. My 99 Mazda 626 has 72K miles, still has original brake pads and rotors and no problems at all. My Nissan 95 pickup front rotors have never been turned, they are fine with the second set of pads at 78k miles.

    One comment on correct torquing of lugnuts: Just one uneven tightening with an impact wrench can be enough to warp your rotors. Subsequent retorquing to spec does nothing because damage has already been done. You cannot straighten out a warped rotor just by correctly tightening the lugnuts. You simply must insist on use of hand tools when having wheels reinstalled. Removing wheels with an impact wrench is OK, but not installing them, unless they use a torque stick which assures even torquing, but I would not trust even that.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Everytime I had my tires rotated, the mechanics never used hand tools to tighten the lug nuts. I don't know if damage has already been done to the rotors of my 97 GLE with 36k miles (since I have not yet experienced any unusual brake problems), but next time I do tire rotation, I will insist on having the lug nuts hand tightened. Thanks p100 for the advise.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I just replaced all four brake pad sets on my 98 Maxima SE. I sanded down the rotors because they were somewhat glazed, but there were no grooves and no warpage. I used Nissan replacement pads. The front ones were 2/3 worn after 71K miles, rear ones only 1/3 at most. The replacement Nissan brake pads now come with only one pad with a squealer on it. They must have saved a fortune by eliminating one squealer from a set of four pads. At first I thought that they packaged the pads wrong so I looked at another set and it too contained only one pad with a squealer (wear indicator). You are supposed to place the squealer pad on the inside of the right wheel according to Nissan, becuase this pad wears at the fastest rate according to them.
    The new front pads do not have holes for the anti-rattle clips, so I assume they are no longer necessary with new pads. You must reuse the metal spacers installed on the original pads. The rear ones are pain in the butt. It is very difficult to get the calipers of the rotors and you need a special tool to rotate the piston in. The front pistons are just pushed in with a C-clamp (a big 9 inch one in this case).

    The cost of Nissan brake pads was $ 130. I wonder what the price would be if they added an extra squealer per set.
  • Would like to swap out engine from GXE to SE model. SOHC to DOHC. Is this possible? Original has 240K and is not going to be givin up by wife. Has 2000 Acura TL but still drives Maxima over Acura. Need some help here Gents, please.
  • Turning the rotors with the on-wheel lathe is the only right way. You have to make sure, though, that the shavings do not get trapped on the ABS magnets or some other moving parts.

    One more comment: Glazed rotors are usually an indicator of high heat which is typically produced by warped rotors. The remedy for that is the turning job as above.
    Just my 2c
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    norbert444 - I agree with you, but nobody in my area seems to have the equipment to do this.

    And with the traditional off-the-car method I seem to get at the most 10-15K miles before warping the rotors. By the way the replacement new rotors lasted 7K miles before the front started shaking. I pushed it to 10K miles but then I had them warped so badly the whole car was shaking when applying the brakes even at 20 mph.

    My car is at the dealer right now (2001 GLE) - 4th brake job in 2.5 years and 49K miles!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Just because my rotors were smooth in appearance (perhaps glazed was not the right word) does not mean they were warped or overheated. In fact, they were not warped at all because I did not,and do not have any brake chatter or pulsation in the steering wheel when I brake. I just sanded the rotors by hand with 80 grit sandpaper and installed new pads. There were no grooves worn in the rotors and I did not even have to remove them from the hubs. I could have gotten another 30k miles at least from the front pads and probably another 100k out of the rear ones based on the measured wear.

    My car has a manual transmission and I suspect that this is one reason why my brakes last a long time. With a manual you simply use engine and downshift into lower gears to slow down. This avoids overheating of brakes in prolonged braking situation. My other car (99 Mazda 626 V6 too has a manual transmission and the original brakes and rotors are still good at 72K miles.
    Saving on brake wear and tear is one of the benefits of driving a manual. However, I do believe that the new rotors are simply junk. Also, every time you have a rotor turned, you make it thinner and even more susceptible to warpage. So it is a no win situation when even new ones warp after 10k miles. I would try to find higher quality aftermarket rotors, like Brembo.
  • If anyone has had this repair done to their car, please sign my
    petition as I'm trying to get Nissan to issue a recall for these
    defective parts!!!

  • I bought my '01 Max SE in Nov. 2k...Felt some play in the RFW, so I took it back to dealer. Was told i needed new front hub assembly and replace the bearing, total $800.00 + this normal for under 100,000 miles? Then I decided to take it to my mech, he said the nut holding the assembly had rattled loose & that both R/L wheels were missing a cotter pin to keep nut from moving(he charged 1/2 what dealer wanted)...How does dealer miss this, when i took it back to them for regular maintenance & check up...Do i have a recourse from dealer/factory rep? Do Maxs have this problem? Any recalls? thanks for any advice or light you can shed on problem...MM
  • vanbo57vanbo57 Posts: 46
    I had one of the bearing housings replaced at somewhere a bit under 20K miles on my '01 SE. There was a creaking / snapping type noise when the wheel was turned all the way and car was moving slowly. Had it replaced under warranty. I forget what side it was, (left I think) but apparently the bearing housing had cracked. Weird.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I had a problem with the left front hub on a brand new 99 Mazda 626 ES V6. In this case, the axle nut did not come loose, but the hub itself was not concentric around the center, i.e. when I tried to remove the left wheel, I would have to pry it off, and similarly, putting the wheel back on meant forcing it on by tightening the lugnuts, thus gouging out small part of the alloy wheel hub because it would not fit without interference. Of course, the first Mazda dealer told me that nothing was wrong. I went to another one and got the hub, bearing, and knuckle replaced under warranty. They also had to replace the brake rotor because it was stuck so badly on the hub that it could not be removed without damage. I believe that the original hub had the bearing pressed in incorrectly.

    In your case it appears that they did not properly tighten the axle to hub nuts at the factory. The torque on these should be about 170 to 230 ft-lbs and this is about twice as high as your wheel lugnuts. So if they were tightened properly to begin with, there would be no need for the cotter pins, which are there as a last resort to prevent the nut from backing completely off, if it got loose somehow. Some cars, like Mazda, do not use cotter pins, but instead the nut itself has a collar on one end which is staked against the notch in the axle shaft to prevent the nut from backing out.

    On a typical rear wheel drive car, the front wheel bearing nut is kept from backing out by a cotter pin, but in this case, the nut is a little more than fingertight. So the cotter pin is a must. A special type of nut called a castellated nut is used. In case of your front wheel drive Maxima, the high torque on the axle nut should not even require a cotter pin. My Suzuki motorcycle rear axle is held in place with a single nut torqued to about 90 ft-lbs and it does not have a cotter pin to keep it from backing out. And if this nut came loose the consequences would be a lot more severe than on your car.

    I mentioned several times that I believe that the Nissan quality is slipping. I have been very fortunate with the 98 Maxima SE which has been troublefree to date. Nothing but routine maintenance.
  • ramped1ramped1 Posts: 159
    Maxima owners were interested in giving us an update on their cars. Are the 04s living up to expectations?
  • kyim67kyim67 Posts: 13
    I took my 2003 Murano into the dealership for repair (accident), they give me a 2004 Maxima SE as a service loaner. Had it for 3 days now. WOW!!! THIS BABY CAN MOVE!!!
  • ramped1ramped1 Posts: 159
    does anyone think the new Maxima is a better value? It seems as though Acura hit a homer with the TL, and it prices out about the same as a loaded Max. It's tough to pull the trigger on a Max with that kind of competition.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I agree on the TL. I haven't sat in or driven one yet, but I've read a lot and I have driven an 04 SE 6-spd and I wasn't overly impressed. As much as I am a Maxifanatic I'd be leaning towards the TL ;-(
  • has anyone that own a 00 or 01 maxima changed their headlight bulbs? is it easy to replace it? i'm thinking about replacing the oem bulbs with Sylvania Silver Star bulbs... i'm looking for a nice bright light for driving at night...

    any thoughts? thanks
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I am interested in driving both, but it would seem that the price difference would be at least a few thousand dollars. My Nissan dealership has already quoted me $200 over invoice on a 2004 SE 6-speed; I suspect Acura will try to hold the line on pricing a bit longer.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I've replaced one. Took me about 20 minutes because of some fiddling and I'd never done one before. There's a rubber boot type thing that covers the connector. You'll need to move it out of the way, and then it's just squeezing a metal piece that holds things in place and pull straight out on the connector. Hard to explain but once you get in there it'll make sense. If I can do it anybody can. You'll need some good light though so outside on sunny day or have a good work light in the garage. Remember not to touch the bulb itself on the new ones! I went with the normal one and the bulb was like $10. The super whites or cool blues were like $30/ea and I didn't wanna spend $60 changing both.

  • ramped1ramped1 Posts: 159
    What price were you quoted, and what was the equipment on the Max? I would have to get the power sunroof if I were to buy one. I'm not a big fan of the sky roofs or whatever they call those panels. Still not thrilled about the front end styling, either, but in a lighter color it doesn't look too bad.
  • thanks for the input on changing light bulbs.. i've decided to go with some nice bright bulbs since i wanted xeon lights.. and they're $1000 and $60 is alot less than $1000..
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    My 98 Maxima SE hood support gas cylinders were getting weak so I thought about replacing them. First I called Nissan to see what is their price. A mere $ 110 a piece! Found a set of aftermarket ones that fit and work just fine. They come with new anchor bolts that screw directly into existing threaded holes. You cannot reuse the original anchoring bolts because they cannot be removed from the strut socket joints.

    The replacement gas charged lift supports from Auto Zone:

    Mighty Lift, part # E 95784, Made in USA. Cost: $ 20 a piece. That's less than 20% of the Nissan price.
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