Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Nissan Maxima



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm sorry, I think I misrepresented or you misunderstood my point.

    I have paid a fair amount for "repairs" on my Maxima over the past 18 months. But, next to nothing in the first 8 years and 130k miles. Nothing that I would consider a major mechanical system and the engine is still very strong.

    If you think you might have as good of luck with a Ford or Chevy product, be my guest. One of my "frugal" business school buddies got a Ford Taurus (using a lot of Ford credit card points) at about the same time I got my Maxima. He limped that pice of crap along for about 85k miles before he dumped it for $2,500 a year an a half ago. He had major repairs on an annual basis and the car left him stranded more than once.

    Re-read my post. I think the Maxima is a great car and has held up well. should a water pump or starter last longer than 130-150k miles??? I don't know, but the the major mechanical and drivetrain components are still running very strong. And it's fit and finish at 150k miles has held up very well - better than the average domestic car at a third of the age or mileage.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Sorry about the typo. I sold my 92 Max in Sep 02 when I bought my 03 Max - my third Max. I agree with the posters here that the Max is a reliable car and Consumer Report consistently shows that year after year. I also agree that Japanese brand cars (especially those made in Japan) are generally more reliable than American brands, and Consumer Report consistently shows that as well.
    I had my share of Ford and GM cars in the 80s, and I was not impressed with them, to say the least.
  • No habitat, I did not feel you misrepresented your faith in your max. Just the amount of repairs you have had on it just seems like lot to me, as I said, I have heard mnay others with uite a few less repairs then you. But every car is differant as is every driver. I am not saying just because this car is Japanese that I never expect it to break down. I just think that if my repair costs end up costing more then my monthly car payment, then we have a problem. I get your point and am still strongly considering a max, as well as trying to listen to others advice to maybe get something else for now.

    One thing I need to point out is that I am not buying a car to get me around for a few years and then resell it. I want to get a car I can use for a few to several years and then assuming it is still running well give it to my wife or keep it myself. So resale value doesn't matter much to me. Although if you are speaking in the sense of getting an early 90's honda and driving it for a couple years then reselling it to get a max or whatever I want at that time, then i understand, and if that is a btter route for now, then i will have to strongly consider it. But it wouldn't be my first choice.

    According to consumer reports a 1997 Maxima proved more reliable then a 97 accord in several major areas. But a 94 accord was far more reliable then a 94 maxima, so i guess if my budget is tight, then I should consider getting and early 90's accord.

    I find myself caught in a catch 22 at this point. I am living currently with my wife and son in her parents basement. I am soon planning to get us our own apartment. I need to get a car before I can even consider moving out. But without actually moving out and figuring out exactly what costs I have, I have no way of accurately coming up with a budget. I have very educated guess as to what costs I will have, but they are not perfect.

    I guess i will continue studying. Thanks for your help everyone, you are providing me with great info and advice.
  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    I love my 02 6spd (~35K) but since new I have had to

    1) Have rotors resurfaced (<1000 miles)
    2) Dash replaced due to bubbling.(~ 5K miles)
    3) Have rotors replaced (@<; 10K)
    4) Recall for some suspension crossbar
    5) Recall for posible sticking throttle
    6) Recall for some engine sensor
    7) Stereo replaced due to some CD error code (~30K)
    8) 2nd set of rotors resurfaced (~30K)
    9) Have a clip that holds splash guard under front bumper replaced 3X.
    10) Left Rear light assembly replaced due to fogging (~15K)
    11) Dealer installed some anti theft device and stickers for the HID lights.

    In addition I have had to play with the hood adjustments to keep it from fluttering.

    No major failures and I have had to pay only for the last rotor resurface. It also grinds going into 3rd when changed trans fluid but it still grinds.

    Although it has not cost me in terms of money, it has been a pain and I do not consider my time to be free. Many of the above repairs took multiple trips for parts etc. So I have to say my Maxima has not been as reliable as my prvious vehicles but I still find it a joy to drive. (I feel my 92 was a subjectively better car)

  • I will admit I have not read every word of this rather lengthy discussion over the past week or so, ;) but I'll just put in my experiences so far. I have a 00 Max SE, with 46K. My repair history:

    1. rotors resurfaced ~19K
    2. Power mirror switch motor replaced
    3. Transmission Control Module replaced due to big kick from 1-->2.
    4. pads/rotors replaced.

    I think that's it. My Max has been more trouble free than my first-year G35. The G seems to be much better now in 04 - none of the problems I experienced. The only item I paid for above was (4).
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 2,934
    I have an '01 GLE (32,000 miles) -- so far the only thing I have replaced is tires, otherwise just the basic maintenance intervals at 15,000 and 30,000 miles.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    97 (36,500 miles) -- one set of tires, Diehard Gold battery; 03 (6,500 miles) -- nothing.

    Few complaints -- crummy OEM tires (97 and 03), so-called "premium" Bose speakers (03), inferior rear suspension (97 and 03).

    Best feature -- VQ engine.
  • I never had an opportunity to do a post-mortem on the Maxima I rented from Enterprise a few weeks ago, and how it compared to my 2002 Intrigue.

    Obviously, the Maxima is more of a performance car. Acceleration was great, although I had difficulty smoothly accelerating in slow traffic. According to the cool trip computer, my average speed during my morning commute in Metro DC was 14 mph. I would say that as much fun as the Maxima was, it is a TERRIBLE car to drive in that kind of traffic. Gas mileage was substantially worse than the Intrigue, again, according to the computer I average around 13.5 mpg, the Intrigue gets around 16 in the same driving.

    The instrument cluster did grow on me quite a bit, although the stereo system was not as good as the Bose system on the Intrigue. Comfy seats, but visibility is not very good--I'm sure more familiarity alleviates this problem, but I was doing a lot of guesswork backing up.

    The single biggest complaint I have about the Maxima (and the biggest reason I was happy to go back to the Intrigue) was the borderline ridiculous turning circle. Turns and u-turns I routinely make in the Intrigue were not possible in the Maxima. Driving in tight spaces, such as the parking garage at work, was very very difficult and required all kinds of extra turns. I know that the Intrigue is remarkably nimble for a car its size, but still, this was hard to overcome.

    So, in short, the acceleration, roominess, and interior style (exterior is hit or miss) are advantages for the Maxima. The Intrigue is smoother, has better ride insulation (the Maxima is SO rough!) and more nimble. If I drove long, twisty roads every day I'd probably prefer the Maxima, but for real world driving I'm sticking with the Intrigue.

    Tough to evaluate build quality also. I would say that the Maxima has a better reputation, which may be warranted. My Intrigue as around 15k miles (same as the Maxima rental) and has had no problems at all (except for getting hit, which is why I was in a rental to begin with). It also comes with a 5/60k standard warranty, and it is substantially cheaper than a Maxima (I paid $19k for a new GL with the sun and sound package (sunroof & Bose 8 speaker system), dual climate, stability control (called Precision Control System, is that even offered on the Maxima?), traction control, spoiler, etc.) The Maxima I had as a rental was fairly beat up and the interior was not holding up well--the suede was scraped and worn out on both door panels, there was a loud rattle coming from the shifter panel. I don't think its fair to evaluate the Maxima on this though since rentals are beaten up pretty hard.

    One final note--I loved the manumatic. I wish my Intrigue had this, it was a lot of fun. Anyway, compared with the Accord/Camry, I can see why those of you who are performance oriented love your cars.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    02 SE @ 25.5k miles -- 4 Bose replacements and that back window wind noise issue that I'll address at my next oil change. That's it.
  • I concur with kenm8, "It seems that there have been more difficulties reported on this message board on the next gen (2000 and later) than there were on the 95-99". I can testify as I own a 2003 Nissan Maxima with the dreaded COLD ENGINE RATTLE that is common with this car. It makes you question Nissan's reliability and quality and where they are headed.

    Onto another subject, but closely related, one should consider how a car company&#146;s customer service treats their customers. I wish there were a place you could rate a manufacturer&#146;s customer service and then prospective buyers could review these ratings before buying their new car. I mean really get a &#147;real&#148; feeling for how they treat their customers. This would be especially useful when buying a car from a manufacturer with reliability and quality issues.
  • Could you please elobarate a bit more on this? Your post kind of makes it sound as this is well documented and on every Maxima.
    I believe your post was the first I've seen on this topic.
  • Could you please elaborate a bit more on this?
    Sure, if either of the following conditions is true:
    1. Below 35-40 degrees and the engine is cold soaked (sat over night)
    2. Below 45-50 degrees, the engine is cold soaked and has been idle for a couple of days (i.e. sat in the garage over the weekend)

    At startup, the engine will make a loud rattle noise for about 1 to 2 seconds. According to Nissan, it's an oil pressure/lack of oil in the valve train that causes this noise and is common to this car. I have written proof I can share with you.

    Your post kind of makes it sound as this is well documented and on every Maxima. I believe your post was the first I've seen on this topic
    It's obviously well documented within Nissan, as the tech line knew it was &#147;normal&#148;. It may be the first time you heard it because it&#146;s, but check out and there you will find many discussions on this topic. Especially the thread I created after I found out about the problem. Trust me; I was as shocked as you are to experience this noise. I&#146;ve had it happen on cold days before going out for lunch. It sounds nasty! I can&#146;t imagine how much damage this is causing to my engine internally…
  • pernaperna Posts: 533
    I've had my 03 for 12 months/8500 miles, and I can honestly say I've never heard a noise like you're describing; I live in mid-Michigan, where it has been *cold* this winter.

    When I first bought the car it did digest some oil, but after the first oil change the car's engine has been nothing but smooth. Would you be interested to know what brand of oil and oil filters my dealer uses? Maybe that's the issue, I'd be happy to call and find out.
  • Well I think I found what might be the car i am looking for. It is a 97' Black on black leather, oh yeah its the SE trim. 65,000+, ABS, all that good stuff. What do you think this would go for int he ohio area, they are asking 7990, which seems decent to me.

    Also if any giving person could run this VIN through car fax for me, I would appreciate it.


    I would, but my account ran out a few days ago and I am not sure if I want to open another account yet.
  • You will get very accurate advice from Terry(rroyce) in the "Real World Trade-In Values" board. Give as much detail as you can about the car. Is the car you looking at a manual or auto?
  • Oh yeah I should have mentioned its an auto
  • I'm glad to hear your 03 does not "rattle" at startup. I take my car to the dealership where I bought it for oil changes, so I would think they are using the correct oil and filter. Furthermore, Nissan tech line was contacted regarding this problem and they said it was normal.

    Though, if you don't mind, I would like to know what your dealership uses? It may be a different filter for cold climates...

    Thanks for your help, Tony
  • The "valve train noise" you describe is probably caused by oil starvation at startup. I've never experienced this on any of my Nissan's (95 GLE with 189k, 00 SE with 139k, or my 03 Murano) because I always switch to Mobile One 5-30 at 10,000 miles.

    I believe the synthetic oil provides a better lubrication, especially at startup when the most engine wear occurs.

    Of course, your mileage may vary........
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 2,934
    It sounds like the car you want with decent mileage and a pretty good price. I did see a green '97 listed at $4999 at Coughlin Automotive in Newark, but no specs as to mileage, auto or stick, etc. I'm guessing it probably has pretty high mileage and may be a manual transmission. I say go for the one you know you want. Make sure you get it checked out as it's a 7-year old car.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Yes that brings me back to a question I touched on earlier, but did not get the response I was looking for. I know I need to get the car inspected, but this perticular I am considering is over 2 hours away, how do i get it inspected? I mean they won't allow me to take the car for a round trip of 5 hours to get it inspected will they? ANd if not, then how do I pick a local mechanic to that area. Or even in my area, I have a few people that I know can fix cars when they break, but I wouldn't really call them mechanics and I am not sure I trust them to find wear and tear defects, or potential parts that may soon be in need of replacing.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 24,864
    try AAA if you are a member. I believe they have an inspection service. Otherwise, best idea I have is to let your fingers do the walking (or I guess these days, your mouse do the clicking).

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    a few questions i would ask:

    1. is it at a new car dealer?
    2. is it under factory warranty?
       2a. can you afford an extended warranty?
    3. is it factory certified?

    if any of these are yes, i wouldnt worry too much about it. maybe try to work in an extended warranty in the deal. keep in mind that even your most trusted mechanic isnt perfect either.
  • Quick question about financing, as you know I was planning on going through an online lender. I just wanted to ask a few questions first. By applying and getting approved for the loan only means I am approved right? If say I don't find a car I want and never used the check they send me, then I owe nothing, correct? If this is the case then I can safely apply yo 2 differant places to see who offers the better rate, right?
  • SOrry guys, posted that last message before reading the others.

    I am a AAA member, will check thier site, see what it says.

    The car is at a dealership that sells both new and used cars as well as leases, but it doesn't appear as though they are loyal to one brand, meaning they don't appear to be a Ford dealership, or a Honda dealership.

    A 97' probablly isn't still under factory warranty, maybe powertrain, not sure how long that was in '97.

    Depending on how the finances work out it looks like I may be able to afford and extended warranty. As the car is not factory certified, it does say in the description that it comes with a warranty, but I forgot to ask about that, as I didn't see it before I called. My guess is that it is just like a 3 month/3000 mile deal or something like that.

    How do you go about getting an extended warranty in the deal? As I said this vehicle is over 2 hours away, and returning to the dealership to get it fixed is not a good option. I would want it fixed locally in Columbus, is that still an option if I get an extended warranty in with the deal?
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 2,934
    Yes, they should allow you to drive it to wherever you want to get it inspected within reason. Columbus dealerships have let me drive cars to my mechanic who is located 50 miles away. But if you don't have a regular mechanic then ask some friends or co-workers for a good place that's reasonably close. This car isn't under a factory warranty any longer so it's important to do this. Most places like Firestone charge $20 to $25 for this service.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • morehpmorehp Posts: 30
    My '95 SE has made the "cold engine rattle" since I acquired it at 25K miles. Lasts maybe 30 seconds and is worse in cold in weather. Dealer said it was normal.

    FWIW, I've had no problems whatsoever with the engine, now at 99K miles. (The rest of the car is a different story :)
  • Also, I think i may have asked this before, but got no answer. ima&.view=l

    Thats a link to 2 pics of the guage cluster in a maxima. I just was wondering if that is what the stock SE guages look like or are those aftermarket. And are they blue/red, or does the picture just make the light look somehwat blueish?
  • If you don't cash the "check" you get from Capitol One, you haven't executed the loan.
  • Thats kinda what i figured, I just wanted to be sure first, before I got stuck with a loan without finding a car.
  • Any stolen xenon headlights on 2004 Maximas? Are they really more secure than 2003-2?
Sign In or Register to comment.