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Nissan Maxima



  • lfd440lfd440 Posts: 33
    I'd like to get other owners comments in how they like their color combinations. The dealer has very little to choose from so any imput would be appreciated.Sterling Mist w/ Black Leather package. Sterling Mist w/ Frost Leather package. I've narrowed down my selection to these two combinations. And I hope to make a purchase very soon.
    Also the salesperson told me that it is not necessary to use premium fuel, contrary to what the brochure's advise. I'd like to hear what some of you owners have to say about this too.
  • roninjoutenroninjouten Posts: 201
    normally related to emissions stuff.
  • leonivleoniv Posts: 120
    Has anyone purchased or shopped for a new 2001 Maxima in the Atlanta metro area lately? I'd like to know what kind of deals other people are currently getting for a 2001 Max w/ auto (GLE, stripped SE, or optioned GXE). The reason I ask is because the newspaper here advertises prices much lower than what Edmund's is showing for TMV. I was just wondering if these 4k-5.6k advertised discounts are legit or just bait-and-switch routines that some dealers run here. I did a search on Edmund's for any incentives currently running for Maximas and Edmund's came up empty, which is why I wonder how they can offer such cheap prices. Are there incentives/rebates out there that just aren't showing up on Edmund's? With those advertised discounts, I could be out the door for about 21k, which is my target price. Anybody get out the door for less than 21k? Just trying to gather info before I run around the city haggling with the salespeople. Thanks.

  • teknogeek9teknogeek9 Posts: 12
    Sounds like a heck of a deal if you can get a GLE for 21K or less!! I just just mine a week ago and paid invoice. Oh and, I am in Western NY.
  • 2kmax2kmax Posts: 1
    I own a 2k DE Sterling Mist with Frost interior leather. I think it looks nicer than the black, but I'm certainly biased. I always use premium. Others have stated that they notice a performance decline with less octane
  • lfd440lfd440 Posts: 33
    Thanks for YOUR imput.. i hope to get a few more responses prior to my purchase.
  • mike9570mike9570 Posts: 4
    I only get 19mpg in city dirving and 22 mpg on the highway. The dealer says that it is within factory specs. What do others get in highway mpg?
    [email protected]
  • altavistaaltavista Posts: 19
    Gas Mileage & Type of Gas:
    Now that I've had the fuel-cut TSB performed and parts are on order to cover the exposed fuel filler line which will by covered by Nissan NA, I'm really enjoying my new Maxima - Black, SE, 5-speed, loaded minus 6-disk CD changer. I have 750 miles on the clock and I've filled up twice. First full tank returned 16.5 mpg, second tank 18.5 - with more highway driving. I hope I get to 20 mpg!!! The numbers on the window sticker never seem to be accurate. Hopefully you realize this before you buy the car or aren't buying it for the mileage - VW makes some great Deisel cars - really.

    And, I always use Exxon Super (93 octane). The extra money buys you more power and better detergents! Ask a mechanic, this is important and worth the money. Fuel injectors and related parts stay cleaner.

    Break-in Period:
    I think the "break-in" period is more for the driver than the car. It's more important for the average driver to learn how to properly drive their new car than it is likely that they will somehow damage it by driving it too hard.

    Think about it, are cars that sensitive or is more likely that you'll loose control due to the 222hp or a car they're not accustomed to driving? My last car was an MR2, and I can tell you, everyone is lucky I'm taking my time to get used to this one. It has over 100 more horsepower, is much quicker and handles well, but in a different way than the MR2.

    I think "break-in" refers to us. Has anyone ever been able to attribute a problem with a car to "improper break-in"?! Ridiculous. Do you know how new car purchasers or how lot boys or car trailer truckers drive these new cars? They beat the crap out of every car - didn't you beat on every car you test drove? I even beat on the SE that I bought during the 20 mile test drive...that's what a "test" drive is.

    My first MR2 was a demonstrator at a Toyota dealership, it was eventually purchased after 3500 "demo" miles. Do you think the salesmen (circa 1986), were gentle for the first 1000 miles or so?! I was the second owner at 17K miles. I had it for the next two years until it was stolen. It never had one problem.

    Color Selection:
    I have black with black leather - well Nissan calls is black actually it's dark gray. Anyway, I wouldn't take a car with a light interior. This is my fourth black car with a dark interior. Light colored interiors get filthy and look used very quickly. With 750 miles on my car, the only dirty part is where the seatbelt rests between the windows while it is unbuckled. It is a light color there and every time your hand grabs the seatbelt it brushes this light trim and it gets dirty. Imagine the entire interior of the car that color! I've been in light interior colored Maxima's after one year and the seats, trim and rugs are a mess. As it is, I'm concerned that the medium gray rugs that came in my car will show too much dirt.

    Black is hotter. It certainly is. It also looks better and stays cleaner looking. Try using the air conditioning and closing the sunshade when it's summertime.

    Deals too good to be true:
    Read the small print (if you can), it may say after 3K down or a demo. If not, take the ad into the dealership and request to purchase (or drive) that car. If they say it's sold, ask them to produce proof. It is still illegal to advertise falsely. They must have one (or have just sold it.)

    The cheap car is often called the "ad" car. The golden rule at the dealership is never sell the ad car - lead the customer to another, more expensive car. However, you can demand to see it and purchase it.

    The ad car gets people to call or come in. Having one car that they actually loose 1 or 2 or 3 thousand dollars on is no big deal. Do you have any idea how much just one newspaper ad costs? A radio commercial? A TV commercial? Thousands and thousands. The ad car always works and is relatively inexpensive.

    One more thing, usually the ad car is undesirable in some way - color, options, demo with miles, stick-shift (my favorite), anyway, for the best deal - buy the ad car.

    Maxima's are really sweet. Enjoy the ride.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Another satisfied owner of a Yakima roof system. I originally bought it for my 95 GLE and when I purchased the 00SE I only had to purchase new roof clips and all other parts are re-usable.

    We get 4 bikes up there regularly (2 Adult & 2 Kid size) and you should see what happens to the gas mileage with all that wind resistance up there. It also can be removed/reinstalled completely in about 15-20 minutes.

    It's not cheap to purchase but it does last a long time!!
  • edwardsa1edwardsa1 Posts: 34
    I have a Sterling Mist Max with Frost Leather, and while I love the car, the only buyer's remorse I have is that I did not get the black interior. The light gray carpet is very easily soiled, and, frankly, from the driver's seat, there is just a LOT of gray to look at.
  • newbie5newbie5 Posts: 25
    Debated between black interior or frost and I went with the frost. I will be the only one in the car mostly. I don't foresee problems with the interior getting dirty/soiled. Others that have pets, small kids, etc. may want to go with black. I believe the car's interior would be hotter with black interior but air conditioning solves that. Frost to me would seem to give a more roomier look than black would and I like lighter (more cheerier, IMHO) colors more! Obviously one needs to take all things into consideration depending on the circumstances with passengers, pets, etc.
  • mike9570mike9570 Posts: 4
    So what you are telling me is that 22mpg on the open road is acceptable and that it will probably not go any higher with the 4 speed auto transmission.Mike
  • warrenulwarrenul Posts: 50
    I am getting nearly 27 MPG now. During the winter, that oxygenated gas crap reduced it to around 24 MPG. However thats 90+ percent highway driving at 70-90 mph, constant.
    Fully loaded 2 K Super Black/ Blk lethr int., 17's, 5 Speed Maxima SE.

    Note on Regular vs Premium debate. Gas prices were approaching 2.00 a gallon here in NY. Last week I thought that I would save 12 cents a gallon by using regular 87 octane Mobile since I 'm doing a lot of highway driving. Well in that 10 percent in normal city traffic, the car knocked badly on starting from a stop until the timing was reduced by the ECM.

    I think I learned a lesson and decided to spend the extra 2.00 each fillup to avoid this. I fill up once a week, thats around a hundred bucks more a year, BFD. Remember, that slight knock is preignition and its the rods and pistons rattling because its actually trying to combust and expand before the piston is TDC. This is not good. Besides if the timing is being retarded, it reduces the performance characteristics of the Max, and thats why we bought a Max, for its performance.

    So...Get Premium..its worth it in the long run.
  • booboo9booboo9 Posts: 9
    Hello everyone. I will need a new vehicle this summer. I am planning to buy in late July or August(my current lease is up in Sept). I have decided on a Maxima GLE with side air bags and traction control. I currently live in Florida, but am moving to Columbus Ohio prior to this purchase. Does anyone have experience, positive or negative, with Nissan dealers in the Columbus, Dayton, Cincinatti or Cleveland areas? Also what price is this car selling for now? What about in two months? Thanks.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Definitely purchase after the move, the Ohio dealers don't charge the admin fees like they do in Florida. Pricewise, you should be at or under invoice, provided what you need is readily available. Keep checking Edmunds for TMV as a benchmark number to beat. There will likely be dealer cash available and possibly a great finance deal also.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    New Altima will be out in September that surpasses current Maxima in almost all areas, predicting (hoping) there are going to be some fantastic deals on the Maxima come the end of the summer. Great time to buy!

  • I am getting a 95 Maxima GLE. I really need you guys' advisor at this moment if this is good deal or not.

    95 maxima GlE with 88K miles in Minneapolis area. Pearlized white/tan leather. Power everything, sunroof, heated seats, CD, spoiler, splash guard, New AC, new tires, new timing belt. Very good maintaince. The seller ask for about 10k, I think it's possible for me to get it at $8800.

    Do you guys think it is a good bargain? Thank you for your help. I am kinda concerning about the high milage. It's gonna hit the 100k within a year. Other than the milege, I've heard about the problem related to gas cap, spark, and tranny, wondering how bad they will be with car like 95 GLE and 88k miles

    Thank you all.
  • aes1519aes1519 Posts: 19
    For what it's worth, my dad has a 95 SE with approx. 115K miles on it. No major problems yet - just your usual maintenance. I actually contemplated buying it from him until I heard about the 02 Altima....It's been a great car all along and has really impacted what I think is great in a car. No idea whether it's a good price though.
  • cpa4ucpa4u Posts: 136
    The best place on here to get a "true" idea of what a car is worth is the "Real World Trade Values" forum under Smart Shopper. Terry and Bill over there are dealers and very helpful at judging the true market value of vehicles. They helped me out a lot when I was trading. Best of luck to you.
  • katkisonkatkison Posts: 40
    I bought an Altima while I was in grad school at OSU. I went to Buckeye Nissan. I tried a couple of other places, but they did not take a young woman buying a car on her own seriously. The people at Buckeye were very nice (sorry, I do not remember the salesman's name, but he had a daughter about my age and seemed reluctant to cheat me). I even got to use the college graduate discount.

    While my father was willing to co-sign the lease with me since I was making grad school TA money, the finance manager went ahead and ran the application through with just me on it to avoid all the paperwork involved with my fahter co-signing from 2000 miles away. I was approved on my own (don't ask me how that happened making a $1000 grad school stipend) and drove off that night. They even let me take it home while waiting on some paperwork regarding my trade-in (whihc my fahter also co-owned).

    I don't know if it made a difference that my father is in "the business," he manages car dealerships in Arizona, but they treated me well.

    I bought my second Nissan, a Maxima GLE a couple of years ago now that I am in Houston from one a Nissan salesman that used to hang out here (He may still, I am not sure). That purhcase was pleasant as well. I did most of it through e-mail and phone and just filled out the short creidt form when I picked up the car.

    Also, when you lease, NMAC is very eager for you to lease another car from them at the end of your term and will pre-approve you for a set amount above what you are currently paying. That made it very easy to get a new Maxima in 1999.

    Hope this helps!

  • tgif888tgif888 Posts: 351
    I was in the market for a Maxima, interested in the 20th Anniversary edition auto. All dealers basically have this car loaded with all options. The inovice of this car are close to $28500. While the I30t w/navigation and sport package, invoice price is $31899. Since there is dealer incentive, I was able to buy the I30t for $31077. With the difference of $2500. I go for the I30t.

    The reasons were:

    Infiniti has a longer warranty (4yr/60000 miles), loaner car even you jsut go in to do an oil change. Options that are available only on Infiniti-Navigation, Xenon headlights, rear sunshade. On my I30t, dealer also throw in the wood kit for free.
  • jtiernanjtiernan Posts: 9
    Considering buying GLE in suburban D.C. area. VOB Nissan quoted $25,877 + tax/tags for loaded GLE. Anyone have an opinion on this price? What about other dealers in Balt./DC/VA?

    Also, what's the best way to sell a '95 Protege stick w/120K miles?
  • sebbsebb Posts: 16
    Long thread on mileage continues...so I thought I would throw in my $.02.

    Now have 2200 miles on my '01 SE (all options) and mileage is climbing steadily. Started at about 18 cty/23 hwy and now am running 20 cty/27 hwy.

    Took it on a 750 mile round trip this past weekend and got 27 mpg on all Interstate driving at 77 mph...into a strong wind...and with the A/C on. Premium may run 2.02 a gallon, but this mileage and performance are worth it!

    '01 SE Grey Lustre
  • lfd440lfd440 Posts: 33
    TonightI purchased a 2001 Maxima SE Sterling Mist W/ Black Leather interior with all the"packages".
    Sticker $30,080. and I paid $26,300.
    The decision to go with the Black leather interior over the Frost leather won out. I'll start off using premium gas also, as it does help with the performance as was mentioned from owners of that vehicle.
    Bought it at Kelly Nissan of Lynnfield MA.
  • lfd440lfd440 Posts: 33
    Tonight I purchased a 2001 Maxima SE in Sterling Mist W/ Black Leather interior with all the"packages".
    Sticker $30,080. and I paid $26,300.
    The decision to go with the Black leather interior over the Frost leather won out. Also, I'll start off using premium gas also, as it does help with the performance as was mentioned from owners of that vehicle.
    Bought it at Kelly Nissan of Lynnfield MA.
  • bmagbmag Posts: 2
    I am looking to purchase a Maxima in Austin, TX.
    The dealers here seem really hesitant to discuss
    cash incentives for some reason. From what I can
    figure, 3.9% financing for up to 60 mos is the
    only incentive currently offered for the Maxima.
    Does anyone know different? It seems like the
    previous posters are getting around invoice price
    for their cars, sometimes less. That is good to
    know. If I can get that kind of price with 3.9%
    financing I will definately buy.
  • bmagbmag Posts: 2

    $25,877 sounds like a great price for a loaded
    GLE. I was pricing some out earlier today and
    that is less than what it said invoice price was.
    I don't believe there are any manufacturer
    cash rebates either, so I would think that is a
    good deal.
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    someone said that "break in" is for more for us than the car

    this is a false/incorrect statement

    a car must go through the break in period
    refer to your manual or any knowledgable/specialized person regarding this matter.

    Mechanical Engineering
  • wyosewyose Posts: 7
    I hate to have to ask about this again. Can anyone (altavista?) provide me with the specifics in order to obtain the parts I need for my new SE? The local dealer here in Wyoming said they had no information from Nissan about such a warranted part.
  • jmaxejmaxe Posts: 198
    I purchased a GLE in March from Southpoint. Had to be patient as the dealer started me out at 3% over invoice. I finally did the deal at $500 below invoice, plus Nissan paid most of the sales tax (I leased it).
    There was a $500. regional dealer cash program at the time which didn't show up in Edmunds. They were very easy to do business with on the front end. Haven't used them for service as I'm on the north side . Round Rock has given me great service on my '97 Altima. Good Luck.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    For what it's worth, I live in Chevy Chase DC and bought my 95 Maxima DE from VOB after shopping numerous dealers, including out of state. For the first 4 years (i.. through 1999) the service experience at VOB was superb and extremely price competitive. A new red team service manager came on board in 1999 and, perhaps coincidentally, the routine service prices seem to have gone up, although the service itself is still very good.

    A few friends and colleagues have bought from VOB and several other dealerships in the area and, in general, VOB seems to be the best choice. They seem to get to the right price without a lot of B.S. and the after purchase experience is the best of the bunch. I have heard that Passport is a dealership to avoid.

    If you can wait a few months for the 2002 model with the 3.5 liter engine upgrade, let me know and we can negotiate a two for the price of one deal!! I hear it will be available in September.

    Good luck.

    P.S. Red Flag to "happy_daniel" considering purchasing a 1995 GLE: My 1995 SE has a timing chain. If the service records for the car you are considering shows a timing belt replacement, check for other discrepancies.
  • altavistaaltavista Posts: 19
    www.maxima.org has many threads and messages on the missing fuel line protector which occurs on some 2000 and all (I think) 2001 Maximas. Basically, if you look in the driver side, rear wheel well above the tire, you will see the rubber fuel filler line that goes between the filler opening and the tank. You will also see two brackets with four holes for clips and nothing attached to it. This is where the protector should be. (If you don't see the fuel line, you have the protector.) This is currently not a recall or TSB item. However, I called Nissan NA, (1-800-NISSAN1, I think), and spoke with a very nice woman. After I explained to her that I was concerned for my occupants safety - having rocks and road debris pummell the fuel line contiunously and that I was concerned about fuel contamination - lack of the protector allows dirt to enter the fuel filler area (that's how the mud gets in there), she said Nissan would "good faith" me the parts. I'm scheduled to have them installed tomorrow at no charge. In Nissan's defense (however weak), a technical engineer said they modified the fuel line to be non-corrosive. I told them I'd prefer not to bet on 100K miles of road debris continuously smashing a fuel line with my life. They agreed. The parts retail for less than $20 and take minutes to snap in.

    Mechanical engineer or not and in the manual or not, you still can't believe everthing you read. I say the break-in period is bogus. Some owner's guides recommend changing oil every 10K miles - would you listen to that? I've never heard or read about a problem attributed to improper break-in - has anyone? Could you image the manufacturer putting something this "critical" in the hands of the consumer? Millions of consumers? Please. The break-in period is so a new owner can get adjusted to the car and not hurt themselves or others.

    The under invoice prices mentioned above are very good. I bought my car at VOB, too. The price was several hundred dollars under invoice, no doc. fee and the salesman and finance guy were excellent - no pressure on warranty, no funny business with interest rates - 3.9% was nice. The service team has been equally good for the TSB and now the fuel protector.

    And of course, as each month goes by, Maximas (almost all cars) will cost less. We're heading into a recession, interest rates are dropping, a new model year is coming out, Nissan has updated the Altima...

    If you need a car, you already know you can't beat the Maxima - don't worry about another $500. Just leave off the 6-disk CD changer until later.

    Has anyone noticed how the Maxima looks a lot like the LS300/400/430's? Nice company to keep.

    Ed A. a.k.a. Altavista
    2001 Maxima SE, Black on Black, 5-speed
  • opimaxopimax Posts: 73
    and by far the best deal at the time, more than a 1000 less than any other local dealer. It did involve a screwed up trade in, but by far the best price. Not the most pleasant (ok it down right sucked) sales experience and until last service really , really bad service. Notice until LAST service experience. New dealership manager, service manager and service writers, a very positive experience, hope it continues. Anyway I would put up w/the poor sales stuff to save over a grand and with service getting better, at least worth a trip there if you made it as far as VOB.

    Ed, I have to disagree w/you about who the break-in period is for, in my opinion any new pieces of metal rubbing should be done slowly, engine parts, wheels, bearings, brakes (semi-metallic pads and rotors, etc. and your car runs really nice , I am jealous!

    Mark A
  • Well gang, I just had my fuel line protector installed and it took all of 10 mins. After 300 miles there is not a drop of sand in the filler door. What a difference. if anyone is looking for the part numbers they are as follows,

    Part #: 74844P (1 Piece – Fuel line cover thing)
    Part #: 74305F (4 Pieces – Plastic screw/retainer things)
    INV#RD(not sure if "D" "O" OR "O")47654
    NI01553-09321 CLIP


    Part #: 74844P (1 Piece – Fuel line cover thing)
    Part #: 74305F (4 Pieces – Plastic screw/retainer things)
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I was wondering if the anyone knew what the name of the mint-looking green color on the 97-99 Maximas was called, was it Sage Mist?
    Thanks in advance,
  • ddssdd1ddssdd1 Posts: 2
    Has premium gas been a requirement for all Maxima's over the past decade? Are there older models that didn't require premium gas? Thank you!
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153

    All of the 3rd generation maximas from 89-91 and the max GXE's only from 92-94 have the 160 HP SOHC engine which don't require premium. I know that the 95-2001 all require premium. Not sure about the 92-94 SE model (these have 190 HP).

    I burn regular in my 92 GXE in the winter and mid-grade in the summer.

    Hope this helps...
  • ddssdd1ddssdd1 Posts: 2
    Thanks again, I appreciate it!
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    I've got a car that wasn't broken in correctly---that is the speed and load on the engine wasn't varied. This happened because the dealer found the car I wanted 300 miles away and he traded one of his inventory for it. Had a guy drive it back on the interstate and I'm sure he just put it on cruise and drove. Oil consumption has been twice what it has been on other new cars that I've driven the first few hundred miles. There are also lots of bearings in the engine, transmission, final drive, wheels etc. that will last much longer if loads are light for the first few hundred miles.
  • 427435427435 Posts: 86
    I'm checking this board as I have a son interested in buying a new Maxima. I note on Nissan's board that the Altima is getting a 220hp V-6 next year and new styling. Anyone have any info on what Nissan is planning to do to keep the Maxima ahead of an Altima? The Maxima's body could use a redo also. When is the next body scheduled?
  • majohnsmajohns Posts: 16
    The 2002 Altima is goping to 240 and the Maxima is going to 260. As far as body change--the Max is not dated--it got a full redesign for 2000. It's probably going to be a full-size for 2003.
  • robertrrobertr Posts: 125
    I keep hearing the Maxima is going to be "Full-size", but what does "full-size" mean? The Maxima is 190.5" long now (which I think is big enough). The Toyota Avalon is 191.9"-very little difference. So will the Maxima increase by an inch or grow to over 200" (way too big) like a Chevy Impala or Dodge Intrepid?

    As as 2000 Max SE owner (my second Maxima), I don't like the idea of buying a $15,000 4-cyl and adding $10,000+ worth of options. I hope they don't make the Max too big. If they do, I hope the 2003 Infiniti XVL is a desirable option.
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    read post 2092
    and i'm sure the moderator will be more than happy to refer you to some refrence material regarding break-in period.

    mechanical engineer or not the car needs to break in. design a component and put it in an assembly and you'll understand.

    i'm not hear to start argument. you stated your opinion and i stated mine. i'm not changing my opinion and you probably won't change yours. so let the others interput it the way they like to.

    moving on to a new subject.
  • tuhlertuhler Posts: 6
    I am planning on buying a 2001 Maxima SE soon. I'm waiting for my wife's Honda to sell. I just got off the phone with a dealer in Seattle,WA. He is telling me that I can't get a Maxima for the TMV price here on Edmunds. He says that it isn't good business to sell a car for under invoice. I have a dealer lined up to give me the car for the TMV price. What is your guys' take on this? He also said that Nissan is currently offering 3.9% finacing (which we all knew), but that they are also offering $1000 cash back. Has anyone else heard this? Thanks.
  • silvercrownsilvercrown Posts: 237
    I was wondering when the Maxima was due for an exterior redesign. Let me make sure I got this straight: for 2002, it will get an upgraded engine with 260hp but no exterior body redesign until 2003? At which time, the body will be bigger, no longer in the mid-size category? Is this correct?

    I guess if the Altima is being redesigned and getting more hp, then they have to do something to distinguish the Max for the higher price. I like the all of the features that the Maxima offers, it sounds like a great car on paper, although I haven't driven one yet to experience it firsthand. I'm just not wild about the current exterior styling which is why I'm curious about when the next redesign is planned. I don't think it looks anything like the LS400 or the new LS430 which are both beautiful cars. But that's my opinion. To each his own, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    I think the size classes refers to the interior volume, not the wheelbase. Hopefully the max's wheelbase will not grow too much to facilitate the increase in interior size (I'm with you on that one).

    The folks at www.freshalloy.com are speculating that the 2002 max, in addition to the 260HP engine, will get HID headlights, 6-speed manny tranny, 6 disc in-dash changer, optional navigation system (maybe), etc. This doesn't surprise me since all of these options are/will be offered on other Nissan products in 2002.

    Also, I'm hearing that the 2002 may be THE max to get since it'll have the same engine as the bigger (hence heavier 2003 max). Interesting. If Nissan keeps the price right and offers these options, then the 2002 max will compete nicely with TL's, TL-S', and GS300's of the world.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm curiously awaiting for the 2002 Maxima with the upgraded engine to arrive, since I've postponed my next car purchase to at least October. However, I'm curious to what others think about all of these increased horsepower ratings of the last couple of years without significant performance increases. On a pure seat of the pants basis, my 1995 Maxima SE 5-speed with 190 h.p feels quicker than the 2000 / 2001 models with 222 h.p.. The 0-60 ratings by the various car magazines seem to bear this out. A few other examples that are difficult to reconcile:

    The Acura "S" engine with supposedly 260 horsepower is within 30 of an NSX (the original NSX only had 270 hp). If the Acura Type S, with a supposedly 70 h.p. advantage, is quicker than my 95 Maxima, the difference is very marginal. It's definately no NSX.

    Edmunds own recent test of 4 coupes puts the BMW 330ci at the head of the pack in performance in spite of the lowest horsepower rating of the bunch (beat Mercedes 275 hp V-8).

    I know vehicle weight, torque curve and a few other factors can explain some of the differences. But I really think the manufacturers are radically different in terms of the size of their "horses". BMW gets my appreciation for apparantly using Clydesdales. Most Japanese manufacturers appear to have gone to an Asian version of the Shetland.

    At 3.5 liters and 260 horsepower, the 2002 Maxima should on paper be able to run with (or outrun) the previous generation BMW M3 (240 hp). The higher output ratings of the Maxima should fully compensate for the 200 +/- lb. weight disadvantage. I'll be interested to what the real world results turn up when the car gets here.

    Any thoughts?

    P.S. Lest I give the wrong impression, in the "real world" I am not an agressive driver or drag racer. The whole horsepower rating thing just entertains me.
  • altavistaaltavista Posts: 19
    I actually, completely, agree with you that an engine has to break-in. However, the meaning of break-in and the affect that humans have on it, is where we differ in opinion - maybe.

    I do feel that many cars get a little quicker, get better mileage and shift more smoothly after some time, but I don't think drivers have much to do with it. It just doesn't make much sense.

    How can a manufacturer even offer a 10 year warranty (or a 2 year) if so much depends on the driver? With the crankshaft spinning at 3K rpm or more, what affect do I really have on my engine? It can't be much. The pistons are already moving at a blinding speed and the engine is already at a high temperature with computers monitoring vital systems. Pressing the gas too hard or not pressing it enough is going to somehow damage the car?

    If drivers played such a crucial role, the manufacturer could do several things to assist with proper "break-in";

    1) inlcude programming that didn't allow high reving, high speeds, fast shifts, etc. until 1,000 miles (or whatever the magic number is)

    2) use a computer to track the driving for the initial break-in period and void the warranty if improperly driven

    3) drive the car for 1,000 miles before sending to the dealer!

    4) monitor test-drives more closely!!!

    5) don't even get me started on fleet sales, rental or lease returns...

    And finally, what should someone do in this situation...

    Crossing an intersection with a new car, someone is heading toward you about to blow a red light, the only way out is to hit the gas hard - or definitely get hit? What do you do? Well, I guess it doesn't matter too much, either way you just damaged your car.

    Simply ridiculous.

    The first time a car engine fires up, it's more broken-in than anything we will do to it - short of not maintaining it.

    This is my opinion.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    Here is my 2c (or 5c, perhaps):
    The cylinders on a new car have been honed or whatever method they use to make them smooth. However, the piston rings do have a tendency to not completely fit the cylinders. Therefore they have to make so many Millions of cycles to fit themselves to a greater degree. The car manufacturers spend lots of money to figure out the number of cycles - then they approximate the mileage that the average driver needs to go to reach that number of cycles.

    Now, the harder you drive, the bigger the forces that interact between the pistons, rings and the cylinders. If they are properly seated, the forces get spread, so the wear (gouging) will be uniform and small. If they are not seated, the forces will make the parts gouge each other more! That is, in my mechanical engineer's opinion, the long and short of why break-in is important.

    My personal experience with my y2k Max has been this: Drove it as a baby the first 1000 as directed. Drove it hard (70+ mph on cruise control) for the second 1000 miles. The gas consumption: 27 mpg on the second 1000. Now (at about 10,000 miles) I have a hard time beating 21 mpg, city or highway. Ie, my gas consumption is way up!!!

    Does that mean that with today's harder surfaces, the break-in period should be more than 1000 miles? What is your take on this, guys and gals?
  • warrenulwarrenul Posts: 50
    I personally believe strongly in a break-in period. Those who don't believe in it, thats ok too.

    I read somewhere that an engine isn't truly "broken In" until about 30,000 miles, thats when your suppose to get the best mileage and most power from the engine. I think thats when I'll start using synthetic oil. Someother automotive magazine reccomended that you should't use syntheic oil until its broken in or at around 15,00 miles or so.

    I babied my Max under 50 mph for the first 1000 miles and under 65 for the next 2000 miles. But thats what I chose to do. Also I didn't want to open her up until I performed the first oil change at 3000 miles. The thought of the original oil contaminated with small minute metallic particles from the bearings seating helped me keep my regimine. Hey, Nascar engine builders all break-in their engines before going racing, so their got to be something to it. However, you do what you feel is right.. break'n it in or not.
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