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Nissan Maxima



  • danny25danny25 Posts: 119
    For those of you who don't want the sunroof but want the Bose system, you can get the head unit from parts for about $400. I know this wouldn't include the sub, but with all the money you save you can add a better one yourself.
  • Does anyone know where I can find the TSB relating to the TCM module repair for the Maxima? My dealer is playing dumb....

  • Many of the Maxima (5th generation) TSBs can be found at the web site:

  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Sorry corkfish - my 2002 GLE automatic shifts just fine. What makes you think they don't shift properly and kills performance? Shifts as good, if not better, than any other car I've owned over the years. Geez.........

    Oh yeah, I'm getting even better gas mileage than advertised...27 mpg .....
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    I am certainly not a Nissan tech but I can't believe that any of the mods you made would impact
    in any way on your transmission shifting problem.
    The TCM fix "quickens" the shift between 1st and
    2nd gears. In my case, as stated earlier on this
    board to you, there was a marked improvement in
    the shifting characteristics of the Max after the
    fix and the car continues to perform flawlessly
    to this day. This is one hell of an automobile and
    I would not hesitate to trade on a new one just
    like it!

  • I am buying on Friday. Just can't make my mind up. Any have an opinion based on driving both??? thanks
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ..what is right for you. I have a 1995 SE 5-speed that I still enjoy "driving" after 7 years and 118k miles. So much so, that rather than trade it in for a new sedan, I recently elected to keep it and get a new Honda S2000 as a third car.

    As I've posted before, I find there is a significant difference in the handling of the SE vs. the GLE. The SE has much less body roll and feels tighter on twisty roads, on ramps, etc. If you are at all inclined, combining the SE suspension with the new 6-speed transmission produces the best performance sedan from Japan, IMHO. I wouldn't put it up against a BMW 5-series, but I'd put it up against just about any other sedan under $40k in its size class.

    If, on the other hand, you don't care that much about handling and driver involvement, then the GLE is probably a bit smoother and quieter over the bumps.

    The SE vs. GLE decision is really one that everyone needs to decide for themselves. Go for an extensive test drive with both if you are still on the fence. Either one will last just about forever, based upon my experience - so make sure you get the one right for you. Good luck and let us know what you end up with.
  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    The automatic tranny on the pre-2002 Maxima does 60 mph in about 7.8 seconds. I guess thats why so many Maxima drivers look surpised when I blow by them in my old Sentra SE-R. Like I said, buy the manual if you want to optimize the performance. The automatic will take about a full second off the performance of any car.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ..I have not tested the 2002 Maxima SE w/automatic transmission, but I would have to agree with corkfish that the pre-2002 automatic transmissions were perhaps the Maxima's weakest point.

    I actually thought that I saw figures suggesting an even greater performance disparity. And my own seat of my pants suggested that my 1995 SE 5-speed was a lot quicker than the GXE automatic we almost went for (my wife was pregnant at the time, but thankfully SHE ruled out an automatic). I believe the 0-60 ratings were 6.7 for the 5-speed and 8.2 for the automatic in 1995.

    This doesn't have to be the case. BMW manages to get damn close to matching their manual performance with their 5-speed automatics, at least on the 330 and 530's that I tested. The Mercedes/AMG C32 has a really impressive automatic that literally flies through the gears. I doubt I could beat it with an M3 6-speed, even though the professionsals can.

    I suspect that with the newest generation of cars coming out of Nissan (G35, 2003 Maxima, etc.) Nissan will retire its antiquated 4-speed automatic and greatly improve on this front. I would personally still go for a stick for the fun factor, but hopefully the new automatics won't penalize performance for those that want or need to go that route.

    P.S. I just had my Maxima (118,000 miles) checked out at the dealer before deciding to keep it another year or two. According to the service manager, there is no discernable slippage on the clutch and based upon his estimate, I could probably go another 118k miles on it. So Nissan clearly knows how to make a solid and reliable 5-speed manual.
  • I drove the altima , didn't like it then drove the Maxima SE loved it. I did not really get a chance to "Drive" the MAx. The dealer came with me and told me wich route to take. It would have been a great route to test, but it was a busy time of day and every place we went I was pretty much stuck in traffic. I feel kinda funny now asking for another test drive of both the SE (again), and GLE. Your info was very good I assumed I would get a lot fo roll into the turns. More of a limo type ride. It's just that I wanted the leather, and in SE you are forced to buy sunroof and Bose to get leather. GLE you get leather with just Bose. I would save about $1,500 on GLE. But in long run I guess I wouldn't be happy with handling, since I tend to drive aggressive.
  • After agruing with the dealer that my car in fact does have the 1-2 and 2-3 slippage shifting, and he has never seen this problem (yeah right), the parts are on back order. Guess they have had so many calls for this problem they ran out of parts....WIll let you know once fixed if it is really fixed or not. THey did not mention the suspension....
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    It's good to hear you're having no problem with your 5-speed Max. But I remember Car & Driver had one for their long-term test, and they said by the end of the 40,000 miles, the thing was nearly impossible to launch smoothly. They were so disappointed with it that most the their editors said if they had to buy one with their own money, they would go for the automatic.
  • I seem to recall that the C/D editors wore out the clutch on their 5-speed Max SE -- because they were having so darn much fun driving it "spiritedly"! At the end of the test it was indeed getting tough to launch, but nevertheless they were sad to see it go.

    I'll have to dig that issue up when I get home, but I don't remember anyone being "disappointed".
  • The long-term test from January 1996 is available online:

    Just select Nissan and then Maxima.

  • they loved the test car and admitted they fried the clutch because of their driving habits, and they loved the 2000 version. Far from being "disappointed" or wanting to buy an automatic, the review says they consider paying for a new clutch every 40,000 just the price to pay for having so much fun.

    Personally, I go for the automatic myself, as do something like 95% of all buyers, but someone who wants the clutch is not likely to be disappointed with the car.
  • I had the itch tonight and went out and drove a GLE loaded. It is rainy up here and couldnt get a smmoth start below 25-30, as when I floored it the tires would just light up and the traction control kicked in. Loved every min of the test drive. Many new extras comared to my 00.

    Here's the big question...I have looked everywhere and cannot find a single 0-60 test on either the auto or the manual.

    Anyone know what it is? And from what source?
  • Did you look at Car and Driver 2002 Buyer's guide or Consumer Reports 2002 Car Buyer's Guide? I remember seeing that data in one of those two publications.

    Enjoy the ride. . .
  • Well I just finished reading Edmunds review and I must say I'm a little frustrated at how BAD the Maxima is compared to the Altima. Point:

    "Nissan hopes that consumers with additional cash to spend will continue to believe that the Maxima is the better car. It's not."
    "The Altima crashed over sharp bumps, and when traveling over lumpy pavement at high speed, one driver called the car "skittish." Still, we all agreed that the Altima was more fun to drive hard than the Maxima."

    How can they say that when they only did a one day "first drive" at the Laguna Seca Raceway???

    Must be we are STUPID in thinking that the Maxima offers more for the money (interior quality AND better built quality).

    I'm just venting!

    Ok, I'm done.
  • For Maxima GLE 2002.Dealer had to do a "locate". Sterling mist GLE with sunroof, wind deflector color matched flaps, mats for $26,300(+tax) out the door. I could have done better but I tried to be loyal to my local dealer who I spent so much time with. I should be picking it up Thursday. I am glad the whole shopping process is over. All that checking and comparing wears one down. I think I'll have a drink now!
  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    To be honest, I was a little disappointed. The car did'nt seem to have the acceleration of the 5 speed Altima. Nor was it as fun or seem as quick as the WRX. It did have a nice ride and feel to it however and the interior was better than the Altima. Overall, definitely a nice car, and although I can't find anything more fun to drive than the Subaru, I'm 42 and suspect that the Max is probably more appropriate for someone my age.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    I know the feeling - it's nice to be done car shopping! You got a great deal on a great car. I bought the GLE, same color 2 months ago (no SR) and love it.

    Enjoy that drink!
  • I was looking at the performance specs(Car & Driver-last issue) for the 02 Maxima GLE vs. 01 Maxima GLE. The 01 had 0-60 of 6.9 vs '02 which had 0-60 of 7.8.
    Is this for real?? This might totally turn me off against considering the 02 Max vs. the 01. I'm really wondering if i should be paying $26k for the new Max when the '01 one is going in the DC area for $18.9k
  • Thnx alot, and I have enjoyed the drink, and the next one, and I am enjoying this one also. When things in the world are so [non-permissible content removed], it is good to know life in the USA is so GOOD! I hope after getting the Max I keep coming back here , we have a nice group of people, almost as good as the 300M board:-> Peace!!!!
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    That article was a Road Test, not a First Drive. They drove the Altima for a whole week:
    "How will Nissan be able to sell the Maxima with this all-new Altima sitting right next to it in dealer showrooms? That's the question our staff kept asking as we spent a week with the redesigned Altima, which oughta be nominated for some kind of 'Most Improved for 2002' award."
  • Yes they had the Altima for a week. BUT I was talking about the Maxima. They only did a First drive on the Maxima.

    My bad, it was not clear the way I phrased it.

  • robertrrobertr Posts: 125
    Check the transmissions on the cars they are giving times for. The 2001 0-60 of 6.9 sec sounds like a manual 5-speed, the automatic is about 1.5 sec slower. Also, it must have been an SE (5-spd), not a GLE (auto). The 7.8 sec for the 2002 must be an automatic so the 2002 manual should be about 6.3 seconds - consistent with the increased horsepower and extra gear. In fact, tests of the new 3.5 Altima 5-speed have been around 6.3 seconds 0-60.

    The 2002 Max is maybe half a second or better quicker 0 to 60 mph than the 2001 when you compare like transmissions.
  • Where are you guys getting these time, 7.8 sec is for the 00-01 Max and Road and track got those #'s for it in the May 2000 issue. 8.2 for the 95 auto no way the 95-96 auto where the fastest auto Max's prior to the 02's. C&D got it to 60 in 7.3 sec in the May 1995 issue and Motor Trend 7.6 back Feb of 1995. I have a 02SE auto and I timed it at 6.72 to 60 mph.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I read somewhere that the 0-60 time for the I35 was 6.9 sec (forget where). So I figure the Max auto will be similar.

    The problem with Edmunds Altima vs. Maxima comments is that they have to play in the fairytale land where everyone pays MSRP. When you compare at MSRP, Altima 3.5 doesn't do too bad (as long as you don't load it up). Unfortunately, in real life the Max goes for as much or LESS than the Altima 3.5, so that whole camparison goes out the window. At least for now.
  • danny25danny25 Posts: 119
    I think it was the Dec. issue of C&D that got the I35 to 60 in 6.9 seconds. I also saw another test of the I35 somewhere else, it may have been Motor Trend, and it got to 60 in 7 seconds, pretty consistant.
  • rdl40rdl40 Posts: 60
    The Maxima SE 6-speed is on my final list of the next car to buy. I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to Nissan cars so I would like to ask the Maxima owners a couple of questions to help me decide.

    Question #1- Is torque steer a problem because of increased h.p.?
    2. Will this car last 200k? (my current 5-speed Taurus SHO has 170K on the odometer)
    3. Can I put 18" wheels on this car, if so what size tire?
    4. Anything else I need to know before buying?

    thanks for your help,
  • OK. So it seems that all of us who drive an '01 or '02 automatic Maxima experience a bit of a lag between first and second gears. It seems to be inherent to the car. My question is, will that affect the longevity / future performance of the car?? I read a post here that the TSBs fix doesn't fix it and aparently the TSB was only for the '00 units. I have the "lag" in my '01 SE. It does seem to lose some power between 1st & 2nd gears. Other than that, I like the way it downshifts to pass at the slightest "blip" of the throtle, from 4th to third or from 3rd to 2nd. So, what do you all think? Oh yeah - do the '02 Maximas do that also??
  • The tranny was beefed up in the 02's and the shifts are much smoother and that lag is gone. Trust me I had a 01 it was totalled and now I have the 02 and it is much smoother in the shifts.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ..I test drove an SE 6-speed a few weeks ago and did not notice a significant increase in torque steer over that exhibited by my 1995 SE 5-speed.

    As for lasting 200k miles, I think it depends on how you take care of the car and the type of driving you do. My '95 has 118k miles and is in near new condition with absolutely no repairs required beyond routine maintenance. I am confident enough in its durability for another couple of years to decide to keep it and get a third car instead of trading up to a BMW 5-series at this time (we got a Honda S2000).

    Lastly, and this is just my opinion, I wouldn't waste my money to put 18" wheels on a Maxima. At 255 hp with 17" wheels, the Maxima is already stretching the handling extremes of a front wheel drive car. Adding 18" wheels will only increase your tire replacement costs with no discernable increase in performance. I go through my Maxima tires at $450/set every 50k miles (15" in 1995). I'm now looking at spending $750/set every 12k miles on the Honda S2000. Do you really want to endure that expense for a car that you expect to keep for 200k miles. If you are prepared to spend upwards of $10k on wheels and tires for 200k miles, I would get a BMW 530i sport instead. The Maxima is a great car, but it's no 5-series.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    I agree with most of what habitat should be able to get 200k easy if you take care of it (I'm approaching 200K with my 92).

    Tire size: you would probably look at a 235/40R18. A good site is

    I did a quick check and noted about 4 or 5 tires in the 18" size that are the same price or cheaper than the 17" Bridgestones ($150 per) that comes standard on a new max. If you live in an area that gets snow, I would save the orginal 17's and swap them every winter. I bought new rims for my '00 just to look a little different.

    Also check out for more ideas and opinions. That is a great max site.

  • gtsccgtscc Posts: 1
    Totally agree with you there. Don't know about in the States, but my Nissan dealers here in Canada have very few of the 3.5 SEs available. I went with a Maxima SE with all the trimmings (i.e. with Leather and Sunroof etc.) and:

    1) Got my choice of Paint Color AND Leather Color
    2) Got dealer installed Tinting
    3) Got my Car in one week
    4) Paid marginally more than MSRP of the Altima

    In the end, it was a no-brainer. I got everything I wanted, and didn't have to wait. I also noticed that the Lease and Finance Rates on the Maxima (at least up here) are negotiable as well, while there is no dealing at all on the Altima. Like you said, in the end, you could end up paying more for the Altima.
  • How did you negotiate on the finance rates???
    I thought 6.8 for 60 months was already good. Can I do better?

    Contact me by mail if you want:
    [email protected]


    BTW, congrats on your new wheels!
  • I am glad the "job" is over. I just drove home my 2002 Maxima GLE. It is SUH-WEET! Accleration and drive are better than expected. Stereo is great, came home with "SADE" on the CD.
  • I just purchased the 2002 Maxima SE. After driving the new Altima, Camry, Accord, Volvo S-40, and VW Passat, I choose the Maxima. I am a previous Maxima owner (1995), and was very pleased with the last one!!! I have to say the 2002 is an incredible improvment!! For power, performance, comfort, and price the Maxima has no match!! Especially considering the discounts you can get on the Maximas since the Altima came out.

    I got my SE in Gray Lustre, with only Sunroof, and floor mats. I listened to the Bose system and for the price decided it was'nt worth it. I have already purchased Infinity 652i's for the front and rear doors. I have also purchased one 8" freeair subwoofer, which I plan to mount in a similiar configuration as the Bose version. To power the subwoofer I will be using a Soundstream amp fed from a line level converter off the rear speakers. I will not be replacing the head unit unless it is absolutely neccesary.The total cost of the equipment so far is $400. I plan to do the install this weekend and will post the results.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    on your new purchases! I'm sure you'll be very happy. Like you, I looked far and wide (Accord, Volvo, Passat, Altima, Audi etc) and came to the same conclusion a few months back. I am very happy with my Maxima too!
  • I have a 2001 Maxima SE, automatic, fully loaded. This car now has 14,000 totally trouble-free miles on it. I took it on a 5,000+ mile driving vacation from Michigan to Utah and back this past summer and was extremely impressed. This is my 3rd Maxima since 1989. The first two were the most trouble free and pleasant cars I have ever owned, each exceeding 100,000 miles (other cars have included BMW, Audi, Volvo and a number of American products). Sure, the BMW and Volvo had certain features/advantages over the Max but in the end, the ownership experience for the Maximas has been better (cost, ease of ownership, reliability and durability). I would like to get a little better output from my headlights and am contemplating a set of PIAA Platnium Super White bulbs -- same wattage as stock (60/55). These are the 3800K bulbs -- nothing extreme. PIAA claims that they work fine in stock applications with no need to upgrade wiring and that they do not produce more heat than stock bulbs. They also claim that the light is far whiter than stock and the bulbs produce the output of a regular halogen 110/100 bulb. The last thing I want to do is to blow up/melt my headlights/housings/wiring. Has anyone out there installed a set of these bulbs and if so, what has your experience been? Thanks in advance for your input.
  • I just picked up my 2002 Maxima GLE Friday. Runs GREAT! I went to local hardware store about twenty cars there. When I came out I find My car had bird crap all over it. Musta been a bunch of sumo wrestling birds 'cause it was BIG and Nasty! I looked around..NO OTHER CARs HIT!!!! What kinda luck is that. Could it be speacial breed of birds, bred bigger and able to locate new cars....nah, just my luck! The cAR IS LAID OUT PERFECT FOR THE DRIVER. Plenty of room in back and front. Only complaint so far is I expected it to be a little smoother over hard bumps. the feel I get on bumps is more what I expected from the SE
  • LOL! :)

    It's the revenge of the bird poop!

    BTW, congrats on your new ride!

  • That had to have been Nissan's best commercial ever. I remember seeing that for the first time and laughing my [non-permissible content removed] off.

    I got a question.
    Does anyone notice how freaking huge their Maxima SE's turning radius is? My wife and I just bought an Audi A4 for her, and that thing feels like it can do a 180 in an alley way, while my Maxima feels like it needs the width of a freeway!

    Why is it?
    I've long gotten used to it, but i've always thought it was very weird....

  • Has anyone taken delivery of one of these cars? What are your initial impressions? In particular, I'd be very interested in your opinions re: clutch and shifter feel, and overall quality levels of your purchase. How did you do on pricing? Thanks!
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    jzauberman - Did you get your Max in SE Michigan? If so, can you recommend a dealer?

    gymshoe - Your Max has 17" tires, while the A4 has 15". Plus, the A4 is about a foot less in length than the Max. Combine them and it's a huge difference.
  • My 02 Max SE does have a WAY FAT turn radius! I am used to it, but it does suck sometimes.

    My 90 M3 could do a U-Turn in an alley though! :)~

    I do agree with mirth in his explanation. I also think that front drive cars turn wider than rwd as well.
  • Huh? Only if it's lacking the sports suspension or upgrades.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    true - but even still it's a lot shorter. Do that many people upgrade the A4 tires?
  • Came with larger wheels. Only someone getting a stripped 1.8T would get the 14s.
  • All,

    Got my 00 Max out of the shop yesterday. The tranny shifting problem is fixed finally. The problem was when cold mostly but happens other times as well, is that it slips shifting from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. They replaced a solenoid per the TSB and it is good as new. Took some fighting, but it is fixed.
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