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Nissan Maxima



  • mmx6mmx6 Posts: 18
    Your argument doesn't really apply. Recirculating ball isn't "inferior" to rack-and-pinion in absolute terms, it just sacrifices precise feel in exchange for more isolation. But there is NO dynamic benefit of switching to beam axle, as both ride AND handling suffer. I also don't see why you think you can claim the Maxima to be the best handler in its class (in terms of numbers or subjective seat-of-pants feel), especially with the Passat and even the Accord around.
    As for your car, it is notable that even with recirculating ball steering, BMW managed to provide better steering feel on its 540i (according to one magazine, I forgot which one) than Mercedes did on their rack-and-pinion E420. But that just means BMW's engineers are better than Mercedes' (who would argue with that?).
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ..that the "proof is in the pudding".

    mmx6: Comparing my 1995 Maxima SE to what it's competitors were back then, it was an easy conclusion for me (albeit subjective) that it was the best handler in it's class. I test drove the heck out of everything. The Passat was very good, but was handicapped by just feeling too slow back then.

    Considering the FWD sedans on the market today, I still think my 1995 Maxima stacks up extremely well. Granted, you do feel the road more than some current models. But in everyday "enthusiastic driving" the combination of relatively low body roll and 5-speed manual transmission make it a lot of fun to drive. And I have even had compliments from my BMW/Mercedes associates on both it's acceration and highway smoothness.

    As for the Accord, surely you jest. I love Honda. Just bought a 2002 S2000 as a third car. But the Honda Accord is one of the least "enthusiastic" sedans from Japan or Europe, with the exception of the Camry. I wouldn't even rate the Acura TL-S much higher on the "fun to drive" scale. They are exceptionally smooth, if that's your priority.

    Final point, in 120,000 miles, I have never "lost" the back end of my Maxima going over bumps on twisty roads. I am enthusiastic, but not insane. I suspect anyone having that problem should be in a rear wheel drive car, period.
  • tgif888tgif888 Posts: 351
    Any good dealership or salesperson you owner can recommend in the Los Angeles area?
  • tony107tony107 Posts: 15
    I got a couple of problems. I bought my 95 Max. almost a year ago and a couple of months ago I noticed that when driving slowly I turn I can hear noises> they are pretty weird, it sounds like a combination of squaking and crunching or something in between. I'm sure that they are comming from the front, what is it i have no idea, maybe i just need to lubricate or something.
    I also have the same problem which a couple of people had, shifting from park, I can not press the button unless i press it and move it forward, wierd....but that sound while turning conserns me a lot more.
  • If you hear those sounds only while making low speed turns, and fairly sharp ones at that, I'd suspect your car has one or more defective CV joints.
  • otis12otis12 Posts: 171
    Whaddaya think? I'm in NJ and am using the internet to query a a few dealers. '02 Max SE, automatic, with sunroof and wind deflector. MSRP is about 27K, invoice is 24.5K, the first dealer to respond is offering $500 over invoice. Opinions? I think I should be able to buy at or close to invoice. Is this realistic?
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    Isn't there a rebate out now on the Maxima? If so, you should be able to do well below invoice.

    $500 over is too much for this car. In my area, CarsDirect is selling them for $850 below invoice.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,799
    I know in South jersey (outside Phila) you can get a Maxima for $1300 under invoice (including rebate of $1,000, the price being 300 under). if this is your part of jersey, shoot an email to my profile and i can give you details.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • The store I work in, which is in NJ, typically prices Maximas about 300 over invoice less and rebates or dealer cash. In that case, you would be 700 under invoice. We have plenty to choose from. Email me at [email protected] if there is something specific you're looking for.

    When you get quotes, try to get out the door prices. I hate when I lose a customer over 50 dollars to only find out that their bottom line was hundreds of dollars more.

  • Contact Mark Ianucci at Barwick Nissan in San Juan Capistrano...He is the Sales Mgr. and you will work directly with him. Good Guy, Good deal..Check it out..

  • gg2k2segg2k2se Posts: 109
    I've been the satisfied owner of a 90 SE which I sold for a 2K SE, but I was lusting after the 20 or so improvements they've made to the 2k2 SE (engine, HID, 6 disc, 6 speed). Well, the .9% financing won me over so I just picked up a loaded Tungsten blue SE 6 speed. I can fully recommend the Maxima to anyone who finds the combination of size, luxury and sportiness to meet their needs. The 3.5 engine is smooth and quick and the 6 speed is pretty good (not great). My wife and I wanted something less common so we looked at the Tungsten and decided it was perfect for us (previous cars were hard to keep clean black GTI, a very nice red 90 SE and our soon to be sold Sterling SE).

    So have no fear, it's a great
  • tgif888tgif888 Posts: 351
    Thanks. But San Juan is kind of far from L.A.
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    To my fellow SE owners w/ 17" tire option:

    The Bridgestone RE92's on my SE have not worn well
    at all. Checking tire survey results at confirmed that almost all owners of
    these tires complained about exceptionally poor wear and very bad traction in wet weather albeit
    snow (impossible traction) Those who had Michelins
    were very critical of those as well.
    Have any of you found a 225-50-17 in any brand
    tire that you are REALLY pleased with (v-rated,
    of course) I suppose I could go to a Z-rated tire
    but those wear faster as well due to the softer
    rubber compounds normally found in Z-rated tires.

    Your input would be sincerely appreciated!!!

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I know that 17-inch tires wear a little quicker because of their size and low profile. I have 17s on my 2002 Jetta, but have seen no wear at 6500 miles yet.
  • robertrrobertr Posts: 125
    I posted a similar question about the 17" Bridgestone Potenza tires on my 2000 SE some time ago and never got any response. I now have about 26,000 miles and still have enough tread that they may make it to about 39,000 miles when my lease is up a year from now. Of course, I'll probably have to pay for a set of tires when I turn the car in.

    Anyway, back to tires. I haven't heard of any good replacements. But I've found the tires are not bad in snow and OK on wet pavement. The lateral grip when cornering on wet roads seems good.

    What I don't like is they tend to hydroplane sooner than other tires when there is a lot of water on the road, so I actually have to drive slower than most traffic in heavy rain.

    All things considered, I think Nissan made a good choice with the Potenzas. The tread wear is better than I expected going in, and I would replace the tires with another set of the same.
  • I also jave 26K on my 2000 SE with the 17" Potenzas. It's a weird size and there are only a few choices.

    I thought I saw that Goodyear now makes a tire for one of the auto mags - the inserts towards the back. I'll look for it. The goodyear website gives us the 16" size when we select our car. DOH!
  • cpa4ucpa4u Posts: 136
    In this month's Car & Driver they did a comparison of several sports sedans. The new Cadillac was listed as having the same size as the Max and I30's (225/50/17). It was a Goodyear RS-A. I looked it up on Tirerack and they did not show it yet. Must be a new size for Goodyear.
  • will38will38 Posts: 30
    My 2002 SE is approaching the 1,000 mile mark. I have read several people recommending a first oil change at 1,000 miles. The owners manual states it is not necessary. My wife's 2002 Honda CRV has break-in oil and should not be changed early. Does the Maxima have break-in oil? These are my first two Japanese cars. Also, I have not read anyone suggesting a transmission fluid change. Would this also be recommended? I traded a 1999 Buick Regal GS for the Maxima. I can't believe how much better this car is for almost the same money. I would appreciate any thoughts on this matter.
  • thanks for the's not on goodyear's site either.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    Do you mean the motor oil or transmission fluid? You might want to call the service dept at your dealer...however these are my thoughts:

    Motor Oil:

    Some people change at 1,000. It's a good idea. The thinking here is that the engine is breaking in (valves are seating, etc) so there may be additional metal particles in the motor oil. Although the oil filter should catch most of this, spending $20 for an oil & filter change at the 1,000 mile mark is cheap insurance.

    Transmission Fluid:

    I think Nissan recommends changing this every 30,000 miles. I would imagine that the "break-in" theory would apply here too, however I don't hear too much about this. This is a little more costly because they would have to power flush your transmission to ensure a complete changeover of your fluid (simply draining the fluid via gravity only removes 1/3 of the fluid). I think Nissan charges in the neighborhood of $150 for a complete power flush. But then again, $150 is cheap insurance too (compared to the cost of replacing a transmission). I personally would follow Nissan's recommended fluid change interval since the transmission is warrantied for 5 years/60k miles.

  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    I think that new Caddy CTS (with the 17" wheel option) uses the same size tire as the SE (Goodyear instead of Bridgestone though). I thought I read the specs in a magazine.
  • The CTS does have the same as SE in one option.

    click on specs.

  • gg2k2segg2k2se Posts: 109
    I once heard something good about Nitto tires, but have no experience with them. Their website lists a style 450, V rated, tread wear of 300 in 225 50 17 size. They also list as a dealer.

    Anyone have experience with Nitto tires?

  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    To those who replied to my inquiry about the poor
    wear of my Potenza's.....I thank you! Perhaps others will reply as well..I hope so.

    Incidentally, one guy at the Tirerack user survey
    started his response my saying, "I love my Maxima
    but I hate these tires." Numerous respondents to
    the survey on the Potenzas were very critical of
    the tire wear and lack of traction on wet roads
    and "no traction" in snow. One person mentioned
    "sliding clear out of his level driveway" due to
    lack of snow traction. I will check out some of the responses I have received from you folks and
    post additional info as I obtain it. I've got
    Bilzzaks (MZ-01) shod on all four wheels right
    now but in the spring I'm going to have to put
    4 new v-rated tires on the MAX. Hope, with your
    help to find good replacements for the Potenzas.

  • bdlfebdlfe Posts: 21
    Does anyone know of any other tire manufacturer besides Bridgestone for the GLE's 215/55/17? There must be some deal between the two companys. Is it difficult to make descent all season tires for performance cars?
  • cpa4ucpa4u Posts: 136
    Out of curiousity I called down to the local Goodyear store and asked about the RS-A's in a size 225/50/17. The manager called back and said he called his distributor contact. Said that they have not been released for sale yet. Who knows if that is correct or just BS. But, he did "guess" a price of around $150 a piece.
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    Thanks for taking the trouble to make that phone
    call. I think I'm going to the Goodyear website to
    try and get some info on the tire you mentioned
    in post 3878. Will log back on afterwards with
    any findings.

  • berbelberbel Posts: 167

    The Goodyear website shows the RS-A but they are NOT shown as available in size 225-50-17. They ARE
    shown available in 225-60-17. That size is the closest shown to the OEM tire size. The manager of
    that Goodyear store you called must not have made
    the proper inquiry re size not withstanding the
    possibility that I missed it in the listing of
    available sizes at the web site. I examined that
    listing pretty closely and didn't see it.
  • I've been trying to narrow down my car purchase over the last several months and the Maxima is one of my finalists. I find it very hard to beat for the money. The one big down side I see is its' depreciation. I'm also considering the I-35, Volvo S-60 2.4T, and the Acura TL-s. Anyone that can share their experience with a 2002 Maxima GLE would be appreciated. Also, anyone purchase the Navigation system? I'm considering it but was unsure of the value of a CD based system versus a DVD base system. Thanks for any input you may have.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    This is probably more work than you want to do at this point...but you may want to call a Caddy dealership and inquire about those tires. I'm not even sure if the CTS is out yet, but I would imagine that Goodyear will release those tires when the CTS does debut. If the CTS is sold now, then a Caddy dealer should have replacements (I would think).

    Also, those 225-60-17's are a higher profile so you'll gain a smoother ride, but will lose some handling. Changing sizes may also throw off your speedometer a little (I use to have a tire size/speedo calculator but I can't find it now). If I find it, I'll post the link. I'd wait to hear about those Goodyear's (if you can wait).

  • alfaberalfaber Posts: 19
    I went through the same thought process about two months ago and ended up with an I35. Rejected the Volvo because it was more expensive, smaller, and reliability seems to have dropped in the last few years (I have an '95 850 turbo with 130k miles on it, so I'm not anti-Volvo).
    The TL is a fine car, very similar to the I35 in terms of features, quality level, size and price. My wife has a 99 TL and is very happy with it. I find that it is not designed for my height (6 feet). For some reason I look out through the top of the windshield. Although the I35 has about the same headroom, the windshield is just a bit more upright, and doesn't produce this effect.
    The nav system is great. I like the pop-up nature of it in the I35. It has a dedicated control panel, which is very easy to use and means that you aren't leaving finger smudges all the time on the screen like the Maxima and the Acura. Also, if you don't want to use it, it is out of sight. Finally, the radio and climate controls are totally independent, which makes them easier to use. Although it's not DVD based, it works fine provided you aren't travelling all around the country.
    The Infiniti is just a bit more costly than the Maxima. In return you get different styling and nav system, you avoid the Nissan dealer in favor of (hopefully) a better dealer experience, and you have a bit more cachet.
    BTW: the cold weather package is great. Love that heated steering wheel (especially on 35 degree mornings like today).
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    Hi M:

    Thanx for your input. I was aware of the possible
    impact of changing tire sizes but still appreciate
    your mentioning it. I chose the SE trimline primarily on the basis of the better handling
    characteristics of the car. I certainly would not
    want to lose any of those characteristics as a tradeoff to changing tire sizes. I learned something from you today. I was not aware that a tire company would forestall releasing a tire in a
    certain size pending the release of the car that
    those tires fit. In a way, I'm not sure I under-
    stand that in light of the fact that that same
    tire size is the oem size for the Max and has been
    since model year 2k. Can you shed any additional light on this for me?

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    02 Maxima is a finalist in my car buying odyssey.

    Other finalist is Subaru Outback H6 LL Bean wagon.

    I am probably the first guy to cross shop these vehicles . . . . :-)

    Does anyone know -- does the engine have a timing belt or a timing chain? And is the head an interference design (timing belt or chain is the only thing that keeps valves from impacting piston and if it goes . . . .) or not.

    Had a Honda Prelude lose its timing belt at 60,000 miles. That was $3000 to fix due to interference design of head on Prelude (valves damaged / bent by force of impact of pistons). Honda paid half since it went early. Still $1500 I did not care to spend.

    The 02 Altima brochure brags about a timing chain on the Altima 6 but the 02 Maxima brochure does not. Maybe they had other features to tout?

    Thanks in advance for the info. -- JN
  • I went to my local goodyear dealer in NoVA. e had no info, but placed a call. The person on the other line at least had some info on the tires - about $240 a pop! To compare, the 215/50/17 that I guess they have in stock retails for $230 there. In tirerack, you can get them for 105 (!!) I think the guy said. The cost to the Goodyear dealer himself, he said, for that tire was about 155 (he said more than $50 over tirerack)

    Guess I won't be getting RS-As! At least from the dealer.
  • eblumeblum Posts: 52
    It has a timing chain...I made sure before I bought my 2000 SE.

    I haven't posted in some are some things about my Max

    -Just had one of the spark coils replaced under warranty. I was driving up the Garden State Parkway and when I got off the engine started to stumble...I swore it was the tranny. But they found a dead charge...

    -Still have knock/pinging issues. I hoped that the bad coil was the culprit and the knocking would go away...I have tried every grade of gas from different companies. I think it is just a flaw in my engine...oh well...

    -Window etching- My dealer (Acme Nissan in NJ) wanted me to buy the etching for $200 or something...told the sales manager to shove it (Fred Nass is a honest salesman, the sales manager was a snake though). My insurance co. doesn't discount for that...and even though I didn't pay for it, they do all of their cars, so mine has the etching anyway as a deterrent! Thanks guys!

    -I love my Maxima. For the money I spent ($22,000) I have an awesome car that no Camary or Passat can match. The interior and exterior still look great after 2 years/45K miles and I haven't kept up on the washing/waxing. This car is so much different than my 1998 Grand Prix...that car started to fall apart after 4K miles...

    -But will trade it any day for the 350Z

  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Maximas use chains. All current Nissan engines
    use chains. Head design doesn't matter too much.
    If your engine is running at anything higher than an idle, and the chain or belt breaks, the valves and / or pistons will probably be damaged. The amount of damage is proportional to how fast the engine is turning.

    Two good things about chains:
    1) They usually last longer than belts.
    2) Chains usually give plenty of warning when
    they get ready to head south. A bad chain
    will usually rattle for about 5 secs. on
    a cold start-up.
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Bring on that 350Z. I love when they advertise
    280 PLUS horsepower. Do they mean 300 hp. ??

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks for the info. So even the Altima 4 cylinder has a chain?

    As for the interference design of some motors - I thought some had it and others do not. For example I thought most Hondas have the design while Toyotas do not.

    Generally higher performance, higher compression motors have the interference design.

    But hey - I am open to being educated.
  • Eblum
    I had the same problem with pinging in my Y2K gle. It was something that popped up all of the sudden so I was baffled. Turned out my favorite Amoco gas station was closed down because they were adding water to their tanks to stretch the gas!! I was pissed needless to say and it took about 5 tank fills of gas to get my car back to normal. I did some investigating and found out this was common practice in other stations in my area, another of which was fined and closed down.

    So if anyone is experiencing pinging on high octane in their Max beware, your gas station could be cheating you and killing you pride and joy.
  • eblumeblum Posts: 52
    Not sure about the HP yet...I think they are sticking with 280hp...but we will find out when it is released. You can pre-order one starting now. Check out

    They had the ability to create your own Z and add options...there are 4 models from the base to a racing version with Bembro brakes. Starting price...$26,200!!!

    Nissan is really taking performance seriously...let's see how NISMO adds to that...

  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Yes, all 4-cyl (KA24 series) Altimas have Chains, and any P'up's with this engine. The Nissan VQ 30
    and VQ 35 engines have chains. The earlier VG 30
    V6 had a belt.
  • Hi. I'm installing a CD changer in my wife's '01 Maxima and can't get the center console vent removed (i.e. the vent pair immediately above the radio/A/C controls). If anyone has done this, or has a service manual for the 2000-2002 Maximas, I'd greatly appreciate any info you can provide as to how to release the vent from the dash.

    Thanks much,
    [email protected]
  • Does anyone know the difference between the bose system and the regular stock sysytem in a 2001 max. If you do e-mail me at [email protected]
  • Before you go buying the Outback, take a look at Consumer Reports concerning reliability. *IF* you believe CR, the Maxima's reliability is much better than the Outback, which I think CR lumps together with all Legacy-derived models. The Legacy models are just slightly better than average. Obviously other factors influence your decision on buying a car: I bought a Subaru Forester over Maxima, Camry, or CR-V, which all have a better reliability rating than the Forester. Forester's CR reliability is in between the Max and the Legacy/Outbacks, FWIW.

    I don't know how long the H6 engine has been sold worldwide, but if my memory serves me correctly, it has only been since 2001 model years. Consider that too.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
  • sysadmin1sysadmin1 Posts: 122
    Just read Carpoint's review, and they show 8.2 0-60 for the auto 02 MAX. Can anyone substantiate this claim? Sounds a little slow with the new engine...was hoping it would be closer to 7...

    Was this close to picking up a 02 GLE today. Had everything but NAV, was perfect, spoiler all opt. $33 off in monthly payment, and I walked. they came down some, but not quite enough. Invoice was 26,700 on it. Might call them back tomorrow to see if they will drop a little more...
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Went 0-60 mph in about 7.0 seconds. They praised the powerful engine but panned the torque steer. Think this was in their 11/01 comparison of near luxury sedans (e.g., Jag X-type & ES300). Theirs was a Sport Pkg I-35.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    I think I confused you (or confused myself). I was merely speculating that Goodyear was delaying the release of the new 17" tire until the CTS hit the street. Especially since someone here actually called Goodyear. Sorry for the confusion.


    I agree with riez...the 2002 max should be able to do 0-60 in the 7 sec range with the auto trans. The 2000's and 2001's were sub 8's with the 3 liter engine, so the extra torque and HP should knock a half sec or more from the times.
  • sysadmin1sysadmin1 Posts: 122
    Hey all...very close to my Majestic Blue GLE...all opts except NAV. It comes with Bridgestone Turanza rubber, and they do not get a good review on Anyone have these on their max and like them? Would not want to drop buying the car because of the stock tires, but an giving up my current GLE with 225/55/16 Michelin Pilot Z rated tires, which rock!! As you might remember, I also upgraded my suspension with new Eibach springs, and Tokico struts front and rear...was a $1900 investment 5k miles ago. But this is the Max I've always wanted. Will probably be trading in the 00 GLE with all thye susp. mods and new tires, cause I dont want the cost of having them taken off, and not sure if I should put them on a brand new 02 GLE. Does anyone want my old struts and springs with 28k mile son them ;) back to the tires...

    Bridgestone Turanzas...who has them and are they good?

    Help soon...might decide today!!
  • volmaxvolmax Posts: 8
    Test drove a 6 speed today. Nice. I did notice that the rpms do not immediately fall when the clutch is depressed (like a delayed reaction). I read somewhere that the Max is designed to do this for reduced emissions. Is this true? Anyone else notice this? Does this make the 6 speed annoying to drive? My '95 se 5 speed did not do this or at least I never noticed it.
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