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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair

oceanblueoceanblue Member Posts: 2
My '92 Nissan Maxima SE automatic has been stalling frequently and various mechanics are unable to determine the problem.
-The situation: Car stalls at a red light while engaged in drive. If it is shifted into neutral it will not stall, however the tachometer will jump. Typically, (but not exclusively) this problem occurs when I have been driving at low speeds. Additionally, the car may sputter and knock while in city traffic. To alleviate this I must take my foot off of the accelerator and then depress it again. If I try to "gas it" through the problem it will only keep sputtering.
-Suggestions by mechanics: Clogged fuel lines (checked, not the problem), Fuel pump (checked and replaced, not the problem), Electrical ( one mechanic suggested replacing the engine harness wires. Costs about $1000).
Does anyone have a suggestion?


  • kenlee11kenlee11 Member Posts: 1
    My Maxima has been making a weird noise every time I start the engine in the morning. The noise occurs right after I start the engine. I have used 93 Octane gasoline for the three years I have owned the car. I took it to the dealership and they said that they couldn't duplicate the problem. This only occurs when the engine is cold. Is anybody out there having or have had the same problems?? PLEASE HELP!
  • amy_t1976amy_t1976 Member Posts: 1
    I have a nissan 240 sx and I had the exact same problem you are having,, took it to three mechanics and they had no idea. finally we found out it was just a clutch switch,, hope that helps,, its cheap and easy to fix as far as I understand. If not then have them diagnose your cylinders or fuel injectors and one may be ready to be replaced. good luck! Amy
  • kdsaykdsay Member Posts: 2
    I was having the same problem, but my car is a "93 Maxima SE. It sounded like a rattling noise. Anyway, I took it to the dealer - they said it was the VTC sprockets that needed overhauled. Noise got better, but seemed to come back eventually. I just found out from another mechanic that there may be a crack in the sprocket causing the noise..I'm taking it back to the dealer next week. I hope this helps! My experience has certainly been frustrating, but makes it alittle more bearable if I can pass on the info to spare someone else! Good luck!
  • riceyricey Member Posts: 2
    Just read your problem with the noise. My wife's 97 Maxima does the same as did her 95. The VTC sprockets may need overhauling but usually it is the hydraulic dampers for the main chain drive for your two overhead cams. They work off oil pressure from the motor running and upon start-up they are not "charged" with oil and the main chain slaps a little until they get filled with oil. As they fill up they put pressure on the chain to "stiffen" it up. I've used Mobil 1 5W-30 to help lubricate them sooner and that seems to help a little. Cracks don't make noise and if the sprocket is cracked it would have failed by now because of the massive amounts of force they are subjected to while you accelerate. I hope this helps.
  • RichIITFRichIITF Member Posts: 17
    I accidently tried to re-start my motor while it was running. I guess the motor is so quite that I didn't realize it was already running. Does anyone think I might have damaged the starter or the motor? I have not noticed any problems but I am still concerned.
  • cbtechcbtech Member Posts: 3
    My Maxima is making the same noise. Dealership said it was the starter. I'm changing starter today. I'll post later if it stops noise.
  • jw18jw18 Member Posts: 1

    I did that a couple of times on my sentra and altima. Don't worry.

  • cbtechcbtech Member Posts: 3
    Changed starter today. Dealership wanted $350 for starter plus labor. I did it myself for $150. It took about 2 hours. Noise is gone. I'll post later if it comes back.
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    Change to a Purolator oil filter...the noise will go away. The noise you hear is oil starvation at start-up because the flow-back valves on NISSAN oil filters, FRAM and a few others are garbage. Change to Purolator, WIX, or MOBIL oil filter.

  • vik3vik3 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I just bought a Nissan maxima 95. I had a 94 before. The 95 makes a loud engine noise when i press on gas.Its is not too loud but it is a lot louder than the 94 i owned before. I was just wondering if its the new engine type or if there is a problem with my car. Thanks
  • kdsaykdsay Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your help regarding the sprockets. What you described as far as the oil pressure is what another mechanic had told me some time ago...he is the one who told me to take it to the dealer in the first place. When the service manager lifted the hood and listened to the noise he said, "oh yeah, sounds like your sprockets..we've had alot of trouble with those." I called the first mechanic back and he said that could be true. My point being is that I agree with what you are saying and what another post said as far as the filter, mainly because the noise is still there. Do I have a case with the dealer if they say they fixed "a" problem, but I don't think they fixed "the" problem? It sounds like, by what you all are saying, there isn't much to do for this problem other than changing the filter or oil. True? Any thoughts on how to approach this with the dealer? Thanks.
  • gioia1gioia1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 maxima-96k miles. A electrical short caused a fire in my trunk (next to gas tank). Service said they've never seen anything like it, and they don't know what could have caused it. Anybody have any ideas or has anyone had a similar problem?
  • edwardh5edwardh5 Member Posts: 130
    I fixed it by not using the Nissan filter.
    I use Pure One.Better anti backflow valve. No more clatter on cold start up.
  • djames1djames1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1995 Nissan Maxima. Have had a intermittent problem over the years. It takes a least three tries to get the car started.( seems to only be in cold weather) They have changed the starter, battery, fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel resistor and rear computer and I still have the same problem. In one months time frame I had my car for about 3 days!!! Has anyone had the same problem? I posted in the wrong area more details under 1995 Nissan Max hard start problems.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Has the coolant temperature sensor been checked? The engine controller needs to know the engine temp to provide additional fuel for cold startup
  • qx4qx4 Member Posts: 99
    i have the exact same problem as djames1
    since the car had about 70,000kms the problem
    started. they replaced the starter 2 or 3 times
    under warranty. and it never fixed anything. and they never seemed to understand that.

    unfortunatly i have been busy for a while....the car has 175,000kms on it and the problem is still there. my extended warranty is over.

    when you i turn the key i don't get ANY response
    try again ... same......keep holding it and the car starts but the rpm drops and engine shuts off if i don't force the engine to be over 3000rpms.
  • djames1djames1 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for your responses...I don't think the coolant temperature sensor has been checked? They are getting a fuel specialist from Nissan to look at my car sometime next week. Yes I can relate they just don't seem to understand..Will keep you posted and I will look for more responses until then.........
  • itsgtitsgt Member Posts: 3
    I just purchased a 97 maxima at an auction...

    My 'soon service engine' light indicator on the front panel lights up.

    I had my mechanic check out my car, including engine, and he told me that everything was fine. Passed inspection 1st time also.

    Does this pose a serious problem, is it electrical, or what?

  • oceanblueoceanblue Member Posts: 2
    Thanks AMY t1976 for the suggestion. Since my first posting, I took the car to a top-notch mechanic who was sure that it needed to have the idle speed control solenoid replaced. He replaced it, then took it for a spin.....and it stalled again. He put my old solenoid back in and didn't charge me a cent. When I asked if I should bring the car back in next week he said, "No, it could be one of many things and we haven't got a clue." So items that have been checked include: fuel lines, fuel filter, idle speed solenoid, plugs. I love the car when it's cruising but at a stop light it will stall if engaged in drive and at low speeds it will occassionally sputter. If I can't correct the stalling the next stop for the car will be to donate it to a charity. Ah what happened to my old 1970 Camaro that always ran well?
  • dominic1dominic1 Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 97 Maxima and have received the Service Engine Soon light (@28K). I took the car to the dealer and they said that it was a sensor and that it is not uncommon (though they couldn't explain why). Since it is covered under warranty, there was no charge. I also have experienced (alike everyone else) the engine noise and to no avail, it still continues after numerous trips to SEVERAL service departments. Hope this helps.
  • paco99paco99 Member Posts: 25
    As the title says....after talking to my mechanic, it seems I should try to get a new lid weatherstrip and perhaps a new sealing rubber (gasket ?).....any one have any ideas ?....the last time, my mechanic reseated the outer rubber weatherstrip (I think) and it worked, but now once again leaks.....recent snow storm in the Northeast did the trick.....drip, drip, drip, etc.

    I have the original service manual, but it doesn't give part numbers.....haven't given up, bec I want to fix it so that I can sell's a low mileage lovely...

    Any one know an internet site that may have these parts ?

    Thanks for your time !
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Before replacing any parts, verify that the sunroof drain tube isn't blocked. Usually runs down inside the A or B body pillar and prevents standing water at the sunroof weatherstrip.
  • tallawahtallawah Member Posts: 2
    I have a 91 Maxima SE Manual- well maintained (350K miles - I know, time to get a new one!).

    Anyway. it is still going great except for an intermittent problem for
    the last couple years (which the dealer and numerous mechanics have
    attempted to fix). After every few hundred miles or so the engine would
    start to shudder, not continuously, but then it could happen every few
    miles. A couple of times it got so bad I had to stop and let it cool a
    bit (at least it would shudder all the way home). It could happen for a
    few days in a row, then goes away for another few hundred miles of
    driving (a week or two).

    The engine diagnostics on the ECCS keep reading that all is OK.

    I have replaced the wiring harness, computer, ignition cables, vacuum
    hoses, distributor, fuel pump, fuel injectors and tested with a new air
    flow meter, to little avail.

    Any suggestions would be well appreciated.
  • paco99paco99 Member Posts: 25
    Thanks for the idea; your idea is something I though about after looking at the S/Manual and the schematic...

    Also today went to Pep Boys and they told me the can't order either part.

    Also called Nissan S/Dept and got someone very knowledgable on the phone (parts dept told me there is no separate part number for top lid weatherstripping, so I would have to buy a whole new ~ $ 745.00 + tax + labor.....oh sure !)....

    Anyway, thought I'd pass along what S/Dept said so others can benefit....

    They said the sunroof is made to accept water and should let it exit out via 4 drain hoses connected to the interior base.....I can have a mechanic blow air up from the underside of the car to try to dislodge any blocks, but do not blow air from the top of the drain tube downward....I suggested this is probably bec the force of air will dislodge the tubes from the base....his response was that I was correct and the first one to have called about this problem and understood what the force of air will do..... to re connect will mean taking the whole thing apart and out of the Maxima, a tedious and expensive job....and also meaning the car would have to be left at the dealer at least a full day....

    He also agreed the mechanic can use a very thin wire and push it in from the top as this should not cause the tubes to loosen.....however, to be safe, I would have the mechanic first try it from the bottom up.

    I'll have to take the car in to the mechanic and have him try it.....

    Thanks again......
  • infiniti_lemoninfiniti_lemon Member Posts: 21
    Maybe you guys can help me out. Nissan told me in December that they were looking at buying my lemon back, but now they want me to take them to formal arbitration instead.

    read all about it:

  • cbtechcbtech Member Posts: 3
    Changed starter 2 weeks ago. Roaring noise at cold start up is gone. Starter was not disengaging quick enough.
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    There are 4 drain tubes for the sunroof, one at each corner's highly unlikely that that's the problem.
    What I ask you to do is this... When the sunroof is closed, there is a dran "pan" that slides into place. Let me just back-up a second. The sunroof is surrounded on 3 sides (front and both sides) by stationary drains. The rear portion of the sunroof uses a sliding "PAN" that is pulled into place when the sunroof closes, and is retracted or pushed back by the sunroof panel when you open it (meaning when you slide it back...not pop it up). There have been MANY instances where the small retractor clips that GRAP this drip PAN snap off...usually on one side only. What this does is it will no longer pull this pan into place when you close the sunroof (you may also hear a strange metallic noise while opening and closing the roof and/or while it's open and you hit a bump). Without this pan in place, when it rains, water will seep through the perimeter gasket (surrounds the glass part of the roof) and can go pretty much anywhere. The gasket around the glass is not in place to keep water's to keep out wind noise...thats why these drains are in place.
    IF this is your problem, there are 2 metal clips that have to be replaced, and are cheap...BUT.....your dealer will have to do the work because it requires dropping the entire headliner, and both sunroof support rails.

    The way to double check if this IS the problem is this.....with the sunroof in the "POP-UP" position, look from the inside at the rear portion of the sunroof. there should be a pan thats about 2 1/2 inches in width, and spans the side to side length of the sunroof. Now close the roof, and slowly slide it will see this pan go back with the rear edge of the glass....and return when you fully clse it again.
    If it doesn't fully go back into place or, is missing...that's you problem.

    I hope this helps....I've found many of this same problem on Maximas from 95 thru 99, and on Pathfinders as well. Good luck.

  • deepandeepan Member Posts: 342
    I can fully understand the problem as i was a owner of a 95 Maxima GLE. I bought the car in 98 with 144k kms on it. The car was serviced regularly at the dealership by the previous owner( I have the records). I continued to do so but i encountered several problems.

    Changed O2 sensor thee times (everytime after the warranty)
    Changed temperature sensor
    Changed alternator which cost an arm and a leg.
    numerous other issues
    every winter the brakes freeze up if the temp falls below -10c and have to wait till the car warms up.

    Every 3 months the oil and required maintenance was done and after 2+ yrs i was forced to trade the car at 176k. I had a Datsun about 10+ yrs ago which was a reliable vehicle. The quality & reliability has really gone down. This will be my last nissan!!!
  • itsgtitsgt Member Posts: 3
    What size rims/patters would I have to get for my 1997 nissan maxima.

    I'm looking to invest in chrome rims for my maxima...and wanted to know the proper size/ bolt patters i need.

  • kinwynkinwyn Member Posts: 1
    I have a '96 Maxima GLE which I've had since new. 195000 km. on it (120000 mi.) and it still runs like a charm. Twice over the years the "Service Engine Soon" light has come on, and both times was resolved by the dealer's service dept. changing a sensor related to the Emission Control System. There was no other problem that needed fixing, but this sensor is apparently very sensitive. Of course it could signal other problems also, so it is wise to have it checked.
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    I can understand you're view but...Nissans are up there with the best as far as reliability now a days. That's not to say that there aren't there are with any make or model. As for the've got water in the lines..a simple brake fluid flush would cure that for the O2 sensors, read below...

    Kin...Nissans O2 sensors are known to last a short time. Next time, if there is a next time, they go bad, change over to BOSCH O2 sensors...they'll last damn near forever.

  • yonghaowyonghaow Member Posts: 2
    I bought a Maxima 92 GXE and found the idle speed is not stable ( from 700-900 rpm) up and down, also the engine shaking a little.

    I changed the spark plugs and flushed the feul system. but it does not help. Does anyone can help me out? Thanks,
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    Have your TPS checked. They've been known to go bad. That can do the same thing.

  • yonghaowyonghaow Member Posts: 2
  • paco99paco99 Member Posts: 25
    Thanks for the reply. Here's what I did, as of today 1/29/01.

    Gave my mechanic the sunroof diagrams from the thick 1990 Maxima service manual, which I bght 10 yrs ago !....although he subscribes to a CD rom service so he can get specs if he has to on any vehicle.....

    He took out ceiling liner and entire assembly....yep, he did...I saw it in his shop....and found a small pile of accumulated dirt...yes the channel which resulted in a blockage thereby causing rainwater, etc. to overflow, go underside and drip, drip, drip into the car from the latest Northeast showstorm and soak the carpet behind the front passenger seat....picked up the car today and sunroof works ok....

    1/30/01 is supposed to be wet all day.....guess I'll see if he was right.....charged me for 3.5 hours of work.....which I think is reasonable.....

    Here comes the rain......(actually the song goes..."here comes the sun..." by the Beatles...)...

  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    TPS is Throttle Position Sensor.
  • benorrisbenorris Member Posts: 3
    At 37,000 miles, I noticed a drip under my car. I was told it was a seal leak on the rack (rack and pinion). Of course, this just missed getting fixed under the 36,000 warranty, even though it is something that shouldn't occur on such a young car. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    It's not common for the rack to go 37k...the dealer should cover it under warranty. Nissan will usually go up to about 40k, sometimes higher, on something major like that that should never have gone bad. Insist that the dealer cover it...if they'll get it covered.

  • paco99paco99 Member Posts: 25
    Well, I left it outside all day Tuesday in the leaks ! that I could find !....

    Thanks for the help...
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Glad to hear your problem has been resolved. My next suggestion was to move to Aridzona. :-)
  • itsgtitsgt Member Posts: 3
    Since i bought my maxima from the auction about 3.5 weeks had a "soon service engine"/"service engine soon" sensor light up...Just a couple of days ago it disappeared.

    When i had it checked out by my mechanic after the auction he said nothing was wrong with the engine.....

    was the sensor just incorrectly telling me i had a problem....or did the problem go away?

  • brucer2brucer2 Member Posts: 157
    Assuming that your plugs, wires, cap and rotor are in good condition, I would first clean the throttle body. The throttle plates and air bypass holes get a coating of deposits over time and will effect the idle. There was also a TSB related to this, that is caused by uneven flow over the MAF sensor. If you open the air filter box and look in the top half there is an air horn, at the back of which is a fine mesh screen. See if there is any debris on the screen. You can also clean any soot on the screen by wetting a rag with injector cleaner and wiping off the screen (don't spray anything directly into the MAF sensor). Also check the air cleaner. If one end is much dirtier than the other this can cause uneven flow.
    With my 90 GXE, I found cleaning the throttle body had the biggest difference on curing the idle dip. A new rotor smoothed the idle even more.
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    The above responce from Brucer is a good one. Have the throttle body cleaned by Nissan. It's acually all part of a complete fuel injection cleaning process that works very well.
    If you have a 95+ Maxima, (I believe you said you have a 97) you have no cap, rotor, or plug wires to worry about. The VQ engine doesn't have any of these components.

  • boreoboreo Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 95 Maxima (2 months ago) with 67K miles on it and it won't start. Checked the battery out and it's good, just starts to crank then fades out, lights and all stay on but subsequent turns of the key do nothing. Anyone encountered this and if so what is it? Starter?
    And thanks now I know what that funny clicking is when I start the car when very cold!! If I could only start it...
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    Fades out ?..How so ??...Sounds like the battery to can have enough juice to run the lights but..not enough to start the engine. Also, check with your dealer...there was a problem with the 8 tooth starters in the 95's....they were then changed to a 10 tooth.

  • qx4qx4 Member Posts: 99
    i have a 95GXE maxima as well....turning the key won't do anything at the process few times and nothing....and then it starts.

    Nissan insisted its the starter and it got replaced twice but that didn't fix anything (it was covered under warranty at the time). I tried to explain that they already replaced it once but they insited to replace it again.

    now that my warranty is over i haven't really had anyone to look at it. but i have a bunch of resposes from mechanics on other boards that i can share if you would like. if the discription of my problem (read below) is the same as your problem.

    when turning the key (all the way) to start the engine,
    > nothing will happen for about a second or two and
    > the car will start after a couple of tries.
    > Immediatly the rpm falls down from whatever idle
    > its suppose to be at and the engine stalls.
    > happens more often on cold or even cool weather
    > conditions. it happens when the car has been sitting
    > for few hours.
  • starstarstarstarstarstar Member Posts: 3
    I'm a newbie. Please help me~
    I got a 1992 maxima(97Kmiles) a month ago. I've paid $1000 to repair it within a month. I still feel a side to side wobble in the steering wheel at low speed, though it runs pretty good before repair.

    The problem is initiated by CV-boots replacement and left CV-joint rebuilt in a vietnamese workshop. The left lower-ball-joint is found damaged after this service. Then I replaced it in another workshop, and changed inner-tie-rod-ends, all the struts, and front motor mount, but the steering wheel is still loose and sometimes unstable. Should I replace all the steering linkage?

    BTW, a Nissan dealer did the alignment for the car. Instead of showing a computer alignment data report, they noted on the receipt: "Has slight tire pull to left". It seems the more repair, the more problems come up. :-(
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    I'm not sure what you mean by the steering wheel is "unstable", but the low speed side to side steering wheel movement is usually either a bent rim or a tire belt shifted. With the front of the car raised rotate the wheels one at a time and look for any runout (side to side wobble). Doesn't take much. Specs are .060" max. If nothing is evident, switch tires front to rear one at a time. When the steering wheel wobble is eliminated you've located the defective one. It's usually the right front. Curbs are on that side.
  • andthomskoandthomsko Member Posts: 1
    My 95 gle with 32k just came back from oil change/brake check/tire repair, and air bag light began flashing and continues. Suggestions welcome. Thanks
  • joenissanjoenissan Member Posts: 313
    If the dealer did the alignment, and noted that on your receipt, that would tell me that everything is in spec, and that it's probably (as alcan said) a bad tire or tires.
    Unless they didn't check the entire front end...which I'd have asked them to do while it was there. If they did find a problem, and you didn't want to pay dealers rates to repair least you'd know what the problem was...and could take it elsewhere to have the work done.

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