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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • shae126shae126 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 SE that isn't recognizing CD's. I keep getting a "Check Disk" error. I have cleaned my CD's and attempted to clean the player but it gives the same error when I try to insert a cleaning disk. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
  • easman61easman61 Posts: 28
    I am considering buying my son a '96 Maxima with 110K. Car has leather,moonroof, nice stereo, NO abs (which his mother is concerned with). It is a one owner and they have all service records. It is very clean and only minor flaws with pin striping. They are asking $5k firm for the car. Anything I should watch out for with this. I confess I haven't spent much time yet browsing this forum. If someone knows of a post I should read please point it out to me. Thanks in advance for your help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,347
    Certainly at that mileage you'd want a mechanical inspection. Specifically you'd be looking at a) when the timing belt was last replaced and when this is due again and b) whether any suspension work has been done. And of course the usual, tires, brakes, exhaust, oil leaks, etc.....which any competent shop should be able to detect for you...

    Also price is kinda high unless this car is a knockout. This is a dealer retail price. More like about $4,500 sounds more than generous presuming no problems. Deduct for any mechanical defects found.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • easman61easman61 Posts: 28
    The seller just spent a $1000 on a brand new air conditioner for the car. That is the reason for the high price. They will keep the car if forced to sell for less. I thought this car has a timing chain - not a belt. Does the chain have to be changed like a belt?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,347
    no, chain doesn't need replacement like a belt.

    Fixing the AC doesn't add value to the car. Cars are supposed to have working AC, that's not an "extra". If you have a $5,000 car and put a $5,000 new motor in it, it's still worth $5,000, not 10K.

    Well if the car passes the inspection with flying colors, there's certainly no harm in paying $500 over private party retail for it...but it had better not have anything significant wrong with it. Sounds like a car worth spending $100 bucks on to have professionally assessed.

    If you like it and it checks out ok, go for it.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • phildeezphildeez Posts: 1
    Just bought this car a few months back and I need to change the brakes. I am in the transition of moving so a lot of my tools are packed away. Just curious what tools or any special tools I'll need to change these brakes. Also any helpful hints would be appreciated. It's been awhile since I've changed brakes on a car and it always seems like once you're ready to get started you're missing some damn tool.
  • i have factory fog lights on the car .the bulb just blew .i want to replace it .the original calls for a 55w can i put in a larger 100w bulb or will i do damage
  • just_philjust_phil Posts: 86
    Fronts or rears? Just the pads or the rotors too?

    For the fronts, you would need a socket (I think 14mm) and a ratchet, a piece of wire to hang your caliper, and a c-clamp, to compress the piston into the caliper. You would also need some brake cleaner, a wire brush, new shims or anti-squeal compound and high-temp caliper pin grease(a brake hardware kit from the dealer is best, since it will have the last three items).

    Make sure you have enough light, do not rush, clean and re-grease the caliper pin properly (not too much grease), do not yank on the brake line, and please, please, if you have not done so, get a copy of Chilton's or Haynes' manual - they can be found for cheap on eBay.

    If you do the rears, you would need a tool to screw the piston back into the caliper - do not try to compress these with a c-clamp.

    If you want to remove the rotors, you would need another socket, I think 17mm for the front. Also, you would probably need a couple of bolts (don't remember the exact size) to pop the rotor off the spindle.

    If you really, really need the details (i.e. socket sizes, torque for the bolts), let me know, I can try and look them up. Or just search the web.

    And remember, they are YOUR brakes! Good luck!
  • just_philjust_phil Posts: 86
    I suspect that you would blow the fuse, if you went with 100w. Even if you don't, you will risk melting the plastic housing. Finally, you will be blinding the oncoming cars - not a desired thing to do.

    I know, these 55w bulbs are sometimes out of stock, but you can find them - they are not THAT rare. I used to go through them at a rate of one every 6 months. Then I discovered that if I put a little rubber-safe grease on the rubber gasket, the bulbs don't blow anymore. I guess the condensation gets in and ... boom.
  • thanx
    i will try that.found the bulb but like you say they do need to be changed frequently.

    i think i need to change my radiator is there a rapid sure fire way to test it. the car heats up ,the gauge stays in the middle but when i exit the vehicle i smell steam.
  • just_philjust_phil Posts: 86
    I've never diagnosed a heating system before, try to look under the hood, maybe you will see the antifreeze leaking somewhere. On my wife's Altima, the upper hose was not tighetened properly, and a little bit of coolant was spraying on the heat shield, making that sweet smell you are mentioning.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I also have a 1998 Maxima SE with about 121k miles on it and there is no steering wheel shake. I am suspecting that you are getting vibration from your front axles/CV joints. It is not uncommon to see that after about 100k miles. I had that issue with another car at very low mileage. Does the vibration increase during heavy acceleration?

    As far as balancing your tires go, you should take the to a place that can do a road force test on them to see if the tires have a loose belt or are out of round.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I had to clean the EGR passages in the intake manifold on my 98 Mazda 626 V6. On that car the passages are just behind the throttle body , so you only need to remove the throttle body to get to the passages. They were completely clogged with carbon. I did not have that problem with my 98 Maxima SE with 121K miles yet, and the dealer said that these problems are not that common with Maximas.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Be careful what you wish for. :) There is a number of complaints with VW vehicles where seat heaters burnt right through the seat covers and even scorched the behind of several unlucky drivers! Better slow heating than a burnt butt!
  • joew6969joew6969 Posts: 4
    I own a 2006 Maxima. I have taken it to the dealer 3 times in 2 weeks for a vibration problem. This occurs at speeds above 75 mph, in crosswinds and when a tractor-trailer passes. They road forced balanced all 4 wheels the 1st service. Second time they said a lug nut was missing. They replaced it and balanced the wheel. Third time they put all new wheels and tires on the car and it still has the vibration. The problem is that between 75 and 90 mph the problem is intermittent. At 90-100mph it vibrates continuously. You can feel it in the steering wheel and the seat of your pants. ANY SUGGESTIONS????
  • Has anyone had a problem with smelling fuel when first starting? I'm wondering if it's a problem with my injectors or something entirley different Anybody had this problem?
  • easman61easman61 Posts: 28
    I just bought this car for my son and when driving it home last night I noticed that there are no lights on the heating and cooling system. I had to turn the dome light on in order to see the controls. I'm assuming a bulb or a fuse is bad. Am I supposed to have lights? The original Bose stereo deck has been replaced by an aftermarket unit. Could this be part of my problem. Thanks.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Yes. I would check the axles/CV joints for vibration. I think Nissan went cheap with CV joints several years ago. Have them lift the car, start the engine, place in gear and watch the axles/CV joints for vibration.

    BTW, bad inner CV joints typically cause vibration on hard acceleration. Outer joints can also contribute to virabraiton at high speeds. The axle shafts also could be bent or out of balance.

    What itres are on this vehicle? Was the vibration level the same after they repalced the tires? No change at all?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Good advice, just want the add the following: For the rear caliper pistons, you will need a special tool set. Auto Zone rents these sets for free. Also, for lubing the caliper sliding pins, AutoAone sells small packets of caliper pin rease. It is a high melting point grease.
  • joew6969joew6969 Posts: 4
    I am the owner of a 2006 Maxima SL and had a vibration at 70-100 mph. I had the tires road forced balanced, didn't work. The dealer even replaced my tires and wheels, didn't help. The car only had 1,250 miles on it. I talked with friends at work who are mechanically inclined and one friend suggested taking the front end cover (bra) off. I did that and my problem was SOLVED. The bra changed the aerodynamics of the car and caused it to vibrate. Just in case you are wondering, the bra was the factory one and it WAS installed properly.
  • joew6969joew6969 Posts: 4
    I own a 2006 Maxima SL. It developed a serious vibration anywhere from 70-100 mph. Had the tires road forced balanced, no help. The dealer even gave me brand new tires and wheels off of another vehicle on the lot, that didn't work. A friend at work suggested removing the front end cover (bra). PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE VIBRATION!!!!!!! The bra was the factory one and it was installed properly. It changes the aerodynamics of the car and causes the vibrations. Try an invisible bra. More expensive but worth it, plus it looks better.
  • tdk930tdk930 Posts: 4
    I too have a 2000 maxima. It has 95K miles and...Service Engine Soon, TCS Off, and Slip lights are all came on today. Is there any way to know what coil is the problem? Could it be the plugs? How did you fix this? Will the codes clear on their own? I need help with the same problem.
  • tdk930tdk930 Posts: 4
    How did you fix this? Same thing happened to me today with my 2000 Maxima.
  • myr adiator might be bad .when i exit the vehicle i smell steam .the radiator seems to have anti freeze along the top when i looked under the hood after my drive . the tempertur indicator does not go all the way up to hot so i dont know if the radiator is GONE or going or if its the hoses ...
  • uwestefuwestef Posts: 2
    I have a similar problem on my '98 maxima. The engine gets started but shut off right after starting. This happens only when the engine is cold, but could happen any time of the day.

    What's interesting is this:
    Yesterday when I could not get the engine started, I pulled the fuel pump fuse and then I was able to start the engine without the fuse on. Then I turned the engine off and put back the fuse, I tried to start the engine and it actualy started! I tried the same thing today and it worked too.

    I could not figure out why it does this but I am sure this would help to narrow down the causes of the problem. Could anybody please help to explain this and provide advise how to fix the issue?

    FYI. I went to Autozone to use its diagnostics but it showed everything was fine.
  • walter3rdwalter3rd Posts: 12
    I own a 2000 Maxima GXE with 115k miles on it. It's been serviced exclusively at the dealership. I get an oil change every 5k miles and "major" service every 30k. However, the dealership constantly tries to upsell me on what they call "routine" services. I've bitten on these in the past, but recently my radiator needed to be replaced for almost $800. This, after having taken the dealership's advice to get the radiator flushed a while back. It leaves me wondering if I should just let stuff break and then get it fixed. Here's specifically what they try to sell me on regular intervals:

    Transmission flush: $160
    Clean throttle body: $90
    Clean fuel injectors: $130
    Brake fluid flush: $110

    Can someone please give me guidance on whether these items need to be done and how often?

    I'm wondering if the throttle body and fuel injectors, for example, really need to be serviced regularly, or if I can just wait until there is a problem (if ever).

  • ichanged the radiator but now the "service engine soon" light is staying on.any ideas how i can reset it without a computerand will it keep coming back on
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Dealerships typically take people who are mechanically not very inclined, for a "ride". Especially when they see that somebody is willing to pay anything it takes to do maintenance by the book. Here is my take on this:

    I have been doing my own maintenance on my '98 Maxima SE 5 speed with 122k miles. I change oil every 3K miles, and use Nissan oil filters. I change coolant in the radiator every 30k miles. I replace the brake fluid and clutch fluid about every 2 years now, although I did not do it for the first 5 years or so. I also replaced the original transmission oil at 80K miles with Redline synthetic MT-90 lubricant.

    I have looked inside the throttle body only once and did not see much carbon deposits there. One area to look for are the EGR valve passages in the intake manifold past the throttle body. They may get clogged with carbon after a long time and negatively affect the EGR system operation. However, this does not happen often on these cars.

    As far as injector cleaning, I have never had that done. Instead, I use good brand premium fuel, and a bottle Chevron Techron fuel injector cleaner in the gas tank every 4-5k miles. Seem to work well. No injector issues to date.

    If you have an auto tranmission, changing the fluid and filter every 30k would be appropriate for the best results. I would not bother with flushing.

    My local Nissan dealer fees for service work are high. Even though they do good work, paying $ 500 to install a pair of $ 15 exhaust manifold gaskets on a V6 engine seems outrageous. As is charging $ 400 to grease a 4 WD Nissan pickup front hubs. These were the estimates they gave me.
  • tylercn1tylercn1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 SE with 97k on it. It has a 5 speed Manual transmission. Just noticed that in 3rd and 4th gear as I hit 3500 rpm the car start to hesitate and as it gets to 4500 rpm the engine cuts almost as if I redlined the car.
    I have tried revving the engine during idle and there are no problems at all.
    Anyone have any idea what might be causing this?
  • warrenulwarrenul Posts: 50
    I recently notice that my left side rear pads were dragging and wore the pads down. Upon disassembly, I noticed that the brake pad was not properly aligned in the piston groove and that there was a slight residue on the piston that may have also hindered its retraction into the caliper. I used a little liquid penetrant and flushed it out with clean brake fluid. Its seems to have subsided for now, and hope it does not occur again.

    Inspection of the Caliper Pins indicated that they were greased and operating properly.

    I was not looking to rebuild the caliper at this time. However, should I go back in and coat the piston with caliper grease or use liquid silicon brake spray?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    PS If the rear rotor retracts only by turning it in clockwise, how is it that it relieves the pressure from the piston to the pad?
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