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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • There's a transmission dipstick to the right of the engine cover. The dipstick may have a lock you have to disengage but the posted link below should help you. Just go to pg 212 of the pdf.

    2004 Maxima Owners Manual
  • car4youcar4you Posts: 36
    I have a 1996 Nissan Maxima. I was in an accident and the other car hit my rear driver side tire. The axle looks bent. Does anyone know how they repair and at what it would cost? I searched repair but did not see anything similar.

  • unpdblunpdbl Posts: 7
    I am wondering where to get a rear caliper compressing tool. Was told Harbor Freight Tools has one for $30.00 But nowhere on their website page does it say for Nissan. Lists a ton of other makes. Also, can it be found cheaper. Maybe I am searching for this under an improper title. Already have a C-clamp. Dealer wanted over $400.00 to do the job. Yea right, no way! I got Duralast semi-metallic Gold Pads for $30.00 for a pair & Durabrand Rotors for $25.00 a piece at Autozone. I want to do the job right & it will be my first time on this particular car. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Think I have everything accept this special tool everyone is telling me to get. Thanking all in advance, Bill
  • just_philjust_phil Posts: 86
    This is not a clamp, because you don't compress the rear pistons in - you screw them in. You could use thinnose pliers in a pinch, but there's a tool. It looks like a cube that fits directly on a ratchet. On each surface of the cube there are pairs of protrusions of different form, designed to fit dimples on different calipers. I'll try to find a picture later. It shouln't be more than $10.
  • caugncaugn Posts: 30
    In the past couple of weeks I've had some difficulty starting my 97 maxima when it's warm. At first I thought it was the starter going, because it sounded like the starter was spinning and not catching. Today, however, it started the same way and then turned over for a long time before finally firing and it didn't want to stay running. Once I got it going it ran fine. Might this be the ignition coils or something else? The car has 167,00 miles and as far as I know everything except the alternator is orginal.
  • unpdblunpdbl Posts: 7
    Phil, Just wanted to Thank you for the info & great pic. I have seen this before, so now I know what I need to get. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks again! Bill
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 918
    Has the insurance agent looked at it and given you an estimate?

    Make sure there's no frame damage. On a car that old, frame damage might be grounds for calling it totalled. Happened to me with my Stanza a long time ago.

    We just changed the muffler on our 2000 Maxima GLE. Over the years, we've done just about everything - changed ignition coils, oxygen sensor, etc. All said and done, it's been a great car for us and we're hoping to get 200,000 miles out of it. It's just south of 100,000 now.

    With regular maintenance and fixing problems as they come up, we haven't really had any major issues.
  • I have a 2000 Maxima. The clutch appears to slip when I floor it while driving on the freeway in 4th or 5th gear at 65 miles an hour. I had a new clutch, T.O. bearing, flywheel, and slave cylinder installed less than a year ago. At most, I have around 8500 miles on the new clutch set up. The clutch appears to work fine in 1-3 gears. Any ideas on what would cause this?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Yep you need another clutch and/or pressure plate. A bad clutch is much more likely to slip in the higher gears.

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  • I'm looking at a used 1995 Nissan Maxima (not sure which version, but not the SE) with 95k miles on it for $2999. What are some things I should check for when looking it over? Any problem areas I should look at?
  • t2029t2029 Posts: 8
    Hi stermen,

    Does your Maxima make that buzzing noise only once or frequently after you turn it off? I have 2003 Acura TL making a buzzing noise every 5 minutes when it's off. Just want to see if any similar posting. How do you fix your problem? Thanks.

  • ldc5ldc5 Posts: 4
    Thank you. I assume you mean the harnes & connector leading from each oxygen sensor all the back to the ECM?....another question, do you have an opinion on if Haynes manual for this car has sufficient detail, or should I invest in the shop manual?
  • stermenstermen Posts: 10

    My Maxima makes the noise only once when I turn the engine off. It also makes the noise while the car is running every time the RPMs cross (going up and going down) 1000. So I hear it while I am in traffic. I did not get it repaired yet. When I had my car in for service at the nissan dealer they told me they would charge me $90 to diagnose and that it was probably a bad valve. They asked me if I was stalling, but I am not. It does feel like the engine is not running as smooth. I didn't let them diagnose since I felt that was ripoff considering the money I have spent there in the past.

  • t2029t2029 Posts: 8
    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for your reply and it sounds like my TL's noise is pretty unique. I owned 85, 88, 92, and 01 Maxima and they never gave me any major problem. I chose TL that year because they just redesigned the Maxima and the price went up to something like 28k. [non-permissible content removed] luck on your car.

  • ccmbduong1ccmbduong1 Posts: 49
    Anyone knows if 1997 Maxima has cabin air filter? and how to change it?

  • just_philjust_phil Posts: 86
    Mine didn't have, and I'm pretty sure it was not an option until '98 or '99.
  • mdefeomdefeo Posts: 1
    I have an 01 20th anniversary Maxima. I have black (so called) leather interior. It just so happens that they lied about it being leather. The part you sit on is leather fabric. The parts surrounding the leather is vinyl and at around 4 or 5 years old the vinyl started cracking and coming apart on the drivers seat. I have yet to find a recall on this subject so your on your own to fix it.
    The most expensive catalytic converter went out on the car at 118k and it cost over 1100 dollars to fix it, because there is no aftermarket replacement for it.
    At three years old the auto trans shifter locked up and Nissan wouldnt replace it, at the same time the steering knuckle on the passenger side gave out. It cost me 575 to replace the shifter and another 400 for the steering knuckle.
    After all that I still love my car.....I just dont like Nissan support.
  • ecd1974ecd1974 Posts: 5

    My dealer is considering this rust issue to be of "natural causes", and NOT by a manufacturer's defect. Nissan repaired it the first time at no cost as a "goodwill gesture", according to the service manager (first time I have heard this and I've been dealing with this for over a year - talk about making things up to sway a situation in their favor!). The service manager also informed me that the decision on the cause of the problem being "natural causes" was the dealership's decision (not Nissan's). They know that the problem is the result of the gap between the door and the trim being too wide, allowing road debris to hit the paint head-on, sanding the paint off. I did not design this car, and shouldn't be held liable for repairs of problems that I did not directly cause and could not have reasonably prevented.

    The first repair did nothing to prevent a recurrence of the problem, and now I am stuck dealing with a bad situation that I did not directly create. It was mentioned to me by the service manager that clear plastic film could have been placed over the area during the first repair. When I questioned him as to why this was not done, he said that it was not spelled out in the procedure that Nissan dictates they perform. Once again, this is not my problem. I consider this a failure on their part, and now the recurrence of the rust and the repair are going to cost me?!? I am thinking about going to arbitration with this issue. It's hard for me to accept paying for someone else's incompetence and/or mistakes.
  • alexstorealexstore Posts: 264
    can you post a pic of a location of a rust on your car.
  • scorched03scorched03 Posts: 4
    have a 98 maxima w/ 130000 miles. kbb is around 4-5.5K. dealer is wanting 800-1.2K to replace the ECU, which was damaged by windshield crack or leak. sucks, but there was a leak and it rained real hard recently and got the front floormats wet, which i assume shorted the ECU when I turned the car back on. given that, i dunno what i should do: replace it or not.

    see very little on replacing ECUs. does it cause any further damage if replaced? is it worth it to replace?

    as is, the car stalls, smokes, and basically is undrivable, lucky to just move it a mile to the dealership. but does fixing the ecu guarantee all the stalling/smoking is fixed?
  • caugncaugn Posts: 30
    I have a 97 Maxima with 170000 miles. It has started to run hot but not quite to the point of over heating. It does this when the temperature is above 85 degrees, I'm driving under 40 mph and the A/C is running. I've checked and both radiator fans are working. Any suggestions as to what to check next, or what the issue may be?
  • just_philjust_phil Posts: 86
    Assuming you have the correct coolant level, I would check the thermostat. It's fairly easy to test, and it's cheap to replace.
  • just_philjust_phil Posts: 86
    I can't tell whether a new ECU will fix the problem, but you probably want to avoid paying dealer this much money. Get a used one from a salvage yard, and either put it in yourself, or pay a mechanic or a mechanically inclined friend to do it. The salvage yard price is between 150 and 300, just be aware that there are many versions: for manual/auto transmission, federal/CA exhaust, build date, etc. Check this web site Also, there's a Maxima enthusiasts web site, where people often part out their totaled vehicles.
  • Hey Larry, it sounds like you have a problem with the brake light switch. Thats one of the safety features so that you can't shift out of park w/o the brake being applied.
  • I recently noticed that the engine of my '99 Maxima SE/Automatic with 41,000 miles hesitates/runs rough after being started in the morning. The "Check Engine" light has not come on and I checked to see if there were any fault codes stored and the only code found was "0505". The idle speed does fluctuate somewhat when coming to a stop. It feels like the engine is misfiring. When started and driven later in the day, the car drives fine. Also, all 6 ignition coils were replaced at 30,000 miles.

    I have also noticed a whining noise which appears to be coming from the left-front wheel, when slowing down (below about 5 mph). The CV joint boots appear to be fine.

    When applying the brakes firmly, a noise is heard from both front and rear brakes when the pedal is released. The front and rear pads appear to be okay.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be causing these problems?

    Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated.
  • jbrock718jbrock718 Posts: 5
    Does anyone know anyhting about or have experience with these brands of ignition coils; Himitzu or Airtex? I can't find anything on the Himitzu brand.

    I saw them on, the Himitzu are ~37$ each and the Airtex ~$51 each. Much cheaper than the Nissan branded parts ~$69 each.

    FYI--getting coils for my 2000 Maxima GXE.
  • adis2048adis2048 Posts: 1
    ive got a 07 maxima and the [non-permissible content removed] has a simalar problem once i start the car and everything is going good and then the RPM gets to 1000 and i hear a squeak in the engine, to me it sounds like a bird is trapped in the engine, then i rev the engine a bit just so it could go up to 1250 RPM and i hear the squeak when it goes over 1000RPM and when the RPM goes back to idle and goes below 1000 RPM i hear the squeak again. is it the same problem as you and if you think it is how much does that valve cost.
  • dustyldustyl Posts: 1
    I was unable to start my car after work today. It won't turn over. There is a clicking noise by the fuse panel inside the vehicle when I try to start it. There is power to the car to run the windows, radio, etc. I replaced the starter about 2 years ago. I checked the fuses but they seemed ok. Is there something wrong the ignition or electrical problem?
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 918
    Is this the right topic for this?

    We just got a flat on the freeway, put on the doughnut spare, and decided to stay in a hotel overnight rather than continue driving in the dark, since we can't drive very fast or very far on the doughnut.

    Any particular tire recommendations for a 2000 GLE? We've got Faulkens on now and they don't seem to last very long.

    We're hoping to be able to find a service station tomorrow a.m. that can plug up the flat, but we were on the verge of needing new tires anyway so probably will be replacing them all once we limp back home.

    Would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations.
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