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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • The Maxima is definitely to much power for an inexperienced driver. Also, you need to use premium fuel per owners manual, but I suspect most folks do not. I have both vehicles and the Altima should be fine for her.
  • If anyone else is having paint chipping problems on their 2000-2002 Maxima,as I and many other 5th generation Maxima owners are, there may be help out there for us. I am a member of and have found a website for Maxima owners to register their paint problem complaints; the site is site is NOT a Nissan owned site it was started by a Maxima owner that is experiencing severe paint chipping and just got fed up with the problem. If there are enough complaints filed by Maxima owners maybe Nissan will provide repairs or reimbursement for paint problems that owners have paid for themselves.
    There are obviously no guarantee that Nissan will admit to this problem but if the consumer yells loud enough someone is bound to hear!! There is strength in numbers so if you are disgusted with an expensive car built by a manufacturer that makes claims about quality and reliability visit the site and fill out the form. The person that set up this site works for a Nissan dealer and has a Nissan rep contact he is using to funnel the complaints back to Nissan Corp.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    guiduan - I have a 2001 GLE, and have no such noises coming from the tires. Check with your dealer.
  • Thanks everybody for your input. I think we'll be going with the Altima, probably a '97.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Does anyone have this problem? I have the auto temp on my 2K1 max se and anytime the fan goes to the highest level, it makes this vibrating noise. Sounds like an airplane engine when they're doing their pre-flight checks.
  • jmaxejmaxe Posts: 198
    I have a similar problem on my 2K1 GLE. At the highest fan speed it sounds like paper flapping against the fan.
  • gtspecgtspec Posts: 55
    wlee8 - I just tried with a full tank of Sunnoco Ultra 94 (94 octane) fuel last week, and the slight steering wheel vibration is still there (no improvement). Well, I guess I would have to bring it to the dealer on my next scheduled maintainence at 4000 miles. Right now the car is at 1700 miles without any problem besides the slight steering wheel vibration. Love the POWER of a VQ engine!!!

    By the way, I had notice a paint chip on the hood last week while washing the car. I guess I'll keep an eye on how many paint chips I'll get within a year. 1 paint chip for 4 months of driving is not too bad I guess consider I only have 1700 miles on it. I'll goto the suggested website ( to file a complain to Nissan once I get enough paint chips on it : (
  • its probably the fan motor. I have a 2K and mine makes a squeeking noise on low and 2 speed. I have read that many Maximas have probems with noisy fan motors..well later ones anyways I dont know about pre 2K cars.
    People have had the fan motors replaced for the squeeking probem like I have with my car but the noise has returned after about a year or so; the motor brushes are lousy on OEM motors. I am searching for another type of motor that will fit my car.
  • I own a 1993 Maxima GXE with 75K miles. I am totally impressed with this car, it's options, and reliability. I have several minor problems that I would like advice on:

    1. Noisy rear brakes.
    Especially when cold I get excessive brake squeal. A Nissan mechanic told me this is normal for maxima's. Is this true? I believe the rear brakes are drum (the brake shoes were fine).

    2. Windows going down (when pushing up on console)
    This one is weird. I use the driver's console to raise any window other than my own, the window goes down further. BUT, the control on the door itself works and will take the window up. Is this a ground problem on my console? modules?
    The problem is sporatic.

    3. Lower(?) engine idle.
    Air filter ok. Just changed the spark plugs, still no improvement. O2 sensor? Exhaust flow is not even (puff's irregularly), which lead me to replace the spark plugs.

    4. Security system (don't know code)
    (inherited the vehicle from wife's grandmother). Can a dealership reset the console? Or could I possibly do it myself?

    5. Bose Stereo: No power to radio and display does not illuminate. I think this is a cracked circuit board, but I wanted to know if anyone has had similar problems.

    6. Just today: Driver's side door will not unlock. It's stuck in the lock position and I have to crawl through the passenger side to get in.

    Other than 6, which will be fixed ASAP, these problems are just annoyances. The car runs like a champ and is extremely reliable.

    One more question. How does the outside temperature sensor in my car work? Where is the sensor located?


  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    of throttle body clearner with a toothbrush and wipe clean you'll have to do this repeatedly yet it works quite well
  • teg12teg12 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Maxima with about 33,000 miles on it. For the past 18 months I have had a fluttering noise when my fan (or air conditioner or heat) is on low. It is a high pitched noise. It is a little louder when I turn the car to the left. Last year, the dealership replaced the fan motor. This year they claimed it was leaves in the fan motor, and cleaned it. The next quiet day, I heard the sound again. I am taking the car in in a few weeks to have it looked at again and I have contacted Nissan corporate to see if they can help. They will have a technician available for my local dealer to call. But, I am looking for ideas. Can the steering rub against the fan motor, causing a harmonic noise? Is it the fan motor? Any ideas?
  • wdoranwdoran Posts: 31
    The most likely problem is stuck door latch, requires dealer to break latch by inserting a screwdriver down window openning. He than must replace latch. I have same problem in passenger door. Estimate to fix $200-250
  • I also have had the same problem with my 2000 SE. In my case, running the HVAC on the one fan blade made a high pitched noise that clearly stopped (you could hear it slow down and then stop) when you shut off the HVAC.

    It was almost as if it was hitting something inside the motor (or the fan blade itself).

    Dealer replaced the "blower motor and fan" part #27220-2Y900 at 47,964 miles.

    The exact same thing happened at 76,722 miles and was replaced again by the dealer at no charge.

    I think it's a defect in the design that is caused by the fact the over 98% of the time it's on, my fan is always on the one fan blade speed and it just wears out.

    I'm up to 81,000 miles now and this is the only real issue I've had with the car.
  • I have begun to have difficulty with the ignition switch on my 95 GXE Max and I am interested if anyone else has experienced this. About 1 out of 4 times, the key will not work without jiggling
    extensively. The dealer suggested replacing it ($350). Lubricant (liquid graphite) has not helped. I feel it may be related to the security interlock system (shifter, locks, etc). and an adjustment of some kind might do the job.
    Also, although reliability has been superb overall, repairs in general seem to be expensive at the dealer. A friend with a Volvo (notoriously high) had an ignition switch replaced for $250. Comments?
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I've got a 2000 SE, loaded, auto, 28K miles. My one big complaint is the tranny. It sure seems to hunt for gears, especially when taking off slowly and then punching it. It's like it's already in 2nd gear when going like 5mph. You can be inching out from stop sign, or pulling out in front of somebody, you take a corner and put the pedal down and it's a full second of nothing, then it drops down to what feels like passing gear and goes like hell. This happen to others? Also, I've got a K&N filter in and it didn't seem to do anything. The car is lame off the start and needs to hit 3000 rpm's before it feels like it's got any kind of balls. I test drove an 02 Altima with the "auto stick" and this car would KILL my 00 Max. I know it's 240HP vs 222HP, but it wasn't even funny. I do like my car, but it's also got lots of creaks and rattles on the interior, especially in the center underneath the radio and in the rear deck lid area. My seat seems to have something loose on the inside too as it makes noise around corners, like something is shifting back and forth inside, butt warmer works good though.
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    Is $350 real?

    Where is this ? Manhattan??
  • Hey I haven't gone to the dealer yet but I was wondering if i can go to any dealer I want near my house. That's because I bought my Maxima pretty far from my house. And I need wheel alignment. I can't believe that my new Maxima is not aligned... very disppointed. Anyway, I asked around people and asked them to touch and feel my steering wheel and they said it is normal. They said they can't feel the vibration- but I do. And they are saying since it's no Lexus, so I shouldn't expect a perfection. They don't think dealer will do anything.

    Hey one last question, is the scheduled maintenance (i.e. 4000 mi.) free? Or do I have to pay? Because I rather get my wheel alignment during my scheduled maintenance if it is free. Thanks a lot! Sorry for not visiting the forum often!
  • I have a question! On a 1995 Nissan Maxima SE, does anybody know if the ink on the buttons that say Auto, Econ, Def, Mode and the temprature up and down, do these buttons light up at night when you turn the lights on. My stereo lights do and the hazard lights do but the rear window defrost, and all the heater control lights will not light up. The LCD display for temprature and fan speed lights up fine and dim's with the dimmer, but the lights on buttons will not. If anybody has an answer to my question please write back.
    Thanks in advance
  • The heater control lights on my 93 GXE light up. Although some are becoming dimmer than others. If the buttoms rely on fiber optic cable (not sure) and there is a crack, the light intensity would decrease I'm sure.


    P.S. wdoran, Thanks for the tip about the latch. I hope to get it looked at this weekend and will post back.
  • gtspecgtspec Posts: 55
    I haven't gone to the dealer either! I think if it's something under warranty that's broken, then any authorized Nissan dealer should take care of it. I didn't feel any vibration on my brother's 1992 Mazda 929 (133,000 miles), nor on my previous 1995 Mazda Millenia-S (80,000 miles). Even though Maxima is not a Lexus there shouldn't be any steering wheel vibration coming from one of the "world's best top 10 V6 engines" (the VQ engine). It's suppose to be silky smooth, isn't it???

    No, the scheduled services are not FREE (unless you cut a deal with the dealer when you purchased the Maxima). I did my first service (Just oil and oil filter change, cost me $25 after tax) at 1,000 miles, and the next one will be at 4,000 miles (the SE is now at 1,750 miles). Hope you can get some input from the dealer about the "steering wheel vibration" when you go do the service! Please let me know, thanks : )
  • You know what... I just felt 2002 Acura CL Type S and it vibrates stronger than my Maxima. So I don't think it's a big problem for us, gtspec. I think we are just too anal. My friend has 2001 Lexus is300 so I am gonna feel that soon and tell you how it is.

    Also, can you tell me the mileage limit for warranty? The one that covers bumper to bumper? The one taht I can bring my car to dealer for whatever reason? Is it 1000? Thanks

    P.S.* Where do you reside? I live in SF
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    You need wheel alignment only if the car pulls to one side - vibration, on the other hand is not caused by misalignment. I would check if the wheels are balanced.
  • Issomlai --- I owned a 94 GXE for several years. Regarding the squeaking rear brakes, that's what mine did too. Regarding the security system code (I presume that you're talking about the touch key pad system on the outside doors), you can undo the screws and remove the glove box. The control module for the system is there and has the original reset code labled on it. Using this code,follow the directions in the owner's manual to reset the system to a code of your choosing.
  • I own a 1991 Maxima SE. for which I paid a lot of money for the "Bose Sound" (How stupid of me)

    Well, what I got for my money (about $3,000) because I had to buy all the other options plus the Bose ($980,) was a rear deck that buzzes when the center mounted sub woofer comes into play.

    That is, when a low bass note is heard, the sub woofer comes alive and the whole rear deck buzzes like mad coloring the sound and it makes you hold your breath in anticipation of the buzz.

    I took it to the dealer where I purchased it, in Westchester, NY (GEIS) and all they did was to replace the sub woofer (10 min job) and put some foam under the mounting plate, which made no difference at all and I told them it would not work.

    They then refused to do anything about the rear deck. They even refused to take the cover off in order to look for contact points. Their answer was: "We did all we can do for you."

    Nissan USA was of absolutely no help either.

    I demanded for an appointment with their zone rep (how naive of me) who came in and just listened to the car but did absolutely nothing about it as well. He must have had a bad day of too many complaints, I guess

    He agreed about the buzzing sound but his answer was that is the "characteristic of the car" and is refusing to do anything else for me. Lower your volume alittle, try a different CD!!!

    To me it means that "Characteristic" = "Badly designed sound absorbtion materials around the subwoofer."

    But the mention of a "design defect" is a no-no to Nissan.

    We also tested other models as well on the lot: 2000, 2001 and 2002 and they ALL make the same noises more or less, which proved to me it is a badly designed enclosure all around.

    Interestingly, the redesigned Altima sounds fine with the same cd's.

    I don't know how the hell they tested this when they designed the vehicle. They nust have been playing violins or something similar when they tested it.

    What is mostly irritating is the refusal on Nissan's part to accept responsibility for the problem and that they just drop you like a hot potato.

    I suppose they don't want to have to recall 3 years worth of faulty Maximas.

    They also claim that they "never heard of this problem"

    I am posting this message hoping that others suffer as well. If you do, please start pressuring Nissan to do something about this obvious problem. They will not respond to a few complainers but they will respond to many. The last thing they need is bad publicity about their flagship car

    If the word goes around they will jump to it.

    The repair is real simple. All you need is sound absorbing material under the rear deck. Not a rocket science!

    Stay tuned. We are not done yet. I am willing to pursue this to the bitter end.

    They just don't know it yet. And to think I traded my Camry for this crap because I wanted the BOSE SOUND!!!
  • I've got a 2001 SE, automatic, purchased at the end of August '01. I've got the comfort and Convinience package and the car is gray lustre / charcoal. I paid $24,000 (American) before tax.
    The car is running great, gas mileage has been between 17.5 and 22.5/gal. probably because my driving is stop sign to stop light mostly. I do not like the 1st to second shift as it lags between gears and I believe that that affects accelaration. Accelaration is good however - I would guess around 7.5 seconds zero to 60. I get a minor "thump" under moderate to hard acceleration form a dead stop and from accelerating hard from low speed - feels like motor mounts. Dealer service said "inherent with the car - there was another case and nothing alievieted the thump". This does not seem a big deal at all. I have no vibration whatsoever in the steering wheel at idle. The engine is truly smooth and has a refined sound out the exhaust.
    Accelaration is real good after 3500 RPMs. Passing from anywhere between 50 and 80 MPH is just effortless, (peak torque @ 4000 RPMs). The car stops well from any speed - the pedal feel is good and not spongey. The brakes start to grap with slight application of the pedal. The car handles very well at normal speeds. This car is fun to drive.
    The paint is not good. Many chips in the paint, mostly on the hood. I am concerned about this. This could be a problen when I decide to sell in 5 or 6 years. The paint chips range in size from less than 1/16" to a little less than 1/8". NOT COOL.
    I have no noticable sqeaks or rattles inside the car. The fit and finish are very good, in & out. IMO, the only improvements could have been in lighting the sunroof controls, adding rear A/C vents and moving the side view mirror controls to the driver's door so that you don't have to move forward to adjust. Perhaps also better or adjustable lateral support for the front seats.
    Just my opinion.
  • We own a 2000 Maxima SE w/5sp. Love the car, but there are some annoyances:

    1. The paint (sterling mist) is super soft. It chips really easily. We have tons on dings on the doors and fron bumper. I tried to touch it up with the Nissan touch-up pen, but now it looks even worse, as the paint from the pen doesn't blend in. Hopefully detailing will take care of it, if not, may have to bring the car to a body shop.

    2. The clutch is not user friendly. Especially in 1st gear, the clutch is hard to work, it can make you look like a 5 speed amateur (which I am not). Apparently, the folks at Motortrend experienced the same issue in their one year test. It is great that Nissan caters to the manual tranny crowd with the Maxima and Altima (and soon the Infinity G35), but why can't they put in better clutches and transmissions??? (Apparently the 6 sp. in the Sentra SE-R is a disaster as well)

    3. We had some brakes issues. After driving the car thorugh the desert in 110 degrees for a couple of hours, the front brakes started to make uncomfortable noises. We took it to the dealer rightaway and they replaced the brakes pads under warrenty. Apparently, this is known problem in extreme heat.

    The car is an absolute blast to drive, though. If Nissan just took care of these simple issues....
  • GinBn,

    Thanks for the input in the Maxima sound problems frorum.

    Unfortunately the forum is now Read only.

    I was wondering if you could describe what Dynomat is and where can I get it.

    Not familiar with it.

  • gtspecgtspec Posts: 55
    jaepil - I'm suprise that an 2002 Acura CL's steering wheel will vibration at idling speed, hmm... I guess we are just too anal about out Maximas (afterall it's our own car and not just another car on the dealer lot).

    The Nissan warranty are "Bumper-to-bumper" for 3 years or 36,000 miles, and the "Drivetrain (engine & transmission)" for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

    Let me know after you "feel" the Lexus IS300's steering wheel. By the way, I'm in Queens, NY.
  • ilitilit Posts: 71
    My Infinity I35, which is similar to I30 or Maxima 2000 and later in the design of the rear deck where the bass mounted to, had this problem and was fixed. When I talked with the mechanic I learned that there is a TB against this problem. So don't worry if your rear deck, where the bass mounted, buzzling or rattling; just take it to a dealership, they'll fix it.
  • There used to be a board just for this problem (now read-only); any of you guys still out there? Briefly, the problem and TSB are that the engine computer cuts off fuel below 1800 or 2800 rpm, depending on who you ask, and gives a sudden surge of fuel as you ease on the throttle from idle. Makes it very hard to start off smoothly and causes other problems as well.

    Now for my question: once the reprogramming of the computer is done, is it really permanent? Mine has been reprogrammed twice and each time the car seemed noticeably better. Only for a few weeks, however. I'm wondering if the computer can lose the reprogramming and default to the original. I had a problem with the sunroof programming also, and recently had it reprogrammed for the second time. Mechanic thought the battery had been disconnected (it hadn't), but even if that would cause the sunroof to screw up, I can't believe the main ECM could be that way. Could it? Aside from being a pain in the butt, what happens when I'm out of warranty? I don't mind having to reprogram the radio, but this other stuff is unbelievable! My dealer gives me the classic blowoff on this type of thing.
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