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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • Surprise surprise.

    Even though Nissan claimed there was nothing they could do for me, I notified them that I will be porting my complain in here so they get bad publicity at least.

    Guess what . I received a cal from the deler's Service manager ASKING ME to bring the car in for extensive retrofitting of the rear deck "a 20 page procedure" he said.

    And this is after I asked if they had a TB on this problem because I did not believe I was the only one.

    Do you think that Nissan actually reads these messages? Keep the good work up.

    Now I see that Infinity has the same problem too.

    Thanks to the Infiniti owner who alerted us in here.
  • opimaxopimax Posts: 73
    The tsb is 24 pages and listed in under forums, 5th gen at he top under "stickys" and lists almost all of the TSB so you can see what the techs are supposed to do, it is extensive and I couldn't get my dealer to do it even w/papers in hand. ( no more Nissan for me, maybe an Infiniti, maybe). I was at the start of the fuel cut board. It is suppose to last , it can be checked by the part number of the ECU (when reprogrammed it will reflect a diffent part number) currently on my 2k 2nd version was done after some time on the phone w/1800-nissan1 checking for bad fuel mileage after my coils were replaced. Going to my 3rd dealer (per the 800 number. original dealer just didn't fix anything, 2nd dealer was told by corp to call then and didn't, Corp had to call them while car was there) to check air fuel mixture. The reprogram seems to be better to drive, still have poor mpg 21-22 on the hwy. before i was getting 26 -27 until they replaced the coils. And I think you may have bad coils from the sound of it. Check the org and stickys, coils do not always make the check engine light come on. all this is to the best of my knowledge if anyone has additional knowledge, please feel free to update

  • ilitilit Posts: 71
    20 page procedure! That's BS, and that was what the service writer tried to whining with me about the big job that takes a day or so; but when I talked with the mechanics, he told me it's 2 hrs job. The panel has to be removed so foam can be inserted to isolate the vibration caused by the woofer.
    Any way, the spot where the woofer is mounted is not a good place because the woofer is right at passengers' ears, and it's mounted to a large pannel without rigid support all around. Especially on a model with rear sunshade the panel needs cutout along the edge ajoining the glass, thus lacks of support. That's why foam is inserted for isolation.
    While driving, pay attention to the rear mirror, the vision will be blurred (means the glass vibrating) when bass sounds play. I don't believe passengers on the back can enjoy such great sound from the premium audio system.
  • I just picked up my new 2002 Maxima SE. At highway speeds the steering wheel and seat vibrate. Symptons of wheels out of balance. The dealer claims the problem is related to the low profile Bridgestone P225/VR17 tires and the sport tuned suspension because the GXE and GLE's don't have this problem (they use standard P215/17 tires w/o sport suspension). I also found out that ALL the SE's have this problem. Well, atleast all the ones they tested on their lot. They replaced all the rims, checked the rims for trueness. Found some runout with the tires so they are looking for a new set with no runout. I don't understand how they can claim this is a tire problem when low profiles are common on performance cars like Porches, BMW's, Audi's. Are they giving me a line? Are there any 2002 SE owners out there experiencing/not experiencing this problem? I cannot find any recalls, Nissan Tech Bulletins or even reviews that mention this problem.
  • gtspecgtspec Posts: 55
    bvf10376 - I have a 2002 Maxima SE and I had posted some messages before on my steering wheel vibrations, but these slight vibration occurs when I put the gear into "D" and at stand still, not while driving. I guess the idling RPM is a bit low (just 500 RPM), let me know if you have the same slight steering wheel vibration at idling speed and in "D" gear (TWO other 2002 SE owners from this forum have the same problem).

    When I drive at highway speed I do notice some steering wheel vibration but I'm not sure if there is any defect on those tires or rims, or simply the wheel are out of balance (at just 1,800 miles?). I didn't bother to check if the wheels are out of balance but I guess those sticky wheights might came off the inside of the rims easier than the traditional clamp style weights.
  • ilitilit Posts: 71
    If seats and steering wheel vibrate @ highway speed, most of time the tires are out of balance, with my experience.
    Go to Discount Tires and ask them for a life-time balance and rotation that costs about $40. They'll balance & rotate for you every 5000 mi.
    The suspension on SE model is stiffer than other models; eventhough SE runs a bit rougher than other models, you shouldn't feel vibration at the seats or steering wheel.
    I learned that from my experience with a car dealership and a Discount Tires store. I couldn't believe DC Tires fixed the problems. May be the store I came have newer/ more precised machine?
  • gtspec - I can't recall noticing any steering wheel vibration when in "D" and idling. I'll find out later when i pickup the car. The dealer swapped the Bridgestones with Michelins which to me is a far better tire. 500 RPM does seem rather low. I'd tweak that up some. If you are noticing some vibration at highway speeds you might be experiencing the same problem as I. Have the dealer check the wheels on your car. Check rims for trueness and the tires for runout. Nissan is aware of this problem with the SE. I bet many others have this problem but don't know it's a problem. I think Nissan likes it that way.
  • FYI -

    We have a 2000 se 5sp and had the fuel cut problem. The reprogramming cured the problem except above 1800rpm of course, where it still seems to fuel cut but its much more drivable now. I also had a o2 sensor go out and the ticket said they reprogrammed the ECU but I think it was because they didn't know if it had been done before or not (although it was the same dealer, you'd think they'd see it). Or maybe the program got a new version since the original update. Whatever.

    We have always gotten about 21-22mpg in mixed driving with the climate on - and I don't drive with lots of WOT or even gassing it from stops. I was satisfied with the MPG until we got a used 98 Olds minivan that is fully pimped out and that gets 23-24 mpg commuting in heavy traffic. The max surely could get better mpg, but I don't think the gear ratio of the 5 speed top gear is set low enough numerically - 3,000 rpm at cruise seems a bit high.

  • Thanks, Opimax and Dirkdaddy, for your comments. Our car has had the coils replaced due to the exact symptoms described on this board a little while back: pinging in 2nd gear while accelerating. And yes, even right after the reprogram of the ECU both times when off-idle was better, the car still surged sometimes at steady speed. The weird part is that the surging is not consistent. It ranges from nonexistent (when the service mgr was driving and I was riding) to really annoying. Happens on the level and going downhill, not when going uphill due to the heavier throttle required.
  • My 1999 Maxima has had in the last six months, replacement of one of the three ignition coils, reprogramming of the ignition keys (key would not start car), and a warped rotor. I've been shopping for a new car and found that my Nissan is much quieter then any of the cars I considered in its class. It's pick-up is great! Alot of the newer Toyotas and Saturns are much noisier than my Maxima. My service with our local dealership has been very good. I've decided to hang on to my Maxima for a few more years!
  • ahoaho Posts: 1
    Last week, my 01 maxima has 4 times hard start. It does not happen every time, but is too often. It is 10 months and 13000 miles. I want to know some knowledge before took to dealer.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    My maxima does that too with the hard start. What I do is when the first time it fails. I would step on the gas and start it and releasing as soon as you hear the engine catching on. Remember to release at the right time or you are gonna rev up your engine too high. This is in the manual also.
  • You didn't say what conditions your car was surging, but the fuel-cut reprogram only is in effect below 1800 rpm. I have found that cruise control on my manual surges as it goes from on-gas to fuel-cut and back and forth as the car attempts to maintain a steady speed. It does not keep a steady speed IMHO, it speeds up and then slows down, then speeds up, etc. Its not super obvious, as even when I mentioned it my wife didn't even notice it, but it was driving me crazy. To keep the car from doing this you either have to drive fast enough to keep the throttle at least somewhat open. At like 60mph on a flat road, the engine hardly has to work so it goes back and forth. You might be doing the same if your foot is going on and off the gas.

    Or do you have a different problem?
  • I have a 2K1 SE with 23K miles and it also has the starting problem. I have been logging the problem. I note the engine temp and the outside temp and believe this is a factor. The engine is always cold and the outside temp is typically 55-60F. Can you guys note the temperature next time you have the problem and post it back up here?
  • Well, today I took the car to me dealer again for the rear shelf buzzing problem with the Bose sub woofer.

    They finally relented and agreed that there is a bulletin for fixing this (actually there are 2) but Nissan seems to rank it up there with incest and child rape. They just don't want to talk about it unless pressed with a lemon law suit or public exposure (I think forums like this one help.)

    Well the result is that they removed the rear shelf, and 4 hours later they had dressed it with padding that looks like carpet backing. and press-sandwiched it between the shelf and the metal frame. This did the job.

    I still think that the Bose stereo sucks for $980. It is the biggest rip-off ever. My 98 Camry had better sound and it was only $300 extra for the cassette/CD combo.

    So the moral of the story is: NEVER GIVE UP no matter what the service, zone or consumer affairs people tell you. Ask for the service bulletin to be applied. It was issued on 8/2001 and I believe would apply to 2000, 2001 and 2002 Maximas. They share the same design on the back shelf.

    I found them on the NHTSA Site (

    You have to search for 2001 Nissan Maxima interior problems. TSB numbers are NTB01051 and NTB01051A.

    Mention them to your innocent eye flapping Nissan Dealer when you go to have the problem fixed. He will hate you for it!!!
  • you need a new dealer. The one I have here is very much focused on service. Every time you see them they give you a survey to fill out, and I have yet to find them not willing to fix something. My 2000 has not given much opportunity to test them however. :~)

    The bose stereo was already on my car and its better than a stock radio. I tell you one thing, its completely different sounding with a CD versus the radio. The radio sound is marginal. And you need to adjust the tone controls differently for each one - would be nice if they kept settings just for the source. The CD sound is pretty good, and thats from a guy with thousands of dollars in hifi equipment at my house. Bass is ok and well extended into the lower octaves, but not beefy enough IMHO. Granted if gut wrenching bass is what you're after, none of the OEM systems are going to do that.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    I have a 2k1 maxima se with the bose stereo. I took my car in to the dealer for some body work. A 3 day repair took 2 weeks. Anyway, when I got it back and was driving home, I noticed the sound of the speakers aren't as whole anymore. It sounds cheap, muffled and staticky. I went into FM2 and saw that all my channels were changed. It seems someone either swapped my speakers or blown it. I will be bringing it back to the dealer tomorrow but I have a feeling they are going to give me a hard time. Somebody told me Nissan doesn't cover the speakers. Any truth to this? Any advice how I should go about it if the dealer doesn't fix the problem? I mean, this was a $900 option. Thanks.
  • ...didn't get the Bose!

    The regular stereo is just fine and no rear rattling!
  • I have a 2002 GLE and have noticed the slight vibration in the steering wheel while the car is idling with the transmission in drive. It drives me crazy. I took it to the dealer shortly after I purchased it and they said they did not notice any vibration. Is it easy to increase the idle speed slightly to compensate?
  • Doubt if you'll be able to adjust the idle speed, that is all electronically controlled. My 99 does something similar, its just a trait of the Maxima.
  • igork1igork1 Posts: 6
    I bought Maxima 2002 SE 3 weeks ago. Today I noticed that car pools to the right. Drove 600 miles since purchase, only highway and no pothols.
    It is a little bit too soon and too fast. I am taking car to dealer next week but for now would like to know if anyone had the same problem.
  • gtspecgtspec Posts: 55
    I guess more and more 2002 Maxima owners are noticing the slight steering wheel vibrations at idling with the transmission in drive.

    Please refer to the following Messages # for the postings on this steering vibration issue;
    #485, 501, 502, 504, 509, 510, 511, 512, 548, 558, 561, 562, 569, 575, 576, 577, and 578.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    The newer SE has 17" rims, which make it more sensitive to roads and the peak & angle roads are laid on to keep the water running off. Make sure its pulling and not just the road you are feeling. If you're not used to it, the low profile tires seem to pull over various road features. Try a known flat section or parking lot if you can find one.

    Other than that, I have not heard of the problem, but the dealer can address.

  • wainwain Posts: 479
    there is not too much alignmant on these cars.
    i had to take my new 99 infiniti to an independant mechanic after 3 trips to the dealer who said they all do that blaming road crown.
    The indep mech cut a slot in the strut bolt hole allowing the proper alignment.
    factory has no adjustment bolts.
    neither my Hondas or Camrys ever pulled
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    I heard the cars get out of alignment sometimes during the transportation from the factory. I guess it is the way they are stretched on the delivery truck.

    Also, sometimes a defective tire is to blame. I've had this once and after a wheel rotarion the defective tire ended in the back and the car stopped pulling.
  • I just bought a Nissan Maxima 2002 SE and am having a couple of problems. First, when I start the car it appears the ignition is still trying to start for about a second or so before letting go. Secondly, when I accelerate or drive at normal speeds, I feel a vibration on the pedal. It appears as if I can feel every crack in the road or something.And finally, the car scratches pretty easily. Does anybody have these same issues?
  • igork1igork1 Posts: 6
    First, thanks for your help, guys. Now, I also noticed that ignition is still "running" after initial start. Don't know if it is normal. Most likely, not. Will see dealer on saturday about all of these issues and post message after. Wants again, dealers are not very reliable source. I checked website posted by DOT. Check it out. Go to search and type in your vehicle's make, year and model and it will give you available recall information. Dealers may not mention it.
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Hello everyone. I am very active in the Dodge Dakota forum but until now have had no problems to really mention on the Maxima but now my wife is also having the slight vibration problem when driving (like a tire out of round) and its worse cold in the morning and is still there slightly through out the day. The mpg on the computer is off by about 5mpg. And last night the driver auto window goes auto down no problem, but when you auto up it goes up then back down about a third of the way down. It seems to close ok manually but if you use the auto to go up forget it. Anyone else having these issues.


  • sameer_ksameer_k Posts: 1
    Hello everybody,
    I have just joined this discussion group.
    My name is sameer. I am considering buying a used Nissan Maxima GXE (1993), that has 107K miles on it.

    When I drove the car, I found that the car pulled to the right, ....but beyond that I was not able to find any noticeable driving problem in the car...the car has a fabulous exterior and interior too!!
    The reason I am worried is that the guy who is selling this vehicle to me, initially put its price at 5400$ and then one week later, he cut his price to 4500$ and then three days ago, he cut it to 3500$.!!!!
    Of course, I would take the car to a mechanic for a thorough check...but the way the guy has been slashing his asking price, I am wondering whether the car is even worth a thorough check!
    Please advise me on what are the crucial areas/problems of the car that I should double check and triple check before I decide to buy it.
  • 96 Maxima- GXE- 94K miles. I love the car- but this cold/mild temperature start is getting to me. I noticed last winter, a whine when the car started. Turns out the bearings in the starter were bad. I recently replaced it- and the problems with the cold start went on. I do also have a remote starter. On cold days- below 45 degrees- I have to jump in the car and press the gas to get it going. Otherwise-it cranks and kicks over, and dies. Or it just cranks and nothing. I never realized the issue was this big. It's not just me. Since Nissan is so clueless, i guess I'll just keep pressing the gas to get the fuel injected car started. It's ashame- this is my 3rd Maxima. Looks like I might have to give in to the wife and go Honda. Maybe I'll check the new Altima board soon to see if I have a chance at a Nissan still. If anyone has an answer- besides the numerous fuel filters, cleaners, lines, and starters- that would be great. otherwise, looks like there just another excuse for my lead foot in the car.
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