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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a problem with a very loud ticking (sounds like a couple of ball bearings being shaken violently in a can) during acceleration from 0 up to 60km and then it stops. It's a lot worse in the summer and almost non existent in the winter. my problem is it doesn't do it all the time when I take it to the dealer they can't find any problems sometimes it's so loud im afraid to accelerate the car. does anyone have any ideas.
  • I've got a rear seatbelt buckle that locks correctly but is sticky when you try to release it. Pushing release all the way down and it sometimes doesn't want to release.

    * Has anyone else had this problem?
    * Gotten it fixed?
    * Did the dealer charge you anything?
    (I'm at 20,000 miles)

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    That is "pinging" or preignition. Use higher octane fuel to stop it. Pinging gets worse when the air temp. is higher, under hard accelleration, and at higher altitudes. Basically, it is caused by the fuel burning too fast. To slow it down, you increase the "octane rating". Octane is a hydrocarbon that burns slowly, and is used as a standard for measuring fuel burn rate. Contrary to popular "knowledge", high octane fuels do not contain more power. Often they contain less, these days, as to increase the rating ethanol is added, which has less energy than the other components of gasoline. It does burn cleaner, however.

    You may have a "carbon clogged" engine, from using high toluene fuel. The carbon can run red hot and preignite the mixture in the engine. It can be cleaned out at reasonable cost. Dealers, and oil change places can do this for you.
    Another possibility is a sensor has worn enough so it's affecting the ECUs ability to control the engine, but has not yet failed enough to trigger the check engine light (service engine soon in Nissans, as I recall).

    You should get it fixed, as eventually it will damage valves or pistons.
  • Is anyone getting a vibration, raddle or something loose coming from the power sun roof in the 2004 Maxima, espacially riding over bumps. If so, what was your solution.
  • I just found a small screw in my rear passenger tire. I took it to a tire place to patch it and they told me they can't because it's too close to the wall of the tire and I need to buy a new tire. My car only has 900 miles/4 weeks old. I'm taking it back to the dealership hoping that they can replace it under warrenty. What do you think?
  • My first guess was a sensor malfunction, I recently had my drive clean emission test done and the readings were almost flat ruling out carbon buildup . I use premium 91 octane fuel always but I do buy from esso which is supposed to be very dirty fuel. I'm going to buy some octane boost and try that out but I'm still thinking sensor ? maybe
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Ahh, I see you are in Canada (forgot to look before). If you can find it, try the 10% ethanol premium (octane rating of 92 in Alberta and 94 on the west coast). Mohawk has it. Husky has the 5% 91 octane stuff. Just one tank of 92-94 octane is all it will take to see if that fixes it. If so, that's a start. You could wait for the suspected sensor to fail completely (triggering a CEL), and if that doesn't happen in a few months, get the engine cleaned internally. They run a noxious chemical though the engine (it burns it and the carbon). The dealer will probably not find anything until the CEL is triggered.
  • Good luck, as a nail in the tire isn't a warrantied item. The warranty basically covers the tire shredding itself for no apparant reason. The tire company can't warranty that you'll never run over a nail.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Something similar happened to me in 1985. I bought a new Ford Mustang GT. This was the first year they used expensive V rated tires on this car, which were quite rare back then. When I had about 800 miles on the car, a big nail went right through the sidewall of one of the tires. Had to pay to replace the tire - it was around $ 170 plus mounting and balancing.

    Generally you cannot fix a tire punctured through the sidewall. If the hole is in the tread close to the sidewall, it can sometimes be repaired, but many places will be reluctant to do so because of liability issues.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    I don't know if you get a road hazard warranty with new car tires these days, but I would ask about that first. Road hazard would cover such a problem but you usually have to pay extra per tire for that when you buy a set of tires. Again, I don't know if that comes with new cars.
  • Good News, the screw wasn't all the way in the tire. Nissan wouldn't touch it. They wanted to replace it and gave me a quote of $350.00. I brought it to the Goodyear dealership. The Goodyear dealer quote me for $280.00 before they found no puncture from the screw. The screw was sticking out of the tire but didn't go through. What I purchased was a $25 per tire warranty to cover me for any slits and punctures. Instead of paying $300 for a tire in the future. I recommend this to everyone. The salesman said since the tire wall is very small on the 18" rims, any pot hole I fall into will rip or tear the tire.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I think he was blowing smoke saying any pothole you hit you'll blow a tire. Much more likely to bend or damage a very expensive rim, thereby allowing air to leak out due to loss of seal. Tear a tire would be doubtful. Just my .02
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have read several complaints by BMW owners who bent their fancy 18 inch wheels by running into potholes. Some states have terrible roads and if I lived in one of those states I would never buy a vehicle with low profile 18 inch tires.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    Then stay out of Washington DC. The worst streets in the world. Pennsylvania roads are a close second.
  • is impossible if you want the 6spd manual or 5spd auto. available only on the SE, which only comes with the 18" wheels...
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    It is the tire profile height, rather than wheel diameter that is important. If you mount ultra low profile tires on a 16 or 17 inch rim you will have the same problem. It so happens that the larger the rim, the lower the tire profile ratio will be specified by the manufacturer to limit the tire height. So 16 inch tires will be generally 55 profile ratio, 17 inch 50 profile ratio, 18 inch 45 profile ratio, etc, all the way down to 30 profile ratio on 20 inch rims for exotic sport cars. I believe that if you stay with 55 tire profile ratio or higher, you will greatly limit possibility of rim or tire damage on badly neglected roads.

    Commercial or military truck tires have very tall profiles. For example, 900-20 tires go on 20 inch diameter rims. The overall diameter of the mounted tire is 40 inches, which means that there is 10 inches of sidewall between the rim and the tire tread. With a 20 inch sports car ultra low profile ratio tire the overall mounted tire diameter will be more like 23 inches, or 1.5 inch sidewall. That is not much protection for the rim.
  • Thanks for all the comments. I live in NJ and pot holes are the worst here also. Yes, he did say the rim may bent as a result of the tire wall being tiny. But it won't hurt to buy a $25 per tire warrenty just in case it blows. This is my first time with 18" rim. I always had a Pathfinder, my first Maxima. I wasn't aware of the consequences that come with those rims. Again, the SE model only comes with 18" rims with the 5 speed Auto.
  • But it won't hurt to buy a $25 per tire warrenty just in case it blows.

    You're advocating spending $100 to insure yourself against the odds of destroying one of your tires over the next 3-4 years and 40,000 miles or so.

    Is that a full replacement warranty, or if you only have 3/32" of tread left will they only give a partial credit?

    If they couldn't make money selling the warranty at $25, they would sell it for more. They know how many tires they sell and how many come back destroyed. You don't. They're preying on your fear to make money.

    I don't buy insurance on risks that I could afford to cover. Sure, it would stink to drop $300 on a tire or $600 on a pair but it isn't going to kill me. Its the same reasoning behind carrying a $500 deductable on my insurance. The savings of not carying the additional coverage theoretically more than make up for the risks.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Many places prorate tires claimed under road hazard coverage, based on tread wear. If the tire is about half worn, you will have to pay half of the new tire retail cost. And some tire dealers will purposely inflate their retail price so the "half" you pay will be almost as much as full price of that tire from a discount retailer. So road hazard insurance is often a waste of money unless you have very expensive tires and the insurance cost is minimal. I believe Sam's club offers very inexpensive road hazard coverage as part of their mounting and balancing tire package. Last time I checked it was about $ 9 per tire for mounting, balancing, and road hazard. This is the best deal I have seen. Many places charge that much per tire for only balancing.
  • My '00 Maxi has that rattle/ticking when i hit the gas and it downshifts.....its very frustrating. I have read a few prior notes on it but has anyone found a solution? Does that fuel system cleaner work?? .....i also have loud "roadnoise" coming from the rear....has anyone ever been told it could be the bearings?
  • For the record, I checked my warranty and seatbelts are warranted for 10 years........that's what it says in the warranty, however, I had an '89 240sx and when it's seatbelts had trouble with the buckle mechanism, they replaced them for free (had to wait forever to get them) if you have trouble with seatbelts, I'd pursue getting the dealer to fix them even if you're outside 10 years........
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    According to 98 Nissan Maxima owner's manual the seatbelts are warranted for the life of the car. I do not how many other year models are covered by this lifetime warranty, but it appears that Nissan considered this warranty to be too good and changed it to 10 years on later models.
  • Accoring to my 1995 Maxima GLE warranty book the seatbelt warranty is lifetime.

    According to my 2000 Maxima SE warranty book the seatbelt warranty is lifetime.

    According to my 2003 Murano SE warranty book the seatbelt warranty is 120 months (unlimited miles).

    Anyone know when they dropped the lifetime (obviously either in 2001-2002)and went to the 10 years on the seatbelts?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    ...just want to give everyone a heads up about some changes taking place in an effort to organize and make it easier for members to find the most appropriate discussion for their question/comment.

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  • Hi Everyone,

    I am trying to replace the power antenna in my 1997 Maxima SE (car-wash accident!!!). My dealer wants me to pay $100 for the labor but I think I should be able to do it. I am trying to get suggestions and tips on how to replace it.

    Does anyone have a copy of the repair manual, maybe you can fax or e-mail that page to me?

    I thank you in advance for any help.
  • The inner tie rod/adjusting sleeve is bent. I need to replace it. Are there any tricks or special tools needed to remove and install. Thanks for your help
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Haynes manual # 72021 covers 93-99 Maxima models. It costs about $ 11 and is available in many auto part stores, such as Auto zone. It has a small section on how to replace the antenna.

    You first remove the antenna mast retaining nut with an antenna tool or snap ring pliers (recommend protecting the paint around the antenna to prevent scratching). Then remove the antenna cover inside the trunk by prying out plastic clips. Disconnect the electrical connector and remove the motor retaining screws.

    It is a good idea to disconnect the negative battery cable before starting this work.
  • kp40mkp40m Posts: 19
    I have a 2003 GLE that has the following problems:

    The heating steering wheel gets very hot and stops heating after about 5 minutes. The orange light on the switch continues to stay lit and shuts off after about 30 minutes (as stated in the manual).

    When I push the ECON button to turn the heat on, the fan speed is staying at "1" even though the car is cold. It does not adjust to the appropriate automatic speed unless I fiddle with the other settings, e.g., turn defrost or AUTO on then go back to ECON.

    If anyone else has experienced either of these, please let me know how they were resolved.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    You can get rent a tie rod removal tool from Auto Zone for free (you pay for it and get a full refund when you bring it back in working condition). I recommend you do not use a fork tool on the tie rod but rather a screw operated separator tool which does not require using a hammer to drive to tool in and it is less likely to damage something. Both of these tools are readily available. Replacing tie rods is easy but then you need to have the front end toe-in setting readjusted. Toe-in alignment setting is adjusted by turning the tie rod adjustment sleeve. There is also a special spanner wrench to turn the tie rod adjusting sleeve.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    I have the same ECON issue on my 02 SE. I never think to ask about it with service. I just use auto or manually set it.
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