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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    A buddy of mine runs a car repair shop, they run into this problem a LOT. They use a product called Heli-coil I think, you drill out the stud (he had a small air powered drill) - just don't drill to far into the water jacket of the block. Then, insert the product and it should solve your problem. But this is a difficult (access) and tricky job for a DIY guy, you need to find a good shop I'd guess, or if you have all the tools and some skill, go for it. I have not personally needed to do this, btw.

  • I bought a Max 2002 few months ago with 18k mi, overall, I love it!
    Howver, the only 2 problems I have so far were my driver window suddenly stuck, it couldn't roll up or down... Just want to know if anyone has same problem? will it come more? (hope not) Not good in winter with icy road! It couldn't move when the road was very icy because its head is too heavy! Now only slight snow, I am ok with it :-)
  • A friend had the same problem on a Pathfinder. The solution was to replace the lift motor. On my Accord, I had windows that would also stick, but I solved the problem by applying silicone spray to the seals and window tracks.
  • dimmerdimmer Posts: 2
    OK, this is really ticking me off. I just bought a new '04 Maxima. To even remotely have a chance at cleaning the windshield, I have to turn the wipers on high and continuously flood my window with fluid hoping that some cleaning fluid will be splashed to the middle and top of the windshield. I’ve taken this into the dealer and they’ve informed me that there is no solution, “must be a design flaw”, they said. Does anyone know of a solution (fix) to how I can get the angle of spray adjusted to reach higher onto my windshield?
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I have a 2000 Maxima and mine sucks also. Same thing, shoots one wussy little stream up about half way. Heard this complaint from other Max owners as well. Would've thought they'd fixed that by now. Not sure on a fix, may have to look for an aftermarket system or something, if there is such a thing.
  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    fwiw my wiper fluid nozzels shoot fine...
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The nozzles can be adjusted by inserting a stiff piece of thin wire or a needle into each nozle and moving it into a desired position to achieve adequate spray height. I assume that 2002 and later models still have the nozzles on the hood.
  • I have a '03 MAX SE with 11500 trouble-free miles. This winter, however, there is a creaking sound coming from the dashboard on the passenger side. The sound seems to be originating from along the line where the dash and the bottom of the winshield meet. I'm not sure if the sound comes from the dash or the winshield, or both. It only happens when the car goes over bumps and the outside temp is below freezing.

    I wonder if anyone has the same problem, and what is the solution.

    Since it doesn't happen all the times, I really don't want to bring this up to the dealer. I'm afraid they gonna tear up the dash, and only to create more creakings and rattlings later on.
  • kp40mkp40m Posts: 19
    I have a 2003 GLE (20,000 miles) with a similar dash creak when its cold outside and I go over bumps. The creak stops if I push down on the plastic housing above the clock. I am going in for service this week and will post what I find.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Possibly some genius at Nissan suggested that they save a few felt strips when assembling the dash on later model Maximas. After all, these people eliminated one small metal clip (squealer) per disc brake set. I fail to see how can you realize any meaningful savings by not installing a 10 cent metal clip on a $ 60 set of brake pads.
  • I purchased a 2003 SE in May. The driver's side mirror vibrates when driving, not the housing, just the mirror inside. Took it to the dealer and they where unable to tighten it. The passengers mirror is perfectly still. Should i just have them replace the whole unit?

    Anyone with similar problem and a fix?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Yes, insist on mirror replacement. That is what the warranty is for. If Nissan chooses to go with a cheaper supplier to save money and installs inferior product on this car, you have every right to demand a good quality mirror. Besides, this is a safety related issue, rather that a purely cosmetic one.
  • can't wait to hear an update on your car after you take it for servicing.

    Besides this little annoyance, the car has been flawless. I only wish that I had gotten a 330i instead, for the smaller size and a bit more nimbleness. :-(

    Ironically, for two straight mornings I saw two different 330i convertibles, all are 2001+ models, left on the side of the same stretch of road w/ their emergency lights blinking. And then I started feeling better about my max again.... :-)
  • I bought a 04 with Elite package back in November. I have read several postings from people complaining of the cabin never getting warm. I am having the same problem. I live on the coast of NC so the coldest is about high 20's to low 30's and I still can't get very warm in the car. Just took it in to service and the response was "that's just a Nissan.." I have a 93 celica that will run you out the car with the heater but I can't get warm heat out of a $35,000 car? Anyone know of any remedies, recalls, etc. for this problem. The only other complaint I have is the very poor turn radius. Guess there are no fixes for that one...Any help very much appreciated
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    There's a section of pages in the 04 Maxima Service Manual that describes how to trouble shoot this specifically as an issue.

    It is in the Automatic Air Conditioner section (ATC-pages 85-94).

    As I read through this section, there's a lot of potential problem areas with this system, temp sensors, dual controls, remembered settings, etc.

    I'd call the dealer and tell them you specifically want them to run this section to resolve the issue, not just say it's a Nissan, that's BS, IMO.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    As posted above, my 2000 Max had the same creak in the A-pillar on passenger side. This was a really common problem on 5th gen Maxis. The easiest fix is as mentioned above, take a piece of felt that's same color as your trim and wedge it in that seam. It's the plastics rubbing on each other and a piece of felt will keep them separated. It's working for me for last 30k miles ;-). Except now I have another one that's worse going up the b-pillar where the seatbelt comes out. I'm in MN and it's COLD here and I have more creaks in winter than summer.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    My 2000 Max SE has a weird problem going on. All my lights including headlights, gauge cluster, dome light, fog lights, basically everything except the clock and radio numbers all FLICKER really fast simultaneously. It's worst at idle with car in gear. If I turn the car off but leave the lights on the problem goes away. Does this sound like the Alternator or Voltage Regulator in the Alternator???? Doesn't seem like battery, I've left the car out recently for 24+ hours in 40 degrees below zero and it started. How tough is it to check ground wires?
  • dimmerdimmer Posts: 2
    Sorry P100, your assumptions aren’t accurate. The fluid dispensers are located under the hood. Second, the Altima (not the Maxima) has pin-hole dispensers that can be adjusted. So far the dealer hasn’t been able to come up with a solution. I’ve even requested that the Altima dispensers be put on my Maxima.
    As you can imagine, the dealer hasn’t call me back with an answer to that one yet!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Get a direct current voltmeter and attach to the battery terminals. Start the engine and watch the voltage. If the voltage regulator is working correctly you should see about 13.5 to 14.0 volts without much fluctuation. Turn on the lights and observe the indicated voltage. It should drop some (about 0.5 to 1 volt, depending on the load), but it should not fluctuate wildly. If you see quick voltage fluctuation, something like 12 to 15 volts, you probably have a defective voltage regulator. To check the ground wires, first check the negative battery cable connection to the engine block. You need a shop manual to see where other small grounds are located in the vehicle. Some grounds may be located behind the instrument cluster.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    It figures. The old hood mounted nozzles were too reliable and too easily adjustable, so they had to redesign them. All of my cars and trucks have hood mounted nozzles, so I never had problems like you describe.
  • rad10rad10 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Nissan Maxima, had MIL lamp (Service Engine Soon light) come on intermitently since 7,000 with codes indication multiple cylinder misfires. First time I took it in dealer said it was "bad gas". After multiple times taking it in dealer agreed at 39,500 after warranty expired to replace all 6 ignition coils at no cost. Dealer admits Nissan has this problem. After changing all 6, car runs like new again. Nissan is offering to pay for these, just need to find a dealer who is willing to work for you and not try to rip you off.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    As I mentioned before, VW and Audi recalled hundreds of thousands vehicles recently because of faulty ignition coils. Nissan probably used a cheap supplier just like VW and Audi did. However, Nissan did not recall any Maximas due to faulty coils.
  • I just made the first unscheduled visit to the dealer. This past Monday, due to the extreme cold temp., I left the car idling for about 1/2 hour before driving. But as soon as I pulled out of the lot the Service Engine Soon light came on and it stayed on whenever the engine was running.

    I checked the manual and checked the gas cap to make sure it was not loose as they suggested, and it wasn't.

    Finally, today, I decided to stop by the dealer and had it checked out. I was told an O2 sensor had gone bad and was been replaced. The service manager said they didn't know why it went out so soon. I told him I hoped it won't happen again for another few years.

    Is it typical for an 02 sensor to bad on a relatively new car, '03 w/11700 miles}????? I never let the car idling for more than 5 minutes before, always used 93 octane gas, and very rarely that I would race the engine......even then it would never pass 4000rpm.

    My old integra went 70000miles+ before it needed a new sensor.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,330
    just becasue the light went on with an O2 sensor code, it doesn't necessarily mean that the sensor is "bad". The diagnostic systems gets lots of input data, and interprets it (based on programmed parameters and tolerences). If it finds a reading that is out of range, it generates the code that the software tells it to. So, you are getting a OOS reading that is mapped to a bad O2 sensor as the likely cause.

    Remember, there isn't a code for "loose gas cap", the OBD system just recognizes a vapor leak condition (IIRC) and trips the light.

    It is very possible that if the dealer had reset the light, you wouldn't have had further problems (assuming no more super cold long idle sessions). But, take the free O2 sensor and be happy!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    My rear O2 sensor went bad a couple months ago, to the tune of $330 at the stealer. I have a 2000 SE Max and it had about 55K miles on it when the SES light came on. After reading many posts on other boards besides Edmunds, I've come to discover that not only are coils a well known problem with 5th gen Maximas, O2 sensors are as well. There's even a TSB out there for the rear O2 sensor. It has to do with replacing the sensor and then reflashing the ECU (Computer) so the parameters that trip the SES light can be widened. Most tuners recommended just flashing the ECU as the sensor was probably fine and the ECU is just too sensitive. I opted to change the sensor but probably wouldn't if could do over again. Just my .02
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    These sensors are sensitive to alcohol contamination, so if you get gas with higher than permissble percentage of ethanol in it, it could contaminate the sensor.
    $ 330 for a sensor seems a lot of money. Aren't there aftermarket sensors for Nissan Maxima, like the Bosch brand that can be purchased for about $ 45? I own a Mazda 626 and O2 sensor prices are just as outrageous from the dealers. Auto Zone sells sensors that will fit my Mazda for less that $ 50.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I tried for the Aftermarket O2 sensor. I was at Autozone to get the SES code read for free. We then went inside and the Autozone guy tried to pull up the part #. No such luck on getting Bosch. The only place to get an O2 sensor for a 5th gen Max is thru Nissan. The part alone was like $145!! Stupid thing looks like a spark plug. Then the "diagnostic" done by the dealer, which I said I didn't NEED because I knew the code already from Autozone's analysis (but the stealer talked me into because if they fixed O2 and that WASN'T the problem they'd have to start over and do anyway blah blah) costed $70, plus the labor of like 1hr($85-90) becuase the sensor was frozen in and they had to heat it etc to get it out, plus tax and whatever and BOOM we're looking at $330. I was appalled but the service guy gave me the rundown and I caved and paid just to get out of there. Now I'm back in the SAME situation only with flickering headlights, domelight, etc and a suspect alternator with no SES light to go by.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I forgot to mention the $79 charge to reflash the ECU.
  • The "check engine" like came on at about 65K miles and the test indicated that the ignition coils needed to be replaced. Thanks to this site I learned that this was a common problem. The result was that Nissan agreed to pay for the $600 repair that the dealer wanted me to pay. However, the light "check engine" light came back on after a few months. The car runs great, but today I took it in because I need an emissions inspection and now they tell me that I need to replace the two rear O2 sensors at a cost of $460! I declined the repair since my mechanic can perform that repair for a lot less. They charged me $89 for the test and left the light on. Can another mechanic perform this same test and can they also reset the "check engine" light? The dealer said that after the repair I would have to wait at least a week before I can have an inspection done, otherwise the machine will pick up the wrong codes. By the way, the car is now 90K miles and runs great. It is my 3rd Maxima, but seems to be the one with more problems. Any comments?
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    You guys wouldn't believe how easy it is to replace these things. They do look similar to spark plugs (slightly larger) and all you need is some ramps to get your car in the air and an open ended wrench. Slotted sockets are not always necessary. After a $400+ estimate for an old mazda I owned, I knew there had to be a better way. There are lots of sites like Autozone and (many others) that sell these things for a fraction of the dealer cost. I don't know if anyone has ever challenged the warranty on these things but must should last to about 100K miles. Of course, most never do.
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