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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello all, car seems ok when called on for normal acceleration but actually loses power when really pushed or, say, going up a steep hill. Another possible symptom is that it seems to be missing badly for the first 30sec or so of driving and has to be babied until it warms up some. I purchased this car in April and have had no trouble up until now. I've read about the coil issue but I never see the engine light come on and it would if it was the coils right? My first guess is that its a fuel delivery problem. Any suggestions has to what to replace/fix first? Thanks!

    Let me add that my Mom borrowed the car for 3 weeks and didn't know to use premium fuel during this time. It was knocking badly when I got it but I added octane booster and have gone back to premium. The bad pinging is gone but I've had pretty noticable pinging ever since I bought it. The only thing I've done to it so far is to replace the spark plugs. Thanks!
  • Starting problem seems to have disappeared magically. My 99 Maxima starts just fine on the first turn of the key now. Perhaps there was some moisture in my fuel tank that had to work its way out. The car starts and drives very well now.

    The sound I was talking about seems like "resonance" which happens for a couple of seconds only at idle time. Also, it happens intermittently. May be the belt wear has something to do with it.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,018
    Yes, it could be the coils. I haven't had this problem with my Maxima but I had exactly the symptoms you describe with my Subaru Forester -- loss of acceleration, missing when it first starts and then driving fine -- and it was the coil pack. I'm not sure if the CEL came on because I also had a sensor problem around the same time which caused the light to go on, in addition to the coil problem.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • I have a 2k SE with 80k and I am in the midst of trying to solve the exact problems you described. I have had the injectors, combustion chambers and throttle body cleaned. MAF sensor checked. The car accelerates well, up to 3500 rpm and then it feels like it starts missing and the acceleration slows to nearly nothing. As soon as it shifts and the rpm drop back below 3500, full power is back. I am convinced it is electrical, since it happens exactly at 3500 rpm in every gear. This problem is starting to frustrate me and I would greatly appreciate any information on this issue.
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  • jskhojskho Posts: 107
    It is the coil problem.
    Replaced all 6 on mine at about 75k.
    Bought the coils in Canada for cheap.
  • My starting problem was finally linked to a faulty key. I did not even realise until after 3 weeks that the starting problem happened only when I was trying to start my 99 Maxima with one of my keys. The other key always worked fine.

    But my car just crossed 60K miles last week and I took care of the 60K maintenance items thinking that my starting problem was really due to bad battery/starter/blocked fuel filter etc.

    oh well! But the car runs very well now. I even got my belt changed at BrakesPlus for about $73 parts and labor. They said only one belt was in bad shape and the other was in very good condition and did not require replacement. A Nissan dealer would have replaced both belts whether they needed replacement or not, as he is purely motivated by profit margin. He gave me a quote of $154 + taxes for replacing both belts.
  • Hello all, thanks for the suggestions. I took it to a local dealer and they (correctly) diagnosed the problem as the Mass Airflow gizmo (sensor?). $260 later the car runs fine. I bought it used just 6 months ago and this is probably the first time I've enjoyed all 222hp, oh my gosh, what fun. I believe that sensor has been slowly going degrading my proformance the whole previous 6 months.

    I'll go into some more details of the symptoms so others can perhaps recognize the same problem in their cars...

    The first thing I noticed was a lot of pinging, especially when asked for acceleration. Later, as it got worse, the car would actually bog down as I either a) tried to pass someone or b) go up a steep hill. Note: This wasn't a sputtering/missing sort of trouble, the rpms would rev up like normal I just wouldn't accelerate and, in fact, would often de-cellerate. Then also there was the trouble when the car was cold as described in my original message. Let me add that there were no problem codes when they hooked it up to the diagnostic computer at the dealer. I was lucky I had an experienced mechanic who guessed the problem based on other maximas he worked on.

    Hope this helps.
  • I have a 2000 se at 66,000 had the same exact problem at 3500 to 4000 rpm when acclerating between gears trans would not engage or slip no power no power took car to dealer first thought may of had bad gas not that them i thought it could be trans. the problem turned out to be the airflow meter which was replaced with a new air filter reprogram the o2 sensors problem solved I called nissan customer service they are terrible after enough complaining they paid the bill about 500 dollars. reading other posts it seems like a common nissan problen that comes about after waranty expires and they know this not good on nissans part. if you need any further help email me at
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    Now you are just being cheap. A '99 Max. with 60,000 miles on it should have BOTH belts replaced . It would have cost you another $30. No, I'm not a dealer.
  • The Sunroof/Moonroof on my 2000 SE will no longer slide all the way back with the "one touch" button. I press it and it slides back about 2 inches and stops, so I have to press it like 15 times to get it to slide all the way back. The button that raises it up a few inches works, but I can also press it to lower and if I keep pressing it after it's all the way lowered it will slide it back a few inches at a time as well - weird!? I'm trying to find out if anyone else has experienced this, and if it is something that I can fix myself without having to deal with Nissan's annoying service and crappy customer service. Thanks!
  • konekone Posts: 19
    Own an 03 GLE since new and would really like to do something about the soft, floating ride on this car. I don't want my teeth rattled out but this things is like a boat on the ocean (especially with some weight)! Any advice? I've read a few things about the cheap springs in the Maxima - is that the problem? Could the springs be replaced cheap enuf? Thanks.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    Get some decent aftermarket springs for a couple hundred bucks, put in a front strut tower brace yourself in 10 mins, and a rear sway bar. All easy to find and purchase right online, then pay a local mechanic to put in the springs and sway bar. All done for a few hundred bucks and that GLE will be much better but not a tooth rattler. Basically like an SE (but better) which ya shoulda bought in the first place ;-)
  • aristotlearistotle Posts: 123
    Hi all,
           In the last week or so it was really cold for a couple of days in Colorado and the acceleration of my 99 Maxima GXE was poor. While climbing a hill I had put the pedal to the metal and yet hardly saw the car move over 50 mph. I did not see any lights come up on the dash. Once I was over the hill I was able to pick up speed and thereafter cruise at 75 mph. I have never had problems in climbing the same hill at 70 mph in the summer.

    But today the weather warmed up again and the car accelerates very nicely.

    I have already replaced the air filter, fuel filter and the serpentine belt, and also did a fuel injection service when the car reached 60k miles 3 weeks ago.

    What can cause such poor acceleration ONLY in cold weather? I replaced my spark plugs and all ignition coils at 40K miles. Is it time to change them again?
  • Have a 97 maxima with 130k on it and the check engine light has been on solid for about 7 months.
    the code is 0901 right front heated O2 sensor. It was replaced with OEM and code cleared but it still comes up with the fault, 0901. Also now getting a 0304 knock sensor fault. The car drives fine, no noticeable mileage decrease, or power loss, starts fine. I also just passed my emissions test.
  • pegasus17pegasus17 Posts: 536
    I just started hearing occasional engine ping/knock on initial startup/acceleration. I've been using the new and wonderful SHELL V-power premium fuel (93) for about 3 months. Wonder if there is a connection? Also, would a failed knock sensor trigger a CEL?
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,018
    Can't answer your questions about Shell gas, but a bad knock sensor could trigger a CEL. That happened to me with our Subaru Forester. Is your CEL on? That could be your problem rather than the type of gas.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • I have a 2004 Maxima 3.5 SE Auto, and I'm averaging 19.7 mpg. This is well below the 20 city - 28 highway rating posted on Edmunds. I believe I drive pretty normally: commuting to work, weekend trips, parties, grocery shopping, etc... what gives? Anyone else out there with a 3.5 SE Auto? What are your mpg averages?
  • aristotlearistotle Posts: 123
    On my 99 Maxima GXE I got the serpentine belt changed a few weeks ago. I feel that the gas pedal is a little ( not a whole lot more ) harder to press than before. Is this normal or am I imagining something?

    If you give more foot pressure the car reaches higher RPM, accelerates and then drives normally. But if you take the pressure off the foot slightly it seems to want to go at a lower RPM. Does the tight new belt have anything to do with this behaviour?

    How long would it take for the stretched belt to get used to the new elongation and behave "normally"?
  • I had a brand-new 280Z years ago that had intermittent starting problem. Once in a while it would crank but would not start. It always started fine when I brought it to the dealer!

    After a lot of troubleshooting, it was found that the wires on the floor to the gas pump had a loose connector. Plugged it back up and the car started like a charm.

    You may want to check the gas pump and possibly its wires and connectors.

    It could also be a worn or wet rotor or a cracked distributor cap ....
  • pegasus17pegasus17 Posts: 536
    I have a 2003 Max SE with just over 20k miles. Gas mileage in city driving is about 19-20 and pure highway cruising (at 65-70) will get about 24-25. I believe that EPA highway calculations are done at 50mph to arrive at the 26 mpg figure.
  • aristotlearistotle Posts: 123
    Thanks for your response. My starting problem was finally diagnosed to a faulty key. So, that was a false alarm.

    Again recently I thought my car had problems in accelerating in cold weather. After further research I found the problem to emanate from a taut new serpentine belt which is making the gas pedal a little harder to press. I guess this will go away in a couple of weeks once the elongated belt ( I hear that serpentine belts are elongated before they are put on the car ) gets used to the new length.

    The car actually drives quite well now. Touch wood. I hope I don't raise any more false alarms, wasting other people's time in the process.
  • I just bought an 04 SE with the leather seat option. Both front seats have what my fiance & I think are very uncomfortable, bordering on painful, seat backs. There is a lump right below the shoulder blades that seems way too high to be lumbar. My back hurts after 10 mins of driving. I am 6' 3", she is 5' 9". Any suggestions or common experience? Thanks.
  • What does the serpentine belt have to do with your gas pedal? How could that possibly make the gas pedal harder to push?
  • I have a 2003 Maxima 3.5 SE Auto, and I average more like 22mpg city, but I don't do a lot of sitting in traffic which can drive down your MPG.
  • aristotlearistotle Posts: 123
    I am not a car expert by any means. I just thought perhaps the stretched serpentine belt is resisting the elongation and applying some resistance to the engine in the process.

    Is that a wild theory? I may be completely offbase and am willing to accept expert opinion on this from anyone.

    The car performance is slowly improving everyday. May take couple of more weeks before the belt is completely "at home" in its elongated state.
  • pegasus17pegasus17 Posts: 536
    Went to NISSAN dealer today. Engine checked out good; within specs and no DTC codes, but the car is still knocking frequently. Hopefully, it's ONLY some bad gas (in the car). BTW, SES light was never on.
  • I am having the same front rattle when I drive on a little rougher roads. Does anyone have the same story on the 04?
  • listerlister Posts: 1
    How warm were your heated seats before they went out? I have a new 05 - which I LOVE, but the heated seats are barely noticeable, even on High. They are MUCH hotter in my wife's Cadillac and my son's Chevy Silverado. I tried the heated steering wheel just for comparison and it is quickly -- and noticeably warm. But the seats aren't.


  • gtgraygtgray Posts: 22
    Have the struts checked - see message #2048 - supposedly a common problem
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