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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I take it you are out of any warranty with the seller. It would not hurt to ask, good dealerships will work with you to preserve their reputation and at least give a discount to repairs.


    Your message is light on details but it seems like you are saying the ECM need to be replaced. This is a possibility, but I'd have Autozone or someone check the trouble codes stored on the computer, perhaps you are having trouble with a sensor or something. It also appears your shop is guessing if they don't know the difference between a valve and the ECM not working. There are diagnostics they can run to check each system.


    I have a 00 and its been a good car, get it fixed and enjoy.


  • docrdocr Posts: 1
    Hi! Just drove my car from Maryland to Portland, OR and of course have a multitude of problems some of which I have fixed. Could someone help with these PLEASE!


    1. There is a metal on metal scraping nose about 80% of the time the car is moving (use to be a low groaning noise). Could this just be a timing belt issue? What would cause this noise and how can I fix it?


    2. How do you change head lights?


    3. How do you change the air filter?


    4. My engine light is forever on. Since 95 Nissan Maxima's can't be given emissons test with the light on (and I have changed nox, O2, and everything!) what is the easiest way to make the engine light magically turn off temporarily? i.e. seperate the fuse for all dash board lights? Pull the bulb out (but this I think has to be done through the dash?)


    5. My front wheel makes a sputtering noise (I think) may this have anything to do with the sprokets?


    Sigh...please help! I should have been a automechanic major in colleg...lot of good neuroscience did me...ARGH!


  • I suspect #1 and #5 maybe the same issue, brakes. Have you had them checked?


    The 95 Maxima doesn't have a timing belt, it has a timing chain which should be good for ~200,000k. How many miles are on your car?


    Instructions on changing the headlight bulb are in the owner's manual. Did you get one? It's simple as access is from the back of the headlight fixture in side the engine compartment.


    The check engine light is telling you something is worng. Take it to an Autozone store and have them read the error codes and they can tell you what to start checking first (for free).


    One of the most common problems with 95-99 maximas was filling them with gas and either having the engine running while you filled up or not having a good seal with the gas cap.


    Seriously, autozone is a great place to start fixing what's wrong, not just turning off the check engine light (which they can do also).
  • mlurdimlurdi Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Maxima SL that I have owned for 5 months and went to the dealership today to trade it in. I have 28,000 miles, and am completely disgusted. This is my FOURTH Maxima...and have never had such problems. All my previous Maxima's went well over 180,000 miles with no problems.


    The biggest problem is my transmission. It has been to Nissan 3 times since October. The first 2 times they replaced 1 sensor, and the last time they told me that they were working with Nissan engineers to diagnose the problem. Basically, it shifts hard, squeaks between 2nd and 3rd gear, but the worst problem was I would get stuck in 1st gear after stopping at a stop light. It would rev up and would not shift out of 1st gear. I would have to pull over, shut the car off, and turn it back on. They replaced 2 sensors, and told me that there are 2 other Maximas in the country that have the same problem.


    The second time it went to Nissan, they also had to replace the struts...and unknown to me...they also replaced the radiator, as they said it was leaking.


    This morning, my sunroof wouldn't open. I am done, and will probably be trading it in this week. I truly feel I have a lemon.
  • bb101bb101 Posts: 7
    I bought my SE in Sept 2001 and now have 36K miles...still have all 4 original tires. I am noticing some spinning out and slipping on wet roads (luckily I live in TX without any snow).

    How long should I expect to be able to go with these tires? I was thinking / hoping 40K miles, but I am afraid the sport tires on the SE wear out faster.

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,006
    I replaced mine on my '01 GLE over the summer. I also noticed slipping some, and squealing going around turns on one side (and I'm not a hotrodder). What a difference new tires have made. I don't think the tires they put on new cars last as long as the ones you buy later. I think my Max had just under 40,000 miles when I replaced the tires.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Seems to just come and go while traveling on the highway. You can tell from the steering wheel by the way it begins to vibrate then stops. Started at 80mph, but when i slowed to 60 it still came back. I did take it back to the dealership last week, and so far so good. No vibrations at all. I still find myself worrying over it since I will return to work on Tuesday and drive about 3000 miles a month.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    I also have a similar '00 model Se and original tires, about 35k and they are getting quite slippery although reasonable tread left. I have had to downgrade my rain driving, and I am now spinning the tires leaving intersections in rain, something usually don't do since I haven't been in high school for quite some time.


    I'm also a bit cheap and Texas resident, also going to ride these out over the summer and then look for some tires at about 40k. Yes, I realize there is safety to consider folks, I just don't have to drive like a maniac and they will be ok.


    I had heard these tires were slick in the rain and they were never great but they have really gotten bad in their last bit of life.
  • beanctrbeanctr Posts: 99
    If I were you, I would investigate whether the state in which you live has a lemon law covering the issues you are having with your transmission. It may save you some money if Nissan can be forced to buy your vehicle back from you as opposed to trading the car in for something else. Just an idea.
  • i just want to say that my nissan maxima is the best car i have ever had. i have had my share of cars since learning to drive, and this maxima has been the best. i also have a chevy truck in which i love. yeah. the name spells it all. but the truck has horrible gas mileage.. I'm thinking about selling the truck.. hah. But yes, the nissan maxima is the greatest ever!!!!
  • I'm sure at some point we've all had bad experiences with bringing our cars into dealerships for service but I wanted to make special mention of a particular Nissan dealership that I would strongly recommend avoiding for any of our CT Nissan owners out there. I had problems with my car stalling in cold weather recently and with noises at start-up. So I took it in to the Manchester CT Nissan dealership service dept to find out what the problem was. It was my first time bringing my car to that particular service department. They indicated that the noise was caused by a faulty starter and the stalling was due to a weak battery and advised that I replace both. So I trusted their advise (big mistake) and shelled out a good chuck of $$ to have the work done. A week later the car stalled again. I immediately called them to tell them that they didnt fix my stalling problem. They said that the car wasnt stalling when they originally inspected it so there was no way of pinpointing the problem. (Why they decided to keep this a secret until I called to complain a week later remains a mystery). What surprised me was that they were very rude and defensive about the whole thing. Despite that, I brought the car to the dealership for another look and this time they indicated that the air flow meter was faulty and the fuel injector lines needed flushing. Both of which would set me back a good chunk of change on top of what I already spent on the starter and battery. Again, I asked why they didnt identify this when I brought my car in the first time and their response was again very rude and defensive. They told me this was a new problem and that there were no indications of a stalling problem before. (First of all, this is not a “new” problem. It’s a recurring problem and that’s why I brought the car in to begin with. Second of all, when I did bring the car in I clearly explained to them that the car was stalling in cold weather. Evidently, what I told them and what they chose to hear were two different things). I finally told them not do anymore work on the car. Primarily because I just don’t trust them anymore. You tell them whats wrong with the car and you spend money to fix the problem based on their advise but when the problem remains they deny that it existed before and they claim that it’s a new problem and want you to spend more money. I know that this is a common issue with a lot of service depts and not just isolated to one place but if your from CT and looking for a place to bring your car into, then I would recommend avoiding Manchester Nissan. The underlying issue is that they don’t respect the customer and they don’t listen to the customer. Save yourself the headache and grief. If your looking for a dealership - I’ve heard good things about Simsbury Nissan and I’ve done business with Enfield Nissan.
  • I have replaced the coils, electric motor mounts, brakes and now tires for a second time. Other than that, the car has never left me stranded. It still runs great and uses no oil. I have 103K miles. How many more reliable miles can I expect?
  • A guy just wondering what your problem was. I have the same code reading so please get back to me at

  • aristotlearistotle Posts: 123
    Hi all, the last couple of days temperatures have been hovering in the single digits in Colorado. My Windshield wiper fluid froze ( or was it some water in the lines that froze? ) and it wouldn't squirt. Don't know how that could happen. I just refilled the windshield wiper fluid yesterday and the label on the bottle said good till -25 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Last night while driving back from Denver it was already dark and my windshield became totally opaque and I couldn't see a thing! It was so weird! I couldn't see the road, the exits, nothing. Cars were coming behind me at high speeds and I was very afraid that I would have an accident. Finally I managed to barely get off at an exit and wipe my windshield with some tissue and wiper fluid.


    Has anybody had a similar experience in cold weather? When the car is in my garage I am able to use a pin to poke thru the ice in the nozzle and the wiper fluid squirts properly. But if I take the car outside, within minutes it freezes again.


    In all my years of driving I have never had such an experience. I normally do not drive in very cold weather unless I absolutely have to. Any advice, anyone?
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Your fluid has too much water in it.


    If you are looking for an instant fix, drain all the existing wiper fluid and buy some GOOD stuff, with adequate alcohol or whatever they put in there to keep it from freezing.


    Cold weather is not a problem, you should be able to go much colder, I've driven -15 F and not had that problem.


    In bad cold weather like that, folks I know keep a gallon or so in the back seat to refill, you use it a lot on a wet snowy roads when there isn't rain to clear the window.


  • got a '92 maxima SE automatic with 207K miles on it. the car will chug like it's not getting enough fuel when accelerating, also when stopped at a light for example - put in neutral from drive and it stops. had sparkplugs changed, oxygen sensor and something else changed relevant to it passing emissions test, but car still does same thing. have noticed now that car backfires very slightly when accelerating - not heard it much as of yet. husband thought it might have something to do with fuel pump or injectors, but mechanics have not even considered that or we're under the impression they've checked. need advice soon, spending too much money on car repairs lately (more on a chevy blazer with half as much mileage), to want the mechanic to go searching around for any old problem they can find.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    Backfiring is usually a fuel problem or an exhaust problem, but most likely a fuel mixture problem. Backfiring is caused by running too lean if I remember correctly. Happens on my motorcycle and I had to "re-jet" the carburator to be richer. So it does sound to me like a fuel injector issue, either plugged injectors, or else a computer problem of some kind (like Oxygen or Airflow sensors) telling the car what ratio of fuel to air to use. But I'm certainly no mechanic, maybe P100 can chime in? You said you had the plugs changed, did they tell you if they were burnt, or fouled by chance? Did you see them? Changing plugs may help for a bit but if there's an underlying problem they'd just go bad again. See it all the time with two stroke bikes.
  • i have 50k on my tires and they are fine in on dry roads but suck on wet. you could squeeze another 19k out of them, but that's it.
  • so, what tires should i buy next for my excellent 2k2 black SE? also, ziebart has a product to reduce road noise that they install underneath. anyone have any experience with that?
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I ran Dunlop SPA2 tires on my 00SE but I won't be buying them again. Too loud and wore out just as quick as the stock Toyos. Not sure what I'm going to run this summer, right now I have Dunlop Wintersport M3's on for winter in MN and they ride better than the SPA2's and they're quieter too, go figure!!
  • max04max04 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a used 04 Maxima with 20,000 miles. I am very disappointed with the noisy ride. I guess when I test drove it, I was on a smooth street. You can hear every crack in the road with this car. Our cheap Mustang is smoother, and my neighbors Focus is alot quieter than this Maxima. This car came with Continental tires. Could this be the problem? I love everything else about the Max, but for the $$$, I thought it should be alot quieter. Any suggestions?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    for what it's worth - i'd proceed to check the pressure in your tires comparing to the recommended inflation on the door jam? your tires may be overly inflated. this has been mentioned in other forums. my car transmits more road noise to the cabin when i over-inflate the tires. i presume the tire becomes "stiffer" and doesn't damp the road imperfections as much.


    just an idea. good luck.
  • can anyone please tell me where my lighter is located on my 2004 Maxima SE i have been looking and can't find it or any of the DC power outlets i have looked in the owners manual it's not listed. in the book it states about a cell phone charger area located near the console. please help. also what is the black film on the edges inside of the front windshild around the mirror?
  • I have a 2004 Maxima SE, and I just wanted to warn everyone. Never spray glass cleaner or in my case Armor-all on the dashboard. It has left this cloudy film all over the fuel, speed, and Rpm gages. It pisses me off and I can't get it off. Does anyone have any ideas, how I can get rid of this film? I'm at the point at just getting a whole new dashboard cover. Also has this happen to you guys, my automatic stick shifter is always loose and when I go to tighten it it pops up. I think it's spring loaded. The dealership I bought it at has not tried to help. Thanks, JFM
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    My windshield wiper fluid froze the first winter I had my car. I think my dealer just adds water when they do the oil change. Ever since, I make a point of filling up the winshield washer fluid tank with the proper fluid before going to the dealer for any service. That way they cannot add anything to it. Never had the fozen fluid again!
  • I recently encountered my first problem with my 02 Maxima since i first purchased it. After a long trip yesterday, i noticed that the Service Engine Sign warning light indicator came on out of nowhere. According to the manual, if the sign is steady and not blinking, that means the fuel filler cap wasn't properly tightened or there maybe a problem with the Emission Control System. The manual also claimed that after tightening the cap, it should dissappear after a few trips. Well, its been almost 2 days, and the sign is still there after about 10 trips. Is this something very serious? My car i still under warranty for a month. Is this something the dealer should take care of under the warranty?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • aggiedogaggiedog Posts: 238
    It's probably not serious but it could be very costly if you miss your warranty cutoff. My light came on in my 02 SE at about 35K. It was an 02 sensor that the dealer had to pay for. If I had waited, I'd have been out of between $300 and $400. Any SES that appears when your car is under warranty is on the dealer. It shouldn't cost you a penny.
  • hdaohdao Posts: 20
    Your price seems right, the O2 sensor it self costs $80-$120 for each + $100-$200 for each installation labor. Since most cars today are using engine control module (ECU) to populate a trouble code(s) when something goes wrong. The problem is that most dealers don't want to narrow that problem further. Once technicians receive a trouble code from the scanner, they just want to go ahead to replace with new parts. For the O2 sensor related trouble codes, I would check the electrical connector, wiring harness, then erase the code. If the same code happens again, then he can replace a new sensor.


    Owner should do some research on internet, he might find some information of how to read these trouble codes. Here are the list that I have done for my 99 Maxima and saved alot of monies ever since.

    1) I saved $70-$80 each time, not to bring my car to dealer for code reading.

    2) My car had a code for EGRC solenoid/V. Dealer wanted to replace it with $140 part + $150 labor. At least, they should had narrowed down whether the wiring harness/connector was bad by measuring the resistance (according to the Haynes Book which I bought later). They didn't. I trouble-shooted myself, the problem disappeared without buying a new EGR valve. It might had been a loosen wiring harness/connector and vacuum tubes that run into the valve.

    3) I had bad ignition coil code in the past, dealer wanted to replace all six coils ($700 parts & labor). They did not want to find out which particular coil(s) was bad. Later, I found only one coil and replaced that bad one ($80). I have been driving another 30k miles and have yet seen another ignition coil problem.
  • hdaohdao Posts: 20
    Not only CT Nissan Dealer, but I have experienced with some Nissan Dealers in TX as well. I guess that most dealers regardless of car brand may be the same. It is hard to find a trusted dealer or technician nowadays unless you know him well. However, I found some so-called a good and honest technnician sometimes posting a very helpful message on internet. A most problem today is that cars are made up with a computerized engine control module (ECM or ECU). This box is to monitor any trouble signal. When something goes wrong, the ECU is likely pop-up a trouble code. It is good news that we don't have to do much trouble-shootings like an old car. The code usually tells us what part of the car need to be pin-pointed or replaced. The problem with most dealers is that they might not have time nor wanted to do more trouble-shootings. When they got a code, they would recommend to replace that part. What has happened to my 99 Maxima with the ignition coil was that they wanted to replace all six coils rather to replace just the bad one. I finally found information of how to read the flash code and pin point a particular ignition coil#. Yet, I have replaced only one bad coil for $80 while the dealer would have had charged me $700 for all 6 coils. I have been driving ever since for 30k miles and have yet seen a problem again. Same thing on EGRC solenoid/v trouble code, the dealer wanted to replace a new EGRC valve ($134 part + $100 labor). They supposed to check the wiring harness, electrical connector, and vacuum tubes that run into the EGR valve before concluded that the EGR valve was bad. I bought a Haynes Repair book and followed the troubleshooting. The problem was due to clogged and cracked vacuum rubber tubes. After carefully unplugged and plugged all wiring/connector and re-adjusted the vacuum holes, the problem was gone without replacing a new valve. The O2 sensor may be the same. One should check the wiring and measure the resistance of sensor before replace a new one. At least to erase the code to see if the same code populating again. Other o2 sensors may be hard to reach but replacing a downstream o2 sensor is just like changing a spark plug. Of course, one needs to have a jack to lift car up for more working space. If one can do it himself, he would save about $150 for laboring. I feel especially sorry for elders and women who driving a car with ECM. Yet, dealer usually charge $75 each time for reading the code.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    $ 700 for replacement of six coils, eh? No wonder these dealerships can afford fancy showrooms and employ scores of salesmen who jump on you the minute you pull into heir parking lot.


    Let's see: The dealer cost for these coils is about $ 40 piece, or $ 240 a set. It takes about 1/2 hour labor to install all six (I know because it took me that long to remove them and reinstall them on my 98 Maxima when I changed the plugs.) So $460 for 1/2 hour of labor equals $ 920 an hour. I wonder how much they pay their techs? Maybe $ 25 an hour?


    With this kind of profiteering, are you surprised that they are not interested in checking your coil resistance to determine which is defective? They just replace them all!


    This helps explain why the owner of our local Nissan dealership drives a $ 200K Ferrari.
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