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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 96 maxima that when the engine gets cold, you have to pat the accelerator several times to crank it. I have replaced the temp sensor, the knock sensor, the air flow meter and cleaned the throttle body by hand and also had a nissan mech. run their cleaner through it also. I still ahve the same prob. Runs fine when warm. Does anyone have any ideas. Help. Thanks
  • I have a maxima '95 with 96k miles on it and now I have had problems for the last 2 month: The car is running perfect and then, without any light to check for code failure, it or stop running in a red light or stop sign or begin to stall at regular speed in the highway, always a great consume of gas and black smock is present in the emission (you can see it from the rear mirror), it resume to normal after a very short term, I went to a 2 separate shops and because of any light is present, the computer do not reflect the failure,in all the cases the car was running perfect and failure was not presented, some day a furious guy will kill me for delays in the stop sign or else, can any body can help me please!!!
  • I find it odd that there is little to no mention of the notorious shimmy problems well known in the 2004 Maxima. My 05 (owned less than a month) is going in this week for the fourth time for the same problem. It will be the dealerships last chance to fix it, lemon law after that.


    No shimmy problems out there? It's a major topic on other Maxima forums.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Try searching this discussion using the term "vibration".

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  • 1996 Nissan Maxima SE owner since 1999. No major problems until paid off 6 mo ago.

    Brake light stays on- fluid ok, new brakes

    Brakes squeal in any weather, especially loud in summer,

    Bose system radio is fine, CD works when it wants to, usually when heater is on in car. No display lights on radio dial, must use psychic lady for correct scanning....

    lets see.....

    keyless remote stopped working, so I got battery replaced in both keys. Now nothing responds at all. Called dealership and they want me to "replace" system with new one, of course.

    Was experiencing unknown phenomenon of windows rolling down on their own at night during thunderstorms, alarms sounding briefly and trunk popping-causing light to come on and drain battery overnight. Other than that, we've loved the darn car.


    Checked with local dealer and BOSE wants entire system sent to them and $1500 to "look" at system, no repairs, no guarantees. The response made in 2001 of this is NO LONGER IN SERVICE.

    Q: regarding 2001 response: Which button do I press while turning the key in the ignition to reprogram the keyless remote? Do I do both keys this way?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    The reason for the brake light staying on could be a defective sensor or a loose wire to a sensor.

    I believe that there is a brake fluid level sensor in the brake master cylinder.


    Brake squealing: did they reinstall the original brake pad shims when the pads were replaced? If not, you need to reinstall them, or at least buy anti-squeal paste and smear it on the BACK of the brake pads. This will usually solve the problem. You can get brake pad anti-squeal paste at any auto parts store. Just do not apply any on the busineess end of the brake pads.


    Bose stereo: forget the $ 1500 checkout/repair deal - this would be unacceptable even for a brand new Rolls Royce radio. With some luck, you can find a good Bose radio in a local junkyard for $ 100 and install it yourself. Usually they will give you some warranty on it, so if it does not work, they will exchange it or give you your money back. Not long ago, I saw a Nissan Maxima Bose stereo on E-bay for a very reasonable price. You may check there as well.


    To get remote programming instructions, go to any Nissan dealer service department, and ask them to print you out a copy of remote programming instructions. They did this for me for free. it takes only few minutes to do this. If this does not work, you will have an issue with the remote actuator in the vehicle.


    Windows operating on their own and other electrical malfunctions during thundrestorms: the only correlation i see here is potential water leak into electrical components, such as power window switches, thus completing the circuit. However, ignition must be on for the power windows to work. You could have a short in the wiring somewhere.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I hate to repeat it, but the most probable reason for front end vibration is either improperly balanced tires, or bad quality tires.


    I assume that they tried to rebalance your tires several times and it did not work. I would recommend finding a tire shop what has the new Hunter GSP 9700 balancer. This machine is not just a wheel balancer, but it has the ability to simulate on-the-road tire behavior. It has a roller which is forced against the tire while it is spun, and the machine measures the variations in the road force in the tire. The main reason for these road force variations is the fact that no tire is perfectly round, and if the tire is poorly made and egg shaped, these force variations will be excessive. Usually, a good tire will be in the 4-6 lbs road force variation range, a marginal tire somewhere around 10+ lbs. The machine will automatically diagnose a tire problem and display the results.


    Low quality tires, especially in 18 inch size, are very difficult to balance. They must be mounted properly on the balancing machine and here is another problem. The best way to mount tires on a balancer is by using flange adapters with a centering cone on the back side of the wheel(e.g Haweka brand), which hold the wheel by the lug nut holes - same way they are mounted on the car. Usually, much better results are obtained this way. The worst and least reliable way to mount the wheel on a blalancer is by using a centering cone on the outside of the wheel, tightening the wheel against the balancer shaft flat flangen (unfortunately most places use this technique because it is the quickest way). If no lug hole adapters are available, a better way is to use a centering cone on the backside of the wheel, and a centering cup on the outside. Unfortunately, MOST places will use only a centering cone on the outside, and tighten the wheel too quickly, thus increasing potential for centering the wheel wrong, which will cause the wheel to be balanced totally wrong (the machine will still display all zeros when they tack the weights on, but the balance wil be wrong). One thing you can do in this case, if you suspect something, is to ask the technician to demount the wheel from the balancer, mount it again and spin it again to show you that it is still balanced. I tried this several times at the local tire shop and every time the results were unbelievable, usually .5 or even .75 of an ounce out on each side! This will cause terrible shimmy, believe me. In a passenger car, you will feel as little as .25 ounce imbalance on either side of tire at high speeds.


    I would invest in a high quality set of Michelins and find a place that can properly balance them before starting lemon law proceedings. There are other reasons for front end vibration, such as loose or defective suspension bushings, bad struts, defective or damaged steering box, etc. It is possible that new Maximas have issues with some of these, but these should be well documented and identified problems by now. Check all tech bulletins to make sure they are not hiding something.


    But tire quality and balancing are the principal reasons for shimmy/vibration. Front end vibration is usually perceived as shaking in the steering wheel, rear end vibration as vibration in the seat or floorboards. I have had very good luck with Michelin tires. Michelin LTX M/S is by far the best truck/SUV tire I have ever had, and Michelin Energy is the best passenger car tire in terms of smooth ride, even wear, and thread life. But even the best tire will cause an unpleasant ride when balanced wrong. An example: my coworker had Michelin LTX M/S tires on his Durango. He complained about vibration and had the tires balanced three times by the local Dodge dealer. They balanced them wrong three times! Rebalancing the tires on the Hunter GSP 9700 machine took care of the problem. When spun on that machine, all tires were ojut by as much as .75 ounce on each side! ?There was nothing wrong with the tires or with the vehicle. I must also mention that after the thrid unsuccssful try the Dodge dealer told my coworker that the vehicle needed new ball joints at the cost of something like $ 1000. He declined to have those replaced.


  • I really appreciate your comments. Just picked up my car, still the same. They have put on three sets of tires. They even took the tires off the General Manager's SL (that didn't shimmy on his car), but my car still had the shimmy. They have balanced three different sets of tires on the Hunter Machine, plus three different sets of rims. Still the shimmy. I will take your reply to them tomorrow and show the tech that has been working on it. They are out of solutions. They were wondering if there is something wrong with the suspension. I have no idea since this is out of my league. Thanks again!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    There are many types of Hunter wheel balancers. Did they have the 9700 model that I mentioned? Measuring the roadforce variation is the exclusive province of that balancer.


    Let's assume that your vibration problem is not caused by faulty or imbalanced tires/wheels.


    Other possible causes:


    Defective inner CV axle joints can cause vibration upon accleration. I had this issue with my 99 Mazda. Replacing the inner CV joints and axle assemblies took care of the problem. I also had a problem with the left front hub assembly that was no pressed together properly and caused shaking of the hood and weird braking at times. The problem became obvious when I could not put the wheel on the hub without forcing it on because the lugs were not properly centered around the center of the hub.


    Defective tierods, or defective steering rack- these are possibilities also. They should systematically check the front suspension. struts can definitely cuase a vibration. I remmeber reading posts about defective front struts that Nissan replaced on many Maximas.
  • klg677klg677 Posts: 1
  • Thanks again. The tech that has been working on my car was not in Saturday, so I am hoping to provide him with this additional information on Monday. The dealership, if I didn't mention this before, is now waiting on a "specialist" to come in and see the car.


    I'm curious, since the vibration doesn't start until approximately 20 minutes or so after driving the car, will the items you noted still hold true??


    I did speak to a Goodyear store manager who stated that the GY tires where created specfically for the 04/05 Maxima and he has seen nothing but trouble from them including cracks and was not surprized by my comments about the car's behaviour.


    He said the only other tire he knows that will fit the car are Bridgestones, as the Continentals are worse than the GY's.


    Thanks again!
  • max05max05 Posts: 29
    open the center console and remove the tray to access the area where cd's can be stored. At the bottom of this there is a black cap which can be removed....there is an outlet there, which does not have a lighter, but looks like one would fit.
  • I have replaced 7 coils on my Nissan Maxima 2000. The first went at 30,000 miles, the next two went at 67,000 miles. The dealer persuaded us to replace the additional remaining four to avoid additional labor charges. I have filed a complaint with Nissan at 1-800-nissan1. I encourage all to do the same. This will help to get a recall, at which time I was assured by Nissan that all who have spent hundreds of dollars, as I have, will get reimbursed. The individual dealers should be held responsible as well. I was leaving the dealership when my third coil blew!!! What a coincidence. They wanted to charge me again for the labor on the additional coil, and I wasn't even out the door! They ended up only charging me for parts after some heated discussions. A complaint was file against them as well.
  • merdiemerdie Posts: 12
    We've had our 05 for 2 months, 600 miles. Vibration is bad, begins at about 70 mph and above. Contacted the dealer and one of the service personnel rode in the car and acknowledged the problem. The technician, whom we have known for several years and thru 4 Maximas, knows there is a problem. He called the Tech Line Specialist and got no help and called Nissan North America and was told since the problem happened above 70 mph, the posted speed limit, that he was not to do anything to fix the problem. So Nissan knows there is a problem but doesn't want to admit it. We had an 04 with the problem but thought it was fixed in the 05. Last Nissan we will buy and like you, we might be getting a Consumer Advocate attorney.
  • Have you read about the complaints on this on the website? Many people have complained about this to them. I hurt a lot of people had strut problems also.
  • gtgraygtgray Posts: 22
    I picked up a 2004 SL with all the goodies in October 2004 - my 3rd Maxima. I am becoming increasingly concerned over Nissan's quality - as I have had a strut replaced, a side view mirror replaced due to faulty motor / memory mechanism, and now one of the steering wheel radio buttons is acting up. Nissan is replacing the whole steering wheel for that one (about a $3000.00 item from what I'm told). The car has 18,000 miles and is still under warranty.


    Has anyone purchased an extended warranty FROM NISSAN (not one of the independent services I receive daily spam about)on a vehicle this long after the original purchase? What can expect to pay for that? (i.e. - I don't really expect to pay full price - I realize that extended warranties can be had at roughly 50% the first price the dealershipos give you when you negotiate the price of a vehicle.) Thanks!!
  • hdaohdao Posts: 20
    It may be the time that you might need to learn how to read the code and change these faulty ignition coils. It could save you alot of $$$. The link below is an sample of how to get the flash code.



    I also bought a Haynes Repair Book for Maxima. Changing a ignition coils is not really hard. I changed one of my coils instead of the dealer wanted to changed all six. Yet, I have been driving for 30k and have yet seen the problem again. When you buy a new replacing coil, make sure that the part number on the new remanufactured coil different than the part number of the orginal old coil. Tell the dealer allows you to look up on his computer database or catalog... I believe that the new one has the last number with "2" where the original one is "1"
  • I purchased my 04 SE when they came out in the Spring of 2003. I only have 9500 miles on our huge F-250 diesel on trips....anyway for about 6 months now I get a rattling sound coming from the back window area? At first my husband and I thought it was because the brake light cover was not secure and hitting the window after having the windows tinted? But, it is secure. Anyone else having this problem? Thanks for any ideas? Yes, it will go to the dealership if we cannot find the problem.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Might save a trip to the dealer if one of you drives while the other sits in the back seat and see if you can track down the source.
  • I made the same mistake with my 00 Maxima. I believe the owners manual warns against using any type of cleaners on the cover. There's really nothing you can do about it besides replacing it with a new one if its really bothering you.
  • Yep, my husband sat in the back seat and cannot pin point the noise. He is going to get into the truck and check and see if there is anything loose around the speakers? When I'm seating in the driver's seat, to me it sounds like it is coming from the brake cover? Hopefully we can find it. It is driving me up the wall!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    When I was an apprentice I used to get driven around in car trunks with a flashlight listening for noises while one of the licensed techs drove. It pinpointed lots of rattles and squeaks, but not the hot setup if you have motion sickness. LOL
  • Wow, I just entered the forum and was blown away by all the folks that have had ignition coil problems with their Maximas! I'm in the same boat!

    I had all six coils changed @36,000 miles. The dealership treated the service as if under warranty. A year later #2 coil went bad. I paid for replacement. 10 months later #6 coil went bad. So I replaced that coil and remaining four. I've spent over $700 total for repairs! Thanks for link to determine service engine warning and ECU code diagnosis. I will not take car to dealership for repair if it happens again. Seems as though Nissan should offer a recall with this many people experiencing the same problems!
  • nrydernryder Posts: 2
    I purchased a Nissan Certified used '99 Maxima in 2001 and went ahead and picked up the Nissan extended warranty while I was at it. Funny thing is, I never had anything happen with the car while it was under warranty (other than brake pads and the usual regular maintenance). I now have just over 100K miles on the car and some things have started happening (timing chain tensioners have failed, drive axles needed replacement)...but alas, my warranty expired at 100K. I've seen people say it's not worth the money or you can bargain the price down.


    However, I say if you can get the price on the warranty dropped and have it included in your financing, why not buy the very least for the peace of mind. I know it helped me rest easier at night knowing that if the engine dropped out of the car for some reason, it would be covered.
  • nrydernryder Posts: 2
    Ok...let me start by saying I'm a poor college student needing the ultimate in car advice right now. First off, my '99 Nissan Maxima has been in the shop for a little over two weeks now. The first issue was new drive axles. They were quite noisy...lots of bad noises when turning. After those were replaced, my mechanic indicated that he heard a noise that indicated to him my timing chain was slipping. His shop got down to the timing chain and said that the tensioners on the chain were not working properly. Thus, the chain slipped. Does this sound unusual for a '99 Nissan Maxima with a little over 100K miles? I'll admit, this car has been driven very hard...lots of road trips, etc.


    Secondly, I told him to go ahead and continue looking at the engine and before I know it, he's sent my heads out for re-machining (without even telling me or asking before-hand). Why would those need to be re-machined and is it plausible that it was caused by a timing chain issue?
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,017
    To both of you who have Maxes with over 100,000 miles: they are going to need things. CV boots split, timing chains loosen, batteries die. Older cars with lots of miles cost money; the question is, how much and how often? If you haven't had much problems up to now, that's a good sign and all you can go by.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • I have always wanted a nissan maxima but the cost was outrageous. I have found a used one that is a 2001 and has 104,000 miles one owner I am carrying it tomorrow to have my machanic look it over. I have been reading alot of bad things about maximas that scare me. I was told to make sure to have the timing belt or chain checked. Is there anything else that I should have checked before I decide to buy the car.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    The most common failures on an 01 Maxima are going to be the coils, 02 sensors, MAF sensors, tranny and the brakes. Beyond that, they're pretty solid and should go 150k easy. I've got 75K on my 2000 and so far needed an 02 sensor and an altenator. That's it, nothing else, not even brake pads yet at 75K!! Yes, you heard me, I'm on original brakes, pads and all, at 75K. Had them inspected recently and mechanic was astonished and said don't think twice until summer, and the rears are more worn than the fronts.
  • SO true about the struts...I had mine replaced last week after less than 2 months on my '04 SE, roughly 4300km.

    The shimy I have felt as well but only around 80-100km/h (50-60 miles/hr) and the tires were caked with snow. Very cold out as well. -24 degC.

    The only other things about mine that are suspect are the mysterious water dripping from the upper console (sunglasses holder) and the cloth on my headrest un-stitching. The dealer has given me no reason to complain about them though. Very helpful, so far.
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