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Nissan Maxima



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    My vote is don't get it.

    I've had a 1995 Maxima SE 5-speed for going on 8 years and 130k miles with virtually no repairs that would have been covered under the extended warranty (i.e. years 4-6; miles 36k-72k). I did have a dash rattle that was repaired at about 2 years. The only other repairs have been a few recent items (post 110k miles) that totaled less than $400 (cruise control switch, engine temp sensor, airbag light).

    I really think that $900+ for years 4-6 and up to 72k miles is a cash cow for a warranty company. Early bugs would have surfaced before 36k miles and longer term repairs would likely not be required until well after 72k miles (in my case, not yet at 130k miles). You didn't say whether you have a 6-speed or automatic, but I have yet to notice any clutch wear on my 5-speed. I have heard rumors that the automatics may not be as sturdy, but have never looked into it.

    P.S. 92drexel - Sorry you have had bad luck with your 2000 Maxima. My 1995 was a first year model and it has been bulletprooof. But I'm glad I waited a couple of years to get an S2000. The fixed a few minor annoyances on the 2000/2001 with the 2002 model.
  • 92drexel92drexel Posts: 153
    Thanks for the sympathy. Hopefully this is it for the max (no more repairs). My 92 was bulletproof like your 95...however like I said, I wasn't going to buy a warranty for my 2000, but based on my experience over the last 3 years with it (esp the last 2 weeks), I wanted that peace of mind (however I do realize that these warranty companies wouldn't offer a warranty if they weren't profiting from them). But then again, Nissan mechanics get something like $95/hour (the mechanics prob get $15 of that the rest to the dealership)labor which is plain nuts.

    I definately wouldn't buy an extended warranty when I first buy a car. I would evaluate the car first, then decide. Plus a Nissan extended warranty begins from the date of car a 5 year/100k mile extended warranty is actually 2 years/64k miles (not including the 5 year/60k powertrain warranty) if you subtract the new car warranty. So that's definately a cash cow for someone.
  • babe915babe915 Posts: 34
    my 02 se gets a vibration or slight shimmy at 65 to 78 mph dealer balanced wheels not much help, then they had them load balanced which is moving the tire on rim to match the rim. improved some but still can feel vibration in steering wheel
    might have to try another set of tires to see if that solves it. got bridgestones on said he had another se do the same thing awhile back
    anyone else have this problem
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    I know there was some issues in the past with overtightened lug nuts causing warped rotors and vibration, but this was with the 00's. There was a TSB and people were getting rotors replaced. Not sure if that would cause this prob because you're not braking when you get the vibes but I figured I'd mention it. Sounds like bad batch of tires to me. Did you rotate them around like from back to front, cross rotate, etc?
  • dogworkdogwork Posts: 5
    I have a 2002 SE and a 2001 Pathfinder LE and have been searching for where the in-cabin air filter is located on both....the owners manual just suggests going to the dealer for maintenance/replacement of this item. I just can't see doing that with something like that, so any help would be appreciated.
  • I had to dust off a late model Lincoln Mark VIII with my 02 SE yesterday. I don't think he was expecting to lose the race because when he pulled up next me at the next light, he wouldn't even look at me!!!

    HA HA HA HA!!!!
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I heard the 04 Maximas will have 4 wheel independent suspension and they will be made in the USA. Can anyone confirm that for sure? One of the reasons that I have not bought the 02 or 03 Maxima is its rear suspension, which jolts you like crazy when you hit a bump or an expansion joint on the highway. Although I love America, I prefer Japanese cars because they are better made and more reliable. The U.S. made cars that I had owned gave me heartburns because they spent more time in the mechanics' shop than on the road. I hope future American cars will be better than foreign cars, so that more Americans will buy domestic cars, which will help the economy.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Posts: 801
    Alot of "foreign" cars are built in the US now, so I'm not sure if you have to buy domestic to help the economy. Anyway, I think the domestics should build better cars to help us help the economy!
  • Don't know about the suspension, but it will be built in America.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Part of what I wanted to say (although subtle) is whether Japanese or other "foreign" cars that are made or assembled in the U.S. may have more quality-control problems than Japanese cars that are 100% made in Japan. I don't know if there are comparison studies out there on this point.
  • aftyafty Posts: 499
    Yes, it will have 4-wheel independent suspension. It's based on the Altima platform, though it might be stretched a bit. It will be built alongside the Altima in Smyrna, Tennessee.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I bought a 1995 Maxima SE in part because it was made in Japan and have been extremely pleased with my decision 8 years and 130k miles later. I've never seen a statistical analysis, but I know anecdotally that both Honda and Toyota had early problems with quality control at their US plants and that Mercedes and BMW have also had their share of headaches.

    That said, I must question your statement that the Maxima rear suspension "jolts you like crazy" when you hit an expansion joint on the highway. Is this your assessment, or are you just repeating what you've read i magazines or been told by Toyota sales people?

    IMO, my 1995 Nissan Maxima SE outhandled everything in its class at the time and still fares well against almost any other FWD car. And I still have all my fillings. The fact that the Maxima utilizes a sophisticated multilink rear axle instead of a "fully independent" rear suspension is, as I understand it, part of the reason that the car corners flatter than a Camry, Accord, Acura TL or others. I certainly have no complaints about how the Maxima handles expansion joints, and I've driven over about 130k miles of them. Re-evaluate your position on this. Personally, I'd be more inclined to take a 2003 Maxima SE 6-speed built in Japan than a 2004 built in the states - especially if it ends up having an Altima like interior in addition to the platform.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    I have a 97 Maxima GLE and a 92 Maxima GXE. The 97 (like your 95 SE) uses the multilink rear axle and the 92 uses the four wheel independent suspension. IMHO, the 92 is better in shock-absorbing while the 97 is better in cornering. I don't know if the multilink is more "sophisticated", but many auto reviewers say that it is Nissan's "cheap" move in cutting cost. Personally, I prefer a compliant and comfortable ride over a "performance" oriented ride that is bouncy and choppy. If the 04 Maxima has Altima's interior and platform, it will be a pity even if it will be "fully independent". That is why I have been looking at the 02 Acura RL, which gives a great ride and Acura is giving great incentives.
  • thanks for the input about the extended warranty. kind of puts my mind at ease. i figured that there was no use in getting it because they are well built cars. i LOVE my car so far!! will have had it a week tomorrow. quite a step up from my 1994 altima. only thing i have noticed is the vibration in the front doors due to the speakers. i just have the standard stereo but when i listen to songs with bass, i can hear vibration. if i hold onto the inside door handle it stops. assuming it may be loose so i may try to work with it this weekend. i just have the bass setting to zero. i know this is nitpicky but would like to be vibration free. after all, only had it a week. other than that it is great. sunroof is awesome and so are the XEON headlights and love the power under the hood. big change going from a 150-hp 4-cylinder in my altima!!!! just hope i don't get stopped for speeding. LOL!
  • babe915babe915 Posts: 34
    ccermak, yes i have the best two wheels on the front. what is strange is some days it goes away
    or vib changes to a different speed. a cold or warm tire rides better then when they are hot or driving for awhile. maybe it is me as i am too much of a perfectionist when it comes to my cars.
    You see i went from a 2000 acura tl that was as good as it gets as far as quality built goes. owned honda/acuras for the last 10 years with no complaints what so ever
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I prefer the performance oriented ride, so that probably explains our different opinions. I don't drive aggressively, but I still prefer a tight handling car and am probably subconsciously willing to give up ride quality to get it. Considered the 5-series last fall and would definitely opted for the sport package, even though some complain that it's a bit "harsher". It's the tightest, best handling, decent size, four door sedan I've had the pleasure of driving. I opted to postpone replacing my Maxima and got an S2000 as a second car instead. And yes, my fillings are still intact!

    As for the "cost cutting" criticism of Nissan, I think that's bunk too. I have never seen any comparison of the cost of the multilink beam vs. fully independent, but it must be next to insignificant on a $25k car. My 1995 Maxima SE came with OEM tires (Goodyear RSA's) that were fully twice as expensive (and performed twice as well) as the OEM tires on an 1995 Accord, Camry or even Lexus ES300. In my personal opinion, Toyota has milked their reputation and done far more "value engineering" (i.e. cost cutting) than any other manufacturer.

    Finally, as for the Acura RL, my attorney has a 1999 and loves it. It has depreciated significantly, but he doesn't plan on selling it anytime soon - will probably pass it on to his daughter in a year or two.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Posts: 801
    I don't know if the primary motive for the beam was cost-cutting -- only Nissan will know for sure. But I think even Nissan will admit that on hindsight, it has proven to be an inferior design. No problem on smooth surfaces, but hit a bump or 2 in mid-corner and the back end will dance around a little too much for comfort.
  • Talk about it... There is a road that I take to go to work every day that has a rather big "bump" on it (it's located in a small turn), if I hit it right (I always try to avoid it but sometimes I can't) my rear end goes all over the road. For a second, I feel like I'm loosing control. Not a good feeling I tell ya! :( I love my car but I hate the beam axle.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Hopefully the 04 Maxima's four wheel independent system will bring back the ride comfort and rear end stabiity that I have missed. Truly, I like the Maxima, particular its engine and reliabiity, and I believe, IMO, it provides the best value in its class - even better than the 6 cylinder Camry and Accord (despite what the consumer mags say). I am also hopeful that the 04 Maxima will continue to be reliable (even though it will be made/assembled in the U.S.) and that its next generation nav. will use DVD rather than CD.
    Does anyone want to add to the wish list? But be realistic because we don't want the price to go above $30k. May be Nissan is monitoring this Board and will heed our wishes. Any idea when the 04 will be released and what are the specs?
  • jimmyj1945jimmyj1945 Posts: 141
    Well, you said the magic word (30K). That is what I am worried about in order to get everything I would like. Independent suspension, AWD, =>280HP, better paint job, upgrade interior, sunshade, 5-Speed Automatic etc.

  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    I have an '87 Maxima SE and love it, but wonder whether Nissan is now headed in a Pontiac direction: huge power increases, tacky boy racer styling, etc. Current Altima seems headed in that direction. Saw a picture of the forthcoming '04 Maxima, radical styling which had huge blind spots between side and rear windows, etc. Hope Nissan does not go that route.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Back when I bought a 1995 Maxima SE in September 1994, the automotive press gave the car high accolades but jumped all over the rear end design. Which to me, even 8 years later, is not all that bad looking. A little "heavy", but not that much different than the 5-series. The rest of the car was preety clean and uncluttered, including the body color modling and "shadowline" window trim.

    Now, it seems, the newer Nissan's and Infiniti's seemed designed by committee and, IMO, the G35 sedan makes the rear end of the 1995 Maxima look beautiful by comparison. Infiniti just e-mailed me information about the new M45 sport sedan. It may have a lot going for it, but the exterior and interior looks are an absolute non-starter for me. The Altima and Maxima appear to be designed to look like they were modified BEFORE leaving the factory. Not my style - I'll take a 530i sport 5-speed, thank you very much.

    I hadn't thought about the Pontiac comparison, but that's probably a good analogy. And I have never and would never own one.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Good points.

    To differentiate the forthcoming '04 Maxima from the Altima, Nissan will probably increase the horsepower even more, possibly to 280, which is clearly overkill and excessive for this car. The big 17-inch wheels also mean a wider and more cumbersome turning circle, etc. Nissan: don't abandon function and engineering for styling overkill, boy racer design, and gee whiz looks.
  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    You guys have touched on some issues which have
    had me in a quandry for the last couple of months.

    Own a '00 SE and will trade on either a '03 or '04.
    There lies the quandry which will probably boil down to a value judgement this coming year.

    Do I trade for the '03 which is still made in Japan
    or trade for the '04 which is rumored to have rwd,
    and fully independent suspension but made in the
    USA with "maybe questionable build quality."

    I do have issues with the beam rear suspension. I
    find it does tend to fishtail under the circumstan-
    ces described above by others. Accordingly, I think
    fully independent suspension would be a blessing
    with negligible impact on flat steering response.

    I do believe that the biggest doubt I'll have to
    wrestle with between the '03 and '04 will continue
    to be the country of origin. I can't help but be-
    lieve others will share this concern.

    Possibly some input from others who share this
    board will help with my decision!!

  • berbelberbel Posts: 167
    I seriously doubt that Nissan will downgrade the
    interior of the '04 Max to the cheesy, cheap looking FoMoCo look of the Altima. The Max is their
    flagship model and the interior is part of the "total look" of the
    Maxima. Warning to Nissan: Downgrade the interior
    of the Max and I'll be in a Acura showroom looking
    at a TL "Type S"

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    You might be in the Acura showroom looking at a TL, but you will be in the repair shop with it in about 2K miles, having the tranny replaced. It seems to be a very common problem. A couple of people on the TL-S board have had their trannies replaced already, one at 2K miles.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Accords and Camrys have been built in this country for years, with superb reliabiliity records. The current suspension is the car's achilles heel, and I would certainly wait for the '04s on that basis. However, I think the next Maxima will be considerably more expensive (to distinguish it from the Altima), bigger, more powerful (unnecessarily so perhaps), etc. And if the picture I saw is accurate, with atrocious blind spots to the rear. Wait until March and you will have your choice between the new one and the leftover old one.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Popular Mechanics, Sept. issue, has a picture and description of the '04 Max. Will have 260hp, with the SE more. Possible AWD. Debuts in February. Will retain FWD, built on the Altima platform.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
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