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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • bad for it? ARe you kidding?
    Check was comes in Vipers, Porsches, etc from the factory. Synth oil gets its critics from people who use it older motors. Its so slick it leaks from rear main seals and potentially other areas moreso than "conventional" oils. But if you use it from the start, I don't see any problem. Also, some folks use conventional oil during a break-in period, but with modern engines thats pretty minimal. The rap was that oil llike Mobil 1 is so slick the motors don't break in.

    I use mobil 1 and have used it in all my vehicles, even used ones that started at 65K miles.

    even my mower gets mobil 1.

  • Just went through this on a 1996 maxima. Original spark plugs are NGK. Problem is no one carries them except the dealer. You know what that means. Eleven dollars per plug. Bosch makes a platinum plug for the maxima for $2.00.
  • inetdeeinetdee Posts: 3
    Hi All,

    It saddens me to say that my headlights were
    stolen out of my Maxima 2002 GLE a couple of days
    ago. Yes, I live in NY (Queens) and it was
    stolen right out while my car was parked in my
    driveway! I can't believe these damn criminals!

    What I don't understand is this:

    1. If this is such a big problem, why can't Nissan do anything about this? Come out with a solution or something? Is it because they love making the extra money selling lots of headlights to folks?

    2. Don't theives have to open the hood to get at the lights?

    3. Why are they so damn expensive? If the market is out there for them then theives are going to steal them..they're $725 each! Can you believe that crap?

    Frustrated in NY.
  • dklaneckydklanecky Posts: 559
    Check out Courtesy Nissan. They have (all Nissan dealers may also) an anti theft kit designed for the heqadlights on the Maxima that has the HID lights. ($58) They also have the headlights in a pair (on closeout?) for $1,253.

    I have no idea how (or if) it works but at least it's a place to start.........
  • wainwain Posts: 479
    they were $1295
    now about $1253
    what a deal
    we need to stock up quick
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Sorry to hear some many complaints about the HIDs. It makes me extra cautious where I park. Have HIDs stolen in one's driveway is an insult - it shows how easily they can be removed.
    Nissan should either install theft resistant device for free or sell replacement HIDs for much less. $1250 plus labor and tax is very steep!! I learned from Maxima org. that installing the theft device may slow down the theft process but will damage your car a lot more in the event of a theft. How much does Acura and Lexus charge for HIDs on their TLs and ES 300s?
  • I bought a "fleet" 2000 Maxima in June 2000 with 15K miles. Right now I have 45K miles on it, and I love the way it handles. Last November, I had a problem with rough idleing, especially in damp rainy weather. First I thought it was a minor spark plug issue, until the Service Engine Soon light came on. Took it back to the dealer, and sure enough, they said the ignition coils had to be replaced- at $110 each (parts and labor). Luckily, I had bought an extended warranty which covered everything; the dealer gave me a receipt for the work. If so many people have had trouble with this, Nissan should issue a recall. I am glad I had the foresight to buy an extended warranty up front,or I would have been stuck with an expensive bill!
    Has anyone had any luck calling Nissan HQ about this? Thanks in advance!
  • usmj1usmj1 Posts: 16
    Had the same problem last week with 40K miles on 2000 GLE. First, Service Engine, SLIP and TSP lights all lit. The next day the Service Engine light stayed on. Dealer said all coils needed to be replaced at a cost of $500. Instead of accepting this situation, I complained that it happened just beyond the 36K warranty. Probably helped that my lease expires in 60 days and they want to sell me another car. Sales manager called Nissan and arranged to cover the entire repair at no cost. FYI, there is a TSB in 9/00 which describes the repair of this faulty part tho it does not extend the warranty.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    In two weeks I will be taking my 03 SE in for its first service (oil change). In addition to the oil change I need to tell them about a vibration in my steering wheel at high speeds (60mph and up). I fear they (service at the dealer's) won't take me seriously so I need to sound like I know what I'm talking about when I go in to let them know about the vibration. I'm assuming one or two of the tires are off balance or one of the tires may have a flat spot. Also, I heard there were problems with technicians putting on the lugs too tight which eventually leads to warped rotors, which I also will want to ask them not to do.

    Please, any advice is well appreciated. Thanks!
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    If I am not mistaken, 03 SE models use Bridgestone Potenza low profile tires. These tires are quite harsh riding and very sensitive to balance. I recently test drove an 03 SE at the local dealership t and I was surprised that there was some vibration in the steering wheel around 60 MPH. After driving several miles, the vibration subsided. I believe that in this case it may have been a temporary flat spot in one of the front tires. If your vibration persists, ask to have your tires balanced. Here is the trick. Most places have their tire balancers calibrated to a round off mode of 1/4 ounce, or 7 grams. This is not sufficient to balance these tires properly. If you can find a place that can balance your tires down to about 1/8 ounce resolution, or 3 grams, you will be OK. Don't let them fool you with stories of how expensive or big their tire balancer is. No matter how accurate the machine is, if it set into a default mode of 1/4 ounce resolution, you will not be happy with the results in this car. They did this to me once on my 98 Maxima. Of course they balanced the wheels wrong and I could feel vibration until I had tires properly rebalanced.

    If tire balancing does not help, I would have the alignment checked. Extreme misalignment could cause minor vibration, but it would have to be on the extreme side. I would also check the axle shafts and CV joints if nothing else helps. Chances are your vibration problem is a combination of improper balancing of tires and perhaps temporary flat spots in the tires.
  • pbvdqpbvdq Posts: 14
    Thanks for the info. I'll be sure to make good use of it. You're not mistaken, the 03 SE tires are Bridgestone Potenzas and they are very harsh. Don't get me wrong, I love this car and I'm sure I'll love it more once I get that vibration worked out. I'm hoping it just needs a proper balance (and hoping they get it right the first time).

    Thanks again for the info!
  • brianzibrianzi Posts: 6
    long time reader, first time writer. I just bought a used maxima se 00 a couple of months a go. 1 month ago, I started the car, drove down the street, and it stalled at the light. Nothing else happened until today. I started the car and it sounded like someone fed it bad gas. It felt like it was going to stall at every light. Then the check engine light came on. I went into the gym for an hour, came out and started the car. There wwere no problems and no engine light problem. What's going on? The car only has 34K miles!
    1. Do you think it's the coils?
    2. What are coils?
    3. Can I do the job myself?
    4. I have a warranty from the used car dealer. Should this be covered?
    5. What will this problem cost to fix if not covered?
    6. Why didn't I keep my Civic?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    This is truly unbelievable. I have been considering a new 03 Maxima but this makes me wonder. What ever happened to the old sealed beam headlights? I have those on my 95 Nissan pickup and they cost about $ 10 to replace if they break. And nobody will try to steal them. And I have not replaced either of them yet.
    Seems like car manufacturers nowadays go way overboard with some car parts and accessories. In the end it is always the customer who gets screwed.
  • Hi-You may be experiencing ingition coil problems, also. Once the service engine light comes on, the mechanics can figure out what the original problem was because they can read the code in the computer memory. My cost for replacement of the coils was covered under an extended warranty, which I had purchased for "insurance" since it was a slightly used car. From what I have heard, this problem seems to be systemic in Maximas, (at least in the 2000 year), so you should be able to get the dealer to cover the cost through your current warranty. Best of luck!
  • usmj1usmj1 Posts: 16
    I agree that the ignition coils are the culprit. I had the same stalling and light warnings. The stated cost for the repair was about $500 but as noted in a later response Nissan has been aware of the problem for some time and should cover most of it. It may also be covered under the warranty on your certified used car.
  • brianzibrianzi Posts: 6
    Here's the funny thing. My engine light has been off the last couple of days and the car is running fine. My dealer said there were no codes present, however, not trusting the dealer, I took it to autozone. They found two codes. One said cylinder 1 misfire detected and the other said ignition signal primary circuit fault. When I went back to the dealer, they said if the engine light isn't on, the computer might have fixed the problem, or it could have been bad gas. If it were the coils, wouldn't the engine light stay on?
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    Reason being that the recording of the problem at that particular time reached a threshold set by the computer, however the problem may only be intermitent, thereby reaching this preset threshold only once, or a few times. Moreover the fequency of the problem does not present itself enough so as to merit recording each and every time, this may be an indicative of the part failing possibly pointing to some corrective action very soon.
  • uswweg10uswweg10 Posts: 2
    The 92 Maxima is very clean inside & out, however, after the motor warms up, it sounds like the lifters run out of oil. This is surprising because I would expect lifter noise when the motor is first started then would go away as the lifters pump up. Sometimes after letting it run the noise declines or goes away altogether. What problem am I dealing with and the cost to repair?
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    too much if they are hydraulic and you may be able to run some autorx in the system which may help with the lifters being somewhat sticky that's preventing the pumpability of the lifter and or you may be able to adjust them if they are not hydraulic.. How many miles are on the vehicle
  • mtofanmtofan Posts: 12
    I just looked at a 92 maxima yesterday. It had 165K km on it and it had the exact same problem your 92 has, uswweg10. The car I saw had some kind of an accident because one side of the car was painted. I don't think that the accident caused the engine knock. How many miles does yours have and how much did you pay for it? I'm in the market for a 91 to 93 and I just wanted to compare prices.
  • uswweg10uswweg10 Posts: 2
    gsleve, I have put in an additive for sticky lifters, so far not much change. It has 104k miles & runs very strong. When the lifters start making noise, it does change the idle slightly. Mtofan, I paid $2,000 for it, knowing about the problem & thinking the worst case scenario to fix it was to put a used motor in, which will cost about 2k. Put I could then be faced with the same problem as I have now with the used motor.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Hydraulic valve lifters control valvetrain lash (or looseness to put in basic terms) when working properly. They have a limit in terms of length that they can adjust to. This might be something as easy as making a valvetrain adjustment to bring the lifters into back into the middle of their range.

    I have a '00 but do not have that problem, so I am not sure how the valvetrain is setup, but there could be a way to manually tighten the clearance to put the lifter back into play - if that is the problem. Typically there is a fairly easy way to do this, but again, I haven't messed with mine and don't have the service manual yet. (anyone have one for sale?)

    I can tell you all about how to do it on a old fashioned pushrod motor!

    I find it highly unlikely that ALL the lifters got "Gummed up", althogh it could happen. Typically with the pushrod motors I've seen, one lifter would stick and cause a tapping noise.

    I know the noise you're talking about, my motor makes that noise when I start up cold for a second or two.

    Good luck and let us know what you do.

  • jefbeljefbel Posts: 1
    OK, here's one different. My 1997 Mazima's CEL will not come on and the local authorities will not pass it for emmisions testing unless it does. Would you guess this is a bulb problem or a fuse problem? Is there an easy way to get to the bulbs in the dash? Thanks for any advice.
  • jwieser3jwieser3 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Nissan Maxima and for the past several months the radio will switch stations by itself. I've tried to narrow it down to bumps, but it happens in smooth conditions.

    Is this an electrical problem, computer problem??
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    year maxima adjustable, you may want to check the site and peruse the particular year and model of your car perhaps do a search on lifters there may be a fix for it.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Does anybody have any experience with Redline MTU 90 synthetic manual transmission oil? This a GL-4 75W90 oil and is specially formulated without any sulphuric additives that could be corrosive to the transmission synchronizers.

    I intend to change the transmission oil in my 98 Maxima. It has about 59K miles now. Nissan does not sell any gear oil specifically for manual transmissions or any gear oil for that matter.
  • maryy3maryy3 Posts: 2
    I have read all the stories about the variable valve timing problems on my 92se. I have 110k trouble free miles so far and was expecting to drive this at least 200k miles. I have used mobil 1 synthetic oil for life of car. should I sell this car now or keep it and expect future engine valve problems?
  • Ive read all the info on the TSB for the auto trannys. Since this is my first auto, I thought that was how it worked. After reading, I think I am experiencing the same problem.
    I purchased my Maxima second hand from a Toyota dealer. Who should I go to to have it fixed? Its still under the 3000 mile used car warranty from Toyota. If its a TSB, shouldnt Nissan fix it even if its second hand car?
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    I've used the redline oil and have had success with it yet I've used mostly amsoil's gearlube because theya also make a 80w-90 syn gear oil.
  • Bought this car about five months' ago, it ran great except for alternator change -- but started making a thunking noise underneath driver's side toward back of door and then hesitating, feeling like about to stall. The noise started when I turned OFF the overdrive. Been in the mechanic's for two weeks -- he did tune-up but I couldn't drive it away, it started to hesitate, lose power etc. He's going to borrow a computer and hook it up, but can't figure out what's wrong. Anyone know anything about this problem or have had? Thanks.
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