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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    You can take this with a grain of salt, but the latest CR reliability ratings for new cars actually shows Ford, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Suzuki, and Hyundai scoring higher than Nissan.

    However, in defense of Nissan, I believe I saw a reliability report for cars that are 5 yrs. old and the rating was quite good. So, the above cars are better initially, but the Nissans apparently age better. I hope so !!
  • cmelt14cmelt14 Posts: 1
    My maxima only vibrates when the "auto" air button is turned on. When the air is off, it's fine. Could this be the air motor or fan?

    Any help would be great!
  • Hi,
    Can I set up door getting locked when I put car in gear and door getting un-locked when I put car in Parking gear? If yes, how?
    I have put my head lights in auto position, so they will switch on when its dark outside. My question is... if I unlock the doors using my key, the light flashes, the light inside the cars switches on, but not the head-light. Can I setup to switch on the headlights, when I unlock the doors using key? If yes, how?
  • dstl1dstl1 Posts: 5
    A lady friend of mine has a 96 Maxima and the starter has gone out. I've already sourced the part but I just want to make sure that their are not special tools or anything I need, or any problems to look out for. Thanks

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Nissan Maxima 1993-1998 Repair Guide

    Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery.
    On the VE30DE and VQ30DE engines, remove the air duct.
    Disconnect the starter wiring at the starter, taking note of the positions for correct installation.
    On the VE30DE engine, remove the connector brackets.
    Remove the starter-to-engine bolts ,and remove the starter from the vehicle.

    To install:

    Holding the starter in position, insert and tighten the attaching bolts. Be careful not overtorque the mounting bolts as this will crack the nose of the starter case.
    Install the starter wiring in the correct location.
    On the VE30DE engine, install the air duct and the connector brackets.
    Connect the negative battery cable.
    Start the engine a few times to make sure of proper operation.
  • I own a 96 Maxima and have not had many problems at all. But recently it has had a rough start whenever i start it cold. Then for the first 4-5 minutes driving the idle will be real low and and possibly stall. It has once or twice now, but usually catches itself. Otherwise i keep the RPMs up til it is fine again. It will run fine the rest of the time. I have not taken it in yet for the fear that it is a problem i can fix myself instead of being charged for labor. Any advice as to what it could be?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Check the air intake ducting for any cracks or other damage that could allow unmetered air to enter the engine.
  • blyonsblyons Posts: 3
    I have a 04 Maxima that I keep hearing a rattling
    sound on the right side,seems like it is right under the floor board.I've heard a sound something like this before in an old 71 celia and it was the tail pipe was loose.I don't expect this on my car that only has 10,500 mile on it and I purchased last March.Has anyone else ever had this problem.It is the SE model.
  • gtgraygtgray Posts: 22
    04 Maxs supposedly have a known strut problem. Had my front pasenger strut replaced with less than 10K miles under warranty - Nissan service knew exactly what it was - never questioned it. At the time, it sounded like a heavy bobbling or warble when driving over minor road imperfections. I have had no rattling since replaced - now at 21K miles.
  • 3M makes this plastic cleaner that may help. It comes in a variety of strenghts, so i would use the weakest stuff first. I had a problem on my '02 max's headlight covers that were cloudy from road spray and stuff and the 3M stuff cleared it right up. i is made to brighten up cloudy plastic. you can get it at most aout parts stores or try 3M's web site. good luck.
  • I have been reading elsewhere that nissan know that transmission thing was a problem in '04 and fixed it for '05. you have got me worried. I pick up my new '05 tomorrow.
  • dstl1dstl1 Posts: 5
    This was exactly what I needed!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    You're welcome!
  • blyonsblyons Posts: 3
    Thanks gtgray for the info.I am taking my car into the dealer
    tomorrow for an oil change and I'm make an appointment & inquire about the struts.Again thanks.
  • rstephanrstephan Posts: 2
    I'm using a radiator out of a junkyard Maxima for another project. As I understand it, the fans on these things vary their speed from the ECM depending on vehicle speed.

    Can someone give me the quick run down on the fan schematic? Each of the two fans has four wires. There is a green and black pair as well as a yellow and blue pair.

  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    In addition to the camshaft position sensor there is also a crankshaft position sensor. both are small magnetic pickup sensors with a wire. I have a 98 Maxima with about 104K miles and I haven't had any problems with these sensors yet. Sometimes damaging or pinching the sensor wire will cuase problems. The purpose of these sensors is to tell the engine computer the position of the cam and the crankshaft so the computer can properly time the ignition spark. As you know these are distributorless ignition system. So when you loose one of these sensors, the computer gets confused and the engine just dies. suggest you check you crankshaft position sensor wire to make usre it is not pinched or otherwise damaged. Crankshaft position sensor failure iwll cause engine shutdown as well.
  • Hi. I am looking at buying a 2001 Maxima GLE. It is in immaculate conditon with relatively low miles, 56,000. But when I took it on loan to drive it it died on me, and prior too, it was idling funny. The dealer told me it was the ECM, or engine control module. Should this problem stop me from buying the car?
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,242
    No. But have the dealer fix it; then have it checked to make sure nothing else is wrong.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • tootonedtootoned Posts: 1
    You have a fuel line that is leaking.Check the line that goes to the fuel rails.This line is going to be coming out of the fuel filter.Its a big job to do,but i lucked out because of my mechanic friend.Word to the wise get it done fast because fuel is coming out everytime the car is running.I cant help with your other problem but good luck.
  • mastjmastj Posts: 14
    Here's the lengthy letter I'm sending to Nissan and attaching to my JD Power survey. If you don't want to read it - here's the jist .... basically I'm very disappointed with the car after owning it for only 3 months. Anyone else having similar problems???

    TO: Nissan North America
    RE: Comments on 2005 Nissan Maxima SE
    VIN: 1N4BA41E35C806482

    Overall: This is my first non-GM vehicle. I purchased it because of the progressive styling and reputation for durability and value. After driving the car for 3 months and 3,900 miles, I feel severely disappointed by the overall performance of the Maxima. Although the car feels structurally solid, the drivetrain doesn’t feel smooth and seamless. The car has an unacceptable noise problem when driving over sand, salt and gravel and has severe paint chipping on the lower rocker panels. (See the “Simply Unacceptable” area) From what I can tell, it appears that the Maxima product was designed and then “shipped” without any real world testing, especially in the winter months in the Northern US.

    Although the styling of Maxima brought me to purchase the car, it will take significant improvements in the drivetrain smoothness, interior quietness and paint durability of the car to bring me back to buy another Nissan product.

    Following are my dislikes and likes of the vehicle:

    Simply unacceptable:

    Noise in passenger compartment from road stones, sand, salt & gravel picked up by tires and thrown onto underbody of car - Sound level of the stones hitting underbody is way too noisy, sounds like you’re riding in a “tin can”. In a “Flagship” car, you shouldn’t hear every pebble thrown onto the underbody. The car needs some sort of sound deadening material in the underbody area.

    After 3 months/3,900 miles, the lower rocker panel is chipped and “sandblasted” from the sand, salt and gravel put on the road during the winter. The sand, salt & gravel have been thrown up on the rocker panels by the tires – the optional splash guards have not prevented this. I have barely made two payments on the car and now I am already looking at paint chips from normal winter driving. Big disappointment!!!

    Negative items:


    Upon light acceleration, the engine feels weak, instable and insecure. The transmission shifts are too noticeable and the engine feels weak immediately after a shift.

    Excessive upshifts/downshifts in automatic transmission. A 265hp engine should be able to climb a small northern Indiana hill without downshifting.

    I’m still baffled by how the Maxima’s engine is rated at 265hp, when it feels like it can hardly get out of its own way. My old car, a 1998 Regal with a Supercharged 3800 engine rated at merely 240 hp has tons more power, shifts much more smoothly and idles more smoothly – all at 125,000 miles. Yet my brand new “flagship” from Nissan is constantly sorting for the right gear, jerking in between shifts and occasionally “freewheeling” when downshifting

    At idle, engine vibration is felt in passenger compartment. In a “Flagship” car, the passengers should be completely unaware of the engine running at idle.

    Transmission “jerks” and/or “pulsates” at speeds below 40mph – when you let off gas pedal just as transmission shifts.

    Engine doesn’t start on first try – this has happened a dozen times or so since I’ve had the car. Usually it then starts on the second try. Three times I’ve had to “crank” engine 5 or 6 times before it started. The engine cranks ok, but doesn’t either get fuel or spark – it just sets and cranks. Reminds me of carbureted engines in the 80’s that started hard when cold. With the Maxima, there appears to be no rhyme or reason why this occurs, sometimes the engine is warm, sometimes it is cold (these three times have occurred during winter months in Northern Indiana – temperatures cooler).

    Engine “races” to 2,500+ RPM immediately when started. Why in the world do you want the engine to start so fast when it is cold and the oil is stiff and setting in the bottom of the oil pan??? Some luxury cars such as Mercedes limit the RPM’s on a cold engine.


    Annoying “creaking” and “snapping” noise in lower instrument panel (near center console) – should not be hearing rattles & noises at 3,900 miles.

    Heated seats – worthless. Why should it take 5 minutes for the heated seats to warm up? By then the engine has warmed up and the HVAC system is putting warm air into the car. GM’s heated seats warm up in 30 seconds.

    Steering wheel controls should be illuminated

    Outside mirror controls are located in an awkward place – difficult to reach and use without taking eyes off of road for an extended period of time.

    It’s difficult to know when the automatic headlights have turned on – since the instrument cluster is illuminated all the time. Preferably, there should be an indicator light that shows when the headlights are on. There should also be a 30 second delay in the sensor so that the lights aren’t turning on and off excessively (i.e. when driving under a bridge in the middle of the day)

    Defroster logic. I have yet to figure out why the front windshield defroster doesn’t automatically come on when the car is first started in cold weather – but then after the car has been driven awhile it sometimes automatically switches on the defroster (when not needed).

    Seals on bottom of doors – poor design. Seal has a “V” channel in it that collects dirt and debris when driving. It’s a real nuisance to spray out this dirt when washing the car. Seal design should be improved so that dirt doesn’t collect in it.

    Positive Items

    Love the styling of the Maxima – nice smooth flowing lines.

    20 gallon gas tank, gives car a nice long driving range.

    BOSE sound system sounds great!.

    It’s nice that Nissan allows you to choose between XM or Sirius Satellite radio based upon personal preference.

    Smooth, stable ride over very rough country roads

    Instrument panel is well organized and unobtrusive.

    Interior is roomy and spacious, plenty of room in front seats and in backseat area.

    Like the suede fabric on interior door panels & how it wraps around the instrument panel.

    Like the brushed aluminum trim – gives the car a refined and high tech appearance.

    Previous cars:

    1998 Buick Regal GS (Supercharged 3800 Engine)
    1993 Buick Regal (3800 Series I Engine)
    1990 Buick Riviera (3800 Series I Engine)
    1984 Buick Regal (Carbureted 3.8L Engine)

    Contact Information:

    Jerry Mast
    Email address:
  • Sorry to hear your problems. I am owner of 2004 Maxima SL ( same as 2005 model), maintaining last couple of months. I already drove 10000+ miles with out any of major problems you have mentioned. This is not common for Maxima. I am fully satisfied with my vehicle. I am not hearing any of the sounds you mentioned. I believe some cars have road noise problem. I think Nissan already issued TSB on road noise problem. why don't you check with Nissan dealer to fix the problem. Initially my car has some balancing issues. It took 3 months to fix the balancing issue. Thanks to Discount Tires, they did good job. After that I have not having single major problem. I see some scratches on hood on my car. As per dealer, they came due to Mike Express Car wash. I always sugget to use premium gas. I am averaging 23-25 mpg. No transmission issues, no rattles. Once again sorry for the issues you are dealing.

    I have the same issues with the Nissan Quest. I traded in with in 3 months and took Maxima.
  • stevemcstevemc Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Maxima with 6000 miles. When I accelerate, white smoke bellows out the rear, and the car reeks of rotten eggs. I believe there is a problem with the catalytic converter. The dealership says the problem is the BRAND of gas I am using. We usually purchase 89-90 octane at Kroger fuel. The dealership says I should only buy my gas at BP. I can't believe the brand of gas would create this problem. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,242
    When I was having trouble with my Subaru, the dealership told me it was because I was using BP gas. Go figure. I find it hard to believe brand of gas is the problem. But 89-90 octane isn't premium, is it? You might try bumping up the octane and see if that makes a difference. And sure, use a different brand of gas for awhile; then they'll have to come up with another excuse.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • roar1roar1 Posts: 193
    If you buy that '01 GLE, DO NOT pay to have the ECU replaced. It is covered for 96 mos./ 80,000 mi. under the Federal Emissions Warranty.

    The dealer should replace it at no charge to you.
  • When I got my first maxima in 2002, I had the same complaignt. I was told that some gas has more sulfur in it than others. I saw a copy of the TSB from Nissan. This is the cause of the rotten egg smell. Apparently they use more sulfur during the winter months. I have not had an occurance with the RES since I got my 2005 Maxima. I have only had my '05 a few days though.
  • osrry to hear about your troubles. I picked up my '05 SL Maxima and so far it is perfect. I did have the lights turn on when I went under a bridge, my '02 nver did that. I do believe you have adjust the sensitivity of the auto headlights on the '05.
    i thik the thing had gobs of power, is very quiet. I also think it handles very well as compared to my '02 maxima.
    I am a happy camper so far.
  • greymaxgreymax Posts: 7
    Hello all.
    I have a 2001 SE with 48,000 miles. I've only done oil / filter every 3000 miles, routine brake work and, thats about it. Going to start putting miles on it as I'm traveling a lot more for work now. Should I be getting ready to get a new serpentine belt, change auto trans fluid, brake fluid, etc?
    Thanks for suggestions.
  • ccermakccermak Posts: 260
    Do a tranny flush, coolant flush, run a bottle of fuel injector cleaner through it, make sure the tires are good, and rack up those miles.
  • nygoal40nygoal40 Posts: 1
    I was wondering if anyone who owns a gxe model without the bose system has upgraded their soundsystem. I was thinking about putting speakers or a speaker in the rear deck where the bose system would have been. I don't know if its possible to add a speaker to the reciever even??!?!?! any ideas would be much appreciated.
  • Hi all,

    I'm running in to similar problems as it looks many others have with my '95 Maxima and 200k miles on it. For me, it doesn't stall on the freeway, but it cuts out when going slow or at a stop light. I can feel the accelerator give out some every once in a while. I just had the air flow meter replaced, but it's still having problems. I also had the fuel line replaced since that was leaking. Just wondering if anyone ever found the exact problem or solution for this.
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