Last post on Nov 22, 2013 at 8:34 AM
You are in the Nissan Maxima
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Nissan Maxima, Sedan
#7893 of 8984 Help me buy a new to me car.
Feb 08, 2004 (9:55 pm)
I need to get a new used car and I am heavily leaning towards a 4th gen maxima. Preferablly a black 1997 Maxima SE with an automatic tranny. But I am having difficulty locating many vehicles like this within a few hundered miles of Columbus, OH.
I was wondering what percentage of the 4th gens came in SE trim? Are they that much harder to find then a GXE?
What else can i do to try to find one? I have used sites like edmunds and autotrader to do searches and have found a few cars within 200 miles, but some have well over 100,000 miles on them(I would prefer less), others are manuals some are just plain ugly(champagne or white are not colors I will drive around in). I have attemtped to search local dealers sites to not much success. Is there anything else I can do to help myself find a car and become one of the few, the proud, the nissan fanboi's, LOL.
ANy help you can give me is appreciated.
One other thing if someone could list the specific differances between the GXE and SE models, that would be great. As near as I can tell these are it.
Alloys, white face guages, rear spoiler, leather wrapped steering wheel, sport suspension and fog lights, did I miss anything?
I really wnat a nice looking car so the white face guages, the fog lights, the alloys and the spoiler are all pretty important to me.
Feb 09, 2004 (8:28 am)
The new grille is for the Altima, it won't fit your Maxima. Try an aftermarket supplier if you need to replace the "tooth".
Feb 09, 2004 (8:50 am)
I'm really surprised you can't find a '97-99 Max in Columbus, Ohio. I live near there and have been perusing the ads for my son recently and have seen quite a few. Especially look at the Germain dealerships -- Lexus, Nissan, and Toyota -- and Nissan North, as well as Coughlin Toyota and Nissan in Newark. I also see them frequently advertised by private sale in the Dispatch ads. It wouldn't be that surprising for a '97 to have 100,000 miles. That's a 7-year old car. Maybe you should look more for a '99 (don't know your budget). Sometimes you have to be a little patient to get the used car you want, especially if you're even picky about color.
#7896 of 8984 reply to #7893 ( help me buy a car)
Feb 09, 2004 (10:59 am)
I happen to own a champagne color 98 SE and I do not think it is ugly at all. One option you may want to look for on a 97-99 SE is the convenience package, which adds the remote keyless entry, burglar alarm, driver's power seat, and homelink transmitter for garage door opener. I would also recommend getting one with the Bose stereo, as it is an outstanding factory unit, with both casette player and CD player.
You can get GXE model for a lot less than SE model, especially if you buy a five speed manual. However, SE is a much nicer car. BTW, a 5 speed manual SE also comes standard with leather wrapped shifter and boot. One thing you should watch out for on an older Maxima are the gas hood struts, which will go weak with age. The replacements from Nissan are outrageously priced, but you can get good working aftermarket units from Auto Zone for about $ 40 a pair. Also, ignition coils tend to go bad in these cars after about 100K miles. I would also consider the car condition to be the most important, not just the mileage. A low mileage car which has been neglected is not necessarily the best buy. A well maintained Maxima with 100K miles is good for at least another 100K. And chances are that a well maintained 100K mile car will have new coils and some other components (such as axles and CV joints) already replaced.
#7897 of 8984 '02 and '03 Maxima Recall
Feb 10, 2004 (12:31 pm)
For those of you with 2002 and 2003 Maximas, you may want to check the Nissanusa.com website regarding a recall on the Engine Sensor. I just checked my VIN against the applicable VIN's and my car fell under the Recall cars. I just called my dealership to make an appointment. If I hadn't checked the website, I wouldn't have known since I still haven't received anything in the mail. Just a heads up to those of you that don't know yet!!
#7898 of 8984 Maxima Rental
Feb 10, 2004 (7:41 pm)
This is so strange. My great Pontiac Grand Am GT1 was damaged while parked in front of my house. It will take several weeks to repair and I went to Enterprise and got a 2004 Maxima. The car has some really nice features and some characteristics that make me sorry I rented the car. (And I so miss my Pontiac which fits me like a glove and drives to my absolute desire.)
On the positive side, the engine is pure power and smoothness. It has outstanding acceleration which can not really be appreciated with the strange 5 speed automatic. It burns rubber and displays terrible torque steer if one tries to really take off to use the full power. So, you find yourself doing a slow initial take off to get the car stable before you punch the accelerator. Also, the car is rough riding on normal city roads and has a very poor turning radius making the car feel heavy and plodding.
On the plus side, on the highway driving to Las Vegas, it has great power and delivers outstanding gas mileage (over 27 according to on-board computer) and is capable of well over 400 miles between gas fill-ups. The stero is great, the steering wheel controls are decent, the cruise control on the steering wheel is perfect, the dual sun visors really help, the brakes stop straight and true, the interior is super quiet, the seat is comfortable ( electric seat controls act wierd much different than an American car), the interifor space and trunk space is impressive.
I think it would be a great car if it felt smaller, steered with a quicker turn ratio and was rear drive. Also, give me a 4 speed auto anytime. It just doesn't know what gear to be in and as a result gives a mixed signal of responsiveness. I think the G35 would be a better car to drive on a regular basis.
I can't wait to get my Pontiac back.
#7899 of 8984 mikef - SE vx. GXE
Feb 11, 2004 (5:40 am)
A few other differences you missed that the SE has over the GXE: body colored door handles, shadowline trim around door windows (black vs. chrome), slightly better seats w/ lumbar driver adjustment, liquid filled engine mounts & more sound insulation.
It sounds like you are more concerned about cosmetic items than actual performance differences. We considered an automatic GXE at the time (wife was pregnant), but got a 5-speed SE (1995 model). No options other than ABS. Nine years and 150k miles later, it's still an enjoyable car to drive with the responsive 5-speed and sport suspension. Not to offend other automatic owners, but if you are killing yourself to find an SE with an automatic just for the cosmetic differences, you are missing a big part of what the SE version is all about. Had I got the GXE with auto back in 1994, I'm quite certain I would be driving something else today and wouldn't have been able to justify an S2000 as a third car. Our SE 5-speed, even with it's standard stereo and lack of a sunroof, is a driver's car.
Also, have you ever owned a black car? Finding a 1997 in black that still looks good - and then keeping it that way - may be a full time job. I had a black Supra and it was definitely a love-hate relationship.
#7900 of 8984 mikef buying used 97 SE
Feb 11, 2004 (11:16 am)
One can look at a number of places on the internet to find used 97-99 Maxes in any given region around the country. I noticed however, that the proportion of SE models is small compared to the other models. I would be very careful about buying a used SE with a lot of miles with a manual transmission. I think that these are more sensitive to possible poor habits by former owner(s) than are auto trans which are generally more fool-proof.
Our 97 Max SE is still fun to drive after 7 years of ownership and 156K relatively trouble-free miles. Color is obviously a personal choice and I think that black was the best looking color for the 95-99 generation. When my wife needed a new car in late 96 and test drove other car makes and then a black SE, she very quickly decided that the Max SE was the car for her. We both liked black, but decided against it for two reasons: Dirt and winter salt (northern Illinois) are more prominent on a dark color and more frequent cleaning would be needed. Safety was the second and really more important reason. There have been many articles in magazines and the media over the years regarding visibility of vehicles with various colors and black and other dark colors have been shown to be and are obviously less visible than lighter colors. I think that a lighter color such as white on a car is more visible to other drivers and thus gives one a slight edge in safety. Might not look as cool, but if it gives an edge in safety, then thatís desirable to us.
The auto trans on our Max has had 2 flushes and fluid changes thus far and has been trouble-free. Having owned many car makes with both manual and auto trans over the years, I would say that the 97 Max engine/auto trans combo is the best car with auto trans ever for me. Always very smooth, crisp and positive.
#7901 of 8984 thanks for the info guys
Feb 11, 2004 (5:32 pm)
Yeah I really like the looks of the black maxes, but I do understand how hard it is to keep them looking good. I hadn't even considered that the color could have an effect on safety, but what you said makes sense. While I would prefer black, I would be very happy with the dark green that I have seen, or silver, or like a titanium/charcoal color(did the max come in this color)? Really I don't even know exactly what colors are available. It seems to me the most I have seen are white or champagne(that is the metallic beige color, right)? And neither of those really appeals to me at all.
I am still looking for more pics so I can see every color the max comes in.
Yes I am concerned with cosmetics, I am still quite young at 22, and looks are still a big part of my life. I am flexible on the color, as long as it falls into one of the few colors I have listed or maybe a couple other when i see them. I do very much prefer the look of the 5 spoke alloys to the GXE wheels. And I also feel most cars look boring with a rear spoiler, so all those things are kinda important.
ABS would be nice, but I don't see many with that either. Can anyone tell me if that would be listed in the VIN number? I found a site that shows you how to read nissan VIN's and all the maxes I hav seen have had a D I think at about the 11 digit or so which signifies something like car with dual airbags, where as a differant letter says it has 4 wheel ABS. But maybe its not listed like that on the maxes?
Yes I know by getting an auto with the SE, I wouldn't be using it to its full advantage. But since this will be a daily driver in columbus traffic, i really think the manual would just be more work. Not to mention like I think someone else did, that the odds are higher that the car was driven harder if it has a manual, becuase like you said, you want to drive it harder with the manual. And sure on the open roads it would be nicer to have the manual. But liek I said this will be driven in stop and go traffic, so I just don't see the point of the manual.
I also know I am asking quite a bit to find one under 100,000 miles, but 100,000 over 7 years is just under 15,000. While I know that is average mileage for a lot of people, I would just prefer to get one from somebody that didn't run it as much. But I do also know that if I had to choose between a 97 with 85,000 that looks like it has been driven hard and a 97 with 115,000 in excellant conditon, then I will be all over the 115,000 mile one. As for myself I driver very little. I would say a max of 10 miles round trip to and from work 5 days a week=2600, plus I go visit my family usually twice a month at about 250 miles round trip=2600+6000, plus running the occasional errand or whatever adds a few extra miles a week. But I would say I probablly stay under 10,000 a year. But I would like to be able to drive this car for 5-6 years before getting a new car, at which point this one would likely go to my fiance who i would hope would still get 5+ more years out of it. But I guess if it has 115,000=the 60,000 I might put on it=175,000. That would probablly ensure at least a few more years of good service out of it. When using autotrader I never narrowed my search to cars under 100,000. I was just saying I would prefer a lower mileage car.
Oh and I guess the main thing I should have told you all along is my budget. I have not fully settled on this yet. I am currentlly researching insurance. I think I can save about 50.00 a month if I switch from allstate to nationwide, but I have heard erie insurance is probablly even cheaper, so i have to check them out.
I am about to pay off a big credit card bill that has been costing me 150.00 bucks a month. SO I had kinda set a budget of between 150.00 and 175.00 a month depending on insurance costs. If I can get the insurance as cheap as I think i can, then that should save me like I said and extra 50.00 a month. I am still working this all out, but I was think about 8,000 as my budget.
As of right now I just did a search on autotrader for Nissan maxes from 97-99 within 50 mile sof columbus, with prices between 0 and 8500.00 dollars, It returned 9 results. 7 are GXE's, one is a GLE and the other is an SE with 106,000 miles from a car dealer called college car company. I don't know much about this dealership, they do seem to have nice prices, which actually makes me a little leary. I mean how can they sell the cars for thousands less than other companies. I mean I know most dealers have crazy high markups, but why then would this dealer not want to make a big profit? And if I remember correctlly there where no 97+'s listed in the dispatch this past sunday. I also went to the dispatch website and told it to notify me by email if anyone placed a classified ad for a max.
I did do some minor searching on some local dealers websites and I did find one that I am considering at buckeye nissan, I will just continue looking.
One other question say for instance i decided to get the one from buckeye nissan(which is likely just an off lease car they originally sold) woudl i still need to take it to another mechanic to get it checked out, or would you assume since its a nissan and they are a nissan dealer that they made sure it was all in proper order? Because I had planned to take any potential maxes to buckeye nissan to have them checked out before I buy them?
Feb 12, 2004 (3:50 am)
Sounds like you've done a good job thinking this through. Only a few points to add:
1) Lower miles will not necessarily equate to lower maintenance. They type of mileage can have a big influence on wear and tear. Also, other things seem to go with age, not miles. So, if I were you, I'd prefer a 1-2 year newer car with predominantly highway miles than an older car with less city miles. In my case, I didn't replace the front brake pads until 90k miles and didn't have my first repair until 120k miles (water pump) which the dealer said was probably more related to the car being 7+ years old than the mileage.
2) Columbus = city driving? You're kidding. Living in (not near) Washington, DC, we have an SUV, Maxima and S2000, all with stick shifts. I have never quite understood what greater pleasure one gets sitting in traffic with an automatic, but that's your choice. I bought my first new car at your age about 26 years ago and it was a stick, and I've never looked back. I suspect if you go with an automatic now, you will never look back either, just don't let me catch you driving a 911 Turbo "tiptronic" when you make it big.
3) We have Ruby Pearl (maroon) color and it's held up very well, although there are a fair number of small paint chips on the front hood from pebbles, etc. Nissan isn't known for the best paint in the business. If you really plan on keeping the car as long as you indicate, you may want to consider that a black car with white primer underneath may take on a polkadot look after awhile.
P.S. Erie is an exceptionally good insurance company. Wish they were in DC, we have Geico which is also very good.