Last post on Nov 22, 2013 at 8:34 AM
You are in the Nissan Maxima
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Maxima, Sedan
#7926 of 8984 mikef, kennyg, et al
Feb 18, 2004 (9:18 am)
Yes, most of my repairs have been at a Nissan dealership, although the last bill for $855 was through a trustworthy independent mechanic. I had a cheap independent mechanic for my Acura Integra and, frankly, I'm convinced that they screwed up things to the point of paying more in the long run. I do live in DC, so even good independent mechanics are probably more expensive than in rural or lower cost of living areas.
kennyg5, So you sold your 92 max in 92 with 70k miles for $4k?? Think one of those figures is a mis-type! Also, I may have paid more, but the repairs I listed between 130k and 150k are similar to yours at 70k. And the 95 Maxima uses a timing chain which I have never had to replace.
For everyone out there, I think it is mostly an urban legend that Maximas, Accords or any car for that matter will go 150k+ miles with virtually no repairs. Look at my good side: No engine repairs whatsoever, no timing belt, no A/C repairs whatsoever, no suspension repairs, no clutch replacement or transmission repairs. Brakes that lasted 90k in front and 110k in the rear. Gas mileage still pushing 30 mpg at 70+ mph on the highway. THIS IS A GOOD CAR. Many of you may indeed be able to get a better deal than me on a water pump or starter, but I am here to say from my Integra experience that there are a lot more things that can go wrong that thankfully haven't on the Maxima.
Also on the urban legend front, we all know of Mercedes diesels that have gone 200-300k miles, right? I'm considering the new E320CDI as a potential replacement for my Maxima. However after really looking into it, the 3-4 long term diesle owners that we know have all had at least one major repair along the way to their 150k+ miles. Anyone know what a transmission replacement costs in a 300TD? Hint, more than the sum total of all repairs I have had on the Maxima since it was brand new. Not to mention the cost of Mercedes/BMW brakes/rotors that wear out every 30k miles and cost three times as much as those on the 1995 Maxima (unfortuantely, post 2000 Maximas have weaker brakes).
I did buy an S2000 in November 2001 and in 28 months and 16,500 miles I have spent a whopping $214.00 in maintenance (3 oil changes and 15k service) and $0 in repairs. On the other hand, it has depreciated from $32k to perhaps in spring about $24k. During that time, my Maxima has depreciated an additional $1-2k at most. So there is no free lunch in the driving business, just ones that are more prudent than others. And in my opinion the Maxima still qualifies as a prudent one.
Feb 18, 2004 (4:15 pm)
Well what excatly do people base the "Japanese is better then American" thing on? I mean I know the engine int he max is rock solid and one of the best V6's ever made, but if all the other parts fail just as often as a domestic, then whats the point?
#7928 of 8984 Reliability
Feb 18, 2004 (4:26 pm)
It means you're less likely to have the BIG problems like -- transmissions, major engine problems, fuel injection systems, etc. -- and also fewer things that drive you crazy like electrical problems or plastic parts falling off. You have to expect that some things, like mufflers, will wear out (although my Toyota still had its original muffler after 120,000 miles -- but I did replace the starter and a battery, as well as tires, over that time). But there are some domestic makes that have pretty good track records too and they tend to be cheaper than Toyotas and Hondas. Check out Consumer Reports "Used Car Best Bets" and also "Used Cars Not to Buy".
Feb 18, 2004 (5:44 pm)
Japanese brand cars “generally” have better reliability than American brands. Consumer Reports has reliability data on various systems (brakes, air conditioning, electrical, engine, transmission, exhaust, etc.) and publishes this each year in their April issue. If you look at the magazine and compare various brands, you will see how they all stack up.
From posts at this site and the consumer magazine, it appears that the 95-99 gen Maxes had pretty decent reliability if you are still considering a 99 Max. It seems that there have been more difficulties reported on this message board on the next gen (2000 and later) than there were on the 95-99.
I consider that our 97 Max SE has had very good reliability at 156K Mi. I would judge it better than two other cars we had to this mileage and beyond (84 Prelude – 195K Mi, 86 Accord 247K Mi). And, these Hondas were pretty darn reliable.
Normal maintenance on our 97 SE has been regular oil changes, air filter changes, plugs (twice), engine coolant flushes, transmission oil change/flush (twice), battery (once), 1 set of new summer tires, 2 sets of winter tires. Never had any problems with warped rotors, fuel injection, suspension, water pump, starter, air conditioning, alternator, muffler, pipes (knock wood). Front/rear brake pads lasted till 141K/148K (highway) miles. Except for brakes (done by me), work has been done at two Nissan dealers. The labor/parts charges are what I expect for this class of car.
Unusual repairs were: Cassette deck (67K Mi) under ext waranty, driver’s heated seat switch and blower motor (77K Mi) under ext warranty, Oil pressure sending unit (122K Mi).
If you are still considering a 99 SE, consider that my experience with a 97 SE may not match a 99 Max. Although the 99 and 97 look to be close in appearance and specs, we do not know to what extent, if any, that Nissan engineers changed parts and components between these years.
If you are considering Hondas, we had three other Hondas that were bullit-proof until we traded them in: 95 Accord at 69K Mi, 98 Accord at 49K Mi, 01 Acura TL at 71K Mi. I believe that Hondas are rated highly in Consumer Reports as good used car buys. A certified used Honda at a Honda dealer with low miles will probably cost more than a comparable Nissan or American brand car of same year and miles. If you buy a used Honda and maintain it well, you will probably be able to resell it later with little difficulty. I had no trouble in finding buyers for a 195K Mi Prelude and a 247K Mi Accord.
Feb 18, 2004 (6:45 pm)
I'm sorry, I think I misrepresented or you misunderstood my point.
I have paid a fair amount for "repairs" on my Maxima over the past 18 months. But, next to nothing in the first 8 years and 130k miles. Nothing that I would consider a major mechanical system and the engine is still very strong.
If you think you might have as good of luck with a Ford or Chevy product, be my guest. One of my "frugal" business school buddies got a Ford Taurus (using a lot of Ford credit card points) at about the same time I got my Maxima. He limped that pice of crap along for about 85k miles before he dumped it for $2,500 a year an a half ago. He had major repairs on an annual basis and the car left him stranded more than once.
Re-read my post. I think the Maxima is a great car and has held up well. should a water pump or starter last longer than 130-150k miles??? I don't know, but the the major mechanical and drivetrain components are still running very strong. And it's fit and finish at 150k miles has held up very well - better than the average domestic car at a third of the age or mileage.
Feb 18, 2004 (7:54 pm)
Sorry about the typo. I sold my 92 Max in Sep 02 when I bought my 03 Max - my third Max. I agree with the posters here that the Max is a reliable car and Consumer Report consistently shows that year after year. I also agree that Japanese brand cars (especially those made in Japan) are generally more reliable than American brands, and Consumer Report consistently shows that as well.
I had my share of Ford and GM cars in the 80s, and I was not impressed with them, to say the least.
Feb 18, 2004 (9:18 pm)
No habitat, I did not feel you misrepresented your faith in your max. Just the amount of repairs you have had on it just seems like lot to me, as I said, I have heard mnay others with uite a few less repairs then you. But every car is differant as is every driver. I am not saying just because this car is Japanese that I never expect it to break down. I just think that if my repair costs end up costing more then my monthly car payment, then we have a problem. I get your point and am still strongly considering a max, as well as trying to listen to others advice to maybe get something else for now.
One thing I need to point out is that I am not buying a car to get me around for a few years and then resell it. I want to get a car I can use for a few to several years and then assuming it is still running well give it to my wife or keep it myself. So resale value doesn't matter much to me. Although if you are speaking in the sense of getting an early 90's honda and driving it for a couple years then reselling it to get a max or whatever I want at that time, then i understand, and if that is a btter route for now, then i will have to strongly consider it. But it wouldn't be my first choice.
According to consumer reports a 1997 Maxima proved more reliable then a 97 accord in several major areas. But a 94 accord was far more reliable then a 94 maxima, so i guess if my budget is tight, then I should consider getting and early 90's accord.
I find myself caught in a catch 22 at this point. I am living currently with my wife and son in her parents basement. I am soon planning to get us our own apartment. I need to get a car before I can even consider moving out. But without actually moving out and figuring out exactly what costs I have, I have no way of accurately coming up with a budget. I have very educated guess as to what costs I will have, but they are not perfect.
I guess i will continue studying. Thanks for your help everyone, you are providing me with great info and advice.
#7933 of 8984 maxima reliability
Feb 19, 2004 (6:41 am)
I love my 02 6spd (~35K) but since new I have had to
1) Have rotors resurfaced (<1000 miles)
2) Dash replaced due to bubbling.(~ 5K miles)
3) Have rotors replaced (< 10K)
4) Recall for some suspension crossbar
5) Recall for posible sticking throttle
6) Recall for some engine sensor
7) Stereo replaced due to some CD error code (~30K)
8) 2nd set of rotors resurfaced (~30K)
9) Have a clip that holds splash guard under front bumper replaced 3X.
10) Left Rear light assembly replaced due to fogging (~15K)
11) Dealer installed some anti theft device and stickers for the HID lights.
In addition I have had to play with the hood adjustments to keep it from fluttering.
No major failures and I have had to pay only for the last rotor resurface. It also grinds going into 3rd when cold...dealer changed trans fluid but it still grinds.
Although it has not cost me in terms of money, it has been a pain and I do not consider my time to be free. Many of the above repairs took multiple trips for parts etc. So I have to say my Maxima has not been as reliable as my prvious vehicles but I still find it a joy to drive. (I feel my 92 was a subjectively better car)
Feb 19, 2004 (7:15 am)
I will admit I have not read every word of this rather lengthy discussion over the past week or so, but I'll just put in my experiences so far. I have a 00 Max SE, with 46K. My repair history:
1. rotors resurfaced ~19K
2. Power mirror switch motor replaced
3. Transmission Control Module replaced due to big kick from 1-->2.
4. pads/rotors replaced.
I think that's it. My Max has been more trouble free than my first-year G35. The G seems to be much better now in 04 - none of the problems I experienced. The only item I paid for above was (4).
#7935 of 8984 Maxima repairs
Feb 19, 2004 (7:44 am)
I have an '01 GLE (32,000 miles) -- so far the only thing I have replaced is tires, otherwise just the basic maintenance intervals at 15,000 and 30,000 miles.