Last post on May 03, 2013 at 1:26 PM
You are in the Nissan Maxima
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Nissan Maxima, Sedan
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#2364 of 4180 2005 Maxima Disappointing
Mar 23, 2005 (6:07 am)
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
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:
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!!!
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.
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.
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)
Email address: mastj1stsource.com
#2365 of 4180 Re: 2005 Maxima Disappointing [mastj]
Mar 23, 2005 (10:45 am)
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.
#2366 of 4180 Exhaust Smoke and Bad Smell
Mar 23, 2005 (12:54 pm)
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?
#2367 of 4180 Re: Exhaust Smoke and Bad Smell [stevemc]
Mar 23, 2005 (1:16 pm)
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.
#2368 of 4180 Re: Buying a car [brady1bunch]
Mar 23, 2005 (1:44 pm)
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.
#2369 of 4180 Re: Exhaust Smoke and Bad Smell [stevemc]
Mar 23, 2005 (3:20 pm)
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.
#2370 of 4180 Re: 2005 Maxima Disappointing [mastj]
Mar 23, 2005 (3:27 pm)
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.
#2372 of 4180 General Maintenance
Mar 23, 2005 (7:25 pm)
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.
Mar 24, 2005 (8:31 am)
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.