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Nissan Maxima: The 5 Most Common Problems

Nissan Maxima: The 5 Most Common Problems

Nissan Maxima is one of the longest-serving Nissan models. It has been in production since 1981 and is expected to continue till 2023. Currently, in its eighth generation, this model is primarily sold in North America, the Middle East, and China. Over time, users have laid a series of complaints about the problems that plague the Nissan Maxima.  

Maxima owners reported some of the most common problems are slow acceleration, bad ignition coils, and steering wheel vibration. A transmission malfunction or failure usually causes slow acceleration and steering wheel vibration in Nissan Maxima. Bad ignition coils and other faults are caused by wear and tear, leaks, and clogs. 

In this article, we’ll discuss these problems in this model of your Nissan, their causes, and how to fix or prevent them.

5 Most Common Problems In The Nissan Maxima

The five most common problems with this model of Nissan include:

Slow Acceleration

engine of a car
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Sluggish acceleration is typical with Nissan Maxima, especially with the 2004 and 2006 model years. The most common causes of slow acceleration in Nissan Maxima are clogged air, fuel filters, or worn spark plugs. A clogged fuel filter will inhibit the smooth flow of fuel into your car’s engine. This causes low power and makes the car jerk or accelerate slowly, causing a clunking noise.

Bad or worn spark plugs could also cause slow acceleration in this Nissan model. A bad spark plug increases fuel consumption and reduces performance by generating low sparks. 

Ignition Coil Failure

View of a Nissan Maxima engine
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The ignition coils are a significant part of the ignition system of your Maxima. They amplify regular 12V battery voltage to a high voltage for the spark plugs. Its failure can cause damage to the engine and the catalytic converter if not tended to with immediacy. 

An excellent way to know you have a faulty ignition coil is that the check engine light will illuminate due to misfires. Poor acceleration and hesitation to start are other symptoms of ignition coil failure. Older models of Nissan Maxima are known to have this particular problem.

The challenge with this kind of problem is that you can only replace a faulty ignition coil and not repair it, and this can cost a whole lot, around $600 to over $700, depending on the labor and pricing. 

Power Steering Pump Leak

sterring of Nissan Maxima
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The Nissan Maxima experienced this problem mostly from 1995-2013. A power steering pump leak is usually challenging to diagnose in its early stage. The most common sign that your Maxima leaks the power steering pump is noisy and unstable steering. 

According to the manufacturers, the Maxima can only develop such an issue after about 100,000 miles of dive. You should take the car for a complete diagnostic if you notice dripping liquid from the lower arm bushing. Power steering pump leaks, if not tended to, can cause car performance deterioration and failure. 

Transmission Failure

Car Trunk
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Nissan Maxima uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and they are notorious for having issues. Problems with the CVT in a Nissan Maxima include; overheating in the vehicle, acceleration problems, and transmission failure. These problems occur mainly in the 2004-2006 model years of Nissan Maxima. If you notice that your car has a transmission problem, get it checked out immediately instead of driving it. 

This is because the transmission has so many moving parts, and the more you drive your car, the more damage to the transmission. To diagnose this problem in your Nissan Maxima, visit an auto shop and connect it to a computer. The computer will determine which diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) it has.

Faulty Air Conditioner

A/C dashboard in the interior of a car
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The most common cause of a faulty air conditioner is usually low refrigerant. This issue is mainly reported with the 2001-2012 model years, usually after about 87,000 miles of the drive. Other a/c problems in Nissan Maxima include refrigerant leaks and clogged condenser or evaporator. 

A faulty air conditioner can be very discomforting, especially during hot temperatures, and if you notice this problem, you should get the car checked up. 

For a quick diagnostic of this problem, check and change the cabin air filter and condenser if they’re dirty. Also, check for leaks in the refrigerant or condenser using a gas detector or leak detection spray.

Is Nissan Maxima Reliable?

car wheel
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According to Repairpal, Nissan Maxima has high-reliability scores and is rated 4 out of 5. The sedan is known for its beautiful design, engine performance, spacious interior, and steep price tag. The lifespan of Nissan Maxima varies depending on the car care, frequency of checkups, and model year. It also has an average repair cost of $540, lower than the average ownership cost. 

The Nissan Maxima boasts a robust V6 engine that provides a smooth ride. It also has a stylish cabin. However, it is smaller than many of its competing large cars. Additionally, expect to pay more for fuel than you would for other vehicles of the same size.

The Maxima, however, is unbeatable if you’re looking for a reliable car over a long period. It has an average lifespan of 150,000 to 200,000 miles (10–13 years) if properly maintained.

Final Thoughts 

From the facts mentioned above, we can conclude that there are both many advantages and drawbacks to the Nissan Maxima. However, the Nissan Maxima’s common problems outweigh its flaws, making it a popular choice among drivers. As a result, the Nissan Maxima is a sturdy and reliable car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a bad alternator in my Nissan Maxima something I should be worried about?

The alternator of your Nissan Maxima powers your car’s electrical components and charges the battery too. So, a fault in the alternator can be critical and require an immediate checkup to avoid further damage.

Are Nissan Maxima problems expensive to fix?

A Nissan Maxima will cost around $5000-6000 to maintain and repair in the first ten years of service. 

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