1987 Nissan Maxima SE 3.0 V6 from North America


More fun than a barrel of monkeys!!!


During the year or so I owned my Maxima, I didn't find many mechanical defects. The problems that did occur, I believe may have all been because of misuse by the owner (me).

The first and by far most painful problem with the car was when I used it to take out a horse fence on a country road. I had only had the car for about 2 weeks, and was just getting good with the manual transmission, so I took the car out on a windy country road to play. I spun out in a turn and hit the corner of a horse fence. The corner post I hit (it was about as big around as a telephone pole) did a lot of damage to the right rear end of the car. All of the suspension links on that corner were damaged, and I believe the brake rotor was somehow bent.

Because of the age of the car and my limited income (I was 16 at the time) I bent all the links back into shape, and reinstalled them. Remarkably, this method held together well, but was not near as good for the fast driving I tried to use the car for.

A few months later, when again traveling above the posted speed, I slammed on the brakes and the right rear locked up, causing me to spin and hit a mailbox. This incident busted out the triangular window in the right rear door. I replaced it with a piece of plexiglass from a home improvement store for under 10 dollars.

The transaxle, which the previous owner had replaced a few years before, gave out under my harsh driving habits also. Actually, the throw out bearing broke due to repeatedly "dumping" the clutch. This only cost about 20 dollars for a new one. The procedure though, took about 2 days to completely pull and reinstall the transaxle.

General Comments:

Even though I ran this car as hard as it could possibly be run, I never had any trouble with it that I didn't cause. The transaxle did get pretty sloppy as far as shifting goes, but I also take credit for that, as I don't think this would have happened under normal circumstances.

I was really impressed with the power and longevity of the 14 year old motor, and would quickly buy any other Nissan product with this motor (300zx, Pathfinder, Hardbody pickup).

I would recommend this car to any teenager looking for a first car that will be relativly inexpensive to maintain, and have plenty of room for friends, and plenty of power for street racing, though it is not fun to get speeding tickets (as this car helped me do twice).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2003

17th Nov 2003, 19:11

Now I know why the age requirement for a driving license here in Europe is 18 years...

18th Feb 2004, 03:15

I have a 1987 Nissan Maxima that has always had a electrical problem that drains the battery. Can anyone help or suggest something?

I believe there is a short in the wiring harness at the battery terminal. Thanks, and please email me.

Steve H. foosballsteve@sbcglobal.net

14th Aug 2004, 00:09

Gee, dude, if I were the car, I would have left you stranded LONG ago. You should be arrested for Auto-abuse!

1987 Nissan Maxima Sedan 3.0 litre V6 from North America


Well built reliable car


Power steering pump leaked.

Trunk light switch went bad causing battery to die often.

Air Solenoid went bad causing the car not to start on cold days.

Starter pinion went bad.

General Comments:

Very fun and comfortable to drive.

For the most part very reliable.

Fast acceleration.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2002

1987 Nissan Maxima six cylinder from North America


A great car and a sleeper when you see it


What things have gone wrong with the car?

I initially bought the car through the internet on a yahoo auction, I paid $4200. A bit high. But I am a Nissan believer. I flew down and picked it up in Florida, car was spotless and had been freshly buffed and detailed.

On the ride from the airport it ran on three cylinders instead of six, appeared to be the spark plugs not firing correctly. Seller repaired. This showed up once again in Louisiana, until then the car ran smoothly. From Louisiana the car fired on three then six cylinders, intermittently, I believe this bumping and forceful jerking back and forth took out two of the motor mounts. I took it to my mechanic who diagnosed that the fuel injector harness was not making correct contact consistently which forced it to fire incorrectly. THIS had been a recall item when the 87 Maxima first came out. This work had been done by a Florida dealer, but factory installation specs direction was that it was to be soldered and not clamped. The dealer had used the clamped method. The repair shop did a timing chain and soldered the fuel harness.

Since the car had been sitting for many years the 700 miles of jerking effected many of the rubber seals and fittings.

To repair and replace many of those rubber fittings to enhance the life span of this car. The car has been a dream to drive, I installed a security system and a CD stacker.

I bought the car for my daughter to attend college, but she decided not to attend, so I am using it to drive to college from Austin to San Marcus. The car has pick up at high speeds, decent gas mileage, low insurance and no monthly car payments. I will save a lot of money in this purchase…..

I love this car it drives and handles like a sports car with room to sit like a full size car.

General Comments:

I remember seeing this car back in 87 and thought what a sweet simple classic design. Each day I drive it with it powerful six-cylinder engine I fall in love with a little more. An added benefit is I have a lead foot and this car is like new, the police see an old car of fifteen years old, they appear to not understand that it is speeding along quite quickly. It handles like dream, stops and responds quick, like a fast sports car I use to own a TR3... this is a great car...

The independent gas feeders to the cylinder make this a very quick responding engine.

Seals on trunk needs to be replace, shifts well, sound system since upgrade is awesome, sun roof works like new, AC will freeze you out.. Love my car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2002

23rd Sep 2004, 19:34

Great Review, I am in the market for a 1987-1988 model Nissan Maxima, and based on my research and particularly this amazing review, I am anxious to get one right away. Thank you very much!

26th Oct 2004, 01:22

Thanks for the amazing review. I can't wait to get an 87-88 model Maxima. I just love the design and overall the whole car. Thanks a lot!