A/C was and is still non-operational. I haven't gotten around to fixing it yet.
Numerous minor ventilation problems on top of bad A/C: all the lights have burnt out in the ventilation controls, so it's hard to see at night (the indicator lights for vent position still work). Also, the fresh air flap mechanism is broken, so the lever on the left of the controls just flaps around (makes for cold driving in winter, as it is stuck open). Also came this way.
Every component of the brake system was shot except for master cylinder and lines. However, I attribute this to years of salty Chicago winters. The calipers, rotors, and such were just rusted and a mess. New brakes have been phenomenal, at relatively reasonable cost ($800 for 4 new rotors, calipers, and pads).
Front struts were completely destroyed at 139k, and appeared to be original (they were making extremely ominous noises over bumps). Car is 10 times better with new front struts. I'm sure the backs are bad, too, but I'm leaving them alone for a while, and they don't affect the handling that much.
Bose system was intermittent when I got it, and went completely dead a month later. Bought a reconditioned Cassette/CD Bose unit ($300), and am enjoying the look and feel of the stock unit, as well as the sound which is quite good for a factory radio. Also, got Bose to recondition the back speakers for $150 (for the pair).
Had some snow on the windshield (not very much), turned on the wipers, and the wiper mechanism broke. Motor works, but no motion. Getting that fixed soon for hopefully less than $100.
Numerous little bulbs seem to be hard to find at the local auto parts places around here (like map lights, 3rd brake lights).
Power locks have failed. The power lock timer is the culprit, and should be relatively cheap to fix (less than $50).
The harness connected to the left headlight is loose, and causes that headlight to stop functioning sometimes (the high beam light comes on to let me know it's out). A little wiggle and it's fine. I think it might be the result of an accident and subsequent splicing of the harness, so maybe not the car's fault.
It used to have serious valve train noise (the clacking usually associated with Nissan's VTC system unique to the SE engines from 1992-1994) at two times; when cold and when hot (like fully warmed up for a while). Changed to synthetic and now only have noise for a couple of minutes when cold. Purrs like a kitten otherwise.
Stupid odometer broke at 145k. Haven't owned a car over 10 years old with a working odometer yet. I'm not going to bother fixing this unless some angel came along and offered to fix it for $50. I suspect it wouldn't be that cheap and it would involve an instrument cluster from a junked car, which might only last until tomorrow anyway. Will do without.
Power windows are somewhat slow, but lubricant in the tracks should clear that up. Have not had the failed regulator problem that results in the window falling into the door, fortunately. The windows do seem a little loose in their tracks, though, so that may happen eventually. Car is still quiet, and windows still seal well.
Fog lights are out--one is smashed. Seems pretty common for owners to have rammed the driving lights into curbs and such.
The car has rust patches, but no perforation yet: one underneath the driver's side mirror, large patches underneath the mount points of the spoiler (which is coming loose at its edges), some rust on the rear fender lips, and tiny specks where stones have chipped the paint.
Despite the comprehensive problem list above, I am really quite pleased with the car. It has never failed to start or get me where I need to go. It is quiet and fast, although it doesn't seem quite as torquey as the 1989-1991 models--it is a little higher strung. There is no shortage of grunt, overall, however.
Factory system was one of the best of its kind back then, and it's still quite good. I think it will always be worth the money to get the system replaced. An aftermarket system at $500 cost will NEVER come close to the Bose system's sound quality and aesthetics. I have never seen any other radio look good in the dash.
Interior has held up very well--it looks almost new in most respects, with the exception being some cracked leather on the steering wheel and wear on the shift knob. Neatsfoot has done wonders with that.
Car gets GREAT fuel economy--had a MINI Cooper S for a while that got 25-26 mpg if you were gentle. The MINI was a gutless wimp off the line (not to say it didn't have its merits--it was a fabulous handler). The Max, on the other hand, soundly trounces MINIs in acceleration at any speed and gets the same fuel economy, to boot. I can get 29 mpg on the highway, and the big tank is a godsend.
Ventilation system is quiet and very effective--I am looking forward to fixing its little quirks.
Gages are better than anything on the market in my opinion--Nissan got it right on these models, and everything since is just toying with perfection.
Most comfortable seats short of a BMW 5-series. Can drive all day in this car.
Cruise control and minor accessories are great, including heated mirrors (a nice option up here).
Chicago is terribly punishing to cars. They call this the Rust Belt for a reason. All in all, I think a lesser car would have holes in it by now. Until very recently, this car lived on the street.