CV boot torn and needed to replace entire set when purchased. It made a really bad grinding noise when I turned the wheels to the right.
Drive belts needed to be replaced.
Unusually high amount of corrosion on battery terminals, which I assumed was harmless, but may or may not be related to my next point...
Car will sometimes fail to start, usually when the engine is cold and the car has not been driven for a few days. In the event that this occurs, the car usually cranks after the first failed attempt, but it sometimes takes two or three times. I try to switch the key to the "ACC" position and back several times in an effort to prevent this, but I'm not sure if it's helping.
One foglight went out, didn't care to replace it, although the foglights make a pretty noticeable difference when they're on.
I have heated seats, and as far as I know they don't work... the light doesn't come on when I switch them on. Another thing I don't care to fix.
Cupholder can be entirely pulled out and removed (that's not supposed to happen) from the console area. I'm sure some screws or glue will fix that.
Gas mileage seems like it could be better, but my last Max was no Prius when it came to fuel economy.
Car sometimes seems sluggish for no good reason, but overall the power is awesome.
I could be crazy, but sometimes it feels like the car wants to go dead.
The clock will dim almost to the point where you can't see it at all if you have any exterior lights on during the day, i.e. in rain. The lights on the radio and temperature controls are still fine during this time, though.
The clock also will occasionally go out for a while and later reset itself to 12:00 for no apparent reason. Laaaame.
The factory CD player, in my experience, doesn't like CD-R's or CD-RW's (burned CD's) too much and sometimes won't play certain brands or discs. Or maybe my car just hates my music, you never know, as it is sometimes difficult to tell what genre of music each automobile is partial to.
My factory CD player will produce a static-y sound sometimes while playing CD's. It sounds just like a radio's static, and sometimes it will get so static-y that the CD player will stop playing the disc and it will display an error message. I'll turn the player off, then on, and this usually will be sufficient to allow the CD to continue playing, though sometimes it just doesn't want to work and I have to put in another CD. I have been told this is due to a dirty lens and can be repaired with a cleaning CD; however, I tried this a thousand times over and it made no real difference. I don't know what it could be.
(If anyone knows the solution to any of my above mysteries, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be appreciated!)
Although I have quite the list of problems and issues above, don't be fooled: Maximas are fantastic automobiles, period. I bought mine knowing that it needed work done. My last Maxima had 154k miles when I left it with my parents and it was running like a dream.
These cars are quick, aggressive, reliable, economical, and safe. They are built rock-solid and cannot be topped by any car in its class, in my opinion. Their reliability and incidents of repeat ownership are ranked among the best, and the VQ engine (produced on Maximas 1995 and newer) has been acclaimed as the best V6 engine for over ten years in a row.
If you're contemplating buying a Maxima, take it from me: this car will treat you well. Always have a mechanic inspect any car you buy BEFORE you buy it, of course, because there are always exceptions out there in cases where someone has beat the car to death, but generally speaking, it's hard to go wrong with a Maxima.
My only real complaints are that the security alarm is kind of stupid... like if you leave the window down in the car when it's locked and reach in the car to unlock it manually, it will make the alarm sound...annoying...but they have improved the alarm feature on newer models... and the whole static-y CD player deal is a hassle, but as far as I know, that is not a common issue.
In sum, the car is quick, the interior is cleverly designed and roomy; basically, it's everything I need it to be and a little bit more. A great buy for a smart young college girl like myself. Yeah, I'm pretty great.