1997 Nissan Maxima S Touring 3.0L from Australia and New Zealand


Reliable and comfortable family car


Radiator blew up within a week of buying it (due to faulty thermostat). Completely buckled the radiator core, so $800 later I had a new radiator and hoses and thermostat.

Also, belt tensioner needed replacement, as did alternator belt, as did the alternator. This happened three weeks after buying it, and cost just on $1,000.

Other than this, has been a joy to drive.

Have owned seven Maximas over my life, and assuming they're maintained properly, you can't go too far wrong with this model. If they're not well maintained, they tend to be expensive to repair.

This experience with my current Maxima is due I suspect to the fact that the car wasn't used a great deal over the past year or so prior to me buying it, and when I bought it and started using it on a daily basis, the problems came to the fore.

My only complaint re this series Maxima, is that the seats are too hard and 'park bench' like. Not the most comfortable seats for a car that cost around 38k when new.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2007

1997 Nissan Maxima GV 3.0 from United Arab Emirates


Very good family car


- Coolant Leakage (but the vehicle did not overheat though!)

- Knock Sensor in the engine.

- Ignition Starter.

- Dynamo.

General Comments:

Very good car and engine very reliable, but the problem with it it is not a safe car.


- Excellent Engine.

- High performance

- High reliability.

- Excellent A/C.

- Very Smooth.

- Cheap and available spare parts.


- poor brakes.

- very bad handling.

- high consummation.

- difficult and expensive to insure.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th December, 2006

1997 Nissan Maxima SE or GLE, unsure VQ30DE from North America


Ranked among the best in reliability and repeat ownership, the Maxima is the cream of the crop


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.

Re-alignment performed.

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: aehord@yahoo.com. It would be appreciated!)

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2006

30th Nov 2006, 15:33


I just bought a 97 Maxima and I have many of the same problems, so here is some advice.

With the starter, if it doesn't crank, just put the key back in ACC then go forward and try again; BUT, when it is turned all the way, push it (it won't go in far) and try to pull it out, and do this motion a few times. it should work (and again this is when your key is turned all the way where it should crank). This is happening because the inside of where you put your key in is worn and needs to be replaced. If you go to someone good they will match it up with your current key. Otherwise, if they are not good, they will need to replace your key (including all door locks) and reprogram the comp.. What needs to be replaced (where you put the key in) is 350-500 dollars itself, so I suggest you go to someone good. This is a common defect in all Maximas.

Now, for the clock, just flick it a few times with your finger (like when you flick a booger off you finger. Doesn't always work, but its worth a try. Again a common problem with all Maximas and I had the same problem with my last Maxima.

For when it cranks, but won't start, there was a recall on all Maxima alternators made in the 1990's, so you might want to look into that if you still have the stock alternator.

My car also does not like burned CDs either, so unless we listen to the same music, it's the car. My cup holder has also fallen out, but it's not a big deal to me. I am curious to know if I have helped you at all please e-mail me back- mprx69x@yahoo.com.