2002 Nissan Maxima GLE 3.5 from North America


Don't have a very good one


Service engine light came on and the dealer told me to replace the Oxygen Sensor. which costs me $300.00 within one week the Service Engine light has come on again and I know for sure it is the same problem. I took my car to the dealer and they said they would need to recheck it for $95.00 and it very well be that the other sensor went bad. I guess the dealer was prepared for this answer even before the comp. diagnostics test results. And after reading all the blogs with O2 sensor problems and I don't think I will ever buy another Nissan. Oh! Moreover, someone has stolen my headlights twice and sold it on ebay for a good $$$. I am sick and tired of spending money on this car. I might just sell it off! Any comments?

General Comments:

Rough handling and suspension, No turning curvature.

Does not qualify to be a Japanese car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th March, 2007

10th Apr 2007, 22:37

I agree with you that the electrical systems in these cars are lame. Just don't blame the car for headlight thieves! If I were you, I would get a set of security screws that require a special screwdriver for your headlights. I'm surprised that they aren't setting off the alarm when they steal them!

2002 Nissan Maxima SE V6 from North America


This is a fun car for the money


At 87,000 miles the Check Engine Light came on and again at 91,000 miles.

Any suggestions on what to do about Check Engine Light, since the mechanic charged $450.000 to change a "faulty" O2 sensor, which seems to be very common on this car.

General Comments:

Love the car, despite its flaws.

Very quick. Drove from KS to NJ and back and never skipped a beat.

Comfortable for me at 6'4".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th April, 2006

26th Oct 2006, 17:26

This may not apply to you, but here's what I've learned after 20k of hard freeway driving in my Maxima:

Have experienced the oh-so-uninformative check engine light anytime I've gone from my normal location (SF Bay Area -- near sea level) to high altitude areas (Lake Tahoe, CA or Reno, NV) and had to refuel. On these trips the light would come on when I got off the mountain and closer to sea level.

I read and re-read the manual closely. All it says is that a "solid check engine light is the result of loss of pressure in the closed fuel system. Refuel. The light should go off in one or two tanks of fuel." -- Not very helpful.

A friend confirmed, however, that filling up in high altitude (Lake Tahoe -- 6200ft.; or Reno, NV) and then coming off the mountain to Sacramento would result in the loss of pressurization. The friend experiences this with his Harley Davidson, as well.

On my last trip to Lake Tahoe, I did not fill up until back down into my normal altitude. And this time -- No Check Engine Light!!!

Luckily I hadn't dropped $450 on a new O2 sensor before finding this out.



4th Oct 2007, 00:31

Just go to Auto Zone and have the check engine light reset (for free). This happens to my car, but only when I go really fast and its hot outside.

5th Mar 2009, 11:29

I would start by firing your mechanic. The OX sensors retail for $180 and take about 20 minutes to fix and 5 minutes to clear the code. Anything more than $300 is robbery.

2002 Nissan Maxima Si 3.0 from Australia and New Zealand


Better value for money than a used Toyota Camry.


A faulty fuel gauge meant the entire instrument cluster had to be replaced (it comes as a single unit). Luckily, there was still two weeks left on the factory warranty, otherwise it would have cost me over $2,000 New Zealand Dollars. The replacement instrument cluster had a fault with the tachometer (the needle moved down in steps, like the seconds hand on a watch), so the dealer had to order a second replacement cluster.

About a week after the warranty expired, the alternator drive belt had to be replaced, because it started making a lot of noise on cold starts.

One of the factory stereo speakers sounded a bit crackly, so I replaced them with after market speakers.

There's a minor clunk from the front suspension when hitting large bumps (like a judder bar or steep driveway entrance). I think the front sway bar bushes may need replacing. At this stage it's too minor to worry about.

General Comments:

I had originally been looking to replace my 1997 Toyota Camry with a later model, but the Maxima offers much better value for money on the used car market. For the price of a 4-cylinder Camry I was able to buy an equivalent year/mileage V6 Maxima.

The Maxima is a lot less bland looking (both interior and exterior) and more luxurious than the Camry.

Rear seat legroom is almost limo-like, but this seems to be at the expense of front seat legroom. Very tall drivers (like me, at 6'5") will find themselves wishing the driver's seat could be moved back another inch or two. The steering wheel height adjustment also has a very limited range - in its highest setting it still feels too low. The same goes for the front seat head restraints - at their highest setting they offer little protection, since they only come level with the top of my neck. In all of these respects the Camry has a better, more comfortable driving position for very tall drivers. Head room is OK though.

The boot (trunk) is large, but not as well shaped as the Camry's.

Ergonomics are also a lot better in the Camry. In the Maxima I find myself almost stretching to reach the ventilation and audio controls.

For a luxury car there is a fair bit of tyre and suspension noise transmitted through to the cabin. Tyre choice is critical if you want a hushed ride. The suspension makes quite a racket when going over railway tracks, etc.

The standard 15" wheels give an almost bouncy ride and the feel of cornering on marshmallows. I recently replaced them with a set of 16" wheels with low profile tyres and these have completely transformed the ride and handling.

Steering weight at low speeds is excessive and despite a seemingly direct 2.8 turns lock to lock, you have to wind away on the wheel compared with the Camry. It's also a bit lacking in road feel.

The V6 engine and front wheel drive layout means there is a heavy front weight bias. One of the first things I noticed after driving a 4-cylinder Camry is that the Maxima feels quite nose heavy.

The VQ30DE engine has plenty of power and a good spread of torque, making for a relaxed driving experience. Despite being quick in the acceleration department (0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds), it still feels a little sluggish off the mark, needing a good jab of the accelerator pedal to get moving.

Fuel economy is outstanding on the highway, since at 100km/h the engine is turning just over 2,000rpm, but in stop/start city driving it's a little thirsty.

There are a few minor annoyances that I'd like to mention. 1. Hot starting can sometimes be a problem - the engine doesn't always fire first time. 2. There are a couple of annoying dashboard rattles that I haven't been able to cure and the rear seat squeaks when someone is sitting in it (I think it may be the folding mechanism). 3. The electric aerial motor is very loud when it extends/retracts.

Nissan parts and accessories prices are a lot more expensive than Toyota (in New Zealand at least). I was shocked at the prices being asked for things like carpet floor mats and mud flaps. I ended up buying after market accessories.

My encounters with the dealer service department have left a sour taste in my mouth and since the warranty has expired I'll never go back there. After they replaced the rear brake pads there was a problem with the left-right brake bias, which after several visits they were unable (or unwilling) to fix. I ended up taking the car to a brake specialist who adjusted the rear callipers, which fixed the problem. They also dismissed the alternator drive belt noise as "normal timing chain noise - they all do it", without even listening to it.

Overall, I'm happy with the car and would consider buying a Nissan again, but only if it proves as reliable as my Camry in the long run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th April, 2006

19th Jul 2006, 20:22

Thank you for pointing out the fuel gauge. I have a 2003 Maxima ST, and only noticed that the fuel gauge was wrong when my girlfriend told me off for not filling the car, it had half a tank when I got out. And unfortunately it decided to break once the new car warranty expired, typical.

Otherwise this is the only issue I have had with this car since new. I was shocked when Nissan quoted me $600.00 to replace the aerial which I broke when reversing out of the garage and did not wait for the door to open fully (idiot I know).

Great car, brilliant to drive and it is nice to know that the power is there when you want to overtake on the Kaimai Hills. I have nothing bad to say about this car.

In regards to the servicing, I have only had one positive experience, and that was when I serviced it at the Nissan dealer in Tauranga. Otherwise they have all been fairly unhelpful, expensive and lack quality customer service skills. On the one occasion that I called the Nissan help line they also followed the Nissan service team ethics with their lack of customer service abilities.

This service is the only downfall on what otherwise is a great car.