2003 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5 from Albania


Horrible; totally junk


This car has been nothing short of a total disappointment.

The timing chain went on the car after 26000 miles, which cost me $2500 to fix.

The rear deck rattled from the first day I got the car. I brought the car back to Nissan a million times before I got a good service mechanic to put some padding under the rear deck.

The moon roof leaks, and the engine burns a ton of oil.

So disappointed in Nissan; it was known as a reliable car.

The only positive is the car is getting older and I have gotten some use out of it. Can't wait to get rid of it. Will never buy a Nissan again.

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

Review Date: 15th February, 2010

15th Sep 2010, 17:28

Chain or timing belt, which did you change?

2003 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5 V6 from North America


I love my Nissan!


I have a 2003 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5 V6.

I started hearing a noise from my steering. It was sounding like a Ford power steering. All loud and sounding like it was out of fluid. So I open my hood and checked if I had fluid. I did, but it was a little low, so I topped it off.

Then I looked at my high pressure power steering hose located in the back of the engine on the passenger side, and I moved a rubber house that protects it, and it's pouring fluid out like crazy (note, this is while the car is on). So I buy the hose and have my mechanic install it.

I go and buy fluid, fill it up and the car is not leaking, but still making that damn Ford power steering noise. Could it be since it was leaking that my rack n pinion got messed up, or maybe my pump?

If anyone could give me ideas or suggestions on what I should look for, it would be greatly appreciated!!

Also, when I turn on my car in the morning and it's cold, it turns on and it makes this rattling noise from engine, and if I give it a little gas, it rattles more, but once it's warm it stops. Please feel free to email me if you might have some ideas or suggestions for me, thanks.

I love my Nissan and I don't want it to die on me!! NISMO LOVE!!!



Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2009

2003 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5 liter from North America


The Stealth Sports Car has arrived!


Replaced brake pads and warped rotors in an effort to fix squeaking and uneven braking... didn't work.

"Bose" radio is garbage. There is also a rattle from the sub-woofer.

During right turns, clunking sound from front suspension (strut?).

That's about it.

General Comments:

We replaced my wife's '99 Camry with the '03 Max. She was a die-hard Toyota fan having owned a Corolla also. After owning the Max for almost a year, she now loves it!

I had some input in the buying decision. I often drive her car so I was really tired of the 4-cyl Camry performance and city mpg of around 20. The Max has nearly double the horsepower (255 vs 133) and gets about a mile less per gallon! That, for me, was a big selling point. Aside from the aforementioned issues, other dislikes are:

- Nissan's tendency towards narrow & bizarre rear-end styling is alive and well on this model.

- Auto-dimming mirror, which if it works at all, has a big delay (thanks mirror, I'm already blind).

- Transmission that doesn't always want to play, hesitates downshifting into first. Up-shifts too early on anything less than full-throttle.

- Pretty jarring ride over less-than perfect roads... GLE where are you?

- Despite its appearance, rear-seat room is marginal.

- Engine pinging, which people (Nissan included) say is normal even with 93 octane, is still annoying.

- Lacks the Altima's independent rear suspension.

- What's with the turning radius Nissan?

Now for the goodies:

- Big-time power, best bang-for-buck Japanese sedan IMO.

I never tire of the dorky looks from some ill-informed 3-series Bimmer & Mustang owners who can't get by me!

- Since the car is a sleeper, no unwanted attention.

- Runs very smoothly and quietly, but still has a nice, aggressive sound under throttle.

- Resale value lags behind Honda and Toyota, making it a great used-car buy.

- Great interior design and quality of materials, much better than on the newer models.

- Nice front and side styling.

- Six spoke wheels are easy to clean.

- Being FWD, torque-steer isn't that pronounced. Acura TL is a joke in this respect. I can see the hate-mail coming now. I've driven both and I know what I'm talking about. (yes, the TL was automatic)

- Notice I didn't rate "Dealer Service Marks"... hint, hint! (my particle board desk is hurting my knuckles)

- 2003 was the last year Max was built in Japan. Compare reliability with '04 and newer models.

My goal with this review was to convince anyone looking for an inexpensive, reliable, fast, comfortable sedan to look no further than this car in this model year. GOOD LUCK!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2008

5th Mar 2009, 11:26

The 02 Maxima was my third but it will be my last. I will agree that the car is fun to drive and it is faster than a TL Type-S. However, the Bose Stereo does not play CD's in the cold weather. Annoying rattle from the subwoofer because the rear deck is loose. Clutch did not last nearly as long as my 91 or my 97 Maximas.

And now for the big one! My piston seals are leaking. I don't have to change my oil anymore because I burn 4 quarts of oil every other month. My car only has 100k. I didn't lose a drop in my 91 when it had 170k. I heard that this is a common problem with the 02's. I am in process of trading in for an Acura TL. I will miss the 6-speed stick and the performance but I hate the 4th gen models and can't afford the new Max.