2004 Nissan Maxima Ti 3,5L from Australia and New Zealand


Engine supposed to be great, but somehow I don't see it that way


1. CD Stacker fault at 20,000Km, cannot played CD. Dealer replaced under warranty.

2. Left car outside garage one cold night. Decided to park car in garage. Turned on ignition, drive car in and turned off engine. The next morning engine failed to startup and heavy smoke came from the bonnet. Car stayed at dealer for 6 days. Since than the car has never been the same again. Every morning when starting engine you can hear a 1 second rattle or clunking from engine bay. On cruising you can frequently hear rattle from engine bay. Dealer can't fault problem as they don't drive my car on a daily basis. Suspect engine oil not reaching critical component during startup, therefore hearing mechanical noise.

3. Fuel economy changed from 11L/100km to 14L/km under normal driving (Manufacturer quote 11.2L/100Km). This car drink like a V8 now.

4. Central locking does not lock front passenger door at 60,000Km.

5. Engine performance is random, sometimes very smooth and strong, other times run like a 4 pots.

6. In traffic jam. Warm hot air flow into cabin. This is a design fault hot air from engine bay entered cabin. Air temperature OK when cruising at speed.

General Comments:

1. Has anyone startup engine in cold weather and quickly switched off engine noticed any problem on the next startup?

2. Nissan discounted this car to fleet company heavily. After 30,000Km fleet company were dumping vehicle at half original price. Private owner saw their car resale value tumble. If you were a secondhand car buyer, this is a cheap buy for a car that is barely two year old. The consequence, Nissan cannot shift volume on their updated model, potential buyer know what this car is worth in two years.

3. Nissan cost cutting in term of component supplies might play a part in car long term reliability.

5. My next car will be a Toyota again. No wander why so many Vietnamese and Indian driving Toyota, its cheaper to run in years ahead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd September, 2006

27th Feb 2007, 00:51

I have posted the review of my 2004 Maxima here: http://www.carsurvey.org/review_97105.html

My comments to add to this review:

2. I have the rattle on start-up as well. I have heard it on 3 other Maximas of the same age as mine. It's definitely a common "feature", and I'm told it's related to the timing chain or variable valve timing gear. Mine also has the rattle from the engine bay while cruising - this appears to be engine pinging. I have driven alongside many other Maximas with my window down and heard the same thing. Another "feature".

4. My front passenger door lock has also stopped working at 67,000km.

5. Engine performance on my appears to be very dependent on outside temperature. On warm to hot days (25 degrees and above), engine performance drops noticeably. This is a hard one to judge without putting it on a dynamometer. At anything more than moderate acceleration, my engine is HARSH and not as smooth as I remember it used to be.

I don't have much regard for these Nissan VQ engines at all.

13th Jan 2010, 14:56

Chek engine coolant density, it looks like the engine gets overheated.

2004 Nissan Maxima SE 3.5L from North America


Solid and quick


3 flat tires that I contribute mostly to Jiffy Lube under filling them and me not catching the error in time.

At right around 34,000 miles the sunroof seemed to get confused when closing. It would go all the way closed and then reopen to about 1/5 of the way. The sunroof has two controls and I was able to use the 2nd control to close it correctly.

General Comments:

The Maxima is a great car! Very good value and will last a very long time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2006