I have a Nissan Maxima 2000. I have the same poblem mentioned with the engine service light. I took it back to the dealer on two occasions with in a month, they did their trouble shooting and reset the engine service light.
I am about to take it in for the third time.
I have a 2000 Nissan Maxima GLE with with 60,000+ miles and a Service Engine Soon light problem.
My information based on the owner's manual and conversations with the dealer are that Service Engine Soon indicates a malfunction in the emission system due to:
1. A part that needs to be replaced.
2. Air in the gas tank due to not properly closing the gas cap after filling up, or
3. The system computer needs to be reset.
If a part has gone bad and there is a real problem with your car -- you will notice a loss of power and could eventually damage the emissions system if not repaired.
If the gas cap was not fully ratcheted down after filling up -- the error light should clear several trips after that problem is corrected.
If there is no loss of power and the gas cap has always been properly closed after filling up -- the computer probably just needs to reset. My dealer compares this with home computers that occasionally crash, or lock-up and need to be rebooted.
Unfortunately this speaks to Nissan's lack of reliability, and at $80 a pop to reset the computer I feel this borders on a scam. Thus, I'm ignoring the Service Engine Soon light until I notice a problem with the car's performance, or the dealer tells me there is a reliable replacement computer circuit at a reasonable price.
Reply to the May 4th Nissan Maxima owner:
RE: Service Engine Soon Light.
I had the same issues with my 1997 Maxima (117,200 miles). My last Service Engine Soon light was identical to yours. It was the Vent Control Valve. Supposedly there are three probable causes for the specific code. Gas cap not secure, Vent control valve, and Vent control box. From what I was told the valve is usually the main cause for that code. The replacement part and labor totaled near $200.00.
In addition, I've had the Service Engine Soon light come on four other times over six years. Each time it was a different oxygen sensor causing the light. The first two occurred while under warranty, the other two averaged about $100.00 - $200.00 to have repaired.
I purchased a 2000 Maxima (60000 miles) and I've had the same problem with the O2 sensor. Its happened three times--all three times the dealer did fix it, since it is still under warranty. Also one tail light AND one head light keeps going out. And the driver side front window started squeaking about six months after we bought it, all the dealer does is put a little WD-40 on it, which works for about one week.
I just received a 2000 Maxima as a company car and it has about 87,000 kms. The first week I had the car the "Service Engine Light" came on and I got the OK to repair at the company's cost. Brought it to the dealer and they replaced the fuel solenoid at a cost of $300 (Canadian). Problem fixed. Nope about a week later battery light comes on and car won't keep charge. Replaced Alternator ($500). Week later the darn "Service Engine Light" came on. Oddly enough about 1 hour after filling up the tank. Tried replacing the Gas Cap and it actually worked ($20). Go figure.
I have a 99 Nissan Maxima. As soon as the warranty ran out, my service engine light came on. I took the car into Nissan, paid $80 for the diagnostics test, and was told I needed a new wiring harness. This was going to cost me $1000. I decided to take my car somewhere else to get a second opinion. Nissan refused to give me a copy of the diagnostics test, they said they did not keep this info. on file (I find this odd because they were expecting to service my car for the wiring harness). Therefore, I had to pay another $80 somewhere else to have the test done again. To make a long story short, the same test said I had a bad coil, $99. I am a female and I feel Nissan tried to "scam" me out of $1000. How did they get one code stating I had a $1000 problem, and the same test ran somewhere else showed I had a $99 problem? This was two years ago. The service engine light came on again this morning. I will not take the car back to Nissan and I will not purchase another Nissan due to their lack of good judgement because I am a female.
I have a 2000 Nissan Maxima with 83,000 miles on it. Right after it turned over 60K miles the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. I checked the manual and it stated if it was not blinking, it was safe to drive til it was convenient to get the dealer. I continued to drive it for about a month with no ill effects and no performance problems noted. However, I had intermittent problems with sputtering. When I did take it in, they said it was the smog or 02 sensor and would cost $279 to "fix." We live in California where they require smog testing on cars 4 or 5 years older. It seemed very strange that a car that is so new that it did not require a smog-check yet by the State was having an emissions system problem. After having it repaired, about 4 months later the Service Engine light came on. In frustration I returned to the dealer and this time was told that it was a malfunctioning "Park-Neutral Switch" that would be $300 to fix. After having that fixed I thought everything should run fine for quite awhile, but of course not...
I have had continual problems with sputtering, pinging, and lack of power upon acceleration. My regular mechanic said he couldn't find anything wrong with it. And of course yesterday the "Service Engine Soon" light has come on yet again. I have printed all your very helpful postings and am headed to the dealer today to try to get this resolved.
Wish me luck!
And oh yeah -- when I originally took my car to the dealer the very first time after my mechanic noted that this problem was noted in some Industry manual -- Nissan's response was while there might be numerous reports of problems with 02 sensors, that there was no official recall and as such they were not responsible for the cost of repair. This is a shame because my husband had an '86 Nissan 200SX that we ran til 225K and finally traded for a bigger car. It was very dependable and the big reason why we decided to purchase a Nissan for our family car. Rest assured that our next car will N O T be a Nissan product!
I have the same issue. I just bought a 2001 se back in November. I have had the light come on 3 times so far. The used car dealer I bought it from assures me that it is nothing. He does have a device called an OBD2 reader that scans the computer for errors. You can pick one up on ebay for about $50 or so. It reads the car computer and gives you a digital code. Then you look up in a booklet what the code means. I was going to have a Nissan dealer look at the car, but after hearing about some of the horror stories other readers have had... i decided just to have my dealer pay for one of those OBD2 readers.
Hope this helps some of you out... good luck.