24th Jul 2005, 21:12

I am looking at a 98 Nissan Maxima and I was wondering about a couple things. This Maxima has 143,000 miles on it, but they said most were highway miles because it belonged to a rancher. Do you think buying a Maxima with that many miles is a good idea, or should I look for something new? I hear that Maxima's last into the 200,000's, but I don't know if that's a rumor or what. I just need something that will last me on the highway because I'm currently a college student, and I need a car that I can trust. Thank you.

25th Jul 2005, 18:28

Yeah I know I asked the same thing about the Legacy. Its weird because both these cars have 143000 miles on them, but they are made my two different companies, meaning that they hold two different engines. Is one a better buy then the other? Is a Legacy not worth $5000 with 143000 miles on it? is the Maxima worth $7400 with 143000 on it? This is what I'm trying to get at.

27th Jul 2005, 06:52

The earlier Legacy's had problems with oil leaks. Usually the cause of bad crank seals or the oil pump. Varying amounts of oil tend to accumulate around the timing chain cover and oil pump. Both the 2.2 and 2.5L have this problem. It's a fairly straight-forward fix, but on the 2.5 you'll need to disconnect the timing chain also. The '98's were also prone to headgasket leaks so check for oil around the bungs for the spark plugs. I think a new, better gasket was used in the next year so it shouldn't be a problem for the '99.

Beyond that (and your typical due diligence), they have a bulletproof engine and drivetrain and should be an excellent choice.

Maximas tend to have very poor resale value down in the states, so at that price it might be a little high unless the car is MINT. On the Maxima check for timing chain rattle (on COLD startup) (95-96) and knock sensor function (check ECU for codes). The Maxima's engine (VQ30DE) is also bulletproof and can take a beating.

Both have average maintenance costs in terms of $$$ but again since the Maxima does recommend using premium and you prefer to not downgrade running costs might be a little higher. Of course do your due diligence here also and make sure all major service is done. Maximas tend to take abuse fairly well, but since Maximas go for so cheap in the states many of them end up being rat-bagged and when repairs are needed they come in bunches.

Good luck on your choice.