Top 5 Problems Nissan Maxima Sedan 6th Generation 2004-08

Hey, friends. It's Len from 1A Auto. Today we have a sixth-generation Nissan Maxima
in the studio. We wanted to go over some of the common problems
that we've come to find, so let's get started. Now, for our first problem, we're gonna talk
about AC lines. Down along the passenger side of the car,
you're gonna be able to see some rubber hoses that look like this that go into aluminum. They're gonna be compress-fitted, and then,
of course, there's gonna be a whole bunch of different joints on these. Other than that, what you might happen to
notice are some of these little valve covers right here.

If you were to look inside, you're gonna see
a little Schrader valve. That's, of course, where you're gonna be adding
Freon to the system. The problem that actually happens with these
AC lines though is that they tend to break down and they tend to leak. A lot of times it's along one of the jointed
areas or at least one of the areas where either the lines connect to each other or the line
connects to a different part.

Usually, there's a gasket in between there,
and, of course, it can potentially go bad. Now, some of the symptoms that you might happen
to find if you're having an issue with your AC lines would potentially be the fact that
maybe you just don't have any cold AC blowing inside of your passenger compartment. Maybe even you'd happen to notice that your
AC compressor doesn't wanna run anymore. That's gonna be very common. Especially if there's no pressure in the system,
the AC compressor isn't gonna wanna run. You might also notice a funny smell in the
air. AC refrigerant has a weird smell to it, and,
of course, it is actually toxic to the environment. So that's something that you're gonna wanna
pay attention to. Other than that, if somebody happened to put,
like, a leak detection oil inside of it, you might potentially be able to see a little
bit of, like, a greenish hue of an oil coming around maybe a leaking seal or even a joint. If that's the case, you pretty much found
your leak. Another common place for them to leak would
be right at this Schrader valve right here.

If you were to try to remove this cover and
you heard a little [vocalization] come out of there, well, more than likely it's because
that Schrader valve's leaking. So let's talk about some fixes for this, because
obviously if it's gonna be summertime, you're gonna want your AC to work. What you're gonna wanna do is inspect all
of your lines. If you happen to see any of that greenish
hue oil coming around any of your joints or seams, well, then, like I said before, you
know, you found your leak. Sometimes you're not necessarily gonna find
that hue though. If nobody put in that little leak detector
inside the system, you're not gonna be able to see it. Other than that, what you could potentially
do would be to hook up an AC machine to your actual lines.

When you hook up the lines, you're gonna wanna
make sure that you applied vacuum to the system. If for some reason the vacuum doesn't actually
go up and then hold, that's telling you that you have a leak and you need to be able to
find it. So, now, once you find that leak, of course,
you're gonna wanna fix it. If it was a very large leak, like maybe one
of your hoses was completely taken apart and wasn't put back together, well, then, of course,
that's gonna be a different type of issue. If moisture made its way inside of your AC
system because somebody left the line apart or maybe just didn't tighten it up enough,
you could potentially have an issue with your receiver drier or even other parts of your
AC system. If for some reason your AC was run for too
long on very low refrigerant or even low oil, you could have potentially caused damage to
your AC compressor as well. So, obviously, that's gonna be another thing
that you wanna pay attention to.

If the AC compressor didn't have oil inside
of it or enough refrigerant, it could have potentially went bad internally. If that's the case, you're gonna wanna pay
special attention because, of course, there could be other debris inside of the system
such as metal fragments or the like. If any of that's floating around inside your
system, probably gonna get caught inside your orifice tube, which is the little screen inside
your system that's supposed to filter out any debris.

If that's full of stuff, it's gonna be clogged
up, and then the refrigerant isn't gonna be able to flow through the system even if you
did happen to recharge the system. So let's just go with the assumption that
you found a very small leak someplace, maybe one of those little itty bitty gaskets you
don't believe that any type of air or moisture made its way into the system, it just kind
of evacuated all of the Freon out of your system. You're gonna go ahead and fix that leak, and
then what you're gonna do is add oil with Freon to your system.

And then after that, go ahead and start up
your car and let it run for a little while. You wanna make sure that the AC system's blowing
nice and cold, and then you should be perfectly fine. Now, for problem number two, we're gonna talk
about camshaft position sensors. You're gonna have two of them on this particular
car. You have two banks. Essentially you're gonna have bank number
two coming across the front of your engine here. You're gonna see you have three coils. And then on the backside of the engine here
underneath this, you're gonna have bank number one. If you were to look along the driver's side
of your valve covers, straight along down you're gonna be able to see a connector with
a little green tab on it. Other than that, over on this side, the whole
connector is green. So that's just something to pay attention
to. If you see green, that's where your camshaft
position sensors are gonna be.

Now, these camshaft position sensors have
a very important job, and essentially what it comes down to is helping with the timing
of your engine. So if the sensor itself isn't working properly,
the car is, of course, not gonna know exactly where that camshaft position's at. If that's the case, then your timing's more
than likely gonna be off. So, for symptoms, you're probably gonna know
what the first one's gonna be, a check engine light that comes on on your dash. If you were to go ahead and take your little
scanner and pull the code, it's gonna tell you that you're having an issue with the camshaft
position sensor. It might be bank one or even bank two. Other symptoms you might have if you have
a faulty camshaft position sensor might be runnability issues. Maybe you go ahead and you try to start up
your car, it doesn't seem like it wants to start very easy, and then when it does, it
starts to stumble and bumble around a little bit.

Other than that, you might happen to notice
that you get a runnability issue such as maybe a misfire or it even just kind of seems as
though your car doesn't have the type of power that you kind of expect that it's gonna have. This has a 3.5 V6 engine, should have plenty
of power. And then the last symptom, which is gonna
be the one that's most common on these particular cars, is the camshaft position sensor tends
to leak oil through the sensor itself once it cracks or even breaks, and it makes its
way up to the electrical connector. Once this happens, of course, the camshaft
position sensor isn't gonna be able to work right. So, now, we should probably talk about fixes
for this. This isn't something that you can just go
ahead and remove from the car, clean it off, and then re-install it and expect it to be
just fine.

This is one of those parts that you're gonna
have to just remove and then replace. Obviously, you're gonna wanna do a little
bit of diagnosing so you can make sure that you replace the proper sensor, but it's really
up to you if you just want to replace the bolt at the same time. Now, for our third problem, we're gonna make
our way underneath the car. I wanna talk about the power steering pump. Now, inside your car, you're gonna have hydraulic
assist, which essentially means you need to have a pump of some sort to pump hydraulic
fluid or power steering fluid throughout the power steering system, including the rack,
which is, of course, gonna help those wheels turn every time I move the steering wheel. Now, if the pump was to go bad, which is very
common on these cars, essentially what you're probably gonna see is a leak. And with that leak, you're gonna find a big
mess coming down across this whole passenger side front area of your car.

pexels photo 3964704

If you were to look up inside your passenger
side wheel well into the passenger compartment, you're gonna be able to see where your power
steering pump is. That's right above your right front axle. A common issue with these power steering pumps
would be a leak, and that, of course, is gonna be what's making the mess. And the leak on these is either gonna come
from one of the lines going into the pump or even from the pump seal around where the
pulley is.

So if you happen to see fluid getting sprayed
all around on your pulley itself, you know that it's the pump seal. If you see fluid coming along the backside
where these hoses are, it could potentially be a hose where it connects into the pump. If that's the case, usually you can just replace
the gasket, and you should be good to go. But for the pump pulley seal itself, usually
it comes down to either rebuilding your power steering pump or even replacing it. So now other symptoms that you might potentially
have if you're having an issue with your power steering pump would be a whining noise coming
from your power steering system, and it's typically gonna be loudest as you're trying
to turn. You might also be able to hear this when the
vehicle is accelerating or as your RPMs are going up. Of course, the belt's gonna be moving faster
because of the crank, and that's gonna be spinning that power steering pump pulley faster.

The faster it goes, the louder the noise is
gonna go. Other than that, something else that you might
happen to notice is that your power steering system starts to get very stiff, almost as
though you have no power assist. If this is the case, usually it comes down
to a power steering leak of some sort, which, like I said, is one of the symptoms anyways.

In either case, whichever way you decide to
fix it, you're gonna wanna make sure you flush out your power steering fluid and, of course,
fill it with the proper fluid that the manufacturer recommends. So, now, for problem number four, we're gonna
talk about crankshaft position sensor. Now, the crankshaft is gonna be the main shaft
inside of your engine. It's essentially the one that your pistons
are gonna be attached to. If, of course, the crankshaft position sensor
is damaged in any way, there's no way for the sensor to be able to tell the computer
where exactly your crankshaft is at. So, essentially, it really doesn't know if
your pistons are up or down and which cylinder or where anything is. If this is the case, some of the symptoms
that you're gonna get is that the car overall really won't wanna start. When it does start, it's not gonna run very
good, if it even runs at all. Other than that, if the crankshaft position
sensor happened to go bad while you're actually driving, more than likely the car is gonna
just stall out on you, and then, like I said, you probably won't be able to start it up

Now, the crankshaft position sensor is gonna
be located in between the engine and the transmission on this particular car right up inside this
area right here. So if you find your transmission pan area,
just go a little bit towards the passenger side and then straight up. What you might happen to notice what this
crank position sensor is if you were to go ahead and take a look at it, more than likely
it doesn't look like there's anything wrong with it. Overall, usually it kind of goes bad in the
same way as maybe the camshaft position sensor. Maybe it gets cracked. You can't really see it, but oil gets forced
inside, and then, of course, the circuitry inside doesn't function the way that it's
supposed to. Other than that, if you have a major oil leak
and it makes its way into the connector, you're gonna have extra resistance, and the computer's
not gonna know what's going on.

For a fix for this, of course, what you're
gonna wanna do is diagnose to ensure that you do actually have an issue with your crankshaft
position sensor. If you happen to find a code, P0335, well,
then that's telling you that you have this issue. And if that's the case, go ahead and climb
underneath your car carefully and go ahead and remove that sensor and replace it. After you remove and replace the sensor, go
ahead and give yourself a nice oil change so that way there your engine is good to go.

Now, for problem number five, we're gonna
talk about timing chain issues. Your timing chain's gonna be located on the
passenger side of your engine. Inside right here, it's not something that
you can physically see without doing a whole bunch of work to get to. Now, the timing chain itself isn't actually
the issue with this though. It's very common on Nissans in general and
even on these Nissan Maximas, especially timing chain noises. What I'm talking about for that is maybe you
go ahead in the morning and you start up your car. As soon as you start it, you hear [vocalization],
and it goes away as the car starts to warm up. The reason why this is gonna be a common issue
would be potentially because inside here you're gonna have timing chain. With those timing chains, there needs to be
a tensioner, and, of course, there needs to be guides. Now, what happens on these guides and timing
chain tensioners is, well, maybe they just don't get lubricated the way they're supposed
to. And a common reason for that would be because
maybe you went a little bit over on your maintenance, the oil's lubricity wasn't there like it was
supposed to be, maybe due to the fact that it's a little bit low or just broken down,
maybe you didn't do the 3000-mile oil change like you were supposed to.

But once you start getting this noise, it
essentially means that you're having an issue with the timing chain, and it usually comes
down to the guides or even the shoes like what I was saying. Now, the job of your timing chain is to ensure
that your crankshaft and your camshafts are aligned perfectly. If for some reason they're not, your timing's
gonna be off, and your engine's not gonna run properly. What you're probably gonna notice if you're
having this issue is, like I said, the noise, and then, of course, you're probably also
gonna notice that you have lack of power. You might have a little check engine light
that pops up on the dash that's telling you you're having an issue or even you might have
starting issues. Now, it's time to talk about fixes for this. It's a little bit of an in-depth job. What I mean by that is you're gonna have to
tear apart that side of your engine and you're gonna have to access where the timing chain
is. Once you've done that, you're gonna wanna
make sure that you have all the proper specifications, parts, and tools that are gonna be needed,
because, of course, once you have your engine apart, you're not gonna wanna kind of mess
around and leave it apart while you go and get parts and tools and all these other things.

Obviously, there's gonna be a lot to it. There's gonna be torque specifications. There's gonna be other things that you need
to pay attention to. And if you replace the timing chain at the
same time as the shoes in the tensioners, if for some reason you don't have it timed
properly, like maybe one of those camshafts tended to move up along the top there, if
it's off one tooth, you're gonna have runnability issues. So just keep that in mind. And to help prevent this from actually happening,
just make sure that you keep up on your oil change. If you're doing your oil change approximately
every 3000 miles and in between, checking your oil level to ensure that it didn't go
low, you're probably not even gonna have this issue. Okay, friends. So that's pretty much what I've got for you
for top problems on a sixth-generation Nissan Maxima. Like we always say, every car has its problems. Maybe you have a car of your own with problems
of its own. If you got something to say, leave it in the
comments section below because I always love to hear from you.

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