Nissan Maxima Years to Avoid in 2023

Nissan Maxima years to avoid

In 1981, Nissan launched its new full-size Sedan, the Maxima. As its name implies, it is Nissan’s flagship sedan in the United States and is known for its safety, features, unique design, and performance. It is considered one of the most reliable vehicles, although some of its models are plagued with problems.

If you want to know more about the Nissan Maxima years to avoid, its best years, and common problems, then read the full article for a better understanding.

Years to Avoid of Nissan Maxima Years 

Here are some of the worst models of the Maxima given below.

  • Nissan Maxima 2004 
  • Nissan Maxima 2005 
  • Nissan Maxima 2006 
  • Nissan Maxima 2009 – 2014 
  • Nissan Maxima 2016

Nissan Maxima 2004 

Nissan Maxima 2004 

Our first-year model of the Nissan Maxima is 2004. New models tend to have more problems during their first years than later models. Unfortunately, the 2004 Maxima was full of problems and issues. 

One of the most notable issues with this vehicle is transmission and engine failures. You may also observe Paint and body problems. Lastly, fixing the transmission and engine failure issue may result in empty pockets.

Nissan Maxima 2005 

Nissan Maxima 2005

After the 2004 model year, 2005 is the second worst model year of the Maxima. Similar to its previous model, it also has some issues with the addition of leaking AC hose issues, tapping noises, leaks in critical mechanical components, and timing chain noise.

Furthermore, most of the users reported that the engine noise was the most troublesome aspect of this model year. It is less favorable than other options due to its high repair costs and less reliable version of the Maxima. So it is good to avoid this model year. 

 2006 Nissan Maxima

Nissan was unable to figure out why its transmission wasn’t working for the third year in a row. In consequence, ratings and performance both declined for the 2006 Nissan Maxima. It was still the same; jerky transmission and a malfunctioning engine. Although these complaints are less than in the previous two years, the problem is still there.

Furthermore, these problems may occur after 100,000 miles. Repairing engine and transmission problems are expensive unless the vehicles are under warranty, so it is good to avoid the 2006 model as well.

Nissan Maxima 2009 – 2014 

Nissan Maxima 2009

From 2009 to 2014, these years are also the most problematic years. Some of the common problems of these years are with the interior and exterior styling and ineffective powertrain. Some reviewers also have criticized the CVT for limiting performance and making the car difficult to drive.

Furthermore, these models also have low-quality parts. Interiors and accessories suffer from some severe problems and should be resolved as soon as possible. In short, these models are good to be avoided.

Nissan Maxima 2016 

Nissan Maxima 2016

The 2016 model year of the Maxima is the last year to avoid our list. Despite not having any specific mechanical problems, it has Airbag failures, Leaking brake fluid, Fuel leaks, Damaged antilock braking system, and Loose mounting bolts on the front brake calipers.

Nissan introduced a futuristic-inspired exterior design language with this model, but newer models may offer better value, so you should avoid this model.

Best Years of Nissan Maxima Years 

Below are Some of the best models of the Nissan Maxima

  • Nissan Maxima 2022 – 2023  
  • Nissan Maxima 2021 
  • Nissan Maxima 2019 
  • Nissan Maxima 2018 

Nissan Maxima 2022 – 2023  

Nissan Maxima 2022

Performance, reliability, and style combine perfectly in the 2022 and 2023 Nissan Maximas. Even though they have an outdated infotainment system and minor tweaks that reduced visibility a little bit, these particular models are worth getting, using, or brand new.

 Furthermore, these models are loaded with tech gadgets, advanced features, and a variety of trims so that people can buy any suitable trim. These models are the most reliable and advanced, so buying them is a wise decision.

Nissan Maxima 2021 

Nissan Maxima 2021 

The 2021 model is also one of the best and most reliable models of the Maxima model line. In order to compete with the 2019 model, the 2021 model had a lot to live up to, but it needs more going for it to be a contender.

Despite this, it is a pretty good car with three trim levels; the Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition is the highlight of the year. In general, minor improvements have been noticeable, but neither makes a significant difference.

Nissan Maxima 2019 

Nissan Maxima 2019

Our next best year of the Maxima is 2019. Although it retains some of the high-grade appeal of the 2018 Nissan Maxima, it is also equipped with some much-needed upgrades. Some of the highlighted updates include front and rear LED headlights and standards, improved safety features, and performs impressively.

Furthermore, if you can’t afford the 2020 – 2023 model and want the latest generation model, then you can go with this model. It is available at an affordable price along with all the latest features.

Nissan Maxima 2018 

Nissan Maxima 2018

Regarding features, performance, and pricing, the 2018 Nissan Maxima represents a significant step forward for the company. Aside from its aggressive styling, the 2018 Nissan Maxima has an upscale interior. It was effortless and smooth, as if it had never been driven before.

Although it has limited headroom and lack of steering feedback, it all covers up with its high build quality, extremely sharp handling, and easy-to-use electronics. Among the Nissan Maximas on this list, the 2018 Nissan Maxima is the most affordable and reliable option to consider. 

Common Nissan Maxima Problems

Nissan Maxima has been one of the most reliable sedans on the market for a long time. Nevertheless, every prospective buyer should be aware of a few severe issues. 

  • Transmission issues
  • Faulty Takata airbags 
  • Defective brakes
  • Ignition coil failure
  • Defective AEB
  • Electronic steering column lock (ESCL) failure
  • Premature timing chain failure 
  • Oil leakage 
  • Leaking and low-pressure AC hose

Transmission issues

 A common problem among Nissan Maxima owners is faulty transmissions. There are many reports of vehicles jerking when shifting, slow acceleration, stalling, and rough gear transitions due to faulty transmissions. If your vehicle has poor acceleration or rough shifting, there must be a transmission issue. 

Furthermore, some users also say that the situation has become so bad they don’t drive anymore out of fear of colliding with another vehicle. You may face this issue after driving 90,000–100,000 miles. In addition, be aware that the repair costs will be much higher than you expect.

Faulty Takata airbags 

Takata airbags also affected Nissan Maxima, specifically the 5th generation models 2000-2003. Takata airbag inflators have caused 27 deaths worldwide by exploding and shooting metal fragments. It is the most dangerous issue and should be addressed.

Defective brakes

Similar to the guide on Nissan Rogue Years to Avoid, Maxima also has defective brakes because brake calipers were mounted incorrectly, causing them to detach unexpectedly. It is more common in the 2016 model and has been recalled several times by the company.

Ignition Coil Failure

Ignition coil failure is also one of the common issues in the Maxima, more prominent in the 1995 – 2009 models. There have been reports that faulty coils cause sparks to travel through the wire harness, damaging other coils. 

It usually occurs around 130,000 miles and may trigger the check engine light. It can lead to rough idles, decreased fuel efficiency, and misfires. You can easily fix it because it is moderately expensive to fix.

Defective AEB

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) was faulty on the 7th and 8th generation Maxima, causing the vehicle to brake regardless of road obstructions. As a result of this problem, Nissan was slapped with lawsuits multiple times.

Electronic steering column lock (ESCL) failure

Sensing the key fob, the ESCL releases the steering wheel, allowing it to rotate and preventing theft. That is why if there’s an issue with your vehicle’s ESCL, it may hinder your engine from starting. 

Furthermore, it is more common in the 2009 – 2010 model of Maxima. Although Nissan started a campaign to replace free ESCL, if you are fixing it on your own, then it may cause you around $1000.  

Premature timing chain failure 

Timing chain failure is also a common issue not just in Maxima but in several Nissan models. Nissan timing chains have been reported to be too sharp and sawed through their guides quickly, while others have been reported to be too weak and prone to stretching.

Oil leakage 

It is also common for oil to leak into the electrical connector of the camshaft position sensor, causing the check engine light to turn on. If your Maxima regularly shuts down, there’s a high chance that your vehicle has this issue. This issue may occur in your vehicle after 110,000 miles. Fixing it will cause around $100 depending on parts and labor costs.

Leaking and low-pressure AC hose

There could be a leak in the AC hose that is causing warm air to be blown out of your Nissan Maxima’s air conditioner, resulting in low air pressure. You may face this issue after driving around 85,000 – 90,000 miles. 

Furthermore, it was more common in 2001 – 2012. Lastly, repairing cost of this issue is inexpensive; you can easily fix your Maxima AC issue.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, I must say that the Nissan Maxima is a superb sedan with five start overall safety ratings from the NHTSA and 36.75 reliability ratings. It also has the 2021 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award by IIHS. Even though it is an excellent choice, some of its models are problematic and should be avoided.

Its problematic models include 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 – 2014, and 2016. If you are interested in the Maxima, you can go with its 2022 – 2023, 2021, 2019, and 2018 model. 

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