2002 Nissan Maxima Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 2002 Nissan Maxima

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2002 Nissan Maxima
$
435
to $
621
2002 Nissan Maxima
$
107
to $
520
2002 Nissan Maxima
$
188
to $
508
2002 Nissan Maxima
$
91
to $
137
2002 Nissan Maxima
$
935
to $
1,756

2002 Nissan Maxima Problems

Failed External Seal on Engine Oil Cooler May Leak

The external seal on the engine oil cooler can fail and create an oil leak.

Timing Chain Rattle and Tapping Noise

Rattling and tapping in the front of the engine on the 2002-2016 Nissan Maxima is very evident, especially on cold starts. This rattling noise should not be taken lightly as it warns of upcoming timing chain failure. 

The cause of the noise is faulty timing chain guide rails and timing chain tensioners that wear out well ahead of schedule. These components are there to keep the timing chain tight and properly positioned. When these parts fail, the timing chain becomes loose, and pieces of the timing chain guides break off, falling into the oil pan. 

To remedy the situation, Nissan/Infiniti has made revised guides and tensioners, but replacement can be very costly. 

Proper oil change intervals and oil type may help slow or prevent the situation. 

Erratic or High Idle After Cleaning Throttle Body

The throttle body for the Nissan Maxima is known for carbon buildup, and requires regular, light cleaning to maintain peak performance. After cleaning the throttle body, many owners notice a very high idle, erratic (bouncing) idle, and unpredictable power surging. 

The cause is normal ECU adaptation: When the throttle body builds up carbon, the rate of airflow is slightly decreased. The vehicles computer reads this decrease in air volume, and adjusts the throttle body settings to maintain the proper engine idle speed. When the carbon is cleaned out, the ECU now registers too much air, and cannot adjust back to the original settings. While it is trying to change settings, the idle will bounce from low to high, and the car will surge forward at times. 

It has been recommended to simply wipe inside the throttle body every 12,000 miles, and never to touch the flap inside. Also, the cleaning procedure may be best left to a qualified technician.

The solution can be as simple as disconnecting the battery for at least an hour, having the dealer reset the computer, or, in extreme cases, replace the throttle bodies. 

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2002 Nissan Maxima Questions

Fuel pumped changed now fumes in car no visible leaks in car . Any ideas (2 answers)

What would cause gas fumes inside car just started 2 weeks after fuel pump replacement

Rear defogger not working, cig lighter not working, at light comes on/goes off (1 answer)

As you can see I have 3 issues. The rear defogger worked at one time and stopped - Checked the fuse and it's ok - The cig lighter worked once and stopped again the fuse is okay - Now I have the AT light, it appears to come on when I turn the key on and goes off when I start the car do I need...

I own a 2002 maxima have replaced the camshaft sensor twice is this normal (1 answer)

Vehicle has less than 80.000 miles

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2002 Nissan Maxima Recalls

Front Airbag Inflator Module

This limited regional recall is for vehicles currently registered or first sold in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and equipped with Takata-brand air bag inflators. Upon deployment the driver and/or passenger airbag inflator could rupture, increasing the risk of personal injury. Honda dealers will replace the affected airbag inflator modules to correct this concern.

Injury Due to Airbag Deployment

Airbags use a chemical reaction contained in an inflator module to create the pressure necessary to inflate the bags when deployment is required. These vehicles are being recalled because the front passenger airbag inflator may produce excessive internal pressure when deployed. As a result, the inflator module could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike vehicle occupants. Dealers will inspect and replace any defective passenger front airbag inflator modules found.

Engine May Stop Running Without Warning

The circuit board for the crank position sensor and cam position sensor may have improper solder joints. This could cause the Service Engine Soon lamp to come on, the engine may not start, you could experience reduced power, or the engine may stall without warning, which could result in a crash. Dealers will replace the the crank position sensor, cam position sensors, and in some cases, the variable timing control sensors. The recall began on December 22, 2003. The Nissan recall number is R2022 and the Infiniti recall number is R3021.

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2002 Nissan Maxima Reviews

Rated
based on 10 customer reviews
Love the car. I did put money in few repairs replacing pre cats,brakes and transmission problem. At this time the car is running fine still worried about other things breaking at least it's reliable after got it back in 2012 love car performance and exterior looks. So far rides smooth while it's loaded to the max with available options ever in this car.
I love this car its the best ever. Don't take car well it won't take care of you. Purchased my 02 Maxima SE back in mid 2011 with 87k miles driven at least another 30,000 miles this car runs well. Paid off so I'm happy with this vehicle so beautiful in and out its more than in excellent condition planning drive for 200,000 miles has every available option on SE version got with Maxima loving it.
I bought an 02 Maxima with 59,000 miles, it's now at 81,000 miles and my experience ranks somewhere between nightmare and lemon. Everything is falling apart, it constantly needs work done on it. Now it has an engine knock and needs a new wheel mount. I'll never buy another Nissan for as long as I live, no car should need so much work done before the 100,000 mile mark has been reached.

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