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1998 Nissan Maxima Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1998 Nissan Maxima based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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12
Known Problems

The ground inside mass air flow (MAF) sensor can corrode and possibly cause drivability problems. The corrosion is enough to affect the sensor data but not enough to create a trouble code. Diagnosing this can be difficult because it won't always illuminate the Check Engine Light.

The EGR valve can become clogged with carbon, which causes the Check Engine Light to illuminate. The valve needs to be removed and the system cleaned.

The timing chain tensioner may bleed off oil pressure after the engine is shut down. This can cause a rattling noise when the engine is started cold and a revised timing chain tensioner and guide are available to correct this issue.

One or more wires in the engine wiring harness may break at the harness bend near the right strut tower. Symptoms include: Check Engine Light illumination, rough idle, drivability problems, and/or an inoperative air conditioner. Any broken wires will need to be repaired.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate indicating a primary ignition signal fault. Many times the cause is an ignition coil(s) that has failed. The problem in the coil causes the spark energy to feedback through the wiring harness into the other coils. If this is not repaired, it can damage the other coils (blistering on the coils may be seen).

Oxygen sensor failures are common due to fluid leaks from the power steering pump. The power steering pump typically leaks directly onto the sensor and causes the wiring to fail. If the leaks are not repaired when the oxygen sensor is replaced, the sensor will fail again.

The crankshaft position sensor can fail causing the engine to run poorly or it may crank but fail to start.

The thermostat may become stuck closed, causing an overheating condition. Replacement of the thermostat will be required to correct this concern.

If the power steering pump develops leaks, it can drip onto the lower control arm bushing causing the bushing to deteriorate. A knocking noise will be heard when driving over bumps and it may become more difficult to control the vehicle.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a defective charcoal canister vent control valve. The charcoal canister is a component in the Evaporative emissions (EVAP) system.  Our technicians tell us a failed vent valve will require replacement.

Software/programming updates to the Engine Control Module (ECM) are available to help solve some issues with Check Engine light illumination.

The rear spoiler (if equipped) may allow water to leak into the trunk and onto the trunk lock assembly. This could cause corrosion on the lock assembly leading to false "trunk open" signals to the body control module (BCM) and erroneous security alarm system activation.