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Q: Service Engine Soon Light on 2001 Nissan Maxima

I bought a 2001 Nissan maxima that has been giving me problems ever since buying it. When I purchased the car I had to take it back because of a bad MAF. After I bought the car I started getting codes for all of my emission sensors. I first got a code to replace a pre-cat (600xx) The next code replace o2 sensor bank 1 sensor 1 the bank 2 sensor 2 (200xx+ labor) The next code replace the catalytic converter (2 right after pre cat) 500xx job. My car was fine for 2 weeks now I have another code for o2 sensor. wtf! what should I do keep replacing parts until i have paid for the car twice!?! i dont know what the right answer is and would like an outside opinion. the car starts drives okay but the light will not go away. i am up for inspection and cannot test until my dash is clear of codes. p.s. if i reset the light via disconnecting the battery it comes on as soon as the car is turned on. Please if you have any knowledge about this HELP!
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2001 Model year Nissan had lots of problems with O2 sensors and have updated the O2 sensor numbers several times. There are lots of service bulletins regarding driveability problems on this car and model year. There is a computer reprogram that the dealer scan tool can do to address false "Service Engine Soon" light illumination. Airflow meters failure are a problem. The dealer tool can tell if the latest upgraded Airflow meter has been fitted. I have seen problems with some "re manufactured" air flow meters. If you are dealing with a shop you otherwise trust, there is a service they can avail of called Identafix. Indentafix deal with problem cars repair shops around the country deal with. Their charges are reasonable, and they walk the auto tech through diagnostic procedures. They have access to lots of data sources and information.
I sympathize with you, the engine codes are far too general. I had the same problem with my 2000 Nissan and started on the same O2 sensor replacement as you. Come to find out the MAF (Mass Flow Air Sensor) was the failed component in my system. This sounds complicated but it isn't. Look at the air INTAKE, directly following the filter housing is a device (MAF) and a connector attached to it. That is what you need to replace. In my story, the Nissan Dealer ship quoted me $500 to replace. I found a new part on the web for $100, and replaced it by removing the 4 screws holding the bad MAF and screwed in the new one. Reset codes by removing the negative terminal off the battery and I was good to go.

Hope this helps.
While I don't think that it's uncommon for these Nissan's to have emissions problems as they age, you shouldn't be having all of these recurring problems. Have you been taking it back to the same shop over and over again?

Sometimes, if something is wrong that is damaging components in the emissions control system, a shop will not diagnose the root cause, and will just change the failed emission control component. The root cause continues, and then kills another parts of the emission control system.

My first recommendation would be to find a better shop and see if there is a missing diagnosis.
A good service/repair manual that details how to test your O2 sensors will help a great deal. Make sure you inspect the wiring for damage (maybe from the exhaust or broken wires). Often what happens too is when one O2 sensor is replaced, the new sensor responds quickly and the old ones act slowly. This can set a code for sensor slow to respond, or something of the sort, because the new/old sensors are not responding in synch with each other. This is often why some shops like to replace both or all O2 sensors at the same time (plus the overlap in labor).

Here in California, we can't pass the smog test if there are codes stored or if the readiness monitors are not set. hope this helps
Thank you for your information I am currently trying to resolve the ses light. I will first look underneath the car for damaged wires if no luck next step is another shop to try and troubleshoot the reoccurring problems.
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