Skip to main content

The Nissan Maxima is an attractive prospect for fans of the automaker who want a large sedan to rival the Toyota Avalon or Dodge Charger. However, the Maxima has its issues. For instance, Nissan Maxima owners report problems with failed ignition coils leading to a check engine light. Read about some of the Nissan Maxima’s problems and whether it can’t be trusted to be reliable. 

What problems does a Nissan Maxima have?

Late-model Nissan Maximas have problems with leaking low-pressure air conditioning connections, failing ignition coils leading to check engine lights, and power steering pump leaks. However, very few of the Maxima’s problems are catastrophic. 

For instance, RepairPal reports that, in some cases, the idle speed control motor could fail, causing damage to the ECU. A faulty thermostat could cause overheating, which can potentially seize an engine. However, most of the Maxima’s issues are more innocuous. 

The air conditioning and power steering pump issues will typically result in annoyance rather than stranding operators. Moreover, faulty sensors are a relatively easy problem to remedy compared to cracked major components like cylinder heads or blocks. 

How long can a Nissan Maxima engine last?

A Nissan Maxima’s engine should, barring a catastrophic failure of some kind, last the vehicle’s lifetime. That’s good news, as a Maxima could last over 200,000 miles with proper care and maintenance. 

This new Nissan Maxima looks the part with its sculpted rear design, but the Maxima might exhibit check engine lights and problems down the road.
Nissan Maxima | Nissan

Still, the Maxima doesn’t win any awards or earn any recognition among sedans for longevity. In iSeeCars’ lifespan study, the Maxima failed to reach a top spot. Instead, the Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry snagged top spots with potential lifespans of well over 200,000 miles. 

Why did Nissan discontinue the Maxima?

Nissan says it will discontinue the Maxima after the 2023 model year due to shifting focus in the auto industry and the American market’s preference for SUVs, trucks, and crossovers. However, the Maxima ran for over two decades, so used car prospects are many. 

Of course, the Maxima was never Nissan’s most versatile offering; the Nissan sedan model neglected to offer an AWD variation or a hybrid model. In comparison, the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 offer optional AWD with a Pentastar V6 engine option. Also, the Avalon offers hybrid fuel economy at multiple trim levels, unlike the Maxima. As a result, the Maxima isn’t a significant loss from the automaker’s lineup. 


How Much Does the Cheapest 2022 Nissan Maxima Cost?

Is a Nissan Maxima a reliable car?

While the three most common issues that the Nissan Maxima has are annoying, leaks and a check engine light aren’t enough to label the model as unreliable. It’s a reliable alternative to the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. 

However, the Maxima isn’t quite as reliable as a Toyota Avalon. For instance, the Maxima scores a 3.5 out of 5.0 according to RepairPal’s reliability scores. As a result, the Nissan model is number nine out of 12 full-size cars in the segment. Not exactly top-tier reliability scores. 

Conversely, the Toyota Avalon snagged the number three spot with a score of 4.0 out of 5.0. Moreover, with a hybrid variant and AWD in the 2021 model year, the Avalon is a more versatile option.