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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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P0303 Code (Cyl. 3 Misfire)

I just got a P0303 code on my 2002 I35 with 113k miles. The code description states that it's a "No. 3 cylinder misfire detected" making my engine run a little rough. So I assume I must have a bad ignition coil on cylinder 3 which is located in the middle all the way where the firewall is. Do I need to remove the entire intake manifold to get to it or can I just remove that metal intake piece that connects to it from the back? On my 1997 maxima it was fairly easy to get to ALL of the coils. On the Ebay coils are fairly inexpensive @ 33.20 shipped to your house via priority mail.

Thanks guys.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:20 PM   #2
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the middle one (of course) is the only one you can't get to without taking the intake manifold off.. have you considered that it could be the injector or the spark plug?
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
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I read somewhere on the forum that injectors usually do not go bad. I always put Shell Premium gas so hopefully it's not an injector. Tomorrow I'll just remove the intake manifold and troubleshoot #3 injector, spark plug and an ignition coil. Is it safe to drive the car with a misfiring cylinder?

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the middle one (of course) is the only one you can't get to without taking the intake manifold off.. have you considered that it could be the injector or the spark plug?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:03 AM   #4
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If you have flashing check engine light, then it is bad to drive like that. If you have rough idle and/or sever loss of power, then it is bad to drive. If you get occasional rough idle and steady CEL, then it is OK to drive for a while.

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:11 AM   #5
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If you're spraying gas without burning it, aren't you putting your catalytic converter at risk for damage by overheating as the gas works its way through to the exhaust?

And wyche89, it's just the upper IM that needs removal for access, right? A confident DIY, or an easy job for a mechanic.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:26 AM   #6
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If you're spraying gas without burning it, aren't you putting your catalytic converter at risk for damage by overheating as the gas works its way through to the exhaust?

And wyche89, it's just the upper IM that needs removal for access, right? A confident DIY, or an easy job for a mechanic.
It looks like, at least to me, that I just have to remove the metal piece that goes into the intake manifold upper collector to gain access to coil #3 and not the entire plenum, hopefully.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for a reply! My engine light is blinking. I also have a 97 nissan maxima which i been trying to sell for like 2 months now but i can not drive it because i transferred license plate to infinity. I guess i'll have to drive my friend's old ford fiesta which is completely covered with bumper sticker until i get it fixed. It's like 40 degrees outside so kind sucks to work on the car.

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If you have flashing check engine light, then it is bad to drive like that. If you have rough idle and/or sever loss of power, then it is bad to drive. If you get occasional rough idle and steady CEL, then it is OK to drive for a while.

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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If you haven't already, you may want to take the opportunity to also replace the rear valve cover.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
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If you haven't already, you may want to take the opportunity to also replace the rear valve cover.
that would be a good thing to take a look at but you may also want to replace all the coils and new spark plugs while your at it since the coils could continue to fail on you kind of like a domino effect, just some insurance for later on
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:08 PM   #10
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Things you should replace while you're back there (assuming they haven't been done yet),

-plugs (all 6)
-rear valve cover with updated model
- IMO, I would replace all three rear coils
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rroderiques77 View Post
Things you should replace while you're back there (assuming they haven't been done yet),

-plugs (all 6)
-rear valve cover with updated model
- IMO, I would replace all three rear coils
Replacing just the rear packs is a good idea, since coil packs are expensive and the fronts are always accessible.

"Domino effect", SuperStasiu? Really? Hmm, I blew #6 two years ago, and #4 last year. Not really interested in spending the bucks for the remaining four, but it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:26 PM   #12
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Replacing just the rear packs is a good idea, since coil packs are expensive and the fronts are always accessible.

"Domino effect", SuperStasiu? Really? Hmm, I blew #6 two years ago, and #4 last year. Not really interested in spending the bucks for the remaining four, but it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
I did that on my 01 to save myself trouble later
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:56 AM   #13
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Is the valve cover gasket necessary for 2000-2001 model? I believe for coil/spark replacement on the rear bank, the valve cover does not come off.

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Old 01-14-2010, 07:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sontakke View Post
Is the valve cover gasket necessary for 2000-2001 model? I believe for coil/spark replacement on the rear bank, the valve cover does not come off.

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You have 3.0 engine so it is fairly easy to access to access to rear coils and spark plugs. Maximas leak oil from valve cover gaskets after about 70,000 miles, so it's a good idea to replace them unless you prefer seeing smoke coming from underneath the hood. The front and rear valve cover gaskets are only $20 at autozone so u may as well get both of them. Be VERY careful when you try to pry off the valve cover as you do do not want to scratch the surface of the engine.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:56 AM   #15
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i got the same code i went in there switched the spark plugs and tightened them all and it went away? i think my plugs were loose..
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:27 PM   #16
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I changed #3 coil only and valve cover (04 of course) over a year ago @108K, no problems since @120+
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:04 PM   #17
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Hate to bump an old thread, but I just got a P0303 tonight and it was making the SES light flash if I didn't baby it. Definitely can feel a misfire. Can I just take the elbow off the intake or do I have to remove the whole thing to get to the #3 cylinder? I do have a set of coils I bought off another .org member so I might change all three while I am at it.
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:18 PM   #18
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Good luck with the oil-burning, but bad luck with the coilpacks, eh? =/

It doesn't take much labor to get the intake manifold off. Heck, you can just take all the bolts off and have somebody lift it up while you tinker away at your bad coil. That's what I did when I changed the plugs.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:15 PM   #19
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Figured it out...

http://forums.maxima.org/5th-generat...isnt-hard.html
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:37 PM   #20
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Hey did you ever fix your problem if so what did you do, mines is throwing the same code and running really rough.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:21 AM   #21
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Yea and im curious about the ebay coils, ice nothing but bad things about cheap ebay coils, im all for saving money but with these cheapo coils, it seems like youre going to end up spending a lot more in the near future
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:21 AM
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