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Old 02-25-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
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2004 Maxima Problems

Having problems with my mom's 2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SL 123,095 miles

California car if that matters. Always kept up on oil changes, last one about 100 miles ago. Rebuilt trans by reputable transmission shop around 80k miles. Knock sensor(s) at about 100k miles.

Wasn't driven yesterday or earlier today and at 6:15pm today my dad started it up and it sounded "louder" that usual and died after about 20 seconds. He tried to start two more times and it just cranked. Took out the key for a minute, put it back in to to on position, moved to neutral, then back to park and it fired up, but sounded "louder" like excessive engine noise. Let it warm up a bit and rolled it out of the driveway in neutral. Once flat in the street, shifted to drive and it "violently engaged" drive. Back into park. Waited a minute and put it in reverse and it violently engaged reverse. Tried both again and they didn't shift as hard but still much worse than usual. Tried to drive it around the neighborhood and it was way underpowered, as if it was in 5th gear. I know these things have some kind of safety mode to keep RPM's low so not to hurt the engine when something is wrong. Could hardly make it up the driveway.

Anyone have any ideas or input as to what this might be? I can fix it myself but i'm not used to diagnosing cars like this. I build jeeps and buggies and that stuff. Also, no check engine light is on. I'll try to run it tomorrow and hopefully one will pop up. I just tried to start it and it cranked for almost 10 seconds then fired. Didn't try to drive it.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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well start by weeding possible causes off the list, like the starter for instance. Not the problem. Have you checked the Battery voltage? should be about 12.2-14 not on, 13.6-14.5 while running. Stupid question, did you check the oil? if they forgot to put oil in it or forgot to install the plug, then that would explain the loud engine problems. Have you checked the trans fluid? brown=change, black= change/replace filter, red=good to go. Have you checked the engine mounts for damage? that can add to the violent engaging. You could have bad Camshaft Position Sensors. They cause what you are describing exactly. If your trans fluid is red, then your transmission should be fine. I would start with checking the fluid, then the mounts, then look at replacing the Camshaft Position Sensors. If you replace them, it takes less than 30 minutes to do. Make sure you get Nissan Replacements. Other people have had problems with Aftermarket sensors. Bad CSP sensors cause erratic shifting of the transmission and starting issues. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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Ran it for a few mins and pulled into garage. CEL came on and i scanned it. P0340 Cam Position Sensor Bank 1. Going to replace that. Hopefully I can get it to come out of safe mode by clearing code and disconnecting battery for a while. Fluids are good. Looked at receipts. Trans was rebuilt at 90k so it's been 33k since then. Going to change it when it's running good again. 30k was the suggested interval by the trans shop. Oil was done by me 100 miles ago. Full and brand new. No problems there. Not sure about excessive engine noise though. Timing belt or chain or whatever these jap cars have? I don't think it's been done yet. Looks like a PIA, i'm used to working with more room.

Thanks
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
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Had the same problem chaned it w/ OEM sensors and no more hard shifting into park n reverse. I replaced both since I was already in there which i would suggest. Hope that does the trick
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
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Replaced the Bank 1 (firewall side) Camshaft Position Sensor. Fired right up, no clunking into gear. Good there. Still doesn't sound like it's running right. Can't explain. Sounds smooth, not missing but like there's extra wear or something going on. I don't know. The car has only been trouble. I only posted here because I left my code reader at the shop and wanted to know the probable causes, otherwise it was an easy diagnosis/fix.

Thanks for the help. Hopefully I can get them to sell it and get a new car.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:40 PM   #6
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Update:

Owner took the car to the transmission shop to get the fluid changed since it was at the recommended interval. They looked it over and said the motor mounts were bad. He replaced them , and I replaced the pass front hub assembly and did brakes on all four corners. I haven't driven in it yet but apparently it drives like a new car. The hub assembly was starting to make noise at high speeds, and the motor mounts took care of the excessive engine noise. Wouldn't have been first thought but that's why he took it to a shop, would have been hard to diagnose without a lift and proper equipment.

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Old 03-20-2013, 06:40 PM
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