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

Oil Issues

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Old 05-16-2017, 08:23 PM   #1
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Oil Issues

I'm at my wits end. I can keep oil in this car to save its life. 100 miles of driving will cause my oil to not appear on the dipstick. I can't seem to find where it's coming from either. It looks like its by the power steering pump but there's so much fluid under the car its impossible to tell. It doesn't leak when parked but it will magically disappear when driving. the engine was replaced recently and prior to installation I put new valve covers on it and put a new crank seal on it. I'm already $2000 in the hole with car and I seriously hope a tree falls on it at this point.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:56 PM   #2
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Looks like the replacement engine had the precats explode in it and it sucked the pieces into it and has chewed up the piston rings. If you can't drive more than 100 miles, you for sure need a new engine. Just scrap it at this point because it's gonna cost you another $500+ to find a used engine and then labor if have someone else swap it in.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:05 PM   #3
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I *JUST* put a new engine in it not even 3k miles ago. Christ almighty how do you people do this. this car has basically wasted 4 months and $3000 dollars. its rediculous I drove my bonneville for 50K with a ****ed trans and this car can't even last a oil change without exploding on me. Is there any chance a dealer would take pitty on me and help a brotha out?
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:51 PM   #4
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It's either burning it or leaking it out. If it's being burned you will see smoke out of your exhaust very noticeably. It's quite possible you installed the main seal wrong, or perhaps it leaking down body the body of the car. I need some concrete facts to diagnose a car. Right now all I can do is surmise that you're not really that experienced in mechanics, or don't know how to properly diagnose the problem. You need to commit to either finding the problem or finding another car. Personally, I bought my 2001 maxima SE with 200k+ miles on it. I've put $2300 into it and it is now very reliable with almost no problem except for a small power steering leak I've yet to tackle. Anyways what I'm getting at is maybe you need to take a mechanic along with you to help you buy a car.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:00 PM   #5
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I don't mean to be rude but you think that I'm not experienced but I don't think someone with no experience would do an engine swap. As far as burning it, i don't see any smoke coming out the exhaust and I can't smell it and as far as leaking it I wish I could tell where its coming from unfortunately It is also leaking PS fluid and in its current state its difficult to discern the difference. If it were leaking wouldn't it leave a huge oil slick if it were leaking at the rate it is? At any rate I'll post some pictures
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:08 PM   #6
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I *JUST* put a new engine in it not even 3k miles ago. Christ almighty how do you people do this. this car has basically wasted 4 months and $3000 dollars. its rediculous I drove my bonneville for 50K with a ****ed trans and this car can't even last a oil change without exploding on me. Is there any chance a dealer would take pitty on me and help a brotha out?
Ask around if anyone has a spare engine they don't need and wouldn't mind letting go for free. It's not the cars fault, it's that you had bad luck with parts. A Bonneville is nothing compared to the Maxima's. As a former Grand Prix owner, I'd rather take a Maxima over any GM product any day.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:11 PM   #7
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I don't mean to be rude but you think that I'm not experienced but I don't think someone with no experience would do an engine swap. As far as burning it, i don't see any smoke coming out the exhaust and I can't smell it and as far as leaking it I wish I could tell where its coming from unfortunately It is also leaking PS fluid and in its current state its difficult to discern the difference. If it were leaking wouldn't it leave a huge oil slick if it were leaking at the rate it is? At any rate I'll post some pictures
Let the car idle to operating temp in the driveway and look for leaks. With the amount of oil you're losing, that would leave a considerable sized puddle. Rev the engine like you would driving it to recreate the situation as much as possible.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:14 PM   #8
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Ask around if anyone has a spare engine they don't need and wouldn't mind letting go for free. It's not the cars fault, it's that you had bad luck with parts. A Bonneville is nothing compared to the Maxima's. As a former Grand Prix owner, I'd rather take a Maxima over any GM product any day.
I don't even want to start a flame war on this. I can tell you right now I like the maxima more because it's a manual and it's interior is way nicer but as far as maintenance my maxima has been a complete nightmare. I had 2 bonnevilles before this and both of them lasted way longer than my maxima which lasted a record 4 days after i bought it.

EDIT
I thought it would too but I let it run for about 20 minutes and I only get a tiny drizzle on the ground I would rev it but its midnight where I live and I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that. If it helps in diag it has a long list of CEL codes but most of them are for Emmisions stuff barring the p0011, p0021, and p0300.

Last edited by SubjectSigma; 05-16-2017 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:28 AM   #9
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Looks like the replacement engine had the precats explode in it and it sucked the pieces into it and has chewed up the piston rings. If you can't drive more than 100 miles, you for sure need a new engine. Just scrap it at this point because it's gonna cost you another $500+ to find a used engine and then labor if have someone else swap it in.
please be careful assuming this ! its become such a trend to say this, but its more rare than it is actually talked/projected...

its a real problem, but its not happening on every maxima.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:38 AM   #10
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I would first check the tightness of the oil filter. If recent oil change was done, maybe old filter gasket wasn't removed or new one wasn't oiled prior to new filter install. Idk, I had recently replaced my harmonic balancer and, somehow hit my old rusty oil filter with a wrench causing a pinhole leak. Wouldn't leak when off or at idle. However when driving, it would be spraying oil everywhere. Just throwing out some ideas.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:48 AM   #11
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In VQ an oil filter sits on an oil cooler (the hockey puck sized chunk of aluminum with 2 pipes coming in and out). That oil cooler has a seal (or gasket? not sure) and that may be leaking after an engine swap as well. Just my 2c.

I think you are loosing too much oil for this to be a bad valve seals case.

Can you post pictures of your oil leak from below?
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:05 AM   #12
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op...hose that engine and underside real well so you can determine if its leaking and if so, from where.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:24 PM   #13
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please be careful assuming this ! its become such a trend to say this, but its more rare than it is actually talked/projected...

its a real problem, but its not happening on every maxima.
What else would cause such extreme oil burning?
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:32 PM   #14
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progress

I babied the car to and from work today and it seems to have slowed the oil loss (
never got above 2.5k rpm). I have yet to look at the level but I topped off 2 days ago and the level was OK before I left this morning.
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:27 PM   #15
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was there any warranty or guarantee on the new motor?
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:30 PM   #16
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was there any warranty or guarantee on the new motor?
Bought it from a scrapyard near the Indiana Illinois border. He did say there was a warranty but I'm not sure how believable that it
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:03 AM   #17
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Are you checking the oil level before you drive the car for the day? And about 30 mins after its driven? You cannot pull the dipstick right after u shut the car off and check the oil it will give a false reading. 100 miles is terrible you def must have a series of leaks, maybe the timing cover is leaking, or the oil pressure unit can leak also, main seal ect, or the oil pan gasket itself.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:57 PM   #18
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Bought it from a scrapyard near the Indiana Illinois border. He did say there was a warranty but I'm not sure how believable that it
So this could be a 300k mile motor that was burning oil previously? Clearly not a new motor like you initially said.

You're not sure how "believable" it is that it has a warranty? I mean...have you filed a warranty claim? Call them and tell them you want it warrantied. If its burning that much oil there is no use keeping it. Give it back.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:50 AM   #19
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:50 AM   #20
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Silly question but how long are you waiting after the last drive before you check the oil level?
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:11 PM   #21
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update

I've been pretty busy as of lately but I figured I'd post an update. Whilst messing around with the car I pulled the upper intake manifold off and discovered oil and a lot of it. I replaced the PCV valve, torqued all of my valve cover bolts and the oil cooler gasket and started running running 10w30 and the consumption has gone down quite a bit but it's still very noticeable. I've been driving like a grandma everywhere and I've also been very diligent about checking my oil every morning before I leave for work. I guess this is just about what I'm stuck with for now. I'm kinda burnt out from foreign cars after this, I think it's going to be a long time before I even consider buying another Japanese car. I really like that car but after the about of money and time thrown at this and it still isn't running well I think it's safe to say it's not for me.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:14 PM   #22
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So this could be a 300k mile motor that was burning oil previously? Clearly not a new motor like you initially said.

You're not sure how "believable" it is that it has a warranty? I mean...have you filed a warranty claim? Call them and tell them you want it warrantied. If its burning that much oil there is no use keeping it. Give it back.
I saw the car the engine was pulled out of, it was t boned pretty good. All of the plasma cuts the guy made to remove the engine were in the same place and I'm fairly certain the mileage is somewhat close to correct having worked on it a bit before putting it in the car.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:40 AM   #23
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I've been pretty busy as of lately but I figured I'd post an update. Whilst messing around with the car I pulled the upper intake manifold off and discovered oil and a lot of it. I replaced the PCV valve, torqued all of my valve cover bolts and the oil cooler gasket and started running running 10w30 and the consumption has gone down quite a bit but it's still very noticeable. I've been driving like a grandma everywhere and I've also been very diligent about checking my oil every morning before I leave for work. I guess this is just about what I'm stuck with for now. I'm kinda burnt out from foreign cars after this, I think it's going to be a long time before I even consider buying another Japanese car. I really like that car but after the about of money and time thrown at this and it still isn't running well I think it's safe to say it's not for me.
can you answer the silly question in post #20
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:16 AM   #24
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I just picked up a free 03 w/a replacement 3.5L for a kid driver. Many issues including "no oil" showing on the stick. I had the top off down to the head, If i were you I would first check the plugs. They will tell you the truth about oil consumption. Some cyls can be worse than others. If you find one plug saturated with oil, aggressively soak that cyl with solvent down the spark plug hole for a day. Maybe that will help. Or some type of engine sludge treatment, then change the oil a few times. Or just thicker oil. I also think that this Nissan 3.5L may be the hardest to read dipstick on any car ever. Can't check it warm, looks like no oil on it.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:04 AM   #25
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dumb question

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can you answer the silly question in post #20
I wait about 15-20 minutes after parking the car to check the oil. I also check it before I start it in the morning before I leave for work.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:55 PM   #26
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So basically all vq35s burn oil so replacing the engine with another junkyard vq35 is not going to fix a blow motor because it as well be blown.

Since you had the engine out you should of put new rings. Ez pz to do and you can see if that's really the problem. I call fake news on the cats blowing up and getting sucked back int he engine. Where is the proof?
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:26 AM   #27
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They swapped in another engine already destroyed by precats. Engine needs replaced with a good one and headers.

​​​​​​You'll probably have to sue them.
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:24 AM   #28
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They swapped in another engine already destroyed by precats. Engine needs replaced with a good one and headers.

​​​​​​You'll probably have to sue them.
Hahahahaha sue them
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:15 PM   #29
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You can avoid all these issues by getting yourself a 3.0L/5th-Gen instead of the trouble-prone 3.5L/5.5-Gen Maxima.

I have one: No oil consumption - NONE - over my OCI (5k Miles). After 17.5 years, it still drives like new. I am one happy owner.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:29 PM   #30
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You can avoid all these issues by getting yourself a 3.0L/5th-Gen instead of the trouble-prone 3.5L/5.5-Gen Maxima.

I have one: No oil consumption - NONE - over my OCI (5k Miles). After 17.5 years, it still drives like new. I am one happy owner.
Really depends on the car. My 2002 has 131k miles and it doesn't burn or leak any oil. The level does not move at all between oil changes.

To my knowledge, the precats are still functioning and have not blown apart. Don't get me wrong, I still plan on replacing them or gutting them.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:41 PM   #31
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Hahahahaha sue them
If he wants his money back, yes. IDK why that's funny.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:14 AM   #32
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If he wants his money back, yes. IDK why that's funny.
I'm not making fun of you. I just thought it was funny.
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:30 PM   #33
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my 02 burns 1qt every 1000 and my 00 didn't burn a single drop lol
But the 3.5 has much better low end so its worth it for me.
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