by Jersey Girl (Exit 4, NJ, United States)
Problems 2001 Nissan Maxima
I have had some 2001 Nissan Maxima problems recently. My 2001 Nissan Maxima SE has around 118,000 miles on it. The car engine light was lit and while I had it in for an oil change they checked it out and found out it needed a catalytic converter. This is the second one that has gone. The first one went as soon as I got the car and the dealer who sold it to me said he would have it fixed. I guess he did because when I got it back the engine light was off and stayed off. Anyhow, the catalytic converter that went this time was one of the front CATS. Apparently the car has three (yeah!). My mechanic said it could wait until just before inspection but I start planning for it because it would cost around $800 to $1,000. Anyhow, I planned to use my tax return to fix it.Just before my tax return came, My 2001 Maxima needed front brakes and rear tires. Got that regular maintenance stuff fixed then the car was giving me trouble starting intermittently, but I didn’t have the time or money to get it checked out. Then one day it just wouldn’t start in the driveway. I had it towed to my mechanic. He had to put a new starter in and I went with the Nissan parts which I put on my credit card. I left there forgetting to tell him the car was grinding when I turned it to the right. He said bring it back in the next day which I couldn’t because of work. Then a week later my muffler went. The engine started making a lot of noise, it wasn’t terrible but obvious it was the muffler. So I started Working on my money situation paying off my one credit card and seeing what bills I absolutely had to pay so I could take it in. Then I was on my way to work and the car started squealing really loud. By then I was very upset because now I was afraid the tire was going to fall off or something else bad and I was going to get in an accident. So I called my mechanic and set up an appointment for my 2001 Nissan Maxima now with 119k miles for the next morning. I left work early because I didn’t want to be in rush hour and something happen to the car and get in an accident.Next day I took it in and told him to look it over and tell me everything it needed or might need soon because I had to decide whether to fix it or trade it in the old Maxima for a new car. His mechanic helper took it for a test ride and then they told me it needed a front catalytic converter, front struts, an exhaust system (the back part was broke which was most expensive) and an oil change. Price he quoted was $1700 and another $100 if I wanted to fix the clips on my center console which broke and keeps popping up and annoying the heck out of me and also the front seat rear Part that came off which needs new clips. Oh, the car stopped squealing by the way. He said the car was safe to drive so I had time to check out new Nissans and make a decision.Next day I was at my boyfriend?s house and in morning was talking to 1 of His roommates who suggested I take it to a Muffler and auto repair in town because they gave them a real good price on their catalytic converters and they can weld mufflers. So I did. I told the muffler shop about the list of 2001 Nissan Maxima problems and asked for a comparative estimate. He gave me a price of $1020 + tax for a total of $1091 and additional $120 if the struts needed the top clamps but they were probably ok. Anyhow, he fixed it. Said 1 clamp rotted but the other was decent but said I should probably change out both. He charged me his cost for that instead which was $100.I picked up the maxima after hours and the thing was still grinding. He told me to bring it back in so I did Saturday morning. He took it out for a test ride and came back saying struts don’t make that sound. It would be more of a bump, bump, and bump. He said either tie rods or the sway bar bushings. He put it on the lift and confirmed it was the right tie Rod end and not the sway bar bushings. He said I should do both sides and they are not that expensive. He said either $48 each for the good ones (Moog) which have a year warranty. Or the less expensive ones are $34 each. He gave me a price of $141 installing the good ones including new wiper blades which I need pretty bad too. Do you think it was his fault not knowing about the tie rods? I don’t think so cause I told him this is what my mechanic said was wrong. He said the struts needed to be replaced for sure. Anyhow, should I get the more expensive tie rods or the cheaper ones since the damn car is 2001 Nissan Maxima with 118000 miles?