really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,270 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Nissan Maxima engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #10

May 312013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 148,746 miles


Check engine light continues to come on. Identified that the idle control valve and gasket need to be replaced. Identified also that ECM is now burned out.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #9

Feb 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 187,000 miles
I was at a red light, when it turned green I pushed the gas pedal and it would go. I had to use extreme force for the car to go. Ever since February 2014, its been happening every day. I'm scared the gas pedal's going to get stuck and ill crash. When I turn I hear a knocking noise coming from the tire/suspension.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 012004

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
I bought a 2001 Nissan Maxima brand new in June 2001. One day while driving in 2004 I experienced sudden acceleration and the engine racing. It did stop after a few seconds but I took it immediately to my neighborhood car mechanic. He couldn't duplicate the problem but found a defective air pollution part and replaced it. The next day, while waiting to take a left turn at an intersection, the engine suddenly raced again and with me practically standing on the brake we slid across the intersection headed towards oncoming traffic. Luckily people slowed enough for me to slide across the intersection with rubber burning, engine whining, etc. A few seconds later it stopped. I was only about a mile from the dealer that I had purchased it from so I immediately drove there and pulled into the service dept. Area. I explained the problem and they told me that they couldn't look at it today but come back tommorrow. I said that I wasn't about to keep driving it with this problem and they said that I could park it in their lot and they will look at it tommorrow. I said "you can park it in your lot, I'm not driving it." The next day they called and said it must be something with the onboard computer and they would have to change it, cost $1100 not under warranty. What could I do? so of course I did it and complained but it appears to have fixed it since it hasn't happened again. I still own it.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #7

Feb 012010

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


We own a 2001 Nissan Maxima, which we purchased new from a Nissan dealer. It has, on 3 occasions, experienced a problem with "surging"/high revving. The cause in every case has been a part known as an "idle air control valve" (iacv), which fails and in doing so, causes the "ECM" (the "engine computer") to fail. We have discovered that hitachi is the sole source for the iacv, whether the part is obtained from a Nissan dealer or any other source under any other brand. This issue is apparently a particularly well-known issue with this model series of vehicle, both Nissan and infiniti. The first time the vehicle had this issue, it was under warranty and was supposedly repaired by Nissan. However, the same issue has recurred on 2 subsequent occasions, and both times Nissan has wholly failed to address the issue. We have repeatedly attempted to address this issue with Nissan, including, but not limited to, Nissan consumer relations, Nissan's vp of customer satisfaction, the "executive offices" escalation department, etc., all with no substantive response from Nissan beyond their stating that since the vehicle is no longer under warranty, it isn't Nissan's problem. However, it should be noted that in this latest occurrence, Nissan initially stated that their refusal to address this issue was due to our allegedly having installed "an aftermarket ECM" (we had not). However, when the Nissan dealer confirmed to Nissan that the ECM was in fact a factory Nissan part, and we discovered that there is no such thing as "an aftermarket ECM, " Nissan then refused to correct this situation. From our layperson's investigation of this issue, it appears to be a design flaw in the circuitry, and is generally widely known in the repair industry, by enthusiasts, major auto reviewing companies, etc. Therefore, it seems that Nissan's claim to not know of this issue is disingenuous at best.

- Vancleave, MS, USA

problem #6

Feb 232010


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Nissan Maxima. After having the check engine light repaired, it continued to illuminate. He also experienced unintended acceleration while driving approximately 35 mph. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who informed him that they would run a diagnostic test for two days. The VIN was not available. He Nissan manufacturer have not been contacted. The failure mileage was 95,000.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #5

Apr 252003

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Nissan Maxima. The vehicle has had several 02 sensors replaced on the vehicle. The catalytic converter was replaced around 60,000 miles and again at 120,000 miles. When turning on the vehicle, the overdrive light illuminates and flashes intermittently. After attempting to accelerate from a stop, the vehicle would only travel 5 mph. The vehicle had to be pulled over and restarted for the speed to operate normally. The current mileage is 150,000 and failure mileage was 40,000.

- Charlotte , NC, USA

problem #4

Mar 152007

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,025 miles


While driving at approximately 30 mph and decelerating the car began to slightly buck when the transmission tried to down shift. After approximately one to two minutes I smelled an electrical burn. When I came to a stop and put the car in park the engine raced to approximately 1600 to 1900 rpms at idle. The obd-II indicated codes of P0505: Idle air control valve and P0420: Three way catalyst function. My local mechanic inspected the car and replaced the faulty idle air control valve. He contacted the local Nissan service shop, and they informed him that idle air control valve failed and shorted the engine control module, ECM. This seemed to be a common problem the dealer noted, and currently had another 2001 Maxima in the shop that was exhibiting the same failures. The dealer inspected my car and reported the idle air control valve failed and shorted the ECM. The failure of the idle air control valve should not short the ECM. This is a design failure and should not be the responsibility of the car owner. The ECM is a $915 part plus labor. The ECM was replaced. This is similar to ODI id numbers: 10179328 and 10179390.

- Londonerry, NH, USA

problem #3

Aug 232006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,200 miles
: the contact stated while driving 70 mph on interstate during dry conditions, the vehicle stalled without warning reducing to 30 mph. The vehicle was pulled off of the interstate. After sitting for a while and restarting the vehicle, the vehicle ran normally. This occurred intermittently. At times the vehicle would reduce in speed and other times the vehicle would stall. During each incident, the check engine light illuminated. Both the independent mechanic and the dealership were unable to duplicate the problem.

- Terry, MS, USA

problem #2

Jun 122003

(reported on)


  • 82,732 miles
Vehicle speed dial indicator stopped working. The dealership indicated this could be as a result of a sensor failure.

- Ninety Six, SC, USA

problem #1

Mar 222002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
After parking vehicle, consumer shifted to park, instantly vehicle surged forward and hit the garage wall. Damage was $5000. Vehicle has been repaired at body shop, not inspected by dealer.

- Lynden, WA, USA

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