Owner’s Log: 2010 Nissan Maxima, Update 1

I’ve had my 2010 Nissan Maxima SV for a little over 3 months now, so it’s time for the first update!  With over 4,000 miles on the odometer, I’ve spent a lot of quality seat time in the car, and have plenty of observations.  Some of these parallel the review, which was posted last week, and some are new.  Read on for what’s been going on for the last 3 months.


Time Period: 3/15/2010 – 6/15/2010
Miles Driven: 4,225 / 4,225 (this update / total)
Average MPG: 21.6 mpg (reported by on-board computer)


Service Costs: $0.00
Maintenance Costs: $0.00
Total Cost (non-fuel): $0.00

Services Performed:

3/20/2010 – Non-operating sunroof.  Dealership performed the sunroof reset procedure and oiled the sunroof tracks; malfunction wasn’t reproduced.

3/24 – 3/26/2010 – Car was brought in again for sunroof on the 24th, returned on the 26th after replacement of the sunroof motor.


After the sunroof debacle, no more issues have been found with the Maxima, although some Internet users are reporting problems with noise from the sunroof, CVT noise, iPod connectivity issues, and front seats that “rock” during acceleration or deceleration.  Overall, the Maxima has proved to be fun to drive and a willing participant in back-road corner-carving.  So far, so good!

Dated Notes:

  • 3/20/2010 – Moonroof’s automatic functionality has disappeared.  Using the online Factory Service Manual to do a reset on the moonroof worked.  Complaint was lodged with the dealership the car was bought at.
  • 3/24/2010 – The sunroof has lost its automatic functionality again, as well as its tilt feature.  The car was dropped off this afternoon at the dealership, and I was provided with a rental car.
  • 3/26/2010 – Got the Maxima back from the dealership.  Interior is clean and free of smudges/stains/rips, which bodes well for this particular dealership.  Moonroof is working as expected.  Service advisor reports that the moonroof motor was replaced, due to an intermittent short.
  • 4/6/2010 – Although the Maxima is supposed to be “sporty,” the vibration and noise from the exhaust is a bit much.  I took the afternoon to apply sound-deadening material to the trunk, in order to quiet down some of said noise.  Results were good.
  • 4/10/2010 – Nav system has trouble with long trips, it seems. (275 miles)  Refused to figure out a route.  Finally worked about 65 miles into the trip, but crashed the whole audio system several times during the road trip.  Very disappointing.

General Observations:

  • Heated steering wheel is great on cold mornings, keeping the driver’s hands from freezing after the car sits outside all night.
  • Heated seats work quite well, and the cooled driver’s seat is a lifesaver on hot days, which the Washington, D.C. metro area has had a lot of this spring.
  • The Navigation system needs some new software, to keep it from crashing the entire audio system.  This is inexcusable on a $40,000 car, especially since this isn’t Nissan’s first nav system.
  • The dual-panel moonroof is nice, with a very large opening.  Since the front glass pops up and slides back instead of sliding horizontally to open, it presents quite a bit of noise at highway speeds, but is fairly quiet when driving on local roads.  Both the front and rear power sunshades open at the same time, so you’ll want to leave them closed if your rear passengers don’t want all the light.
  • Car handles fairly well at its limits, with plenty of warning before the front or rear loses traction.
  • Acceleration is wonderful, allowing the car to quickly maneuver around traffic.  Better-than-average steering feel helps as well.
  • CVT takes some time to get used to, but provides nice, smooth acceleration.  For a more traditional feel, push the gear shift lever to the left to enter “Drive Sport” mode, where “Ds” shows up on the instrument cluster.
  • On trips of more than 4 hours, the driver’s seat side bolsters can dig into one’s shoulder blades, leading to some discomfort, although thigh support is especially nice in these situations.
  • Trunk is big enough to swallow a load of groceries from Costco – impressive!
  • Automatically lowering mirrors (in reverse) are nicer than previously thought, easing parallel parking situations.
  • Crisp, clear backup camera is a boon in tight situations.
  • Infotainment buttons are set up quite well, allowing oft-used features to be accessed via buttons instead of always having to look at and use the touch screen.
  • BlueTooth is nice, but some extraneous noise exists with certain phones (iPhone 3GS paired with the Maxima).
  • Steering wheel controls are well-designed and laid out, easing use at night.
  • Paddle shifters are a fun diversion, when traffic allows.  Proper setup (left = downshift, right = upshift) works well.  With the paddle shifters, the gear shift lever’s manual-mode operation is redundant.
  • “Distance To Empty” function is interesting, as it doesn’t just count down, but when on the highway, will rise as well.  Thoughtful.
  • Rear audio controls are superfluous, but fun for passengers.
  • DVD player is clunky in its use, but works.  Requires both being in Park and the Parking Brake be engaged.
  • iPod integration is wonderful, with no problems reported.
  • Tires (Goodyear Eagle RS-A) are very loud and transfer a lot of road noise into the cabin.  Not a great amount of grip either.  Nissan should have equipped the Maxima was proper sporting tires, instead of the more pedestrian RS-As.  Apparently, some Altimas are equipped with Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires, which would’ve made a much better choice.

by John Suit


9 Responses to “Owner’s Log: 2010 Nissan Maxima, Update 1”

  • Just wanted you to know that I very much appreciate your owner’s log/updates. I live in Arlington, previously owned an ’04 Maxima SL (purchased new in ’03), absolutely loved it, and traded it in on a new ’10 SV Premium at the end of June. So far, I am very pleased with it, but disappointed at some of the items dropped from the ’04, such as side moldings, twin sun visors, remote controlled o/s mirrors, quad exhausts, real splash guards, and the lack of day time running lights, cornering lights, and swivel head lights – safety features compromised for costs, I suppose. Still, it has equal or greater performance and economy than any car near its price or classification, and its creature comforts are unmatched. I haven’t yet received notice of the navigation recall, but thanks for pointing that out. Since I use a parking lot daily, I am considering the purchase of color matched side moldings which are available on line between $100 – 200 dollars (and will probably have them professionally installed so that they are properly aligned). As for the RS-A tires, shame on Goodyear – living off the Eagle reputation, I suppose – and shame on Nissan for putting them on the Maxima. I read so many negative comments and reviews about them that I refused to buy the car unless the dealer replaced them with tires of my choice. One of the sales staff actually told me the RS-As were great tires and retailed at $350 apiece – I laughed at him, showed him the reviews and told him that I could buy four RS-As for that amount. I was adamant that no tire replacement, no sale. The dealer eventually yielded and allowed me an additional $400 credit on my trade, which I could use toward the purchase of tires of my choice. Please keep up your reviews and count me as an avid reader and fan of yours.

  • Phil, thanks for your kind words and readership! Have you had any issues with your Maxima? If so, use the Contact Form at the top of the page to let me know, I’d like to keep track of them. Also, keep an eye out, because I’ll be posting new Owner’s Log updates each quarter, and if you haven’t already read it, check out Owner’s Log Update 2. If you’d like to send me your service visits and other stats on your car, I can include you in an Owner’s Log of your own, including pictures if you’d like.


  • John –

    Thanks for that prompt response. I read your review and both first and second updates, and that prompted my initial comment. So far, no issue to report, but I haven’t put 2000 miles on it in less than 3 months ownership; however will keep you apprised of reportable service/maintenance/problems/annoyances as they arise. Will send data for inclusion in a personal Owners Log for period 7/1 thru 9/30 for first 3-month report. I suppose I could follow the outline you use in your quarterly reports/observations, but am open to, and welcome any specific suggestions you’d care to make. Haven’t taken any pictures of the car, but will do so if you indicate an address where I should send.



  • i have had a 2010 maxima for about 1 month. I have been noticing a lot of noise with the sunroof curtain flapping with the two front windows down. I have talked to two other people that have the 2010 with no problem. I’m wonder if anybody has came across this two front windows down driving at maybe 40 miles a hour. If gonna guess that the wind is getting under the curtain making a flapping sound, I mean you can really see it while moving. Please any input

  • I haven’t had any issues with that – but I generally close the front windows when I’m driving over 40 with the sunroof open. Try opening the back windows a little bit to keep the flutter down, and let me know how that works for you.


  • I have also had problems with my navigation in my 2010 Maixma. I had it into the dealership and they had to order me a replacement unit. After 2 weeks and me calling the dealership they finally got it in. They replaced the unit but I was still having the same problem. I took it back to them and explained the problem again. They stated that they just got a factory bulletin and that there is issues with the spacing of the nav system and that they housing can touch the screen and make the pointer move. I picked up the car… and as soon as I turned out of the parking lot… the same issue. I turned around and took it right back. They said they fixed it and the service manager took a 4 mile ride with me and no problems. Later that night I took a 2.5 hour trip and once again… the same problem with the screen. I do not know if anyone else is having this problem or if it is just happening on my vehicle. It is like someone is presses one of the arrow key in the dial or the screen just sits there until you hit the back button. Other then the nav problem I love the car and I am getting around 23 miles to the gallon with mostly rush hour traffic.

  • hi i have a 2012 nissan maxima and everytime i shut it off i hear the engine cooling fan shut off like my car is whining is this normal

  • This is a normal function – the cooling fan is running to bring the engine’s temperature down after driving. It should only run for a few minutes. If you’re still worried, your car should be under warranty, so a dealer visit isn’t out of the question. I hope this helps!


  • CVT Nissan 2010 Maxima Problems & Issues —-These are recorded problems with Nissan’s New CVT Transmission on Nissan Maxima 2010 – Sport Edition 300 horse power. The CVT exhibits Lost of power, High RPM, Loud Whining Noise, and CVT gets stuck in 6th Gear (won’t down shift) in Manual and drive mode. The car will not accelerate at high speeds and gives a P1778 Code (other codes as well). These codes only occur on long drives over hilly roads on 75 MPH Highways up elevation hill climb. The problem has been getting progressively worst and did not occur when the car was new. This CVT transmission sucks. I took it to four dealerships and they gave me a hard time since the problem doesn’t NOT occur on flat ground, City driving, and the Trouble Codes P1778 clear themselves from the computer eventually. I WAS TOLD NOTHING IS WRONG. The problem with NIssan’s CVT transmission persisted. I had to stop once making this long 90 mile trip (at 45k miles), then i had to stop twice (at 70k miles), and last time i had to stop 3 times to let the CVT rest (85k miles). The issue does not occur going down elevation. The CVT fluid has been changed at 40,000 miles and all other maintenance is done routinely. —- NISSAN RESPONSE UPDATE—- MY 2010 NISSAN MAXIMA CVT WAS FINALLY DIAGNOSED WITH “CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON”. THE ERROR CODE 1778 &. FOUR OTHER CODES WERE PULLED IN TOTAL. THE OVERALL DIAGNOSIS IS “COMPLETE CVT TRANSMISSION FAILURE”. THE RECOMMENDED ACTION IS REPLACEMENT OF THE ENTIRE VALVE BODY (SOLENOIDS) WHICH CHANGE THE GEARS AND REPROGRAMMING OF THE CVT COMPUTER. I WAS TOLD ITS BETTER TO CHANGE THE WHOLE TRANSMISSION AT COST OF $5,500.00 DOLLARS. I CONTACTED NISSAN CONSUMER AFFAIRS. THE PROBLEM CODE OCCURRED AT 44K, 65k, 85K MILES, AND 94K MILES, AND EACH TIME IT WAS UNDIAGNOSABLE SINCE THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT DID NOT STAY ON. I WAS ABLE TO GET THIS DIAGNOSED WITH A CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON AT 124,000 MILES. AT NISSAN CONSUMER AFFAIRS I SPOKE WITH MEGAN, JUANITA AND THEN Callia from the Executive Branch (so she says – she was a telephone representative). All of these Nissan reps have no knowledge of Nissan engines or cvt’s. Consumer Affairs refused to to believe that the dealers refused to acknowledge the problem exists, even despite the TSB’s, Warranty Extension, Numerous customer complaints, and my numerous calls over the past two years to Nissan Consumer Affairs. All in all they did not even acknowledge the ongoing issues with the CVT. These Nissan dealers, Nissan service departments, and Nissan Consumer Affairs are crooks — I would advise anyone to not buy Nissan Cars. Get a Honda, Acura, or other reliable vehicle with a good reputation. If you do have to buy a Nissan beware that they will try to rip you off at every diagnosis and decision point on their part. I am very sorry to say. I used to think NIssan was a good company.


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