Owner’s Log: Service Visit for 2010 Nissan Maxima

Since about two months into the ownership of my 2010 Nissan Maxima SV, I noticed a popping noise when going over certain bumps. Through some online research, I found out that some of the bolts holding the roof structure together needed to be torqued down, as per Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) NTB09-132. The TSB requires the headliner to be dropped, so I wanted it done before I got the windows tinted, because dropping the headliner could accidentally scratch the tint film.  Continue reading for lots of pictures and my experience at the dealership.

First, a little background on the noise I was hearing and the TSB to fix it.  When driving over bumps that flex the chassis in a diagonal matter, such as driving up entryways at an angle.  2009-2010 Maximas equipped with the dual panel moonroof don’t have a welded-together roof structure like most cars.  Instead, three metal crossmembers hold everything together.  There is one at the top of the windshield, one in the middle, and one in the back, where the back glass starts.  These crossmembers are bolted to the roof rails that run from the base of the windshield to the base of the back glass.  The TSB states that about a dozen bolts need to be torqued to a 44 inch-pounds, and requires specialized tools to accomplish.

I had an 11am appointment last Monday, October 11th, at Criswell Nissan, in Germantown, MD, where I bought my Maxima.  They had gotten more cars in that morning than expected, so I waited about 45 minutes before they pulled my car into a bay.

The service manager, Jeremy Heskett, was kind enough to let me watch and photograph the work being done to my car, so I took full advantage of that and took a bunch of photos.

Prior to pulling my car into a service bay, the techs had to reproduce the noise I was hearing, which eventually required me driving them around.  Since I had taken note of how to make the roof “pop,” I had the car reliably making the noise enough for them to begin work.

The technician, Justin, made quick work of dropping the headliner down to gain access to all the bolts that hold the roof together.  As it turns out, Justin is the same tech who replaced the sunroof motor only days after I had bought the car.  After about 15 minutes, he had the headliner hanging down far enough to see all the bolts.  A total of about 45 minutes elapsed from when he pulled the car into the service bay to when he was backing it out for a test drive.

I was especially happy to see Justin cleaning his tools before using them, which helps prevent stains on the interior trim panels.

We drove around the parking lot again, in the same manner as before starting the work, and no more noises were heard from the roof.  Since the service visit, I haven’t heard any more noise coming from the roof, so I’m completely satisfied with the work Justin did, and look forward to getting my windows tinted.

The following pictures show the headliner being dropped, the bolts being tightened, and the headliner being put back in and the trim pieces being reattached.

Headliner being dropped:

Bolts being tightened:

Headliner and trim being put back together:

by John Suit

Thanks to Criswell Nissan’s Jeremy Heskett for letting me photograph the work, and Justin for doing a great job!


5 Responses to “Owner’s Log: Service Visit for 2010 Nissan Maxima”

  • You saved me! I just knew if I went to my dealership to complain about my noisy moonroof, they would play the, “I hear nothing” game. But with a service bulletin in hand and a quick ride in my car, there was little they could say to refute my claim.

    I should get the car back today after having the bolts tightened. I just wish my technician were skilled enough to have the job done in just one hour like yours. Mine took an entire day.

    Thanks again for the great post!

  • Glad I could help, Mark!


  • Hi John,

    Thank you for this excellent post. I’ve been dealing with this noise for 2 years. My Nissan service station fixed another issue with the roof and “claimed” they took of the noise. I’m sure they did nothing like this.

    More information to present my case again.

    Thanks again!

  • Just wondering if the dealership charged you for the repair? I’m having this same problem with the maxima I just bought.

  • No. There is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) related to this, so it was covered. You may have to be under the original manufacturer’s warranty though. Good luck!


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