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Nissan Maxima Questions

Q. I have a 1987 Nissan Maxima, 140,000 miles, V-6, fuel injected and A/C. I have a problem with the driver side power lock.

Nissan Maxima Questions

  1. I can open all doors with a key. Using the driver side switch button I can lock and unlock all the passenger doors but I can't unlock the driver side. However I can unlock it manually. Could it be a bad driver side actuator, wiring problem or what ?
  2. The fuel level warning voice and sign do not work when fuel level is low. Anything I can check?
  3. When I drive the RPM hardly exceeds 3,000 and when in park or neutral if I rev the engine above 3,000 I hear a strange noise from the vacuum chamber.
  4. While idling turning on A/C, defogger or light would not change the idle speed (RPM).
  5. Even when the A/C and blower are off, there is a small amount of cold or hot air coming out of the air vents. Could it be a short circuit? I would appreciate if could give some ideas.


A. Okay, by the numbers:

1. This is probably a bad main drivers door switch. This is a very common problem with the Nissan Maxima. I've replaced, literally, hundreds of these. You can try and locate a used one in a junk yard, but it will be difficult due to the number of Nissan Maxima owners looking for them.

2. There is a low fuel sensor attached to the side of the main fuel level sending unit. As long as it is wet, it does not turn on the light. As soon as the fuel level drops and the low fuel sensor is exposed to air, it completes the circuit and turns on the low fuel light and voice warning.

This sensor just clips on the main sending unit thus allowing it to be moved up or down to make adjustments. I have seen these low fuel sensors just slide down after time. It is just a matter of sliding it back up in it's clip. On all my Nissans I slide the sensor as far up as it will go and it goes on when the level goes below about three gallons.

If you are so inclined, you can do it yourself. Wait until the tank is fairly close to empty. Take out the back seat bottom and top and you will see a hatch cover with four phillips screws. Remove this cover and you will see the top of the tank. Remove the lines and connector. Remove the eight 8mm bolts and lift the sending unit/fuel pump assembly out. You will see the low fuel sensor on the side with a single wire going to it. Slide it up and reinstall the sending unit.

If it still doesn't work you will have to replace the whole sending unit assembly.

3. The throttle plate may not be opening fully and allowing the engine to reach maximum power. I would check to make sure the throttle cable is free and not kinked and that there is nothing obstructing it.

A fuel pressure and volume test would determine if it is a fuel delivery problem. I would do this before checking the low fuel sensor. If the pump is below spec and does need to be replaced, you can do it all at once and avoid double work.

4. The is an idle compensator the bumps up the idle whenever a load is placed on the engine such as the A/C or rear defogger. So if the idle does not drop below the normal idle speed, it is working.

5. This is normal. As the car moves air comes in through the air intake and blow out through the vents. Just move the fresh air control to RECIRC and it will stop.

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

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