The Maxima is a quick car, but it doesn't add much over the less costly Nissan Altima overall. While pleasant, it falls short in some ways. Handling is responsive, but at low speeds the steering is overly light. The car is quiet, and the ride is decent. But the new coupelike silhouette has compromised visibility, trunk room and rear-seat comfort.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2009 Nissan Maxima has been recalled 1 time by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
00*
01
02
03
04*
05
06
07
08
09*
10
11
12
13
14
15
16*
17
18
19
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Nissan Maxima owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

"There are 2 spindly rods protruding downward behind the brake pedal. They have to do with brake lights and cruise control systems. I have neuropathy in my feet and cannot always tell exactly where my foot is., which has not been a problem till I remove my foot from the brake pedal. Sometimes it slips behind the brake pedal and breaks one or both of these rods, resulting in the brake lights staying on till I cut off the breaker and the cruise control not working. This has happened 4 times sin"

E B., TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Gauges

"Several warnings appear on dash when outside temp is low, under 50 degrees. Also have a faulty low tire pressure warning light"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"The brake lights under the rear window have failed, and the whole assembly must be replaced. There's no pulling a burned bulb and sticking another in its place, a $2 operation. This burned out bulb will cost about $175 to "change." Who needs this?"

E B., TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"Center LED brake lights failed because of a loose connection on the board. Effort to resolver failed. New light unit was $400 installed"

Anonymous, NC (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"It is one of several warning lights that appears on the dash when there is no real problem with the tire pressure. This issue goes away in the summer when the temp is high"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

"Light on dash stays on even when all tires are correctly inflated"

Anonymous, TN (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"had to replace tire pressure monitor on both front tires. advised that the back two would probably go out in the near future"

Anonymous, IN (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"See previous page concerning warning light indicator problems"

R B., NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"The TPMS tire gauges have failed. The batteries have died and need replacement"

Michael J., MO (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"was always reporting a tire was under pressure"

Anonymous, VA (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

"It took the Nissan dealer multiple attempts to correctly diagnose and solve a tire pressure indicator on problem"

Anonymous, VT (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"passenger heated/cooled seats failed. too expensive to repair, $3K"

Timothy B., GA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"The driver's seat which is heated and cooled, stopped working after I left the heater control on one day. The electronics and heater pad had to be replaced"

Gary N., BC (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"Doors do not lock or unlock when using the key fob"

Anonymous, TN (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

"Dash tire pressure light continues to stay on. Service garage re calibrated same but subsequently came back on. Also a tire pressure monitor was changed, but did not solve the problem. Tire pressure checked periodically and seems to be ok"

R B., NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"Had to have bushing and axel replaced. Car shoudln't have this kind of problem. I'm a 66 year old safe driver"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Power steering leaks

"Took to mechanic leaked just a couple months after fixing"

Roben A., ID (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"Had to replace leaking shocks and struts. Total cost of around $1300"

Anonymous, MO (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"Very hard or rough driving"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"Front struts needed replaced"

William B., AZ (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"Front left and rear right coil springs failed (broke) within three weeks of each other"

Gilbert B., ON (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"Spring simply cracked and broke"

Anonymous, AB (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

"All tires had uneven wear - low profiles"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Nav system runs everything in car electronically. Went out with too much time on warranty but within mileage limit, Nissan wouldn't honor anything cost $5,600 to fix. Last Nissan for sure. This is not a rare event according to blogs"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"Radio controls in back don't work. Radio/Cd in front reverts when turned on. Ex. If radio was on when I turned off car it will be on CD when I turn back on and vice versa or if i am on CD 1 it reverts back to CD 3 when I turn on car. electronics bad"

Timothy B., GA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"The radio quit working and had to be replaced (under warranty fortunately)"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Steering wheel controls

"The adjustable steering wheel quit working due to stripped gears, Nissan won't fix even though they have a TSB issued. They do not want to retain customers"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"Steering wheel is locked in one position making it difficult for second driver to make any adjustments. Locked in driver one position"

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"There's a common problem in this vehicle that causes water to leak from the cabin molding"

Scott G., TX (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

"you can outside cabin noise (wind) when driving on the highway"

Warren M., MO (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Squeaks in the panoramic roof when it is cold outside"

Anonymous, NE (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"From date of purchase rear suspension squeaks when driving over bumps or rough surfaces"

Anonymous, GA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"rotors were resurfaced and pads were replaced"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"noise when I applied brakes"

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"I replaced rear break pads and rotors at 65000 - thought it was a bit soon since the front brakes were fine"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"It stopped operating and had to be replaced. The problem reoccurred within 60 days and had to be replaced a second time. This was completed both times by Nissan service. There have been no problems since"

Anonymous, NV (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"AC compressor repairs were $2200, shortly thereafter had to replace a part leading to the AC unit, another $600"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)
Evaporator

"Total AC repair cost was $1300"

Anonymous, NC (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Cooling fan

"Fan blade broke and damaged the radiator and caused the engine tio overheat"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

"first a radiator hose went - probably from age as it was approx 7 years old, then the radiator sprung a bad leak and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, VT (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Head gasket

"Went in for routine checkup and was told that the head gasket was bad and needed to be replaced. $3000"

Martin W., IL (2009 Nissan Maxima Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"car shut down 4 times since new with control module issues and Nissan would only pay for repair once. Car was totally inaccessible when it shut down. can't get in doors,open hood, nothing"

Anonymous, AR (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"What no one tells you is that once it fails you must get towed...and that no other systems work. On a freezing winter night, after midnight, waiting about an hour for the tow truck, with no heat, it's so terribly cold! Luckily Nissan provides a towin"

Joan A., NY (2009 Nissan Maxima S 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel gauge/sender

"If power is disconnected the fuel gauge pegs the needle 360 deg around and stays there"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Nissan Maxima SV 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Compare 2009 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
SUSPENSION
Sep 16 2009
IF THE STRUT INSULATOR IS CRACKED, THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR THE STRUT ROD TO COME OUT OF ITS MOUNTING POSITION, WHICH COULD AFFECT VEHICLE STABILITY AND INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009 AND 2010 ALTIMA AND MAXIMA PASSENGER CARS. THE UPPER FRONT STRUT INSULATORS MAY HAVE BEEN MANUFACTURED OUT OF SPECIFICATION RESULTING IN A POTENTIAL FOR THE STRUT INSULATOR TO CRACK.
What should you do:
NISSAN WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT SIDE FRONT STRUT INSULATORS FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN OCTOBER 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-NISSAN1 (1-800-647-7261).
For more information:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V358000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 26398
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