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I'm pretty much settled on purchasing a 2002 SE Maxima with all kinds of nice stuff;) I've done my research, and I believe this is the car for me.

One alarming problem I have heard about in Maximas with the 3.0 engines and larger have this problem during a cold start. From my understanding, the timing chain rubs against some metal part producing a clanking sound before oil is delivered to that part of the engine. I am not that technical when it comes to engines, and I am trying my best to describe this problem as well as I can. Nissan has apparently acknowledged the problem ( I believe), but hasn't admitted it's damaging to the engine, and therefore there is no recall on these engines.

Anybody heard of this? I am really having a hard time figuring out the truth of this. Or lack thereof.

Thanks.
 
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my engine does that noise, when she's cold. Its been doing that noise since maybe 140k..im @ 166k now...i dont think its a big issue.
 
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Cold Start Clatter / Clinking

The only incident that we have experienced is on a 2002 Maxima.

The noise is only after 48 hours of sitting without any starts.

We spoke to nissan and they have determine it is bleed down in the timing chain tensioners.

The noise is for only 5 seconds are less. It is determined this will cause no damage and nissan has suggested that we try a synthetic oil change.

We have only seen that 1 case.

I hope this is a help to you.
 
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I just purchased a 2002 Maxima SE with a 6spd on Sat. 7/20/02, and all I can say is I love this car. It is grey lusture w/ frost cloth interior and the only options are the sunroof, matching colored splash guards, floor matts, and s/r wind deflector. I have 290 miles on the car and not one problem. I was in the market for a 2002 VW GTI 337 (special 25th anniversary edition) but when it came time to sign the deal I could not justify paying for what they wanted. I had just sold my Audi A4 2.8 Quattro and w/ the VW deal gone bad, I really needed a car. So I started to read up on the Maxima. I really liked that it came with a 6spd and I did not want leather or all the bells a whistes,(which it comes with many standard) so basically I did not want many options to pay for. Well they had the car on the lot, We ran some numbers, and I got the car for under invoice....(mostly b/c of the 6spd) but it worked out for me. Anyway I could not be happier with the car. I love it. It is fast!!! and very comfortable. I would recomend this car to anyone. And my car although it has only 290 miles has not had this clanking,,,, but if it does I will let you know. Thanks. And if you want to take a look at it I took a few pictures. check the link below. Thanks and good luck with your cars. I have always bought VW's and then an Audi but hated all the little problems I have always had with them. This is a big reason I went with a Maxima,,,,, Great fun, and reliability!!!!

http://members13.clubphoto.com/tfazza609669/guest-1.phtml
 
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My '98 does that in the winter when it hasn't been started for more than 24 hours straight. It sounds painful to hear, but only lasts about 2 sec. at the most. The car is fine and has never missed a beat.
 
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cold start clancking

I have had my '02 SE for 5 months and an amazing 13K miles and have heard no such clancking sound on start up. This may be due to the 100 degree summer here in Texas, so we'll see come winter. By the way I love the car (Grey Lustre, black leather, Bose, Sunroof, auto, everything but navigation and meridian edition) and I'll probably be Nissan fan for life.
 

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COld start clatter on my 2002 Maxima

RayBrandtNissan said:
The only incident that we have experienced is on a 2002 Maxima.

The noise is only after 48 hours of sitting without any starts.

We spoke to nissan and they have determine it is bleed down in the timing chain tensioners.

The noise is for only 5 seconds are less. It is determined this will cause no damage and nissan has suggested that we try a synthetic oil change.

We have only seen that 1 case.

I hope this is a help to you.
I too have experianced the same noise on my 2002 Maxima 3.5 L. Only lasts for a few seconds and only when cold. I haven't had any qualified opinion fom Nissan yet. Any others who have?
 

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I have an '02 which i bought new in Dec 01. I had the car almost 4 years now and I've heard this noise for years. I can't front, when i 1st heard it, it scared the hell out of me. It's pretty lound and embarassing. I wouldn't worry though!!!
 
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