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I own a 2001 Nissan Maxima. My 3rd Nissan! I faithfully take it in for maintenance on schedule. Check engine soon light has come on and off for about a year now. Have had AutoZone check it each time and it says the catalytic emission threshold below normal (or something like that). The most recent visit, the guy told me that it was a defect in the catalytic converter and that the manufacturer was responsible for replacing it for free. He said he worked at a dealership and knows. He also said it was the law for them to do so, but that you had to be "hard nosed" with them to get them to do this...anybody know anything about this?

It turned on within days of my 60,000 mile maintenance and the dealership told me I had to bring it back in so THEY could check it...I didn't, it went off for a few months and now it's back on. What would you suggest? I know NOTHING about cars except that when they start needing repairs, I get a new one! I am a single female with a small child and it is not worth the risk.

Any help would be appreciated!!
 

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Nissan's emissions are overly sensitive. the problem you are having is very common and there is nothing to worry about.honestly, i am having the same problem on my 01 maxima. under the federal emissions warranty the catalytic converter needs to be replaced free of charge. if they play hard nose, call Nissan Consumer Affairs and explain this to them, which is what I am doing. if they give you excuses, keep calling. and keep calling and keep calling and keep calling. btw, the dealer will try to blame the issue on your exhaust system, which isnt covered under warranty. dont listen to it. also you might just need your ECM reprogrammed which will make your emissions standards on your car slightly less stringent. all the components such as the precat on front bank and the front pipe are covered on the 7year federal emissions warranty.

its ok if you have no idea what you i am talking about, just know that the problem should be fixed free of charge, make sure you get it taken car of as soon as possible because i think the warranty is only to 70K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
One more thing...

I just changed my air filter this morning. It was filthy! I just had the 60,000 mile maintenance done less than 5,000 miles ago. This filter was black and along the edge was black dirt. I am going to take it to the dealer and question him about this. Is this related to the catalytic converter issue also?
 

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jaydubbleu said:
I just changed my air filter this morning. It was filthy! I just had the 60,000 mile maintenance done less than 5,000 miles ago. This filter was black and along the edge was black dirt. I am going to take it to the dealer and question him about this. Is this related to the catalytic converter issue also?
no the air filter has nothing to do with the catalytic converter. but ive heard that changing filthy air filters causing the service engine light to go off. but sounds odd to me. i wouldntassume that the air filter was the cause of your light to come on.
 

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I would definitely bring it up with the dealer.. If you change the filter once a year or so, it should never get more than slightly dingy grey.. black with crusties on it shows that it's never been replaced, and I'm sure they've been billing you for it.

The only reason this may not be true is if you live on a gravel road or have been following other cars that are spewing oil for the last 5000 miles. otherwise they've never changed it.

I would suggest taking the car to a different dealer at this point. show them the filter and get their opinion on it, as well as the emissions issues. Often times the service managers will be a little more giving on information and advice if they can blame the current problems on someone else. (like the filter... "Looks to me like those guys never changed it.")

so, get the advice of another dealer- even if you have to go to an Infiniti dealer and talk to their service advisor for a few minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
air filter issue

I have changed it a couple of times myself. And I know they changed it because I buy FRAM brand and what I just took out was a Nissan brand with black edging. I like your advice though on taking it to another dealership. I think I will try that.

I just want to know why the filth. I drive to and from work on a highway. No gravel roads. I'll keep you posted on my findings.

I also downloaded a copy of the emissions warranty and reviewed my car's warranty including info on the catalytic converter and am planning to take it to the dealer with me.

Thanks!!
 

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sounds like you're on the right track with the warranty. take your paperwork from dealer #1 with you, and the copy of the warranty to dealer #2, and have a nice chat with them about the car. It may be an extra 20-30 min of driving to the other dealer, but I'd easily deal with the extra time over returning to a dealer that you don't trust.


On the filter issue...
If you do a lot of commuting and follow cars very closely, then I wouldn't be surprised if your filter is black. unburned fuel, oil, etc can get sucked up in there pretty quick and make them dirty quicker than if you were driving on long back country roads with no traffic.
 

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jaydubbleu said:
I have changed it a couple of times myself. And I know they changed it because I buy FRAM brand and what I just took out was a Nissan brand with black edging. I like your advice though on taking it to another dealership. I think I will try that.

I just want to know why the filth. I drive to and from work on a highway. No gravel roads. I'll keep you posted on my findings.

I also downloaded a copy of the emissions warranty and reviewed my car's warranty including info on the catalytic converter and am planning to take it to the dealer with me.

Thanks!!
can you post a link to the warranty so i can print a copy out too?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
dirty filter

I am always in traffic. So that may explain the filth.

Will a dealership charge to read the CES light and diagnose the problem? How should I approach them? Should I tell them the history or just say hey, can you explain why this is on? I probably won't be able to go to either place until next week.
 

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jaydubbleu said:
I am always in traffic. So that may explain the filth.

Will a dealership charge to read the CES light and diagnose the problem? How should I approach them? Should I tell them the history or just say hey, can you explain why this is on? I probably won't be able to go to either place until next week.
Ive never been charged before. Just be up front with them
 

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jaydubbleu said:
I own a 2001 Nissan Maxima. My 3rd Nissan! I faithfully take it in for maintenance on schedule. Check engine soon light has come on and off for about a year now. Have had AutoZone check it each time and it says the catalytic emission threshold below normal (or something like that). The most recent visit, the guy told me that it was a defect in the catalytic converter and that the manufacturer was responsible for replacing it for free. He said he worked at a dealership and knows. He also said it was the law for them to do so, but that you had to be "hard nosed" with them to get them to do this...anybody know anything about this?

It turned on within days of my 60,000 mile maintenance and the dealership told me I had to bring it back in so THEY could check it...I didn't, it went off for a few months and now it's back on. What would you suggest? I know NOTHING about cars except that when they start needing repairs, I get a new one! I am a single female with a small child and it is not worth the risk.

Any help would be appreciated!!
P0420 code huh ??
Go to your Nissan Dealership and tell them, to perform the reprogramming covered under EMISSION WARRANTY of
8yrs/80,000mi Bulletin NTB00-070b.
 
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