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could be the water pump. where is the coolant coming from?? behind the a/c compresor?? if so, you need a new water pump. need to know location of the leak or at least general location if you can not get exact.
if the coolant is low enough, there will be air/space at the top of the engine. where the temperature sensor is located. also where the thermostat is located. air heats up much quicker than water. an abnormally fast rise in temperature might be due to the temperature sensor getting hot because not ehough coolant is flowing through the system. to check coolant level, wait until the engine is cold. remove the radiator cap by pushing down on the cap with the palm of your hand and turn counter clockwise. there will be a safety stop about half way around. this is to prevent the cap from blowing off in the event of pressure build up. again, push the cap down and turn to remove. if you see no coolant, there is a leak in the system. fill with the proper anti freeze. note the quantity. get the leak fixed.
the thermostat may be bad if there is no leak. have it replaced.
there could be a collapsed hose restricting flow
the temperature sensor may be bad, but you would probably get a check engine light
the water pump may be bad, but you should hear some noise if that were the cases.
all you need to do is just back up on the chain and it will give you the space you need to remove thw water pump you may all so need to first see is you have water in your oil if not then it not you pump can you tell what color your oil is ?
water pump in 03 max is internal inside the timing chain area. worry free, unless you have coolant leaking behind the a/c compressor bracket and down onto the ground. thats how you know if pump went. and yes, you can overheat a car if water pump fails, but maxima water pumps are pretty bullet proof, that;s why they are iternal