Question about 2003 Nissan Maxima

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2003 Maxima Rattle / Rattling 1500 to 2000 RPM

Hi, I have a 2003 Nissan Maxima Titanium Edition 6spd. When the car reaches operating temperature and i accelerate, between 1500 & 2000rpm the car makes a rattling noise coming from the engine compartment. When i am below 1500rpm and more than 2000rpm the rattle sound is no longer heard. The sound also becomes louder when the car is going uphill or their is greater load, again when in between that rpm range. I only use 91 octane gas and also only use 5w 30 full synthetic oil. I have no check engine light on and other than the rattle noise the car seems to be running ok. I have taken off the heat sheild, thinking that this could be the problem, but still the sound is their.
The vehicle has 95,000km and the dealer says that Maxima's should get a tune-up at around 160,000km, could this be the problem? When i do get the car tuned up should i use iridium spark plugs or stick with the platinum tipped? has anybody else been experiencing this issue and is their an easy fix for this problem?
Also i see that you recommended changing the coils on one of your posts to someone who was experiencing a similar/same problem, have you also had this issue and repaired it by doing this. I have no check engine light on and no codes.

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  • bmccue Nov 30, 2008

    2003 Nissan Maxima SE,auto trans, only use premium fuel, regular oil changes with Mobil 1 motor oil. My engine noise reminds me of a bunch of marbles or coins rattling around in an empty soda can. It seems to peak around 1800 RPM. Above and below that point, no rattle. Oh, and I have the infamous 'service engine soon' light as well. Regular dealer maintenance; purchased used with 27K miles on it.

  • CGizzleNo1 Dec 19, 2008

    My problem is identical... But I've had a tune up and I use 93 octane. It doesn't raddle all the time though. Every once and a while. What I have noticed is raddling in the engine compartment when I have the heat on sometimes. And when I turn it off, the noise stops. What could that be?

  • Anonymous May 12, 2009

    Same problem as described. 1500rpm-2000rpm. Much worse when the engine is cold. Spark plugs were replaced 20K miles ago by a Nissan dealer and I use 89 octane fuel. Rattling seems to have become worse after switching over to Shell gas. Car is currently at the shop for the 125K check-up and asked them to keep an eye out for oil pooling by the spark plugs.



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What you are hearing is a spark knock or detonation. its not going to hurt anything or cause any damage. if you want to get rid of it than run out all the fuel that you have and fill up with super and see if it changes with premium gasoline. if you look at the fuel door on the inside, it sais premium fuel recommended. also stay with NGK (nissan)spark plugs. You may also need the r/h side rocker cover. the one by the fire wall. the seals inside the cover leak oil into the spark plug hole and you will need to replace it if you find oil in the hole. let me know what you find.

Posted on Aug 31, 2008

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I don't believe the above solution is correct. I have the same issue and what you are hearing is either valve chatter or slack in your timing chain. If it's valve chatter, then you probably have worn valve seals. If it's timing chain slack, then your timing chain, tensioners, and sprockets will need replaced.

Posted on Sep 17, 2011

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Hi, i driving a 1999 maxima and had the same problem , first thing u must use a premium petrol , second dont add anything additive or what so ever to mix with engine oil, if u have add something in then u need more time to recover , third have check your TPS and MAF make sure it clean and functionable , after all the above have been done, change the knock sensor but make sure battery + is remove before install the new knock sensor , after add the new knock sensor (must be oem part) reconnect the battery + works for me

Posted on Jul 09, 2014

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