Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
I need a largish car (three growing children - and I'm pretty big). I could afford to buy a 'prestige' car, but after an expensive encounter with a BMW 7-series I'm looking for something that will not hammer me financially on depreciation (I'd rather spend the money on nice holidays).

Anyhow, today I had a drive in a 1998 Nissan QX V6 2.0 litre Auto. The car was honestly in showroom condition, not a mark on it, inside or out. Took it on a long drive and it goes very nicely - very quiet. Comes with a fully bang-up-to-date stamped service book from the supplying Nissan dealer and all old MoT's. Phoned them and they looked on their computer and told me that other than regular servicing its only had a replacement wiper blade and a mudflap.
The car has less than 30k miles and is about £4.5k from a big main dealer group with a 'proper' warrantly (i.e. not 'breakdown insurance').

I know these cars aren't great looking and don't corner like the new Mondeo - but what are the other downsides? Advice anyone?

Should I buy this Nissan QX - TrevP
Very nice, underated motor.

Refined & very quiet (the one I tried was nearly as quiet as a Jag)
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Monaro
I agree. I really like them for understated motoring without the unwanted attention. But watch out for parts prices as I don't think there are many about.

Paul C
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Gazza
Currently running a 96 3.0 and part price are very reasonable, even from Nissan.

Just watch out for some dealers charging over the top for parts and services. I believe Nissan do not have a RRP for parts and serivces.

I was recently quoted £450 inc. vat for the most expensive service "C" from Marshal Nissan in Cambridge and £159 inc. vat from KAP in Kent. I went for KAP in the end.

*Serivce-C includes all the usual + plugs + coolant & brake fluid & autobox fluid flush.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia

Does the QX use 'long life' platinum plugs (50k miles change) as standard?
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Gazza
Yes, QX comes with NGK twin platinum tips plugs as standard. I have heard the plugs last over 100k on neglected car in US.

Nissan service "C" (36k) includes changing the plugs so I just let them put new ones in. The platinum tips on the old plugs look similar to the new plugs so I guess they should last up to 100k easier.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
Well, just put £100 deposit on it so it looks like I'm buying it subject to inspection over ramps, emissions test, MoT etc.

Gazza - do have any QX service/technical data? I know there is a US Nissan Maxima aftermarket service manual available, but is there any other data available for UK RHD cars (e.g. a wiring diagram would be useful!)?
Also do you know of any second-source parts suppliers (I don't expect Halfords keep QX air filters!). Pads and discs probably wear quickly on a big auto like this - and I expect they're expensive from the dealer so knowledge of an alternative supplier would be useful.
I already found a Bosal exhaust listing for the QX - back and centre boxes are less than £40 each, which I though was very reasonable.

e-mail me direct if you wish at:

Should I buy this Nissan QX - Altea Ego
I would not expect a car company to design everything new for a particular car. You will find that service items such as pads, filters etc to be taken from nissan's parts shelves, and hence you may well find parts down your local motor factors quite easily.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
The 'Maxima QX' is a unique floorpan and the engine (V6 24V) is only used on that model - so I think a lot of the parts will be unique to it and not shared with other models. It would be nice if this turns out not to be the case, of course!
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Gazza
As you well know, there is and will never be a Haynes for the QX. The only manual for RHD is the factory manual, which someone I know on got it.

My decision is that a manual is not worth buying. Your owner's manual, if the car has the proper one, covers all service items from oil to coolant change, plugs and pads change. QX is a very straight forward car to work on.

And why do you need wiring diagrams? If your QX needs any electrical work, it is a very abused/neglected car and your should sell it.

I know Partco covers all service items but Nissan oil filter is a must. I heard people, who used Partco (Cooper?) filters on Primera and QX, have the oil light stays on for longer and timing-chain rattle louder and longer. The QX's VQ engine shares oil filter with 300ZX.

I do a 5k interm oil change myself and the total cost was £20 for full-sync 5w40, Nissan oil filter and washer.

Air filter available from Partco.

I use Mintex pads and discs, available from Partco. Pads lasted 20k and disc will probably last 40k. Change brakes-fluid with every pad change. I believe the 2.0 shares braking system with 200SX and your can get pads and discs off the shelf. My 3.0 "Maxima QX" has 4-pot caliper from 300ZX as standard and Partco has to order them in.

Bosal is the best aftermarket exhaust available but you should not need one. Nissan OE (stainless-steel box) exhaust has lasted over 100k and is still going on my car.

Overall, the QX is a great car but slow in 2.0 auto form (30-70 in 10.8 seconds).

FYI, to keep in mind when you trade-up:
The 3.0 is a lot faster (30-70 in 7.4 seconds) and with taller gearing. The 3.0 Maxima QX handles very differently and handles a lot better once you got used to having a LSD in the front-axle and the LSD kicking in. The LSD is incorporated with the autobox built by JATCO and, as it is in the same casing, very light. It was good fun when my friend (95 Volvo 960 Estate 3.0 auto with LSD) and I ventured out on 31Jan03 into Cambridgeshire country-side, driving on snow and ice.

Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
Thank you for your post Gazza, it was very informative.

I take your point about the 3.0 being a better car - however there are not many QX's to pick-and-choose from and this 2.0 is in such good condition and at a good price, so I decided to go with it.
Basically I need a reliable and safe 'bus' to ferry my three children around in - performance is not a high priority. I have other cars for more entertaining driving (e.g. a Primera GTe and a Merc. C-class), so the QX is purely a 'utility' car, albeit with cimate control and auto trans!. I could have gone out and bought a people carrier for a lot more money and not had as much space. The QX seems to offer space and reliability at a very low price and they don't seem to attract heavy footed first owners, so they don't seem to get thrashed (the few I've seen all appeared to be well cared for).

As regards the electrical diagram - well, I don't know of any electrical problems, it is simply that the car has a complex electrical system and I would just like to have the information to hand in case a problem arises. Its the kind of thing that sometimes finds it way onto the web as a PDF and I thought you might know of the location of one.

Good to know that Mintex do the pads and that other parts are readily available from 'second sources'.

I take your point about the oil filters. I do all my own servicing (other than anything required to keep a warranty) and have good facilities (workshop, pit, air tools etc.). My father and grandfather both ran their own independent repair garages going back to the 1920's, so I've 'got it in the blood' - I hate handing a vehicle over to someone else to work on!

Anyhow, I have not actually got the car yet - it'll probably be collected sometime next week. I'll let you know how it goes and whether it turns out to be a good buy or not. I'm buying it after a very financially bruising experience with a BMW 7-series which turned out to be a singularly unreliable vehicle and was a big disappointment in the ride/handling/comfort stakes, so hopefully Nissan won't let me down............
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia

I bought the Nissan QX (1998, 28k miles) and have had the car for a bit over two weeks now. It is absolutely brilliant.
I've crawled all over the car looking for faults, but can't find anything. It really is like new, not a scratch or a mark on it, not even a drop of oil on the underside. Its like it came out of the factory yesterday.
It drives really well and is as quiet as a tomb inside; not a creak or rattle from anywhere. Autobox is very smooth and all the equipment works perfectly.

If there is anyone out there who needs a very roomy car (lot more legroom in the back than in my previous BMW 7-series, for example) and who doesn't care about the badge then these cars really are well screwed together and are a real bargain.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - J Bonington Jagworth
".. and who doesn't care about the badge.."

Funny thing, badge snobbery, but long may it continue - there are some real bargains for those who don't care about such stuff. I'd go for the Nissan over the BM for the anonymity, anyway - and I bet you get let out of side turnings more easily!
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
"I'd go for the Nissan over the BM for the anonymity, anyway - and I bet you get let out of side turnings more easily!"

Too right! I had some real hassle driving the 7-series. A lot of people have a real 'downer' on BMW's. Strange thing is that I also have a MB C-class and never experience any 'attitude' when driving that.

The main problem with the BMW was the attitude of the dealers though (or at least my local dealer, part of a large group). Basically they changed the coolant for me without bothering to check that the small 'bleeder' pipe from the top of the radiator was clear. It wasn't, it was blocked with crud (its a very small diameter). The upshot of this was that they didn't bleed the cooling system properly, not that I knew this at the time. The car ran just fine until three days later - I was in a traffic queue when all of sudden the temp guage shot to the red region. Result of this was a blown head gasket. Naturally the dealership said it was nothing to do with them and claimed that since I'd paid for the work and taken the car away I must have been satisfied with their work! I actually showed them the blocked pipe but they just ignored it. An astonishing attitude.

Needless to say I'll never buy a BMW again.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - J Bonington Jagworth
"Nissan oil filter is a must"

I've heard the same thing about VAG, but I have also heard recently that ALL oil filters are now made by three producers in the far East. Can anyone corroborate?
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
When I buy filters for my MB they are either 'Mann', 'Knecht' or 'Hengst'. All are marked 'Made in Germany'. Browsing in a factors I've noted that Fram are made in UK and Champion are made in Italy. Not seen any Chinese made ones yet, but I don't suppose it will be long before I do.....
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Glutton
This is a good thread on oil filters and has an excellent response from Halfords about the filters they sell and there sources.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Greenparrot
Hi Aprilia
Wanted to post this earlier but had to check if the known problems with the QX were still applicable to your model year with a Nissan Hi-Tech friend of mine.
The good news is that generally the problems were only annoying electrical (and very rare) and were resolved by '96.
The only concern is keeping an eye on the water level as the heater hose runs directly over the main ECU in the centre of the dash, and a not very noticeable drop in level could produce enough water ingress into the ECU to cause problems.
The cure is to remove the dash screws and pull back the dash 3-4 inches, remove the ECU to a warm radiator overnight and replace with a plastic bag surrounding it! Sorry if this sounds simplistic but in the unlikely event this should ever trouble you I will get more detailed information.
Only other cautionary note is to spray manifold studs every service as they are class leading in the brittle department.
Nissan oil filters have a very effective one way valve to aid lubrication and are (I believe)made in Japan.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
Thanks for that Greenparrot. I really like the car, its very very smooth and relaxing to drive, and I very much hope it will be reliable.
The ECU on my car seems to be covered by a plastic shield, which would tend to keep any leaking water off the unit itself. I always keep a close eye on levels anyway, so a leak would be spotted quickly.
Thanks for the tip on the exhaust studs, I will spray them regularly.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Greenparrot
Something else just came flooding back through the mists of time, these cars are simplistic to the point of monotonous in terms of servicing (i.e. things don't go wrong).
One pointer which will help though is when it comes to replacing the fuel filter (every C service). The filter is located close to the bulkhead on the offside & from the viewpoint of your pit it will look like the best way is to remove from underneath, it's not. Undo the the rubber hose underneath the car which connects onto the metal fuel pipe, then go to the bonnet area and pull the filter to you. Once again I'm sure I'm telling you how to suck eggs but the times I've seen technicians under ramps collapse in mock exhaustion as the last drop of blood drains from their outstetched arms are too numerous.
Oh, and release the fuel cap, that's enough to release the pressure on these vehicles.
Good news they've protected the ECU.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
Are you a Nissan tech Greenparrot? You certainly sound like the voice of experience on these cars. The fuel filter tip is excellent. I'd looked at that filter from above and below and wondered how I would get to it - now you've provided the answer (simple to the point of being obvious, as usual).
Any tips on getting to the block coolant drain plugs? They don't look easy!

Pretty much everything else looks well thought through - the standard of engineering is very high, especially protection and routing of the electrics, quality of connectors etc. I like the little 'hatches' in the timing chain casing for access to the water pump and tensioner - very smart. Very clever people, those Japanese.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Greenparrot
No, nothing as exciting as that, I'm an auditor but like you have spent many years in & around the motor industry. In an effort to get greater understanding into reports I undertook a City & Guilds 383 to level III and one exercise involved me doing a time & motion at a Nissan dealership, hence the little bit of knowledge on the marque.
In reference to the engine drain plugs the standard way the coolant is replaced is to remove the cap, remove the N/S undertay and undo the bottom hose (keeping well back!). I know purists will say this will not remove all antifreeze but you never can anyway. After draining slowly fill up the radiator, never saw any problems with air locks or bleeding,so try it - it does work. The refill amount is usually 3-4 litres.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
Hmm, not sure about that one. You're only changing half the coolant.
Maybe if I did it twice (running the engine in between) I'd renew about 75% of the coolant, which I guess would be OK. The block drain plugs (one on each block) are hidden behind the exhaust flanges and look awkward to get at - especially when you DO get it out and then get a face full of antifreeze!
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Gazza
Hi Aprilia,

I was having my final last week and then went on holiday to Italy, hence my absent. There is no easy way to get to the front bank block drain plug. The Maxima web's instruction is to remove the exhaust manifold which even they admit is too much work. Hence Greenparrot's method. I changed my over last Christmas and I did 5 "drain-fill_water-run_engine-drain" water flush so I get pretty much all the coolant out, and then fill with 4.5 Litre of anti-freeze. I used the Unipart-green stuff there has not been any problem there after.

Also, when taking the plastic cover off the top of the engine to change plugs, only hand tight it back on or the stud will snap (mine did, but I manage to weld a new stud on).

Be prepared for the price of the plugs, each of those NGF twin-platinum plug cost 9 pounds each inc. VAT but you should only need them every 100k (even though the schedule is 54k, my did 100k and still has not misfire)

Best Garrison
Should I buy this Nissan QX - Aprilia
Thanks Gazza

My coolant was changed by the Nissan dealer in April, just before I bought the car. Should be OK for at least a year. When I do change it I will use the 'PEG' stuff which lasts 4 years (I use it in my other cars and it seems OK). It comes pre-mixed at 50% and is not too expensive; I'll do a couple of drain-fill-drain-fill cycles.

I know the plugs are dear, however I'm going over to work in Munich during July (BMW) and the NGK PFR5G-11 platinum plugs can be had for about £5 from a factor at current exchange rate - so I'll get a set then.

Should I buy this Nissan QX - Stewksa
I bought a Nissan QX 3.0 SEL three weeks ago and I am over the moon with it. She is getting on, 1998 with 88K on the clock but goes well. I paid £140 for a fairly comprehensive service, the main item being the spark plugs! I am presently in Switzerland and will return the 11th July to continue my enjoyment of the car. Onlything i have wrong at the moment is the air conditioning is not working; maybe just low gas pressure, I shall have to see.
Should I buy this Nissan QX - CJay{P}
Wow, a 3 year old tread given a new lease of life!
Should I buy this Nissan QX - avondale
I too have just bought a 1998 Nissan Maxima 3.0 S Touring which I suspect is the Australian version of the QX. It has 25,000 km on it and is immaculate. Serviced every six months at the main dealer. I've had the wheels balanced and it will get an transmisson service at a specialist next week I was looking at a 2005 Maxima but when SWBO sat in it she felt it was too big and intimidating for her in comparison to her Micra.

The Maxima is the latest in a long line of Nissans since I migrated; 1200 SW, 260C sedan, Bluebird, Micra, Navarra dual cab. All gave years of faithful service and rarely a major problem; I put this down to my simplistic view of servicing--take to the main dealer every six months or 10,000km for him to work his magic. This paid off when the Micra ate its timing chain out of warranty and the main dealer persuaded Nissan to come to the party and pay the labour costs.

Nissan cars, except for the sports models, are regarded over here as being not very exciting if not in fact plain dull. That may well be so but as I've had 40 years of trouble free motoring out of them why look elsewhere.


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