Filed under: 1996 Nissan Maxima (VQ)

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Pulled the turd out of the garage tonight only to find out something must be sleeping in my garage at night. Looks to be cat prints on all the horizontal surfaces

Anyway when I cleaned it up a little the other day I left it running for about an hour. Before I stopped driving it, it was dripping coolant and it looked to be from the water pump. Near the end of winter the heat wasn't very hot and the temp gauge started getting pretty warm. It would go from hot to normal, it didn't know what to do. So I figured it maybe the thermostat and the seals in the pump are going bad.

Well I bought a new thermostat from Nissan $20 fix. I have filled the radiator and overflow container several times now. One day it would seem ok, the next the temp gauge would be pegged, but not smoking. I look in the radiator no coolant? I fill it up again, and again, and again. Now the overflow and radiator doesn't have any coolant, but the damn car is running at normal temps!!! And it doesn't seem to be dripping coolant anymore!!! I don't get it!? Maybe I dislodged something in the radiator I have no idea?

But I raised my suspension up some since the G wheels rub like hell with the 245 wide rubber, and took it for a spin for a good hour and a half to two hours tonight. Car ran at normal temps with no coolant showing in the overflow or radiator. I wasn't rubbing only on major bumps. I miss driving this piece of ****.

Tomorrow I'll buy some more coolant, flush the radiator again, run water through it, and then top if off again and see what happens. Car desperately needs new tires, threads are showing, one tire is caved in the middle (it makes like a smile), and the car is in dire need of an alignment.

I may put off the water pump for now since it seems to be running ok and not dripping. But I'm going to replace sway bar bushings, tie rod bushings, etc with ES urethane bushings, and get some Moog tie-rod endlinks. With some fresh rubber and a good alignment this car should handle extremely well. I want to bring it out to the autoX and see what this turd can do.

I miss the manual transmission, and my IPod hook-up in this thing the most.