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2004 Nissan Maxima SE 4dr Sedan Auto

2004 Nissan Maxima
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Mid-Size
20 mpg city / 28 mpg hwy
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November 9, 2010, 5:41 pm

Phil H

Question: Nissan ester oil?

Is there any consensus whether the 2010 Maxima requires the special Nissan ester oil? My owner's manual recommends it in one place, but in another just speaks to a good 5w30 oil. Other people with whom I've spoken say a good synthetic works just fine. There is a big difference between the cost of Nissan's ester oil ($70 + filter per change) and regular or synthetic oil. Anyone know for sure? I don't want to void the warranty.

April 24, 2011, 1:00 pm

Cort S

I had this same question. I took my 2010 Maxima in for an oil change and the first time they used ester oil ($$) and said it was best for the car. The second oil change I didn't request ester oil and they used regular 5w30! So, no, it will not void the warranty, but you should stay consistent. I'm in the for the long haul with this car, so I'll go back to ester oil on the next oil change and stay with it. All my research says it does make a difference if you plan to own the vehicle past the 80,000 mile mark. I love the car!

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November 12, 2011, 6:55 pm

Phil H

Here's Nissan's official response:

Thank you for contacting Nissan North America, Inc. and allowing us the opportunity to be of assistance.

In regards to your oil inquiry, as you had previously referenced from the 2010 Maxima Owner’s Manual, “Nissan recommends the use of an energy conserving oil in order to improve fuel economy. Select only engine oils that meet the American Petroleum Institute (API) certification or International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) certification and SAE viscosity standard. These oils have the API certification mark on the front of the container. Oils which do not have the specified quality label should not be used as they could cause engine damage."

The above referenced information is a recommendation, not a requirement. The engine oil viscosity or thickness changes with temperature choosing an oil viscosity other than that recommended could cause serious engine damage. If damage is caused to the engine due to using a viscosity which is not recommended, this would not be considered a warrantable failure, and I turn would not be covered.

For more technical information, Nissan relies on its authorized dealers to provide technical support to our valued customers. Please contact or visit your local Nissan dealer, as they are in the best position to address your vehicle concerns.

File number # has been created to document this concern. If you have any further comments or concerns, please feel free to contact our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-647-7261 and reference your file number.


Nissan North America, Inc.

Amanda Borgschulze
Consumer Affairs Representative
Nissan Consumer Affairs

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