Altitude and engine performance

I am considering bringing a low mileage (28k) 1999 Nissan Maxima made in Japan and purchased in Mexico City to upstate New York. Are there any adverse long term effects on the engine for having been at an altitude over 8,000 ft for 10 years?

Not by itself. The fuel injection system corrects for altitude, so it shouldn’t have affected it. Given the pollution levels in Mexico City, I hope it had frequent oil changes and air filters.

I would be more worried about importing it legally into this country. It isn’t easy. EPA certifications and other requirements make this type of import somewhat challenging.

Read the “How To” for non-Canadian vehicle imports, and read the list of non-conforming vehicles to determine if you meet the requirement for legal entry. If you are not dealing with a registered importer (RI) already, you need to read very carefully – come to think of it, these pamphlets should be required reading even if you have engaged an RI.

Yep! Make sure the vehicle meets the emission/safety requirements for the USA. Otherwise, you’ll buy one big mistake!


Then watch out when getting parts for it.
Back in 87 I bought a nissan from Mexico. Built to be sold in mexico, serial nubered as an 87, but every part we ever needed had to be looked up in the 86 book.

I agree that emissions regulations and registration problems may be a big headache.

Should have added that if you can somehow get this car in (still doubtful IMO) it should run a bit better.

The general rule of thumb is about a 3% power loss for each 1000 feet of elevation so since you would likely be at a lower elevation power should increase a bit.