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Is a Nissan Maxima Clutch Replacement Covered by Warranty?

Hi, I’m asking this question for my brother in law. He bought a pre-owned certified 1995 Maxima with 41,000 miles on the car, from a Nissan dealer in MA two years ago. The car has a manual six-speed transmission. He inherited the original warranty and paid for the extended warranty on the power-train, on which he still has three years.

He called me recently to ask why the car was revving so high in the lower gears and reverse, and told me about a metallic schreech while shifting in Boston. I told him the clutch and throwout bearing needed replacement and that the pressure plate/flywheel might be damaged as well. I told him to take the car back to Nissan and let let diagnose it themselves.

They came to the same conclusion, but they are claiming that the repair is similar to brake pad replacement, and is not covered by the original or extended warranty.

I think the power-train certainly includes the clutch and pressure plate/flywheel and the throwout bearing. They want to charge him thousands of dollars for this repair, and they didn’t even provide a free rental while the original “one hour” repair estimate stretched into four and now five days. He had to call Enterprise to get a rental car from them, at $35 a day.

I am sure he is being screwed every way possible here.

Anyone have some advice or experience with this? I’m not a lawyer, I have no idea what he can do at this point, if anything except eat the cost. Thanks.

These are wear items. Just like brakes or tires, they are typically not covered by power-train warranties.

However, 5 days to replace a clutch? What excuses do they offer? I’ve done a clutch replacement in my driveway on jackstands with hand-tools more than a few times on many different cars and trucks within a day or a weekend. 5 days in a shop means problems getting supplies or problems with their equipment. That’s a lot of tied up bay time.

Maybe they’re still waiting for parts? And yes, typically warranties don’t cover wear items like clutches.

Re: “a metallic schreech while shifting in Boston”

Does it also exhibit this metallic screech when shifting in Salem, or Concord, or Revere, or Stockbridge, or is it only problematic in Boston?

Seriously, however–as usual, the Devil is in the details, and in this case the details lie in the document that has the information about coverage under his extended warranty.

Normally, “wear items”–like brake pads and clutch facings–are not covered under warranty, but this may differ, depending upon the exact details of his warranty. While I really doubt that anyone would give a warranty of any kind on the clutch of a 15-16 year old car, the answer can be found in the wording of his extended warranty.

Tell your B-I-L to dig through his paperwork to find the actual warranty document, and that will give him the ultimate reality on this question. That reality will include exactly what parts are covered, and should also include details such as rental car coverage while repairs are being done. If it is not listed as something that is covered, then it is not covered.

I’ll answer both to save time and typing.
That’s what my bro in law said the dealer said, it’s a wear part (the clutch) like a brake pad, and so not covered. It sounded like a dodge to me, so I wanted to make sure the dealer was at least being honest about the warranty.
As to the five days, I know, it’s not a very hard repair, right? But you are right, the dealer keeps having to send out for parts, the last decision was the flywheel, which is being Fed-Ex’d at guess whose cost?
Oh well, I hoped to help him save him a few grand. thanks for the advice.

I cannot find a flywheel through my usual sources, but there seems to be some indication that this is a dual-mass flywheel. They cannot be re-surfaced and must be replaced if damaged or worn.

Also, this must be a 2005 Maxima. The 6-speed option wasn’t available until 2004. I was taken aback slightly by a 13 year old car sold with a factory and extended warranty. 41,000 miles is plenty of time for an inexperienced driver to put some extreme wear and a bit of damage on a clutch. I fear your BIL is paying for someone else’s mistakes.

He needs to read the warranty both regular and extended.

I know Subaru does cover clutches under their 3yr/36,000 mile bumper to bumper along with brakes, but this is rare in the car selling business.

You’re right about the year, my bad.
For what it is worth he did admit he has a habit of keeping his right hand on the shift lever during the short gears, which is not good. He keeps his foot off of the clutch though.
The only thing that annoys me is you can destroy an auto-tranny just as easily as you can wreck a clutch, but THAT would be covered.

It’s almost 80k (really nice car, too) so I guess he has to just suck it up and pay the money.
Thanks everyone.