Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Resetting 2000 Maxima SES light

I have a similar question regarding the SES light on a 2000 Maxima and Massachusetts new regulations where the mere illumination of these lights is a failure at inspection. My SES lights turned on ~50K miles. I have 212K today and the SES light is going strong. I have had no issues with the performance of this vehicle and have it maintained by an independent mechanic whenever a problem arises. Last year, at inspection time, I disconnected the battery cable overnight and drove to the dealer for inspection. The light stayed off for a day long enough to have an inspection (emissions test was a pass). This year, I’m attempting the same battery “trick” but the SES lights remain off only through one ignition cycle and once the dealer starts the car to pull in for inspection the light illuminates and I’m stuck.

I would have no problem having them correct a problem if there was a performance issue or more importantly, I could feel assured that I’m simply not opening an expensive can of worms on a 200K+ car. I’m told they’d read the code, correct the code issue and then II’d need to drive for 100 miles before they could perform the inspection. There are no guarantees that the SES lights will not come back on during this 100 miles and if they do, it’s another iteration of the same. I’ve read of all the issues with this model year Maxima and I’m looking for a way out of a potentially costly episode to keep y car on the road. Any help or recommendations are appreciated.

Whatever turns the emissions trouble light on may, or may not, have a cause which affects the performance of the engine. Yours is, evidently, one that’s NOT tied to engine performance.
The emissions trouble light has to be off; and, most of the “monitor” icons (which show on the scan tool) have to show “ready” (steady), before your car will pass. Icons which flash indicate systems which aren’t ready to monitor themselves, won’t pass.
Give US something to work on: get the DTC trouble codes scanned at an auto parts store (free), and note any icons which are flashing on the scan tool. Bring those codes here (such as: P0410) and the list of icons flashing.

Thanks for your patience, my independent mechanic was in Florida last week.
He scanned the car and called “a friend” at Nissan to interpret.
Code: PO430 indicating catalytic converter
Code: PO446 (flashed twice) indicating vent control valve and vent control valve canister.

Parts cost: catalytic = $850, control valve = $246, control valve canister = $136
Labor ~ 8 hrs.

My mechanic referred me back to the dealer as he didn’t want to bill me $1600-1800 and offer no guarantee some other SES code pops up while I’m driving away. He also mentioned an emissions waiver may be available. He didn’t have details, but recalled if an emissions issue represented >10% of the market value of the car, the state of MA may wave the fix–too good to be true! Is there such a thing?

He reset my lights, but it came back on during my drive home. I’m still stuck with one week of legal driving.

If you have never changed the oxygen sensors, do that first. The back one is what is throwing the p0430 code…Then locate the carbon canister and be sure all its hose connections are sound and the hoses are not split or disconnected. If that checks out, see if you can find those parts in a salvage yard. If the oxygen sensor fails to cure the SES, you can buy an inexpensive converter at any muffler shop for $150-$200…