Nissan Maxima Radio Removal ('02, '03)
NOTE DISCLAIMER: I will not accept liability for anyone's repair attempts. This information is posted for informational purposes only. Don't try this without proper training. Any repair attempts are at your own risk. It may not be the same problem that mine had. Don't hold me financially liable to any damage or expenses you may incur. This may void any type of warranty on your radio.
Maxima 2002, 2003
If you have a Nissan Maxima (approximate years 2001, 2002, 2003) that looks like Figure 1, then you are likely to be suffering from the left channel of your CD player not working. This is a common issue where you lose the sound on the left side speakers just when playing the CD. You may send your radio in for this repair (cost for this repair is $219.99 plus $24.99 shipping/insurance).
Here's how to get your radio out of the dash:
See figure 4 below on how to use a screw driver with a piece of cloth to help get the vent out...while figure 4 is from a '96 Maxima, the technique is the same.
Figure 3 shows the clips that retain the vent assembly in the dash (knowing where these are located is sometimes helpful when you are trying to pry this assembly out of the dash).
Note, I did not get a complete set of pictures when I first did this tear down on a 2002 Maxima, so I have supplemented some of my 2002 Maxima pictures with those from a '96 Maxima tear down...the techniques are basically the same, so you might notice some differences in the the smaller '96 Maxima pictures below mixed with the larger actual 2002 Maxima pictures.
Removing the air vent assembly can be tricky...just be patient. You must use a cloth covered big screw driver as shown in Figure 4 (this is a '96 Maxima, but the same patience and technique is used). Use the screw driver covered by cloth to insert into the crack where the vents met the dash. You will have to work the screw driver around to push down on the clip area holding the vent assembly in place. While pushing down on the screw driver, you will also be trying to pry the vent assembly out with the screw driver.
As shown in Figure 5, you want to pull the vent assembly straight out of the dash, maybe even with a slight downward pull (pulling upward is not suggested since there are some tabs that are pushed into loops on the bottom of the assembly).
Position the gear shifter in Neutral by inserting the key and turning the keys to the Accessory position...push in on the brake and shift gear lever to get it out of your way (to allow better access to the next screws to be removed).
If you have a magnetic tipped philips screw driver, that is the best because unless you are very careful, you're likely to drop one of them in the shifter area (...learn from my mistakes).
Open the ashtray and take out the insert. There is a screw behind the insert, as shown in Figure 7 below, that must be removed.
Next, you will need to remove the wood panel around the gear shift. You should be able to use a screw driver with a piece of cloth around the tip to work around where the plastic wood piece clips into the console area.
The Wood trim panel will pull away from the gear shifter. It may be useful to insert the screw driver (wrapped by a thin cloth to prevent scratches) between black grommet and the silver portion of the gear shifter assembly. You will want to pull (or pry) in the location like where the fingers are in Figure 9 above for the '96. It takes patience but if can be worked loose.
Figure 11 shows the location of the clips that hold the wood panel in place. Figure 1 also shows how to pull up and the path to pivot (yellow arrow) to remove the wood panel. While this panel is in a '96 Maxima, the technique is the same for the '02/'03 Maxima.
The cigarette lighter will have a wire connector on it. To remove it (you may not have to disconnect the lighter), you must push in the tab on the connector (it's where the thumb or pointing finger is in Figure 13) that keeps the connector locked in place. With the tab properly pushed in, the connector will slide off.
Remove the wood trim panel and set it aside (you should be able to flip it over and lay along side the console on by the drivers seat...again, you may not have to disconnect the lighter).
Figure 14 shows the location of the 4 screws that hold the environmental controls unit and radio unit in place. Remove those screws and the assembly holding them together should slide out, though, there will be wire harnesses connected to the back of the units.
You'll find connections that connect to the environmental control unit. These connections can be undone by pushing on the locking tab of each connector (shown in Figure 15 - pushing the locking tab in with a small screwdriver) and pulling the connector out of the unit.
There is a stubborn locking tab on the inside area of the connector as shown in Figure 15. It is helpful to use a small screw driver to release the locking tab to be able to pull the plug out of the connection.
This same method of using the small screwdriver to push in on the white tab is useful to remove the connectors on the back of the radio. The radio will typically have two connectors with the tab that needs screwdriver, and then there is the antennae plug which just has a locking tab that is released easily by pushing in on the black tab and then removing the antennae connector.
With the environmental control/radio assembly out, you will need to remove the screws in the side of the radio and from the brackets of the assembly to get the radio free. The screws in the side of the radio can be EXTREMELY stubborn. The only way I can usually get them out is by using a T-handled screwdriver as shown in Figure 19 below...it can be bought at a place like Home Depot.
Figure 19 - T-handle Screwdriver
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If you are looking to send your radio in for repair of the left audio channel going out on the while playing a CD, you may send your radio to:
Absolute Technologies, Inc.
Please include a detailed description of the problem that you are experiencing. These repairs are typically completed with 48 hours of receiving the unit (unless the unit comes in on the weekend). You may include your payment with your radio ($244.98 = $219.99 repair +$24.99 shipping/insurance) or you may use PayPal (if using PayPal you may wait until I am ready to ship your radio back....I will send an email when the radio is ready for return).
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