Nissan Maxima Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols

Nissan Maxima Dashboard Warning Lights and Symbols

The Maxima is a 4-door sports car, produced since 1980 by Japanese car manufacturer Nissan. Detailed on this page are the Nissan Maxima dashboard warning lights and various symbols that illuminate.

An image of each warning light and symbol is displayed, along with its meaning, plus an explanation on what action to take based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Nissan Maxima Brake Warning Light Brake Warning

The brake warning symbol illuminates in red and may display as a symbol with an exclamation point, or as text. The brake light comes on when the ignition is switched on as normal operation. If it stays on after the engine has started, it may indicate the the parking brake is applied.

If the brake warning stays on after the engine has started, but the parking brake has been fully released, or it it comes on while driving, it may indicate low brake fluid levels. check reservoir levels and if necessary, top up with brake fluid (see recommended fluids below). If the brake warning light remains lit after topping up with fluid, contact an authorised Nissan auto repair shop immediately.

Nissan Maxima ABS Warning Light ABS Warning

The Nissan Maxima ABS warning symbol illuminates in yellow and may display as a symbol or text. The symbol illuminate when the ignition is switched on to indicate the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is operational. The light should go out shortly after.

During heavy braking, the purpose of ABS is to prevent the vehicle’s wheels from locking, therefore allowing the driver to maintain steering. ABS is however separate from the Maxima’s braking system and during an ABS malfunction, the vehicle’s brakes will operate as normal. The usual cause of an ABS fault is due to one of the wheel speed sensors or the ABS module.

Nissan Maxima Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Warning Light AEB Warning

‘AEB’ stands for the Nissan Maxima Automatic Emergency Braking system. The AEB warning light should switch off once the engine has started. The warning light also comes on if the AEB system is turned off, or if the system is unavailable.

The Nissan Maxima Automatic Emergency Braking system is designed to assist the driver where there’s a risk of a forward collision with a vehicle or pedestrian.

Using a radar system mounted in the vehicle’s front grille and a camera sensor located in front of the rear view mirror, if the system detects a pedestrian or vehicle, the system first alerts the driver via a warning light and audible alert. If there’s still a risk of collision, the system increases braking force. Ensure the area around the radar and windshield are kept clear and clean for optimal operation.

Nissan Maxima Battery Warning Light Battery / Charge Warning

The Nissan Maxima battery light illuminates in red and comes on briefly when the engine starts. If the light stays on, or comes on while you’re driving, it means there’s a charging fault.

If driving, it’s possible that after a period of time, the engine may stall. Turn off any electric systems that are not essential and drive to the nearest auto workshop. Likely causes are the alternator / generator belt being loose or broken. Failing alternator / generator or a wiring fault. See why is my car battery warning light on for further information.

Nissan Maxima Oil Pressure Warning Light Low Oil Pressure Warning

This red warning light indicates low engine oil pressure and not low engine oil level. Low engine oil pressure can seriously damage your engine due to the inability to properly lubricate.

If the light comes on while you’re driving, immediately pull off the road and switch off the engine. If engine oil levels are very low, it can result in low oil pressure. Check oil levels using the dip stick and add oil if required (see recommended fluids below). Only continue driving if the warning light turns off.

Nissan Maxima Tire Pressure Warning Light Low Tire Pressure Warning

The Nissan Maxima tire pressure warning light comes on for two possible reasons. Firstly, it illuminates to warn that one or more tires have a loss of pressure over the stored values and secondly, it flashes to indicate a fault with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

If the tire pressure warning light illuminates indicating low tire pressures, stop as soon as possible and check all tire pressures. Tire pressures should be adjusted in accordance with the cold tire pressure label located inside the driver’s door opening. To reset the tire pressure system, drive at a speed of 16 mph or more (the TPMS activates at this speed).

Flashing Tire Pressure Warning Light

The Nissan Maxima tire pressure warning light flashes for around 1 minute (then stays on) if a fault is detected or that the tire pressure monitoring system cannot read tire pressures. Pressure sensors are installed into each tire that relay information via radio waves to the TPMS. Reasons why the Nissan Maxima tire pressure warning light flashes can include:

  • A tire is fitted without a pressure sensor (such as the spare)
  • A sensor has been damaged when changing tires or wheels
  • A sensor’s battery has expired
  • Tires have been fitted that are not specified by Nissan
  • Radio waves interference from an external source

Nissan Maxima Master Warning Light Master Warning

The exclamation point inside a triangle is the Nissan Maxima master warning light. The master warning light may illuminate in red or yellow depending on the severity of the issue. You can read more about the warning via the information display and by using the navigation buttons on the steering wheel to select ‘Warning Review’. The Nissan Maxima master warning light will come on for the following reasons:

  • Push engine start lock warning
  • No key detected
  • Incorrect key detected
  • Door/trunk open (when vehicle is stationary)
  • Trunk open (when vehicle is moving)
  • Door open (Illuminates in red with vehicle moving)
  • Parking brake is on (illuminate in red)
  • Low windshield washer fluid
  • I-Key system fault
  • Low tire pressure
  • CVT warning
  • Sonar parking sensor fault
  • LED headlight failure (illuminates in red if no other red warnings are active)
  • Chassis control warning
  • Shift into Park (P) warning (illuminate in red)
  • Loose fuel cap warning
  • Traffic sign recognition system fault
  • Driver attention alert system fault

Nissan Maxima Power Steering Warning Light Power Steering Warning

When the power assist warning light illuminates, it means there will be no steering assistance and the steering will become much harder to operate. This may be a temporary issue where the electric motor has overheated. Overheating can occur when there’s high steering activity when the vehicle is stationary, or where the steering is kept on full lock for an extended period of time while the engine is running.

Nissan Maxima Rear Automatic Braking Warning Light Rear Automatic Braking Warning

Rear Automatic Braking (RAB) is designed to assist the driver when backing up by first warning the driver, then automatically applying the brakes to avoid a collision.

The RAB warning light illuminates when the system has been deactivated or there’s a malfunction in the system. The RAB system uses rear parking sensors to detect objects. There are four sensors on the rear bumper. Ensure the bumper is kept clear of dirt, debris and avoid putting stickers on the bumper.

Nissan Maxima Airbag Warning Light Airbag Warning

This is the airbag warning light and relates to the front airbag, side airbags, curtain airbags and pretensioner seat belt systems. There is a fault with the Nissan Maxima airbag system is the following occurs:

  • The supplemental air bag warning light remains on after approximately 7 seconds.
  • The supplemental air bag warning light flashes intermittently.
  • The supplemental air bag warning light does not come on at all.

Common reasons why the airbag system malfunctions and the warning light illuminate includes fault with the:

  • Airbag crash sensors
  • Damaged airbag clock spring
  • Flat battery
  • Airbag module
  • Dislodged wiring under front seats

Nissan Maxima Engine Warning Light Engine Warning

The Nissan Maxima malfunction indicator light (MIL) comes on due to a emission control fault. MIL, also known as the check engine light will either stay on steady, or flash. There are many internal engine components that make up the emissions control system and as such, diagnostic tools are required to locate the fault.

When the engine light comes on, a fault code is typically generated and stored. Diagnostic tools are used to read these fault codes and help to locate the malfunction. The malfunction indicator light will also come on if the fuel-filler cap is loose or missing.

You can usually drive with the engine light on. but having diagnostics and repair as soon as possible may help to prevent more costly repairs. However, if the engine light is flashing, it may indicate an engine misfire, which may cause damage. Reduce speed (avoid driving above 45 mph) and avoid harsh acceleration. The MIL may stop flashing and come on steady. For further information, see reasons why the engine warning light is on.

Nissan Maxima Security Warning Light Security Warning

To indicate that the Nissan Maxima security immobilizer system is active and operational, the security warning light (key symbol inside a car) will flash when the ignition switch is placed in the OFF, LOCK or ACC position.

If there’s a malfunction in the security immobilizer system, the warning light will remains steady lit when the ignition is in the ON position. this may be an issue with the key that require reprogramming. If you have an alternative key, try this.

Nissan Maxima VDC Warning Light VDC Indicator

The Nissan Maxima is equipped with a VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) system, alternatively know as ESC (Electronic Stability Control) The system helps to reduce oversteer, understeer and improve traction (traction control) by limiting engine power or by applying braking on a per-wheel basis.

The VDC indicator light blinks when the system is active and operational. This may also indicate that the vehicle is reaching its stability limits. The warning light stays steady lit when the VDC system has malfunctioned.

A VDC malfunction is usually due to a broken wheel speed sensor. If the engine warning light is also on, it’s usually due to the vehicle disabling the VDC system due to the engine fault. When the engine fault is rectified, VDC will resume. For more information, see What ESC is in Cars and How Does ESC Work in Cars.

Nissan Maxima No Key Detected Warning Light No Key Detected

The Nissan Maxima no key detected warning comes on when the intelligent key has been left outside the vehicle and with the ignition in the ON position.

Nissan Maxima Key ID Incorrect Warning LightKey ID Incorrect

The Nissan Maxima Key ID Incorrect warning light appears when the ignition switch is placed from the OFF position, but the intelligent key is not recognized by the security system. The unregistered key will not allow the engine to start.

Nissan Maxima Key Battery Low Warning LightKey Battery Low

The Nissan Maxima Key Battery Low warning light appears when the battery inside the intelligent key is running low on power. Replace the battery inside the intelligent key fob.

Nissan Maxima Key System Fault Warning LightKey System Fault

The Nissan Maxima Key System Fault See Owner’s Manuel warning light comes on for a short time, then goes out when the ignition is switched to the ON position.

If the Key System Fault stays on, it warns of a malfunction with the intelligent key system. If the light comes on while the engine is not running, it may not be possible to start the engine. If the light comes on while the engine is running, you can continue driving.

Nissan Maxima Shift to Park Warning LightShift to Park

The Nissan Maxima Key System Fault See Owner’s Manuel warning light comes on for a short time, then goes out when the ignition is switched to the ON position.

Nissan Maxima Push Brake and Start Switch to Drive Warning LightPush Brake and Start Switch to Drive

This symbol comes on when the gear shift lever is in the Park (P) position. The symbol will also come on when the vehicle has been using the remote engine start function. When the symbol comes on, push the ignition switch with the brake pedal depressed to start the engine.

Nissan Maxima Door or Trunk Open Warning LightDoor or Trunk Open

This symbol illuminates whenever a door or trunk has been opened.

Nissan Maxima Alarm Time for a Break Warning LightAlarm, Time for a Break?

If the Timer Alert function has been enabled in the Driving Aids settings and the selected time has elapsed, this warning symbol will display.

Nissan Maxima Rotate Steering Press Start Switch Warning LightRotate Steering Press Start Switch

The rotate steering and press the start switch warning comes on when the steering lock cannot be unlocked or is malfunctioning. The warning may appear if the steering wheel is not aligned with the locking mechanism. In this situation, lightly turn the steering wheel to the left and right to realign the steering wheel position with the steering mechanism, then push the ignition switch to ON. The master warning light may also illuminate.

Nissan Maxima Tire Warning LightTire Set Distance

The tire warning light comes on when the set distance for tire replacement has been reached. The set distance can be reset.

Nissan Maxima Oil and Filter Warning LightOil and Filter

The Nissan Maxima oil and filter warning light comes on when the set distance for the scheduled engine oil and filter change has been reached.

Nissan Maxima Outside Temperature (Snowflake) Warning LightOutside Temperature

The Nissan Maxima snowflake symbol illuminating is a warning that the outside temperature is below 37°F (3°C). The temperature can be changed to display in Celsius or Fahrenheit. For further information on the frost warning light, see snowflake dashboard warning light explained.

Nissan Maxima Other Warning LightOther Symbol

The Nissan Maxima ‘other’ symbol comes on when the driver has programmed a set distance which has been reached for replacing maintenance items other than engine oil, oil filter or tires. Other maintenance items may include air filter or tire rotation.

Nissan Maxima Side Radar Obstruction Warning LightSide Radar Obstruction

The side radar obstruction message appears when the blind spot warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system become unavailable due to a radar blockage.

Nissan Maxima Front Radar Obstruction Warning LightFront Radar Obstruction

The front radar obstruction message appears when one of the following systems becomes unavailable because the front radar is obstructed. Ensure the area around the radar is clean.

  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection
  • Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC)
  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (IFCW)

Nissan Maxima Rear Automatic Braking (RAB) Warning LightRear Automatic Braking (RAB)

The Rear Automatic Braking (RAB) symbol appears along with an exclamation point comes on when an issue has been detected.

Nissan Maxima Unavailable High Cabin Temperature Warning LightUnavailable High Cabin Temperature

The ‘Unavailable High Cabin Temperature’ warning message appears when the camera detects an interior temperature of more than 104°F (40°C). The camera located behind the rear view mirror will become operational when the cabin temperature lowers.

Nissan Maxima Unavailable Road is Slippery Warning LightUnavailable Road is Slippery

The ‘Unavailable Road is Slippery’ warning message appears when the Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) or the Intelligent Lane Intervention systems become unavailable because the road is slippery.

Nissan Maxima Unavailable Road is Slippery Warning LightCurrently Unavailable

The ‘Unavailable Road is Slippery’ warning message appears when the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system is turned off. The Intelligent Lane Intervention (I-LI) system will be turned off automatically.

Nissan Maxima Intelligent Key Battery Low Warning LightIntelligent Key Battery Low

This warning symbol comes on when the intelligent key battery is low and the intelligent key and the vehicle are not communicating properly. Touch the ignition switch with the intelligent key, whilst pressing the brake pedal.

Nissan Maxima Chassis Control System Error See Owner’s Manual Warning LightChassis Control System Error

The ‘Chassis Control System Error’ warning message appears if the Integrated Dynamics-control Module detects an error in the Intelligent Trace Control, Intelligent Engine Brake, or the Active Ride Control systems. Have the vehicle checked.

Recommended Fluids

These are the recommended fluids for the Nissan Maxima:

Fluid Fluid Type
Power steering fluid: Genuine Nissan E-PSF or equivalent.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) fluid: Genuine Nissan CVT Fluid NS-3.
Engine oil: Genuine Nissan Motor Oil 0W-20 SN or equivalent is recommended. Alternatively, a synthetic 0W-20 GF-5 SN motor oil (or engine oil) may be used.
Air conditioning system oil: Genuine Nissan A/C System oil PAG Type: ND-OIL8 or equivalent.
Air conditioning system refrigerant: HFC-134a (R-134a).
Brake fluid reservoir: Genuine Nissan Super Heavy Duty Brake Fluid or equivalent DOT 3.

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