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2009 Maxima Master Cylinder / Vaccum Booster Forums > > 2009 Maxima Master Cylinder / Vaccum Booster 2009 Maxima Master Cylinder / Vaccum Booster
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  #1  
Old 11-26-2010, 08:14 PM
Lanzz Lanzz is offline
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Exclamation 2009 Maxima Master Cylinder / Vaccum Booster

Hey everybody - a strange issue with my 2009 Maxima. I was driving on Wednesday, and the VDC Off and Brake lights came on. When I brought it to the dealer today, they said the brake fluid was low, but the brake pads were fine. They believe there is a slow leak in the master cylinder, and it needs to be replaced.

They did not have the part in stock, so they re-filled it with brake fluid and said I could drive it for a little while till I got back home and had my local dealer order the part and install it. A few questions:

1) Does this sound right? Seems like a pretty new car to have a master cylinder failure. I leased the car about 18 months ago - it was new, and I only drive it on weekends - I am surprised to have a part like this fail so soon. (Car has 19,000 miles on it.)

2) Is it reasonable to drive the car 200 miles in it's current condition? I am away for the holiday weekend, and was planning to drive it home to New York tomorrow - not sure if this is a good idea. Pedal is firm and stops seem fine, I just don't have any idea how quickly this leak developed, and how quickly the new brake fluid will leak out.

3) If there is a leak, why am I not seeing a puddle under the car, or any other sign of a leak? Seems odd to me, but I have no reason to doubt the dealer, they have an excellent reputation in this area, and they seemed very competent this morning.

Sorry for the long post, I have had many issues with this car, and I am bummed to have another issue, especially an issue that seems pretty serious.

Thanks for your opinions.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2010, 03:53 AM
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mpe235 mpe235 is offline
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It may not be leaking at all. We see this quite a bit on the Maxima and the Altima. As the brake pads wear the fluid in the resevoir will go down. This is normal. When the pads have some wear on them the caliper piston doesn't have to retract as far to release the brake so more fluid stays in the caliper. Topping off the fluid will take care of the light coming on.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2010, 09:51 AM
Lanzz Lanzz is offline
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MPE - thanks for the info. I drove the car back to New York without incident. It still seems to stop fine, no warning lights on the dash and the brake fluid reservoir is at the full mark. So... I guess I keep my eye on it and watch the fluid level, right?
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2010, 04:07 PM
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mpe235 mpe235 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanzz View Post
MPE - thanks for the info. I drove the car back to New York without incident. It still seems to stop fine, no warning lights on the dash and the brake fluid reservoir is at the full mark. So... I guess I keep my eye on it and watch the fluid level, right?
Yes, just check the level once in a while. You should be fine.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2010, 07:32 PM
robo_geek
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I would still go looking for a leak; I know there was a TSB on some Maximas for the Brake calipers seeping fluid. There's not a lot of fluid in there, so a tiny leak over time would be enough.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2010, 07:45 PM
Lanzz Lanzz is offline
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robo, I am definitely keeping my eye on it. it seems odd to have been so low on fluid over a period of time that is no more than 4 months (I had the 15k mile service done in June.) there is no sign of fluid on the backs of the tires, and there are no leaks under the car - I remain very puzzled.... I take comfort in MPE saying he has seen this before, so, I am going to watch it, and bring it to the dealer if the fluid goes down even a little bit from this point forward.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2012, 05:35 AM
LJernigan LJernigan is offline
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We also have a 2009 Maxima and the same lights came on and we took it into the dealership and were told the master cylinder was leaking. I am with Lanzz in thinking this car should not be having these types of problems. Our Maxima has just over 38000 miles and we have had to use the warranty way too much.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:33 PM
Jacarter220 Jacarter220 is offline
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There is a recall on Altimas that leak fluid, but you don't see it because it is leaking into the booster past the seal on the piston of the master cylinder. I have never seen one on a maxima though. Yours would definitely be the first. I find it very hard to believe that it needs a m/c
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2013, 09:22 AM
Lanzz Lanzz is offline
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Wow, it's been a while since I thought about this. About 6 months after I posted, the check engine light came on, and the dealer here in Manhattan said that the vacuum booster and master cylinder had leaked, and this in turn damaged the mass air flow sensor. So, they kept the car for a week and replaced a whole bunch of things.

This was the last straw for me, I traded the car 6 weeks after it was fixed. That Maxima was nothing but trouble... no more Nissans for me.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2014, 09:59 AM
cpycrawler cpycrawler is offline
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Like many things on the Maxima the master cylinder resevoir is improperly engineered. The resevoir is to small to account for the fluid transferred to the calipers as the pads wear. I am dissappointed with the car design and further disgusted with the dealer whom I use for service. They consistantly try to suggest maintenance that is not needed. Every time I bring the car for a repair I am warned that I could be charged a diagnostic. Imagine bringing your car in with a defective valve stem and being told you could be charged a $50 dollar diagnostic. Who charges $50 to fix a flat tire. Pep Boys did a rim seal and balance on my wifes toyota for free and I didnt even buy the tire from them. Anyway I told the dealer the tire was leaking from the valve stem because I checked it in water. Seems to me I diagnosed it. The valve stem was defective and covered under my Gold warranty. During that same visit I was told the CVT fluid needed replacement $245. I checked it and it has changed color since I purchased it. This is a catch 22 on that 120K warranty. Car has 51K and they recommend a fluid change. If I dont do it I assume the tranny warranty will be voided because I failed to do the recommended maintenance. I am searching for another Nissan service shop in the Hartford CT area if anyone has a recommendation please let me know.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2014, 09:08 AM
anchorrode865 anchorrode865 is offline
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Default Brake fluid

I usually don't take my Maxima to the dealer for basic repairs but on a certain day, I did. I wanted back brakes put on my 2009 Maxima (about 65,000 miles). The tech (seemed like a really nice guy) came and got me and said "Your brakes are OK. They have about 10k more miles on them. But your brake fluid is nasty looking." He showed me the fluid. It was horrid looking. I went ahead and had the back pads put on since I drive about 5k miles a month. I also had the fluid flushed and changed. Seems like something to look out for. Hopefully constant maintenance will keep the master cylinder from leaking. The tech seemed to think so. He was stating the fluid breaks down and can corrode the internal parts and hoses. I'm not sure if that is true but it makes some sense. With regards to having the transmission serviced by the dealer... yes it should be done by the dealer. With all the transmission problems with the pathfiders and now with the Maximas, the Nissan corp is way more willing to fix the problem if the big services are done at the dealer. I use to do all the service myself until getting screwed with the transmission cooler bypass on my 06 Pathfinder. Luckily, I bypassed mine before the dreaded transmission failure. To properly fix the bypass problem, Nissan sent me a check for just under $1000. Yeah I know, I was shocked also.
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2014, 09:13 AM
anchorrode865 anchorrode865 is offline
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Default Brake fluid

I usually don't take my Maxima to the dealer for basic repairs but on a certain day, I did. I wanted back brakes put on my 2009 Maxima (about 65,000 miles). The tech (seemed like a really nice guy) came and got me and said "Your brakes are OK. They have about 10k more miles on them. But your brake fluid is nasty looking." He showed me the fluid. It was horrid looking. I went ahead and had the back pads put on since I drive about 5k miles a month. I also had the fluid flushed and changed. Seems like something to look out for. Hopefully constant maintenance will keep the master cylinder from leaking. The tech seemed to think so. He was stating the fluid breaks down and can corrode the internal parts and hoses. I'm not sure if that is true but it makes some sense. With regards to having the transmission serviced by the dealer... yes it should be done by the dealer. With all the transmission problems with the pathfiders and now with the Maximas, the Nissan corp is way more willing to fix the problem if the big services are done at the dealer. I use to do all the service myself until getting screwed with the transmission cooler bypass on my 06 Pathfinder. Luckily, I bypassed mine before the dreaded transmission failure. To properly fix the bypass problem, Nissan sent me a check for just under $1000. Yeah I know, I was shocked also.
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  #13  
Old 06-15-2014, 10:18 AM
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smj999smj smj999smj is offline
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Brake fluid rarely breaks down under normal use; it takes a good amount of heat to cause it break down. More of an issue is condensation and moisture that is attracted to brake fluid. Also, anti-lock brake actuator solenoids can cause the presence of copper in the system. How make of a problem this is can be debatable, but flushing your brake fluid occasionally is not a bad idea.
As far as the Nissan 5-spd. A/T used in the trucks, it is actually a very good transmission with few problems so long as its fluid is not contaminated with engine coolant; that's something that is no fault of the transmission and would cause problems with any transmission. The fact that is uses synthetic ATF makes service less needed than the old Dexron III/Mercon used in older Nissan trannys. Nissan Matic-J is actually the same as Castrol Multi-import ATF, so using the overpriced genuine Nissan ATF is not necessary. In fact, most synthetic ATF's will work just fine in Nissan Matic D/J/S/K applications; make sure the manufacturer recommends it for use in your application to be safe. I use Valvoline Maxlife ATF in two R51 Pathfinders and it works just fine for a cost of $22 per 1-gallon jug. I do a drain and fill about every 30000 miles, which is probably a lot more than is needed.

Last edited by smj999smj; 06-15-2014 at 10:27 AM.
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