2001 Maxima - A cautionary tale from Australia

First, love the maxima, great car. Second, Nissan Australia, has a way to go on customer credibility.
I recently bought a 2001 Maxima with 130km (80,000m) on it, at auction, for
about half the dealer price. Ex-lease vehicle with full service history. Good value.
So far the vehicle has had three problems:
1. Annoying. The sunroof has a mind of its own and will open by itself on rare occasions. It will either angle up or slide back to the first or second stops. This has happened 4 times in 5 months when driving both on the highway and on round town trips. Has anyone experienced this? Any solutions, apart from removing fuses (this is an option as I am note overly worried about using the sunroof)?
2. Aggravating. The auxiliary cooling fan motor (the one on the right side controlled by the AC) developed a vibration which turned out to be a shaft bearing. This required a replacement motor (definately wasn't the plastic fan). The only problem here was the price - $au375 ($us275). Managed to get the dealer down to $au325 (on the suggestion of Nissan Head Office who wouldn't budge). The wreckers wanted $au275 (they obviously checked with Nissan before quoting). Bought the OE. Fairly expensive for a relatively small part. Problem solved.
3. Ready to write a nasty letter to Mr Nissan (anyone have the address). The left front shock has developed a leak. Nissan have quoted $au1175 ($us860) the pair plus fitting/aligning. At this stage I cannot source the equivalent shocks (eg sensor track) from an after market supplier. The best they can do is for models prior to 2000. Thinking of trying the import route from the US. Anyone in Australia tried this? or sourced parts locally? If I go the US import route, can anyone advise a reputable dealer to work with? This is viable as import duty does not apply on items valued at less than $au1000 (due to the FTA). Even with exchange rates and postage the price should be well under local dealer price. As examples, I found shocks at Dealtime.com and replacementshocks.com (price indicated $au325 $us250 in Australia for a pair).
Any thoughts on the above would be much appreciated.
TIA
Wayne.
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Mr Nissan is happy as a glob all -company. This very same pricing game goes from mexico to scandinavia. They make a cartels which mean local spare shops will not sell KYB, Tocigo, Monroe or whatever.
No sun roof problems as no sun. Snow & -29C. Maxima is HOT! see why http://www.cardomain.com/ride/748507/7
Here 3gen -93 four shock change price is 1600Us$. For 3gen best EU price front shock 90Us$ from UK, Spanish LIP. Its ok if not racing. Click for yours http://www.sapmotorparts.com / Rear cartridges are the same as Bluebird/Stanza, 40$ ea. [Needs one shim]
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Wiikinki wrote:

from mexico to scandinavia. They make a cartels which mean local spare shops will not sell KYB, Tocigo, Monroe or whatever.

Here in the US, you can buy KYB, Tokico, whatever, for your maxima. They are not the same shocks that came with the car, but will work nonetheless. These replacements tend to be on the sportier side, offering a slightly stiffer ride and may also lower the car a bit, about and inch or 2.
CD
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Gigo wrote:

Look at the aftermarket for Tokico, KYB, and some others I can't recall. Visit Maxima.org and browse the 5th gen forums to find places in the US that sell aftermarket struts/shocks for the Maxima.
CD
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Thanks CD
After checking the KYB site in the US, armed with the part numbers, I looked further afield here in Australia and found a KYB supplier who can supply these parts. The cost $au200 a side, which is about 1/3 of the Nissan price.
There is no doubt these forums are spot on.
Thanks.

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...Here in the US, you can buy KYB, Tokico, whatever, ... EU sites for those marks will not serve you, but will forward you to local shop. Local partshop have pricing, part numbers etc... BUT refuse to sell. I may order from US, but shipping, tax & warranty makes this solution unattractive.
This is Nissan glob all cartel game - it cannot play this dirty game in US as your Cartel watch systems do work. EU is a socialist system, nothing works but only for the chosen elite. For some reason (?) spanish LIP seems not to be in this cartel. (LIP is ok for hillybilly's family car)
Best (!) part in LIP front shocks was the adjustable camber (aring assy attachement upper hole is long). I maxed that out, and handling is lots better than stock.
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Re the front struts on my 2001 Maxima (relevent to Australian owners):
Found the KYB versions available in Australia - $aud180 per side plus fitting. Auto One in NSW is the retailer, sourced from Melbourne.
Wayne

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