Nissan Maxima Service and Repair Manual: Normal operating condition
COMPASS : Description
The electronic compass is highly protected from changes in most magnetic fields. However, some large changes in magnetic fields can affect it. Some examples are (but not limited to): high tension power lines, large steel buildings, subways, steel bridges, automatic car washes, large piles of scrap metal, etc.
During normal operation, the Compass Mirror will continuously update the compass calibration to adjust for gradual changes in the vehicle's magnetic "remnant" field. If the vehicle is subjected to high magnetic influences, the compass may appear to indicate false headings, become locked, or appear that it is unable to be calibrated. If this occurs, perform the calibration procedure.
If at any time the compass continually displays the incorrect direction or the reading is erratic or locked, verify the correct zone variance.