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Forums Nissan Models Altima 2000 Altima - rough idle
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Old 10-21-2005, 11:33 AM
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Default 2000 Altima - rough idle

Just got back from a service station. Went in thinking I needed a tune-up (90k miles) because my car idled roughly in gear and neutral but was fine when in motion. I suggested the tune-up. The mechanic performed a minor tune-up (changed the 4 spark plugs....I could have done that) and then told me that my number 4 cylinder was weak at idle and that my problem would persist unless he performed other diagnostic checks that would cost $100 to start. He thinks it could be a fuel injector but was saying other things and $$$$ signs were flashing in front of me. Seems Nissan built the engine in such a way that a whole lot of parts need to be removed to diagnose this problem. He also said that there is a bit of oil that gets into the spark plug shafts (#1 and #2) via the manifold gasket or from the shaft itself. He showed me the oil that accumulates at the tip of the spark plug wires. The SES light was on for a while and do you believe it....it went off an hour BEFORE I brought the car in!! The light is no longer on at the moment. I put some injector cleaner with a full tank this morning. In years 1 and 2, I used to use the highest octane....but with the raising cost of gas, I have been using regular gas the past 3 years or so. I do regret not putting premium this morning with the cleaner though. Otherwise, the car runs fine.....except for those nagging Year 5 problems (headlight, battery, tail light, interior light, window switch, interior trunk light, etc. etc.).

Can you please help me. I would like to do some of these repairs myself if I don't need any special equipment. I used to make minor repairs to my older cars but haven't touched these new ones anymore.
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Old 10-24-2005, 06:58 PM
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If one of the cylinders is misfiring (bad injector, cable or spark plug), besides of the rough idle you will also should have a lack of power, but you said that the car drives fine.

If the engine mounts are cracked, the engine will excessively vibrate like it had a rough idle, but you will feel the vibration on the seat and it may be hard to remove from park or get into a gear.

In you case it is possible that the EGR valve is not closing properly, making the engine run too lean and consequently making the engine run rough at idle. When the car is running (under certain conditions) the EGR valve should open and that may be the reason you do not feel any changes while driving. That may also be the reason why the engine light was coming ON and OFF, an excessive or low flow of vapor gases trough the EGR valve may cause the MIL to come on.

I recommend removing the EGR valve and cleaning the valve and passages.
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for your response.
I will check the EGR valve. Just to clarify, the engine is fine in park while idling....it shakes if I am stopped at a light or stopped in traffic in drive. If I shift to neutral, the shaking is reduced significantly but you can still sense a small vibration. I have no problem with pick up and/or any speed. I don't generally monitor the mileage....might start doing that. Could there be a problem with the fuel filter at low revs? Again, it might not explain the shifting to neutral. I believe the dealer changed the fuel filter a couple of years ago. Can you tell me how to check the EGR valve. Again, thanks for your help.
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:17 PM
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I have now noticed that the metal flipper on the opening of my gas tank (which I used to push in with the gas nozzle when I was filling the tank) is missing. Does this matter and what could have happened to this piece? Could someone tampered with this?
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Old 12-21-2006, 03:09 PM
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My Nissan sounds like it could stall out when waiting at red lights...I just had an expensive tune up, AC job, ball bearing job, broken electric/motor window job, brakes....ugg..... and when is it that I"m supposed to save money buying a Nissan? and to be honest.... my 95 Jetta has more power and a much better turning radius than this car....and uh...165,000 miles!!! Was thinking of getting a new Maxima....what do you all think???
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:26 PM
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I have an Altima 98 with 68K miles on it, I was on the highway and everything was running smooth, then out of nothing the SES pop out and lots of smoke came out from the muffler whit an intense smell of unburned gasoline, extremely rough idle and great loss of power and obscence bad millage and the car won't go any faster than 40 miles per hour; I managed to reach the city. Next day the car had trouble starting, finally when it started the rough idle and the smoke continued, on my way to the mechanic's garage the car just "cured" it self and the SES cleared!!!!! went back home and live happy for a while...

Then few months later (last week) the car had the exact same failure, took it to the mechanic have it scanned and showed a Cylinder 3 misfire. that's how I became a subscriber

So far the intake gasket was changed, a full tune up was made, the TPS Sensor was changed, the EGR & selenoid, vacuum bypass valve, MAF were cleaned tested and maintained. the smoke disappeared but now the rough idle is constant, and injector #3 shows a weak pulse, any suggestions? of how to solve this? the distributor rotor and spark plug wires are ok.

Please advice, excuse my English has been long since I last wrote something. I live in Mexico

Last edited by David Adan; 09-17-2007 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by David Adan View Post
I have an Altima 98 with 68K miles on it, I was on the highway and everything was running smooth, then out of nothing the SES pop out and lots of smoke came out from the muffler whit an intense smell of unburned gasoline, extremely rough idle and great loss of power and obscence bad millage and the car won't go any faster than 40 miles per hour; I managed to reach the city. Next day the car had trouble starting, finally when it started the rough idle and the smoke continued, on my way to the mechanic's garage the car just "cured" it self and the SES cleared!!!!! went back home and live happy for a while...

Then few months later (last week) the car had the exact same failure, took it to the mechanic have it scanned and showed a Cylinder 3 misfire. that's how I became a subscriber

So far the intake gasket was changed, a full tune up was made, the TPS Sensor was changed, the EGR & selenoid, vacuum bypass valve, MAF were cleaned tested and maintained. the smoke disappeared but now the rough idle is constant, and injector #3 shows a weak pulse, any suggestions? of how to solve this? the distributor rotor and spark plug wires are ok.

Please advice, excuse my English has been long since I last wrote something. I live in Mexico
It could be a sticking fuel injector. I would start by using a pressurized injector cleaner to see if that helps.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:10 AM
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thanks for your response, mpe 235, that also was checked when the tune up was made, actually it was sent to the lab to be cleanead, my mechanic suggest to run a direct line fron the injector to the ECU arguing the wire migth be defective how does that sound?
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by David Adan View Post
thanks for your response, mpe 235, that also was checked when the tune up was made, actually it was sent to the lab to be cleanead, my mechanic suggest to run a direct line fron the injector to the ECU arguing the wire migth be defective how does that sound?
Are you sure the injectors were sent to a lab to be cleaned???????
I have never heard of that before. It sounds like you are describing an injector hanging open. May need to replace the injector.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:02 PM
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Hmmm Seee E E E E E E E E Eok
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:17 PM
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Finally, the wire was some how damaged, an new line was run and everything is cool now, thanks to every body
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:27 PM
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Using a high ocatne gas in cars that reguire regular gasoline, can damage the injecters. Its like running a constant injector cleaner. All cars mess up over time, thats just the way it is...and yes...i have an 01 jeep that takes 10 mins to give tune-up, and took an hour and a 1/2 to tune up my 3.5l altima. If you do give a tune-up, i recomend getting platinum plugs...for nissans, id go with NKG. Expensive, but great....also, you could get a fuel injection cleansing for about $50...ask around at shops to see if they can do it...and it doesnt reguire disassembling anything!!! Keep the oil changed, transmission serviced, and antifreeze changed (every year) you could get away with minor problems.....GOOD LUCK!
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