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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2006, 08:23 AM
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Default 97 Altima shuts off randomly

I have an automatic 97 Nissan Altima. For the past 3 months it keeps basically stalling out at random times and getting increasingly worse. I will be driving and all of a sudden the RPM guage will start to move back and forth until it shuts off completely. Usually after that happens i either have a hard time starting it again or when it does start up i'll go about 50 feet and it will shut off again. I basically have to keep trying to start it until i can get it to run without shutting off. At this point in time it is shutting off so often that i am not even driving it and haven't been for about 2 weeks. Does anyone have the same problem or heard of someone having this problem, or can anyone be any help at all?? I have taken it to 2 mechanics and they haven't been able to diagnose the problem and even ran a diagnostic.
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:26 PM
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Default 97 altima

Your 97 altima is dying because the distributor is full of oil.
The bottom line is you need a new distributor.
By one from nissan, dont go aftermarket-they are junk.
Should be around $525.00 for the part
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:28 AM
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Default Nissan shuts off randomly

Thanks for your response, i actually had my distributor replaced back in november. It solved the problem for awhile and then it started acting up again mid Janurary. We've since checked the distributor and its fine. Any other suggestions?
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Old 03-29-2006, 12:43 PM
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Have you check if there is fuel pressure or spark at the time the car is stalling? That should be the first step. Also check the condition of the air and fuel filter. Replaced if necessary. If fuel pressure, spark and filters are OK, then you should consider connect a scanner. Check for engine codes and monitor all the signal to the ECM. Most important signals: coolant temperature sensor, crankshaft position sensor, camshaft position sensor
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:39 PM
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Default nissan altima shuts off randomly - same problem

I too am experiencing the same annoying problem of shutting automatically. But a trend observed is when it is cooled off for sometime, it starts and runs for sometime. Several dealers are not able to diagnose the problem. Even replacing the distributor (costing $520) is not suggested as a permanent fix looks like.

Suggestions are welcome!!
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:48 PM
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Why don't you check the idle air control valve, it cost me round 701.00 to fix and that included the labor
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:36 AM
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If everything looks OK as far as engine codes go, try loooking for a short in the wiring that opens intermittently to the system providing the spark or powering the fuel pump.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:31 AM
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Swap out fuel pump relay. Also check all connections to fuel systen including the injectors with the engine running (wiggle test).
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:39 PM
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I had this same problem and it ended up being the Mass air Flow sensor. To test it just disconnect the wire going to it and drive around for a few days. It may run shitty but should not shut off. If thats the case, then the MAF is bad; replace it.
If it stills shuts off, then your problems is something else.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:43 AM
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Exclamation Eerily familiar...

I have the same problem with my 94 Nissan Altima. I will be driving along, then seemingly at random the RPMs fluctuate up or down 500 or so then the car stalls.
If I wait a little while on the side of the road it usually starts then drives for about 15 minutes or so. It seems to happen more when the RPMs go over 2000 but that might just be coincidental.

I replaced my alternator (stupidly) thinking that was the problem source.. Still having the problem though. Any body have suggestions before I spend the money having a diag?
-Mike
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EatShark View Post
I have the same problem with my 94 Nissan Altima. I will be driving along, then seemingly at random the RPMs fluctuate up or down 500 or so then the car stalls.
If I wait a little while on the side of the road it usually starts then drives for about 15 minutes or so. It seems to happen more when the RPMs go over 2000 but that might just be coincidental.

I replaced my alternator (stupidly) thinking that was the problem source.. Still having the problem though. Any body have suggestions before I spend the money having a diag?
-Mike
Did you try disconnecting the Mass Air Flow sensor as suggested above? It cost nothing to troubleshoot using this trick. There could also be oil in your distributor. But try the MAF first.
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:35 PM
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How would I go about disconnecting the MAF sensor? Any pictures so I can locate it, etc?
Any help appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EatShark View Post
How would I go about disconnecting the MAF sensor? Any pictures so I can locate it, etc?
Any help appreciated.
It is right by the air intake/ air filter housing.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:49 PM
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Last night the lights kept dimming while I was at a stop light and it almost stalled out, and I noticed today that there is a hissing sound of air coming from the between the firewall and the engine on the left hand side when you're standing in front of the car.

So, I disconnected the maf sensor while the car was running and it stalled out...lol I probably wasn't supposed to do that. But anyway, I tried starting it unplugged and it wouldn't turn over. Then I plugged it back in and it started like normal and seems to be running better.
Does anyone think this might be a temporary fix somehow? Or could that have actually fixed the problem (doesn't seem likely)?
I also have some air that comes out of my PCV valve while the engine is running, not much but I can feel it lightly blow out.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:57 PM
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EatShark, the MAF is on the side and has four pin connector and the sensor is a box on a circular metal housing. The one on the top of the duct will make it stall but is not the MAF. (I forget what that part is, I think it is a three pin connector). The one on the side of the filter box is 2 pin and is the air temp sensor and won't make it stall.

I had similar issue as OP on my 96 Altima. It started one day in the morning and got real bad by the end of the day. The car was not very drivable. It would stall when accelerating at a stop light, sometimes at idle and would take much longer to start. It didn't seem to matter if the car was hot or cold. My plugs were all fouled out and I could smell gas in my exhaust. I had two codes, one for the knock sensor and one for the rear O2 sensor. The rear O2 sensor was pegged rich. I checked the TPS resistance and it was ok. I checked the fuel pressure regulator and no problems. I took it into a shop and they told me it was a crankshaft position sensor, but also cleaned the MAF and throttle plate and plugs. They told me the CKP was bad and I still needed to replace the TPS and O2 sensor. Apparently they didn't actually test the CKP because I asked for the old one back and tested it and the resistance was right in the center 500ohms. The new one they put in was like 680ohms, ~140ohms out of tollerence. $210 for nothing!

So I started checking the TPS voltages, all ok, 0.4V at idle and ~4V full throttle. Finally I unplugged the MAF sensor and drove it a bit. It was in limp mode so the RPMs never went above ~2500 but it did not stall . So tomorrow I will check the MAF voltage just to double check it is really bad, then take the CPK back to the shop and throw it in their face. The MAF voltage (smaller orange wire) should be 1-1.7 Volts at idle and increase at higher RPMs but should not go above 4 Volts. If it goes above 4V it is bad and if it doesn't change with changing RPMs, it is bad. (FYI - These voltages are different for 95 and older models.)

Hope this helps.
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